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 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.

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PostSubject: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:29 pm

So, if they are not allowed to use peaceful, democratic means of protest and dialogue what other recourse will they have?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/world/AP/story/849351.html

Israel has also been cracking down on 'dissidents' and has imprisoned many peace activists:

http://www.thestar.com/World/Columnist/article/568594
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:09 am

This sounds quite ridiculous, in light of what is happening.

Two things: according to a comment on Al Jazeera, they tried doing this before but the high court overturned it.

Second: one of the three Arab parties is left, as well as the Arab members of other parties, so it's not a complete wipeout.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:48 am

There is also talk of postponement of the elections.

This is a quote from Aragon's link

Quote :
JERUSALEM -- Israel on Monday banned Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections, drawing accusations of racism by an Arab lawmaker who said he would challenge the decision in the country's Supreme Court.

The ruling by parliament's Central Election Committee reflected the heightened tensions between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority caused by Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip. Arabs have held a series of demonstrations against the offensive.

Parliament spokesman Giora Pordes said the election committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion, accusing the country's Arab parties of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist. Arab lawmakers have traveled to some of Israel's staunchest enemies, including Lebanon and Syria.

The 37-member committee is composed of representatives from Israel's major political parties. The measure was proposed by two ultranationalist parties but received widespread support.

The decision does not affect Arab lawmakers in predominantly Jewish parties or the country's communist party, which has a mixed list of Arab and Jewish candidates. Roughly one-fifth of Israel's 7 million citizens are Arabs. Israeli Arabs enjoy full citizenship rights, but have suffered from discrimination and poverty for decades.

Arab lawmakers Ahmed Tibi and Jamal Zahalka, political rivals who head the two Arab blocs in parliament, joined together in condemning Monday's decision.

"It was a political trial led by a group of Fascists and racists who are willing to see the Knesset without Arabs and want to see the country without Arabs," said Tibi.

Together, the Arab lists hold seven of the 120 seats in the Knesset, or parliament.

Tibi said he would appeal to the high court, while Zahalka said his party was still deciding how to proceed.

Pordes, the parliament spokesman, said the last party to be banned was the late Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach Party, a list from the 1980s that advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israel.

There are Israeli peace activists on PressTV and Al Jazeera saying that there are a lot more demonstrations against the war than are being covered in the Israeli media.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:18 pm

They've done this before. This is an article from 2002 by Al Jazeera English Senior Political Correspondent Marwan Bishara. He writes about his brother Azmi Bishara, an Israeli MP, who was banned from participating in elections at the time:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/dec/31/comment



I may have mentioned this already but in case not Al Jazeera English Washington bureau do the best coverage of this issue. ( More 4 have been great too). It's on late at night/early morning our time and Bishara is usually on. The programmes presented by Ghida Fakhry who is very good too.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:48 pm

why not casting aspersions on al-jazeera's impartiality, but does any other news agency have this?
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:54 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/12/israel-bans-arab-parties-_n_157207.html

The banning of arab parties from standing has been very widely reported by "alternative" news and websites. If it is true, and is being ignored by the mainstream media, that is not good.

There is also a crisis of legitimacy in the Palestinian Authority - Abbas's electoral term ended on January 9th and no election has been called. Hammas may challenge this.http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7013609812

Palestinian elections are problematic because of the large number of disenfranchised prisoners and exiles.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3540.shtml

It seems probable that Abbas would perform poorly if an election was held now.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:05 pm

cactus flower wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/12/israel-bans-arab-parties-_n_157207.html

The banning of arab parties from standing has been very widely reported by "alternative" news and websites. If it is true, and is being ignored by the mainstream media, that is not good.

There is also a crisis of legitimacy in the Palestinian Authority - Abbas's electoral term ended on January 9th and no election has been called. Hammas may challenge this.http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7013609812

Palestinian elections are problematic because of the large number of disenfranchised prisoners and exiles.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3540.shtml

It seems probable that Abbas would perform poorly if an election was held now.

big "if". i wouldn't take everything on fox as gospel, and hold al-jazeera in the same light. remember they are aimed at a particular audience. bbc they ain't!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:31 pm

Well, this is not the landing on the moon, so it shouldn't be difficult to verify this one way or another in the next day or so Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:49 pm

Didn't have to wait that long. It was originally published by Associated Press (reliable and neutral western news agency) 17 hours ago.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j_suGvYgZ4hwcMplsjmGbnqpmHJAD95LNB200

Will that do for you Zakalwe?

It looks from google as though not a single "reliable" news outlet has chosen to report this.

Pfhwah!

Mad
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:47 pm

Really the middle east is a mess!

Now that was a great contribution!
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:55 pm

There was a protest of 10,000 people (Jews and Israeli Arabs) in Israel on Saturday the 4th and it received almost complete media blackout within Israel and was universally ignored here.

The protest was harried and brutalised by police and overhead helicopters the whole way. Israel has a tradition of killing Arab Israeli protesters but I'm not aware whether they succeeded in keeping up this tradition in this case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel#Institutional_violence



Quote :
Institutional violence


A 2004 report on "Racism in Israel" by Mossawa, an advocacy center for Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel, states that since the events of October 2000 (in which twelve Arab citizens of Israel were shot dead by Israeli security forces during violent protests), an additional sixteen Arabs had been killed by security forces, making for a total of 29 casualties
of what they describe as "institutional violence" inside the time span of four years.[109]

Ahmed Sa'adi, in his article on The Concept of Protest and its Representation by the Or Commission writes that since Israel's establishment in 1948, over the course of numerous protests that have taken place, "the only protestors to be killed by the police have been Arabs."[110]


Also, Israel has consistently interfered with political parties in
Palestine and also Arab parties which are not moderate enough within
Israel.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:57 pm

It was discussed on BBC Radio yesterday if that is any consolation.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:36 pm

cactus flower wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/12/israel-bans-arab-parties-_n_157207.html

The banning of arab parties from standing has been very widely reported by "alternative" news and websites. If it is true, and is being ignored by the mainstream media, that is not good.
It was on the BBC website if ye'd bothered looking.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:49 pm

johnfás wrote:
It was discussed on BBC Radio yesterday if that is any consolation.

It's a good sign they eventually got around to it. As I said it was practically a blanket ban in Israel but almost as bad here.

But reporting and in what way it's reported is important -- the general point about the BBC and other media is made in a thread I started earlier.

An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1

http://machinenation.forumakers.com/general-history-f4/an-eye-for-an-eyelash-the-gaza-massacre-part-1-t1831.htm#60078
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:01 pm

905 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/12/israel-bans-arab-parties-_n_157207.html

The banning of arab parties from standing has been very widely reported by "alternative" news and websites. If it is true, and is being ignored by the mainstream media, that is not good.
It was on the BBC website if ye'd bothered looking.

Thats a bit unneccessary 905. It went up on the BBC website three hours ago, an hour and a half after I posted. Perhaps they picked up the story from this site Razz

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7825032.stm
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:08 pm

It was available at 5pm yesterday, 3 and a half hours before reported here on the following international news outlets:

1. International Herald Tribune
2. Associated Press
3. Forbes
4. Los Angeles Times

One hour later it was reported on:

5. The Guardian
6. Fox News

One hour later, between 6 and 7 pm, again roughly two hours prior to any posting here it was reported on:

7. BBC
8. MSNBC


They seem like fairly large media outlets to me.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:11 pm

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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:15 pm

JF and 905 - I mentioned AP as the origin of the report (which itis): in fact the Herald Tribune seems to have published it first, although crediting AP.

Just to bring this back to some reality, the topic of the post is the banning of arab parties. I googled this, got four pages of references to blogs, and said if it hadn't been picked up by the mainstream press it was not good.

By all means make a meal of it if you wish.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:48 pm

zakalwe wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/12/israel-bans-arab-parties-_n_157207.html

The banning of arab parties from standing has been very widely reported by "alternative" news and websites. If it is true, and is being ignored by the mainstream media, that is not good.

There is also a crisis of legitimacy in the Palestinian Authority - Abbas's electoral term ended on January 9th and no election has been called. Hammas may challenge this.http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7013609812

Palestinian elections are problematic because of the large number of disenfranchised prisoners and exiles.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3540.shtml

It seems probable that Abbas would perform poorly if an election was held now.

big "if". i wouldn't take everything on fox as gospel, and hold al-jazeera in the same light. remember they are aimed at a particular audience. bbc they ain't!!!!

No, and neither would they want to be if they have any regard for integrity. The BBC has disgraced itself over the war on Gaza and if that is where you are getting your information from then you must accept, I am sorry to say, that you are getting only about 2% of all the available, factual, information that there is about this. The BBC's days as the supposed standard bearer of world news broadcasting are long since over - and everyone sensible in media knows it whether they are prepared to say so out loud or not. Whatever was left of its impartiality (and itwasnt very much even then) was destroyed by Tony Blair at the time of the Hutton enquiry. It has never recovered and is now primarily a mouthpiece for government - which happens to have been Labour ever since.

A point of information that might give you pause about why the British government would be concerned to ensure support for Israel throughout this horrific slaughter: British Gas went to Israel to negotiate exploration and production of the considerable gas reserves off the coast of Gaza which Palestinians believe, rightly, belongs to them. When did they do this? In June of this year when, if we are to believe the Israelis, they would have been in no position to start negotiating any such deal. This was while they were supposedly negotiating a peace deal with Hamas. But they couldnt have been serious about the peace deal because the Palestinians were not giving up their gas. You dont have to take my word for it. All this is documented fact and Ive already posted it on this or another thread on MN from an independent source.

Did you know that Israeli government spokespeople have several times acknowledged that Hamas did not break the ceasefire? Did you hear that on the BBC, RTE or any of the stations you revere and trust with near religious unquestioning? Somehow I suspect you don't really want to know about these things.

Did you know that last night Israel launched the most violent and deadly of all its attacks all across the Gaza strip? No? Who exactly forgot to tell you? Why?
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:55 pm

Aragon wrote:


Did you know that last night Israel launched the most violent and deadly of all its attacks all across the Gaza strip? No? Who exactly forgot to tell you? Why?

BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7825684.stm

Quote :
Israeli planes have attacked more than 60 targets in Gaza as its offensive against Hamas entered its 18th day.

Quote :
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of trying to "wipe out" his people. "This is the 18th day of the Israeli aggression against our people, which has become more ferocious each day as the number of victims rises," he said.
"Israel is keeping up this aggression to wipe out our people over there."
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:11 pm

One of Aragon's links suggests that the ordnance obtained from the US for the Gaza attack was ordered back in June.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:22 pm

johnfás wrote:
Aragon wrote:


Did you know that last night Israel launched the most violent and deadly of all its attacks all across the Gaza strip? No? Who exactly forgot to tell you? Why?

BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7825684.stm

Quote :
Israeli planes have attacked more than 60 targets in Gaza as its offensive against Hamas entered its 18th day.

Quote :
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of trying to "wipe out" his people. "This is the 18th day of the Israeli aggression against our people, which has become more ferocious each day as the number of victims rises," he said.
"Israel is keeping up this aggression to wipe out our people over there."

So, you can dredge up two seemingly 'balancing' quotes. But you leave them out of both their media and political context. Fatah (Abbas' Party) is bleeding support from within Palestine for its craven support of the US/UK/Israel invasion. It is, as are they all, knocked back on their heels by the level of international disgust and condemnation. This is a little leg up for him from the BBC. Abbas is saying too little too late - and doing even less. He well knows that this campaign is going on until the 20th of January latest, inauguration day - if it is possible to conclude it by then. (On that point, because things are not going so well for Israel, did you know that they are now talking about the nuclear option of Gaza? Who forgot to tell you?) Obama does not want to be seen to have bloody hands though he too is in it up to his neck. An official narrative of Bush bad, Obama good is quite deliberately being cultivated so as to make the medicine go down more easily. Obama has earned himself the outrage of the Palestinian and Arab supporters who helped him win the election. They were utterly betrayed. Who forgot to tell you that?

The BBC has been under a barrage of criticism for its coverage and it is beginning to make an impression. However, I sat up through the night last night watching the most devastating scenes of war being visited on Gaza. At 9am I switched on BBC Radio 4 news. Not ONE word in the headlines. Eventually, after 25 minutes - and all the local flotsam and jetsam had been covered - there was a flat voiced minute-long report which said Israeli ground troops had moved further into gaza city last night/early this morning. It was outrageously dishonest. If you had listened, as I did, to Al Jazeera last night you would have known the following:

Children were dying in the area of Jalaya within five minutes because of some poison gas that was dropped on them. ( Consistent with many medical reports that weapons are being tested on the population of Gaza)

The whole of Gaza city was entirely surrounded by the IDF and there was NOWHERE for ANYONE to run to or escape from it.

Contrary to claims that the Israeli's are targetting only Hamas strongholds or offices, the bombs raining down on them were landing indiscrimately right across the entire city. Precision bombing is one of the filthiest lies of modern warfare. Aside from that, the Israelis are striaghtforwardly lying when they say they are not targetting civilians. Who forgot to give you the evidence and the facts about this.

This is the way MOST of the BBC coverage is going.

What you leave out Johnfas is how the BBC breaks its back to bring on to each and every programme several Israeli government people all justifying, qualifying and downright lying about what is happening. They keep being allowed to say Hamas broke the ceasefire and the BBC interviewer/presenter NEVER questions that even though it is total bollox. So for every apparent 'concession' to the truth, the overall effect, overhwelmingly, is ALWAYS to ensure that people know that while some nasty things are happening to Gaza, Israel has no choice but to 'defend itself'.

And of course the gas and oil business is NEVER, EVER mentioned at all.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:22 pm

Aragon wrote:
(On that point, because things are not going so well for Israel, did you know that they are now talking about the nuclear option of Gaza? Who forgot to tell you?) Obama does not want to be seen to have bloody hands though he too is in it up to his neck. An official narrative of Bush bad, Obama good is quite deliberately being cultivated so as to make the medicine go down more easily. Obama has earned himself the outrage of the Palestinian and Arab supporters who helped him win the election. They were utterly betrayed. Who forgot to tell you that?
Can I just ask, what is the nuclear option? Al Jazera haven't mentioned it on their website. And what is this about Obama betraying the Palestinians? If memory serves he was pro-Israeli through his campaign.

Aragon wrote:
Children were dying in the area of Jalaya within five minutes because of some poison gas that was dropped on them. ( Consistent with many medical reports that weapons are being tested on the population of Gaza)
I can't find any mention of this anywhere, apart from a vague comment on Media Lens Message board.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:49 pm

There have been veiled threats of use of nuclear weapons from the beginning 905. I just posted regarding an opposition politician calling for a "Japanese" solution as in WWII on the Black September thread.

Is anyone here seriously disputing that there are abominable crimes being committed? UNWRA want them investigated as do the Red Cross and they are the ones up close to the results of them.

RTE isn't much better, and the Israeli Ambassador refused to come and do a prearranged interview this evening for Drivetime. They expect a free ride. If I didn't have internet and France 24/ Al Jazeera and Presstv, I wouldn't have a clue what was going on. You could see the WP raining down behind journalists day after day without them mentioning it.

The big lie, that Israel are doing this because Hamas out of the blue broke the ceasefire is being perpetuated, even though the facts to the contrary have been admitted on air by Israeli spokesmen.

Do you think Aragon is exaggerating? Given what you know about what is happening, if she was, would it matter?

White phosphorus btw is a chemical that can be fatal to adults if inhaled.
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PostSubject: Re: 'The only democracy in the Middle East' bans arab parties from participating in elections.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:29 pm

cactus flower wrote:
There have been veiled threats of use of nuclear weapons from the beginning 905. I just posted regarding an opposition politician calling for a "Japanese" solution as in WWII on the Black September thread.
By veiled threats do you mean they have not ruled them out? I haven't heard any, and such threats would be too contradictory for such a well-oiled propaganda machine. I can't find your fellow on the black September thread, there is an awful lot there. By nuclear weapons are we talking about bombs here, nuking the Gaza strip? That's completely impractical.

cactus flower wrote:
Is anyone here seriously disputing that there are abominable crimes being committed? UNWRA want them investigated as do the Red Cross and they are the ones up close to the results of them.
I presume the Israelis dispute the allegation. Looking impartially at it, which I suspect would not involve lots of pictures of blood infants, it can be very hard to find evidence of deliberate targeting of civilians. Proportionality is a relative term, as is how much care one takes to avoid civilian casualties. The last would be the charge they are most open to. In the interests of balance, has there been any talk of war crimes allegation being brought againsty Hamas? Not differentiating between civilians and troops, and human shields would be the main charges I think.

cactus flower wrote:
RTE isn't much better, and the Israeli Ambassador refused to come and do a prearranged interview this evening for Drivetime. They expect a free ride. If I didn't have internet and France 24/ Al Jazeera and Presstv, I wouldn't have a clue what was going on. You could see the WP raining down behind journalists day after day without them mentioning it.

The big lie, that Israel are doing this because Hamas out of the blue broke the ceasefire is being perpetuated, even though the facts to the contrary have been admitted on air by Israeli spokesmen.
I thought they were douing this because, after the ceasefire ran its course, Hamas carried out their usual attacks. The whole issue of the ceasefire and who broke it is open to debate, but in the current case is a bit of a red herring.

cactus flower wrote:
Do you think Aragon is exaggerating? Given what you know about what is happening, if she was, would it matter?
Truth is the first casualty, you know that. Of course it matters.

cactus flower wrote:
White phosphorus btw is a chemical that can be fatal to adults if inhaled.
I didn't know that. Is it only adults it is fatal to, Aragon mentioned children. And it doesn't fit with what he said about testing weapons. Some other stuff, about high-density explosives does.
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