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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

50 Richest Arabs’ Combined Wealth Is $266 Billion

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The 50 richest Arabs in the world have a combined wealth of slightly more than $266 billion, and 23 of them are from Saudi Arabia, according to Arabian Business figures quoted by the Saudi Gazette.

The oil-rich kingdom’s richest man, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has a personal wealth of $12.6 billion. His bank account surged 30 percent in the past year, largely because the worth of his investment in Twitter, which doubled with the company’s recent public stock offering

The second richest Arab is hotels magnate Mohamed Al-Jaber, with a total wealth at $12.66 billion, nearly double last year’s figures.

Four of the richest Arabs live in Britain and four others are in Kuwait, and the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon and the UAE each are home to three of the richest Arabs.

German Soccer Team Boycotts Saudi Airline that Banned Israelis

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

A German soccer team withdrew from a sponsorship agreement with Saudi Arabia’s national airline because it refuses to ticket Israeli citizens.

The FSV Frankfurt team abrogated the contract with Saudia this week after criticism leveled by Jewish groups and other organizations, according to the Associated Press.

The airline’s director told The New York Post in July that it does not fly Israeli citizens because they are not allowed into Saudi Arabia. In the case of a delayed or rerouted plane, Jews could land in the country, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Nasrallah Spreads the Blame, Accuses Saudis for Suicide Bombings

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Hezbollah supreme leader Hassan Nasrallah for the first time has accused Saudi Arabia of hunting down his terrorist organization. He blamed the kingdom for an attack two weeks ago on the Iranian embassy in Beirut, where 23 people were killed. An Al Qaeda-linked group previously has taken responsibility for the suicide bombings.

Nasrallah also blamed Saudi Arabia for similar attacks on Iraq.

His accusations on Tuesday were followed on Wednesday with his blaming Israel for the assassination of one of Hezbollah’s most senior terrorists, who was gunned down in Beirut, as reported here.

US Betrayal Opens Great Opportunity for Israeli Saudi Alliance

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Here at the Muqata think tank, we’ve been analyzing the changes happening around us, and envisioning what a new Middle East could look like, or turn into, if given the chance—based on the real state of affairs in our region. Obviously, we’re looking to develop the best possible realistic scenario for Israel as can be, based on current parameters.

America’s betrayal of long time allies, and its shifting of alliances to the worst of the worst of the Islamic fundamentalist governments, has encouraged a sea change for the entire region.

After U.S. failure to turn Egypt into a fundamentalist Islamic state, it’s now turning to firmly prop up the Islamic Republic of Iran. The end result is that any hope for a popular uprising that would throw out the Ayatollahs is now lost.

A revitalized, aggressive, fundamentalist, and obviously nuclear Iran constitutes a clear and present danger to all the countries in the region, not just Israel.

The recent U.S. betrayal of its long time allies has taught Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf States the lesson of an exaggerated reliance on the world’s biggest super power.

America’s Middle East policy has always relied on the three legged stool of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. When America lost Iran, it tried to replace it with Iraq, then with Egypt, but each attempt resulted in unexpected consequences.

For the U.S., the Iran deal represents a much sought after return to an old and familiar Mid-East policy, never mind the fact that this time Iran and Turkey are very much Islamic, and have developed an imperialistic appetite that threaten their neighbors, most emphatically the Foggy Bottom stool’s third leg, Saudi Arabia, which isn’t buying any of it.

It’s no accident that there has been noise about the Saudis preparing to assist Israel in a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Gulf States, too, save for Bahrain, are in Israel’s corner, having had thriving business relations with Israel (and shhh, even Settlers) for years. They all view Iran as a radical menace and Israel as its stabilizing antidote.

At the Muqata think tank, we’ve come up with what could be a very realistic realignment, and a plan for a truly new Middle East (Tom Friedman, eat your heart out).

Saudi Arabia has money. Lots of money. Lots of oil too. And of course, lots of desert.

But they don’t have innovation, they don’t have technology, and they no longer enjoy that sense of security they used to have.

Israel has innovation. Israel has technology. Israel knows how to make deserts bloom. Israel has security. But Israel, while becoming energy independent, doesn’t have oil or money (on the Saudi scale), or the production capability to stand alone.

Actually, both states could use better production capabilities.

Both also have had the same reliance on the U.S. to supply them with military platforms.

It’s also no secret that Israel’s military technology and know-how is superior to that of the U.S., but the latter is making sure that the former not be allowed to compete with industries in the American military industrial complex.

And don’t get us started on Israel being forced to take the less than wonderful but shockingly expensive F-35.

Ask yourself, what would happen if Saudi Arabia were to change its buying habits?

Let’s say they decided to buy an Israeli designed advanced fighter jet. Let’s say Saudi Arabia invested in Israeli green tech, to make their deserts bloom.

Let’s say that Saudi Arabia made a new alliance with Israel, based on mutual defense and mutual interests.

It would require of the hyper conservative Saudis to do something brand new, something they wouldn’t have dreamed of doing only a five years ago, when their ambassador to the U.S. was considered an adjunct member of the Bush cabinet. But those days are gone, and the Saudis, perhaps more so than Israel, are fearing for their lives.

One could think of worse reasons than the will to live for cooperation between historic enemies.

If such a pact—which could be denied ad nauseam by both sides—were to happen, we would definitely see Egypt and Jordan joining in. Secretly (at first).

The new Middle East would include Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states, vs. Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Gaza.

Saudi Billionaire Says What Kingdom Won’t Say: No Faith in Obama

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The Saudi kingdom has kept a suspicious silence over President Barack Obama and his Western allies’ deal with Iran, but one of its wealthiest billionaires princes, who owns lots of shares in Twitter, Apple and News Corp., has minced no words to express no confidence in Obama.

He also happens to be a nephew of King Abdullah.

“There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran,” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, told Bloomberg News.

Then he blurted out a whopper by saying. “We’re really concerned.” The “we” is “Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East countries,” he said.

It is no secret that Riyadh and Jerusalem are privately in cahoots again Iran, but when the king’s billionaire nephew publicly states Israel is an ally against the White House, somebody at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue should start cleaning out his ears.

His comments came hours before the deal with Iran was announced, but he presumably figured Obama would surrender and let Iran win the bargaining session.

“Obama is in so much of a rush to have a deal with Iran,” he said. “He wants anything. He’s so wounded. It’s very scary. Look, the 2014 elections are going to begin. Within two months they’re going to start campaigning. Thirty-nine members of his own party in the House have already moved away from him on Obamacare. That’s scary for him.”

Open criticism of Obama playing politics on the life-or-death issue of a nuclear Iran is pretty harsh stuff and might have made it a bit easier for the Kingdom to refrain from saying what it really thinks – that Obama does not understand anything about the Middle East or simply could not care less.

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan a few weeks ago said that if President Obama continues to accommodate Iran, it might make a “major shift” away from Washington. And “away” from the White House means closer to the Zionist entity. It is amazing what some people will do to survive.

Prince Awaleed’s openly lumping the Kingdom with Israel and “other Middle East countries” cannot be shooed away as a one man’s opinion. Bloomberg noted that his “public statements are often interpreted as a barometer for the thoughts of Saudi’s rulers.”

Obama may be buying off Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States by offering them more security guarantees, but after Obama ditched Saudi Arabia and backed off its threat to attack Syrian President Bassar al-Assad for using chemical weapons, who trusts Washington any longer?

It is assumed Israel has nuclear warheads, and Saudi Arabia already has not kept it a secret that it would try to get its hands on nuclear weapons via Pakistan if Iran goes nuclear, so what guarantees does Washington have to offer?

The agreement with Iran by the Western powers, headed by Obama, puts the president in the saddle for the time being.  Except for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, no one – not even Saudi Arabia – is going to second-guess Obama and not give the deal a chance.

Obama has neutralized Israel and silenced Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and, according to Israel’s Channel 10 television, he will use the deal to promote its agenda to solve all of the problems in the Middle East.

The television station reported that Obama will now figure it can pressure Iran, and even Russia, to help solve the Syrian civil war.  With that under his belt, it is only a short hop skip and a jump to crown the Palestinian Authority as the non-nuclear weapon to destroy Israel by squeezing it into its old “Auschwitz borders” until the next step of flooding it with Palestinian Authority “immigrants.”

Given President Obama’s track record on Obamacare, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and about every other country outside of Antarctica, it is a fair assumption that things will fall apart quickly. If it indeed is Obama’s plan to march to world peace with Iran at its side, the man forgets, or doesn’t even know, that he really does not understand the Middle East or simply could not care less.

The ink was hardly dry on the deal when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani already interpreted it differently.

Tehran said the agreement leaves it with the right to enrich uranium, even if its low grade, while Kerry denied that the deal recognized Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium.

Perhaps a “bad deal” was better than no deal because once the bad deal is exposed for what it is, the Western powers can go back to square one and start over with common sense.

Of course, that assumes it is not too late.

Kerry: No Imposed US Plan

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denied reports that he is ready to impose a U.S. peace plan on Israelis and Palestinians.

“Let me categorically dispel any notion that there is anything other than the track that is formally engaged in between Israel and the Palestinians,” Kerry said when asked by reporters Monday about the purported plan in Riyadh, where he met with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Saud al Faisal.

A number of reports over the last week, including one from Zehava Gal-On, the leader of the left-wing Israeli Meretz Party who said she had learned of the plan from U.S. and Palestinian officials, said that the secretary of state was frustrated with the gap between the Israeli and Palestinian teams and was ready to introduce a U.S. plan in January that would be based in the 1967 lines.

“The only plan we have at this point in time is to pursue that discussion and the discussion track that we’ve always talked about, which is the leaders track, which is the discussions between President Obama, myself, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Abbas,” Kerry said. “So it’s just incorrect. There is no other plan at this point in time.”

Kerry continued from Saudi Arabia to Israel and the Palestinian areas, where he was to meet this week with leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinians and Israelis renewed talks this summer after intensive lobbying by Kerry.

Saudi Women Fined for Gross Traffic Crimes, Such as Driving (Video)

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Saudi traffic police had a field day in Riyadh on Saturday, fining at least 16 women who broke the tradition that prohibits women from taking the wheel.

The threat of $80 fines doused plans for a massive feminist turnout following a campaign of “women’s driving is a choice” that had gained support with more than 16,000 signatures.

The women who defied the ban posted videos on social media of their brazen act, and after being caught, they had to sign a pledge “to respect the Kingdom’s laws.” Police kept the women by their vehicles until a male guardian appeared to take the wheel, but some women were taken to the police station.

Given the traditional Muslim veil that women in Saudi Arabia usually wear in public, women drivers indeed could be a public danger. Who wants to ride with someone whose face is completely covered except for two slits for the eyes?

For the time being, it is the Saudi kingdom that has limited vision because it may only be a matter of time before it caves in and accepts the ugly Western influence of a female carrying out the masculine task of driving a car.

“Despite the strong opposition, the women believe that time is on their side,” The New York Times reported. “They point to the huge numbers of Saudis who study and travel abroad and return with new perspectives on their culture. They also suggest that the kingdom’s youthful population and the tremendous rise of social media will over time make the country more open to change.”

Saudi Arabia has the privilege of being the only country in the world where women are barred from driving, but the prohibition is a custom of the kingdom and not written in law.

The issue is not to be treated frivolously or with sarcasm. Saudi cleric Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan  in late September gave a very good reason why women should not drive.

“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” he told the Senior Council of Scholars, one of the top religious bodies in the country.

“That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees,” he said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/saudi-women-fined-for-gross-traffic-crimes-such-as-driving-video/2013/10/28/

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