France crackdowns on Free Speech following Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Earlier this month, the world were shocked because  of the attack on Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. The succeeding days were terrifying for French citizens, as two hostages operations were happening at the same time. One resulted with the death of four French Jews in a Kosher market.

The following Sunday, Millions of Frenchmen took the street to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and with Freedom of expression. But of course there were debates about the limits of it.

And in France, there is a limit, you do not touch or mock the Jews. Manuel Valls said it : “You do not confound Freedom of speech with Antisemitism”. Few years ago, a cartoonist from…Charlie Hebdo were fired because he mocked the marriage of Jean Sarkozy (son of then French President) with a Jew.

But that’s to sum it up.

I didn’t mention the very shallow “pens vs guns”, rendering the whole attack an attack on freedom of speech, omitting the context, the American invasion, the French bombings on Iraq. I didn’t mention “The West civilisation loving freedom and the backward Middle East civilisation that could not understand what it is” the shameless debates that happened after the attack. A journalist with too much boldness asked the family of Ahmed, the French Muslim policemen killed cowardly by the extremists. “What did you think about Charlie Hebdo cartoons on Prophet Muhamad ?” Silence were the answer.

I didn’t mention a French speaker that shamelessly blamed Islam on the attack, saying that the Muslims installed “shit” in France. I didn’t mention the dozens of Islamophobic attacks that were barely mentioned in the French Media.

But what happened next is the most interesting, the French government responded to the attack with more surveillance, more “vigilance”, to conclude, less freedom. It arrested dozens of persons following the attack, blaming them for “apologie du terrorisme”, terrorism apologia or justification. Seems great on paper, but it isn’t when the French police questions a 8 years old child.

It consequently jailed dozens of people because of ironic comments on Terrorism and Charlie Hebdo, one notably for France begins jailing people for ironic comments  online.

A 16-year-old high school student was taken into police custody on Thursday and indicted for “defending terrorism,” national broadcaster France 3 reports.

His alleged crime? He posted on Facebook a cartoon “representing a person holding the magazine Charlie Hebdo, being hit by bullets, and accompanied by an ‘ironic’ comment,” France 3 states.

The picture is heartless, but it’s an answer to Charlie Hebdo front page following the massacre of Muslims brothers after Sisi’s coup.

The government crackdown on freedom of speech is very hypocrite, especially for a nation that was proudly celebrating freedom of speech. It is dangerous because it antagonises the Muslims in France, already blamed by the very well-listened Eric Zemmour, that suggested that the Muslim people of France could be very well deported from the country. The crackdown were criticised by Amnesty.

More dangerously, it calls for normal citizens to be vigilant, to observe any “weird” behaviour and report it. The behaviour that could lead to the “Jihadist radicalisation” are on the following picture.

How bad can it get ?

What if a Muslim wanted to have a diet, so he changes “radically” his way of eating, but he also like the traditional clothing of his own country, so he wears it from time to time, what if he stops listening to music because he thinks it’s better off?

After the damage is done it adds. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that a radicalisation is happening, but if you have doubts, call this number ! The official website claims that the extremists comes out from every culture, religion, poor or rich, etc, it washes its hands off the amalgam, stereotype it’s already creating and already creates in the media.

Les jeunes qui ont été endoctrinés et convaincus de partir sont issus de tous les départements, de tous les milieux, favorisés comme défavorisés, urbains comme ruraux, des centres-villes comme des banlieues.

My translation : The youths that are indoctrinated and convinced of going [to Jihad] are from all departments, from all environments [classes], favoured as unfavored, urban as rural, from downtowns as suburbs.

So much for calming down the country’s situation. So much from freedom of speech.

France is transforming into a country where vigilance, the fear of the other, the suspicions, the crackdowns will likely become common language.

Why “American Sniper” won’t get a single dollar from me.

American Sniper is a movie based on the life of Chris Kyle, the “Most Lethal Sniper in US Military history”. Chris Kyle served multiple times in Iraq during the 2003 “War”. He killed 255 persons, 160 of them confirmed.

Iraq war was officially done on the 18th December of 2011. But its destructive repercussions and consequences still continue until today and will probably continue for years.

Here’s a few numbers. 

The Iraq Body Count project (IBC project), incorporating subsequent reports, has reported that by the end of the major combat phase up to April 30, 2003, 7,419 civilians had been killed, primarily by U.S. air-and-ground forces.

In a few weeks, US forces managed to kill 7419 civilians. By the end of the war and because of the consequences of the USA invasion, 105,052 to 114,731 violent civilians deaths (January 2012) were recorded by Iraqi Body Count.

Chris Kyle.

Chris Kyle was a violent killer, he may have killed insurgents and “bad guys” in the eyes of Americans. But these “bad guys” just didn’t like thousands of invaders in their country. The Extremist insurgency, that I completely reject because of its nature, was a natural response to the US invasion and the dissolution of the Iraqi army.

American Sniper is based on the Chris Kyle autobiography called : American Sniper: the Autobiography of the Most Lethal sniper in US Military History. 

Rania Khalek, a journalist, tweeted multiple excerpts from the book revealing the nature of Chris Kyle.

Chris Kyle think that the world is a black and white painting, Civilisation versus Savages, Good vs Bad. Guess where he thought he was standing.

Apparently, Chris Kyle killings were fun. He didn’t think that he was in fact the invader and the insurgents were trying to defend themselves, he was doing GOOD.

Chris Kyle is the great american Hero, he was actually helping Iraqis with all those deaths ! How can they dare to respond when they toppled the other bad guy Saddam!

Chris Kyle also were in a competition to kill more than his other friend sniper.

Where’s the harm in killing more persons when it’s killing bad guys ? Should I add #sarcasm here?

To topple it, Chris Kyle were much of an Islamophobic killer. “Christianism had evolved, Islam did not”

Why should I pay money, sit passively in front of a screen to watch American cow boys killing bad arabs while eating popcorn?

It’s not just a “movie”, it does play in people minds and does send a message. And the message is very clear and very counterproductive. Us vs Them. Civilisation Vs Savages. It does make people want to have fun and kill “Arab Savages”

I won’t even comment those.

Hollywood and the American army liaison. 

If a director or a producer wants to get weapons and warplanes for their movie, all they have to do is ask the Pentagon. The Pentagon will grant them their needs ONLY after reading the entire scrip and making sure that the actual movie doesn’t make the American army look bad. I wonder if American Sniper got the okay from the Pentagon, most probably yes.

The Pentagon liaison officers in Los Angeles primarily provide expertise for films, but they also lend their expertise to television shows, documentaries, and video games. But all their support is conditional. Capt. Russell Coons, director of the Navy Office of Information West, said that his office turns down 95 percent of what comes in.

“Because in most cases it doesn’t represent our core values,” Coons said. “We’re not going to support a program that disgraces a uniform or presents us in a compromising way.”

Generally, the Navy, like the other service branches, will only endorse scripts or productions that showcase U.S. military values that the Pentagon wants to promote: honour, courage and commitment. “Top Gun,” for example, the 1986 film about a cocky young pilot made good, starring Tom Cruise, used Navy crewmen as its pilot and aircrew onboard at least two aircraft carriers, one in San Diego and one in the Pacific Ocean.

The Pentagon acts as a censor even before the filming takes place. If one US citizen wants to criticise his own army while depicting them, he’s going to have a hard time.

Here’s two movies that I recommend though, Full Metal Jacket and Dr Strangelove from Kubrick. Watch the director showing what a war is really about, Nonsense and Absurdity.

Putting myself in Iraqi civilians shoes. 

If I were an Iraqi person that lost members of his family, I would be shocked and I wouldn’t understand. Why do people need to watch heroised killings and consequently think that the Iraq war were that simple ? Why don’t they consider that dozens of thousands of civilians died ? The lives and dreams destroyed ? Why should the Arabs  and people of conscious go watch a movie that transform us into savages ? Why should the invader should be considered as the good guy ?…

My Answer : I don’t know, but that’s why American Sniper won’t get a dollar from me.

Enough with the Shaming of Miss Lebanon : How Israel uses Miss Israel for propaganda.

DISCLAIMER : I do not believe Sally Greige is a spy or a traitor to the nation. I do not also believe that every Lebanese that have relations with an Israeli must be considered as so. 

Miss Lebanon Sally Greige.

There are more important subject than a selfie, even if it does symbolise a lot. Let’s admit that Sally Greige said the truth, that the Israeli miss was trying to take pictures with her but she didn’t agree, so at the end, she “photobombed” herself in and boom. The controversial picture was taken.

“The truth behind the photo [is that] since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel, who tried several times to take a photo with me,” Greige, 25, wrote on Instagram Saturday with a cropped version of the photo that Matalon had posted on Jan. 11. “I was having a photo with Miss Japan [and] Miss Slovenia [when] suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.”

I wouldn’t mind if Sally Greige took a picture with every innocent Israeli woman. But the Israeli Miss represents much more for Israel than ours. I personally believe that the Israeli miss is a tool in the hands of Israel Propaganda. Or famous Hasbara.

Israel always tries to represent itself as a peace-loving country, a welcoming country where all people and “races” are equal in it. But the reality is very far from it. They have multiple “tools” for Hasbara, per example, greenwashing, appearing as a green eco-friendly country to all the people from the world when they contaminate Gaza’s water. Or “Pink-washing”, using the LGBT rights as a propaganda tool to appear very open-minded and welcome all gays (and counter all these backward Middle East countries (sarcasm).

Is Miss Israel a tool in the hands of Israel ? 

I’d like first to introduce you to the ex Israeli Miss. Famously Black. Here’s what David Sheen, an Israeli independent journalist and filmmaker said about her in online newspaper Electronic Intifada.

In February 2014, Aynaw was ferried around the United States in an attempt to improve Israel’s image. She allowed herself, and her dark skin and Ethiopian origins, to be held up as supposed proof that Israel is a post-racial society. But she was not content to “black-wash” Israel’s image with her token success story; she also used her newfound fame to specifically smear non-Jewish Africans in Israel.

Israel is everything but a post-racial society, it is a racist one where asylum seekers that fled war-torn countries are considered as “infiltrators”, where they are rounded up and enclosed in what it is a modern concentration camp. Please watch this video about Israel racism and their persecution of black migrants.

Ex-Miss Israel also played with Israel stereotypes and added.

Even worse, she went on to echo the rhetoric of Israel’s most racist political agitators, characterizing non-Jewish Africans as savage sexual predators: “There’s actually places in Tel Aviv where you can’t walk around because there’s rape and violence,” Aynaw said.

Israeli police statistics show that the crime rate for Africans is considerably lower than that of the Israeli general public.

Aynaw’s tenure as Israeli beauty queen has since elapsed, but her face — and body — continue to be featured prominently in pro-Israel propaganda.

Let’s get back to Matalon.

What if Israeli Hasbara used her to promote itself as a peace-loving country and oppose itself to all these Arab countries that literally try to run away from Israel.

By reading Matalon wikipedia page, something interesting came out.

In December 2011, Matalon gained national publicity after a sex segregation incident on a Jerusalem bus. She said a 45-year-old Haredi man demanded she move to the back of the bus, threatening her and calling her a prostitute, but she refused. The incident was covered extensively by the Israeli media, and she became a symbol of women’s empowerment.[2][3] Matalon pressed charges and the man was later convicted of sexually harassing her.[4]

Matalon may have moved hearts with this story. But isn’t the occasion so beautiful ? Now Israel can use the Miss to make itself appear as against all forms of segregations, including Jewish one. This Rosa Parks-like story I believe is widely used to promote Israel as a feminist country.

Matalon has also served for Israel’s “Defence” Army, you know, the “Army” that killed mostly civilians months ago and removed entire generations of the same families ?

Let’s admit that Sally Greige story is true, Israel photo(bombing) her, (see the irony) wouldn’t be a surprise. Matalon did try multiple times to include herself according to Miss Lebanon. And Matalon picture with Miss Lebanon is a win win situation. Win to make Israel appear as a country of peace and pardon. And win over Lebanon to make Lebanese appear as backward and a peace-hating country. It’s always a great public relation win. Matalon responded to Miss Lebanon with a revealing commentary.

Matalon, 21, responded Sunday, writing on Instagram, “It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you cannot put the hostility out of the game, [in which] only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime [it is] that we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country.”

Reading those words it’s exactly what I tried to explain earlier in the win-win situation. The Peace loving country Israel trying to make peace with the unsurprising Lebanon that loves War.

If Sally Greige did take that picture, and I stress on my following words : We must NOT denounce her as some kind of spy or traitor to the nation. Enough with the shaming.  I am sure that if she did take the selfie, it was innocent. And we do not want to patronise her or “teach” a lesson about what’s right or wrong. Let’s support her by admitting she is a victim in this awful story, and let’s share how Israel Hasbara use their Israeli misses to lie about their true nature.

#JusticeForYves : No more guns in criminal hands.

I read up the story of Yves Nawfal on Elie Fare’s blog. What an awful way to die. To sum the story up, Yves Nawfal and another man, Charbel Khalil, got in a fight for a woman. Now, this happens all the time, even in what you may call “civilised” countries, the difference here is that Khalil had a gun.

The fight, supposedly resolved, continued outside the pub ‘Powder’ in Faraya. Khalil managed to block the road, but it was reopened. Soon after, Charbel, his “pride” hurt, fired on Nawfal’s car with a semi-automatic gun, killing him with 4 bullets.

Charbel isn’t caught, he hid under the wing of a “very influential” figure in Keserwan, a politician. Police searched in Charbel homes, but will they search for the politician that hid him ? I believe the Police already knows who this godfather is and won’t stop this man above the law. Soon, Charbel will probably be out in his jungle playing with his guns. Worse, Charbel already acted the same year last year.

Charbel Khalil did a similar thing to another victim last year and was not arrested for it. He was not thrown in jail, in which case Yves would have still been alive and his mother wouldn’t be grieving now, and social media wouldn’t be seething over such a heinous crime taking place just because the murderer is so influential he could get away with murder.

Also, if there were no guns in these irresponsible hands, I believe Nawfal chance of survival would have been much higher, and both of them, Khalil and Nawfal, would have gone home with few bruises. I want to believe that.

Charbel Khalil is just a sample from politician’s young proteges, I am sure Khalil is just one of the hundreds young adults protected by the political parties above the law, left or right. A protege will always get “cleared” with a very powerful entourage.

Politicians that allow such things, and believe they are above the law, must be stopped by the police. And if the police won’t do it, it is time to reform such forces. “Hey Maybe with new respectable parties!”

Guns must not be allowed in civilians hands, warrant or not. Too much guns are on the hands of people without any valable reason.

I also believe that Justice must be done by the responsible forces, no “manhunt” should be conducted by civilians for the killing of Nawfal.

It is time all those killers and murderers to get in prison.

Yves Nawfal, Rest in Peace, we will remember you.

Your next #BDS target : American Eagle.

This week, it has been reported that Netanyahu received 90% of his last 3 campaign money from US donors,  Buzzfeed, the first publisher of these facts, linked the families with their businesses.

Here’s an excerpt.

Closely following them were the Book family of New Jersey, owners of Jet Support Systems, with four members each contributing $11,000 each, and the Schottenstein family, owners of the American Eagle fashion chain, whose four members donated $10,000 each.

American Eagle is present worldwide and in Lebanon.

It means that our Lebanese pounds directly go to the Shottenstein family pockets. (or through royalties) This money goes back to Netanyahu campaigns, and he doesn’t even have to ask !

“He doesn’t even have to ask and they give,” said one Likud Party campaign adviser, who asked not be named as he was not approved to speak to the media. “Their pocketbooks are always open for Netanyahu.”

For those who don’t know, Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, has in less than 3 years, launched two wars against the already blockaded Gaza. By War I mean indiscriminate areal bombings against civilians, notably during his last war “Protective Edge” where his “brave” democratic army managed to slaughter 500 children.

Should we wait for Netanyahu to launch a war against Lebanon to start boycotting those brands ? Or should we, as citizens of conscience and ethics, fight peacefully against the Israel apartheid ?

I have seen a reaction on Twitter : the person claimed that we should not care about American Eagle, their income wouldn’t shrink considering their worldwide presence, and oh, we should first elect a president ! I don’t know if he has a list of “to-do’s” where he must first checked off the election of a Lebanese president and after that, stand against the vile Netanyahu ?

BDS arms destroying the chains of Apartheid, represented by the West Bank Wall. Courtesy of Latuff.

I guess he thinks that the boycott and BDS mouvement don’t work, but he is very wrong. He must read this list that show explicit advances against Apartheid in Israel for 2014. Here’s the link.

I have also written a call for the boycott of three other active firms in Lebanon, HP, Caterpillar, and Re/Max, the latter is a world-wide real estate company that sell exclusively for Jews in East Jerusalem, illegally occupied since 1967.

I hope American Eagle will at least lose revenues in Lebanon.