May 05, 2015

Blair speaks up for Ehud Olmert, the "former Labor leader"

I'm worried about this.  The Jerusalem Post has reported that Tony Blair has written to the court dealing with Ehud Olmert's sentencing for corruption.  According to the Post' report Blair,
pleaded for the former Labor leader not to serve any jail time.
I'm not aware Olmert was a Labour leader of any kind.  Have I misread?  Did they mean that Blair pleaded for himself not to serve any jail time? Or maybe they mean Kadima.  Or maybe they mean that Israel's Laborites have been led by Likud for some decades now.  Or maybe when he led Kadima he was technically Labour's leader.  But then if it's all down to technicality, does Israel even have a party called Labour or Labor?

UPDATE: Round about 11:50 am  I noticed the reference to "the former Labor leader" had been removed.  I searched for a cache version but they seem to have been faffing around with the article so much google cache couldn't keep up.  Anyway now they've overhauled the article completely.  The curious thing is that the page seems to have gone through at least three changes since I first posted at 9:40 and yet there is no mention of any update and the date and time say 5/5/2015 10:07.  Funny people.

Ms Lauryn Hill regrets...

So Ms Lauryn Hill has cancelled a second engagement on her tour. The first was Nigeria and the second is Israel. Here's how she announced the Nigeria cancellation.

And following the link we see this:
Hello Lagos, Nigeria! We are disappointed to report that we will not be performing at tonight’s concert. From our end, we did everything we were supposed to do, including waiting at the airport for many hours, ready to fly out and share the evening with you. Unfortunately, after much effort, the promoter was not able to get all of our travel arrangements taken care of. This prevented us from being able to fly into Nigeria in time to make the concert. We were all very excited to come, and very disappointed that we couldn’t make this one. HOWEVER, we are working to reschedule our appearance ASAP. From what we’ve been told, the promoter intends to honor all tickets sold. Our best to and for Lagos. Love and Blessings!
Well we see that after scrolling down the home page.  The link to that section and its "notes" is actually here.

So now the tweet about Israel:

See that?  Nope?  That's because there is no tweet about the cancellation of her planned Israel gig.

Ok, so let's see the website:
Dear Friends and Fans in Israel,
When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
I don't want to be the party pooper here because I know many people are excited by this but her statement could have been written by John Kerry.  She doesn't mention Palestine, the occupation, zionism, racism, war, segregation, apartheid, refugees, Gaza or ethnic cleansing.  It's just some vacuous statement about her Israeli and Palestinian fans.  Oh, but it's headed as an address to her Friends and Fans in "Israel".  I guess career imperatives prevent her from even lying about having Palestinian friends let alone actually having them.

To be clear this cancellation is some kind of success for BDS but we need these celebs to openly refuse to perform for Israel because it is a pariah state, an illegitimate entity, not because performing for such an entity might be misconstrued by some friend or fan.

May 03, 2015

No sects please, we're Pakistani

Just an excuse for a catchy headline. I saw this on the Angry Arab News Service:

Sect in Pakistan

From S in Pakistan: "re: your blog on the new Hajj visa form. 

Pakistanis routinely add their religion to their CVs when applying for 
a job.  Private schools ask parents for the religion of the students.  The form I saw recently for applying for a teacher's position in govt schools in Punjab asked the religion of the applicant.  The final paperwork for  submitting a PhD thesis at Punjab University asks for religion.  

Pakistani Muslims have been happy enough to ask for or provide religious affiliation when it benefited Muslims and gave them preference and advantage over Christians or other communities.  

Then they are shocked, just shocked, when someone asks about sect."
The original article on the "Are you Shia?" issue is here.