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Thursday, 4 October 2007

Family Guy accused of Antisemitic song
Infringement of Copyright claimed

If the video doesn't load click here:
Family Guy - I need a Jew

Show accused of anti-Jewish spoof of 'When You Wish Upon a Star'

NEW YORK - The 67-year-old dreamy classic "When You Wish Upon A Star" was twisted into an anti-Jewish ballad and was widely distributed as part of a comedy television program, the song's owner said Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to stop its distribution.

In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, music publishing house Bourne Co. accused Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Fox Broadcasting Co., the Cartoon Network and others of copyright infringement and sought unspecified damages.

The lawsuit said the defendants in 2000 included the spoof song, "I Need a Jew," in an episode of the Fox television show "The Family Guy" that was titled "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein."

The episode relied on the premise that the main character could not manage his family's finances and needed to hire a Jewish person to take care of his money, the lawsuit said.

During the episode, the main character sings "I Need a Jew," which the lawsuit called a thinly veiled copy of the music from "When You Wish Upon a Star" accompanied by new anti-Semitic lyrics.

Fox hadn't seen the complaint as of Wednesday afternoon and had no comment, spokesman Chris Alexander said.

According to the lawsuit, Fox initially withheld the episode from distribution because of its content but eventually earned large sums of money by distributing more than one million copies of it to the public in various home video formats.

It said the Cartoon Network first aired the episode on Nov. 10, 2003. A message for comment left with the network was not immediately returned Wednesday.

"When You Wish Upon a Star," written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline, debuted in 1940 as part of the Walt Disney motion picture "Pinocchio." It won the Academy Award that year for Best Original Song and has been recorded by more than 100 artists and orchestras.

"With its theme of wholesome hopefulness, the song has gained worldwide status as a classic," the lawsuit said. "By associating Bourne's song with such offensive lyrics and other content in the episode, defendants are harming the value of the song."

Bourne is the sole U.S. copyright owner of "When You Wish Upon a Star."

There's a very good discussion of this song and the episode at Wikipedia:
When You Wish Upon a Weinstein


Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Bar Refaeli attacks Israeli Press
and confirms she draft dodged

Model Criticizes Paparazzi in Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — After Leonardo DiCaprio's visit earlier this year resulted in a scuffle with journalists, Bar Refaeli says she will no longer bring her famous friends to Israel.

The Israeli media have closely followed the 22-year-old supermodel and DiCaprio with a hint of pride that a local girl snagged an A-list Hollywood beau.

When Refaeli brought DiCaprio to Israel in March, the couple created a paparazzi storm. After eluding journalists for days, they were met by a group of waiting photographers in Jerusalem. Their bodyguards scuffled with photographers, punching some and damaging equipment.

"I won't bring anyone famous to Israel because there is a chutzpah here that you won't see anywhere else," Refaeli said in comments published Tuesday in the Yediot Ahronot daily.

Refaeli also said she has no regrets about dodging mandatory military service and announced that she's moving to Los Angeles.

"I don't regret not having been drafted into the army, because I made out big," Refaeli said.

The newspaper said the full interview would be published Wednesday.

While military service has historically been a rite of passage in Israel, a growing number of youths, including several prominent celebrities, have figured out ways to avoid it.

DiCaprio, 32, has received Oscar nominations for his roles in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Aviator" and "Blood Diamond."

He and Refaeli have been romantically linked for about 18 months, and Israeli newspapers regularly run updates on their relationship.

Mr Bagel: Sorry this might ruffle a few feathers, but when it comes to the draft, it's not right that celebrities and children of the rich and powerful are able to avoid it. Bar Refaeli should be ashamed of her actions. Thats my two cents.

I've never thought much of supermodels, its not like they contribute anything of great worth to society, in fact most of the time they espouse the very shallow values of vanity and self indulgence. Moving to L.A? bye..


Yom Kippur driver suspected of murder

The Northern District Attorney's Office instructed police on Sunday to investigate Assad Shibli, the man who ran over nine-year-old Tal Zino on Yom Kippur, on suspicion of murder.

Tal Zino was killed while riding her bicycle on Yom Kippur in the northern community of Kfar Tavor, where she was hit by an fast moving all-terrain vehicle and sustained critical injuries. She was rushed to Ha'Emek Hospital in Afula, but doctors were unable to save her life.

Police arrested Assad Shibli, 20, who was driving the vehicle and was lightly injured after the vehicle rolled after the collision.

Shilbli was driving the ATV despite recently losing his license over a traffic violation.

Assad Shibli, from the nearby village Shibli, maintained that he had entered Kfar Tavor to withdraw money from an ATM and had then been frightened off by local residents. He said he had hurried away from the scene and lost control of the vehicle.

Investigators were hesitant to accept his account, since the ATM was at the entrance of Kfar Tavor, while the scene of the accident was in the center of the community where the synagogue is located.

Another Shibli resident involved in the crash turned himself in on Friday after police searched for him for nearly a week.

Residents of Kfar Tavor have accused the young Arab driver of killing the girl on purpose. The collison occured near the local synagogue after Assad Shibli had ignored numerous requests to leave the area.

Eyewitnesses stated that Shibli had been driving at approximately 120kph down a street full of children. Many asked why Shibli and his friend had entered the Jewish town where all the shops and businesses were closed for the holiday if not to harass Jewish worshipers.

Accusations were leveled at the police for refusing to define the incident as a terrorist attack, saying if a Jewish driver had done what Shibli did in an Arab village, he would have be charged with racially based murder.

Cross posted at Israel Bagel
Composed from various news sources
JPost: Yom Kippur driver suspected of murder
Haaretz: Yom Kippur road crash that killed girl to be probed as a murder
Arutz Sheva: Kfar Tavor Residents Accuse Driver of Murder


The 16th edition of JPix is Up!

The 16th edition of JPix!

A Freilechin Sukkos - From outside 770

A Stunning Photo taken by the Mother
of Mottle from Letters of Thought

[Click to see a larger version]

Welcome to the 16th Edition of JPix, -The Jewish Photo Carnival.

Ok, Mr Bagel has been a naughty boy. I've been meaning to put JPix up for a while and each time, time has got the better of me. With Rosh Hashanah,Yom Kippur and Sukkot following each other and also having work which meant less time for blogging its been a battle.

Anyway, I do apologise to those that submitted and have expected JPix to have come a lot early you have my apologies. Without further ado here is JPix 16

Eretz Israel

Welcome Clouds
Image courtesy of me-ander

Muse presents Welcome Clouds posted at me-ander muse also presents To Be Free in Eretz Yisrael an inspiring photo essay of the annual Od Avihu march from Shiloh to Jerusalem. Theres more photos available via Shiloh Musings, Hit the road, from Shiloh to Jerusalem!

On another excursion Batya visited Kever Rachel and posed the question Is that how they treat their mothers?

Muse has been doing some exploring trying to figure out some of the bizarre acronyms that are prevalent in Israel. Theres CBS-- At least that's what the bus signs call it and Natbag--Do you know what that is?

Cosmic X presents The White Waterfall In Nachal El Al at Cosmic X in Jerusalem .

hofshi presents Here There and Everywhere: תל אביב בתמונות posted at A photo tour of Tel Aviv, Israel, saying, "Lovely photos of Tel Aviv,Israel. See Tel Aviv like you've never seen it before."

StreetsOfJerusalem presents Sukkah-riah posted at The Streets of Jerusalem, saying, "Jerusalem Sukkah Fun"


A View from S Marino

Image courtesy of Letters of Thought

Mottel from Letters of Thought has an amazing series of photos from his extensive Lithuanian Summer in Italy series.

A Lithuanian Summer In Italy I
A Lithuanian Summer In Italy II - Daily Life
A Lithuanian Summer In Italy III - When in Rome
A Lithuanian Summer In Italy IV - Do as The Romans
A Lithuanian Summer In Italy V - On Carnivals and Rimini
A Lithuanian Summer In Italy VI -Republic of S Marino
A Lithuanian Summer In Italy VII - Coda del Lituania

Family and Friends

Image courtesy of Temunot
[Make sure you visit Temunot to see the image in a large format]

DavidL from Temunot presents Tranquility

LittleBirdies presents Two Kids, Two Preschool Orientations, One Crazy Morning posted at LittleBirdies.

DavidL from Temunot also presents The Return of the Monster showing a uncanny photo of him as a youth whilst running a race called the 'Monster', which proved to be quite a challenge.. speaking of challenges and teamwork DavidL also posted, Two Heads and Four Hands are Better Than One Head and Two Hands and Summer's gone

Phyllis Sommer presents Spoon Love...Best Shot Monday, Veggie Recipe, and Pink! from Ima on (and off) the Bimah.


Karen presents Hurricane Katrina - 2 Years posted at Photos by Seawitch, saying, "Hurricane was devastating to my hometown in Gulfport Mississippi. I've taken pictures since the aftermath and have composed 5 videos of them. This is the latest and remembers the 2 year anniversary."


A Simple Jew presents Black & White Picture Of The Week - Sunlight Through Wormholes posted at A Simple Jew.


Blow the Shofar
Image courtesy of imabima

Tamara presents All Good Things posted at Tamara Eden.

Phyllis Sommer presents Blow the Shofar...my Best Shot Monday posted at Ima on (and off) the Bimah.

Cosmic X presents Happy New Year posted at Cosmic X in Jerusalem .

Muse from Me-ander gave us a glimpse of Almost Succot shopping then we got to see her Succah up including the s'chach
A Simple Jew presents some abstract Black & White Pictures For Erev Sukkos posted at A Simple Jew.

DavidL's children were being kept busy with All that hard work

Cosmic X shows us a photo which is a departure from his usual "Mystery Series" check out Not a Mystery Tree

Cosmic X
in Jerusalem also tries to come to terms with the difficulty of celebrating Sukkot whilst dealing with the loss of Rav Avraham Shapira zt"l. Cosmic X has a photo of the funeral. A Not so happy Sukkot.


Enjoying the Ride
Image courtesy of Temunot

DavidL from Temunot presents Enjoying the Ride.

Batya from Shiloh Musings shows us the Creature over Jaffa

Out and About

On the Road in Colorado
Image courtesy of Letters of Thought
Seems Mottel is always traveling on a plane to somewhere, in his recent trip to Southern Colorado, Mottle managed to capture some spectacular scenery. Its well worth the time to view. Two and a Half Rabbis in the Rockies also check out Mottel's other Colarado posts
Mike Pick of Pike's Peak and Other Stories and the 'second half' of Two and a Half Rabbis in the Rockies, Kabbalah Talk at 8000 Feet and Tefillin at 14,110 feet or Goodybe Rockies, Hello Smog! make sure you check this post out as theres a scoop photo of Three different JBloggers at once! By the way this edition of JPix is not dedicated to Mottel, his just one prolific Photographer, well done!

muse from me-ander was watching a performance at the school she teaches at, drop in and see quite a preformance. "If I were a rich man..."

Sarah from Sarah's View presents Phone Pics: Rock Sitting

Art for Arts sake

Dining Room Sunset
Image courtesy of A Simple Jew

A Simple Jew presents Black & White Picture Of The Week - Dining Room Sunset posted at A Simple Jew.

Muse posts a rather humorously titled Still Life at the Edge

Thats it for JPix 16 once again my apologies and I'll ensure that JPix 17 edition is back on track. Baleboosteh has volunteered to host JPix 17 and I know a lot of people will be looking forward to it. JPIx 17 will be Thursday 18th October.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of
j pix - jewish photo carnival using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our
blog carnival index page


7 Years on and the truth finally begins to emerge

Government Press Office: Al-Dura's death was staged by Gaza cameraman

The September 2000 death of Palestinian child Mohammed Al-Dura in the Gaza Strip was staged by a Gaza cameraman, Government Press Office (GPO) Director Daniel Seaman said yesterday.

Seaman made the comments in an official letter, representing the Prime Minister's Office, in response to demands he strip France 2 journalists of their GPO credentials. France 2 had broadcast the original footage of Al-Dura's death on September 30, 2000, the second day of the Second Intifada.

The Prime Minister's Bureau said it had not received Seaman's letter, did not know of its contents nor did it grant its approval. However, it seems that the Prime Minister's Office's legal adviser approved the letter.

Seaman also wrote that "Israel was accused of murdering a small child after the event by the world press and his image has been burned into the collective Arab memory as a symbol of the brutality of the Zionist state."

Following a summary of the incident and the events that followed, Seaman wrote, "Here began the long path to exposing the truth and to base the facts that are known to us today, that the events of that day were essentially staged by the network's cameraman in Gaza, Mr. Tilal Abu-Rehama."

Seaman nonetheless refused to strip the network of its GPO credentials.

The disturbing images of Mohammed Al-Dura's death were shown around the world. In the France 2 report, the boy and his father cower in front of a wall amid a furious exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants at the Netzarim junction in Gaza.

The report shows the father gesturing to try to stop the shooting - then cuts to a shot of the motionless boy slumped in his father's lap. The report said the gunfire had come from nearby Israeli positions, though the circumstances remain in dispute.

The IDF initially said the gunfire apparently came from Israeli positions. But a military investigation subsequently determined he could have been hit by Palestinian bullets in an exchange of fire.

In recent years Israel has avoided relating to the incident, mostly because of the Foreign Ministry's recommendation that renewed handling of the affair would not help Israel's image in any case. In 2005, five years after the shooting, the Prime Minister's Bureau refused Seaman's proposal to publish an official stance denying responsibility for Al-Dura's death.

Last month, a French court ordered France 2 to release unedited 7-year-old footage of Al-Dura's death for renewed investigations into the incident.

The court launched new hearings in the legal dispute between France 2 and Philippe Karsenty, a self-described media watchdog, who has accused the network and its Israel correspondent, Charles Enderlin, of staging the shooting.

Enderlin and the TV network filed a libel suit against Karsenty, and a Paris judge ruled in their favor last year.

Mr Bagel: Some hold the view that Charles Enderlin and France2's action to to show the IDF was responsible by narrating, and doctoring the video tape , is negligent if not outright malicious.


Monday, 1 October 2007

Cox and Forkum say goodbye

Cox and Forkum say goodbye

One of my favorite blogs is going to the big cartoonist strip in the sky, seems that Allen and John have called it quits.

Its a major loss for both the fight against terrorism and for supporters of Israel.

Allen and John do [did?] an exceptional job, Cox & Forkum cartoons are always on the cutting edge of what the real truth is, often before words can be expressed to describe a prevailing development its sentiment is communicated in a sharp take no prisoners way.

I liked these guys so much I've run an ad on my blog as a gesture, I was never asked, they're good and they deserved the recognition.

Its a sad day...

Read their goodbye here: Final Bow

Their final book collection, Black & White World IV is taking pre orders.

Kippertip: LGF


Hamas and Fatah contest who is the biggest liar

There's one positive benefit that has actually come out of the Hamas take over of Gaza. It would seem that some of the energies invested in distorting the truth and concocting stories of the 'Zionist oppressors' are starting to be diverted towards concocting stories about Fatah and Hamas themselves.
There's a certain irony in the fact that a recent story posted on JPost Caught on tape: How a 16 year old girl was lynched in Gaza [cached copy] proved to be a fabrication of the truth, the 'Honor killing' did happen its just it happened some where else and at a much earlier date rather than the Gaza report. JPost acted quickly and withdrew the story.

The original reporter of the article Khaled Abu Toameh writing for the Jerusalem Post in his article Fatah uses false video as evidence is quite adamant who the culprit is.

But now I'm not so sure. Khaled Abu Toameh is celebrated by some for his objectiveness, he has revealed the media manipulation P.A. uses, on more than one occasion.

In a briefing by Toameh Telling the Truth about the Palestinians which appears in The Middle East Forum he puts forward the PA as ruthless and intimidating censor and manipulator of the press.

In what is uncannily a similar genre of story to the 'Honor killings' , in another story written in May 2007 Ramallah couple arrested for selling daughters , Toameh's story again cast a poor light on the Palestinian Authority.

Considering the expected ease and speed in which this story was 'disproved' is it just possible it was actually an attempt by Hamas to portray so called 'moderate' Fatah and the Israeli Media and the Israeli State by proxy as a group of manipulative co conspirators?

If we read the latest being written on this affair it seems the two 'witnesses' were apparently located in Gaza and were Fatah witnesses. Is it just a coincidence that now these two Fatah supporters are utterly unreachable on their mobile phones?

With out being too critical of the JPost reporter Khaled Abu Toameh it would appear he would make the ideal target to plant a story that would later blow up to embarass Fatah and the Israeli Media.

The story certainly wasn't easy to dismiss immediately as a lie, with the recent triple honor killing report Three sisters stabbed to death in Gaza 'honor killing' it would seem this latest story was certainly possible.

There's no doubt now, due to the vigilance of the blogosphere, that the story is concocted, the only doubt remains who was the actually concocter.

The obvious choice is Fatah, but something tells me this was a planted story by Hamas using former Fatah supporters possibly under some duress, and the story was calculated to self implode to bring a major embarrassment to both Fatah and the Jewish Media.

It smells, it smells really bad and I feel there never was any doubt it would be exposed as a lie, the question is who was supposed to be holding it when it was exposed as a lie?

My ten cents is Hamas was setting Fatah and the Israeli press up. Making that 'pesky' reporter Khaled Abu Toameh look foolish was just an added benefit.

But the irony is, the clumsiness of the story has quickly revealed the extent to which that Palestinians on either side of the divide are willing to go to cast an enemy in bad light.


Sunday, 30 September 2007

Tit for Tat: The Iranians accuse US Army of being a Terrorist group

Iranian parliament: US Army, CIA - terrorist groups

Iranian lawmakers on Saturday labelled the US army and CIA as terrorist groups. The parliament said in a statement, cited by IRNA, that the US army has a record of terrorist operations mentioning bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs and CIA has been involved in establishment of terror networks and training terrorists worldwide.

"Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons and throwing depleted uranium bombs in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, waging war on Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and supporting Israel in its crackdown on Palestinian and Lebanese people are the record of the US army and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)," the statement said.

The statement added that both organizations supported Iraq's former leader Saddam Hussein, and terrorist groups including Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO), Al Qaeda and Taliban, and established secret prisons in Europe. CIA has also record of degrading treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq, it read.

The MPs added that practices of the US army and CIA are tantamount to terrorist acts in contravention of the international norms and conventions. "We, the representatives of great Iranian great nation condemn the aggressions by the US army, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, and call on the United Nations to intervene in the global problem of US prisons in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and secret jails in other countries."

Mr Bagel: Ok Mahmoud time for your medication...

It really is revealing just how juvenile Iran is reacting, instead of beginning a real dialog, and working towards a peaceful solution, Iran is upping the ante and reacting with further hostility.

Iran is simply reacting like a disobedient willful child, how long will it before we see Iran throwing a temper tantrum? Because the US has Nuclear toys and they don't?

I actually believe that the threat of both Iran and War is fast escalating out of control. The thought of Iran one day having a nuclear capability is horrifying.


Hitler's cross on bedspread collection sparks protests

A Quite appalling and desperate attempt at gaining notoriety

MUMBAI: Here comes chapter II of Hitler's Cross. A dealer in bedspreads has named his latest line, Nazi Collection. His booklet says Nazi stands for ‘New Arrival Zone of India', but the Fuhrer's hooked cross next to the word leaves no doubt about his intention.

Graphic designer Mehernooz Damani, a Jew, was handed the booklet when he went to Mulund's Nirmal Lifestyle mall on Thursday. "It really hurt me and I called the dealer, Kapilkumar Todi, and requested him to change the name," said Damani.
When Todi refused to do so, Damani contacted the Jewish Council of India, which is seeking legal opinion.
Last year, a restaurant in Khargar in Navi Mumbai called itself Hitler's Cross and attracted widespread condemnation. The restaurateur was forced to change the name after Jews across the world criticised it.

Todi knows about the Khargar case but is unconcerned about the fallout of his actions. When TOI contacted Todi on Saturday, he said he had decided on the name because "that's what came to my mind". Asked if he knew about the criticism faced by the restaurant, he said, "I am aware of it but it really does not matter to me who feels bad about it."

Chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation Jonathan Solomon said that his community would lodge a strong protest against this and the matter would be taken up seriously by Jews around the world. "We Jews believe that the best part of living in India is that it is a country that has never ridiculed us or harmed us," he added.

IPS officer turned lawyer Y P Singh said that Hitler's cross is banned in Germany but there is no such law in India. Asked if Todi can be arrested for hurting the sentiments of Jews, he said Sections 153A and 295A of the IPC, which deal with promoting enmity and hurting religious feelings of a community, can be applied in this case.

Zonal DCP Nitikesh Kaushik too said action can be taken against Todi for instigating hatred between communities. However, he added that the police will have to balance it with the right to freedom of expression.

Lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani opined that Todi's action is punishable as it has offended the sentiments of the Jewish community and has clearly violated the IPC.

Mr Bagel: Lets see this for what it, is a grubby desperate attempt to gain media attention and notoriety. Expecting any one to believe that this 'branding campaign' was accidental has to lack any creditability.

Even the acronym "New Arrival Zone of India" is a clumsy attempt at trying to legitimize it as an 'innocent' mistake. The owner of this 'Branding' should be ashamed of themselves. But unfortunately for the owner there may well be lay the problem, it is quite apparent they have no shame.


Youths desecrate Jewish Graves

Jewish cemetery vandalism suspect free on personal recognizance

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --A teenager suspected of toppling dozens of gravestones at Jewish cemeteries in West Springfield has been released on personal recognizance.

A Hampden Superior Court judge ordered 19-year-old Michael Ouimet released into the custody of his father with electronic monitoring and other conditions.

Ouimet had been ordered held on $1 million bail in district court.

Authorities at first thought the vandalism was a hate crime because it occurred close to the high holy days, and nearby Catholic cemeteries were untouched.

Jewish cemeteries in West Springfield

But Ouimet's lawyer says there were no racist reasons for the actions, which were fueled by alcohol consumption.

A 16-year-old boy is also charged and authorities are searching for other suspects.

Mr Bagel: Well thats what you do when you're a teenager and you go drinking. It was just a coincidence that it was a Jewish Cemetery, a group of teenage thugs just happen to damage grave sites, and they all just happen to be Jewish.

But it wasn't a race crime, no, see the accused is really sorry, even though they're still looking for the other participants in this crime, he just happens to know none of them because they were complete strangers who just happen to share an interest in drinking at Jewish Cemeteries. (But not deliberately damaging them...)

Sure, and I've got some water side real estate to sell, but you have to look at it at a certain time of day...

The Republican: More wrecked tombstones found


A Honeymoon from Hell
Terrorists strike in the Maldives

Near a mosque in Male where 12 tourists were injured in a bomb explosion.

Tranquillity of Maldives shattered by bomb blast
Terrorism struck at the heart of the honeymoon destination of the Maldives yesterday when a bomb exploded in a crowded park and left a British couple with 'significant' burn injuries.

The islands, famed for their tranquillity, came under attack with an explosion outside the main mosque in the capital, Male, that left 12 people injured. Local media said the bomb was triggered by a home-made device using a mobile phone and washing machine motor attached to a gas cylinder. A witness reported seeing nails scattered in the park before the area was cleared by local security forces. There was no immediate clue as to whether it was the work of the al-Qaeda terrorist network or another group or individual.

The British victims were said to be in a stable condition. Mahmood Shaugee, the Maldives' tourism minister, told Reuters: 'Twelve were injured - two British nationals, two Japanese and eight Chinese. The Japanese nationals and Chinese have been treated for minor injuries and discharged from the hospital.'

He added that the two British victims were still receiving treatment. 'They sustained significant burns but they are stable and out of danger.' It is thought the couple were staying on Baros, one of 87 designated tourist islands among nearly 1,200 in the ocean chain.

A spokeswoman for Universal Resorts, a firm based in the Maldives that owns Baros and other resorts, confirmed that two British guests had been injured. She said the couple, who live in the Gulf state of Qatar, were already preparing to fly back to the Middle East. 'Those two guests are being taken care of in the hospital in Male and are with Universal Resorts staff,' the spokeswoman said. 'Both of them have received some burns. They are burns to hands, legs and some cuts, but they are not serious and most definitely are not life-threatening.'

Each year thousands of British holidaymakers, many on honeymoon, visit the islands in the Indian Ocean, presented by travel brochures as a tropical paradise of abundant sealife and sandy beaches. The threat of terrorism is classed as 'low' in official Foreign Office advice to tourists. But the attack will evoke memories of al-Qaeda's devastating attack on tourists on the island of Bali five years ago next week, which left 202 people dead.

This week's bomb was detonated outside Sultan Park, a stop-off for tour groups in Male. The park is in the shadow of the Maldives army headquarters, and several surveillance cameras are trained on the area. A government spokesman, Mohamed Shareef, said the park was crowded at the time of the blast as many locals were breaking their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

'Just after 14.30 there was a large explosion, just inside the main gate of the central park in Male,' Shareef added. 'The police told me it was some sort of home-made device. There were 12 tourists who suffered injuries, but none of them have life-threatening injuries. They are still in a state of shock and police have still not interviewed them.'

He added: 'The Maldives has never had something like this before. We are taking this very seriously because tourism is our lifeblood.'

Shareef said police had launched an investigation and the government would seek help from Interpol, the United States and India.

The Muslim country has a reputation for safety, and its president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, is Asia's longest serving leader, having first taken office in 1978. But human rights groups have accused him of running an autocratic state, and he has faced down attempted coups that saw violence flare in the streets.

In 1988 Indian troops suppressed a coup by invading Tamil mercenaries from Sri Lanka. The Maldives are due to hold its first multi-party elections by the end of next year.

Aside from the capital, Male, outsiders are only permitted on to inhabited islands for brief visits, limiting their impact on traditional Muslim communities.

Mr Bagel: It will be interesting to see who claims responsibility for this bombing. Its hard not to leap to conclusions. One thing is almost certain, it is related to the upcoming election.