Kamel Daoud, the bootlicker of Algeria

Kamel Daoud (Ferhat Bouda:Agence Vu for the NYT)

Every society has its bootlickers & grovelers who play to the dominant cultures or classes. So it’s no surprise that a few Muslim women have rebuilt flailing journalistic careers by trashing the veil & damning women who wear it as oppressed by man & Islam. It’s not that they miss the point of Islamophobia so much as they want to cash in on it. Scoundrels on the make are a dime a dozen everywhere. Hustling is much more lucrative than standing ground against prejudice.

Groveling is always an unseemly thing to witness–it’s as if you catch someone picking their nose or their butt at a banquet. But an Algerian writer named Kamel Daoud, drawing from a cornucopia of Islamophobic cliches, has taken it to new lows with his recent NY Times article titled “The Sexual Misery of the Arab World.”

In an article that could be generic about any country–given the problems of misogyny in the modern world–Daoud wrote: “…one of the great miseries plaguing much of the so-called Arab world, & the Muslim world more generally, is its sick relationship with women. In some places, women are veiled, stoned & killed; at a minimum, they are blamed for sowing disorder in the ideal society.”

It’s colossal presumption to sexually psychologize just one country–even a little country like Iceland or Ireland or the UK; if you psychologize a big country with lots of time zones, you take the risk of exposing yourself as a jackass. But that didn’t stop our man Daoud from sexually psychologizing the entire Arab world & all of Islam. How many countries is that? How many continents? How many different cultures & languages? How many billions of people?

Daoud is a two-bit hustler, a man on the make, a man who trembles before power. Grovelers are so busy kissing ass they don’t dare look up to meet the gaze of their masters. So the NY Times didn’t sweat for publishing his tripe because it is the kind of crap that sells killing fields in the Middle East, that justifies Israeli apartheid, that rationalizes genocides against Muslims like the Rohingya of Myanmar & several other pogroms against Muslims, that salves the conscience of barbarians who bomb millions of people & then turn them away as refugees.

What he lacks in originality he’ll make up for in honoraria. The groveling will pay off for Daoud. Every time he drools this kind of crap, it’ll get published. If he keeps pumping out this rubbish, he’ll be touted as a great writer & become a literary icon. It’s the lazy-assed way to fame. And the fast-track path to shame.

(Photo is Kamel Daoud posing as pensive, coming across as vacant. By Ferhat Bouda/Agence Vu for the NY TImes)

BDS India convention

BDS India convention

I am so honored to be invited to send a solidarity message to the BDS India convention this coming Sunday in New Delhi–honored & humbled to be part of building international unity in support of Palestinians. It’s one of the most important struggles of our era, in large part because of the intransigence of Palestinians in resisting colonialism.

If you live near New Delhi, please consider joining activists in charting a political program of solidarity.


A chance to support cultural boycott of Israel


Time to swing into action again for the political education of Bruce Springsteen who is slated to play Tel Aviv next July. It’s unclear if a contract has been signed yet but the venue is booked & it’s apparently in the works.

We want to give artists every chance to do the right thing. So we are not bullying them so much as educating them with a blunt instrument: information.

Jewish Voice for Peace has created an Action Sprout petition calling on Springsteen & the E Street Band to not play Israel. You can make a comment on the petition at this link: https://actionsprout.io/7C880E/thanks

A picture worth a thousand Israeli lies about the expropriation of Palestinians

Nablus, WB (Jaafar Ashtiyeh:AFP:Getty) Mar 4 2016

This picture is worth a thousand lies–which is at least the number pumped out daily by Israel & media to justify Israeli apartheid. How ever will the Israeli military explain it away? Did those Israeli soldiers shoot the unarmed boy? Will they claim the Palestinian man rushing to help the injured boy was brandishing a knife? How do they explain pointing assault weapons at unarmed people?

But in a rare moment of honesty, the Guardian-UK acknowledged without equivocations that the boy was injured by Israeli soldiers during a protest “against the expropriation of Palestinian land” near Nablus, West Bank.

This picture is the unvarnished reality of military occupation & expropriation.

Build & honor the economic & cultural boycott (BDS) of Israel. Buy nothing with a barcode beginning 729.

(Photo by Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty)

(A Facebook album showing the brutality of this encounter & putting the lie to the Israeli claim that Palestinians use their children as human shields: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1563462880631686&id=100009039664905&comment_id=1563489087295732¬if_t=mentions_comment&hc_location=ufi)

Tulip beds & news blackouts on the Indian occupation of Kashmir

Dal Lake (Farooq Khan:EPA) Mar 4 2016

If it weren’t for the relentless efforts of Kashmiri activists on social media, most of us wouldn’t know anything about the Indian occupation of Kashmir because of the decades-long news blackout. (It is also true that social media has been key to education about the Palestinian struggle & to building solidarity.)

The slight, though skewed, increase in reporting about Kashmir is surely because media has to present a propaganda brief to counter information coming from activists. Indian prime minister Modi’s new buddy-buddy relationship with Mark Zuckerberg & periodic shutdowns of the internet in Kashmir are part of attempts to keep the world ignorant about the occupation. India & several other countries have a lot invested in that occupation.

In researching the considerable environmental problems caused by the Indian occupation of Kashmir (renowned for its natural beauty), one finds the occupation frequently called a “civil war” or a conflict “between separatist Muslim militants & Indian forces.” In the modern world, the term “Muslim militants” is intended to evoke images of terrorists, Al-Qaeda, & ISIS & immediately tunes out political curiosity or solidarity. What’s remarkable in even progressive journals is how little interest is expressed in investigating what’s going on.

This is a photo from the Guardian-UK a couple days ago. The caption reads, “Srinagar, India: A gardener works in the tulip garden on the banks of Dal Lake. The tulip season, which usually starts at about 21 March, has already begun.” Such a charming photo; it would be so appreciated in any number of gardening magazines. But when you investigate the wrenching conflict between Kashmiris & the Indian military around Dal Lake & the profligate environmental destruction of its beauty (especially through deforestation) & the forcible relocation of local residents, this charming little tulip bed becomes another place to bury the truth.

End the Indian occupation of Kashmir!

(Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA)