Tag Archives: Hamas

The newest sidewalk in DC has already been victimized

Monday morning, I had to walk around the southeast corner of 19th & N while construction workers poured the newest sidewalk in DC.

By Tuesday morning, their work was mostly complete, yet I couldn’t help but notice that someone had — rather than avoiding the new pavement, like I did — taken the opportunity to share his or her personal opinion with everyone who walks by for the next ~decade:

Continue reading The newest sidewalk in DC has already been victimized

The President of Turkey just told a hilarious joke, Part II

Exactly four months ago, I published a post titled “The President of Turkey just told a hilarious joke“. Here’s how it began:

After VP Joe Biden accused Turkey of having supported many of the forces fighting Bashar al-Assad — including ISIS — that country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily responded, “Turkey has never given even the smallest kind of support to any terror organization.”

That’s the punchline.

The rest of the post was dedicated to chronicling various instances in which Turkey has, in fact, support a terror organization (Hamas). I am now writing to admit that post was a major mistake: It was written under the assumption that, admittedly, Turkey does not support ISIS, but certainly does support “any terror organization”. But then I came across a Newsweek article from November (yes, Newsweek still exists) that suggests I was being silly. Here’s how it began:

A reluctant former communications technician working for Islamic State, now going by the pseudonym ‘Sherko Omer’, who managed to escape the group, told Newsweek that he travelled in a convoy of trucks as part of an ISIS unit from their stronghold in Raqqa, across Turkish border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.

“ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks,” said Omer of crossing the border into Turkey, “and they reassured us that nothing will happen, especially when that is how they regularly travel from Raqqa and Aleppo to the Kurdish areas further northeast.”

It’s certainly worth taking “Omer”‘s allegations with a grain of salt. After all, he is Kurdish himself, and probably has no great love of Turkey. But still, his word against the guy who thinks Muslims Columbused America, and I’ll take the pseudonymous former member of ISIS every goddamn time.

Does Bibi really belong on this list of 21 world leaders who stifle free speech?

Daniel Wickham made recent headlines for contrasting the presence of 21 world leaders at Sunday’s march in Paris with their actual commitments to a free press. He kicked off the litany as follows —

Continue reading Does Bibi really belong on this list of 21 world leaders who stifle free speech?

Egypt may have found the solution to Gaza

Egypt has made a bunch of headlines recently for its decision to clear a buffer along its border with Gaza in an effort to prevent smuggling into (and out of) the coastal territory, and also to fend off further militant attacks in the region (like last week’s attack that killed 31 members of the country’s military).

One reason I’ve seen this story so many times is that some of my friends have used it to suggest that critics of Israel are hypocritical for not speaking out against Egypt’s decision to destroy homes in the fight against terror. But that’s not what interests me about this story –if Israel were destroying houses within its own borders, those critics of Israel would find something else to complain about, but mostly it demolishes homes inside occupied territory (or, as in the case of Gaza, once-occupied territory).

What instead caught my eye here was how Egypt planned to use this buffer in its effort to stem smuggling:

Continue reading Egypt may have found the solution to Gaza

The President of Turkey just told a hilarious joke

After VP Joe Biden accused Turkey of having supported many of the forces fighting Bashar al-Assad — including ISIS — that country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily responded, “Turkey has never given even the smallest kind of support to any terror organization.”

That’s the punchline.

Continue reading The President of Turkey just told a hilarious joke

One final* Arrested Development IRL post

Since the beginning of October, I have written three posts about Arrested Development in real life for no apparent reason. I probably should have collected a few examples and posted them all together, but they generally came up one after the other, I can’t help myself, and that idea didn’t occur to me until just now, so — acknowledgement this post probably doesn’t deserve to exist out of the way — let’s get this over with.

Sometime over the past couple of days, I noticed that McClatchy currently employs a journalist working in Irbil (Arbela), Iraq, who goes by the name of Mitchell Prothero. After I noticed his name the first time, I started noticing it on other articles, as well. But who is he really?

You might be wondering, “Mitchell Prothero. Sounds like a name. What am I missing?”

Continue reading One final* Arrested Development IRL post

Anonymous Daily Show staffer is up to his or her old tricks

Back in July, I noted that an anonymous Daily Show staffer was working behind the scenes to undermine Jon Stewart’s most facile points. In that post, I highlighted the seemingly-unintentional inclusion of an NBC screenshot that revealed the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by Hamas operatives in the West Bank had been killed, which provided certain context Stewart had failed to provide in a widely-shared clip slamming Israel for its activities in Gaza. It was one of this blog’s most popular posts of all time.

Well, I have no doubt that drawing from the same well will help me catch lightning in a bottle a second time. So here’s a breaking story for you: that anonymous Daily Show staffer is back (assuming s/he ever left)!

Continue reading Anonymous Daily Show staffer is up to his or her old tricks

How not to talk about what happened between Israel and Gaza

There are a lot of perfectly legitimate things to say about what happened this summer between Hamas and Israel. This brief post is in no way meant as a guide to the issue — rather, it is a perfunctory identification of the absolute silliest single way to go about holding such a discussion.

Now, given the focus of this post, I do feel the need to preface: I don’t always read the comments — but when I do, I come to deeply regret it.

A recent article on Huffington Post was somewhat of an exception to that rule. The article in question was titled, “Ceasefires in Which Violations Never Cease” — but don’t click yet — and looked really long and predictable, so I didn’t even bother reading it. Instead, I found myself inexplicably scrolling down to the comments section, just to see how the real battle was going.

I stopped reading after about three comments — not because I could no longer take it, but because I felt compelled to share what I found with you all. Focus on the second comment below — what Ethan Shapiro  had to say is largely beside the point:

Continue reading How not to talk about what happened between Israel and Gaza

How disingenuous is Egyptian claim that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is “inhumane”?

Reports the Jerusalem Post:

Egypt: Israeli blockade ‘inhumane’

Egypt’s foreign ministry said that the country’s border with Gaza at Rafah remains open, despite media reports claiming the border was closed with exceptions for humanitarian or aid transfers.

“Since Israeli attacks commenced, Egypt has been adamant in keeping the Rafah crossing open continuously and exceptionally to allow for the passage of people and humanitarian aid convoys and to receive the wounded,” said the ministry in a statement, Ahram Online reported on Sunday.

[A]ccusations that Egypt was keeping the border closed are “in complete contradiction to facts on the ground.” In fact, the ministry said, it is Israel that continues its “inhumane” blockade on Gaza. The ministry demanded the blockade be lifted.

That’s sort of a funny demand from Egypt’s foreign ministry given that, according to the New York Times (and many others not cited here), Hamas’s latest attacks on Israel were really just a proxy fight against Egypt:

Continue reading How disingenuous is Egyptian claim that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is “inhumane”?

Hamas sure knows how to end a cease fire

When I departed for a two-day trip to North Cascades National Park on Wednesday morning, the IDF had pulled out of Gaza, Israel has been rocket free for… was setting new records, and negotiators from all sides were on their way to negotiations in Cairo. Though I spent most of my time on the trail singing תקוף תעשה ביגועים with my brother, I definitely had the sense that Operation Protective Edge was winding down. Onward and upward…

Continue reading Hamas sure knows how to end a cease fire