To speak Flemish or French in Belgium?

As a short introduction to my post I will tell you the followign story. I was born in Antwerp, in the Flemish speaking region of Belgium. In 1940 my parents and I go to Brussels to stay there. Quickly I mastered french. In these ‘prehistoric times’, French and Flemish lived in good neighbourhood in Brussels. During the ww2 I was hiding in Wallonie and learned the Walloon’s french dialect. So,  in a nutshell, this is the whole story  of how I become a “Cosmopolitan Belgian Linguist”.
 
And from here on, taken with a grain of Belgian humor , don’t show in Belgium that you are a “Cosmopolitan Belgian Linguist” . If you are in a Flemish speaking region don’t speak french, because it may cause you trouble.To be on the safe side speak in English. In a French speaking region speak in Flemish nobody will pay to much attention.
.
.
 Well ,why all the mess?
 
On Agora Fox, a french language citizen media site, I found this post “L’obsession linguistique de la Flandre” or translated “The  language obsession of Flanders”.
 
I quote from the (transaled) post..”This arrogant linguistics obsession , in defiance of reports of the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United Nations, is not just a cultural chauvinism for a little spoken language in the world. Linked to the unassailable “right of soil”, it is the glaring reflection of a bad nationalist decline , “a kind of  non-violent fascism ” to resume the vision of the New York Herald Tribune.”….
 
Now,….”Consider a few actual examples: the refusal to appoint  three French mayors democratically elected on the outskirts of Brussels for non-compliance with the use of languages;   the language requirement “wooncode (code housing) for public housing in Flanders;  the obligation to know the Dutch language to be able to acquire a building or land in some communes of Flanders (Zaventem and Vilvoorde); the banning of children from playground if they are not speaking Dutch (Liedekerke);…. the obligation to notify illegal immigrants in Dutch of their expulsion, if they are intercepted at Brussels Airport- a land located in Flemish territory;   the obligation to provide public libraries with 80% of books in Dutch, while the citizens are a French-speaking majority; the prohibition against the French Community of Belgium to finance the francophone associations in Flanders.”….see here in french.
 
A more detailed picture comes from the little town Lidekerke, 15 minutes by train from Brussels. A few excerpts from the ‘International Herald Tribune’ exemplifies the situation, I quote…”If Belgium vanishes one day, it will be because of little towns like this one, where Flemish politicians are riding a new wave of nationalism and pushing for an independent state.”…
 
….”Liedekerke has only 12,000 inhabitants, but its elected council has caused a stir by insisting on the “Flemish nature” of the town. Not only must all city business and schooling take place in Flemish, true throughout Flanders, but children who cannot speak the language can be prohibited from taking part in holiday outings, like hikes and swimming classes.”…
 
Marc Mertens, 53, is the full-time secretary of the town, a professional manager who works under the elected, but part-time village council, he said:
 
…””Brussels is coming this way,” …. explaining that the people here, having gained autonomy, do not want to be overwhelmed again by another French-speaking ascendancy. More of schoolchildren, taught in Flemish, have French-speaking parents.”…
 
…”When I was young I never heard a foreign language here,” he said. “Now every day I meet people speaking French.There are days “when I think I’m not in my village any more,” he added.’…
 
…”Part of the black community here invited relatives and friends with children from Brussels to play,” he said. “There were too many, and more than half didn’t understand Dutch.”…
 
…”Johan Daelman, the head of the far-right, anti-immigrant Vlaams Belang party here and a village councilman, want to keep French-speaking immigrants from Africa out of town, too – all in the name of keeping Liedekerke “unspoiled,” meaning free of the crime and racial tensions of nearby Brussels.”…..etcetera..see more.
 
The above citations gives a feeling on what is at stake, the language crisis only being the top of the Flemish extremist  iceberg.
 
From my own ‘Belgian’ subjective standpoint, it is almost unbelievable, that the people I did know 18 years,  Flemish and French , are now entrenched in an ‘ethnic’ war threatening to disrupt their own country.
.

Jean-Luc Godard “To Come or not to Come” to Israel

A story can always begin with a citation “From the Press”
Here is the first citation from the Jerusalem Post:
.
Jean-Luc Godard coming to Israel May 25, 2008
..”Fabled director and film theorist Jean-Luc Godard is coming to Israel for the 12th International Student Film Festival. He is attending as “a private citizen and eternal film student,” according to a statement by Godard. He will hold a talk with students at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on June 4. “….see here.
.
Here is a second citation from the YNETnews:
.
Godard pulls out of Israeli film festival 06.01.08,
…”Event official says celebrated French-Swiss movie maker ‘seems to have succumbed to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups who launched a campaign for people to boycott Jewish state’ “
…” ‘The cult film director had been due to arrive on Sunday but said he would not be attending for “reasons beyond his control,’ Morane Tal said.”
…”Although Godard did not define the cancellation as “political”, he chose to say he was calling off his ‘tour of Palestine, “. see more.
.
.
Well J.L. Godard, as a good movie director himself, should be asked a commissary Maigret question:  “What did change your mind, between May 25, 2008 16:33 and June 1, 2008 07:38, that caused you to pull out of the Israeli film festival”.
.
One possible commissary Maigret  answer could be, what Godard said to Morane Tal “He would not be attending for ‘reasons beyond his control’ “.
.
So a second question commissary Maigret could be  ask is ” Why did you lose control?”  A possible commissary Maigret  answer is “perhaps are you afraid of something, causing you to change your “Visit to Israel” into a cancellation of your “Tour In Palestine”. Commissary Maigret certainly will pay attention to the Freudian slip of “Visit to Israel” to “Tour In Palestine”.
.
Now, commissary Maigret may find it perplexing that the great film theorist J.L. Godard, before canceling his visit or tour to Israel or Palestine, whatsoever, did not read the ‘Jerusalem Post’ article:
.
“Palestinian industry of lies”…”Media manipulation has become strategic Arab weapon against Israel” and find out, I quote, …”A French court has acquitted Philippe Karsenty of libel charges over his claim that TV network France 2’s news report from the Netzarim junction in September 2000 was staged.”…” The revelations of the deceit in the al-Dura affair are a result of intense work by physicist Nahum Shahaf. He was followed by many good people from academia and the world of journalism who exposed the methods used by the Palestinian industry of lies to produce images that are etched in the collective memory via global media. This was succinctly defined by American Professor Richard Landes as “Pallywood.” see more.
,
I presume that J.L. Godard has faith in the french justice that acquitted Phillipe Karsenty , and I presume that, as a fabled director, he knows how to identify staged news.
.
So, quoting the open letter the Palestinians addressed to him on 25 May :
” Palestinian artists were devastated to learn that you shall visit Israel….to participate in a film festival in Tel Aviv [1], despite Israel’s decades-old colonial and racist policies against the indigenous people of Palestine. Your visit, particularly at this time of intensified Israeli war crimes in Gaza, can only help Israel’s incessant public relations efforts in covering up its persistent violation of international humanitarian law and universal human rights. Taking part in this festival is not art separated from politics, as if it can be; rather, it is a crude politicization of art, allowing it to become complicit.”..etc..etc,
.
Perhaps this open Palestinian letter to J.L. Godard contains many staged words as an integral part of the Palestine Industry of Lies? See more.
.

What would be the conclusion of commissary Maigret about J.L. Godard’s motivation ?
.

Iranian Blogosphere YouTube Music Clips, the most highly cited, 2008

In terms of the daily avalanche of new events “burying me alive”… this is old news from two months ago. Nevertheless it is evolving news pointing to Iran in a particular way, music and pop cultur.
.
On April 5  2008, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society’ released a study mapping Iran’s blogosphere. .
Reading the full very interesting report, I ‘discovered’ on Appendix C, page 60: .. “YouTube Clips’, the most highly cited YouTube clips in the Iranian blogosphere as of February, 2008.” ..  see here in PDF format.
 
 I was very curious to listen to the preferred clips of my almost nearby Iranian neighbour.  Many urls where broken but I managed to find most of them. One further remark: I searched only the music clips an left out  the political clips. Well, the music is great, and  to my western Mideast ears surprisingly close to blues an jazz music. 

…And here is the Music… (Click on the pictures to listen)

Kiosk

Kiosk is a Persian Blues/Rock/Jazz band established by some friends , some years ago in a basement somewhere in Isfahan/Tehran. Kiosk has never been limited by music style, location, or band members. It continues to evolve and experiment by using music and lyrics to express itself and connect to its worldwide audience.

Qlick on the picture to hear the music. Kiosk: “Love for Speed”. A music video from the popular group.

 Kiosk, a picture of the group. Here is their site.

Mohsen Namjoo

..”The source of this music and poems is the immense Iranian culture and history. These pieces of music and lyrics refer to, and find their meanings from Iranian culture which consists of four hundred years of battle between modernity and tradition.

Whenever I’ve wanted to laugh at the contradictions in my society I use the laughter and playfulness of the blues scale and its singing style. I blend it with the Iranian scale and singing style. Then whenever I’ve wanted to cry and express my sadness I direct the Iranian singing style towards blues or find refuge in reciting”.. … see more.

Click on the picture to hear the music.   A song that appears to be a classical poem sung by Mohsen Namjoo (A popular jazz musician in Iran among young people). A wonderful song..

Mohsen Namjoo, a picture.  Here is his site.

Shahram Nazeri

Sufi singer Shahram Nazeri
Shahram Nazeri was born in Kermanshah province in 1949. Like Shajarian, his music career started with the help of his father at childhood. He enjoyed the classes of the Persian music masters such as Abdullah Davami, Abdol Ali Vaziri, Jalal Zolfonoun, Mohammad Reza Shajarian and others, see more here.

Click on the picture to hear the music.

Qlick on the picture to hear the music.    A video of Shahram Nazeri singing a song in Kurdish. .

Click on the picture to hear the music.     “Nazeri,” A video of Shahram Nazeri singing a song in Kurdish. .

Shahram Nazeri, a picture.  I didn’t find a personal site, but here is a site with additional information. 

For all the other aspects of the ‘Study Mapping Iran’s Blogosphere’ see here.

.

Hamas ‘Freeing’ Gaza from Porn Sites

Is it not an impossible request to ban pornography, sex and voyeurism by simply issuing a ban? Even in Gaza ruled by the Hamas,not every one will welcome the ban. A part of Gaza’s population is basically similar to the West Bank population. A town like Ramallah, more open to the world, can be considered by many Gazans as an example of how a better life is possible, and among other things, a free internet is maintained and available. Will bans, of any sort, not induce ‘hackers’ to bypass them? Only if the Hamas will threatened surfers with unsupportable penalties have they a chance to succeed. But for the more ‘Western’ inclined Gazans, perhaps ’emigrating’ to the Western Bank..is not an impossible solution, reminding me of “The escape from LA” movie, starring Kurt Russel.
.
.
Here is the ban news:
…” ‘Islamist group Hamas has told the main Palestinian telecoms company to block access to pornographic Internet sites in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas government official said on Monday.”….The aim of the move is to protect the Palestinian community from cultural pollution and to protect the young generations from the misuse of the Internet through viewing pornographic sites,’ Hamas government spokesman Taher al-Nono said…’An Internet provider in the Gaza Strip, which Hamas seized in June after routing President Mahmoud Abbas’s secular Fatah forces, estimated that about 400,000 Gazans surf the Web and said almost half of them were aged 18-35.’…’Attacks against video stores and Internet cafes have increased over the past two years. Some of the attacks had been claimed by radical Muslim groups who say such places run contrary to Islamic values.’ “…see more.
.
It turns out that issuing a ban in Gaza has no influence on the Israeli internet providers.
Israeli owners of sex sites report, I quote..” The Israeli-Palestinian conflict apparently does not disturb and even encourages Arab internet users from consuming kosher Hebrew porn. Operators of a number of porn sites report that between two and 10% of their users arrive from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority. Some websites even go as far as offering services in Arabic.”….” The most popular video clip among Arabs, ‘Code name: Deep investigation,’ is described as ‘a parody dealing with the Vanunu affair with agents investigating the affair using erotic means’. “…” Nothing seems to stop the porn-consuming Saudi, not even technical difficulties: ‘In many places Israel is blocked, at times the entire suffix ‘.co.il’ is blocked. Users connect through proxy servers and reach us that way,’ he said”…see here the full article.
.
So Gazans know how to satisfy themselves not only with the Sex, lies and videotapemovie. Maintaining myself a blog, (not porno or any related subject), I see every day entries from the Gaza strip and the West Bank on my blog.
.
.
Now if the Hamas ban will succeed, what shall be with the fate of private porno sex and future sex extortions in Gaza? From a “Jerusalem Post” article “Fatah-Hamas mired in tawdry accusations”, Hamas and Fatah are accusing each other of sex scandals homosexual relations, sex orgies etc.
Here are a few quotes,..”The alleged “sex scandals” are said to have occurred in the Gaza Strip, which fell into Hamas’s hands in June.”…” Some of them had individual sex, while others preferred group sex. Some of them paid money for sex, while others performed sexual intercourse with males in front of their wives.”….” The sex allegedly took place in hotels, clinics and private homes – in some cases with a picture of Yasser Arafat hanging overhead.”..
And here a few Fatah accusations against the Hamas sex scandalls, I quote ..”According to Fatah, a Hamas imam was recently caught having sex with a male minor in a mosque basement. In another incident, according to Fatah, a senior member of Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, was expelled from his refugee camp after he was caught having sex with a male colleague in a vehicle. And according to a report on a Fatah-controlled Web site, a Hamas man was caught naked together with his neighbor’s wife in her bedroom”…see here for the full article.
Now, as always, a ban, even in Gaza, has his pros and cons. Each reader can decide for himself what are his preferences.
.

The ‘Theory and Practice’ of Appeasement in the Middle East

 The following quote is only introductory:
 “Was Bush’s Knesset speech a swipe at Obama?” is the headline of  ‘Rosner’s Blog’ in the ‘Haarets’.I quote from the newspaper,..”Barack Obama’s aides were quick to respond. His people called it “extraordinary politicization of foreign policy.” While U.S. President George W. Bush was speaking in Israel and comparing those who would talk with Iran to those who would have talked to Adolf Hitler, a storm broke out in the American political arena. Did Bush mean Obama?”.. see here.
.
 
Well, I wouldn’t dare to put my head between the Bush policy and the perhaps future policies of Barak Obama or senator McCain.  But if we talk about appeasement, we know the consequences of such policies.The reminiscences of Chamberlain, Daladier and Marshal Petain in France (ww2)., The Molotov-von Ribbentrop  nonaggression pact between Stalin and Hitlers Barbarossa invasion of the Nazi armies and the Pearl harbour attack by Japan, did not fade away.
 
  Now, if i am looking in my own ‘neighbourhood’..the Middle East.
What can be said here?  Well let Tariq Alhomayed speake for himself, I quote, ..”An astounding article … was published recently by the editor in chief of Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat (English edition), Tariq Alhomayed, under the headline “Iran and the fearful Arabs.” ….”The fearful Arab states…are the ones affirming, without conviction, that the Lebanese crisis is an internal matter and they are calling against confrontation with Iran. The fearful Arab states are unaware of the fact that the conflict with Iran will prevail and that it will not just end in Beirut.”…
 
 Or in other words, appeasing Hezbollah and his Iranian sponsor will not evaporate Iran’s urge for an Islamic hegemony.  
 
A further quote…”. “Hassan Nasrallah and his party were defeated the day the divinely-guided leader lost his credibility on the Lebanese street and before the Arab and Islamic worlds. It makes no difference how much he pledges today or tomorrow; the Arabs, Muslims and Lebanese will never forget how Hezbollah turned its weapons against its own people after numerous vows that it would only use them against Israel.”… see here.
 
 Or in other words, Hezbollah’s vow of a non-aggression against his own people was a pure joke.
 
And Syria..  North Korea signed the February 13, 2007 agreement in the Six Party Talks – among the United States, the two Koreas, Japan, China, and Russia with the US on nuclear weapons, see here,  meanwhile every one knows today that ..”A Syrian nuclear reactor built with help from North Korea was weeks away from functioning, a top U.S. official said Thursday after lawmakers were briefed on the site destroyed last year by Israeli jets.”… see here.
 
 Or in others words, the north Korean 2007 agreement, appeasing the nuclear peace believers, morphed into a nuclear reactor in Syria.
.
 
.
And about Nuclear Iran
 Look at the US intelligence assessment …”The National Intelligence Estimate plays down any early threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon. It assesses “with high confidence” that Iran did have a nuclear weapons programme until 2003, but this was discovered and Iran stopped it.    The NIE adds: “We do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.” The assessment admits that Iran appears “less determined” to develop nuclear weapons than US intelligence had previously thought.   It says that the earliest date by which Iran could make a nuclear weapon would be late 2009 but that this is “very unlikely”.
 
Or in other words, is that not a sort of appeasement policy?
 
 But considering what others say,  I quote…”on 5 March, a senior British diplomat said: ‘Many of us were surprised by how emphatic the writers [of the NIE] were… I haven’t seen any intelligence that gives me even medium confidence that these programmes haven’t resumed’.     Even the Director of US National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, appeared to backtrack on 28 February 2008, in evidence to the Senate Armed Forces Committee. In this evidence, he said that Iran had probably halted warhead design and weaponisation, but pointed out that Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium meant that it was continuing with “the most difficult challenge in nuclear production. He said: ‘We remain concerned about Iran’s intentions… Tehran at a minimum is keeping the option open to develop nuclear weapons.’ ” see here,
 
Is it not fun making of an otherwise serious situation?
 
 And finally, adding the Hamas to the list. Two days ago, a poll on Israeli channel 10, shows that a majority of the Israeli’s don’t believe in a truce with the Hamas. And why? Because, despite the fact that most Israeli’s truly want peace, they see such a truce as an appeasement policy  not quite fitting with the Hamas 1988 charter.  See Carter’s visit: ‘The Wasington Post’ remind us that ..”Hamas’s 1988 charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and its officials have repeated that stand in the years since. The charter also encourages the killing of Jews. But Carter said that in his negotiations, Hamas leaders referred to the charter dismissively as “an ancient document”, see here. Very appeasing indeed… 
 
Putting all this together, in acute life and dead situations, appeasement strategy is only a bet. Paraphrasing on a family living in a dangerous neighbourhood, it is better to buy a good insurance against murders, robberies, vandalism, rape, Mafiosos, beating and who knows what other calamities, and then to decide, if  after all, you want to make a bet on anything in such a neighbourhood.
 

Israeli Ari Folman’s “Waltz with Bashir” at the Cannes Movies Festival

Israeli filmmakers and directors remove taboos from the Israel-Arab wars and see them as  valuable resources for anti war movies.The successful  Beaufort, Oscar nominated movie in the categories of the best foreign  movie, and now Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir” at the Cannes film festival, explore the road taken by Stanley Kubrick in his anti war film “Path of Glory”  or Jean Renoir’s 1938 WWI drama “Grand Illusion“, citing here their more illustrious precursors.

Here is a quote from FRANCE24,
“Waltz with Bashir” is one of the most talked-about films in this year’s Cannes competition. The film is the first of its kind – an animated documentary. Folman brings to the screen his own experiences in the Israeli army 20 years ago, and revisits the 1982 Palestinian refugee massacres in Lebanon.Folman insists the film is not political, and that his aim is to show younger generations that “all wars are pointless.” see here.
 
Here below are some pictures from the movie and here is the site of the movie.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Here is a trailer on YouTube
.

Bahrain Islamists failed to stop Sexy Haifa Wehbe Show

A few months ago (august 2007) I wrote here about a ban against Egypt actor Amr Waked. A similar story is now surfacing in Bahrain with the provocative singer Haifa Wehbe.
.
 
 …”Politicians attempt to ban Arab sex symbol
Lebanese model and singer Haifa Wehbe, known in the Arab world for her raunchy, sex symbol persona, has succeeded where many others have failed by facing down conservative voices in the gulf state of Bahrain.
Wehbe, who has forged a successful career across the Middle East, performed for an invited audience in Bahrain April 30 despite all but one of the members of the Islamist-dominated parliament approving a motion urging the government to ban her perf. The pols were protesting about what they deemed her sexually provocative appearances.
 
This time round, however, Wehbe has emerged the victor in the battle between moderates and conservatives over artistic freedoms.”…see more.
 
In more details, I quote,  “Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe, known for her sexy looks and revealing outfits, went ahead with a performance in Bahrain despite an attempt by the Islamist-dominated parliament to stop the show.
“Haifa Wehbe was dressed modestly. She was almost veiled,” Adel Surour, 37, who attended the Wednesday night show with his family, said on Thursday. ‘Her performance was measured compared to her usual demeanour. We thoroughly enjoyed the show.’ Surour said the audience consisted mainly of families, including Gulf Arabs from neighbouring countries.”…see more.
.
.
Haifa Wehbe  Dressed with modesty in Bahrain show..
.
.
.
Haifa Wehbe in a Beirut show 2007, see here.
See YouTube video clip here.
.
.
.
Haifa sings in Miss Lebanon 2008 (4th of July) from her new album, Habibi Ana,’My sweetheart’ in Arabic . see here
.
Another song.
.
Haifa Wehbe-Wawa Bah! New on youtube,(english subtitles) see here.
haifa-wehbe-pictures-3
________________________________________________
.
I uploaded the post to NowPublic where I am a contributor. Here are the comments.
.
 
good stuff: No doubt officials found themselves powerless to resist…

 …Yes, she is irresistible and beautiful…Thanks for the GS.

Barry Artiste news wrangler Barry Artiste  at 02:03 on May 11th, 2008

good stuff:korzac, I like this story. It’s good stuff. Damn, she is a beauty,  she could certainly launch a few hundred warships on looks alone.  Yep, wearing a hijab certainly would be a crime.  I think Jordan and I are envisioning Wonder Woman Outfit would clinch the deal for us!
.

 Barry, perhaps the Islamists in Bahrain don’t regret to see their ban overthrow by such a divine beauty..

.

Pictures from Beirut Fighting

The text is quoted from the Israeli “haaretz” newspaper.

…”Lebanese army moves into W. Beirut after Hezbollah takeover  17:38 09/05/2008   Lebanese troops began taking up positions in some Sunni neighborhoods abandoned by the pro-government groups and taken over by Hezbollah and its allies. The army, though, did not intervene in the clashes, which had largely tapered off into sporadic gunfire by early afternoon. Some of the gunfire was celebratory in the air by the militants”… see more

Here are from pictures from the fighting.

I extracted the pictures from the TV news of the Israeli channel 10 at 17.00 today.

The text is quoted from the Israeli “haaretz” newspaper.

…”The clashes are the latest turn in a test of wills between the Hezbollah-led opposition and the government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. The U.S.-backed government has only a slim majority in parliament, and the two sides have been locked in a 17-month power struggle that has kept government at a standstill.

The fight could have implications for the entire Middle East at a time when Sunni-Shi’ite tensions are high. The tensions are fueled in part by the rivalry between predominantly Shiite Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah, and Sunni Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”…see here 

 

Latest News from Ahmadinejad (as a Rat Expert) on Israel’s 60 anniversary

Latest news from Ahmadinejad on Israel’s 60 anniversary. I quote:

 …”Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday called Israel a ‘stinking corpse’ which is doomed dissappear, as the state celebrated 60 years of independence. “Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

‘Today the reason for the Zionist regime’s existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation,’ he said.Ahmadinejad added that Israel “has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese” – a reference to the 2006 war between Israel and the Shiite Hezbollah militia”…..Source: haaretz.com

  Interestingly,  BBC News published in 2000 that “Tehran combats rat plague” I quote,  “Tehran authorities are launching a new scheme to rid the Iranian capital of an estimated 25 million rats. Tons of rat poison have been imported for a month-long campaign that residents hope will free the capital of the pests.” see here.

Well in April 2003 Ahmadinejad was appointed mayor of Tehran. Perhaps after his above statement on Israel as a rat, It is now understandable that theTehran population needed Ahmadinejad as a rats expert .

But, again in 2008,  the Los Angeles Times/Blogs published: “IRAN: Rats, and the sidewalks of Tehran”… here is a short quote.. “But the sidewalk project destroyed the rat’s nests.  And unfortunately, they have migrated to other parts of Tehran. The other day while walking near the University of Tehran, I bumped into dozens of sturdy brown rats braving the crowds and digging through  garbage bins.” see here.

Well Tehran residents, why not ask for Ahmadinejads help, is he or is he not an expert on rats?

Nazi Propaganda in Misleading Paris Occupation Photos

.

Via my Internet subscription to the french newspaper “Le Figaro” I found an article named “Cette exposition est tout à fait légitime”. Seeking an English written article on the same subject I found one on “FRANCE24″ named “German occupation photo exhibit causes scandal” . The opening lines describes in a few words what it’s all about “A controversial new photography exhibit entitled, ‘Parisians Under Occupation’ shows scenes of daily life that contrast sharply with the reality of the German occupation from 1940 to 1945″. (Photography exhibition, “Parisians Under Occupation” at the City Hall Library in Paris features 250 color photographs by French photographer André Zucca taken for the Nazi propaganda daily).
.
.
Paris 1940-45
 
  Looking at the exhibition’s video clips reminded me of the same years in Brussels, where as a kid, I was living and hiding from the Nazis, with my family.The architectural resemblance between Paris and Brussels are striking; the same houses, streets., the same fashion, the false Idyllic look of a good living world. And all this, only a propaganda veil hiding the atrocities of the Nazi regime all over Europe.
.
What ignite the fire of scandal was , I quote, that… “These unedited images, taken by a 24/36 Leica, were taken between 1942 to 1945, the height of the German occupation. The absence of any explanation about the propaganda element in the exhibit is striking…
 
  ..Most of the photos contrast sharply with the history books recalling the Vel d’hiver roundup and deportation in July 1942. Where are the snaking lines outside food stores? Where are the witnesses of the occupation? Rare are the photos where a yellow star sewn on coat lapels is seen on passers-by. This unexpected take on “German France” does not leave one indifferent.”…see here.
  
Here are more photos:
.
.
.
.
.
I extracted the photos from  France 24″ here and from ”Le Figaro” here.
.
Meanwhile the scandal continue,  I quote,..”WIthout questioning their beauty, the photos are disturbing. Even worse, the very title of the exhibit is rather shocking, due to its inaccuracy. Christophe Girard, the Parisian deputy mayor in charge of culture, is quite clear.”… “We should stop this exhibit!” …”Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë says the incident was “badly managed”, and is trying to put things right. He preferred not to ban the exhibit to avoid accusations of censorship, but removed the posters advertising the show. Organisers are also planning a debate titled “Is the camera an objective witness?” in a last-minute attempt to correct their early mistakes”..see more.
.
 Well, I was a witness of those past days. What I remember are photos like these  from the “..’round-up’ or ‘raid’ of the Velodrome d’Hiver’,(see here), mirroring similar photos of Nazis raids in Brussels.
.  
.
.

.
I published this story on NowPublic and add here the comments by  NowPublic editors and contributing members.
 

 

 

 

 
good stuff:For me, the only way to take those exhibited images beyond revisionism/propaganda would be to show them alongside documentary counterparts: the image and the reality… sort of like what you did in the story above!

jordan thanks for the comment and the GS.

The curators of the exhibition trayed to minimize their mistakes, “..A large excerpt from the preface to the exhibition catalogue (Ed Gallimard / Paris Library), prepared by Jean-Pierre Azema, a specialist historian of this period is included in the exhibition since its opening and also recalls the historical context in which these photographs were taken, for more see here ..

…A weak palliative for bad conscience.

 
good stuff:korzac, I like this story. It’s good stuff. Excellent story and coverage Korzac

Barry Artiste, thanks for the comment and the GS.

 
good stuff:One must always guard against revisionist history. 

Karen Hatter, the exhibition is a form of visual deceit under the decent patronage of ‘culture’. But the french living witnesses of those years denounced the fraud..

Thanks for the comment and the GS.

I think all governments contribute propeganda to their citizens.

History reveals many things, sometimes it takes a while to come out. Many Germans, I believe, had no idea what was happening far away.

Of course they would prfer to be thinking of good things happening from their nations actions, just as we all are wishing to belive good things are happening from current conflict zones.

Matte, about your..”Many Germans, I believe, had no idea what was happening far away”..

Look at this ..”In a seminal study published thirty-five years ago, The Destruction of the European Jews, Raul Hilberg observed that the perpetrators of the Nazi holocaust were “not different in their moral makeup from the rest of the population…. [T]he machinery of destruction was a remarkable cross-section of the German population.”..see here.

Or look at this ..”To think that the Germans were unaware of the genocide is ignorant and absurd. The Germans saw as well as the Jews did what was going on. Why do you think so many Jews fled the country? They knew that death awaited them in the hands of the Nazis. The Germans saw the Jews being humiliated, corralled through the city, loaded up in trains and sent off to die horrible deaths in the concentration camps.’.. see here.

And look at the link with the title ..’The Genocide Generals: secret recordings explode the myth they knew nothing about the Holocaust“…see here.

I think Matte perhaps is stating that German civilians and soldiers far away from the conflict of the cities, perhaps the countryside and soldiers stationed outside of Germany may not have known about the concentration camps. Though I am sure rumours circulated, and perhaps even the rumours were infathomable to believe that humans could do that to humans.

Propeganda means different things to different people, and people belive what they want to believe. A study after a war cannot accuratly deduce what was going on inside people’s heads at the time. Yes people were being taken away – but at the time I belive NO ONE knew to where or for what fate.

People belive until they know otherwise, as has happened with the Iraq situation – people are fed propeganda and lies, until the truth is finally revealed. There is no blame for this on the part of the population, they just belive what they are told.

Just as in the Seconf World War the Japanese being portrayed as devils….but they were only following their leaders and fighting their war the way they were told, as is the US military, the Chinese military etc.

Matte about your “Yes people were being taken away – but at the time I believe NO ONE knew to where or for what fate.” What I most liked in this sentence is the irrevocable absoluteness of “..NO One knew..”

 Well, by ‘my what I where told by myself’  I know that SOME know what where the fate of the people taken away…

For example, the Belgian Benedictine priest, Reverend Henry Reynders  who saved my life and the life of  many other children from deportation, he and the whole Belgian rescues organisations knew perfectly well what would be our fate..see here  So,It would be very comforting that you indulge yourself in upgrading your knowledge from ‘No One knew’ to Some knew. The remaining question  will then be: how many is some.. 

 

.