Blimp deflator: Letting out the gas

NZ strategic for Muslims, says Aussie ‘scholar’

Posted in islam, new zealand by Blimp deflator on August 18, 2010

NZ strategic for Muslims
From Challenge Weekly, New Zealand’s Christian weekly newspaper.

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Gaza-bound Kiwis being misled, says Israeli envoy

Posted in palestine by Blimp deflator on August 16, 2010

Gaza-bound Kiwis being misled, says Israeli envoy
Letter to the editor of The Dominion Post, August 16, 2010. (Click to enlarge.)

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Who’s concerned about the burqa?

Posted in islam by Blimp deflator on August 16, 2010

Who's concerned about the burqa?
Cartoon from the Manawatu Standard of August 14, 2010.

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Taliban ‘working for a better yesterday’?

Posted in history, islam by Blimp deflator on August 15, 2010

Taliban 'working for a better yesterday'?Afghan record shop, 1960s The problem, here, is that Dominion Post cartoonist Tom Scott doesn’t know what the Afghanistan of “yesterday” was like. In reality, it was a country that was confidently moving into the modern age — although the record shop on the left, in a photo from the 1960s, was not the kind of place you would have found outside Kabul. (To see more pictures from that era, go to Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan…) The cartoon was published on August 11, 2010, and is a comment on the case of Bibi Aisha, who was allegedly mutilated by her husband, allegedly on the orders of a “Taliban court”. (I put the latter words in quotation marks because I doubt any court purporting to be Islamic would come up with a sentence for which there is no provision in Islamic law.)

Ann Jones, who says she knows Aisha, says in The Nation (August 12, 2010): “She told me that her father-in-law caught up with her after she ran away, and took a knife to her on his own; village elders later approved, but the Taliban didn’t figure at all in this account. The Time story*, however, attributes Aisha’s mutilation to a husband under orders of a Talib commander, thereby transforming a personal story, similar to those of countless women in Afghanistan today, into a portent of things to come for all women if the Taliban return to power.”

*Time magazine cover story of August 9, 2010.

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Conflict resolution 65 years after Hiroshima

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on August 15, 2010

Conflict resolution 65 years after Hiroshima
Cartoon from the Manawatu Standard of August 7, 2010. Do anyone believe that nuclear weapons will never be used again?

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Australia/Israel Review, July 2010

Posted in palestine by Blimp deflator on August 8, 2010

The article below is preceded by a related item headlined “Collateral damage: The flotilla and its fall-out”, in which Amotz Asa-El says the IDF was “attacked upon arrival on the vessel [the Mavi Marmara] by well-prepared, pre-supplied and battle hungry combatants”. (He describes the “attackers” as a “mob”, but does not claim — as the first Israeli reports did — that they tried to “lynch” the soldiers.) How convenient for the Israelis that there was a “journalist” among the passengers on the Mavi Marmara (see below) who was apparently so happy to spout Israeli hasbara, including the claim that there is “no distress” in the Gaza Strip. (In AIR’s editorial, the magazine nevertheless describes Gaza as an “unhappy territory”.)
Australia/Israel Review, July 2010 (2)Australia/Israel Review, July 2010
Australia/Israel Review, July 2010 (3)
Australia/Israel Review, July 2010 (4)

Poppies for opium . . . or for the graves of women and children

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on August 6, 2010

Poppies for opium . . . or for the graves of women and children.
Tom Scott’s cartoon from The Dominion Post of July 29, 2010.

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Midnight on the Mavi Marmara, by Moustafa Bayoumi

Posted in palestine by Blimp deflator on August 5, 2010

Midnight on the Mavi Marmara (front cover)Midnight on the Mavi Marmara (back cover)
This book arrived today from Or Books, New York. Am I the first person in New Zealand to acquire a copy?
Word
Extract from the essay entitled International Solidarity Under Attack, by Mike Marqusee, on Pages 271-272 of the book:
Word
Just as the Palestinian cause is a global magnet for victims of discrimination and dispossession, so the cause of Israel is a magnet for the privileged, the entitled, the beneficiaries of Western and white supremacy. The rich and powerful see themselves as under siege from the poor and powerless and in Israel’s self-portrayal they recognize themselves. The gated communities of the world rally around the gated nation.
Word

All Jews want is peace, says Israeli envoy to NZ

Posted in islam, new zealand, palestine, religion by Blimp deflator on August 1, 2010

All that Jews want is peace, says Israeli envoy to NZ
Article from Challenge Weekly, New Zealand’s Christian newspaper, of July 26, 2010.

Is Israel a Jewish state?

Posted in history, palestine by Blimp deflator on August 1, 2010

Is Israel a Jewish state?
These letters to The Dominion Post were published on July 19, 2010. On July 29, David Zwartz responded to the first letter, saying (in part): “…The Dominion Post is perfectly correct to describe Israel as the Jewish state. That is how it was described in the text of United Nations partition resolution 181 of November 1947, which authorised the establishment of independent Arab and Jewish states when the British withdrew from their mandate in May 1948.”

The problem with this argument is that it is the constitution of a country that determines its nature, not others’ description of it. And as far as I know, Israel is still (formally) a secular state. If anyone would like to elucidate this issue, perhaps they would be kind enough to leave a comment.

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