Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tories cite "anti-Semitism" as reason to ban Lebanese journalist

Tories leader, David Cameron, has pressed the British Government to ban Ibrahim Moussawi, former editor of Hizballah's TV channel Al Manar, from entering the country for an anti-war event.

Moussawi had been invited by the Stop The War Coalition to attend the "World Against War" day in London on December 1. The former Al-Manar editor was also prohibited from participating in an anti-war event in Ireland after the country rejected his entry last month on similar grounds. The Daily Star reports that the US Government pressured Ireland to refuse Moussawi's entry, which outraged the Irish Anti-War Movement, who had organised the event.

Suppression of Hizballah's media affiliates has been a common scene in the Western world, largely attributed to the successful attempt by Jewish lobbies to censor the Shi'ite Party's perspective. In recent years, countries such as Australia, Canada, and the UK have all followed the US in succumbing to the pressure of Jewish lobbies and banning media affiliated with Lebanon's largest and most popular political party.

The Irish decision was the most surprising, as Ireland has long sought the path of diplomacy and dialogue in the Middle East ... so long as that dialogue doesn't take place in Ireland it seems.

If Western governments aim to win the "hearts and minds" of Middle Easterners, then perhaps it would be wise to honour their own words. Hurls of hypocrisy are often the typical response by the Arab world each time the West gives its lecture on democracy, free speech and dialogue... and rightly so. It's a great pity that under the hawkish auspices of George W. Bush, democracy and free speech have become selective, almost hampered within the Occident.
Thank heavens that the internet was invented before Bush came to power.
I wonder what would have become of us simple Western taxpayers had total censorship of information taken place instead of a free world wide web ... perhaps something eeringly resembling the greatly censorsed and closed societies of the Arab and Islamic world?

Censorship has no rewards.

Meanwhile on the topic of racist attacks, here's an example of one that generally goes unnoticed:

Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them

A few weeks ago, a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman in Israel attended a meeting at a government office in Jerusalem's Givat Shaul quarter. When he returned to his car, an elderly man wearing a skullcap came and knocked on the window. When the clergyman let the window down, the passerby spat in his face.

Full story from Haaretz.

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