Friday, May 18, 2007

News Roundup for May 18

Across the Arab world there is despair at the Palestinian infighting.
Arab governments appeared at a loss Thursday over how to stop the stunning wave of bloodshed in Gaza, which threatens to wreck their already faltering efforts to resume the Arab-Israeli peace process.

The fighting sparked despair among Arabs watching television footage of what looked like open warfare between Palestinians. "May God curse you all," renowned Egyptian columnist Ahmed Ragab wrote,
A sentiment shared by many.


For Hamas' part, it is time to dish out the blame.
The international community, Israel and Arab countries are to blame for the current inter-Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip for failing to lif[t] an economic siege on the Palestinians, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday.
As usual, everyone in the world is at fault for the fighting except those doing the fighting.
[Deputy head of Hamas' political bureau] Abu Marzouk told The Associated Press by telephone in Damascus, "The continued financial and political siege has pushed matters to this simmering tension."
Hamas believes that it is their right for other nations to give them endless millions of dollars without any conditions or expectation to stop committing terror.
The major donors have demanded that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and commit to past agreements before aid is restored. Hamas has rejected the demand.
And, therefore, international donors reject giving money to stubborn warmongers.
Abu Marzouk ruled out the possibility of a Palestinian civil war. "This is absolutely rejected by all Palestinian parties," he said.
Denial: it's not just a river in Egypt. They can reject the possibility of civil war all they want, but that hasn't yet stopped it from happening on their streets.


And speaking of Hamas' hardline ideology, even Egypt, who has tirelessly tried to help the Palestinian government succeed, admits that peace with Hamas is impossible.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak expressed great concern over the increasing strength of Hamas in talks with senior diplomatic officials on Wednesday, declaring that the organization will never sign a peace agreement with Israel, Haaretz has learned.

"With Hamas no way," he reportedly said.

Mubarak painted a dark picture of the situation with Hamas and said there was no chance for peace with the organization. "Hamas will never sign a peace agreement with Israel if it stays in power," the Egyptian president said.
Not exactly news, but it's good to hear voices of clarity from Middle Eastern leaders.


On Iranian newssite FARS, a little Photoshopping helps to communicate the message. Here is the picture of Hizbullah's logo accompanying an article about the group.
Here's the entire logo.
Thank you, FARS, for sterilizing the news for us.


And finally...

Likewise, Iran is quickly becoming the Shi'ite version of the Taliban. First, no social intermingling.
Owners of trendy internet cafes, as well as bars and restaurants popular with young Iranians have received a letter signed by national police authorities in which new measures are announced to enforce "the country's moral health." "Public places will not be allowed to use dark windows anymore or curtains which make it impossible to view from the outside what is going on inside," said the letter, which states in particular that men and women must not be allowed inside internet cafes together but in separate days or schedules "to avoid unpleasant promiscuity."
Nope, don't want that. Also, even fully burqa-ed women on bicycles are too provocative.
Iran is to start manufacturing "Islamic bicycles" for women that conceals their figure, the government newspaper Iran reported on Thursday.

"This bike has a cabin which conceals half of the cyclist's body," the newspaper said. Elaheh Sofali, an architect of the project, told Iran it would encourage women's sports in the Islamic republic.
This about sums it all up:
How sex-obsessed is a culture that teaches a woman that she is basically a walking, sitting or reclining set of genitals? How over-aroused is a society in which men are expected to have no qualms about throwing themselves on any woman who happens to walk by, unless a powerful signal, in the form of a divinely ordained dress code, forbids them to do so?
I suggest a culture that has no concept of personal responsibility (see all iof my other posts). But, hey, what do I know?

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