The official response of the Jordan government to the terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue two weeks ago, which left five Israelis dead, was an unequivocal condemnation. They were, they said, against all acts of violence against civilians. That, however, didn't stop the Jordanian parliament holding a minute's silence - in honour of the killers:
“In regards to the martyrs that smashed and murdered the Zionists, I am asking for this respected parliament to stand up and read the al-Fatiha (the prayer at the beginning of the Koran) to glorify their pure souls and to glorify the souls of all the of the martyrs in the Arab and Islamic nation,” a Jordanian parliament member said, according to a Channel 10 video.
The parliament members then stood with their palms facing up for a minute of silence.
The Israeli ambassador to Jordan, Daniel Nevo, was not impressed, and apparently suggested in a radio interview that the Jordanian parliament was not an altogether serious institution:
Diplomatic tensions are rising between Jordan and Israel, as Jordan this week summoned Daniel Nevo, Israel's ambassador to Jordan, for his "disparaging remarks" about the country's parliament.
The summoning came after Nevo reportedly told the Israeli army radio station that Jordanians do not take their parliament seriously and "think their parliamentarians are only concerned about marginal things and their own personal interests".
His remarks were in reference to Jordanian parliamentarians observing a minute of silence and citing the first chapter of the Quran in remembrance of the two Palestinians shot dead after their attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Ashraf Khasawneh called the ambassador's comments "unacceptable and inexcusable".
"Any insult to any Jordanian institution is a gross violation of all diplomatic norms," Khasawneh said in a statement carried by the state news agency, Petra.
Nevo's remarks, which Israeli officials have neither denied nor confirmed, have angered parliamentarians and government officials, who deemed it an "insult to the Jordanian society and government".
"He is not welcomed here by the Jordanian people, so how could he allow himself to speak on their behalf?" Yahya Saud, the head of parliament's Palestine solidarity committee, told Al Jazeera.
Saud said he and other parliamentarians were calling for an apology from Israel and the expulsion of Nevo.
This prompted a discussion on Jordanian TV this week among a number of MPs, with, it turned out, substantial agreement among the participants as to where the real problem lay:
MP Khalil Attieh: By Allah, it is an honor to incite against the Jews. It is a great accomplishment to provoke and incense them. Let us continue with similar decisions, because this is what the Jordanian people want. Our people in Palestine expect us to support them, and to recite Koranic verses for the souls of their martyrs. This is the very least we can do for the sake of those heroes, who defend the honor of the Arab nation. […]
MP Bassam Al-Manaseer, chairman of the Arab and International Affairs Parliamentary Committee: Are we going to call the French who fought the Nazi occupation "terrorists"? If so, we are all terrorists. If what we did in parliament is considered incitement, just because we stood by the Palestinian people, then we welcome the policy of incitement. I thank brother Khalil Attiah for his heroic position. That is the very least that he can do for our people in Palestine.
MP Khalil Attieh: This position is supported by all.
Moderator: The [Israeli] ambassador said that you use anti-Israel sentiment as a means to serve your own personal interests…
MP Khalil Attieh: As my colleague said, if this is terrorism, we are terrorists. Indeed, I make use of the hatred of the Jews, as all Arabs should, because the Jews respect neither treaties nor human beings. They respect nothing. That accursed ambassador did me a great honor by saying that I hate the Jews. Yes, I hate the Jews. I hate the Jews. I hate the Jews.
What have the Jews ever given us? They do not respect Jordanian custodianship [of the Al-Aqsa Mosque]. They do not respect treaties. They kill our people. They prevent worshippers from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They destroy homes and seize control over everything. This is the least we could have done. Thank God that we got them mad. […]
Hating the Jews is a great honor for me and it makes me walk with my head high, because they are worthy of hatred... Any man of honor should hate the Jews. […]
[Parliament should debate] the statements of [the Israeli ambassador], that pig, the descendent of apes and pigs, who tried to drive a wedge between the parliament and the king. We should hold a debate, and if the government refuses to expel the Israeli ambassador, we should hand in our vote of no confidence in the government.
The ambassador, clearly, was altogether too kind.
Slaughtered buffaloes lie on the ground in an enclosed compound during the sacrificial ceremony of the "Gadhimai Mela" festival held in Bariyapur, Nepal, on November 28:
The festival takes place every five years in honour of Gadhimai, the goddess of power. It starts off with the mass slaughter of 5000-6000 buffaloes in a compound here, with another 250,000 or so animals - goats, birds, whatever - lined up.
More pics here.
Shame about the animals, but if it brings people nearer to their god then of course it's all worth while.
Bobby Bare on the Porter Wagoner Show, 1966:
He didn't write the song - it was written by Tompall Glaser and Harlan Howard - but Bobby Bare was the first to record it.
Best known in the Gram Parsons version from his 1971 GP album - as featured in The Wire.
Yet another tale of a decent hard-workin' man whose woman only has eyes for the bright lights: a standard theme not just of Country, but even more perhaps of the Blues. Jimmy Reed was there five years before:
Bright lights, big city, gone to my baby's head...
The Blues connection is even clearer in Bare's first hit, the 1964 Detroit City. Great lyrics...by day I make the cars, by night I make the bars...but heading north out of the cotton fields to work in Detroit's motor industry was more of a black than a white experience, I'd have thought. Though the line about "Homefolks think I'm big in Detroit City" would perhaps have rung a little hollow coming from a black singer.
Real Madrid have removed the cross from their club crest as part of a lucrative three-year deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
It is believed the European champions' new crest, minus the Christian cross, was created so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities in the United Arab Emirates, where a marketing drive will take place.
Club president Florentino Perez labelled the deal as a "strategic alliance with one of the most prestigious institutions in the world".
With the Qatar World Cup in 2022, it looks like the Emirates' bid to buy their place in world sport - especially football - is going remarkably well.
They do like their child preachers in the Middle East, don't they? Here's a little charmer from Syria, with a familiar message:
Make haste and purchase your place in Paradise, my dear brother. Go to the battlefields of Jihad and kill the enemies. Kill Basher Al-Assad and the enemies of Allah and of our religion. Destroy them, and if you die, you will become a martyr. […]
The martyr will be married off to 72 wives from among the black-eyed virgins. Indeed, he will be married off to 72 black-eyed virgins. Indeed, how beautiful is martyrdom, brother. […]
See how men today chase half-naked women, and forget all about the black-eyed virgins, any of whom can light everything between Heaven and Earth with a look or a smile. So what's the point of chasing the women of this world? Forget about those women. Go for the black-eyed virgins. How can you be chasing half-naked women, and forget about those who are much prettier? Dear brother, if you want a beautiful woman, make haste towards, the black-eyed virgins.