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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Orange Telecom’s Troubled Egyptian History

Friday, June 5th, 2015

As CEO of French multinational telecommunications corporation Orange S.A. Stephane Richard was telling journalists in Cairo on Wednesday how happy he would be to cut ties with Israel, few outside Cairo were aware of the painful legacy of the mobile providers in Egypt and Orange in particular.

Back in 2011, when the Egyptian government under President Hosni Mubarak was cracking down on protesters in the big cities, suddenly the most effective means of communication activists had been using to coordinate action across the country—most prominently Facebook and Twitter—were unplugged.

As the Wall Street Journal reported four years ago, attempts to connect to websites belonging to Egyptian ISPs—EgyptWeb, TeData and Purenet—failed.

France Telecom, Orange’s original owner, confirmed that Egyptian authorities had taken “measures to block mobile phone services,” and apologized to the customers of Mobinil, the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services, of which Orange S.A. owns 98.92%.

Considering that Mobinil had an estimated 34 million Egyptian subscribers, it is clear why the name Orange was interchangeable with the idea of mobile phone service in Egypt, and why the betrayal, just when its services were needed the most, has left such deep-seated anger among Egyptians.

According to a Vodafone statement, mobile operators in Egypt were told “to suspend services in parts of Egypt. Under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it.”

The mobile companies capitulated without even an attempt to stand up to the embattled dictator Mubarak.

Many in Egypt noted that, in 2009, when Iranian youth and intellectuals had taken to the streets, it took forever to get online, due to government trickery, but you eventually got your message through using Google’s DNS and VPNs. In Cairo, it was a complete shutdown.

Renesys, an Internet intelligence company, reported “the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet’s global routing table… an action unprecedented in Internet history.”

As luck would have it, eventually the Egyptian authorities ordered Orange’s arch-rival Vodafone to switch its network back on, so the secret service could send out unsolicited text messages.

At that point, Vodafone rediscovered its backbone, and announced that the Egyptian government had forced it to send pro-Hosni Mubarak text messages to their customers. Vodafone said it protested to the authorities that it finds these messages is unacceptable.

Regardless of whether or not that series of events actually caused the shift in that country’s telecom business, the fact is that, as of 2011, Vodafone has become the leader in Egypt’s telecom market, with the largest customer base and revenue share.

Stephane Richard is probably not the completely rabid anti-Semite some have made him up to be. As he himself admitted, for him, the move to unload Israeli customers is just business.

If Orange wants to reinvigorate its Egyptian business, it must first mend the bridges it burned four years ago.

And what better way to become the darling of Egyptian consumers once again than by dumping on Israel and capitalizing on Egyptian anti-Semitism.

Orange CEO Richard in 2012: Israel Is a Charming Country [video]

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Orange CEO Stephane Richard, the same one who said in Egypt yesterday that he wishes he could ditch Israel’s Partner mobile firm from his company, said only four years ago how much he was “enchanted” during his first visit here.

In the video in English below, Richard says in his remarks at the President’s Conference in Jerusalem in 2012:

This really is the first time I have participated in this conference, and this is also my first visit to Israel (applause).

I must tell you I had been told that Israel is a very warm country in many sense of the word and also is a place for innovation and with a vision of the future, with a lot of dynamic energy.

I must tell you that I have discovered this reality with a lot of excitement. This is only my first visit but I really am fascinated by what I see here in this country, of course in my industry and in all the people I have met.

That was in 2012.

Read here what he said yesterday.

Click here to see and hear his speech on Israel in 2012.

ISIS Supporters in Gaza Claim They Launched Rocket on Israel

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Islamic State (ISIS) supporters have claimed responsibility for the Grad rocket attack north of Be’er Sheva last week and have issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Hamas to halt its crackdown against them.

The Islamic Jihad originally said it was behind the missile attack, the first beyond the Gaza Belt area since the war against Hamas last summer.

It is not known if the ISIS cells in Gaza are directly linked to the parent organization, but the fact that they have claimed responsibility for the rocket attack indicates they are active are staging a propaganda campaign to attract more recruits.

They have not said what they will do if Hamas does not “withdraw the attacks” against them” in two days, but Hamas clearly is worried.

It has set up checkpoints within Gaza City the past month following several explosions that have been attributed to ISIS cells.

Jihadists blame Hamas for being “soft” on Israel and for not imposing Islamic law on Gaza.

Hamas finally has found an enemy it fears. The terrorist organization always has been able to draw Israel into wars and then escape with its life. No matter how much damage Israel causes to its infrastructure, Hamas always springs back to life.

Its corruption has kept civilians at their mercy, creating exactly the conditions that make an organization like ISIS even more appealing than Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups that simply are a re-make of Hamas.

The Islamic State is different. It operates out of fear, and anyone who does not have the will to fight back becomes its slave. Whoever does fight back has to be willing to be beheaded.

There is nothing more that ISIS would like than to behead an Israeli, and an Arab probably would be preferred in order to scare other Arabs into fighting Israel.

Egypt has banished Hamas, but one Israel security official told a Births newspaper that the presence of the ISIS in Gaza may force Cairo, as well as Israel, to carry out back-door cooperation with Hamas to squash ISIS.

 

 

Terrorists Blow Up Gas Pipeline in Sinai.

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Unidentified terrorists blew up the natural gas pipeline in the Sinai once again on Sunday morning, cutting off supplies to factories.

The Islamic State ISIS) and ISIS-linked terrorists have made inroads in the Sinai, where the Egyptian regime has lost hundreds of soldiers and policemen in failed attempts to maintain stability in the region.

Egyptian media have reported that the ISIS branch in the Sinai “threatened to strike the Eilat Port, following coordination with Islamic State’s wing in Gaza,” where Hamas is trying to retain control.

The Islamic State also has made inroads in Asia as its threat to expand its radical Islamic terrorist empire becomes more real.

Sinai Bedouin and  the Egyptian government never have been on good terms with each other, but since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, accelerated with President Barack Obama’s support of the Arab Spring rebellion in 2012, terrorists have staked out most of the peninsula.

President Barack Obama might remain in the White House long enough to wish for the days of Mubarak.

Egyptian Journalist Poses as Jew and Discovers Ant-Semitism

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Crowds of curious and angry Egyptians shoved and cursed a man they thought was a Jew and who in reality was a reporter for an Internet website in Cairo that wanted to find out how people would react to the appearance of a Jew.

The response bears out God’s command to the People of Israel never to return to Egypt.

The “Jew,” dressed up as a Hareidi, complete with earlocks, a beard and black hat, roamed the streets  and showed people a note, written in Hebrew, asking for direction  to the synagogue.

Responses rand from “Get lost” to a few words unfit to print.

Here is the video:

New UN Middle East Envoy Comes Up with ‘New’ Idea – Freeze Settlements

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The new United Nations Middle East envoy has swung into action like a robotic parrot by demanding that Israel freeze all building in “settlements” which by U.N. definition includes parts of Jerusalem where approximately one-third of its residents live.

Nikolay Mladenov, in his first briefing to the U.N. Security Council, also said he is working with U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki moon to come up with a “realistic options “to resume the peace process” that is buried so deep in the ground that no one can even find its ashes anymore.

And how does Mladenov, who presumably is pumping new blood into the over-aged and crippled international organization, plan to reach his goals?

Freezing settlement building is only the first step. He always wants a “reasonable timetable” for Israel

He also turned on the tape recorder and said:

The coming period will be critical to the future of the peace process.

If that statement rings a bell, try going back around 20 years. No senior official in the American government, the European Union and the United Nations has let a month go by without parroting the same words.

Mladenov also has some other brilliant ideas, such as rehabilitating Gaza.

First of all, he described the situation there.

Gaza Arabs are angry at Israel for the “continuing blockade” that hardly exists, but it makes the Arabs feel good to say that it does.

He admitted “some progress” has been made in allowing more material and goods into Gaza, but it is not enough, and never mind that Hamas still uses construction materials to build homes for missiles and tunnels for terrorists instead of people.

Mladenov said Gaza Arabs not only are angry at Israel.

They are angry at Egypt for the closure of the Rafah crossing.

They also are angry at the whole world for not living up ties commitments to donate $3.5 billion to rehabilitate Gaza, i.e. Hamas.

During his briefing, he said that no one in Israel should have “illusions towards the significance of unilateral actions” such as building homes for Jews in Ramot, French Hill, Talpiot, Gilo and other areas in Jerusalem as well as new homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

When Arabs build homes they are not “unilateral actions” because, according to the U.N.-EU-Obama agenda, a “unilateral action” is one that helps Israel.

Why?

Because the United Nations, agenda, which President Barack Obama has adopted, states that “negotiations” with the Palestinian Authority mean discussing what color ink to use to sign on the dotted line. Invisible ink is not allowed unless it is in Mahmoud Abbas’ poison pen, the one the pope gave to him two years ago.

Speaking of illusions, Mladenov’s appeal to pour money into Gaza has a nasty smell and a hollow ring.

He said only 27 percent of the money pledged at a “donors’ conference” in Cairo last year has been forked over to Hamas. The United States did its bit to the tune of $212 million, as announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said at the time:

Out of this conference must come not just money but a renewed commitment from everybody to work for peace that meets the aspirations of all, for Israelis, for Palestinians for all people of this region.

Freezing settlement construction and setting timetables have failed for two decades to produce anything but terror and the Palestinian Authority’s emasculation of the Oslo Accords.

If Mladenov wants to go hunting for old solutions, he can take look at the only one that has helped Arabs in Gaza enjoy a decent economy, social life and self-government of local affairs.

Two Egyptian Judges Murdered in Sinai

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Two Egyptian guards, an Egyptian prosecutor, and their driver were killed in El-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday just hours after an Egyptian court sentenced former Egyptian president Mohamad Morsi to death.

A second prosecutor was wounded in the attack.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/two-egyptian-judges-murdered-in-sinai/2015/05/17/

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