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4 Apr, 2010

The tide will turn only when the U.S. public realises how it is being hoodwinked

Originally Published 04 April 2010

Criticism and defiance of Israel in the global media is becoming increasingly strident, vociferous and vigorous. Once it was clearly taboo, then gradually entered the fringe, moved into the sidelines and has now crossed the border to a full-blown verbal barrage.

This turning of the tide, which usually begins when the public decides that it will no longer be lied to, underscores the fundamental tenets of creating a just and fair new world order – no-one should be above the law, and accountability must be a two-way street..

On 19 March, a commentary appeared in the publication Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (The Middle East) under the brazen headline “Drive the Spies Out of the Arab Gulf.” It was printed exactly two months after the assassination of Palestinian resistance leader Mahmud Al Mabhouh in Dubai by a squad of suspected Mossad agents carrying British, Australian and French passports, as well as those of other countries deemed friendly to Israel.

In the commentary, Saudi writer Muhammad Diyab noted that Dubai Police Chief General Dahi Khalfan Tamim had called on all spies in the Gulf region to leave within the week otherwise they would be pursued by the concerned authorities.

Said the commentary, “General Tamim also said that he was in possession of information about the presence of spies belonging to eastern and western intelligence agencies working in the region. This is something that must have perturbed many of the spies in Dubai, especially in view of the great success achieved by the Dubai authorities in uncovering those responsible for the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, resulting in the exposure of those agents and the end of their viability in this field.

“A spy whose picture is published and whose identity is exposed is no longer useful, and can hardly be used again in this highly sensitive and secretive field.”

Added Mr Diyab, “Therefore we say bravo to Dubai for its warning because nobody wants to see the Gulf region becoming a stage for espionage activity, as this is something that would wreak havoc on the region. Lessons can be learnt from the suffering of the countries that turned a blind eye to what was taking place on their soil with regards to spies having freedom of movement.

“Security in the region must always be on a state of alert in order to block espionage activity, as there is nothing more dangerous than these spies who have their own ambiguous purposes and agenda, and want to bring their conflict with their enemies onto other people’s territory.”

Similar commentaries are appearing in other Gulf newspapers. The warnings should be heeded by media in the Muslim-majority countries of ASEAN, specifically Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, where security authorities are now also expected to be on the lookout for dual-passport holding Israelis either visiting these countries as “tourists” or otherwise posing as businessmen, NGOs, activists, academics, consultants, etc.

These spies have become just as suspect as “Islamic terrorists” in the Western countries.

Another game-changer is the growing defiance of Israel amongst the U.S. academic community and civil-liberty groups.

On March 22, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) issued a statement lauding the decision by the U.S. State Department to end the exclusions of two prominent professors who had been barred from the U.S. because of their pro-Palestinian views.

The academics were Professor Adam Habib, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Advancement at the University of Johannesburg, and Professor Tarik Ramadan, Chair of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had filed separate lawsuits challenging the denial of their visas.

According to the statement, “During the previous administration, the U.S. government denied visas to dozens of foreign artists, scholars and writers, all critics of foreign U.S. policy, without explanation or on vague national security grounds. This practice is known as ideological exclusion.”

The statement said, “After months of negotiations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed orders eliminating the exclusions on Professors Habib and Ramadan, and lifted the ban on their entry to the United States.” Both men have been granted 10 year visas.

The media statement added, “The Obama administration’s decision to restore Professors Habib and Ramadan’s ability to speak in the United States demonstrates a commendable commitment to a free and robust global exchange of ideas. It is also a promising sign that the Obama administration will review other Bush-era cases where people were barred because of their political views and will end the unlawful and un-American practice of ideological exclusion for good.”

The statement quoted Prof Habib as saying: “Secretary Clinton’s decision to end my exclusion is an important one for the advancement of free speech, human rights, and accountable government in the U.S. and globally. It is important that she follow through on this initial step and bring to an end the practice of ideological exclusion.”

Prof Ramadan had accepted a tenured position at the University of Notre Dame in 2004, but the U.S. revoked his visa just days before he was to begin teaching there.

He was quoted as saying: “I am very happy that my nearly six-year exclusion from the United States is finally over. I want to thank all the institutions and individuals who have supported me and worked to end the unconstitutional practice of ideological exclusion over the years. I look forward to my upcoming visit to the United States and the opportunity to once again engage in open, critical, and constructive dialogue with American scholars and intellectuals.”

Prof Habib was due to arrive in the U.S. this week to participate in several university visits including a discussion of ideological exclusion on March 31 at Harvard Law School co-sponsored by the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Prof Ramadan is due to arrive in early April, and will participate in several events including a panel discussion in New York on April 8 entitled “Secularism, Islam & Democracy: Muslims in Europe and the West,” co-sponsored by the ACLU, American Association of University Professors, PEN American Center and Slate.

It is only when the U.S. public begins to realise how badly it has been hoodwinked and misled by the Zionist fanatics in its midst that the tide will really begin to turn. Such a change is now under way big time.