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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘United Arab Emirates’

UAE Condemning Iranian Occupation of its Territories

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

While the United Arab Emirates has welcomed the refreshing stance of Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, it has called upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to repeated calls for a just settlement of the islands dispute between the two countries, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice.

In 1971, after the British finally left the Middle East, Iranian forces occupied the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb, located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf between Iran and the UAE. Iran continues to occupy the islands, which the UAE has been contesting to no avail.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, speaking before the meeting of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, denounced the Iranian occupation.

“…My Government expresses, once again, its regret regarding the continued Iranian occupation of our three islands: Abu Mousa, and Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and demands the restoration of the UAE’s full sovereignty over these islands,” Al Nahyan said.

“We emphasize that all actions and measures taken by the Iranian occupation authorities are null and void, and are contrary to international law and to all norms and common human values,” he continued. “Therefore, we call upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to the repeated peaceful, sincere calls of the United Arab Emirates for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice to settle this dispute in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and the provisions of international law.”

Noting the change in tone in iran’s political leadership, the foreign minister declared: “Proceeding from the firm principals of our regional and international relations, we welcome the declared approach of Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, and we affirm that our country will sincerely build on such approach in the interest of promoting security, stability and prosperity in the region.”

Now, why can’t the Palestinians be this polite?

Hagel Coming to Israel Bearing Lots of (Sort of) Gifts

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is starting a weeklong visit to the Middle East, concluding a year of secret negotiations over a $10 billion arms deal involving Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The deal includes American made missiles, warplanes and troop transports, to help each country in facing threats from Iran.

The NY Times quoted a senior administration official who said the goal of the new deal is “not just to boost Israel’s capabilities, but also to boost the capabilities of our Persian Gulf partners so they, too, would be able to address the Iranian threat — and also provide a greater network of coordinated assets around the region to handle a range of contingencies.”

When Chuck Hagel leaves the region, he will also, supposedly, answer the puzzling riddle of how can Israel afford to spend even more billions of dollars, when her entire $3 billion in U.S. military aid is already spoken for. In everybody’s mind, there can be only one answer: Israel will ask the U.S. to pay the U.S. whatever it takes, so Israel can get the new, really shiny stuff.

Highest on Israel’s shopping list for things it couldn’t possibly pay for out of its own shrinking budget: new missiles designed to take out the enemy’s air-defense radar, and then, also, advanced radar for Israeli warplanes, and don’t forget new refueling tanker planes. In short, it’s all the stuff you need if you’re going out to bomb the nuclear facilities of an unnamed country a thousand miles away.

In addition Israel will also buy the V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft, which combines the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

If you ask me, Israel needs these units like it needs a hole in the head. Besides the fact that they’ve had a terrible reputation, rife with corruption (a Marine Lieutenant Colonel was kicked off the service after it was discovered he fixed reports to favor the new aircraft), Israel is not facing the troop transport issues the U.S. military does around the globe. It’s a whole lot cheaper to fly the troops across the border in any direction on good, old fashioned choppers, than to utilize and maintain these unwieldy behemoths. But since the entire U.S. military aid to Israel program is, essentially, intended to support jobs creation on Long Island and in Washington State, what do I care.

They accused former President GW Bush of being an irresponsible spendthrift when he invested trillions of dollars of money we didn’t have in invading and destroying the only enemy of Iranian expansionism in the region – Saddam Hussein. But, as it turns out, the president was smarter than we thought. By making Iran the undeniable bully of the Middle east, utilizing Shiite power in Iraq to bolster its own, now U.S. military industrial companies are able to cash in on the new market and sell everybody in the region those state-of-the-art American mega weapons. USA! USA!

“This year the United States provided $3.1 billion in foreign military financing to Israel, the highest the United States has ever provided,” a Pentagon official said. In addition, the United States provides about $300 million in missile defense to Israel, he noted.

Elsewhere in the region, in 2010 Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase 84 F-15 tactical fighters in a deal worth $29.4 billion, the official said, and the first F-15s have rolled off the line in St. Louis and are undergoing flight testing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

During Hagel’s trip, the UAE is expected to move forward with the purchase of 25 F-16 Block 60 Desert Falcon fighters manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The expected value of the sale is $425 billion, the official said.

The United Arab Emirates wants to buy 26 F-16 warplanes, at $5 billion, and they also need those precision missiles that can be launched from those same jets at distant ground targets. Saudi Arabia is also in for them advanced missile.

The deal with Israel was in discussion over the past year between former defense secretary Leon E. Panetta and former defense minister Ehud Barak. The Times reports the two had 18 additional telephone discussions on the arms deal. After being sworn in as the new defense secretary, Hagel’s first face-to-face discussion with any foreign counterpart was with Barak, to get the deal done. When Hagel starts will move to finalize the arms deal with Barak’s successor, Moshe Yaalon.

Jewish Doctor Acquitted but Hasn’t Left UAE

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

South African newspapers have been reporting for some days that Prof. Cyril Karabus, 77, whose involuntary detention by the people who run the United Arab Emirates has been going on now for seven months in defiance of basic principles of due process, has been clearedacquittedfound not guiltyfreed to go home and so on. The spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation broadcast a tweet a week ago exulting (after the earlier intervention of the department’s minister) that “He is free!”

However, South Africa’s Eyewitness News website reports that:

CAPE TOWN – Prosecutors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have told Professor Cyril Karabus’ legal team they intend appealing the decision to find him not guilty of manslaughter. Last week, an Abu Dhabi court found the elderly professor not guilty of manslaughter and forgery. A medical committee cleared the paediatric oncologist of all blame for the death of a young cancer patient he treated there more than a decade ago. The latest development means Karabus will remain in the UAE indefinitely

We have not yet seen any reports originating in the UAE that confirm this, but we will keep looking. And if there is anyone out there still thinking the man’s own government is willing to do what ought to be done, think again:

“Professor Cyril Karabus has no choice but to submit to the UAE’s legal process, the dept of international relations said on Thursday, after it emerged that he will not be allowed to come back to South Africa yet.” [SAPA]

We have posted numerous times here about the Kafkaesque ordeal that this distinguished medico has suffered at the hands of the authorities in the UAE. For a quick overview, we suggest these: “21-Mar-13: Is Prof Karabus finally being released and going home?“; and “29-Jan-13: UAE “Justice” officials fiddle: The scandalous treatment of Prof. Karabus goes on and on“.

May we suggest again that anyone planning to travel to or through Dubai should carefully review what we posted here yesterday? (See “27-Mar-13: Final call for Australian travelers to London with Qantas“). And for the record, the advice is not meant only for Australians.

This outrageous affair is barely known outside South Africa. It’s time to change that.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Making Kafka Proud in Dubai Court

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The “Trial,” the nightmarish novel of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, was written in 1914 and is one of Franz Kafka’s best-known works. A contemporary variant of that nightmare is unfolding in Dubai.

When the Australian airline Qantas recently announced a commercial deal with the Gulf-based airline Emirates, we started researching what this might mean to ordinary travelers to and from Australia. Then we began understanding its possible impact on Jews and Israelis. Then we came across the ongoing, scandalous and worrying story of a gentle, frail and very distinguished South African doctor caught up in the kind of nightmare that can only happen in places where the rule of law and transparency in the imposition of power are a form of inside joke.

While it’s an affair that directly affects just one man, the implications (as we noted in a previous post) of what is being done to Prof. Cyril Karabus are horrific. We feel air travelers planning to fly Qantas at some future time need to know them. The background is in these three earlier posts:

* 26-Sep-12: Dubai, Dubai, Dubai

* 15-Oct-12: Back to Dubai: Australian travelers might want to factor this report into their plans

* 21-Oct-12: Update on Prof. Cyril Karabus and his ongoing nightmare in United Arab Emirates

In brief: Prof. Karabus is a notable and honored professor of medicine with a lifetime of service to the community in his native South Africa. He is now 78. He passed through Dubai airport in the UAE on August 18, 2012 en route to his home after taking part in his son’s wedding in Canada.

In Dubai, he found himself under arrest; he was notified that he had been convicted a decade earlier on charges arising from the death of a three year old child he had treated for terminal cancer. No notification had ever been given to him at the time of the child’s death or since then. He knew nothing about it until he was arrested in transit at Dubai airport.

In court, having been obliged to hire lawyers, he denied any involvement in the charge of killing a young leukaemia patient. The prosecution was unable FOUR times to bring the files on the basis of which the elderly doctor was brought to court. So four times his application for bail could not proceed and he remained incarcerated in an appalling prison. Then finally he was granted bail, but was and still is unable to leave Dubai.

Now this week’s update, via a limited-circulation South African newspaper:

South African paediatric oncologist Prof Cyril Karabus (78), of Claremont, Cape Town, held on bail inAbu Dhabi since August 18 on a 10-year-old charge for which he was tried and found guilty in absentia, relating to the death of a child patient from leukaemia, is again in the ignominious situation of having his trial postponed for a further week, until December 13, due to a “missing folder” with details of the case history. Said his daughter, Sarah: “There is still no sign of the missing folder, and we are certain that it will never be found. If they find it, it will show the world that they convicted him erroneously, so we suspect it will remain ‘missing’. “I am not sure how long this farce will continue – even our lawyers are not sure of that,” she added… At the time of going to press on Wednesday, Michael Bagraim, the attorney representing Karabus, explained: “The trial is destined to reconvene tomorrow, Thursday December 13. At the last hearing, the prosecution, once again requested a postponement of a further month due to the fact that they were still unable to find the paperwork and the necessary hospital file. “Prof Karabus did address the judge by stating that he thought the request was an insult to the court and a waste of the country’s money. The judge tended to agree with this statement, and addressed the prosecution harshly about the continual postponements. “The judge then said that he would only agree to a seven-day postponement and he wanted a full explanation from the prosecution as to why they wanted to continue prosecuting without any paperwork. We are feeling quite hopeful about the appearance tomorrow, but obviously we are in the court’s hands. “There was a medical scare at the last hearing as Prof Karabus did indicate chest pains in the middle of the trial. He now appears to be alright, but certainly is very frail. We have hope in that even the newspapers in the UAE are indicating that Prof Karabus might not be guilty,” said Bagraim.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Shariah Card: Charge Your Way to Mecca

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Users of a Shariah-compliant credit card from the United Arab Emirates can charge their purchases according to Islamic law, direct their prayers toward Mecca, and even put a little aside for the Hajj.

Al Hillaj Bank’s new credit card charges no interest on loans, keeping in line with Shariah law forbidding the charging of interest.  The card gives a percentage of the money spent to charity, and features a small compass which can help the Muslim devotee direct his or her prayers toward Mecca 5 times a day.

And it may help him get there in person.  Card users are eligible for travel vouchers which help pay their way to Mecca on the obligatory pilgrimage which occurs there annually.

Cyber Attacks UPDATE: Israeli Hackers Strike Back

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Pro-Israeli hackers revealed the details of over 4,800 Saudi Arabian credit cardholders, just days after the websites of El Al, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and Israel’s Anti-Drug Authority were attacked.

The hacker group, which calls itself ‘IDF-Team’, also struck the websites of the United Arab Emirates Central Bank and Gaza’s Arab Bank of Palestine, and claimed that they accessed the information by infiltrating the database of one of Saudi Arabia’s largest banks.
‘IDF-Team’ also warned that should attacks against Israeli websites continue, they will “disable [Arab] stock market, gov’t, economic, [and] security sites.”

On Wednesday night, anti-Israel hackers infiltrated the server of the Anti-Drug Authority and redirected visitors to a website featuring images of Palestinian gunmen and the words “death to Israel” written in Hebrew.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cyber-attacks-update-israeli-hackers-strike-back/2012/01/19/

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