March 08, 2004


Bahrain will shortly host its first Formula One race. But member of parliament Jassim al-Saeed is worried that certain world-dominating foreign types might turn up and ruin everything:

He warned Formula One organisers to make sure no Israelis attend the event. "If this happens we will confront it. We will pick up our pens and start writing until we stop it," he said.

What's he going to write? What point would he have to make besides "Jews are here -- this is bad"?

(Via new blogroll addition Israelly Cool. Also added: Minnesota’s excellent Fraters Libertas.)

UPDATE. Mahmood, as always, provides excellent commentary.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 8, 2004 10:39 PM

What a wonderful quote! Sounds like: "Me writer. Pen mightier than sword. Me therefore mightier than swordsman. Me write and write and write until infidels stop being that way, or something!"

Posted by: Just Some Guy at March 8, 2004 at 10:52 PM

Israely Cool?
Who is this schmuck kidding?
'Oi, vey, you call this a bagel?'
Yeah. Really cool.

I suppose I'm a rabid terrorist anti-semite now. Hey, LIGHTEN UP, you politically correct right wingers.
Sheesh.... Say one little thing and you're a 'racist' 'xenophobe' 'anti-semite'.
You guys just take this whole PC thing WAY too far.

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2004 at 11:40 PM

I guess if the ragheads couldn't stop Israeli tanks rolling into their countries, they might as well try to stop Israeli racing cars. That's a kind of a victory I guess.

Nice one Bahrain, you've really re-captured your Arab pride.

Posted by: Amos at March 9, 2004 at 12:02 AM

You may not be a rabid terrorist anti-semite but you sound like a shmuck. I have been reading his blog for a while and he isn't the type to accuse everyone who disagrees with him of being an antisemite.
Keep blogging, Israelly Cool.

Posted by: Danny at March 9, 2004 at 12:05 AM

Rag heads? I prefer to call them "sheetheads"

Posted by: Dave at March 9, 2004 at 12:07 AM

As I've said befor, maybe call them POTARs, Persons of Traditional Arab Attire. Or ASSHOLES, Arabs Slandering Semetic H.. semetic..

ah screw it. assholes.

Posted by: Amos at March 9, 2004 at 12:51 AM

Let me ask a question: is there in fact a burgeoning and dangerous community of Israeli Formula One drivers... or is this just another example of how paranoid and neurotic the average Middle Eastern Muslim is about Jewish people? Guys... medication. That's all I'm sayin'.

P.S. Hey wow, Jack. Way to convince people you haven't even met yet that you're a jerk.

Posted by: Dave P. at March 9, 2004 at 01:08 AM

According to Jewhoo!, famous Jewish F1 drivers include Jody Scheckter, Peter Revson, Jo Bonnier and Francois Cevert. If they have a Bahraini GP in the 1970s, I wonder if any of them would have been allowed to compete?

Posted by: Damian P. at March 9, 2004 at 01:09 AM

Thanks, Damien- I flat didn't know. I think I'll stick to the "paranoid and neurotic" expalnation, though. It explains more.

Posted by: Dave P. at March 9, 2004 at 02:37 AM

Don't take what Jassim Al-Saidi says to heart. No one in Bahrain does. His claim to fame in his mighty role as an MP is tieing up the parliament for a whole day and clobbering them to get them to agree to let veiled women to drive, and another day to allow the public security personnel to grow beards! He's recenly proposed "shari'a law", aka chop the hands of theives as his radical solution to the burgeoning crime in Bahrain. He is also an founder member of my TWITBTHIFD Society (The wheel is turning but the hamster is fucking dead Society!)

As for Israelies coming to Bahrain, sure it will create waves and sure it might incite some demonstrations, but the end result is that no one really gives a toss. We understand (or at least should) that the F1 circus is an international apolitical event which is open to everyone.

Further, Bahrain - maybe unbeknownst to most readers of this fine blog - is the only country in the Arabia Gulf which has (a) indiginous Jewish Bahraini families, (b) a synagogue, and (c) has a Jewish Bahraini member of parliament. We also have a Christian LADY member of parliament too, and that too is a first in the Gulf.

The Jews in Bahrain are fully integrated in society and we don't point them out nor discriminate against them. They're like everyone else here, Bahraini citizens first and whatever their religion is, is completely up to them.

Just remember though that we're not, and never will be, perfect. We have our shortcomings and we do have a democracy, so you will find the extremes in our society like anywhere else on the planet. The extremists at this moment seem to be riding the wave of success, but not for long. By their recent actions, people have started to publicly criticise them in the press, and they are being brought down a few notches.

But how they will behave in the run-up to the F1 weekend remains to be seen.

Tim, sorry to fill this comment with all these links, I thought that your readers might want to investigate the issue a little bit more before branding all Arabs as anti-semites and jew-bashers, in addition to being rag-heads!


Posted by: Mahmood Al-Yousif at March 9, 2004 at 06:12 AM

Nah, that's cool Mahmood. Just sometimes one idiot can ruin your whole perception of a country.

ie Michael Moore - USA
Margo Kingston - Australia

Posted by: Quentin George at March 9, 2004 at 06:14 AM

Oh you didn't purge your jews? That's big of you.

But Bahrain is a moderate and progressing Arab state so I certainly shouldn't be dissing it. Lord knows, the region needs some examples like Bahrain.

Posted by: Amos at March 9, 2004 at 08:10 AM

mahmood - very interesting. your insight is appreciated (by me at least).

Posted by: hen at March 9, 2004 at 08:37 AM

Yeah, thanks for the post, Mahmood. :)

Posted by: Sortelli at March 9, 2004 at 09:59 AM

This Jassim al-Saeed character wouldn't have fiery red hair and a very nasal accent, by chance?

Nice post Mahmood.

Posted by: LD at March 9, 2004 at 10:45 AM

Mahmood, good on you for writing such a calm and reasonable post.

I don't like seeing terms like, "rag-head" or whatever. I think right of centre folk can shoot themselves in the foot when they start using stupid epithets.

Once you descend into Arab-bashing (and I don't mean bashing the behaviour of extremist Arabs, rather bashing all Arabs) you start to sound as revolting and stupid as leftists like Adams and Kingston who pretty much do the same thing to Americans.

Also, seeing the reactions to the idiot post about uncool Israelis was quite heartwarming.

Posted by: brill at March 9, 2004 at 01:06 PM

"The Jews in Bahrain are fully integrated in society and we don't point them out nor discriminate against them."

Jews were once fully integrated into German society too.

Sometimes all it takes is one clever demagogue.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at March 9, 2004 at 02:12 PM

If I were a Bahraini anti-Semite, I'd want Jews to be watching when I take first place.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at March 9, 2004 at 02:53 PM

The Jewish formula 1 team has been a total failure. the turret was both unnecessary and heavy. Attempts at firing at towel heads while racing threw the suspension balance out the window. A child was run over, though he was throwing rocks from the gravel trap at the time.

Posted by: Mr Pants at March 9, 2004 at 04:01 PM

I think we should take the threat to "write" until the Israelis withdraw a bit more seriously. This may be in the spirit of the Palestinians promising to initiate "peaceful protests".

Posted by: ABC Al at March 9, 2004 at 04:43 PM

It's funny that it takes a comment by Mahmood to bring some sensibility back to the blog.

Why is that when people like Amos and Dave initially use words like raghead and sheethead- it's generally tolerated on these pages? Isn't it time you rooted out racists from this cause or do you need them?

Posted by: rhactive at March 9, 2004 at 09:57 PM

Rhactive and others offended by the term "sheethead":

I use this word in reference to the Muslim terrorists and anti-Semites cloaked in religious apparel, but who are in reality "sh*theads". This is not meant as an insult to all Muslims, as anyone who has read my blog or seen past comments can attest.

Calling me a "racist" is a lazy way to disagree with my use of this word.

Posted by: Dave at March 9, 2004 at 10:27 PM

It's time I was rooted out. I'm damaging the cause.

Posted by: Amos at March 9, 2004 at 11:16 PM


I'm inclined to leave most comments as they are, including very negative ones about me. They're the work of the people who write them. I only write the posts.

Deletions or bannings are mainly forced by grave obscenities, thread hijackings, libel issues, or if Andrea or I are hungover and grouchy and just want to ban someone for the hell of it.

Mahmood, by the way, is a class act, and someone I linked to as soon as I became aware of his site.

Posted by: tim at March 10, 2004 at 02:43 AM

Mahmood is a good guy. Curse him for turning up and shameing us into acting like adults.

Posted by: Amos at March 10, 2004 at 08:19 AM

Mahmood rocks.

Rhactive: we don't root out the "bad" commenters, how else could we coax you to the blog so you can scold us? Spank me again! I've been a bad, bad girl!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 10, 2004 at 11:34 AM

Spank me again! I've been a bad, bad girl!

Heh heh! I don't think that's quite what Amos meant by "acting like adults"

Posted by: Sortelli at March 10, 2004 at 01:20 PM