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April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

EMG Protesting Tamar ‘Reverse Flow’ To Egypt Story, Says Quoted Costs Unrealistic

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

The attorneys for East Mediterranean Gas SA (EMG) have sent a stern letter of protest to the Tamar natural gas reservoir owners—Noble Energy Mediterranean Ltd., Isramco Negev 2 Limited Partnership, Dor Gas Exploration Limited Partnership, Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership—and to the press, protesting the publication of the Tamar reservoir partners agreements with Dolphinus Holdings Limited on the supply of gas to Egypt through EMG’s pipeline.

The attorney, Niv Sever, states that EMG was “surprised, once again, to read in the press about an agreement assuming the use of its pipeline for ‘reverse flow’ of gas between the Israeli Tamar Reservoir partners and Dolphinus Holdings Limited.”

In no uncertain words and in fluent Lawyerese, the Tamar partners, as well as the press, are warned that “EMG strongly protests the repeated unauthorized use of its name, targeted, so it seems, to capitalize on its assets.”

Apparently, EMG, despite its being the owner and operator of the gas pieline whose flow is to be reversed under the new deal, “is not a party to the reported deal and was not included in such negotiations. To avoid any doubt, there are no discussions held between EMG and Dolphinus on such a transaction and there have been no negotiations held in the past.”

Sever adds that, even if his client, EMG, were to permit this unauthorized use of their pipeline, “the reported up-front costs of such an operation are unrealistic for a pipeline that has been out of operation for several years.”

Apparently, when a pipeline is dipped in seawater for several years unattended, you can’t just turn it on and expect it to start reverse flowing stuff.

Or, as Sever puts it: “future operation to transport the reported interruptible quantities of gas for the reported duration would not be economical as far as EMG is concerned.”

“As you must be aware, Egypt has often been reported to impose three determinants for any reverse flow deal,” Sever continues, “approval of the Egyptian government, creation of added value for Egypt, and resolution of the pending international arbitration cases between EMG and its shareholders and Egypt.”

Alas, EMG’s attorney explains, “the positions taken by Egypt in those cases to date, as well as existing Egyptian law restrictions, preclude, at present, any agreement by EMG to contract use of its pipeline for reverse flow on any terms.”

Tamar Group To Sell Gas To Egypt Through Same Old Pipeline Built For Gas Exports To Israel

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Published by Jewish Business News

A consortium of private, industrial, and commercial Egyptian companies will buy at least $1.2 billion of natural gas from Israel’s offshore Tamar field, through the very same pipeline Egypt had used to send gas to Israel.

On Wednesday, the Tamar partners announced a seven-year deal with Dolphinus Holdings, with a minimum 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas to be sold in the first three years.

But Reuters cites an energy source in Israel who said the deal is likely to be more than three times higher, as Egypt has been facing an energy crisis.

The gas will run through the underwater pipeline constructed almost 10 ago by East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which executed the Egyptian-Israeli natural gas deal killed by the President Morsi government, and attacks on the pipeline by Salafi terrorists in the Sinai.

A lot of water ran through the River Nile since.

Texas-based Noble Energy is the field’s operator.

Chairman of Delek Drilling Yossi Abu, said the deal highlights Israel role as “an energy anchor for countries in the region” and that the deal will “radically change Israel’s geopolitical status.”

The Dolphinus deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals in Israel, Egypt and from the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG).

US Army Vet Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ on Trying to Join ISIS

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Turkish authorities caught a U.S. Armed Forces veteran this past January as he was allegedly attempting to join Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group, or ISIS.

U.S. federal authorities say U.S. Air Force veteran and New Jersey native Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, flew to Turkey from Egypt in January, but was denied entry to the country. Instead, they say Turkey sent Pugh back to Egypt, who then deported the veteran to the U.S.

(Given the skill and speed with which Turkish authorities caught this suspect, one wonders how three Islamic schoolgirls from the UK managed to sneak through the country into Syria to become Daesh “brides.”)

Pugh was arrested January 10 in Turkey and on January 16 in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and has been held in custody since that time, the Wall Street Journal reported. The alleged wannabe terrorist was formally charged by the federal grand jury with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and obstruction of justice. On Wednesday he pleaded “not guilty” in a New York federal court room, CNN reported.

If found guilty, Pugh could be sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison.

According to a post on the blog of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Pugh’s Face­book pro­file included mul­ti­ple anti-Semitic and anti-Israel posts as well as posts sup­port­ing Hamas.

One of the posts written by Pugh in July 2014 stated in part, “All the evil done by the Jews came from within them­selves. On the day of Judg­ment full respon­si­bil­ity of the starv­ing, tor­ture, jail­ing and killing of inno­cent Mus­lims will rest upon there (sic) shoul­ders. Allah must really hate them to give the rope to hang them­selves.” He also posted an image with text stat­ing, “Most Jews do not like to admit it, but our G-d is Lucifer.”

In August 2014, he shared an image that ref­er­enced blood libel accu­sa­tions, depict­ing Israel’s Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Netanyahu slit­ting the throats of sleep­ing children. Pugh also posted sev­eral car­toons equat­ing Jews, Israelis or Zion­ists to Nazis, as well as numerous images claim­ing to depict Israeli war crimes.

Under questioning while being held in Egypt prior to deportation to the U.S. Pugh claimed he had traveled to Turkey to seek employment, denying he had intended to go to Syria, according to the criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.

However, a search of the suspect’s laptop by federal agents turned up a map of Turkish-Syrian border crossing points, and some 180 jihadist propaganda videos – including a number showing ISIS prisoners being executed. Also found on his laptop was a letter addressed to “My Misha,” whicch stated, “I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic States.”

That Pugh refers to ‘Islamic States’ in the plural form is, in fact, quite chilling: Daesh has indeed spread its influence and its forces from Iraq and Syria into a number of other countries, including Yemen, Nigeria and Libya. Pockets of terrorist cells have also been found in the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, Lebanon, France, Belgium, and Denmark.

Pugh was charged with “obstruction of justice” in response to the suspect’s intentional damage and removal of memory chips from four thumb drives in order to stymie law enforcement officials in their attempts to access data, authorities said. According to the criminal complaint, Pugh was also asked why he had a photo of a machine gun on his cell phone. He replied that he had “no particular reason other than simply liking the photograph.”

But Pugh’s history did not begin with his flight to the Turkish-Syrian border; actually he has been on the “watch list” for more than 10 years. Quoting the criminal complaint, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pugh converted to Islam and then started ramping up his radical sympathies after moving to San Antonio in 1998.

The FBI received a first tip from a co-worker while Pugh was working as a mechanic for American Airlines in 2001, when he was saying he sympathized with Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and supported the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Africa. By 2002, the FBI heard that Pugh had expressed interest in traveling to Chechnya to fight the jihad (Islamic holy war.)

Pugh had already worked as an Air Force mechanic from 1986 to 1990, and was assigned to various bases around the world, according to the U.S. Air Force. He lived abroad for some 18 months, including in Egypt and Jordan, prior to his arrest, according to the criminal complaint. But following his discharge, Pugh had trouble holding down a steady job.

At some point from 2009 to 2010, he worked as an Army contractor for a five month period in Iraq.

Earlier this year, he was fired again, this time from a gig as an airplane mechanic for a firm “based in the Middle East.”

Last Friday, three Brooklyn men also pleaded “not guilty” in Brooklyn federal court to charges of conspiring to aid the ISIS terrorist organization.

Over the past 18 months “dozens” of Americans have faced criminal charges relating to ISIS. FBI director James Comey said at a news briefing last month that his agency has active cases open “in every single state” in connection with the ISIS terror organization.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Preventing Americans from joining ISIS has become a priority for federal law-enforcement officials, but they have been unable to find a singular profile of the type of American who is inspired by the militant group’s propaganda.”

Due to the lack of a hat, a tip of the keyboard will have to do for kudos to WSJ journalists Dion Nissenbaum and Nicole Hong for being able to compose and type that last with a (presumed) straight face.

US Air Force Vet Charged with Trying to Help Islamic State

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

A US Air Force vet tried to join ISIS in Syria, but only made it as far As Turkey before he was sent back, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, flew to Egypt in January and tried to enter Turkey, who didn’t let him in. Egypy then deported him back to the US, where he was then arrested.

Pugh has been on the radar for a decade, the WSJ reports, after converting to Islam and telling a co-worker, in 2001, that he sympathised with Osama bin Laden.

Pugh was an Air Force mechanic from 1986-1990.

The WSJ reports that in the past 18 months, dozens of Americans have had criminal charges filed against them in connection to ISIS.

Kerry’s Gaffe Exposes ‘IsraelPhobia’

Monday, March 16th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke enthusiastically about Egypt in a speech on Friday but made a very undiplomatic boo-boo by stating that Egyptian President Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is committed to Israel’s future.

Yes, that is what he said. Here is the entire sentence, according to the official U.S. State Dept, transcript of his speech at American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh.:

President Sisi has engaged on a bold and critical path to implement reforms. He’s committed to restoring investor confidence in Israel’s future.”

The State Dept. later noted that he meant to say “Egypt’s future.”

How could a mistake like that have been made by the  Secretary of the State of the United States of America, the man who knows he can bring peace between Israel and the Arab world, and between Iran and the rest of the world? The U.S. Embassy in Cairo had a nifty explanation for the blooper and posted on Twitter:

“Clear theme of @JohnKerry speech/visit today: confidence in #EGYPT’s future. All night flight+morning event=unintended slip (wrong country!)

Jet lag is definitely a problem for diplomats like Kerry, who seem to spend more time on the plane than at home.

But excuses are not going save the world when he sits with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and says “Hamas, whoops I mean Israel,” or sits with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and says, “Jews, whoops I mean settlers.”

But all of that could be forgiven because his talks with the Palestinian Authority and Israel were nothing more than a way to boost profits for hotels where he stayed, but what happens when he talking with Iran over its nuclear program?

First of all, he has to remember he is in Switzerland today and not in Swaziland.

His aides need to remind him he is talking to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and not Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

And Kerry needs to be reminded that “peaceful nuclear energy” in Iran means in plain English, “A nuclear bomb to destroy not only Israel but also the United States.”

Egypt Cites ‘Existential Threat’ from ISIS, ‘Terror Groups’

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Egyptian Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffer warned in a speech Wednesday that his nation is facing an “existential war” in its battle against “terrorist groups.”

Speaking to a meeting of Arab interior ministers in Algeria, Ghaffar urged Arab nations to use all their resources to counter the imminent danger. The terrorist organizations, he said, “not only aim to come to power but also to divide Arabic countries and destroy their military and security capabilities…”

The danger posed by fighters from Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has escalated after local-area terror groups pledged allegiance to the organization, the state-run MENA news agency reported.

The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and similar local groups in Libya are now linked to Daesh, with Ansar having since changed name to “Sinai Province.”

Egypt proposed creating a joint Arab force to preserve Arab national security. The proposal is to be presented again at the Arab Summit, slated to take place later this month.

Was Mordechai Crazy? A Torah Thought for Purim

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

There is an interesting parallel between Pharaoh and Ahashverosh. Both absolute rulers are sure that their way is just and supreme. Pharaoh rules by force while Ahashverosh rules with the honey trap, but they have the same intentions and the results are the same. Both of them enslave Israel to their will and threaten to destroy the Jewish People. Both Moses and Mordechai ‘irresponsibly’ endanger the nation and at the beginning, make the situation worse.

“Why, Moshe and Aaron?” asks/threatens the king of Egypt. “Why disturb the nation?” You are bothering them. They, after all, are used to slavery. They were born for slavery. “Go take care of your other issues.” You are not leaders. You are private individuals.

As opposed to Pharaoh, Ahashverosh does not threaten anybody. He simply invites them all to his feast. Is it kosher? Strictly kosher. So how can the Jews show contempt for the king and refuse to attend? True, the vessels on display at the feast are the vessels from the destroyed holy Temple in Jerusalem. But why get bogged down with petty details? This is how Ahashverosh pulls the Jews along, getting them to make peace with the fact that they are in exile, encouraging them to even enjoy their status. Ahashverosh entices the Jews to revel at the feast that celebrates their acceptance of the destruction of the Temple – the palace and symbol of the kingly rule of the Creator in His World. Instead of accepting G-d’s rule, the Jews accept the rule of a mere human: Ahashverosh.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

Mordechai is connected to Jewish destiny. He knows that the exile mentality that Ahashverosh succeeded in creating threatens the Jews’ ability to realize their destiny. He knows that without destiny, there will be no existence for the Jews, either. And so, despite the fact that no danger seems to be looming over the horizon, and strictly because of the betrayal of the Mount and the Temple, Mordechai ‘endangers’ the entire Nation (crazy, pyromaniac…) and restores the Jewish People to their destiny.

Was he crazy? Perhaps. Ben Gurion may also have been ‘crazy’ when he declared the establishment of the State of Israel. History is the judge. But the clear lesson is that the majority will always prefer to ‘manage’ with the current situation and pay for short-term stabilization of their existence in the coinage of destiny. True leadership is concerned about existence, but will never surrender or take its eyes off its nation’s destiny.

Happy Purim and Shabbat Shalom.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/was-mordechai-crazy-a-torah-thought-for-purim/2015/03/04/

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