Netanyahu’s swearing-in speech draws roars of laughter from Arab MPs

benjamin-netanyahu-arye-deri

You don’t need to know Hebrew to find the humour in Netanyahu’s swearing in speech during Friday’s Knesset session:

From the London Review of Books:

Yesterday, on the 67th anniversary of the establishment of Israel (Palestinians commemorate the Nakba today), Binyamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister. It’s taken him a while to put together a governing coalition of 61 seats, against 59 in the opposition. It’s worth watching the first minute of Netanyahu’s speech to the Knesset. You don’t have to understand Hebrew. ‘Tonight with God’s help,’ he begins, ‘we will create a government in Israel.’ He pauses for a second. ‘We will defend Israeli security.’ Another pause. ‘And we will strive for peace.’ At the word ‘peace’ (‘shalom’) many members of the Knesset couldn’t contain themselves. Bursts of spontaneous laughter broke out from the opposition benches. Led by Arab MKs from the Joint List, the contagious laughter carried away more and more members of the opposition. The word ‘peace’ in Israel, especially spoken by Netanyahu, is a joke. It is indeed funny to watch. Yet it is the tragic story of Israel.

Netanyahu’s Joke

I can’t say this didn’t make me chuckle 🙂 .

“Jerusalem Day” 2015: Calls to demolish Al-Aqsa, Chants of ‘Mohammed is Dead’

On so-called “Jerusalem Day” today – an annual event held to celebrate the occupying of the city – extremist Israeli settlers marched through the streets chanting slogans such as: ‘Death to Arabs’ and ‘Mohammed is Dead’.  They also distributed flyers calling for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque – Islam’s 3rd holiest site. A Jordanian TV crew were attacked and chased through the streets by these colonialist terrorists.

CFOkFr9WgAIFsoV

Update – a female correspondent for RT Arabic was assaulted by Israeli police. From RT;

Dalia Nammari and the cameraman Muhammad Aishu were filming the march of settlers, which they had been accredited to, when the police interfered with their work and took away the camera. The crew continued to report from the scene using a smart phone and going on air live via Skype, when the police attacked them again.

Last year, Israeli forces raided a building in Ramallah where the offices of several media outlets, including RT’s Arabic channel, were located. The troops broke down the doors of the offices, destroyed some of the equipment and confiscated records.

During last year’s siege of Gaza, Israeli forces killed a total of 18 journalists.

(2011 footage)

Iran is the Future

BRAZIL - JUNE 21:  Iran fans cheer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Argentina and Iran at Estadio Mineirao on June 21, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 491933191

BRAZIL – JUNE 21, 2014: Iran fans cheer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Argentina and Iran at Estadio Mineirao 

This is a comment I posted on a Guardian article reporting on King Salman’s decision not to attend the GCC meeting with Obama at Camp David. It sum’s up what I think are the real motivators behind the Persian Gulf countries, and Israel’s, fear of the Iran nuclear deal:

How exactly does a deal to LIMIT Iran’s (peaceful) nuclear programme harm the GCC? Iran isn’t the one bombing it’s neighbour and covertly waging a war against Iraq and Syria. The only aid Iran has given the Houthis is financial, as well as negotiating food imports into the country, and a new airline linking Sanaa to Tehran. The Houthis, like everyone else, are fighting with American-made weapons. By the way, I just read that Yemen is on its way to becoming the worst man-made crisis of the 21st century, due to the blockade making it impossible to get fuel and food (90% of Yemen’s food is imported).

I think the real problem for these despots is what will happen to their economies once sanctions are lifted. 90% of KSA’s income is through oil sales, and it’s population are unskilled and uneducated. Iran’s population is the opposite, and they actually manufacture things, such as cars. Though it’s not reported in the Western press, delegations from all over Europe have been visiting Tehran to sign trade deals in recent months. In fact, there was even a US delegation there yesterday.

Without the sanctions, Iran has the ability to become an economic powerhouse. In fact it is also about to start building hundreds of new hotels to keep up with its blossoming tourist industry. All this strikes fear into the heart of Salman, Netanyahu, Tom Cotton, and the rest.

One further point is, how will lessening restrictions in Iran’s energy sector affect the price of oil? The market is currently flooded with Saudi oil, what happens when it’s also flooded with Iranian oil?

It can’t be emphasised enough how much potential there is for Iran. If you read Fars News or Press TV there are almost daily articles reporting on economic delegations from Poland, visits to Tehran by French car manufacturers, meetings between Iranian ministers and Swiss ministers, and so on. The power they exert is very much in the Chinese tradition, ie. investing in infrastructure rather than selling weapons and dropping bombs, as the American’s and the Saudi’s do.

I probably wouldn’t have started this blog if it wasn’t for the sudden interest I found in Iran last year. Having researched women’s rights in the Middle East, I couldn’t believe that the country so demonised for its human rights abuses was Iran, whose women seem so fiercely independent, and not Saudi Arabia, which goes to extraordinary lengths to keep their women segregated from men, and whose  women must cloak themselves in black tents, while the Persians put Western women’s dress sense to shame. I actually started trying to copy some of the looks I found, which can be seen in my post: Iranian Street Style.

While human rights in KSA are regressing – they have just fired their first female minister – human rights in Iran are making slow but welcome progress – they have just appointed their first female ambassador to represent them abroad. Iran is the future, while the Americans and their Gulf cronies are on a sinking ship.

Video Playlist: The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US? Is It Good for Israel?

A playlist of an entire day of panel’s from the recent conference on the Israel lobby, titled:

“The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?”

(http://Israellobbyus.org)

You can read a bit more about the event in the following article:

The Conference on the Israel Lobby
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/20/the-conference-on-the-israel-lobby/

Anti-Zionist Jews Protest Bibi’s Speech

Two weekends ago, as the annual AIPAC conference took place, Orthodox Jews in New York, Washington and Jerusalem protested against the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s presence in the US. Prior to his “controversial” speech to Congress (in which he would claim that a nuclear deal with Iran would pose an existential threat to his country) Netanyahu declared that he would go to Washington as he went to Paris: to speak for all Jews.

The audacity of such a statement was all the more astonishing when taking into consideration the fact that President Hollande had specifically asked the Israeli PM not to attend the march in Paris.

There’s not much to say about Bibi’s speech itself – I think anyone familiar with the man can guess what he had to say – but the resulting protests did give the world this amusing slogan:

20150312-021108.jpg

Which – whether deliberately or not – was a delightful play upon one of Likud’s current election campaign ads…