Aljazeera Transparency Unit: Al-Jazeera lancerer sit eget Wikileaks

Dette er formentlig det største, uafhængige Wikileaks-agtige projekt, vi endnu har set – TV-stationen og nyhedsorganisationen Aljazeera tilbyder en hjemmeside med sikker upload af dokumenter og fokus på Mellemøsten:

Launched in January 2011, the Al Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU) aims to mobilize its audience – both in the Arab world and further afield – to submit all forms of content (documents, photos, audio & video clips, as well as “story tips”) for editorial review and, if merited, online broadcast and transmission on our English and Arabic-language broadcasts.

We believe that this initiative will allow Al Jazeera’s supporters to shine light on notable and newsworthy government and corporate activities which might otherwise go unreported.

From human rights to poverty to official corruption, AJTU will fairly evaluate and pursue all leads and content submitted, without geographical, political, cultural, or religious bias.

All submitted content is subjected to a rigorous vetting and authentication process that encompasses respect for individual privacy, contextualization, and fierce adherence to our tradecraft commitment of “journalism of depth.”

Al Jazeera has also gone to great lengths to protect the identities of our sources. Files will be uploaded and stored on our secure servers, and accessed only by journalists working for the Al Jazeera Transparency Unit.

For more information about how to upload files, and the security measures in place to protect your identity, click here.

Det første initiativ er The Palestine Papers, en række dokumenter fra forhandlingerne mellem det palæsitnensiske selvstyre og israelerne, der viser, at den palæstinensiske regering i Ramallah i lang tid har opført sig, som det, de er – israelernes betalte lakajer.

Tariq Ali skriver herom i London Review of Books:

The ‘Palestine Papers’ being published this week by al-Jazeera confirm in every detail what many Palestinians have suspected for a long time: their leaders have been collaborating in the most shameful fashion with Israel and the United States. Their grovelling is described in grim detail. The process, though few accepted it at the time, began with the much-trumpeted Oslo Accords, described by Edward Said in the LRB at the time as a ‘Palestinian Versailles’. Even he would have been taken aback by the sheer scale of what the PLO leadership agreed to surrender: virtually everything except their own salaries. Their weaknesses, inadequacies and cravenness are now in the public domain.

Now we know that the capitulation was total, but still the Israeli overlords of the PLO refused to sign a deal and their friends in the press blamed the Palestinians for being too difficult. They wanted Palestine to be crushed before they would agree to underwrite a few moth-eaten protectorates that they would supervise indefinitely. They wanted Hamas destroyed. The PLO agreed. The recent assault on Gaza was carried out with the approval of Abbas and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, not to mention Washington and its EU. The PLO sold out in a literal sense. They were bought with money and treated like servants. There is TV footage of Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton at Camp David playfully tugging at Arafat’s headgear to stop him leaving. All three are laughing. Many PLO supporters in Palestine must be weeping as they watch al-Jazeera and take in the scale of the betrayal and the utter cynicism of their leaders. Now we know why the Israel/US/EU nexus was so keen to disregard the outcome of the Palestinian elections and try to destroy Hamas militarily.

Det bliver spændende at se, hvad fremtiden kan bringe af afsløringer fra denne og andre whistle-blower-faciliteter. Ægypten, Tunesien, Libyen, Algeriet, shady dealings med USA og Iran, anyone? Lige netop på Aljazeeras nye side kommer der nok ikke så meget om Qatars regering, men det kunne jo komme på en konkurrent.

Link: Aljazeera Transparency Unit.

Mellemøsten – interaktiv quiz


Dette er ikke engang en joke, men en rimeligt godt lavet quiz. Vi hører så meget om Mellemøsten – har du styr på, hvor alle de forskellige lande ligger, og hvordan de ligger i forhold til hinanden?

Hvis ikke, er denne quiz en hurtig og sjov måde at få dem på plads. Og hvis ja, er det faktisk alligevel længe siden, jeg har set et så simpelt og dog samtidig så brugervenligt undervisnings- eller lærings-spil.

Link: Rethinking Schools Online

Den arabiske verden på vej mod “iransk” revolution

Gamle, korrupte magtstrukturer og Vestens interessepolitik med dyrkelse af “lydige” regimer uden skelen til deres demokratiske gøren og laden eller folkelige opbakning kan være ved at gøde jorden for en revolution i den arabiske verden, som kan sammenlignes med den iranske revolution i 1979, skriver Soumaya Ghannoushi i dagens Guardian:

As the promises of development and progress vanished into the smoke of the shanty towns, the Arab state lost its last refuge from its citizens. Stripped of all cover, it degenerated into a terrifying oppression machine. The more depleted its legitimacy, the greater it relied on the police, internal intelligence apparatuses, and on the support of foreign patrons – much like the Shah. Most Arab regimes would not survive without the perpetual use of violence against their citizens and opponents – aided and abetted by their “friends” and allies.

Egypt may represent the clearest manifestation of this state of affairs. For the last decade, its 80-year-old president has been preoccupied with ensuring the accession of his son, Gamal, to the throne of the republic. In the meantime, his country, the most populous in the Arab world, sinks deeper into degeneracy, with receding regional influence, rampant corruption, and millions teetering on the verge of starvation.

this is not to say that the Iranian scenario will be replicated in Egypt – or other Arab countries – or that another Khomeini will soon emerge. History does not repeat itself. What is doubtless though is that many components of the Iranian dynamite are today raging beneath the surface of imposed “stability”, especially as new sociopolitical forces are entering the stage on the ruins of the discredited official elite.

Og den vestlige verden holder i den sammenhæng temmelig konsekvent på de forkerte heste: Diktatoren Mubarak i Ægypten og Saudi-Arabiens kongefamilie er blot de mest eklatatante og beskæmmende eksempler.

Link: Ripe for revolution

Almindelig høflighed ved reportage fra Mellemøsten

Hvis du er en kommentator eller journalist, der dækker Mellemøsten, er det vigtigt for dig at lægge dig disse regler på sinde:

Rule #1: In the Middle East, it is always the Palestinians that attack first, and it’s always Israel who defends itself. The name of this is “retaliation”.

Rule #2: The Palestinians are not allowed to kill Israelis. The name of this is “terrorism”.

Rule #3: Israel has the right to kill Palestinian civilians; the name of this is “self-defense” or “collateral damage”.

Rule #4: When Israel kills too many Palestinian civilians, the Western world calls for restraint. This is called the “reaction of the international community”.

Rule #5: Palestinians do not have the right to capture Israeli military, not even 1 or 2.

Rule #6: Israel has the right to capture as many Palestinians as they want (around 10,000 to date being held without trial). There is no limit; there is no need for proof of guilt or a trial. All that is needed is the magic word: “terrorism”.

Rule #7: When you say “Hamas”, always be sure to add “supported by Hezbollah, Syria and Iran”.

Rule #8: When you say “Israel”, never say “supported by the USA, the UK, European countries and even some Arab regimes”, for people (God forbid) might believe this is not an equal conflict.

Rule #9: When it comes to Israel, don’t mention the words “occupied territories”, “UN resolutions”, “Geneva Conventions”. This could distress the audience of Fox, CNN, etc.

Rule # 10: The Palestinians are always “cowards” who hide behind a civilian population that “they don’t care about”. If they (militants) sleep in houses with their families, the name of this is: “cowardice”. Israel has the right to annihilate the towns where they sleep using bombs and missiles. The name of this is “high precision surgical action”.

Rule #11: Israelis speak better English than Arabs. This is why we let them speak out as much as possible, so that they can explain rules 1 through 9. The name of this is “neutral journalism”.

Rule #12: If you don’t agree with these rules or if you favor the Palestinian side over the Israeli side, you must be a very dangerous anti-Semite.

I modsat fald risikerer du nemlig at skabe problemer for din TV-station eller avis eller ikke komme så hurtigt frem i verden, som du havde tænkt dig.

Link: Political Correctness – Rules of Democracy (via UrShalim)