CLOVIS MAKSOUD DID IT TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPEARING WITH SHIMON PERES
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CLOVIS MAKSOUD DID IT TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPEARING WITH SHIMON PERES

June 11, 2001

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6/11: Those who know Raghida Dergham know what she is, and its certainly not a truly independent journalist. She's been an opportunist for a very long time, and she's used her sexuality to climb the ladder with backing from one influential Arab diplomat or royal along the way for a long time now. And those who know "Al-Hayat" know what it is -- one more of many "client newspapers", this particular one owned and controlled by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. And we all know what that is!

And the real record of the Committee to Protect Journalists isn't all that great either. A very American establishment group handing out glitzy awards that constantly buttress American policies and attitudes just at the most opportune politically correct moments; that's the CPJ. Thinking back where was the CPJ when Abbie Nathan, "The Voice of Peace", was imprisoned in Israel for "talking with the enemy". And even today where is the CPJ when it comes to Mordechai Vanunu, now 15 years languishing in an Israeli prison for acting as the key source for the London Sunday Times about one of the most important stories ever to come out of the Middle East -- Israel's possession of nuclear weapons and the ramifications for the region and the future.

Lawyers in the U.S. often look for test cases, using them to challenge the courts to deal with unconstitutional and unjust laws. In doing so they try to find defendants who are on their face as solid and upstanding as can be. That's what makes for good "test cases". The CPJ should have done something similar before coming to the defense of Dergham and Al-Hayat under all the circumstances involved which, simply put, do not make for a very sound "test case" in this arena.

Yes we realize that good p.r people, like good lawyers, will find ways to answer these questions and will try to spin away all these considerations under the large veil of the simplistic slogan "freedom of the press". But if they were truly interested in "freedom of the press" in the Middle East they would have long ago handled themselves differently, they long ago would have championned other less well-known and far more needy persons and organizations, long ago shown themselves to be much more sophisticated rather than so simplistic when talking about "independence" and "press freedom" in today's Middle East context.

In this particular case Dergham didn't just appear on a panel with Israelis, she participated in a panel sponsored by the Jewish/Israeli lobby which set up and controls the "Institute" where she spoke. And she didn't just appear with an Israeli journalist or anyone of independent stature. She appeared with one of the very men responsible for the rape and torture of Lebanon by Israel (and the U.S. of course), the very man who represented the Israeli military assault and occupation of her country for a generation. Dergham knew all this, CPJ should have known all this -- but conveniently these crucial facts and considerations are either totally overlooked or largely downplayed.

But even so, with all this said, the way the Lebanese authorities are handling this situation with Dergham demonstrates the continuing backwardness and confusion that still governs in the Arab world in the new millenium, just as in the old. It's a terrible "test case"...but even so it should be dropped and Dergham should go about her business, preferably put in context by other real journalists who should tell us much more often who is really whom and who owns and controls what.

And there's another good reason for the Lebanese to drop this matter as well. About twenty years ago at a time when he was greasing his way as a "journalist", Clovis Maksoud, himself Lebanese and soon to be Arab League Ambassador in the US, appeared with non other than Shimon Peres on an international panel discussion through tv hookup in front of a big Washington audience. Maksoud, who now continues to grossly manipulate Arab Americans partly through control of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), is himself a shady and untrustworthy fellow; but for sure no one in Lebanon ever grabbed his passport and brought him up on charges of "treason". Moreover, Arab diplomats and "journalists" of various sorts have actually helped the very same Israeli lobby Institute in various ways ever since its founding in 1983 -- with non other than Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin-Sultan and former Egyptian Ambassador Maher at the very top of this particular list.

So, it's a complicated world out there -- one of many halls of mirrors, misleading Institutes, on-the-take personalities, and propaganda outlets masquerading under the "freedom of the press" slogan.

Here's last weeks CPJ Press Release about all this:

CPJ CONDEMNS MILITARY TRIAL OF LEBANESE-AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT RAGHIDA DERGHAM ACCUSED OF "DEALING WITH THE ENEMY"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 5, 2001 - The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) today condemned the military trial of a New York-based Lebanese reporter who has been charged with "dealing with the enemy" because she participated in the same panel discussion as an Israeli official.

Dergham, the New York bureau chief for the London-based daily Al-Hayat and a noted commentator on Arab affairs, is being tried in a Lebanese military court. A warrant is currently out for the Lebanese-American citizen's arrest, and she has been declared a fugitive. She did not appear at the first trial hearing in Beirut on June 1.

The charges against Dergham stem from her participation in a May 19, 2000, panel discussion sponsored by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, D.C. The panel included Uri Lubrani, formerly the Israeli government's coordinator of activities in southern Lebanon. The discussion focused on Middle East politics, with special reference to Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

CPJ has learned that the military indictment accused Dergham of being "a participant as a journalist in a debate that was arranged by a member of the enemy at the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy." It added that "her act constituted a crime based on Article 278 of the Penal Code."

At the June 1 session, the military court adjourned until November 30 in order to give Dergham the opportunity to appear before the court, Agence France-Presse reported. CPJ's sources argue that the ongoing harassment of Dergham, including these latest charges, is a response to her critical coverage last year of Lebanon's ongoing dispute with the U.N. over the demarcation of the Lebanese-Israeli border.

"These charges are absurd," said CPJ Middle East program coordinator Joel Campagna. "We view the treason case against Dergham as part of a pattern of state harassment intended to punish an independent journalist for doing her job. The government of Lebanon has shown contempt for press freedom and the free public debate that is essential in a democratic society. The charges should be dropped, and Dergham should be free to work without further harassment."

On June 19, 2000, one month after the Washington panel, Lebanese authorities seized Dergham's Lebanese passport when she arrived at Beirut Airport with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was on a tour of several Middle East countries. When the passport was returned before her scheduled departure the following day, it had been cancelled. The cancellation stamp stated specifically that the passport could not be renewed without the approval of the General Directorate for Internal Security.

Security officials gave no reason for their actions at the time, but later announced that Derghan had violated Lebanese law prohibiting contacts between Lebanese citizens and Israelis. CPJ protested the harassment of Dergham in a July 7 letter to Lebanese president Emile Lahoud. Later that month, Lebanon's ambassador to the U.N. informed Secretary General Annan's office that President Lahoud had reversed the cancellation of Dergham's passport. But Lebanese officials recently refused to grant Dergham a new passport on the grounds that the ban was still in effect.

* The Committee to Protect Journalists is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense of press freedom everywhere.


June 2001


Magazine



TURKEY HEADING TOWARD "SOCIAL EXPLOSION"...i.e., "REVOLUTION"
(June 30, 2001)
In geostrategic and military terms, the unnamed U.S.-Israel-Turkish military alliance that emerged full-blown during the last decade -- of course with the Turks using the "peace process" as the excuse for such close relations between Turkey and Israel -- was one of the most important developments.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTIONS EMERGING
(June 29, 2001)
In a sense there is an arms race under way at this time of a different kind -- a race for whether weapons of mass destruction will be used in a serious and ongoing way should a new war break out first in the Subcontinent over Kashmir or in the Middle East over Palestine.

LABOR AND LIKUD MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT - MER FLASHBACK
(June 29, 2001)
Long before what was to happen with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (remember him?), MER was informing who he really was and what to really expect. Same with regard to Shimon Peres. Expect the same cutting-edge information and analysis in the months ahead.

Washington Scene: THE HISTORICAL MOMENT
(June 27, 2001)
The Middle East region totters now between further repression and oppression, terrorism and war. The outcome in the short term is indeterminate of course. But the winds and directions are clear; however much camaflouged by the politicians and the usually gullible mass media.

THREATCON DELTA ORDERED TODAY
(June 22, 2001)
One day they will probably get Osama bin-Laden, former confident of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia, former CIA asset against the once mighty Soviet Empire, now arch nemesis of the American Empire.

"ALGERIA IS IN CRISIS"
(June 22, 2001)
"The Battle of Algiers" left North Africa biggest country terribly bloodied and traumatized. This time it was French imperialism and the French military that did the dirty horrifying deeds.

EGYPT ARMING WHILE REGIME IS SHAKING
(June 21, 2001)
Arab States, including Egypt, are arming at a growing pace. Even combined they are still no match to defeat Israel. But their detterence capabilities are growing, they might be able to seriously bloody Israel in years ahead...

ARAFAT'S FLUNKIES
(June 20, 2001)
There are many reasons the Palestinian people are suffering so terribly, worse by the year in fact, and are now endangered by the possibility of a second "nakba" (disaster).

"THE SECOND HALF OF 1948"
(June 20, 2001)
Official declarations and many reports in the Israeli media indicate that the Israeli military and political leadership are aiming, eventually, at a total destruction of the Palestinian authority, and, with it, the process of Oslo, which is now dominantly considered by them a 'historical mistake'.

TELEGRAPHING WHAT I S TO COME
(June 19, 2001)
Arafat had two roles he had been assigned. That's why none other than former "terrorist" Arafat was the most frequent visitor to the White House during the years 1993 through 2000.

SHARON'S LONG MARCH: NEXT TO WASHINGTON THEN TO THE ATTACK
(June 19, 2001)
Ariel Sharon is proving what others before him, including Generals Patton and MacArthur of American legend, learned about modern warfare. There's a heavy messure of political theatrics and personal legend involved in making war, more so now than ever in this age of instant TV and the Intenet.

SHARON Coming To US Again To Coordinate War Plans
(June 19, 2001)
Sharon is coming to the States again next week. Only a firm "absolutely not" from the Americans is likely now to prevent much further brutal subjugation of the Palestinians; quite possibly the exiling again of Yasser Arafat.

SON OF IMPORTANT ISRAELI FAMILY REFUSES OCCUPATION MILITARY SERVICE
(June 17, 2001)
Coordinated non-violent but serious civil disobedience -- there in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the United States -- that is what today's situation desperately calls out for.

ARIEL SHARON - WAR CRIMINAL?
(June 15, 2001)
Years ago the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, was brought before a mock international court through a joint effort of Home Box Office (HBO) in the USA and a major British TV network. The question before the court was whether Kurt Waldheim was possibly guilty of war crimes ...

PREPARING FOR DESTRUCTION
(June 15, 2001)
"If a cease-fire does indeed take hold, then all the better... If Arafat rejects the document or professes to accept it, but does not fulfill his part of the bargain, Israel will win more points in the court of world opinion and a more conducive political backdrop will be created for a military response to Palestinian violence."

ALGERIANS FIRE INTO DEMONSTRATING CROWDS TODAY
(June 14, 2001)
The Berbers in Algeria, the brutal civil war in Sudan, the Palestinians in the once Holy Land, the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, the ongoing Kashmir crisis -- all conflicts exploding throughout the greater Middle East region today in 2001, all conflicts the legacy of Western colonial policies of yesteryear and American imperial policies of today.

MARCH TO WAR CONTINUES: ISRAEL WARNS IRAN AGAIN
(June 14, 2001)
There are major historical and military reasons why Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton (representing of course huge constituencies who at the time pushed them to pursue the policies they did) pressed Yasser Arafat so hard to sign an agreement at Camp David.

THE SO-CALLED "AGREEMENT"
(June 13, 2001)
There is no real "agreement". There is a dictate. Yasser Arafat is in no position anymore to do much other than what his American handlers tell him to do; a day of reckoning he brought on himself by so many mistakes and so much corruption over such a long time.

Another Muslim Rep Foolishly Plays To The Cameras On Behalf of the Regimes
(June 13, 2001)
A week ago outside the State Department one of the latest Muslim organization reps to grab for the cameras -- Khalid Turaani -- declared in loud tones how the time had finally come for "civil disobedience" and how he and the other leaders of the assembled Muslim "client organizations" were going to get arrested in a peaceful protest ...

HASHEMITE KINGDOM CLOSES BORDERS TO PALESTINIANS
(June 13, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime has always, right from the start, been in deep collusion with the Israelis and since World War II with the CIA. This latest step to close off Jordan to Palestinians -- to essentially put a seal on the jar which now contains the Palestinians ...

CIA TELLS ARAFAT WHAT HE HAS TO DO AND WHAT IT WILL DO FOR HIM
(June 12, 2001)
When the Director of the CIA is himself involved so extensively, goes on site half way around the world for a lengthy stay, and the situation is so critical he has to publicly acknowledge his role ...

CLOVIS MAKSOUD DID IT TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPEARING WITH SHIMON PERES
(June 11, 2001)
Those who know Raghida Dergham know what she is, and its certainly not a truly independent journalist. She's been an opportunist for a very long time, and she's used her sexuality to climb the ladder with backing from one influential Arab diplomat or royal along the way for a long time now.

CALAMITY AHEAD
(June 10, 2001)
"A whole nation is now huddled around one tribal bonfire to lament its bitter fate, mourn its dead and ignore the dead of the other side. As usual, it views itself as the victim, turns the enemy into Satan and waits, inactive and bravely unthinking, for the calamity that is about to befall it and for which it is in no small measure to blame."

WAR POSSIBLE WARNS TOP SAUDI
(June 10, 2001)
Normally one of the last places one would turn for truthfulness, integrity, and information would be the Saudi royal family. Currently headed by a former playboy who drank, gambled, and womanized his life away in Beirut and London -- before assuming the throne -- it is the Saudi "royal family which epitomizes the "client regime" realities that have so fractured, weakened, and prostrated the whole region once known as "the Arab world."

CHRISTIAN LEADERS: WRONG TIME, WRONG ADVICE, WRONG REASONS
(June 8, 2001)
"Be assured of our prayers for you and the President and all others in the Administration as you seek to forge a fair and just policy for the two peoples and three faiths who share a common religious heritage in the land we hold as holy."

THE CRUEL REGIMES OF ARABDOM
(June 7, 2001)
There are huge cultural gulfs between East and West, old world and new world. And of course the West is extraordinarily dominant these days not only it terms of financial and military might, but also in terms of cultural influence and "moral" standards.

SHARON'S RISE
(June 7, 2001)
"In reality the Zionist and Hashemite leaderships continue to plot how to control and repress the Palestinians in ever more crafty and ever more duplicitous ways."

ARAFAT 4 YEARS AGO - MER FLASHBACK
(June 6, 2001)
Last year MER first carried information about the increasingly close CIA, Shinbet, and Mossad connections with Yasser Arafat's "Palestinian Authority".

MUSLIM ORGS EMBARRASS THEMSELVES AT STATE DEPT
(June 5, 2001)
With much press fanfare (they just love to play to the cameras) leaders of half a dozen Muslim American groups held a press conference gathering across from the State Department today.

DESPITE THE LULL, WAR CLOUDS LOOM
(June 4, 2001)
Despite the lull, there are many ominous signs of impending major attacks against the occupied Palestinians about to take place; and there is a real possibility of regional war.

EGYPTIANS THREATEN WAR!
(June 4, 2001)
When the American Secretary of State cancels long-planned foreign travel and publicly warns of the "abyss" from which "there may no return" you can bet the situation behind-the-scenes is far more dangerous and explosive than is publicly realized.

SHARON'S HAWKS PLAN FOR WAR
(June 3, 2001)
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor, reports on Israel's growing mood for full-scale hostilities in the aftermath of 17 deaths in a nightclub suicide bomb attack

24-HOURS AND COUNTING
(June 2, 2001)
"Americans should not travel to Gaza at the present time and those who live there should depart to a safer location when they can do so." U.S. Embassy, Israel

HATED RAJOUB GETS READY
(June 2, 2001)
With the days of Yasser Arafat maybe coming to an end one way or another, with Feisal Husseini passed from the scene, with the other Palestinian tough guys bottled up in Gaza, the frontrunner strong man to "control" the Palestinian people throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem appears to be Jibril Rajoub.

ARAFAT'S LEGACY
(June 2, 2001)
Yasser Arafat was hired, courted, and well-paid to control his own people and lead them, however much they tried to resist, to the Apartheid-style arrangement the Israelis always had in mind with the so-called "Oslo Peace Process".

ISRAELIS PLANNING BLITZKRIEG?
(June 1, 2001)
For a long time now we have been desperately warning about what the true Israeli intentions are. We have also been warning that the Palestinians are not at all prepared for these eventualities, neither with the terrible leadership provided by the "Palestinian Authority" nor for the world-wide information and public relations battle that accompanies all major developments in our world these days.




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