Friday, March 09, 2007

International Women's Day in Saudi Arabia:

1. From Tom Gross:
[Note by Tom Gross]


Today, March 8, marks International Women's Day. The mainstream media,
including the New York Times and the BBC, have . true to form, since
they specialize only in skewering the news against Israel and the U.S. .
completely ignored the news that "A Saudi woman who was kidnapped at
knifepoint, gang-raped and then beaten by her brother has been sentenced
to 90 lashes . for meeting a man who was not a relative."

The sentencing earlier this week has been reported by AFP and in Arab
media, including the Khaleej Times (published in the United Arab
Emirates) and the Saudi Gazette. But as far as I can tell the only Western
mainstream media outlets to have covered the story are Fox News and the
Scotsman (a Scottish newspaper). This is despite the fact that most
Western media subscribe to AFP.

The 19-year-old Saudi woman was abducted by a gang of men wielding
kitchen knives who took her to a farm where she was raped 14 times by her
captors. Five men were arrested for the rape and given jail terms
ranging from 10 months to five years by a panel of judges in the eastern
Saudi city of Qatif, near the teenager's hometown.

But the judges also decided to sentence the young woman, identified
only as "G," to 90 lashes. "G" was told by one of the judges that she was
lucky not to have been given jail time. She said yesterday that she
would appeal against her sentence.

The woman told the Saudi Gazette that she tried to commit suicide
because of her ordeal and was beaten by her younger brother because the
had brought shame on their family.

Unrelated men and women are forbidden from interacting in public in
Saudi Arabia, which strictly enforces Islamic Sharia law of a kind many
European Muslims say they would like to introduce in countries like
Britain and France.

* On the official International Women's Day website, there is nothing
about Saudi Arabia, just publicity for the 'Lighting candles for Women
in Palestinian society" event.

* For more on Saudi Arabia see the dispatch "Saudi police ban the sale
of cats and dogs (& Gaddafi's son: Pope must convert)" (Sept. 21, 2006), in which
two of the notes were on a six-year-old girl burned to death in an
"honor" killing in Birmingham, England, and a horrific 12-day gang rape of
a mother and daughter in Pakistan as punishment for the daughter
wanting to go to college.

2. Moonbette Victoria Buch from the Hebrew University had this to say on
Israeli anti-occupation magazine, kibush, hacked by Israeli right-wing

Date: 07 / 03 / 2007 Time: 10:17

Bethlehem - Ma'an -

The Israeli peace movement, Gush Shalom, announced on Tuesday that the
website of 'Kibush', or 'Occupation Magazine' (, had been
attacked by hackers.

The chief editor, Professor Victoria Buch of the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, said in a press release: "We were hacked. Yesterday afternoon
63 articles disappeared - Saturday-Sunday-Monday. Today we had some error
message on the English front page. On the Hebrew front page was a large
Israeli flag, a message - "The website was hacked" with threats and
demands that we leave the country. It seems that our struggle against the
brutality of the occupation is disturbing these people. We fully intend to
repair the site and continue to disturb them even more."

The editors of 'Kibush' believe the "extreme right" in Israel to be
responsible. 'Kibush' is an Israeli online publication, updated daily,
collecting information and commentary in English and Hebrew concerning the
Palestinian occupied territories. In their press release, the editors say
they "share the belief that a viable solution of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict must be based on principles of equality, justice and mutual
respect and an end to the Israeli military occupation."

3. Wall St Journal: March 9, 2007

Hashemite Hokum
March 9, 2007; Page A14
A wag we know recently observed that if only Israel could resolve its
differences with the Palestinians, the solution to global warming would be
found. He meant it as a joke, though at least one prominent Arab leader
doesn't get it.

In a speech Wednesday to a joint session of Congress, Jordan's King
Abdullah made the remarkable claim that "the wellspring of regional
division, the source of resentment and frustration far beyond, is the
denial of justice and peace in Palestine." Solve that, he said, and "hope
to our region's people" could be restored.

This is not the first time such sentiments have been expressed, nor is
King Abdullah the only one who believes them. For decades, conventional
wisdom held that the conflict between Arabs and Israelis lay at the heart
of most of the Middle East's troubles. Does anyone seriously believe that

On Monday, 38 Iraqis were killed and 100 injured by a car bomb in downtown
Baghdad. Apparently, King Abdullah would have us believe that the Sunni
terrorists behind that massacre of their fellow Arabs were registering a
protest against Israel's occupation of the West Bank. Perhaps he also
thinks that the murder in 2005 of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri was
a function of Israeli policies, and not of Syria's desire to dominate its
neighbor. Ditto for the internecine fighting among Palestinians,
repression in Egypt and al Qaeda's efforts to unseat the House of Saud.

Jordan is a friend of America; it played a significant role in killing Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi last year. Too bad its king can't match the
hard-headedness he's shown in private with some candid public speaking
about the real source of the Arab world's woes.

4. The Leftist who Learned:

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