Al Jazeera popped on to the American news scene at the 2004 RNC Convention held at Madison Square Gardens in NYC. They were that skybox high to the right of the stage. Mediates whispered, took photos puzzled that the Arab network was now going prime time. Soon, job offers began appearing on the work place board at the National Press Club in Washington DC seeking journalists to cover Sports and other odd placements for the Middle East entity. Job placement ramped up until the proverbial camel got its nose in the tent. Al Jazeera was mainstream. Suspicions had vanished. Al Jazeera had arrived. Al Jazeera was everywhere. Al Jazeera is financed by the ruling family in Qatar. The competing broadcaster Al Arabiya is financed by Saudi investors. The approach differs somewhat on this point. The Saudis are more in favor of the Salafists, whom they finance and arm, while the…

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West Bank Mama

Political satire done well is a work of art. In Israel noone does it better than Latma.

Now that it is not popular to be left wing (a recent Israeli poll shows that over 50% of Israelis consider themselves right wing, and only about a quarter consider themselves left wing) many Israeli political parties are trying to pass themselves off as mercaz – “central” – even though they have not changed their views.

To point out this absurdity Latma has done a number of sketches about other places where the left has disappeared….


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BBC Watch

As we have mentioned here before, the BBC’s profile of Hizballah is not only a wooly, anodyne portrait, but it has also not been updated in two and  a half years and therefore does not include any information on Hizballah’s role in the Assad regime’s brutal violence against the Syrian people or its involvement in the murder of Rafik Hariri. 

A recent article in the Ynet magazine serves as a reminder that Hizballah’s extensive involvement in drug trafficking also remains unmentioned in its BBC profile, as well as in the BBC’s Q&A section on Mexican drug cartels, despite the fact that somearticles on the BBC News website have touched on the subject. 

In the name of accuracy, perhaps the BBC News website editors could add the updating of that profile of Hizballah to their list of New Year’s resolutions. 

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(Jerusalem) – Palestinian armed groups in Gaza violated the laws of war during the November 2012 fighting by launching hundreds of rockets toward population centers in Israel.

About 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel between November 14 and 21, the Israel Defense Forces reported. At least 800 struck Israel, including 60 that hit populated areas.

The rocket attacks, including the first from Gaza to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, killed three Israeli civilians, wounded at least 38, several seriously, and destroyed civilian property. Rockets that fell short of their intended targets in Israel apparently killed at least two Palestinians in Gaza and wounded others, Human Rights Watch said.

“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas.”


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