Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
New, October 2012
Mona Al-Tahawi Arrested for Protesting Hateful Zionist Anti-Islam Advertisement in New York Subway
October 1, 2012
Heroine of Arab Spring arrested in New York
Independent, Alfagr, 9/27/2012 1:53 PM
The prominent US-Egyptian activist Mona El-Tahawy has been arrested in New York for defacing a subway poster that labels Muslims who oppose Israeli policies as "savage".
Ms. El-Tahawy, who has become a prominent commentator since she was viciously beaten by pro-Mubarak thugs during the protests that toppled the Egyptian dictator last year, sprayed pink paint over the billboard until she was led away in handcuffs by police.
Her protest was captured on film by a local news crew. Ms. El-Tahawy can be seen vandalising a poster which reads: "In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." Local blogger Pamela Hall, who writes regular anti-Muslim posts on a number of sites, attempts to stop Ms. El-Tahawy in an exchange which gets both increasingly fractious and comical.
The posters have been criticised as inflammatory because they appear to suggest that any opposition to Israel is somehow both militant and savage. They were paid for by the American Freedom Defence Initiative (AFDI), a right-wing lobby group which gained notoriety last year when it spearheaded the campaign against plans to build a mosque in downtown Manhattan. It is known for its support of Israel.
Even before Ms. El-Tahawy's protest, the advertising campaign had caused controversy. Unlike in Britain, where the rules governing political adverts are significantly tighter, New York generally allows protest posters if the backers have the money to pay for it.
When the AFDI came to them with the new campaign, it was initially rejected by the Metropolitan Transit Authority – which runs the New York subway – on the grounds that the posters violated the agency's policy against demeaning language. But in July a federal judge ruled that the campaign was protected by America's free-speech laws and ordered the MTA to put them up.
This week at least 10 of the posters appeared in subway stations across New York. They come at a time of increasing tension in one of America's most mixed-race metropolises.
In the video of the incident recorded by the New York Post, Ms. El-Tahawy can be seen spraying the poster in pink paint until she is interrupted by Ms. Hall, who is armed with a camera on a tripod. Ms. Hall says: "Mona, do you think you have the right to do this?"
Ms. El-Tahawy responds: "I do actually. I think this is freedom of expression, just as this is freedom of expression." There ensues a cat-and- mouse game with Ms. Hall trying to block the spray.
Eventually two police officers arrive and arrest Ms. El-Tahawy. She was later charged with the offence of criminal mischief and appeared in court yesterday. For a first offence, criminal mischief usually only carries a fine.***
About Mona El-Tahawi
Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and an international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues. She is based in New York.
She is a columnist for Canada's Toronto Star, Israel's The Jerusalem Report and Denmark's Politiken. Her opinion pieces have been published frequently in The Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and she has appeared as a guest analyst in several media outlets.
Before she moved to the U.S. in 2000, Ms Eltahawy was a news reporter in the Middle East for many years, including in Cairo and Jerusalem as a Reuters correspondent and she reported for various media from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China. Ms Eltahawy was the first Egyptian journalist to live and to work for a western news agency in Israel.
Her public speaking has taken her around the world, including to the first TEDWomen where she spoke about the virtues of confusion in breaking stereotypes of Muslim women.
In 2010 the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded her its Special Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver gave her its Anvil of Freedom Award.
In 2009, the European Union awarded her its Samir Kassir Prize for Freedom of the Press for her opinion writing and Search for Common Ground named her a winner of its Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism.
Ms. Eltahawy is a lecturer and researcher on the growing importance of social media in the Arab world. She has taught as an adjunct at the New School in New York, the University of Oklahoma and the U.N.-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Mona was born on Aug. 1, 1967 in Port Said, Egypt and has lived in the U.K, Saudi Arabia and Israel. She calls herself a proud liberal Muslim. In 2005, she was named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow by the American Society for Muslim Advancement and she is a member of the Communications Advisory Group for Musawah, the global movement for justice and equality in the Muslim family.
For speaking fees, write to email@example.com://www.monaeltahawy.com/
Israeli-Zionist Savagery Even in New York Subway Advertisement
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 1, 2012
Who are the true savages?
A recent advertisement in a New York subway station, placed by Jewish fanatics, claimed that Israel represented civility and enlightenment while the Palestinians and other Muslims in general represented savagery, bestiality and primitiveness.
"In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad," read the advertisement.
The claim that Israel represents civility is actually no less than a fornication with truth, history and even language.
Historically, Israel was created by East European savages who invaded Palestine with the help of western powers. The invading Jewish savages murdered the native Palestinians, destroyed their homes, bulldozed their fields and then expelled them to the four winds.
According to Alfred Lillienthal, the late Jewish American writer and author of the Jewish Connection, the early Zionists who originated in Eastern Europe adopted the same fascist traditions that had prevailed in large parts of Europe, including Germany.
Hence, one would exaggerate very little by saying that Israel is a crime against humanity. What else one could say about a state that superimposed itself right upon another people and another nation?
What Israel did to the Palestinians, the original people of the region, is not much different from what the White American settlers did to millions of Native Americans. The white settlers exterminated untold numbers, probably more than ten millions, of these helpless American Indians and then called the genocide "manifest destiny."
In fact this argument was used by Israeli leaders and spokesmen to ward off criticisms of Israeli ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians by some conscientious Americans.
The Americans would retort by arguing that the extermination of the Native Americans was a sorry chapter in American history just like the issue of slavery. However, the US at least sought to rectify some of these unchangeable historical crimes by introducing equality among all US citizens, irrespective of religion and race, something that Israel is yet to do for its citizens.
In fact, despite the striking similarities between America's and Israel's stories, there are notable differences.
Generally speaking, in North America, white settlers didn't build cities, villages and hamlets on the ruins of Native American towns, villages and hamlets. But in Israel, nearly every Jewish town, village or Kibbutz was built on the site of a destroyed and depopulated Palestinian town, village and hamlet.
The full extent of the Palestinian Nakba, or extirpation of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland at the hands of barbaric Jewish invaders from Easter Europe was meticulously documented in Walid Khalidi's marvelous work "All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948."
I have been living under the Israeli rule for more than 45 years and I honestly fail to see any particular sign indicating that Israel is more civilized than other peoples. In fact, there are tons of evidence proving that Israel can be and often is more savage than other nations.
I am not going to cite the biblical code of ethics which most Israeli Jews subscribe to. In the final analysis, it is probably unfair to blame or hold contemporary Jews responsible for "religious" books written more than 3,000 years ago.
However, when these manifestly criminal and nefarious laws are readily adopted and promoted by the Israeli society, there is then more than just a catch-22.
A few years ago, a settler leader came to Hebron to boost the morale of local settlers. She told them that the best way to deal with Palestinians was to murder every man, woman and child.
There are many examples one can cite to prove that the distance between Israel and civility is measured not in kilometers and miles, but rather in light years.
Forget about Jewish and Zionist propaganda, especially in North America, where the black is changed into white, the white into black, the criminals into victims and the big lie into a truth glorified by millions of unsuspecting Americans who consume Jewish lies in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening.
The truth of the matter is that as far as ideology is concerned, Israel and Nazi Germany are like tweedledum and tweedeldee.
The Germans thought they were the "Master Race" whereas Zionist Jews think of themselves as the "Chosen people" which is another way of saying "the master race." Don't get me wrong. Jews and everyone else have a perfect right to think of themselves as the Almighty's children. They may even consider themselves mini-gods. This is not the problem.
The problem arises when these supremacist Jews seek to translate their morbid vagaries and convictions into a venomous political ideology and then act on it.
I recently watched a you-tube featuring a Jewish rabbi, probably affiliated with the influential Chabad cult, saying that it would be perfectly possible for a Jew to murder a gentile in order to harvest his or her organ if the Jew needed one.
The man was not hallucinating or imagining things. He knew what he was saying. According to some interpretations of Halakha or Jewish religious law, the lives of non-Jews have no sanctity.
This is by no means a merely theoretical religious conviction. A few years ago, a Jewish murderer, actually an immigrant from France, decapitated an Arab taxi driver from Eastern Jerusalem. And when the murderer was prosecuted, he told the judge that his neighborhood rabbi told him that he could kill an Arab just like he would kill an animal since the life of a gentile has no sanctity.
Another example of Israeli Zionist Jewish civility is a statement made by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef during a Sabbath homily in West Jerusalem a few years ago.
Yosef, the religious and spiritual mentor of one of the largest political parties in Israel, was quoted by the Israeli press as saying that non-Jews were very much like donkeys and other beasts of burden which the Almighty created solely in order to serve the master race, the Chosen people.
Unfortunately, such statements no longer raise eyebrows in Israel, neither among the political class nor among intellectuals and the intelligentsia, which shows the extent to which fascism and racism are permeating through the Israeli society.
In fact, we could speak hours and hours and hours about Israeli and Jewish savagery, both in theory and practice. A few years ago, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was quoted as saying that "If the Palestinians don't stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand." And, "if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don't stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop."
The same rabbi, who died a few years ago, demanded that the children of Palestinian freedom fighters be hanged in order to inflict maximum emotional pain on their parents.
Now is this Hitlerian nefariousness an expression of civility on the part of Israel and the Jews? Remember Elyahu was a messianic Jew affiliated with the movement known as Gush Emunim as well as a prominent mentor at the Talmudic College in Jerusalem, known as Merkaz Ha'rav. He was by no means a marginal figure.
Rabbis in Israel are considered the crème de la crème of society, so if this is their standard of humanity and morality, one can imagine the type of ethics and civility harbored by the non-religious sectors in Israel.
Unfortunately, in many cases secularist Jews happen to display more humanness and civility in comparison to gung-ho religious Jews who advocate total genocide of Palestinians in what they call "Yeretz Yisrael."
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