Thursday, March 31, 2016

Announcement re Mideast Dig (formerly "Mideast Reporter")

A note to readers:

"The Mideast Dig"
Please be advised that I am no longer associated with The Mideast Reporter (N/K/A "Mideast Dig;" Federal EIN 46-4772869; New York State Reg. No. 44-20-78), which I co-founded and co-edited from its inception in 2013 until November 2015. I have had no editorial or marketing role in the venture since then. I had my name removed from the Mideast Reporter's "Masthead" and "About" sections, but it was on marketing and fundraising materials that were widely distributed, as well as public documents, databases, and this recent Jerusalem Post article.

"The Mideast Reporter"
I also resigned from the board of directors. Board member Brooke Goldstein, one of two independent directors, resigned in mid-December 2015, leaving two persons on the board of directors, one of whom is the co-founder. The managing editor, Robert J. Rosenberg, resigned in early December 2015, leaving one person (the other co-founder) on the editorial staff.

To fulfill its mission, such a venture must be nonpolitical, avoid advocacy, eschew personal attacks in its media criticism, and reflect multiple viewpoints. Its management needs to devote itself full-time to the project, avoid conflicts of interest and cronyism, and eschew the natural tendency to turn it into a personal platform or "ego trip." Otherwise the venture risks becoming yet another pro-Israel blog, and, by over-promising, perhaps does more harm than good.

(Originally posted December 7, 2015; subsequently revised.)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Vindication of Steve Emerson?

In a pair of blog posts early last year I examined the smearing of Steve Emerson, the terrorism expert who was keel-hauled through the media after referring to "no-go zones" in European cities. That was an overstatement at worst, and he apologized for it, but nevertheless he was attacked and denigrated.

Then came the terrorist attacks in Paris and, yesterday, in Belgium. The State Department issued a travel alert for all of Europe in the aftermath of the latter. It says as follows:

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to potential risks of travel to and throughout Europe following several terrorist attacks, including the March 22 attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIL.  Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation.  This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays and at large festivals or events.

It goes on to discuss the steps that visitors to Europe need to take, including "Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities."

I'm not traveling to Europe but I am monitoring the media, and what it says to me is that
  • Europe's airports aren't safe;

  • The European security services are bumbling fools;

  • Europe's open borders have effectively made that continent an extension of the Middle East.
In short, all of Europe is a no-go zone, at least at the present time. If I can't go to the airport or take a subway without a risk of being blown to pieces, that indicates to me that I simply shouldn't go there.

Ironically, after Emerson's comments, a great deal of fuss was made about the safety of traveling in Birmingham and other cities with large Muslim populations. I have no doubt about that.  The problem is taking public transportation to and within those areas and then heading to the airport to get out of there.

UPDATE: An article in the New York Times, published March 24 and online the day before, notes that "The enemy’s hide-outs are ghettoized parts of Paris, Brussels and other European cities that amount to mini failed states inside their own borders." François Heisbourg, president of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, refers to them as “'no-go areas for the authorities, who have found it very difficult to get informants and human intelligence,' noting that many of the French citizens who carried out attacks in France lived or were hosted in Brussels neighborhoods like Molenbeek."

© 2016 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Announcement re The Mideast Reporter DBA "Mideast Dig"

A note to readers:

Please be advised that I am no longer associated with The Mideast Reporter (N/K/A "Mideast Dig"), which I co-founded and co-edited from its inception in 2013 until November 2015. I have had no editorial or marketing role in the venture since then.

I had my name removed from the Mideast Reporter's "Masthead"and "About" sections, but it was on marketing and fundraising materials that were widely distributed, as well as public documents and this recent Jerusalem Post article.

I also resigned from the board of directors. Board member Brooke Goldstein, one of two independent directors, resigned in mid-December 2015, leaving two persons on the board of directors, one of whom is the co-founder. The managing editor, Robert J. Rosenberg, resigned in early December 2015, leaving one person (the other co-founder) on the editorial staff.

To fulfill its mission, such a venture must be nonpolitical, avoid advocacy, eschew personal attacks in its media criticism, and reflect multiple viewpoints. Its management needs to devote itself full-time to the project, avoid conflicts of interest and cronyism, and eschew the natural tendency to turn it into a personal platform or "ego trip." Otherwise the venture risks becoming yet another pro-Israel blog, and, by over-promising, perhaps do more harm than good.

(Originally posted December 7, 2015; subsequently revised.)

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