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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

murder in Israel, scholarships revoked, Rachel Ray the terrorist, links

Pipe bombs or cell phone- Can you tell the difference? Israeli soldiers can’t.

This story makes you wonder how many more like this incident occur that we don’t hear about…

This boy was on a cell phone with a headset at a checkpoint and was shot several times. Israel officially maintains that the boy was a suicide bomber armed with pipe bombs with wires visible. The headlines in Israel for this were that an attack was “thwarted”. Other Israeli reports indicated the incident was an “accident”.

Israel and the US punish the type of people they claim they want running a new Palestinian state.

The New York Times
May 30, 2008
U.S. Withdraws Fulbright Grants to Gaza

Irresponsible moves like this contradict our peace rhetoric. Israel’s interests seem to trump our own in a variety of ways. This is merely one example. Why are we making moderate hardworking Palestinians pay for the crimes of extremists?? Perhaps this is why we don’t hear the voices of moderates (or so the neocons say); they are drowned out by the media recording our and Israel’s tunnel vision that’s focused only on extremists. We refuse to question Israel’s policies, even when they are in opposition to our interests or just plain absurd. Israel tells these students to change their government and then we’ll let you travel, trade, and eat. This is like telling a man stuck in a deep well to climb out and then we’ll give you a rope. Absurd, but why change? It’s been policy for so long…

Let the responsible parties know that you insist that the Fulbright scholarships be reinstated, and that Israel be pressed to allow the awardees to travel:

Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Chair
Ms. Shirley Moore Green 202.453.8189

Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs
Political Affairs Office
Matthew Rosenstock (202) 647-1481

Deputy Secretary of State for Visa Services
Stephen A. "Tony" Edson (202) 647-9584

My letter:
Dear Ms Green,

I was outraged and extremely disappointed to hear that you are revoking the scholarships earned by 7 deserving Palestinian students.

The US claims to support a two state solution, academic freedom, and moderate Arabs. This refusal to help these Palestinians get to the US to study flies in the face of all these noble goals. Support for Israel is popular in the US, but we really need to re-examine our unconditional support, especially when it interferes with our national interests. It is in our best interest to get these moderate, educated Palestinians to the US to study so that they can help build a Palestinian state, learn about our democratic system, and so we can encourage moderate political discourse in the region.

What's more, Israeli officials claimed to be surprised to find that these students received scholarships and couldn't get to the US and were having the earned scholarships revoked. It just feels like we didn't even try to persue any dialogue with Israel on this issue of students leaving Gaza. Even if it is your policy to leave the travel arrangements up to students alone, this is a special case that warrants intervention as it is well known that Gaza is under lock down and conditions in Palestinian areas are difficult in every aspect of life to say the least.

Please make an effort to get these 7 students to the US and to give future students freedom of movement.

Rachel Ray’s a Terrorist!

This shouldn’t even be an issue. Rachel Ray wore a paisley scarf for a Dunkin Donuts ad. Far right or neocon bloggers complained that it looked like a keffiyeh and henceis a symbol of terrorism. At first DD just stated the facts, that the scarf has no meaning and is paisley and was chosen by a stylist, then they pulled the ad under pressure of a right wing boycott. A) It wasn’t a keffiyeh and B) the Palestinian scarf isn’t a symbol of terrorism (all Arabs aren’t terrorists).

And I thought Ann Coulter was an idiot…

This guy has it right. He points out that she wrote a book supporting internment, so that should discredit her as far as rational thought goes.

The head of marketing at Dunkin Donuts is Frances Allen; her e-mail address is

The Dunkin Donuts Customer Care service line: (800) 859-5339. Be patient calling this number, it takes some time to get through.

You can e-mail your concerns to or send a letter to:

Dunkin' Donuts Public Relations Department
130 Royall Street
Canton, MA 02021
Tel: 781.737.5200

My letter:
Dear Ms Allen,

I was encouraged to hear you dispel the rumor that Rachel Ray was wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh.

Then, I was amazed and miffed that you would cave to the extreme far right fearmongers in this country who want us to believe that all Arabs are terrorists. I thought we had come farther in our understanding of Arab culture, but that is apparently not the case. This is aside from the fact that Ray was not actually wearing a hijab, headdress, Arab scarf, etc at all.

I am extremely disappointed because I love Dunkin Donuts (until now), but I regret that you have made a political decision to side with fearmongers and promote fear of Arabs and Islamophobia and so me and anyone that I and many organizations contact will not be buying anything Dunkin Donuts. You could have stuck to your guns (scarf was paisley) and stayed above the fray (remain apolitical), but you didn't.


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