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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Invasion of ‘Zionist’ Persimmons Puts Saudi Arabia on High Alert

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

The Saudi Arabia city of Qurayyat, located near the border with Jordan, went on high alert Tuesday after official discovered a local fruit market was selling persimmons that came from Israel.

Anything from Israel is considered evil in the kingdom, home of the holiest city for enlightened Muslims.

The Saudi Gazette reported that a local inspection team, acting on a tip, confiscated approximately 300 pounds of persimmon that had Israel stickers.

“The municipality team conducted a surprise inspection after the closing hours of the fruit market and confiscated the fruit boxes that originated from Israel,” said them municipality environment health department director Abdulaziz Al-Musaed.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry was alerted at the chutzpa of someone daring to buy and selling fruit from the forbidden country of Israel.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority also was notified. It seems every official agency was alerted except perhaps for the Air Force. Al-Musaed reminded Saudis that “such fruit is not allowed in the Kingdom, and he warned shopkeepers not to deal with fruit vendors without knowing the true origin of produce.

An investigation is underway to determine how the evil persimmons found their way into the holy Muslim country.

Al Qurayyat is located 19 miles from the border with Jordan.

If authorities catch the poor soul who violated the purity of the country by contaminating it with Israeli fruit, he will be lucky to get away with flogging instead of having his hands chopped off so he never again will be able to touch anything from Israel.

If authorities catch the poor soul who violated the purity of the country by contaminating it with Israeli fruit, he will be lucky to get away with flogging instead of having his hands chopped off so he never again will be able to touch anything from Israel.

In 2005, Saudi Arabia announced the end of its ban on Israeli goods and services, mostly due to its application to the World Trade Organization, where one member country cannot have a total ban on another. However, the boycott in practice still stands.

The truth is that there are many Israeli products in Saudi Arabia, but they have no labels that would divulge that they were sent from the enemy of darkness.

When I worked at a kibbutz plastics factory years ago, we made sure that the product being shipped to Saudi Arabia was sent in a box marked “Made in Jordan.”

In Gallup Mid East Poll Only Israel Viewed Highly Favorably

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Americans’ views of eight important Middle East countries were fairly stable over the past year, after a decade that saw shifts in several of their ratings, a Gallup poll released Tuesday sowed. About seven in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country of those Gallup tested.

Less than half of the Americans asked view Egypt favorably, and only a third have a favorable view of Saudi Arabia. Less than 20% have a favorable view of the remaining five, including Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

These results are based on Gallup’s 2014 World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9. Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll measures Americans’ views on a variety of foreign policy issues, as well as the favorable and unfavorable images of a number of countries. The poll was initiated in 2001 and is updated each February.

gallup-mideast

At 13%, Syria’s minimal U.S. favorable rating is similar to what it was a year ago, but down slightly from 2012, continuing a gradual slide in that country’s image since 2005.

gallup syria

However, Iran’s position in American public opinion has been improving, in response to the massive propaganda brainwashing of the media. As the U.S. and other world powers are engaged in high-level talks with Iran over its nuclear program, never mind the results, Gallup finds little change in the overall percentage viewing Iran favorably, remaining near 85%, but there has been a decline in the percentage viewing Iran very unfavorably, now at 42%, down from 52% in 2012.

No doubt about it, fewer Americans fear and hate Iran this year. It makes for a great slogan: Iran – you don’t hate us so much any more.

gallup iran

The poll shows some differences among different age groups’ view of the Middle East, with young adults aged 18 to 34 holding somewhat more positive views of some Arab countries than do adults 55 and older. This applies to Libya, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and the Palestinian Authority.

It’s also clear that older Americans have more favorable views of Israel, while there is no difference by age in views of Saudi Arabia.

Libya and Egypt, the two “Arab Spring” countries, receive positive evaluations from the youngest Americans. The older folks – not so much.

gallup by age

Russia Buying Out US Influence with $2 Billion Arms Deal for Egypt

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Egyptian army chief and probable next president, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, landed in Moscow Wednesday and is expected to sign up with Russia for a $2 billion arms deal in another move that could diminish American influence over Cairo as well as the entire Middle East.

After the Obama administration openly warned the Egyptian regime last year,it could face cuts in military aid from Washington because of its undemocratic policies, Saudi Arabia stepped into the break to offer help to Egypt.

The United States pooh-poohed the idea that it was losing its clout in Cairo, but Russia now is set to take advantage of Saudi financial aid to Egypt and boost its defense sales and to further erode the Obama administration’s position.

Al-Sisi’s is on his first foreign visit since he replaced ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Russia’s foreign and defense ministers visit Cairo last November.

Russia has become a major thorn in the side of President Barack Obama over Syria and Iran. At the same time, the Arab world is increasingly fed up with the president’s foreign policy. Obama’s “engagement” with Iran has disappointed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The former American administrations’ military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have left behind anarchy, violence and rabid anti-Americanism.

It is no wonder that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is willing to go for broke for a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. That would restore America’s shine to some extent, but if a deal is made, which is unlikely, and if it falls apart in the future, which is more than probably, the United States will be in a weaker position in the Middle East.

Obama to Make Diplomatic Rescue Visit to Saudi Arabia

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

President Barack Obama will fly to Saudi Arabia next month in an effort to repair a deteriorating relationship following his failure to significantly improve ties in his 2011 trip to Riyadh and in the wake of differences over relations with Egypt, Iran and Syria.

Obama will visit the Vatican on the same junket, as well as the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

The White House did not specifically include the Palestinian Authority as being on the agenda of issues the president will discuss with King Abdullah.

White House press secretary Jay Carney tried to make the scheduled visit seem like a routine trip, a “part of regular consultations.” He added, “The president looks forward to discussing with King Abdullah the enduring and strategic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia as well as ongoing cooperation to advance a range of common interests related to Gulf and regional security, peace in the Middle East, countering violent extremism, and other issues of prosperity and security.”

“Peace in the Middle East” probably refers to much more violent situations than the Palestinian Authority-Israel argument, The Wall Street Journal reported. For starters, there is the Muslim civil war in Syria, with the Sunni sect, backed by Saudi Arabia, against the Iranian-backed Shi’ites.

There is not lack of work for the Obama administration if it wants to get along better with Saudi Arabia, which was extremely unhappy with President Barack Obama’s backing the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who was replaced by a violent military regime that was succeeded by a violent Muslim Brotherhood regime, which was in turn succeeded by another violent military regime.

Saudi Arabia was upset at Obama’s appeasement of Iran and his about-face on the idea of using military force to help Syrian rebels.

The Obama administration also has lost some influence in Egypt, where Saudi Arabia has stepped in to help the current military regime deal with the crippled economy.

Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia in 2011 did little to calm the monarchy anger over the American support to get rid of Mubarak, implicitly backing Arab Spring unrest.

Obama called for changes in attitudes in the Middle East, and that is the last thing Saudi officials want to see in its own country.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerrkerry-to-return-soon-with-framework-says-us-ambassador-shapiro/2014/01/07/

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