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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

United Nations Disinvites Iran from Syria Peace Talks

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The United Nations has bowed to pressure from  the United States and Saudi Arabia and has rescinded its unexpected invitation to Iran to attend  the Geneva II  conference for peace in Syria Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon reconsidered the invitation after Iran stated refused to back up a previous promise that it would publicly support the creation of a transitional government for Syria.

“Iran, despite assurances made to the secretary-general, has made a disappointing statement,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said earlier in the day before the decision to rescind.

“The Islamic Republic doesn’t consider the Geneva II conference legitimate if it hinges on accepting the terms of Geneva I,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign-policy adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “We don’t accept Geneva I under any circumstances.”

The sudden changes in preparations for the conference could scuttle the lakes, which are given zero chance of succeeding anyway.

Iran now has made it is clear how much it can be trusted, but that does not mean that President Barack Obama and other members of the P5+1 will understand that Tiran will not live up to its commitments under the agreement for supervising its nuclear development.

Regional Pact Backed by Riyadh May Render Palestinians Irrelevant

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

For many decades, Israel has been committed to direct peace negotiations with the Palestinians, and herein lies the formula for failure. At the same time, while demanding face to face negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel has also insisted that there was no one to talk to, no partner for peace; a catch 22 if ever there was one.

The U.S. continues to maintain some 90 U.S. military facilities including major military bases throughout mainland Japan and Okinawa, over 7000 miles away form U.S. mainland. It does so 73 years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and despite 70 years of peaceful alliance with Japan. Indeed, it does not stand the test of logic that the U.S. does not support Israel’s right to military presence in the Jordan Rift Valley, and to patrol an area that is 62 miles long, 6 to 9 miles wide, and is situated only 40 miles away from Israel’s main population centers, despite a perpetual ongoing war.

As recently as January 10, 2014, a U.S. State Department spokesperson expressed concern about the release of scores of prisoners whom Washington considers a security risk, “We’ve seen reports that [Afghan] President [Hamid] Karzai has approved the release of 72 out of the 88 detainees under review. As you may also know, these 72 detainees are dangerous criminals against whom there is strong evidence linking them to terror-related crimes, including the U.S.e of improvised explosive devices, the largest killer of Afghan citizens.” Yet the U.S. demands that Israel release hundreds of Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands, and unfortunately Israel complies time and again.

Given the above positions by it’s strongest ally the United States, it is no wonder that Israel, fearing a lopsided deal favoring the Palestinians, has always rejected an International panel approach to the conflict with the Palestinians. Herein lie the paradox and the irony of the situation. Over time, while the Palestinians refuse to budge or compromise, bit by bit Israel has conceded more and more in each new round of talks. The Palestinians then U.S.e each new concession by Israel as a springboard for new demands. Cumulatively speaking, Israel has conceded more to the Palestinians than it would have to any international panel. At this rate Jaffa may soon be on the negotiation table.

Secretary John Kerry has been flying back and forth from the U.S. to the middle east and from one hot spot to another. While direct negations have not yielded results (even Kerry appears frustrated with the Palestinians), and an international panel is not an option, connecting the dots reveals a picture of an emerging regional solution.

During his most recent travel to the area, Kerry added two new dots to the picture, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and he spent several hours with each. The picture that is slowly emerging is of four regional players and one superpower. A peace deal is being negotiated between Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the U.S., but with the glaring absence of the Palestinians.

Peace will offer the Palestinians a sense of independence and freedom, but it forever will be a city state; never militarily viable; never economically viable without outside support. He who controls the purse strings will forever control Palestine, and that is why the Saudis and the U.S. (and the EU to a lesser extent) will call the shots and will make the plays.

The Palestinians have been gambling with somebody else’s money and they running out of chips. When the Saudis say so the Jordan Rift Valley will cease being a matter of sovereignty and will become a simple economic issue of loss of fertile agricultural land for which Palestinians will be generously compensated. A single word from Mecca will go further towards securing Palestinian cooperation and keeping the Sunni streets of the West Bank calm than tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority policemen.

The five major players, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United States all have much to gain from a regional pact. Such a deal would serve the unique and combined needs and interests of each.

Since the end of the Cold War the U.S. has sided with and supported the wrong players in the Middle East ( the Ayatollah Humeini, Yasser Arafat, and the Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to name but a few). Such a regional agreement would put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, put the U.S. back on the right track, and would U.S.her in a new era of strong regional coalition that is backed up by a grateful America. The Saudis’ chief concern is the growing power of Shia axis of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Hezbollah. A nuclear Iran will threaten the Saudi Sunni lead hegemony in the Muslim world. A regional agreement brokered by the Saudis would bring U.S. back to the Saudi fold, and would constitute the only American success in the past few decades (consider Iraq, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Egypt, Iran, and Syria to name a few). Such an agreement would also counter the regional push by the Muslim Brotherhood (in Egypt and Jordan), and Ottoman aspirations of present day Turkey. It would stabilize the rule of King Abdullah II of Jordan which is under constant pressure from the Palestinians (who still remember Black September when the father king massacred thousand Palestinians), and would provide Jordan, Israeli, Egyptian and Saudi protection in the event of Iraqi or Syrian invasion. Such a Middle Eastern coalition and the U.S., an ME4 + 1, would go a long way to counter act Russian influence in the region and regaining a foot hold in places such as Egypt. In addition it would go a long way towards rehabilitating the regional economy, most importantly in Egypt and Jordan.

As for Israel, the benefits are many. First and for-most it would answer Israel’s security concerns, and they would be backed by Riyadh, Amman, and Cairo, and not merely by American promises (remember U.S. promises about freedom of navigation in the Suez, the red Sea, the 1967 war, promises regarding nucs in Iran, Red Lines regarding the Syrian U.S.e of chemical weapons), and Palestinian empty words. It would provide the means to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon without the subsequent admonition by the U.S.. It would put an end to European and international pressures, boycott and delegitimization campaigns. It would also open new commerce routes and markets. The upside economic potential is endless.

On January 10, 2014 Reuters reported that “Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations said final details were in discussion for a deal under which Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.” This would effectively render the remaining sanctions on Iran meaningless and allow Iran to rehabilitate their economy while pursuing nuclear weapons. What is needed now, more than ever, is a courageous Israeli leader who would fly to Saudi Arabia for face to face negotiations with the Saudis and not with the Palestinians (their wishes and desires are irrelevant to the process), and for President Barak Obama to stay out of the way.

Kerry to Return Soon with ‘Framework,’ Says US Ambassador Shapiro

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry may return to Israel within a month with his “framework” agreement to push Israel and the Palestinian Authority off their respective cliffs, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro said Tuesday.

“I hope he will return in another month so Washington can present both sides a proposal for a framework agreement,” Shapiro told Israeli radio.

If anyone thinks that Kerry failed in his visit last week because he didn’t unpack his “framework,” guess again. The Secretary of State left Israel for Jordan and Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States because he knows who is calling the shots in the Middle East.

It is not Mahmoud Abbas, who will do whatever the Arab League tells him to do, and it is not Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who so far has not defended a single red line on anything except to keep illegal African infiltrators from taking over the country.

Kerry knows he has no chance of convincing Abbas to retreat one inch and of convincing Netanyahu that the United States knows what is best for Israel.

When Kerry and President Obama say Israel’s security is their number one concern, it is true – but only through the lens of their dreamy-eyed telescope that sees Israel as better off with another enemy Arab state.

The “framework” will include all of the core issues and will be presented to the Israeli public and the Palestinian Authority so everyone can understand its character and intent for a final agreement, according to Shapiro.

In a not so subtle threat to Israel, he said, “I think Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu realizes that failure in the talks will make thinks a lot more difficult for the Israeli army.” That is the follow-up to Kerry’s open incitement on his previous visit when he rhetorically asked if Israel wants a new intifada by refusing to hand over more than half of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to the Palestinian Authority and expel tens of thousands of Jews from their homes.

The more Arab violence spreads throughout Israel, the more ammunition Kerry and foreign media have to convince the world – and more importantly the Israeli public – that Israel better raise its hands and agree to die slowly instead of putting up a fight and die immediately.

Kerry and Obama have said they will not force either side into an agreement. But that is exactly what they are doing, in the most Machiavellian way, and all of this is ostensibly for the sake of Israel’s security, which in Obama’s mind is conditioned on the United States deciding who is on first in the Middle East, just like it decided in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt.

Sure, things did not work out well, but everything will turn out just right as soon as Israel signs a deal with Abbas.

The “framework” is going to be phrased in a way that if either side balks, it will lose the blame game. Prime Minister Netanyahu already has maneuvered Israel into a tight corner, surrounded by Kerry’s incitement, escalating Arab terror, the European Union and the specter of a boycott if it does not keel over.

But Kerry is not forcing Israel to do anything.

Kerry Exposes Saudi Arabia as Abbas’ Senior Negotiator

Monday, January 6th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left the Middle East Monday after trying to shore up support from oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the real power broker in the Saudi Arabia and whose monarch, “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” is the one man who can order the Palestinian Authority when to jump, where to jump and how to jump.

He also made sure to hold a last-minute conversation with Israeli Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog, chairman of the Labor party that is ready to jump into the coalition and save Prime Minister Netanyahu from new elections if and when the Jewish Home party finally has had enough of his song and dance while erasing all the red lines in talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Kerry left with his ballyhooed “framework” still stuck in his suitcase. It actually simply was another version of “guidelines,” “roadmaps” and other Foggy Bottom innovations, all of which are the same thing except for their names.

It was Saudi Arabia that came up with the 2002 “Peace Initiative” by which Israel would agree to everything that Mahmoud Abbas now is demanding in return for “normalization” of diplomatic ties with the Arab League countries.

“Normalize” does not mean diplomatic recognition. It means whatever any country wants it to mean, but the bottom line is money, meaning trade relations. It does not mean that the Israeli flag will fly in Riyadh.

Before Kerry left Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters, “His Majesty again reiterated the principles of the Arab Peace Plan and agreement (inaudible) come to respond to Palestinian national wishes to receive (inaudible) ultimately.”

In other words, he told Kerry to jump in the lake.

Kerry said, “I’m always grateful to the incredible hospitality of my friend Saud al-Faisal, whose friendship and counsel I value enormously.

“I want to thank His Majesty for not just the length of the meeting, but for the quality of the meeting, for the fullness of the exchange of ideas, and particularly for his enthusiastic support for the efforts that are being made with respect to the peace process and the effort to try to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

In other words, Kerry jumped in the lake head first.

Before doing so, he may have laid the groundwork for a brilliant diplomatic coup to grind Israel’s nose into the dirt or, more likely, to prepare the United States for an even worse debacle in the Middle East, a feat once thought as impossible.

The Saudi-based Arab World reported Monday, “Looking to ease the concerns of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Kerry said that America’s allies could count on US support. Kerry is in Saudi Arabia on the second leg of a tour through the Middle East.”

Kerry has promised he will never sacrifice Israel’s security.

He has promised the Palestinian Authority it will have a country based on the borders that would leave Israel without security.

He has promised that Saudi Arabia, which is unhappy over President Barack Obama’s appeasement of Syria and Iran, it has its full support.

Kerry is now on his way back to Washington to look for snake oil.

Saudi Court Orders Lashes for Man for Posting Insults on Twitter

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to three months in jail, 800 lashes and slapped him with a $2,666 fine for using Twitter and Facebook to falsely accuse a Kuwaiti singer from the United Arab Emirates of immoral behavior. He also posted photos of the singer.

Arab News reported, “Many have welcomed the ruling, saying it protects Internet users from online predators,” and it quoted expatriates as saying court decision will make them more cautious when using social networking.

“It is advisable for us not to post any negative comments on issues that are not clear to us. Let us establish the authenticity of the information that has reached us before sharing it,” Rasol Abbas, a community leader from the Philippines, was quoted as saying.

Arab News, which is based in Saudi Arabia, also cited an expert to tell its readers that “new research that reveals how social media sites negatively affect our sense of connection, decrease productivity, breach our privacy and lead to cyber-bullying in some instances.”

It also quoted Twitter account Judicious Arab as stating, “I hope this will put an end to irresponsible tweets and posts accusing women of adultery over differences of opinions.”

It is no wonder that a recent Pew poll showed that of all allies to the United States, American have the lest favorable view of Saudi Arabia.

Israel Sixth Favorite Country for Americans, Says Survey

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Israel is the sixth favorite country of American citizens and Saudi Arabia is their least favorite among allies, according to a Pew Research Center survey carried out in November and released this week.

The Jewish state was viewed favorably by 61 percent of Americans and was sixth behind Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Brazil.

Some 26 percent of Americans view Israel unfavorably, while 81 percent of Americans viewed Canada favorably and 9 percent unfavorably, by contrast.

Saudi Arabia was at the bottom of the list of 12 countries that are U.S. allies, with 27 percent of Americans viewing the country favorably and 57 percent unfavorably.

Meanwhile, more Republicans than Democrats like Israel with 74 percent of Republicans viewing Israel favorably to 55 percent of Democrats.

The survey was part of a larger survey on “America’s place in the world.”

Saudi Religious Police Warns against Celebrating New Year’s Eve

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Saudi Arabia Commission of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has warned people not celebrate New Year’s Eve has warned against celebrating New Year’s Eve lest the wrath of Allah fall on them,

The Commission explained that there is a Muslim religious edict banning such levity.

The same force previously has banned the sale of red roses and gifts on Valentine’s Day. Its job is to enforce Saudi Arabia segregation of the sexes in public and to make sure women are covered from head to toe when in public.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saudi-religious-police-warns-against-celebrating-new-years-eve/2013/12/30/

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