Posts Tagged ‘speech’

The Comic Genius of Netanyahu

September 29, 2009

Middle East Online, Sept 29, 2009

Nearly every offensive remark he makes about Iran and Palestine can be flung back in his face because Israel is no better and in most respects far worse. Netanyahu’s speech to the UN was the most hilarious example in history of the pot calling the kettle black, notes Stuart Littlewood.

Knowing that Iran won’t surrender its right to civil nuclear power, the schemers in Tel Aviv and Washington were bound to mount a hysterical campaign to scare the rest of the world into believing this would bring terror to our own streets.

And at the United Nations we saw the process swing into action as Netanyahu tried to whip up support for another Middle East war for Israel’s benefit.

Continues >>

Stunt to Silence Meaningful Debate on Racism

April 29, 2009

Nobody has explained what was offensive about the Iranian president’s speech. He presented the unvarnished truth. The offence was refusing to listen, says Stuart Littlewood.

Middle East Online,

First published: April 22, 2009

The truth never suits Israel’s flag-wavers and stooges. They have to twist it or strangulate it.

When Mr Ahmadjinedad got up to speak at the UN racism conference the British Ambassador, Peter Gooderham, was among those who walked out in the worst show of diplomatic bad manners this century. Gooderham is reported to have said that “such inflammatory rhetoric has no place whatsoever in a United Nations conference addressing the whole issue of racism and how to address it.

“As soon as President Ahmadinejad, started talking about Israel, that was the cue for us to walk out. We agreed in advance that if there was any such rhetoric there would be no tolerance for it.” Referring to the Iranian leader’s accusation of Israeli racism he added: “That is a charge we unreservedly condemn and so we had no hesitation at that point in leaving the conference hall.”

TV inquisitor Jeremy Paxman asked Gooderham the difference between Zionism and racism, to which he replied that Zionism is a political movement and racism is something else – we recognise it when we see it.

The trouble is, these dummies don’t recognise it at all. Nor are they daily on the receiving end, as the Palestinians are, of Israel’s brutal racist policies. Nor were they under Israel’s genocidal blitzkrieg on Gaza that vaporized and incinerated women and children in their hundreds and blew their body-parts to kingdom-come.

Everyone knows that the Zionist project aims to create a Jewish state from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Euphrates to the Nile by ethnically cleansing the Arab population from their homeland, stealing their lands and resources at gunpoint, and effectively wiping Palestine off the map. If that isn’t naked racism, what is it? Haven’t Mr Gooderham and his colleagues read the manifestoes of the Likud and Kadima parties?

The question is, why do supposedly moral and civilized people support it and seek to perpetuate it?

Right on cue David Miliband, Britain’s foreign secretary, condemned President Ahmadinejad’s remarks about Israel being a ‘racist government’ as “offensive, inflammatory and utterly unacceptable.” He didn’t say why.

Indeed, nobody has explained what was offensive about the Iranian president’s speech. He presented the unvarnished truth. The offence was refusing to listen. But truth has been a major casualty at the UN for 60 years. It doesn’t help when its Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, whines about “this august platform” being used “to accuse, divide and even incite. This is the opposite of what this conference seeks to achieve.” And what exactly are the powers-that-be seeking to achieve, if not to whitewash the truth as usual?

Last November’s Bulletin Board of the Board of Deputies of British Jews – the equivalent in Britain of AIPAC – announced that Elizabeth Harris, their Director of Public Affairs, attended the “preparatory committee” meeting in Geneva for the Anti-racism Conference and used the opportunity to have “constructive” meetings with the British Ambassador and representatives of other European countries. No doubt that’s when the stooges received their orders.

So the walkout at the UN had long been premeditated and pre-planned. It was a stupid stunt.

The biggest disgrace is that racist thugs in Tel Aviv are able orchestrate such a thing. It is now self-evident that Zionists have infiltrated and embedded themselves in the political, financial, economic and social fabric of the western world to everyone else’s detriment.

Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation.

Obama accepts Democratic nomination

August 29, 2008

Al Jazeera, August 29, 2008

Obama said voting for McCain would mean four more years of Bush’s policies [AFP]

Barack Obama has accepted the US Democratic presidential nomination, promising to end what he calls the “broken politics of Washington” if elected president.

The first black presidential nominee from a major political party in the US made a stinging attack on George Bush’s policies, in a speech to 84,000 supporters at a sports stadium in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday.

And he went on the attack against his Republican rival, John McCain, reiterating warnings that voting in the Arizona senator would mean four more years of the policies of the Bush administration.

“John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 per cent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush was right more than 90 per cent of the time?

“I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a 10 per cent chance on change,” the Illinois senator said.

Amid fireworks and confetti, Obama was joined onstage afterwards by his wife, Michelle, and two daughters, along with Joe Biden, his running-mate, and his family.

But McCain immediately hit back following the speech, with his campaign issuing a statement saying Obama was not ready to become president.

“When the temple comes down, the fireworks end, and the words are over, the facts remain: Senator Obama still has no record of bipartisanship, still opposes offshore drilling, still voted to raise taxes on those making just $42,000 per year, and still voted against funds for American troops in harm’s way.”

Detailed speech

Obama paid tribute to his former rival, Hillary Clinton, and her husband, Bill Clinton, the former president, in a push for party unity early in his speech as the Democrats gear up for the battle for the White House on November 4.

In focus

In-depth coverage of the US election

Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds said the speech contained a level of detail that would satisfy those who have been complaining that Obama’s speeches are full of high-flown rhetoric, but lack specifics.

Obama spent a large of his speech addressing what many polls suggest is the greatest concern among voters: the economy.

He said the “economic turmoil” highlighted by soaring home foreclosures, plummeting house values and rising fuel prices was “not all of government’s making”.

“But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed presidency of George W Bush,” he said.

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said the speech was progressive by US standards.

“He made sure that he is in no way mentioned as an African-American.  This was an American speaking to other Americans.  Colour was not part of this event.  It was nuanced,” Bishara said.

Details of change


Full text of Obama speech

Spelling out what changes he would make as president, Obama promised to “cut taxes for 95% of all working families” and “finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East” in 10 years.”Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and by the way John McCain has been there for 26 of them.

“And in that time, he’s said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. Today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Saying he would tap the country’s “natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power”, Obama also promised to invest $150bn over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels.

But he also said that there needed to be “a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us … each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient”.

On defence and security – considered by many to be McCain’s strongest policy area – Obama said he was ready to debate McCain on “who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander-in-chief”.

“For while senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face,” he said.

The Democratic candidate spoke in front of 84,000 supporters [GALLO/GETTY]

“And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learnt that Iraq has a $79bn surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.”If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice but it is not the change that America needs.”

Obama said he would “end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan”.

“But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons… And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once more the last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.”

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