Category Archives: Israel

Abrams Pissed at Qatar, When in Rome and Carthage………

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Qatar has acquired a reputation for sharp, quick responses to crises in the Arab world and for modern and unorthodox thinking. It is undeserved. Qatari diplomatic activity is designed to advance the interests of the tiny country and of its ruling family. Its adoption of the Libyan opposition, for example, is not based on any principle (such as liberty, democracy, or free elections), for the Qatari government and its TV station, Al Jazeera, have been notably silent about the crisis in Bahrain. There, they have backed the royal family and the Saudi-led GCC armed presence………Backing the royal family in Bahrain, supporting Hamas but then giving some money to the PA, and financing the rebels in Libya shows Qatari flexibility, but not courageous leadership. What does Qatar seek, beyond influence? Influence for what? ……………..”

Abrams sounds truly pissed at the Qatari oligarchy, but he is right overall about the hypocrisy. I have to agree with him on this one, although it is the Palestinian statehood thing that riles him up the most.
Abrams asks: Influence for what?” He forgets all about Rome. Long ago, in this galaxy, a small farming community around the upstart town of Rome gained influence and power gradually as it beat regional rivals. Within a couple of centuries, the Roman upstarts defeated Carthage in three (Punic) wars and became undisputed masters of the Mediterranean and half the known world (from Spain to the Euphrates River). Is it possible the Qatari dynasty is seeking to take over the (Persian-American) Gulf? Or maybe they just want to merge with Bahrain (minus al-Khalifa and the Saudi occupation forces, of course). Is it possible they want to conquer the known world? Ich weiss nicht.

Cheers
mhg



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Reverse Tea Party of Tel Aviv, the Cleric against the World Plot………..

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Haaretz reports that about 300,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv, 20,000 participated in Jerusalem, 3,000 in Kiryat Shmona, 5,000 in Modi’in,1,000 in Hod Hasharon and 1,000 in Eilat. However, those close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the media had inflated the numbers of participants in the protests. Mr Netanyahu claimed that the numbers are vastly exaggerated, that perhaps only 290,000 were involved in Tel Aviv instead of 300,000. This is sort of a reverse Tea Party: in the United States it is noted that only the extreme right-wing can mobilize huge numbers these days, mostly from among the Tea Party foot soldiers (also known as political cannon fodder).
Now we await a new verdict from the Saudi clerics who earlier condemned Arab protests (outside Libya) as anti-Islamic. They did not specifically ban Jews from protesting. Yet they can use this as proof that world Jewry are behind the popular Arab uprisings against oppression and corruption of their rulers. Just as they used to advise that Communism (remember communism?) was part of a Jewish plot to misguide the faithful and take over the whole world.
Cheers
mhg




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Nuclear Theocratic Powers of the Middle East and Beyond…….

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Particularly worrisome in the Saudi case is the potential departure from the Gold Standard established by the UAE 123 agreement. If, as has been suggested, the Saudi agreement is concluded without an accompanying commitment to abjure reprocessing and enrichment technologies, there could be profound consequences for the administration’s nonproliferation objectives and for the long-term stability of the Middle East. Although Saudi Arabia has not previously been judged to be a proliferation threat, as it “lacks the technological expertise, industrial base, and disciplined commitment required to develop an indigenous weapons capacity,” recent developments may have altered this assessment. The alacrity with which the United States dispensed of its long-standing support for the regime of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak no doubt gave pause to the House of Saud, which continues – 30 years later – to be troubled by American abandonment of the Shah on the eve of the Iranian revolution. Nor is Saudi threat perception likely to be relieved by the regional meddling of its frequent ideological competitor. This is to say nothing of the Kingdom’s concerns regarding Iranian weaponization. Indeed, Saudi Arabia appears increasingly unnerved by the trajectory of the Iranian program, a trend that can be seen in the country’s shifting characterizations of its own nuclear ambitions. ……..

  • There are fears that Saudi Arabia may try and shift any nuclear program toward military use. In fact that is exactly what Prince Turki al-Faisal warned about last month. There is now this fear, but the difference is that the Saudis will need American (and maybe other) help in any nuclear plan they have.

  • There are, there have been, fears of the Iranian nuclear program. These fears are based on possibilities that the Iranian may be trying to either build nuclear weapons or, more likely, reach the point ehre they can build nuclear weapons.

  • Then there is Israel. Everyone knows that Israel has many nuclear warheads, although no one can prove it. Israel is not a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), hence it is not under any Western pressure to allow international (IAEA) inspection.
  • Pakistan has several nuclear weapons, and it is not an NPT signatory either. Pakistan was created as a quasi-theocratic state: it was carved up as an Islamic state from parts of India. The country has been veering toward fundamentalism and back over its history. It may be closer now than at any other time.


What do all these West and South Asian countries have in common? No, not the geographic proximity. They are all either declared theocracies, undeclared theocracies, quasi-theocracies, or threatened theocracies. They are all within one of these categories I noted above. Scary, no? (The United States is not a theocracy, although the Tea Party and other elements would like it to be and try to push it that way).
Cheers
mhg




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Rabbinical Court: Look who Almost Got Stoned in Israel………

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A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday. According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs. Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises. One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously. Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer’s spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism. Clearly still offended, one of the judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children. The canine target, however, managed to escape………

As far as I know all cases of being stoned in Israel have been of the, well, weedy, greeny, cannabis kind, or worse (a value judgment here). This is a first sentence of actual stoning, with real rocks. This dog missed an opportunity to become a cause célèbre, a la poor Sakinah Ashtiani of Iran.
Occasionally some of these Jewish rabbis act as if totally stoned out of their minds, just like many Muslim ones, almost. Some Muslim clerics have issued fatwas for the elimination of man’s best friend, but none has recommended that they be stoned. As far as I know.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, Christians in Europe have for centuries sentenced and executed innocent four-legged animals on various suspicions. They probably don’t do it anymore.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

What some Arabs Saw in the US Congress, Bibi….

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Some Arab media headlines after the Netanyahu speech to a joint session of the US Congress:

“Eulogy for a Hezbollah-controlled’ Lebanon”

“Netanyahu in Congress: America falls on her knee before Israel”

“US Congress looked like a third world parliament heaping accolades on the Great Leader”

“Netanyahu speech was a speech of fear” (Saudi Asharq Alawsat, one of the few that tried to put a somewhat positive face on it)

Some of my own (ArabiaDeserta) live tweets (the last are first):


“Shit! some of these guys are gushing, you’d think they’re shaking hands with John the Baptist hisself…” Me

“Okay, I know the Dome of the Capitol is covered with a thick layer of bull, a lil more than in a normal session…” Me

“There may be some health reasons for all these “standing” ovations (how do you spell r-e-l-i-e-f)..” Me

“Hmm.. Did he just lie? didn’t the Ottomans and British allow freedom of worship in Jerusalem?….” Me

“Now the ijits clapping for annexation of East Jerusalem…..” Me

“I think Congressmen who stood for the “Judea and Samaria” remark wanted to give their brains a rest from the weight…” Me

“Clever #Netanyahu, stupid #Congress: he quickly changed the subject from Palestine to #Iran….” Me
Cheers
mhg




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Pro-Saudi Lebanese Shi’a Cleric Charged as Israeli Spy……….

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“News agencies have named Mohamed Ali al-Husseini as the suspect, but the authorities have not officially confirmed his identity. Sheikh al-Husseini is known to be critical of Hezbollah, the Syrian-backed Shia militia and movement. Several prominent Lebanese figures have been arrested over the last two years, accused of being spies for Israel. The suspect was picked up at his home in the city of Tyre, in the south of the country, report said. He leads an organisation called the Arab-Islamic Resistance . ……”

““Military intelligence officers last Saturday arrested the head of the Arab Islamic Council Mohammed Ali al-Husseini on charges he was conspiring with the Israeli enemy,” the National News Agency reported. Husseini, a Shiite cleric known for his staunch opposition to Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah, was arrested during an army raid on his home in the southern coastal city of Tyre, it said. The Arab Islamic Council is a small group of Shiite Muslims whose aim is to “reclaim Shiite decision-making from those who have hijacked it in the name of our confession,” or Hezbollah, according to its mission statement……….”

This cleric Mohamed Ali al-Husseini is a regular guest on Saudi television channels, especially the semi-official Alarabiya. His writings have also been all over Saudi semi-official newspapers like Asharq Alawsat. He was widely known to have been financed by the al-Saud, he and his ragtag organization. He is a severe critic of Hezbollah and an advocate of the House of al-Saud. The Saudis, and by extension some elements in the USA, were promoting him as the Shi’a alternative to Hezbollah or Amal (actually both) in Lebanon.
I have repeatedly told in this blog that he was a hopeless case: hardly any Shi’a in Lebanon would listen to him: I suspected that even some of his “followers” took the Saudi money and voted for Amal or Hezbollah. He himself and Saudi media and some Gulf media used to call him the “Religious and/or Political Guide of Arab Shi’as”. Even the al-Khalifa of Bahrain invited him to the country last February or March on the idiotic assumption that the people of Bahrain would listen to him. I wrote last year that if this guy runs in a Lebanese election he might get a handful of votes and that even his own wife may not be among them.
Apparently the Lebanese reportedly have been gathering evidence against him as an Israeli spy. The plot thickens: an al-Saud ally who spies for Israel. Who would have thunk it?
Cheers
mhg




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Shaikh Fatah and Prince Hamas and King Bibi of Palestine and the Gulf…

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Palestine to merge with GCC when liberated. The Palestinian government seeks support from the GCC countries to resolve their long-standing conflicts with Israel and wants to merge with the GCC bloc when liberated. Dr Khairi Al Oraidi, Ambassador of Palestine to the UAE., addressing the media on the occasion of the Nakba or catastrophe day at the embassy premises on Thursday, said: “I believe in the important role which the GCC countries have been playing in the region socially and politically.” So, if Palestine or any other country becomes part of the GCC countries, it will be a great support for them especially for the people of Palestine, the ambassador said. Palestinians mark Nakba Day to remember the 63rd anniversary of ‘Nakba’ or ‘catastrophe’, a term Palestinian refugees use to describe their expulsion from their homes and towns when Israel was created on occupied Palestinian 
territories in 1948……..”

Okay, this should run its course soon. First Jordan, then Morocco, and now Palestine-of-the-future. I do believe the GCC summit in Riyadh opened the door for this new #FunnyGCC laughter-fest, and deservedly so. Time to stop: we already look, and sound, like the idiots of the international community (for elaboration read my blog post of yesterday and other posts of earlier days). The GCC leadership, the secretary general, that close friend and retainer of the Bahrain regime, ought to hold a news conference and explain to the peoples of our region WTF the GCC leaders meant, if anything, with their strange statement about Morocco and Jordan. I joked in one of my tweets that Benjamin Netanyahu may apply as well, but afterwards I realized that he is not an Arab ruler. Netanyahu would have to get the approval of his Knesset and his people first. And he knows it, he is not a total schmuck (that would be Lieberman, both of them). Dommage.
Cheers
mhg




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Israeli Warplanes in Iraq: Iranian Paranoia? Iraqi Rumors? Saudi Hopes?………

     
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Iranian media report that Israeli jet fighters have conducted drills at an American military base in Iraq in preparation for an attack on Iran. Press TV quotes a source close to prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sader’s group that a considerable number of Israeli warplanes were seen at the al-Asad base in Iraq. The aircraft reportedly included F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, and KC-10 jet fighters. The warplanes allegedly carried out their week-long exercises at night. The drills were reportedly aimed at preparing to strike Iran’s air defense systems, disrupt Iran’s radars and attack targets deep inside Iran. Iraqi officials had not been notified of the exercises, which were conducted in collaboration with the US military. The United States operates several bases in Iraq whose future status is not clear yet and the Baghdad government is not involved in any of the military deployments taking place there.

I personally doubt all this: not only will it be futile, but it may divert attention back to the Palestine-Israeli issue and those ever expanding settlements. Yet it is tempting to dismiss all this as Iraqi rumors feeding Iranian paranoia. But one must remember: it is often at times when all seem to be quite that such attacks occur. From Operation Barbarossa to Pearl Harbor to the Ozirak attack to September 11, this has been the pattern (not always, but often).
Meanwhile, the Israelis are being their characteristic selves about this issue, the Iranians worry, and the rulers of Saudi Arabia are probably praying again (for such an attack to happen). I was going to add the shaikhs of UAE and Bahrain, but then I remembered that they don’t count anymore.
Cheers
mhg

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The Saudi-Israeli Alliance Comes Out of the Closet………….

     
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The Arab Spring and U.S. Policy: The View From Jerusalem. Israeli officials want a public commitment from Washington to protect the Saudi regime should it come under threat. It is provocative, but not entirely inaccurate, to suggest that U.S. foreign policy these past few months has been sufficiently erratic to make America’s allies reconsider the degree to which we can be trusted—and our adversaries re-evaluate the degree to which we must be feared. The canary in the coal mine on such matters is Israel. None of America’s allies is more sensitive to even the most subtle changes in the international environment, or more conscious of the slightest hint of diminished support from Washington. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been so concerned that a member of his fractious ………TedKoppel (WSJ)

Ted Koppel is one of the most serious and reliable  journalists, since before his old Nightline program.
As Hercule Poirot (Belgian waffle not French) never actually said: zee plot, she sickens…….
Cheers
mhg

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