Thursday, November 30, 2006

Breaking News: "Abuses of Power" Event 12-1 TODAY at UCI CCC


(emphasis is not mine)

[sic] Coallition discussion on the Abuses of Power and resistances here at home AND abroad.


Conference Room in the Cross Cultural Center

I wonder who is in the "coalition" and what types of "abuses of power" are they're talking about?

An easy guess is that "here at home" refers to the UCLA Tasering as I blogged about earlier this week; I'm wondering if there's something else that's on their minds.

As to "abroad", the Pope's visit to Turkey? Dunno.


A reader posed the following appropriate question:

"I wonder more about what kind of "resistances" the "coalition" recommends."

Thank you for posing that question. It is something that we must ask, as the MSU has for years now unquestioningly supported:

- Organizations whose preferred military tactic is to deliberately target innocent men, women, children, and elderly citizens simply because they happen to be Jewish

- Organizations whose main choice of weapons are suicide bombers and rockets on Jewish communities

- Organizations who specifically chose to include in their charter a quotation from their scripture that states (and this is just one of many quotations in their charter):
[t]he Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." ( - article seven)

The MSU has in the not-so-distant past published articles separating Jews from the rest of the human race, and at least one rally held up signs with a new blood libel: that Jews canned and ate the meat of Palestinian children. Even most recently as May of this year, the MSU's favorite speaker issued this threat to the Jews: "your days are numbered."

So one can only guess about what the MSU considers "beyond the pale".

To the UCI Administration:

I have seen Deans and even higher representatives at many of the MSU's events reading the placards and listening to the speeches.

We have asked you in the past and will continue to ask you to do something that has a concrete effect regarding the hateful environment on campus towards Jews.

You have tried - with my support - dialogues between the religious groups. In response, instead of softening their rhetoric, the MSU's words have hardened. So the environment has gotten worse, not better.

The MSU meeting announced above should be a wake up call that the MSU may be choosing to go beyond talk and turn their thoughts into actions. If something happens, you will be held responsible.

Consider yourselves on notice.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Audio from Nov 29, 2006 UCI discussion with Kreidie, Rahimieh, and LeVine

Posted originally June 12, 2007 10:07 PM PST

Get your headphones out - this one will probably require them.

Original announcement: Link

My comment at the time: Link

Part 1 of 3: Link

Part 2 of 3: Link

Part 3 of 3: Link

Two IsraelMatzav blog posts

I don't have time right now to copy and paste these properly, so I'm just going to include these links to two IsraelMatzav blog posts:

Lebanese army under orders not to stop weapons shipments

Desmond Tutu to head UN mission to Beit Hanun

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Interesting NewU Campus Police Log Entry

If something like this is true, then it means the campus environment is almost certainly going to go from bad to worse.

Campus Police Log Entry #4 of 13
Date & Time: 11-06-06 at 11:18 [AM]
Location: Mesa Road
Description: Caller reports second hand information of two suspicious subjects handing out Nazi pamphlets. The subjects described as two males wearing green shirts.

Found these little tidbits about Lina Kreidie and Sadullah Khan

Lina Kreidie is a Social Sciences lecturer at UCI - Click here for related blog posts

Arab Americans Lobby Reps Across Country on Lebanon Crisis
Posted on Tuesday August 1, 2006
Southern Californians Thank Congresswoman Sanchez

In Southern California, AAI NPC member Rima Nashashibi meets regularly with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-47th District). Those joining her on this occasion to thank Congresswoman Sanchez for not voting on the one-sided H. RES. 921 supporting “Israel’s right to defend itself” and share their perspectives on the situation in Lebanon included Dr. Lina Kreidie of UC Irvine, who recently returned from Lebanon and had written her doctoral dissertation on Hezbollah


Religion Has Nothing to Do With Violence
By Fakhr Ahmad
[ed: estimated date based on the URL: March 22, 2002]

Los Angeles: In the 2-hour forum titled “Islam and Violence,” organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on March 14 at Chapman University Campus, experts and scholars tried to explain to the audience through critical examples that religion itself has nothing to do with violence.

The topics included: What does the Quran say about religious violence; Poverty, foreign intervention, and lack of democracy and its impact on Muslims societies; and Preventing a clash of civilizations.

The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Peace Studies at Chapman University and the California Council for the Humanities.

Professor Lina Kreidie of University of California, Irvine (UCI)’s Department of Political Science, said Islam had been a subject of a premeditated, well-planned attack by the media to instigate hatred and bias against Muslims. She quoted the famous saying of former Secretary General of NATO forces in Europe: “It is no longer red parallel but green parallel,” giving an obvious indication to the West’s next target - Islam.

The Secretary General made those remarks following the domino demise of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

She later explained various political reasons for the ongoing violent tendencies in Muslims, which include lack of democracy, support of dictatorial regimes by the West and poverty and economic deprivation.

[sic] Kerdie, who has published many works and has interviewed members of various Islamic groups, also criticized the term suicide bomber, saying it was coined by the Western media. She said during her interviews to various organizations in Middle East, whose members actively participate in such suicide bombings, they told her suicide in Islam meant dying in hopelessness while what they are doing was dying for some cause. “They kill themselves so that their death can bring freedom and hope to others. They call themselves as martyrs.”

[ed: So, Ms. Kreidie, we should use their term and their own definition so they can escape responsibility? Get real - they commit suicide while bombing, and there is a lot of evidence that the suicide bombers are conned into doing it because of shame for some action - sometimes shame from an action forced upon them -C UCI S]

Another speaker Sadullah Khan, Executive Director and Imam of the Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI), also said there was no concept of a suicide in Islam.

Khan, the author of Dimension of the Qur’an and a political activist against the former apartheid regime in South Africa, referred to various verses of the Qur’an, meaning of which were greatly twisted by the media due to lack of proper understanding of Arabic.

He said one should read the context of such verses and verses before and after.

He also gave an example of the Dutch church which had issued a decree a long time back, justifying apartheid and saying that black men were created to work for white men.

James Gelvin, Professor at UCLA’s Department of History, talked mainly on foreign intervention and its impact on Middle East and the creation of organizations such as Hizbollah.

The program was conducted by Ra’id Faraj, CAIR’s Public Relations Director.


Wednesday: The Middle East in 2007: Same Old Story Or A New Beginning?

Just got this in the mail. To quote a friend, "Of one thing I am certain -- this is going to turn into an anti-Israel fest."

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: The Middle East in 2007
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 20:50:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Anteater Weekly
To: Multiple recipients of list


DATE: Wednesday, November 29, 12-2 pm

A panel featuring UCI Professors discussing the
events of the last year in the Middle East and
larger Muslim world, and likely developments in
the coming year. Panelists include:

Nasrin Rahimieh, Director of the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies, UCI

Lina Kreidie, Dept. of Political Science, UCI

Mark LeVine, Prof. of Modern Middle Eastern History, UCI

Moderator: Jon Elliott, Air America Radio host.

(Invited but not confirmed: an active duty army
sergeant who served over one year in Iraq will
discuss his experiences in the country)

This is an opportunity for students and community
members to come and discuss developments in the
last year in the Middle East and North Africa
with three UCI professors who have extensive
experience in the region. Nasrin Rahimieh will
discuss the current situation in Iran, both
internally and vis-à-vis its foreign policy
towards other Middle Eastern countries and its
nuclear stand-off with the US and Europe. Lina
Kreidie will discuss the war in Lebanon this past
summer, which she witnessed first hand. LeVine
will discuss the situation in Israel, Palestine,
and Iraq. After brief opening comments the
remainder of the time will be devoted to audience
questions. The moderator, Jon Elliott, is a
leading talk host for Air America Radio.

Co-sponsors include: Middle East Studies Student
Initiative, Dept. of History, and Samuel Jordan
Center for Persian Studies.

NewU: Eric Brunner: Protesters Deserved What They Got

Hopefully the last NewU article/op-ed/letter on the Yaron Brook event from a few weeks ago.

Link to article

Protesters Deserved What They Got

Paul Backus states that the police overreacted in his article, “UCIPD Went Overboard at Ayn Rand Event,” Nov. 20. I can understand his position, but he doesn’t know all the facts.

The La Rouche Youth Movement has a history of unlawful disruptions in addition to the ones at my event on our campus: At a lecture at USC on Oct. 27, they threw raw meat at the speaker’s notes, at UCLA on Oct. 26 they caused a 30 minute delay and at a three-day Objectivist conference in Boston on Oct. 20-22, 20 state troopers had to be called in. The list goes on and on. They have several crazy articles glorifying their disruptions and insane and completely unfounded conspiracy theories about the Ayn Rand Institute on the Internet. Yaron Brook has been harassed and almost threatened with violence more than once. I have been slightly harassed on campus.

People who routinely plan and act to violate property rights should be punished. Should Objectivists waste money on security for their events forever? Or should criminals be restrained?

Police officers have a high-stress job and need to be given the benefit of the doubt in most cases. The disruptors at my event have a record of disruptions. They have invited others to disrupt my event, almost threatened Brook and resisted arrest. They definitely deserved what they got.

I do not think that Iranians should be murdered or that they should commit suicide, as Shaun Cunningham suggested in his letter to the editor, “Ayn Rand Speaker Hypocritical,” Nov. 20. I also don’t literally mean that some Iranians are slaves to their state, obviously. Within the context of my statement, I meant that only people who are living in Iran and value freedom and human life are being violated by Iran.

One cannot compare Iran to the United States. Iran is a theocracy based on following the will of Allah and the United States is a country based on protecting the rights of man. In Iran, the media is controlled by the state, adulteresses are beaten and hanged and Islam is shoved down everyone’s throat. In the United States, there is freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

Ayn Rand and Objectivists, including myself, are against the initiation of force and believe only in retaliatory force, as Brook stated during his lecture.

The Ayn Rand Club’s primary function is to offer a way to study Ayn Rand’s ideas to guide and benefit one’s life. To be completely clear and specific, it is I who advocates Objectivism; I don’t necessarily represent the entirety of my members.

Shaun Cunningham obviously hasn’t read Ayn Rand and also didn’t attend my event, because he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. If he honestly wishes to know what Ayn Rand actually advocates, I invite him to read her writings or attend one of my club’s meetings.

Eric Brunner
Ayn Rand Club

NewU: Huda Shaka: “Lonely Soldier” Glorifies Israelis

Here's Huda Shaka's letter to the editor on the AFI "Lonely Soldier" event which I blogged about previously

“Lonely Soldier” Glorifies Israelis

Shame on the Young Democrats for co-sponsoring the “Lonely Soldier” event with Anteaters for Israel. The fact that they chose to co-sponsor an event with a group like AFI, whose whole existence revolves around supporting and legitimizing the oppressive Israeli occupation of Palestine, is enough to discredit them. Moreover, this particular event glorified the Israeli Occupational Forces at a time when this military power is using unprecedented extreme force against a civilian population and committing atrocities on a daily basis.

It is very telling that both the Young Democrats and the College Republicans co-sponsored an event supporting the Israeli military when its brutal actions are being condemned worldwide. There is hardly any difference between the two parties when it comes to respecting human rights and truly standing up for peace, justice and freedom for all.

Huda Shaka’
Graduate student
Department of Chemistry

NewU UCLA Tasering Roundup

Link to news article

UC Irvine Community Reacts to UCLA Taser Incident
POLICE: Students comment on both sides of the issue concerning a UCLA student who was Tasered by UCPD.
By Stella Cho
Staff Writer

On Nov. 14 around 11:30 p.m. in the Powell Library at UC Los Angeles, fourth-year double major in philosophy and Middle Eastern and North African studies Mostafa Tabatabainejad was Tasered up to five times by UC police for failing to show his Bruin ID card to community service officers and refusing to leave a computer lab.

Tabatabainejad, a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, hired civil rights attorney Stephen Yagman on Nov. 17 and filed a lawsuit against the UC Police Department for “brutal excessive force” and false arrest.

According to a Nov. 22 article in The Los Angeles Times, Yagman said on Nov. 21 that he was no longer representing Tabatabainejad. The status of the lawsuit is uncertain.

Tabatabainejad did not comply when repeatedly asked to leave the premises by CSOs performing routine ID checks. Yagman explained that his client did not leave because he felt that he was being singled out through racial profiling. The library, open 24 hours, permits only students, faculty and staff members after 11 p.m. for security purposes. When Tabatabainejad remained in the library, CSOs left and returned with four UCPD officers, one of whom used a Taser on Tabatabainejad.

The incident was recorded as a six-minute video on a student’s cell phone and released on CBS News and YouTube.

In the grainy video, Tabatabainejad is shown being Tasered as he yells, “Here’s your PATRIOT Act! Here’s your fucking abuse of power!” Police repeatedly tell him to “stand up” or “get up.”

“I got Tased for no reason,” Tabatabainejad says after he is first Tasered. “I was leaving this God-forsaken place.

Students from across the nation were outraged by the video, spawning a Facebook group called “UCLA’s UCPD Brutality” which has more than 9,000 members including approximately 150 UC Irvine students.”

“I believe what the police did … constitutes torture, since they were inflicting massive amounts of pain on a non-violent subject to force his compliance rather than just walk out of the building with him,” said Daniel Byers, fourth-year double major in music and ethnomusicology. “While the student was not cooperating with the officers, nothing he did gave the officers reason to torture him. The officers should be discharged from the force and criminal charges should be placed against them.”

“Police are well-trained to deal with people who won’t remove themselves from buildings – such as protestors – and should not have to resort to using a Taser,” said Patrick Bruso, fourth-year double major in philosophy and political science. “A Taser should only be used when someone is threatening the police with bodily harm.”

Others feel that the police officers’ actions were justified. Some such students formed another Facebook group, “The UCLA Student That Got Tasered by UCPD Deserved It.” This group is much smaller, with about 200 members, 20 of whom are UCI students.

“For [Tabatabainejad] to say it wasn’t fair is considered ridiculous,” said fourth-year double major in mechanical and aerospace engineering Christine Lee. “You got caught breaking the rule, so leave.”

“In the video, he was resisting arrest and yelling out obscenities,” said third-year biomedical engineering major Chris Clawson. “Therefore, he deserved the shocks he received. He sure had enough strength to scream out the way he did; he could get up easily.”

According to UC Irvine Police Chief Paul Henisey, a Taser “specifically affects nervous system which controls the muscles, which ceases resistance. It is used for a short amount of time to incapacitate someone for about 10 seconds. Almost all physical capabilities come back, and in most cases they’re in control about 20 seconds later.”

UCLA is the only UC campus that allows the use of Tasers on people passively resisting arrest.

UC San Diego officers used a Taser to subdue a man who pulled a switchblade on a woman in a campus parking lot.

UC Davis police used a Taser on a man who, agitated by a recent break-up with his girlfriend, fired at officers with a semiautomatic weapon.

UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz police do not use Tasers at all, and while UC Barbara officers do not carry them, city police use Tasers to help out campus officers when they must subdue someone.

Henisey said that UCIPD “uses a Taser on a violent or potentially violent individual.”

According to The Daily Bruin, UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young said that there was no way for the police to know if Tabatabainejad was a student or if he was armed.

“The advantage of a Taser gun is that there are no permanent injuries such as other alternatives like pepper spray [which] affects people for a longer period of time,” Henisey said. “Cardiac arrests [involved with Tasers] are due to the involvement of phencyclidine, cocaine and methamphetamines, which increase the heart rate.”

“The incident at UCLA seemed unfortunate, but I don’t have enough information to a make a judgment,” said Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez, who watched the video online. “Anyone who has any concern regarding our campus police, the first person I would acknowledge is our Police Chief Paul Henisey [because] he takes complete responsibility in assuring that our police are professionals and providing security and safety. It’s a very unfortunate situation and I hope it’s resolved in a quick fashion.”

Link to editorial (click to also view the NewU's cartoon on the incident)

UCLA Student Reveals Martyr Complex
By Editorial Board

On Nov. 14 at UC Los Angeles’ Powell Library, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a fourth-year philosophy and Middle Eastern and North African studies major of Iranian descent, was stunned five times with a Taser by UC police for not displaying proper identification when asked for it.

Due in large part to video captured by another student on a cell phone camera, the incident has garnered both local and worldwide media attention via YouTube.

The general opinion among students seems to be that the Tasering was excessive—a view with which we agree. According to the Los Angeles Times, Terrence Duren, the officer who Tasered Tabatabainejad, has been involved with the university’s police department for 18 years. Duren was named officer of the year in 2001, but has been involved in other questionable incidents, including shooting a homeless man.

However, whether or not the police acted excessively, no small part of the blame lies with Tabatabainejad for needlessly escalating the situation to violence.

Unfortunately, no one thought to record Tabatabainejad’s initial confrontation with community service officers, so all we have is footage of Tabatabainejad being stunned, dragged and yelling a few arbitrary accusations. It’s nearly impossible to judge the appropriateness of this response without seeing what came before.

That Tabatabainejad refused to show his identification when asked for it – a routine request of late-night library patrons – has not been disputed. After community service officers left the defiant Tabatabainejad to summon the UC Police Department, Tabatabainejad reportedly began to head toward the library’s exit, though it is unclear whether Tabatabainejad began to exit the building of his own accord after speaking with the CSOs or whether he only began to flee after seeing UCPD officers.

Tabatabainejad was grabbed by the arm by police, after which he began shouting, “Don’t touch me!” Police also report that he “went limp and refused to exit as the officers attempted to escort him out” and that he “encouraged library patrons to join his resistance.” While being Tasered, Tabatabainejad yelled, “Here’s your PATRIOT Act! Here’s your fucking abuse of power!” He also reportedly asked other students, “Am I the only martyr?”

Of course, Tabatabainejad’s passivity didn’t last very long after the actual incident—he almost immediately decided to sue police, perhaps ushering in a trend of students unwisely mouthing off to police in hopes of financial gain.

Stephen Yagman, Tabatabainejad’s attorney, claims that his client was being racially profiled when he was asked for his identification—which is why he failed to procure it. Tabatabainejad evidently suffers from some sort of martyr complex; he went into the situation looking to create a scene—which is exactly what he got.

The UCPD’s policy on Tasering allows for use of the “Drive Stun” capacity of the Taser as “pain compliance against passive resistors.” Other UC schools, including UC Irvine, only allow use of such a weapon against suspects who pose a threat to police. Whether or not this policy is just, it is clear that UCPD officers acted within their rights against Tabatabainejad as a passive resistor.

Tabatabainejad needs to choose his battles more carefully. Though Iranians may be victims of racial profiling, Tabatabainejad seems to be of the mindset that any bad thing that happens to him is a result of racial prejudice. Why else would something as innocuous as a request to see a library card be considered as such?

Taking a stand against the police is admirable in certain circumstances, but it has consequences. Tabatabainejad defied police for a stupid reason and he dealt with the consequences.

Link to commentary by Anam Siddiq

Much Still Unknown About UCLA Tasering
By Anam Siddiq

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two weeks, you’ve heard about the UC Los Angeles student Mostafa Tabatabainejad, who was shot with a Taser by UCLA police on Nov. 14. Chances are that you have also seen the famous video of the incident taken with a student’s camera phone.

You may have even gone one step further and left a comment about the video stating your opinion. If you did, you joined the hundreds of students participating in fierce debates online, mainly through popular Web sites such as YouTube and Facebook. The former site, for the most part, contained viewpoints directly related to the video’s content, while the latter included several groups dedicated to arguing the issue of the police’s actions in general.

Though reading through all the comments on either of these Web sites is next to impossible, I was able to read enough to determine what these students were most concerned about.

Upon viewing the video for the first time, I would assume that anybody would be at least slightly alarmed by the effect of the Taser on the man. My first reaction was questioning why this handcuffed, defenseless and apparently non-violent student was being treated so harshly.

Several other students seemed to have the same question. Many wondered why four policemen could not simply drag out “skinny” Tabatabainejad, instead of resorting to such “brutal measures.”

Even a police officer stated on a Web site that the UCLA police officers’ actions were completely uncalled for, and physical contact or force should not have been used if the student was passively resisting.

Other students argued the effects of the multiple shocks delivered and whether or not Tabatabainejad would have been able to physically comply with the officers’ consistent demands to stand. Some even went so far as to list the precise number of seconds between each shock and compare it to the amount of time it takes for one to recover after being Tasered.

No one but Tabatabainejad knows whether or not he could have easily obeyed the officers’ orders after being shocked, but I agree the officers should not have used the Taser on him that many times, or at all for that matter.

Not only did these policemen use the Taser on Tabatabainejad, but according to several witnesses, they threatened to use it on students in the crowd who requested the officers’ badge numbers. Even if what was done to Tabatabainejad was acceptable because of his resistance, there is no law that gives the police the right to threaten innocent bystanders, especially since they were simply requesting information.

Some have said that the questioning was preventing the officers from enforcing the law against Tabatabainejad. However, one student said that he had asked for the number after Tabatabainejad had been taken away, and was still threatened.

The UC Police Department’s response to the incident primarily said that Tabatabainejad was encouraging other students to join in his resistance, although many argue that that wasn’t true, according to what they saw in the video. In order to avoid a larger crowd, the statement says it was necessary to get Tabatabainejad out of the building. However, using a Taser, which is bound to elicit painful screams, is not the most subtle way of removing a person from the area.

According to Tabatabainejad’s lawyer in a video interview on YouTube, Tabatabainejad believed himself to be a victim of racial profiling, which is why he resisted when the officers grabbed his arm. The Iranian student felt he was being singled out because of his Middle Eastern appearance. From what I have read, most people seem uncomfortable playing the race card, and prefer to focus more on what was done to this particular student rather than why.

Tabatabainejad’s actions and words were a little extreme, and may have aggravated the situation; he could have made his opinions clear in another way. However, race should not be completely set aside as a possible factor because, believe it or not, racism and prejudice still exist, a fact most recently displayed by Michael Richards’ infamous racial outburst.

Of course, there are several different issues and viewpoints that exist, half of which could never be completely settled by simply viewing the video, which we can all agree is not the most professional bit of camerawork and does not cover the entire incident.

However, several visitors to the sites which debate these topics seem certain that their opinions are ultimately correct. Some have even gone so far to show their support for the victim that they have created T-shirts with Tabatabainejad’s now well-known declaration: “Here’s your PATRIOT Act! Here’s your fucking abuse of power!” And although I may not agree with the police’s actions, I don’t think I will be buying one of these shirts, either.

Anam Siddiq is a first-year literary journalism major.

Link to Reut Cohen's op-ed piece
UCLAPD Acted Harshly
By Reut R. Cohen

Police officers repeatedly shocked a UCLA student with a Taser after he purportedly refused to leave a campus library computer lab. The student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, was using the Powell Library computer lab at 11:30 p.m. and refused to show identification to a campus security officer.

UCLA policy, for public safety reasons, requires that students using library amenities show a valid student ID after 11 p.m. Eyewitnesses and a video shot from a camera phone confirm that Tabatabainejad and the police struggled for a few minutes, but that the student was Tasered multiple times after he had declared that he would leave the library.

Tabatabainejad apparently did not provide campus police with a student ID and did not leave the library after a campus police officer asked. The officer left and returned with more campus police who then proceeded to ask the student to leave “multiple times,” according to a statement by the UC Police Department.

“He continued to refuse,” said an official with the UCPD. “As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building.”

“Tabatabainejad encouraged library patrons to join his resistance,” police said. “The officers deemed it necessary to use the Taser.”

The Taser was set in “drive stun” mode, which immobilizes the local area of the body where it hits, not the entire body.

Some witnesses said that Tabatabainejad had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when extra campus police arrived. When an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, according to witnesses, Tabatabainejad told the officer to let go, yelling “Get off me!” several times.

A lot has been said about whether or not the police acted appropriately in this case. While I do not want to judge these things precipitately, I believe that much is working against UCPD in this case, and for good reason.

In the video, for example, police officers repeatedly order Tabatabainejad to stand up. It is also clear that every time the student is ready to get up and shouts that he will leave, the officer Tasers him again.

Tabatabainejad, unfortunately, was not helping his case by shouting things like, “Am I the only martyr?” and condemning the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act while cursing at officers. Some of the eyewitnesses, moreover, acted a bit foolishly by trying to come between the student and police.

Following the incident, it was confirmed that Terrence Duren, the UCLA police officer who Tasered the student, had also shot a homeless man at a campus study hall room three years ago and was connected with an alleged assault on Fraternity Row. The officer has served with the UCPD for 18 years.

It is safe to say that UCLA police demonstrated tremendous incompetence when dealing with the Iranian student. Tasering a student and then threatening to Taser more students who scream “leave him alone” seems a bit much. Duren should have been released from duty long ago.

Despite the police department’s ineptitude in dealing with the student, Tabatabainejad should not have cursed at the police and should have simply left the library when he could not provide valid ID.

Asking for ID has little to do with race. This is a normal procedure at UCLA because – newsflash – Westwood is not the safest of neighborhoods. I’ve used the library facilities at UCLA and have lost track of time. When asked for ID after 11:00 p.m., I have apologized and left. I wouldn’t want to cause any controversy and be Tasered by police.

Some of the reactions of students at UCLA and other universities, moreover, have been extremely unwarranted, rash and illogical. Some students have been reporting to news agencies and Web sites that eyewitnesses not only tried to help the student, but wanted to overpower the police. I hate to break it to you, but using brute force with a police office just might result in warranted Tasering and arrests.

Reut R. Cohen is a third-year English major. She can be reached at

Monday, November 27, 2006

Condemn Al Qaeda, get kicked out of mosque and threatened

Admittedly, this is nowhere near Irvine, CA. Still, noteworthy...

(Copied from LGF)

Why We Rarely Hear from Moderate Muslims

Jamal Miftah, a Muslim who lives in Tulsa, wrote a column for the newspaper Tulsa World condemning Al Qaeda and calling on fellow Muslims to reject terrorism.

In return, he was kicked out of the local mosque by leaders until he apologizes for his article—and threatened with violence by other members of the peaceful Islamic community of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

UPDATE at 11/27/06 8:55:17 am:
Here’s Mr. Miftah’s article in Tulsa World: Message of Islam is not jihad, fatwahs. (Hat tip: Occasional Reader.)

Link if the video doesn't work

Miftah's opinion piece:

Readers Forum: Message of Islam is not jihad, fatwahs

I moved to the United States in March 2003, with my four kids and wife from Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. There was a call by a local jihadi organization to fight the coalition forces in Afghanistan. One of my dearest friends, Mirza Kohistani, fell prey to that call and joined the group, despite my advice and that of his wife to him.

All the leaders of that organization returned safely after the fall of the Taliban empire, but they left behind the body of my friend and hundreds of other innocent people like him.

I am obliged to respond to Ayman al-Zawahri's recent video message, portraying himself as champion of Islam and others as liars.

My message to Ayman al-Zawahri and Muslims of the world: "Islam" means submission and is derived from a word meaning "peace." Islam, Christianity and Judaism have the same origin, the Prophet Abraham. The prophet of Islam has said that God has no mercy on someone who does not have mercy for others.

I ask that al-Zawahri look at his deeds and those of his master, Osama bin Laden, and other so-called Islamic jihadists.

Because of lack of knowledge of Islam, Muslim youth are misguided into believing by the so-called champions of the cause of Islam that the current spate of killings and barbarism, which has no equal in the recent civilized history, is jihad in the name of Islam. They are incited, in the name of Islam, to commit heinous crimes not pardonable by any religion and strictly forbidden in Islam.

Cowards like al-Zawahri and bin Laden are inciting the ignorant and innocent youths to commit suicide bombings to kill innocent civilians including children, women and the elderly, while they hide in spider holes and caves. They never send their own sons and daughters, born out of half a dozen of their wives, to get killed in the name of Islam. They are themselves hypo crites, cowards, thugs and liars. For 12 years they misappropriated aid received from the U.S. and the West to fight Russia. Now they are ensuring smooth flow of petro dollars from Arab countries in the name of jihad against the West.

Even mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. and around the world have become tools in their hands and are used for collecting funds for their criminal acts. Half of the funds collected go into the pockets of their local agents and the rest are sent to these thugs.

They are the reason for branding the peaceful religion of Islam as terrorism. The result, therefore, is in the form of Danish cartoons and remarks/reference by the Pope.

I appeal to the Muslim youth in particular and Muslims of the world in general to rise up and start jihad against the killers of humanity and help the civilized world to bring these culprits to justice and prove that Islam is not a religion of hatred and aggression.

I appeal to the Muslim clerics around the world that, rather than issuing empty fatwas condemning suicide bombing, they should issue a fatwa for the death of such scoundrels and barbarians who have taken more than 4,267 lives of innocent people in the name of Islam and have carried out more than 24 terrorist attacks on civilian installations throughout the world. This does not include the chilling number of deaths because of such activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is well over 250,000.

I appeal to al-Zawahri and his band of thugs to hand themselves over to justice and stop spreading evil and killing innocent humans around the world in the name of Islam. Their time is limited and Muslims of the world will soon rise against them to apprehend them and bring them to justice.

Jamal Miftah is a resident of Tulsa.

JPost: Tom Tugend: Letting Suicide Bombers Speak For Themselves

Hat Tip: IsraelMatzav

Link to article

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Letting suicide bombers speak for themselves
tom tugend, THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 26, 2006

Sixteen-year old Hassan is deeply frustrated because he was caught by Israeli police before he could blow himself up among a crowd of Israeli civilians.

"If I had been killed, my mother would call it a blessing," he says. "My family and 70 relatives would have gone to paradise, and that would be a great honor for me."

Hassan is one of more than a dozen Palestinian suicide bombers captured before they could carry out their missions and interviewed in the documentary Suicide Killers by French-Jewish filmmaker Pierre Rehov.

The movie's subtitle, "Paradise is Hell," is a deliberate allusion and counterpoint to last year's Oscarnominated Palestinian drama Paradise Now, which some critics charged "humanized" and even glorified its two suicide bombers.

The prison interviews of Suicide Killerswill leave most viewers shaken, not because of the ferocity of the would-be terrorists, but because of their calmness and the certitude of their convictions.

No regrets or second thoughts are apparent, except for the failure of their missions, with the female terrorists in particular displaying a truly frightening serenity.

Producer-director Rehov, who has made six previous documentaries on Israeli-Palestinian relations, brings his own history to some of the topics explored in the film.

Born to a Jewish family in Algeria, he said in a phone interview that he grew up among Arab Muslims and continues to feel comfortable among them.

That background, and his French citizenship, made it easier to conduct the interviews for Suicide Killers - once the Hamas prison bosses, who in effect control the inmates inside the Israeli prison, gave their permission.

Rehov's main purpose, and the most interesting aspect of the film, is to explore the terrorists' minds and motivations.

It is Rehov's thesis that although the Israeli occupation, poverty, frustration at checkpoints and a desire to avenge Palestinian deaths may all contribute to convincing young men and women to
strap on explosive belts, the real causes behind such acts lie much deeper.

He identifies two psychological factors he says are key to the formation of the terrorist mindset, both of which he argues are inherent in Islamic belief and practice: a high degree of sexual frustration and a deep sense of humiliation and wounded pride.

Rehov's conclusions, which he says are rejected out of hand as "politically incorrect" in Europe, are borne out to a considerable extent by the prisoners' own words and the commentaries of Arab, Israeli and other experts interviewed in the film.

The would-be terrorists rarely speak of nationalist grievances but constantly emphasize their religious mandate.

"Our goal is to kill all enemies of Islam," says one young woman.

"Those who die for Allah are not dead but live in paradise," a young man proclaims.

Such beliefs easily reinforce hatred of Jews. "Jews have never obeyed God and are not part of mankind," adds another prisoner.

One former recruiter of terrorists says that volunteers signify their wish to become "martyrs" by declaring that they wish to "marry Allah."

A sense of shame is another major motivating factor for aspiring terrorists, according to Rehov. "It is bad enough that the infidel West is superior in technology and wealth, but to have been defeated by Jews, whom Muslims have held in contempt for centuries, is the utmost humiliation," he said.

Rehov treads on more controversial ground when he describes sexual frustration as perhaps the key component of the terrorist mind.

"Young Muslim men are raised in a highly restrictive atmosphere riddled with sexual guilt and taboos," he said. "They grow up without a natural relationship to women, whom they hold in deep contempt."

The fantasy of martyrs receiving 72 virgins in paradise is part of that culture, as is the sense that the more liberal Israeli lifestyle is corrupting Islamic purity, Rehov noted.

He observed similar sexual attitudes among serial killers in other countries, one reason he titled his film Suicide Killers.

The filmmaker dismissed the argument that Islamic moderates will eventually rein in extremists if given proper support by the West.

"All Muslims, even in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, believe that Islam will prevail worldwide in the end, because that's the word of God," he said. "Moderates believe that this will happen sometime in the future. The extremists think that it will happen in their lifetimes, and they want to be part of the victory. It's just a difference in the timing, not in the ultimate outcome."

Suicide Killers has screened at film festivals in Europe, the United States and Asia, and Rehov expects that the film will open in theaters early next year.

This article can also be read at

[ Back to the Article ]
Copyright 1995-2006 The Jerusalem Post -

UCI Professor Mark Levine: Only The Jews Could Have Killed Pierre Gemayel

Hat Tip: IsraelMatzav and Judeopundit


As far as I can see, the only party that benefits from Gemayel's assassination is Israel. Israel was the main loser in last summer's war, at least politically and strategically. The country's leaders began threatening a new round of fighting even before they began pulling troops out of the south of Lebanon. Hezbollah's post-war ascendence was the most visible and troubling sign of Israel's seemingly unprecedented military weakness and strategic blundering.

Pulling off an assassination like this, which is by no means beyond Israel's ability, would serve several goals: First, it would turn the chaos that Hezbollah was trying to create in the Lebanese political system against it. Instead of Hezbollah managing the post-war chaos in order to strengthen its position, the movement is now forced onto the defensive and must react to a new dynamic in which Christians (with the exception of the breakaway Aoun faction) and Sunnis are more united than ever in their desire to block Hezbollah's takeover of the system. Second, if the country descends into civil war, which is a frightening, if still distant possibility, Hezbollah would be effectively neutralized, and Israel could rely on Maronites and perhaps Sunnis to attack Hezbollah without Israel facing the international condemnation it received during the war.

He actually mirrored an opinion post from the Tehran Times! This guy TEACHES HISTORY at UC Irvine - he's an Associate Professor of History of the Modern Middle East. Since when is promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories an approved activity of a UC professor?

Remember, we're in the top 10 US public universities in at least one major subject matter - I'd rather the university NOT lose that distinction, thank you very much.

He says he's Jewish. If Professor Levine - excuse me, LeVine (he actually pronounces it "Leh-Vee-Neigh") - isn't a self-hating Jew, I don't know WHO is.

Somebody in the administration needs to wake up and verify that Professor Levine is teaching and promoting accurate and appropriate scholarship for his position - and if he's not, he needs to be fired so we can stop wasting the people's money.

Professor Levine's other articles on the Huffington Post

More on Professor Levine from Campus Watch

UPDATE (square bracketing is not mine): A commented pointed out a mistake you'd think a professor of history wouldn't make:

You got the wrong Chinese guy there, mate. [Levine referred to "Chang Tzu" instead of Sun Tzu, patron saint of conspiracy theories--YG] Nice mistake from a celebrated historian.

Professor Levine's whole article:
Who Killed Pierre Gemayel?

In the wake of the latest political assassination to rock Lebanon--this week's shooting of Pierre Gemayel, a scion of one of Lebanon's foremost Maronite political families--suspicion was fallen on the Syrians, and perhaps Hezbollah as the most likely culprits.

There is some logic to this view, given Syria's likely involvement in the assassination in February 2005 of Prime Minister Rafiq Harriri.
Gemayal's is the fifth assassination since Harriri's; most every victim was critical of the Syrians, and to a lesser extent Hezbollah.

But even if we grant that Syria was behind Harriri's assassination (and as I explained in a posting at the time, there is very good evidence to support this assessment) it is hard to see what Syria or Hezbollah gain from Gemayel's killing. Syria is in a stronger regional position than it has been in years. The Bush administration has been forced to eat crow and negotiate with Damascus in order to gain its help tamping down the insurgency in Iraq. It's main sponsor, Iran, is similarly in its strongest geostrategic position in decades, and its ally Hezbollah emerged as the political winner of this summer's war with Israel.

So why would Syria risk upsetting this favorable balance by killing a Maronite politician when Hezbollah had already bolted the government and was threatening massive demonstrations to bring down the post Cedar Revolution political arrangement in favor of one that would better reflect its--and thus Syria's--increasing power? And this question can be asked of anyone who thinks that Hezbollah was somehow involved in or sanctioned the murder, which has sapped the energy out of its latest political machination.

As far as I can see, the only party that benefits from Gemayel's assassination is Israel. Israel was the main loser in last summer's war, at least politically and strategically. The country's leaders began threatening a new round of fighting even before they began pulling troops out of the south of Lebanon. Hezbollah's post-war ascendence was the most visible and troubling sign of Israel's seemingly unprecedented military weakness and strategic blundering.

Pulling off an assassination like this, which is by no means beyond Israel's ability, would serve several goals: First, it would turn the chaos that Hezbollah was trying to create in the Lebanese political system against it. Instead of Hezbollah managing the post-war chaos in order to strengthen its position, the movement is now forced onto the defensive and must react to a new dynamic in which Christians (with the exception of the breakaway Aoun faction) and Sunnis are more united than ever in their desire to block Hezbollah's takeover of the system. Second, if the country descends into civil war, which is a frightening, if still distant possibility, Hezbollah would be effectively neutralized, and Israel could rely on Maronites and perhaps Sunnis to attack Hezbollah without Israel facing the international condemnation it received during the war.

Third, suspicion against Syria--and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt has publicly accused Damascus of being behind the assassination--has stopped the momentum towards normalization with the al-Assad regime and burying of the findings of the harriri assassination commission in consideration of the need to work with Syria on more pressing issues in Iraq. It will also likely end any pressure by the Bush Administration to negotiate a deal for the Golan heights (which the present government has given clear indications it's not in the mood to discuss).

It is true that the Gemayel family was once aligned to Israel; but that was a generation ago. And it was never more than an alliance of convenience for Israel, which the Israeli government abandoned once it was clear its days in Lebanon were numbered.

Killing an old ally at a moment when the blame would be placed on one's enemies may seem far-fetched, but at least as far back as the great Chinese military strategist Chang Tzu "to mystify, mislead and surprise the enemy" has been one of the most well-regarded axioms of warfare. The death of Pierre Gemayel could well push Lebanon to the brink of civil war and lead to further alienation of Syria and Hezbollah; and from the strategic perspective of the Olmert government and a wounded Israeli military, that would be something to give thanks for indeed.

"Children of Jihad"

Hat Tip: IsraelMatzav

Link to video if the video doesn't work here

Sunday, November 26, 2006

An interesting choice for the MSU book club

Announced actually back in October, I thought it would be appropriate to post this now in case people are curious. From the MSU's Week 10 E-Calendar:

Book Club Meeting I –
7:15-8:15pm in Gateway 1
Discussion Leaders: Sr. Dania Arafeh and Br. Sulaiman Arain
*Join us for an enlightening discussion on "Revolution by the Book" by Imam Jamil [aka H. Rap Brown]. (First 5 chapters)
**For more information please contact Sr. Dania – and Br. Sulaiman –

Daniel Pipes puts it rather interestingly about Imam Jamil:
The Islam that Al-Amin adopted is - no surprise - the radical variety. The transition was easy from the hate-America sentiments he had espoused as a black nationalist in the 1960s. "When we begin to look critically at the Constitution of the United States," he wrote in a 1994 book Revolution by the Book (The Rap is Live), "we see that in its main essence it is diametrically opposed to what Allah has commanded."

Click here for a search of Daniel Pipes's web site regarding Imam Jamil

CNN: Glenn Beck: Exposed - The Extremist Agenda

Hat Tip: StandWithUs

Link to video if the above doesn't work

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Regarding Sheik Sadullah Khan

A friend of mine emailed this to me regarding the event I blogged about here and here and here. Bracketed ("[...]") segments are by me. Note the section I emboldened and italicized.

On Wednesday, November 1, UCI hosted a Religious Diversity Discussion moderatred by Dean of Students Sally Peterson. Vice Chancellor Gomez attended. The program was co-sponsored by Hillel and the MSU (withdrew from the event at the last minute). Participants included Rabbi Steinberg from [Congregation Shir HaMa'alot], Sheik Sadullah Kahn (arrived in Irvine from South Africa in '98) Director of Religious Affiars of the Islamic Center of Irvine and a local pastor [and frequent lecturer to the MSU].

After some friendly discussion about religion by the participants, the audience was invited to ask questions. The first question came from a student who asked if Israel has a right to exist. Rabbi Steinberg said he was a Zionist and then proceeded to explain the importance of Israel to the Jewish people.

Sheik Kahn said that all people have the right to Palestine, he is against Zionism, Israel is a racist state and that Palestinians are fighting for their freedom. He also said that Jews are not "the Chosen People", we are all children of God. When he finished, a loud Allah Akhbar was shouted from the back of the room three times by Muslim students.

When Sheik Kahn finished, Rabbi Steinberg responded by saying that words are very powerful and looking at both Sally Peterson and Manual Gomez he said that we must be sensitive about the way we speak. He said that 1/3 of the Jews (6 Million) were wiped out during WWII. He said that the University must do a better job of dealing with words. There was no response from the UCI administrators.

This was a "very educational" evening. One I will long remember.

Click here for my posts on Sheik Sadullah Khan


I should say this: Rabbi Steinberg, I'm sorry I doubted you. Well played!

Human Rights Watch: Shielding yourself with civilians is a War Crime

The goal of this post is to amalgamate a bunch of posts in LGF, IsraelMatzav, and VitalPerspective regarding a recent event as analyzed here in this Jerusalem Post article:

Analysis: Damned if you do, damned if you don't
Anshel Pfeffer, THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 21, 2006

The Palestinians' successful use of human shields to stop the IAF from destroying a house suspected of being used to store explosives this week is not just an operational setback for the IDF, it's yet another PR fiasco for Israel.

Both the Arab TV channels and a sympathetic Western media were full of photographs of victorious Palestinians celebrating their outwitting of the Zionist F-16s, yet another reenactment of the David vs. Goliath scene. The humiliation was double; not only did Israel seem cruel and unfeeling, using hi-tech weaponry against civilians, but this time the Palestinians were also portrayed as brave and resourceful, in contrast to the clumsy and bumbling IDF.

The use of the tactic might have been spontaneous, but PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh promptly recognized its advantages when he turned up with a full media entourage to congratulate the shields. If he thought they were damaging the Palestinian image, he wouldn't have been so quick to make the scene.

Wait a minute. Wasn't it just last week that Israel was being crucified by the international press for the wanton killings of children in Beit Hanun? Now we seem to be getting the short end of the media stick for not bombing civilians.

Surely we should at least be getting some credit for canceling the air strike after it was clear it couldn't be carried out without heavy bystander casualties. And why has everyone lost sight of the fact that what gave the Palestinians time to flock to the targeted building was the IDF's standard warning call to the building's owner to evacuate everyone immediately. That must be worth a few brownie points on CNN.

In a conflict where the parties accuse each other of targeting civilians, shouldn't the Palestinians be on the receiving end of international blame for deliberately putting their people in the line of fire? Shouldn't the United Nations human rights commissioner have said something about it during her tour of Beit Hanun Monday?

It's all very well blaming the biased and anti-Israel media for always taking the Palestinian side, no matter what, but it might be a bit more useful asking how Israel made it so easy for a simplistic view of the conflict to become engrained in almost every foreign reporters' mind and, more importantly, what is it trying to do to change these perceptions?

So far, the IDF's response to the new Palestinian tactic, as reported by The Jerusalem Post, is to begin planning alternative ground operations to prove to the Palestinians that if we decide to bomb a house, then it's going be bombed.

Whether this course will prove effective remains to be seen, but taking a more broad view might have shown that there is an opportunity here to make gains on another, much more elusive, battlefield.

Rather that let the Palestinians dictate the media coverage, Israel could take the initiative and use the human-shield saga to its benefit. Playing up the concrete actions taken by Israel to minimize civilian casualties, offering recordings of the warning telephone calls and of pilots being called back from the bombing mission, and perhaps even giving a selected network access to a warning call live might go some way toward changing some of the perceptions.

No one is going to be instantly converted, but it would be a start. But that would require a concerted effort by the intelligence, operational and PR branches, and someone sitting up top who understands that sometimes we're better off not firing.

Via LGF, apparently even Human Rights Watch felt that the Palestinian terrorists went too far:
It is a war crime to seek to use the presence of civilians to render certain points or areas immune from military operations or to direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attack. In the case where the object of attack is not a legitimate military target, calling civilians to the scene would still contravene the international humanitarian law imperative for parties to the conflict to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from the effects of attack.

Via IsraelMatzav, I found the following words enlightening:
The problem is those innocent people are acting completely in concert with the jihadis and support them utterly. They’re hardly innocent. They have made themselves into combatants.

More links:

Vital Perspective

Another LGF post

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

UCI Dialogue on Democracy and Islam

I poked around the UCI calendars a bit and found this:

November 28, 2006
5:00-6:30 pm
SSPA 2112

Dialogue on Democracy and Islam
"Observations of Iraqi Political Party Development from 2003 to 2006"
Susan Kupperstein
Democracy and Governance Practice Leader, Social Impact, and Podlich Fellow, Center for the Study of Democracy

Looks like I missed posting about this one:
November 16, 2006
5:00 pm
SSPA 1100

Dialogue on Democracy and Islam
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Assistant Managing Editor, The Washington Post
For Chandrasekaran's bio, click here.

A Jewish-Christian-Muslim Trialogue: Reflections on the Messiah, Messianism and Apocalyptic Visions

Just got this in the mail...

Dear Nancy and all,

Thank you for passing this around. I also wanted
to let you know that the panel/class is open to
other UCI students and the campus community.
Please encourage your students to attend. Feel
free to forward the following announcement to
classes and student organizations (MSU, Hillel,

Many thanks,

[Professor] Daniel [Schroeter]

Reflections on the Messiah, Messianism and Apocalyptic Visions


Rabbi Stuart Altshuler
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Fr. Rafael Lu�vano

Tuesday, November 28
9:30 AM -10:50 AM
Humanities Hall 161

University of California, Irvine

>> >>Dear Muzammil, Rafael, and Stuart,
>> >>
>> >>I am greatly looking forward to our panel at
>> >>UCI on Tuesday, November 28 (9:30-10:50):
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>As I proposed, I'd like you to address the
>> >>question of the messiah, and messianism, both
>> >>in terms of traditional concepts and beliefs in
>> >>each of the three religions, and how
>> >>contemporary messianic movements, apocalyptic
>> >>visions, or fundamentalism affect each faith.
>> >>Keeping in mind that the theme of the course in
>> >>World Religions is the relationship between
>> >>Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, you may also
>> >>want to comment on how these contemporary
>> >>movements in the other religions might relate
>> >>to you own faith tradition.

Qassams fall 1/2 mile from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Hat Tip: EC Marm of LGF and FoxNewsLive

Don't even get me started...

Link to article

Sderot: Man severely hurt by Qassam

Four Qassam rockets land in south Tuesday morning. One rocket hits factory; worker sustains critical wounds, another worker lightly injured. Fire breaks out in area, workers evacuated. Another rocket hits house; building suffers damage. UN high commissioner for human rights visits place shortly after attack, but workers order her to leave

Shmulik Hadad
Published: 11.21.06, 08:42

A worker at a Sderot factory was critically injured Tuesday morning and another worker was lightly wounded after a Qassam rocket directly hit the factory. A fire broke out in the place, which was severely damaged. Three people suffered from shock.

Another rocket hit a house in the southern town, causing damage. Two rockets landed in open areas.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour visited the place shortly after the rocket attack, but was ordered to leave by the factory workers.

Shimon Turjeman, a friend of the injured employee, told Ynet: "I was standing about 20 meters (65.6 feet) away from the worker who was critically injured. Suddenly we heard a loud explosion. I ran to the place and saw my friend lying on the floor bleeding."

Many residents reported of burns in their eyes and heavy smoke which made it difficult to breath.

Yehuda Sasson, manager of Magen David Adom rescue services in the Negev district, reported that the fire in the factory broke out

Paramedic Gadi Abu Hatzira said: "The Qassam landed in a storeroom of hazardous materials, not far from the ammonia containers. We evacuated a 40-year-old man with a head injury to the Soroka hospital."

Workers said that it was difficult to hear the Red Color alert system in the industrial zone, and that they have warned of the issue in the past.

Yigal Zohar, operations officer of the Ashkelon firefighters, said: "The factory suffered a direct hit. Quite a big fire broke out and five fire engines are operation in the area."

An eyewitness told Ynet: "We heard the Color Red (alert system) and then an explosion was heard. The entire factory was shaking. They told us to immediately enter the fortified rooms. One of the workers in our factory was hurt in his head. They asked us to get away from the place, because there are hazardous materials here. There is a lot of panic here."

The factory has several containers with hazardous materials. Police forces and firefighter asked residents to stay away from the factory for fear the materials will catch fire.

UN commissioner expelled

The rockets hit Sderot exactly when UN Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour visited the city under heavy security, accompanied by Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal.

The two arrived at the factory hit by a rocket, and a riot broke out in the area. Workers hit the United Nations vehicle, claiming the organization is one-sided.

Arbour told the residents that she had arrived to see what was happening in the area and to listen to the residents' impressions and feelings.

She was interrupted and removed from the area by the police.

The factory's operations manager, Meir Cohen, told her: "I have been working here for 10 years now and we want the entire world to know what is happening here in Sderot. Rockets continue to land here, we have been suffering for years like this and no one is waking up. It's about time you do something."

Factory hit by rocket (Photo: Reei Tal Braunstein)

One of the factory workers referred to the commissioner's visit, saying: "I think the visit by the UN people today is a disgrace. The UN people obviously don’t care about us; they came here because of the Palestinians. What they will eventually see from here is the Palestinians' side."

More than 12 rockets landed in Israel on Monday, most of them in open areas, while UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour was visiting Sderot.

A rocket landed Monday evening in one of the kibbutzim of the Eshkol regional council in the western Negev. The rocket directly hit an office building in the kibbutz, at the same time when many of the community's members were making their way to the dining hall nearby.

One person was at the office building when the rocket struck, but escaped unharmed owing to the strength of the structure. Some damage to property was caused.

Monday's attack marks the first time a Qassam lands inside the kibbutz, after several rockets have already landed in cultivated areas outside the community.

Galia Kremmer, one of the kibbutz members, told Ynet: "We heard a whistle and a very loud explosion, many people began running and others came out of their houses. It was very frightening and the noise was very loud."


LGF shows how much of a useful idiot the High Commissioner really is: click here

And I think this image from StandWithUs demonstrates the situation well - click the image for the full size image:

Monday, November 20, 2006

OC Jewish Life lives in a parallel universe

Hat tip: Ted Bleiweis

Nothing like inaccuracy from your local Jewish newspaper. The ADL helped "resolve the Jewish/Muslim conflict on the UCI campus?" What wormhole to a parallel universe have I missed?

This little tidbit is even better:

"When you say, ‘Who ya gonna call?’, you can call ADL on a daily basis, and ADL responds proactively. It’s a level-headed organization that has developed a significant presence."

My personal experience was when you call the ADL, the ADL says "sorry, can't help you" - and anybody in their organization who tries to help you is threatened with losing their job, or worse.

The ADL is a big waste of time, money, and space as far as I'm concerned. That opinion won't change until I see them take some real concrete steps at UCI.

Ted Bleiweis has published a nice response here

Link to article

Combating Discrimination
ADL is on the forefront of civil rights issues.
By Ilene Schneider and Lisa Grajewski

Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Orange County/ Long Beach Regional Office celebrates its 25th anniversary of combating discrimination -- including bigotry, racism, and hate crimes -- at a gala at Temple Bat Yahm on November 4.

Interestingly, according to Melissa Carr, interim regional director* and now special projects director, "Ours is just one of 30 ADL regional offices, and a modest one at that, but we’ve been the flashpoint for civil rights issues nationwide. We’ve been on the forefront of confronting such issues as anti-immigration, anti-Zionist/anti-Israel issues on college campuses, and Holocaust denial, because they’re happening here."

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913, "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all." Now the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, ADL defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. A leader in the development of materials, programs and services, ADL builds bridges of communication, understanding and respect among diverse groups carrying out its mission through a network of 30 regional and satellite offices in the United States and abroad.

"There’s a connection between anti-Semitism and other hate crimes," explained Joyce Greenspan, who was the executive director of the ADL Orange County/Long Beach office for 12 years before retiring this summer and who is being honored at the gala. "It’s the canary in the coal mine. Behind anti-Semitism there are other kinds of hate. It’s a red flag for understanding the broader picture."

Today’s anti-Semitism is different from that of the 1930s, according to Greenspan, because the Jewish community is more powerful, there is a state of Israel, and the speed of communications has increased. Some people found ADL because of its mission and got active in other Jewish causes, while other people - including non-Jews - got interested in ADL because it defends the Constitution and the rights of individuals, Greenspan said.

ADL creates relationships, according to Cecelia Goodman, the other honoree at the gala and a strong supporter of the organization for its whole tenure in this area. "As a child of survivors, I find hate and intolerance unacceptable," she said.

"When you say, ‘Who ya gonna call?’, you can call ADL on a daily basis, and ADL responds proactively. It’s a level-headed organization that has developed a significant presence."

When Greenspan started, ADL was small and consisted of mostly older volunteers. Thanks to leadership training programs, people of all ages became interested in volunteering, and 600 people per year take the training programs in Washington.

Increases in volunteers, funding, staff size, and strategic planning programs gave people the idea that ADL was a civil rights and human relations force, not just a little office responding to hate crimes, she said.

Today, according to Goodman, "ADL is the best organization for our times to fight bigotry and intolerance locally, nationally, and internationally."

ADL Highlights
1981- ADL Model Hate Crime Legislation
1983- "National Anti-Defamation League Day" declared by President Ronald Reagan
1985- A World of Difference Institute established to fight against prejudice and promote diversity
1987- Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb hate crime Supreme Court case: Supreme Court ruling that Jews are under the protection of the hate crime statute
1994- ADL's Orange County/Long Beach chapter interviews Holocaust Survivors at Chapman College
1996- ADL develops the Rebuild the Churches Fund
1999- ADL helps the refugees of Kosovo
1999- HateFilter for the Internet created by ADL
2000- ADL book, Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice
2002- Conference on Global Anti-Semitism
2005- ADL helps to resolve the Jewish/Muslim conflict on the UCI campus

They also had a sidebar:
Under an Orange County Sky

Early in 2006 Joyce Greenspan, then regional director of the ADL, found out about an interfaith program that the National New York office had under taken. Designed around Mark Podwal’s book, Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses & Crescents, the program allows children of different faiths to learn about each other’s religions, opening the door for tolerance and understanding. Knowing where to go in Orange County, Greenspan approached Dina Eletreby, headmaster at Irvine’s New Horizon Elementary School, an Islamic Day School, and presented the program to her.

Greenspan then reached out to Eve Fein, head master at Morasha Jewish Day School. Together Fein and Greenspan approached St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita. All have entered into a semester-long interfaith study of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity under the coordination of the regional ADL office.

The students will meet at each school on three separate occasions. Under the guidance of the religious coordinators of each institution, they will study the religions and customs of each other. The goal of this program is to facilitate a meaningful cultural exchange allowing the children to discover and celebrate their similarities and learn ways to resist and eliminate bias and prejudice. It also opens the minds and hearts of children, which is key to building a future free of bigotry and hatred.

Fein explained that, "Morasha has always been a progressive school. Since the school’s inception 20 years ago, we have stayed true to our mission of educating children in the traditions and heritage of Judaism while at the same time instilling an understanding of diversity and tolerance. This project will give our students the opportunity to experience that diversity first hand." The program also hopes to provide that education to New Horizon and St. John’s, breaking down any barriers or misconceptions. Through art, essays, poetry, and other projects, the students will express their perceptions of the book that inspired the program and convey what it means to literally live side by side, under one sky.

As the children of different faiths gather together, one can only hope that as the author states, "Even so, people from everywhere everyday gather in the city - a city said to have been mapped on God’s palms long before our world began - and with prayers for peace and miracles, all addressed to one God, hope lights the Jerusalem sky. " Let us hope that these children can light our Orange County sky.

The student projects will be exhibited in the halls of the Rancho Santa Margarita Bell Tower Community Center starting November 27, providing a culmination of the three-month project. The entire community is invited to share in this celebration of understanding from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to the display of student work, there will be a brief presentation by each school, a book reading, and a student team building activity.

Podwal, M. (Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses and Crescents), Doubleday Book for Young Readers.

More information is available at

* Rick Shapiro became the director of the regional ADL office. Look for a story on him in the December issue of Orange County Jewish Life.

"Nothing has as yet, been 'resolved'"

This letter to the editor is in response to OC Jewish Life's publishing of an article praising the ADL for its work in combating anti-Semitism. See here for details on that article.

To the Editor of Orange County Jewish Life:

Thank you again, for the allowing me opportunity to write articles in past issues of Orange County Jewish life magazine. I believe that the magazine is as a great source of current events for our community.

In the November issue, an article entitled "Combating discrimination", contains what I believe to be an incorrect and potentially misleading statement. The side bar chronicling ADL's past accomplishments, reads as follows: "2005- ADL helps to resolve the Jewish/Muslim conflict on the UCI campus." This is by no means to diminish the past accomplishments of ADL, however it would be unfair to your readers, the community and most of all the students, to characterize this as a "conflict" which has been resolved. Furthermore, labeling this a "conflict" between Jewish an Moslem students is almost like saying that there was a "conflict" between Jews and Germans in the twenties and thirties.

I think that most community members know that many Jewish Students have alleged physical and verbal harassment from Moslem students, from the late 1990's until the present. The May 2006 "Holocaust in the Holy land" week and the October 2006 Malik Ali hate speech at UCI attest to this. During a recent interfaith panel at UCI, the Moslem Imams vicious anti-Zionist, anti-Israel diatribe was interrupted by enthusiastic Moslem students shouting "Allah Akhbar," as the Vice Chancellor and Dean of students sat quietly nearby. Furthermore, the university administration has been resolute in it's refusal to publicly denounce anti-Semitism.

Moslem Students continue to bring speakers on campus who:

  1. Call for the destruction of Israel, (the advocacy of genocide is a crime in international law)
  2. Invoke anti-Semitic rhetoric such as " Zionist Jews control the news media" .
  3. Mock or deny the Holocaust.

I have recently spent many hours on the UCI and the CSUF campuses and attended many programs. Believe me, I have seen and heard much of this hateful rhetoric and worse. A recent anti-Israel "symposium" sponsored by CSUF philosophy department, the CSUF Political Science Dept. Middle Eastern Studies Program, CSULB, The Stanford University Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, the Al Awida Palestine Right to return Organization, and the American Friends Service, went completely unchallenged.

Several groups have been formed in OC with the goal of effectively dealing with anti-Semitism and providing support to the Jewish Students on campus. Your readers should also be aware that a Federal investigation, initiated by a complaint from the ZOA on behalf of Jewish students at UCI, is in progress. Nothing has as yet, been "resolved".


Ted Bleiweis

Sheikh Sadullah Khan Tuesday @ 5 pm

Themes of the Quran
5-6:15pm in HICF 100Q
Topic: The Quran as our Guide
Speaker: Sheikh Sadullah Khan

Click here for more on Sheik Sadullah Khan


It should be noted that Sadullah Khan's organization, the Islamic Center of Irvine, just hosted Dr. William Baker - an anti-Semite - as a guest speaker this past Sunday, November 19th, from Noon to 1 pm.

Per the ADL (showing the one ounce of usefulness they provide):

William Baker is a popular speaker among American Muslim student groups. Baker, head of Christians and Muslims for Peace, has a long anti-Semitic and anti-Israel background. In the 1980s, he was a prominent associate of anti-Semitic publisher and Holocaust denier Willis Carto, chairing Carto's extreme-right Populist Party. He also wrote Theft of a Nation, an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish book.

Here's a more in-depth expose on Dr. Baker: MIM Exclusive:Neo Nazi William Baker Tells Crowd at Boca Marriott that 9-11 Hijackers Weren't Muslims

JPost Editorial: Tell the truth about peace

Hat Tip: IsraelMatzav

Tell the truth about peace
, THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 19, 2006

Following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's US visit and a "new" initiative floated by France, Spain, and Italy, Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met at the weekend to look for ways to "break the deadlock" with the Palestinians. Olmert himself has said he wants to "get the ball rolling," and reportedly suggested new versions of his convergence plan while in Washington.

The pressure on Israel and the US to fill the diplomatic vacuum, following the post-war political collapse of convergence, seems to be growing.

A vacuum, however, cannot be filled by simply repackaging the policies that failed to fill it, namely the Quartet's road map and Israel's unilateral withdrawal track. Both these policies have become stalled, or worse, because they ignore the root cause of the problem. Both pretend that the obstacle to peace is the lack of a Palestinian state, when in reality the obstacle to such a state - and to Arab-Israeli peace - is the Arab refusal to accept Israel's right to exist.

It has been obvious at least since 2000, when Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat a state on a silver platter, that the Palestinians could have a state over almost all of the West Bank and all of Gaza whenever they wanted. The fight is not over the remaining narrow strips of land but over something much more fundamental, whether the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world are willing to give up their desire to destroy Israel itself.

Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan was quoted over the weekend as declaring: "I promise you, the occupation [Israel] won't last long. We've seen this in history. States based on oppression have been taken apart. ... We'll continue to fight it until we return to the homes we were expelled from in the Palestine of 1948."

This point of view cannot be dismissed as the province of extremists. First, Hamas is the party in power, not a fringe group. But even Mahmoud Abbas, as MEMRI founder Yigal Carmon points out, is quite radical and specific when it comes to the "right of return," claiming that 3 million Palestinians must be allowed to "return" to Israel.

In the Arab and Muslim world today there are the "radicals" who openly call for Israel's destruction and support terrorism as a means to accomplish this. But there is no significant opposing peace camp arguing that Israel does have a right to exist, or even a pragmatic camp openly arguing for peace for the Arabs' own sake.

In such an atmosphere, no peace process worthy of the name is possible, and new American, Israeli, or European plans repackaging the offer of a Palestinian state will not only be for naught, but will tend to encourage Arab radicalism.

In this context, our government has an obligation to say the truth, not just play along with harmful myths. Israel should have a peace plan: for Western nations that want peace to demand that the Arab world end its war against Israel.

The Palestinians and Arab states often claim to be ready for peace. The well-worn pattern, however, is this: Israel yearns for peace while being wary of "peace plans;" the Arabs attack and prepare for war while claiming to embrace "peace."

It is time for Israel to urge the US to call the Arab bluff. If Arab leaders really want peace, they should help the Palestinians out of their suicidal stalemate by setting three critical examples: 1) meeting with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem and their own capitals, 2) calling on Palestinians to give up the dream of "returning" to Israel by the millions, 3) beginning to settle Palestinian "refugees" rather than continuing to use them as pawns against Israel.

In addition the Arab states could be called upon to stop fomenting anti-Semitism and supporting groups such as Hamas and Hizbullah.

We understand that if Israel advocates such a policy, we will not be able to persuade the US, let alone Europe, to adopt it overnight. Yet if Israel is unwilling to tell the truth and advocate for its own interests, who will? How can we expect any other country to stand for a sensible policy with a chance of success if we ourselves do not?

This article can also be read at

"Why Islamic hate on campus needs to be tackled"

Hat Tip: VitalPerspective

A commentary on this previous post - this part says it all:

Student unions and vice-chancellors have made various attempts to tackle the problem but have always held back from really dealing with it because they fear being accused of Islamophobia. The radical groups have continued to organise and indoctrinate, often under false names, and have found the process increasingly easy in the climate of anger surrounding the Iraq war.

Jewish students at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London have complained of fears for their personal safety because of the pronouncements of some fellow students. Members of student Islamic societies have been among those arrested and charged in recent counter-terrorist operations.

Campus radicalism persists and is spreading. Mere “guidance” from mandarins in the DfES is unlikely to stop it spreading.

I'm shocked, I tell you - shocked!

Link to article

Times Online November 17, 2006

Omar Khan Sharif, left, who was radicalised on campus and became the first British suicide bomber recruit in the Israel-Palestine conflict, along with Asif Hanif, right

Comment: why Islamic hate on campus needs to be tackled
By Sean O’Neill
A Times expert on radical Islam explains why the threat from Islamist radicals on campus needs to be combated with more than just proposals

Islamist groups first identified Britain’s universities as a fertile recruiting ground more almost two decades ago.

They followed the example set by the far-left, which had been hugely successful in the 1980s in attracting young people with impressionable minds to simplistic utopian ideologies.

The Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT) organisation - which at the time was under the control of the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed - was active on a number of campuses.

Over a period of weeks in 1988, I often accompanied one of Bakri Mohammed’s organisers as he criss-crossed London arranging and talking at meetings in university rooms and mosques.

Despite being a full-time employee of Islington council, the man’s entire working day appeared to be devoted to preaching the message of Islamist radicalism which was then a novelty but is now well-rooted in many young Muslims.

One of the meetings was at King’s College in Central London where he delivered a talk to Muslim students about the necessity of returning to the golden age of the Khilafa, an Islamic state to be governed by strict religious law.

It was a sparsely attended event. But more than 10 years later, at similar meetings at the same college, a young man called Omar Sharif was radicalised by what he heard.

Sharif, an undergraduate from Derby, very quickly became devout, began to wear traditional Islamic dress and abruptly ended friendships he had previously enjoyed with non-Muslims. Soon afterwards, he left King’s and went to Damascus to study Arabic.

Returning to Britain, Sharif retained his radical views and was in touch with Omar Bakri Mohammed (by then split with HuT and running his al-Muhajiroun movement) and with Abu Hamza, the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque.

In April 2003, Sharif and another young Briton, Asif Hanif, went to Tel Aviv where they became the first foreign suicide bombers in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Sharif was not the only young man to be radicalised at university who opted for a life of violent jihad. Omar Saeed Sheikh, who has been convicted in Pakistan for his part in the kidnap and murder of the American journalist Daniel Pearl, was first exposed to the Islamist ideology at the London School of Economics.

Student unions and vice-chancellors have made various attempts to tackle the problem but have always held back from really dealing with it because they fear being accused of Islamophobia. The radical groups have continued to organise and indoctrinate, often under false names, and have found the process increasingly easy in the climate of anger surrounding the Iraq war.

Jewish students at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London have complained of fears for their personal safety because of the pronouncements of some fellow students. Members of student Islamic societies have been among those arrested and charged in recent counter-terrorist operations.

Campus radicalism persists and is spreading. Mere “guidance” from mandarins in the DfES is unlikely to stop it spreading.

The author is a Times reporter and co-author of The Suicide Factory: Abu Hamza and the Finsbury Park Mosque