MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 20 May: The
PROPAGANDA WAR is a major aspect of what may yet prove to be only the
opening phases of the 'Clash of Civilizations' -- one the Israelis are
more responsible for than any other party other than the Americans.
U.S. and Israel still far in the lead
The Americans and the Israelis are pouring money and people into the
Propaganda War more than ever. But their credibility is now so
suspect, and people worldwide are now so skeptical (though least of all
in the USA of course). Maybe most of all the tremendous proliferation
of news sources and information, primarily because of the Internet, has
changed the rules of the game in ways as yet not well understood or
In the past few days operatives in this Propaganda War placed articles
charging the Iranians were reviving the old Yellow Stars of David for
Jews. The Iranians were quick to deny it...but not quick enough as
the story reverberated worldwide loud and clear and the denials are
coming too little too late this weekend -- see second story below.
Meanwhile Iraq continues to explode and fracture and news stories are
just coming in that a major Palestinian figure long associated with the
Israelis and the CIA was almost assassinated in Gaza. The Israelis
wisked him off to one of their hospitals, making all the charges of his
complicity and may have charged traitorous ways more evident than
US fumes as Iraq backs Israel boycott
US-backed Iraqi government sent an official representative to this
week's meeting of the Arab League Boycott Office in Damascus, The Jerusalem Post has learned, prompting criticism from members of Congress and the Bush administration.
Liaison officers from 14 countries met for four days this week
to discuss ways of intensifying the Arab embargo against Israel. Among
those taking part were delegates from several ostensible US allies,
such as Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
Tom Casey, a spokesman for the US State Department, told the Post that Washington was unhappy with Baghdad's action.
"We are disappointed by the decision of the Iraqi government to
attend this meeting, and will be noting our concerns with Iraqi
officials," he said. "We have raised this issue with Iraqi officials in
the past and expect to raise it with them again."
"The US position on the Arab League boycott is well known,"
Casey noted, adding that "perpetuation of the Arab League boycott does
greatest harm to those who participate in it by hampering their efforts
to develop their economies."
Members of Congress were also critical of the Iraqi move.
Rep. Paul Ryan, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told the Post
that "the US government has been very successful in negotiating the
cancellation of Israeli boycotts from many countries throughout the
Arab world. This would appear to be a big step in the wrong direction
on the part of the new Iraqi government."
Ryan, a Republican, said he expected Washington to bring the
matter up with Baghdad. "We should make our position clear, just like
we do with every other Arab government," he said.
Contacted by phone, a spokesman for the Iraqi embassy in London declined to comment.
According to figures released this week by the Israel Export
Institute, there has been a 46 percent rise in Israeli sales to Iraq
(valued at $320,000), with 27 exporters active in that market dealing
primarily with the US military.
Iran denies religious dress code law
(These illustrations of the false reports were neverless used in Israel's Jerusalem Post)
Nazi Germany: Jews were forced by law to wear yellow stars in public.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad awaits the coming of the Hidden Imam.
Iranian officials on Saturday denied a report published by the Canadian National Post
on the previous day, claiming that a new dress-code law was passed in
Iran this past week, which mandates the government to make sure that
religious minorities - Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians - will have to
adopt distinct color schemes to make them identifiable in public.
The National Post later cited experts saying that the
idea of religious demarcation had only arisen in discussing a law
defining Iranian dress code. The paper quoted an Iranian commentator
who said the idea of external identification of non-Muslim minorities
was only raised as a secondary motion.
Legislator Emad Afroogh, who sponsored the bill and chairs the parliament's cultural committee, told The Associated Press on Friday there was no truth to the Canadian newspaper report.
"It's a sheer lie. The rumors about this are worthless," he
said, explaining that the bill seeks only to make women dress more
conservatively and avoid Western fashions. "The bill is not related to
minorities. It is only about clothing," he said. "Please tell them (in
the West) to check the details of the bill. There is no mention of
religious minorities and their clothing in the bill," he said.
Iranian Jewish lawmaker Morris Motamed told the AP:
"Such a plan has never been proposed or discussed in parliament. Such
news, which appeared abroad, is an insult to religious minorities
A diplomat at Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York called the report "completely false."
"We reject that. It is not true. The minorities in Iran are
completely free and are represented in the Iranian parliament," the
diplomat said, speaking anonymously because he was not allowed to make
Whether approved as law or not, the proposal demanded that Jews
will have to wear a yellow band on their exterior in public, while
Christians will be required to don red ones.
The new law was drafted during the presidency of Muhammad
Khatami in 2004, but was blocked. That blockage, however, has been
removed under pressure from current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In addition to the requirements on non-Muslims, the Iranian
government has also envisioned that all Muslim Iranians wear "standard
Islamic garments" designed to remove ethnic and class distinctions.
The purpose for the law was to prevent Muslims from becoming najis "unclean" by accidentally shaking the hands of non-Muslims in public.
According to Ahmadinejad, reported the National Post, the new Islamic uniforms will establish "visual equality" for Iranians as they prepare for the return of the Hidden Imam.
The final shape of the uniforms is yet to be established but there is consensus on a number of points.
The United States issued a strong condemnation on Friday of the
reported proposal. US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said
any such measure would be "despicable" and carry "clear echoes of
Germany under Hitler."
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter responded to the new law
Friday night, saying, "Whoever makes Jews anywhere wear the yellow star
again, will find themselves in a coffin draped in black."
Ophir Paz-Pines, minister-without-portfolio responsible for
culture, sports, science and technology, who is also a member of the
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called on the
government's secretary to ensure the issue be immediately addressed
during the next Cabinet meeting.
"The State of Israel was created after the Holocaust in order
to ensure it would not be repeated. The yellow star is a bright red
warning sign that obligates us to muster the entire world in the face
of events there [Iran]."
Paz-Pines also called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to make the
issue his top priority when he visits Washington D.C. next week to meet
US President George W. Bush.
Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin said, "Israel could no longer be
satisfied with warnings, and that the moment Jews are forced to wear
the yellow band, Israel must act to evacuate all Jews from Iran." He
added that, "Israel must stand at the forefront of efforts to separate
Iran's crazy and Hitlerite regime from government control."
"The new law resembles the Holocaust," said head of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, Rabbi Marvin Heir, and warned that,
"Iran was nearing Nazi Ideology."
According to Army Radio, Wiesenthal Center officials sent a
letter to United Nations Director General Kofi Annan urging him "not to
ignore" the new law, and reminded him that, "The world ignored Hitler
for many years."
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations released a statement saying, "We have been seeking to
clarify these reports but do not yet have confirmation. There are clear
indications that various Iranian government agencies, including the
Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, are
working on new uniforms to be introduced in the fall.
"While such legislation would be reminiscent of dark periods in
the past, like the Nazi era when Jews and others had to wear
identifying badges, it is also consistent with the racist and extremist
ideology propagated by President Ahmadinejad.
We are monitoring the situation and seeking to ascertain the facts in order to determine the appropriate response."