OK, The Day Today in 1994 does not specifically name Iran, Israel, and the US, but this is a pretty good portrayal of the media's coverage --- and manufacture --- of "war" in 2012. It's also horribly funny.
Entries in Israel (345)
Last night Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington.
The take-away subject and line are predictable: when it comes to Iran, "We are determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We leave all options on the table. And containment is definitely not an option. The Jewish state will not allow those seeking our destruction to possess the means to achieve that goal."
Put another way: "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That’s right, it’s a duck –but this duck is a nuclear duck. And it’s time the world started calling a duck a duck.
At the same time, it is important --- though I suspect almost all the media coverage will miss the significance --- to know the subjects that Netanyahu did not address. Because he kept everyone's eyes and ears on Tehran, he did not have to refer to the changes in the Middle East because of the "Arab Spring" and Turkey's shifting position. He did not mention Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the status of Gaza, or the 1967 borders with Paletine --- indeed, he did not have to refer at all to negotiations with the Palestinians.
And that, rather than the headlines on Iran, is probably Netanyahu's greatest accomplishment last night.
THE PREPARED TEXT
Thank you for the warm reception. It could be heard as far away as Jerusalem – the eternal and united capital of Israel. More than two thirds of the Congress is in attendance here tonight. I deeply appreciate your being here.
UPDATE 1850 GMT: Ran Cohen, the Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights (Israel), has confirmed that Khader Adnan has ended his hunger strike.
UPDATE 1705 GMT: The text of the Israeli Supreme Court statement:
We have been delivered a joint notice by the representative of the Appellant and the representative of the Respondents, according to which there is no intention to extend the administrative detention beyond 17 April 2012, and (after offsetting the days of detention during which the Appellant was subjected to a criminal investigation), subject to the absence of new and significant material being added in the matter of the Appellant. In light of the above, the Appellant has ended his hunger strike and declared his retraction of the appeal.This being the case, the appeal is stricken, and the hearing schedule for today is thereby cancelled.
Twitter is filled tonight with messages with the hashtag #KhaderExists for Khader Adnan, now in the 64th day of his hunger strike.
Adnan is in "administrative detention" in an Israeli jail, under which he can be held without charge indefinitely. Last week he explained in a letter, delivered by his lawyer, why he was persisting with his fast:
I started my battle offering my soul to God almighty and adamant to go ahead until righteousness triumphs over falsehood. I am defending my dignity and my people’s dignity and not doing this in vain.
The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially prisoners. I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey.
Here I am in a hospital bed surrounded with prison wardens, handcuffed, and my foot tied to the bed. The only thing I can do is offer my soul to God as I believe righteousness and justice will eventually triumph over tyranny and oppression.
I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on.
"It is time the international community and the UN support prisoners and force the State of Israel to respect international human rights and stop treating prisoners as if they were not humans.
It was only after talking with lucidity and animation for an hour about her husband's 61-day hunger strike that Randa Jihad Adnan's eyes, visible though the opening of her nekab, filled with tears. Until then, this articulate 31-year-old graduate in sharia law from Al Najar University in Nablus, the pregnant mother of two young daughters aged four and one and half, had described with almost disconcerting poise the two months following the arrest of her husband, Khader Adnan, on 17 December.
He was seized at 3.30am by some of the scores of Israeli military and security personnel who surrounded the family home in a West Bank village south of Jenin, and is now being held in the Israeli Rebecca Ziv hospital in Safed. Yesterday she was allowed to visit him with the children and her father-in-law.
There they found him, weak and extremely thin, his beard unkempt, and his fingernails long. He was shackled by two legs and one arm to his bed, and was connected to a heart monitor. Though mentally alert, he could speak only with difficulty. "I was shocked," she said yesterday. "I couldn't speak for about three minutes, and it was the same for my daughters."
Journalist and activist Henghameh Shahidi, serving a six-year sentence for "propaganda" and "actions against national security", speaking to a visitor in Evin Prison
2120 GMT: Claimed footage of Tehran residents chanting "Allahu Akbar (God is Great)" this evening:
2020 GMT: Cyber-Watch. How significant was the regime's tightening grip on the Internet from last Thursday, including the cut-off of services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail?
The Tor Project, which assists users who face surveillance and filtering, offers this image:
The satirical newspaper The Onion features the latest development in US-Iranian tension over nuclear programmes:
Amidst mounting geopolitical tensions, Iranian officials said Wednesday they were increasingly concerned about the United States of America's uranium-enrichment program, fearing the Western nation may soon be capable of producing its 8,500th nuclear weapon.
"Our intelligence estimates indicate that, if it is allowed to progress with its aggressive nuclear program, the United States may soon possess its 8,500th atomic weapon capable of reaching Iran," said Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi, adding that Americans have the fuel, the facilities, and "everything they need" to manufacture even more weapons-grade fissile material. "Obviously, the prospect of this happening is very distressing to Iran and all countries like Iran. After all, the United States is a volatile nation that's proven it needs little provocation to attack anyone anywhere in the world whom it perceives to be a threat."
Iranian intelligence experts also warned of the very real, and very frightening, possibility of the U.S. providing weapons and resources to a rogue third-party state such as Israel.
What is distinctive about Netanyahu's invocation of the “Iranian threat” now?
This is not just a tactical manoeuvre against Kadima, the rival to Netayahu's party Likud, ahead of elections. It is also the device to bypass serious and difficult negotiations, especially on the "peace process" with the Palestinians.
And with recent developments, Benjamin Netanyahu might need "strength" and Iran more than ever.
When a state --- be it Bahrain, Israel, Syria or China --- needs to stoop to the level of paying citizens to fight its public relations wars, it has already lost.
Some Iranians inside and outside the country have tried to highlight the immorality and ineffectiveness of the Iranian intelligence service, which displays outmost strength in interrogating and imprisoning Iranian citizens for their political views and peaceful activities but has proved powerless in securing the country against acts of terrorism. In the current international climate, however, it is not hard to understand why these voices have gone unheard.