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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Will they say it's not about Israel this time too?

A Facebook page calling for March 16 protests demanding the removal of Qatar's Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, because he is an 'agent of Israel,' has garnered more than 18,000 'likes' since being posted last week.
A Facebook page demanding the ouster of Qatar's moderate, pro-Western emir, accusing him of being an agent of Israel, had attracted 18,262 fans by Saturday in the latest web-driven push for change in the Arab world.

In what is apparently the first call for change in the gas-rich state since popular revolts began sweeping the Arab world, the page has a profile picture with an image of Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, crossed out in red.

Against a backdrop of Qatar's flag is the tagline: "For Qatar: try the traitor, an agent of Israel."

Entitled "Freedom Revolution, March 16, Qatar," the page calls on Qataris to hit the streets to demand change."


Among other demands are the exclusion from public affairs of the emir's wife, Sheikha Mouza, and an end to Qatari ties to Israel and the United States, which has a military base in the small Gulf state.

Qatar does not have diplomatic relations with Israel but did maintain informal ties with the Jewish state.

It broke off those ties and closed Israel's trade office in Doha in protest at Israel's offensive against the Gaza Strip over New Year 2009 in which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed.

The page features pictures of Hamad and others with Israeli officials accompanied by angry comments about the emir being a "traitor like Mubarak."
I did not find the Facebook page itself, but I did find this video, which shows some of the pictures.

Let's go to the videotape.

My Arabic is non-existent, but if someone wants to try translating the song, please put it in the comments.

We keep hearing how the uprisings in the Arab world are not about Israel. In fact, that's a point that Egypt's Mona Eltahaway made quite forcefully during her wildly applauded speech at the J Street confab over the weekend. Those claims ignore pictures like this one:

They also ignore the graffiti in Libya referring to Gadhafi the Jew, the demands by Egyptian protesters and potential Presidential candidates to abrogate the Camp David treaty, and the attacks on the Jewish community in Tunisia.

In the Arab Muslim world, it's always about the Jews. Maybe the blatant nature of the protests in Qatar will open the West's eyes to that reality. But don't bet on it.

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At 11:39 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-16-%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B3-%D9%82%D8%B7%D8%B1/188353057854384 is the page, now up to 32,000. I would suspect the site was started by members of the Saudi regime. Not sure anything will happen. I am a member and tracking the group and I have a feeling the protest won't be that big.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its always about the Jews. The Arab World needs an alibi to blame for its failures, for its backward political culture, for its economic stagnation, repression of minorities and inability to progress.

Don't expect popular anti-Semitism to vanish from the Arab World in our lifetime.

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting test case as to how much control the Qatar Emir has over Al Jazeeera....


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