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September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘port’

Pro-Palestinian Activists Blockade ZIM Ship at Port of Oakland

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The glimmer of the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State, or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) may have already reached America’s shores, although U.S. citizens might not yet realize it. Dock workers at the port of Oakland have been afraid to brave the ire of Islamist protesters in California, and instead opted to stay off the job.

It appears that weeks-long planning by Palestinian Arab immigrants, their descendants and supporters who hate Israel and the Jews has paid off; the consolidated group of some 70 organizations has essentially seized control over the port in Oakland, California.

For the second day in a row, pro-Gaza protesters led by Palestinian Arab groups successfully blockaded the Piraeus, a ZIM Integrated Shipping Services vessel, at the Oakland port.

Demonstrators said they were protesting Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. But more than 300,000 Israelis are still internally displaced by Hamas terror.

Operation Protective Edge was launched to silence the incessant rocket, missile and mortar fire that has rained down on southern Israel for years.

Several hundred Oakland protesters gathered again in a picket line Sunday after the ZIM vessel docked at about 5:30 pm. That was some 24 hours after it was forced to circle in the Pacific Ocean to avoid a mob of thousands at the same port the previous day.

A few dozen police officers monitored the picket line, according to KTVU TV, which interviewed 26-year-old Mohamed Shehk, media and communications director of the Oakland-based ‘Critical Resistance’ group.

“As a Palestinian, I have always been a strong supporter for the Palestinian cause for liberation,” Shehk told the news outlet. He added that he also supports ‘various movements of liberation around the world.’

“We will not stand for the murdering of Gazans,” he said.

The ultimate goal of the blockade, said protesters, is to stop the company from unloading at the Port of Oakland altogether. They plan similar blockades against ZIM in Tacoma and Seattle, organizers said.

The ILWU dockworkers’ union chose to honor the picket line and refused to unload the vessel. It’s not the first time; a similar blockade against ZIM was backed by the union in 2010.

Oddly, Saturday’s massive anti-Israel rally was covered only by independent bloggers and the UK-based newspaper, The Guardian. And Sunday’s blockade was covered by KTUV and KPIX. It didn’t even raise a blip on the national scene.

On Saturday, activists gathered early at a nearby transit station, the paper reported, led by 21-year-old Palestinian Sameh Ayesh, a member of the San Francisco-based Arab Youth Organization.

One of those involved in organizing the demonstration, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) executive director Lara Kiswani, said her organization was currently discussing “how to escalate our tactics.”

The paper reported that as protesters reached the port entrance, a line of police officers was standing in formation. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” the mob shouted, playing on the recent news coverage of police brutality against rioting protesters in the town of Ferguson, Missouri following an lethal incident of police brutality.

Speaking with The Guardian, Shehk tried hard to link the incident to Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. “On Twitter, we’ve seen people in Gaza tweet to protesters in Ferguson how to cope with teargas,” he said.

Gimme a break.

Cabinet Meeting Cancelled as Ministers Kept in the Dark

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

The planned Israeli cabinet meeting to discuss the negotiations with Hamas has been cancelled to the dismay of many of the cabinet ministers.

The ministers are concerned that they are being kept in the dark about the ongoing negotiations with Hamas, in order to prevent them from being able to influence the outcome.

Their biggest fear is that they will presented with a done deal, and will then be expected to rubber stamp it, no matter how bad the deal is for Israel.

Since the deal is being brokered by Egypt, the cabinet may be told that rejecting the deal will be an affront to Egypt and negatively impact the diplomatic relationship between Jerusalem and Cairo.

Even Minister Tzipi Livni is reportedly upset, as the issue of the Gazan port is apparently seriously on the table, and Livni wanted to save the port for a final status agreement, to reward PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and not Hamas.

Russian Navy’s First Port Visit to Egypt in 21 Years

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Suddenly, even Vladimir Putin looks more attractive.  He looks, at least, like he actually intends to fight radical Islamism – in some of its varieties anyway.  In theory, he has some pull with Iran.  He can exert a certain level of “check” on the Syria crisis.  His relatively well armed nation sits on the other side of Erdogan’s wild-card Turkey, which keeps bouncing from China to Iran to NATO and back again.  He’s not “Europe” – not really – but “Europe” acknowledges that he has to be given a place at the table.

Maybe he doesn’t look attractive, exactly; maybe the word is interesting.  Whatever it is, it’s showing up in real forms now, in regional nations’ decisions in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Last week came the flurry of reports that Putin would visit Egypt in November and announce a major arms sale, which will inevitably serve as something of a counter-smack to the U.S. decision to halt arms deliveries to Egypt a few weeks ago.

The newer news is from Monday, November 11, when Russia’s Slava-class missile cruiser Varyag pulled into Alexandria for the Russian navy’s first port visit in Egypt since 1992.  Pundits of varying quality have rushed to speculate that Moscow will soon have the use of Egyptian ports as bases in the region.  I doubt that; Egypt is too anxious to retain her stature and independence of action – properly so – and doesn’t “need” to accord Russia such privileges to keep useful ties going between the two of them.

In the current, comparative disarray of some Arab governments in the region, Egypt’s actually looks solid and moderate, and has the overt support of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, as well as the tacit support of Israel – all of which are well armed, well connected regional powers with common interests in a status quo.  The situation over which Al-Sisi presides is different from that of the Nasser regime in the 1950s and 1960s, when it was so eager for the great-power patronage of the erstwhile Soviet Union.

Russia, for her part, is unlikely to press this issue.  Between Syria, Greece, Cyprus, Montenegro, and Malta, the Russian navy has a lot of options now for making temporary landfalls for logistics.  Moscow wouldn’t necessarily even save money by concluding more literal “basing” agreements in the Mediterranean.

But I’m sure we can expect to see the Russian navy welcomed in Egyptian ports.  This makes a noteworthy, and regrettable, contrast with the U.S. Navy, which has been scarce in Egyptian ports in recent years – in spite of our two nations’ close relationship – largely because of the threat of terrorism.

Egypt, meanwhile, isn’t the only nation to roll out the welcome mat for the Russian navy in the past year.  In May, the Russian amphibious ship Azov arrived in Haifa for the first port visit ever by a Russian navy ship to Israel.  Russia and Israel have of course found some common ground in their opposition to radical Islamism, and the Netanyahu government has had a robust program of diplomatic outreach to Russia since it took over in the spring of 2009.  After Putin visited Jerusalem in June 2012 to pray for the rebuilding of the Temple, a naval port visit could hardly have been far behind.

Russian warships also visited Lebanon in March 2013, an exceedingly rare occurrence.  According to Russia’s defense ministry, the visit involved a frigate and two amphibious ships, and signified no intention on Moscow’s part to establish any permanent basing arrangement.

Cyprus hosted multiple visits by Russian warships in 2013, fueling the usual speculation that Moscow is negotiating for basing rights on the island.  (See here for more on Russia’s strategic approach to Cyprus.)  It has become routine in the last few years for Russian navy ships to visit ports in Greece and Malta.  Russian officials announced earlier this year that the navy’s newly constituted (or, in effect, reconstituted) Mediterranean squadron would use a port in Montenegro as well, referring to the port of Tivat (which for many years during the Cold War was a Yugoslav navy base, used as a Mediterranean base by the Soviet navy).  A September 2013 press release on the upcoming activities of amphibious landing ship Yamal indicated the ship would visit Greece and Montenegro this fall.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/russian-navys-first-port-visit-to-egypt-in-21-years/2013/11/13/

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