The BBC’s redundant ‘Palestinian unity government’ claim

BBC Watch

The BBC’s ‘Palestinian territories’ profile (last updated in December 2017) tells audiences that:

“The Fatah faction of the PLO ran the PNA until 2006, when Hamas won a majority in Legislative Council elections.

Uneasy co-existence between PNA President Mahmoud Abbas and a Hamas-led government led to violence between armed wings of Fatah and Hamas, culminating in Hamas seizing power in Gaza in June 2007 and President Abbas dismissing the government.

The two PNA areas were then run by the separate factions – the West Bank by Fatah, and Gaza by Hamas – until a government of national unity assumed control of Gaza public institutions in October 2017.” [emphasis added]

That same profile’s ‘timeline‘ states:

“2017 October – Hamas lets the Ramallah-based unity government take over public institutions in Gaza as part of a reconciliation process between the two rival administrations.”

While the BBC enthusiastically reported that ‘unity government’…

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Twitter Warns Conservative Author His Book Violates Pakistan Law


Twitter is warning it may censor content by Western users that the social media giant deems a violation of Pakistan law.

Russian-born editor Jamie Glazov explained the situation on The Glazov Gang, an online talk show.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a very interesting world we’re entering now. Twitter has recently warned me that a post on my new book, ‘Jihadist Psychopath: How He Is Charming, Seducing, and Devouring Us,’ is in violation of a section of Pakistan’s penal code connected to Islamic blasphemy law,” Glazov said.

“Now Twitter told me it has not taken any action, for now. Phew,” he said. “They’re only writing to inform me, for now.”

Glazov explained that the alleged violations carry a potential sentence of life in prison or death, and he joked about canceling his book tour and planned vacation to the Middle Eastern country. Glazov also put the situation into broader perspective.

via Twitter Warns Conservative Author His Book Violates Pakistan Law

On the Great Scholar Patricia Crone and the Origins of Persian Islam


One of Patricia Crone’s achievements in her magnificent book on Iran in the aftermath of the Islamic conquest is to shed new light on sex on the Iranian plateau. Over some 50 densely argued pages toward the end of The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran, using sources, besides Herodotus, that range from hostile Muslim missionaries to Buddhist pilgrims, she establishes that polyandry, the lending of wombs, and the renting of inseminators were not uncommon and that incestuous marriage was encouraged under Zoroastrian law. Notwithstanding the physical effects of inbreeding, the consequences were not all bad; property was protected over generations and infertile couples raised children. But the Persians’ habitual detractors (the Greeks and, later on, the Arabs) ignored such practicalities in favor of shock and titillation, repeating when it suited them the Persian axiom that a woman is like a sprig of basil whose fragrance does not diminish if it is passed around. There were other analogies—to fruits, utensils, wells, roads, even ships.

The story of morally dissolute Persians is as old as Persia itself. Thus, in the fifth century B.C., we find Xanthus of Lydia (who had lived under Persian occupation) reporting that “when a man wants to take another man’s wife as his own, he does so without force or secrecy but with mutual consent and approval.” The medieval heresiographer al-Baghdadi described an Iranian religious group, the Khurramis (from khurram din, or “joyous religion”), as permitting any pleasure, no matter how abominable, provided it did not harm others. Both these statements were misleading, if not untrue. Law and custom regulated sexual intercourse; life was no bacchanal. More recently, in the 1970s, the pious Iraqis of Basra regarded Abadan, the Iranian refinery town just across the border, as crawling with sex. This, too, was an exaggeration.

via On the Great Scholar Patricia Crone and the Origins of Persian Islam

Reviewing BBC reporting on the BDS campaign in 2018

BBC Watch

As has often been noted here, for years the BBC has reported stories relating to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) without adequately clarifying to its audiences that what that campaign ultimately seeks to achieve is the end of Israel as the Jewish state.  Moreover, in August 2015, we learned that the BBC considers the provision of such crucial background information “not our role“.

So did BBC audiences see any improvement in reporting on that topic in 2018?

The year opened with listeners to BBC Radio 5 live on January 1st hearing a gratuitous and baseless comparison of Israel to the former apartheid regime in South Africa and being repeatedly told that a singer had made the “right” call by giving in to pressure from supporters of a campaign that the BBC presenter made no effort whatsoever to the explain properly.

Radio 5 live item promotes…

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Were Israel Ignored by the World

Beyond the Cusp

We can only wonder what the world would do if they were persuaded to simply leave Israel to deal with all matters within her promised borders. The world promised the Jewish People through the Zionist Congress after World War I that the Jewish People would be granted the lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Lebanese border to the Wadi of Egypt with Eilat as their southernmost tip and port on the Red Sea. The Jewish interests were to provide all those residing within the defined region many freedoms including social, financial, religious, residential, medical and other freedoms with one very glaring exception, political freedom. The Jewish State would be permitted to have self-rule independent of the influences of any others residing within their borders. Israel, upon annexing the remainder of Jerusalem, took steps to permit the Arabs, formerly Palestinian Arabs under the Palestinian Authority…

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Saudi Arabia and the West’s Right-Wing: A Dubious Alliance


While purporting to be focused on promoting a more tolerant form of Islam, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is instituting reforms that are designed to centralize power around himself. His moves include embracing European and Western far-right groups that are hardly beacons of tolerance and respect.

Saudi funding, which was traditionally focused on ultra-conservative Sunni Islam, has been streamlined and fine-tuned in the era of Prince Muhammad to ensure that it serves his geopolitical ambitions. Those ambitions primarily include stopping the expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East and North Africa, and enhancing the kingdom’s global impact.

This effort has produced a mixed bag so far. Spending is down, but more targeted. Saudi Arabia has, for example, handed over control of the Grand Mosque in Brussels in a move designed to demonstrate the kingdom’s newly found moderation and to reduce the reputational damage of a Saudi ultra-conservative management that had become contentious in Belgium. Yet funds still flow to militant, ultra-conservative madrassas (religious seminaries) that dot the Pakistan-Iran border. The kingdom’s focus, moreover, has shifted in selected countries to the promotion of a strand of Salafi ultra-conservatism that preaches absolute obedience to the ruler, a corollary to Prince Muhammad’s crackdown on critics and activists at home.

via Saudi Arabia and the West’s Right-Wing: A Dubious Alliance

Rahaf’s Saudi Family Will Never, Ever Stop Coming After Her


Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, a Saudi teenager, has just tried to save her own life—and in so doing, has risked death for shaming her family and her country.

Rahaf fled her family vacation in Kuwait, took a plane to Bangkok, barricaded herself in her hotel room at the airport and began posting about her plight on social media. She demanded political asylum.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. In this case, the ammunition is digital and governmental.

Via her smartphone, Rahaf claimed that she had renounced Islam and that her family would surely kill her if she was returned to them. Rahaf obtained 90,000 followers on Twitter. The media began to cover her plight.

The Thai government had been about to deport her back to the family which Rahaf claimed had beaten and imprisoned her for up to six months at a time for minor, alleged offenses. And then, it changed its mind and allowed Rahaf to meet with an official from the UN’s refugee agency (U.N.H.C.R.).

Rahaf wanted asylum in either Australia or Canada and both countries considered her request even as she was being vetted for “refugee” status.

via Rahaf’s Saudi Family Will Never, Ever Stop Coming After Her