Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 13th, 2017

Woman arrested in France for T-shirt critical of Israel

Undeterred by arrest of an activist at march days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

France has ratcheted up its draconian repression of free speech about Palestine with the arrest of a woman for wearing a T-shirt supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

According to the newspaper L’Humanité, officers from the Renseignements Généraux, the intelligence service of the French police, were involved in monitoring the demonstration in which numerous social justice and leftist groups took part.

France remains under the state of emergency severely limiting public freedoms that was declared after last November’s atrocities by suspected Islamic State extremists who killed 130 people in Paris.

The young woman was taken to Paris’ 3rd district police station for questioning.

Hundreds of marchers halted their procession and demonstrated loudly outside the police station for an hour until she was released, as a video posted on Facebook and this clip tweeted by a march participant show:

Political repression

The woman has been summoned back to the police station for questioning at 2pm on Monday on suspicion of “inciting hatred by reason of [national] origin, through writing,” according to L’Humanité.

Supporters are planning to demonstrate outside the police station at that time.

The feminist collective 8 Mars Pour TouTEs denounced the arrest and pledged support for the activist and for the BDS movement.

The arrest was evidence of the “criminalization of political struggles,” the group said, vowing to mount strong solidarity in response to “the police state and political and racist repression.”

The left-wing grouping Ensemble has condemned the arrest, describing it as a consequence of the “security climate” in France.

The Palestine solidarity group BDS France noted that the day after the arrest, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told a dinner hosted by the Israel lobby group CRIF that “anti-Zionism is nothing more than a synonym for anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel.”

“Today, politicians who support the Israeli apartheid regime are out of arguments,” BDS France said in a statement.

“They conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and terrorism, and take all the Jews of the world hostage, stubbornly insisting that they become accomplices of the war crimes and apartheid of a state which is foreign to them,” BDS France added.

The campaign group said that with the growing global success of BDS, “a nonviolent, anti-racist citizen movement for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people,” Israel and its allies in the French government had no recourse but to try to smear it as anti-Semitic.

Court rulings and government decrees have outlawed calls to boycott Israeli goods, prompting defiance from French civil society.

Undeterred

BDS France is also vowing not to fold under government repression.

On Thursday, dozens of activists handed in an international petition at the Paris offices of Airbnb to protest the company’s profiting from the renting out of vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

As the photos published by BDS France show, the activists were proudly wearing their “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” T-shirts.

On Saturday, activists will hold rallies all over France against the state of emergency. An action alert from BDS France urges supporters to wear their T-shirts at those marches too.

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Arabic is one of the five most spoken languages in the world, with some 400 million users.

It’s also one of the most ancient, varied and beautifully scripted languages in existence.

Its influence on Spanish since the time of the Moors is well known, but what’s less well known is how many commonly used English words were actually taken from Arabic.

Here are just thirteen.


1. Alcohol

One of the most important words in the English language actually comes from the Arabic al-kuhl, (the kohl) which is a form of eyeliner.

Because the cosmetic was made via an extraction process from a mineral, European chemists began to refer to anything involving extraction / distillation as alcohol.

And that’s how the “alcohol of wine” (i.e. the spirit you get from distilling wine) got its name.

2. Algebra

From the Arabic al-jabr, which describes a reunion of broken parts, the use of the term came from a 9th century Arabic treatise on math.

The author’s name was al-Khwarizmi, which became the mathematical term algorithm. (Softwares are mostly algorithms)

3. Artichoke

The classical Arabic word, al-harshafa, became al-karshufa in Arabic-speaking Spain.

It has been adopted into French as artichaut, Italian as carciofo, Spanish as alcachofa, and English as artichoke.

4. Candy

Qand refers to crystallised juice of sugar cane, which is where Americans derive their word candy.

It originally came from Sanksrit, and was adopted into Arabic via the Persian language.

5. Coffee

Arabia originally got coffee from eastern Africa and called it qahwah.

Then it went to Turkey – kahve.

Then the Italians – caffè. 

And finally, it arrived in Britain as coffee.

6. Cotton

This plant is originally native to India and Central/South America,

7. Magazine

This word is derived from the Arabic makzin, which means storehouse.

We got it from the French (magasin, meaning shop), who got it from the Italians (magazzino), who got it from the Arabic.

8. Mattress

Sleeping on cushions was actually an Arabic invention.

Were it not for Arabic matrah, a place where the cushions were thrown down, the Europeans would never have adopted materacium / materatium (Latin) which passed through Italian into English as mattress.

9. Orange

Originally from South and East Asia, oranges were known in Sanskrit as naranga.

This became the Persian narang, which became the Arabic naranj.

Arabic traders brought oranges to Spain, which led to the Spanish naranja.

Then it went into old French as un norenge, then new French as une orenge.

Then we took it from the French and it became orange.

10. Safari

Safari is the Swahili word for an expedition, which is how it has become so associated with African bush and game tourism.

However, that Swahili word came from the Arabic safar, which means journey.

11. Sofa

The Arabic word suffa referred to a raised, carpeted platform on which people sat.

The word passed through the Turkish language to join English as sofa.

12. Sugar

Arabic traders brought sugar to Western Europe, calling it sukkar (originally from teh Sanskrit sharkara).

And last but not least…

13. Zero

Italian mathematician Fibonacci introduced the concept of zero to the Europeans in the 13th century.

He grew up in North Africa, and learned the Arabic word sifr, which means empty or nothing.

He Latinised it to zephrum, which became the Italian zero.

Because Roman numerals couldn’t express zero, he borrowed the number from Arabic.

Now, all our digits are known as Arabic numerals. 

Investment in Medicine for virility and augmentation of breast:
5 times that of Alzheimer?
Drauzio Varella, Brazil Nobel laureate for medicine, said:
Currently, 5 times more are invested in Medicine for virility and augmentation of breast than on Alzheimer.
Within a few years, we will end up with a whole bunch of elder people with big breasts and rigid penis, and they will have no idea what they are for, and what they used them for…
La phrase qui tue !!!!....

McGraw-Hill destroys textbook to placate pro-Israel bloggers

An image published by Elder of Ziyon from the textbook Global Politics, as part of the anti-Palestinian blogger’s successful campaign to pressure McGraw Hill over maps depicting land loss in Palestine.

The publisher McGraw-Hill Education is destroying all copies of a political science textbook after receiving complaints from hardline supporters of Israel that it features a series of “anti-Israel” maps.The college textbook, titled Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World, was published in 2012. But it wasn’t until early this month that the maps generated criticism from a pro-Israel blogger known as Elder of Ziyon.

Within a week of the initial outcry, McGraw-Hill began destroying all copies of the book, scrubbed the book from its website, promised to reimburse anyone who bought the book and apologized to the offended right-wing bigots behind the manufactured controversy.

According to the publisher’s summary, the book fosters “critical thinking and theory” about global events and “offers students a number of lenses through which to view the world around them.”

The maps, which appear in chronological succession on page 123, show Palestinian land loss from 1946, one year before Zionist militias initiated the displacement of more than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from historic Palestine, to the year 2000, by which point Palestinian land had been reduced to a handful of tiny non-contiguous enclaves in the occupied West Bank and a sliver of Gaza.

The caption reads, “A mix of diplomatic and military actions and expanded Jewish settlements since the founding of modern Israel has led to a gradual decline in Palestinian-held territory – which explains why the territory remains one of the central sticking points in the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The image is sourced to the Middle East Political Research Center.

Fear of maps

Such maps present an enormous threat to Zionist ideologues because they have the ability to cut through Israeli propaganda that portrays Palestinian anger and violence as rooted in religious intolerance and irrational hatred rather than a natural reaction to Israel’s colonial expansionism, land theft and ethnic cleansing, all of which continue today.

That is why any time an iteration of these maps breaks into the mainstream, Israel’s advocates rush to censor it.

Just last year, when MSNBC aired a similar series of maps to demonstrate the dramatic theft of Palestinian land since Israel’s foundation, pro-Israel groups pressured the cable news outlet to retract the segment.

MSNBC eventually capitulated, calling the maps “not factually accurate.”

The first criticisms of the textbook came from the virulently anti-Palestinian and pro-settlement blogger Elder of Ziyon.

Elder of Ziyon’s blog post on the textbook, published on 1 March, urged supporters of Israel to flood McGraw-Hill with emails against the maps, denying, against all available evidence, that Palestinians were ever forcibly expelled from their homes in pre-planned acts of dispossession.

Within hours, the post was republished by The Tower, a self-styled Israel and Middle East-focused magazine and website run by The Israel Project.

TIP is a right-wing pro-Israel lobbying outfit that specializes in crafting and supplying anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim propaganda to journalists and policy makers.

TIP receives funding from major bankrollers of the Islamophobia industry and is headed by Josh Block, former spokesperson for the powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC.

Block gained notoriety for secretly coordinating a smear campaign against bloggers who were writing critically about Israeli government policy.

Independent review?

The Blaze, another right-wing media outlet, soon picked up the story and brought it to the attention of McGraw-Hill, which responded by immediately suspending sales of the textbook pending a review.

Elder of Ziyon celebrated and took credit for the outcome, noting that “the book is being or has been used in courses at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Indianapolis, Western Illinois University, George Washington University School of Business and Marshall University.”

Less than a week later, McGraw-Hill announced it would destroy all copies of the book.

“The review determined that the map did not meet our academic standards,” McGraw-Hill spokesperson Catherine Mathis told Inside Higher Ed, adding, “We have informed the authors and we are no longer selling the book. All existing inventory will be destroyed. We apologize and will refund payment to anyone who returns the book.”

Inspired by anti-Muslim hate group leaders like Robert Spencer, Elder of Ziyon is dedicated to demonizing Palestinians and Muslims, and even argued that the paranoid manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik is “not all crazy sounding – it is scary how sane much of the document seems to be.”

“Some of [Breivik’s] political analysis is actually on target,” Elder of Ziyon stated after Breivik massacred 77 people in Norway, supposedly in an attempt to rescue Europe from what he viewed as the dark forces of Islam and Marxism.

Breivik drew inspiration for his violent ideology from the US Islamophobia industry of which Elder of Ziyon is a part.

Elder of Ziyon conceals his real identity, even when speaking in public.

The textbook’s authors – Mark Boyer, Natalie Hudson and Michael Butler – did not respond to requests for comment.

Asked who carried out the review of the book, Mathis told The Electronic Intifada that it “was conducted by independent academics who determined that the maps were not accurate.”

Mathis did not respond to a follow-up query seeking more details about who carried out the review and how they reached such a conclusion.

As for who pressured McGraw-Hill about the maps, Mathis would only say, “We heard about this from multiple sources.”

Given the highly politicized nature of all discussion related to Palestine in the United States, the definition of who is an “independent academic” would vary widely depending on the perspective of who is making the assessment. And if the “experts” are indeed independent, they should be willing to provide an explanation of how and why they deemed the maps to be inaccurate.

The only way that McGraw-Hill’s credibility can be assessed is with some transparency about the groups or “experts” who made this recommendation.

Otherwise, we are left to assume that McGraw-Hill is effectively burning books to placate the censorship demands of right-wing anti-Palestinian bigots.

Note: Since its creation and the Partition of Palestine in 1947 by the UN, Israel goal was to erase all maps that show  Palestine and the identity of Palestinians.


adonis49

adonis49

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