Posts Tagged ‘issue’

ELAL flight called back to Israel: ‘Security Issue’

July 25th, 2012 Comments off

“… Last night July 21st 2012 ELAL flight LY75 from Tel Aviv to Hong Kong turned back one hour after leaving Ben Gurion airport. The passengers were told after landing that there was a hydraulic problem. Wwhen they landed the plane was surrounded by ambulances and security forces. The flight was then delayed and eventually left at 7:04AM this morning.Not one Israeli media outlet has written anything about this incident, which is suspicious, as they usually report on events like these. The only reason I can see for this media silence is a gag order by the courts. This would suggest that it was not a technical problem but a security issue…”

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"About those vetoes …"

July 23rd, 2012 Comments off

“… And about vetoes – if I am not mistaken, the US has cast 60 vetoes on the Palestinian issue alone. So, why don’t you question my American colleagues about the impact of the image of the US in the Middle East of those continuous vetoes? Sometimes even vetoing their own presidential and secretary of state’s public statements…”

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Every defector is a reformist

July 9th, 2012 Comments off
From Akram, Angry Arab’s chief correspondent in Syria:  “Two stories from Moscow that shouldn’t be interlinked directly:

1- Russia will not deliver any new types of weapons or sign any military contracts with Syria until the situation there stabilizes
2- A delegation of the Syrian opposition is in Moscow today. But before the delegation’s arrival Jelena Sobonina, Chief of Asia and Mideast at the Russian Institute of Strategic Study conducted an interview with one of the delegation’s members, Michel Kilo who said that defected Brigadier General Manaf Tlas is an acceptable figure for the transitional period in Syria. Interestingly, it was Sobonina who, initially, asked about Tlas the father (Mostafa Tlas). Here is the transcript of Kilo’s answer (voice- Arabic):

Sobonina: Is it true that figures like Hikmat Al-Shihaby or Mostafa Tlas (both were prominent military figures during Hafez Al-Assad period and Mostafa Tlas is the father of the defected Manaf Tlas) could lead the transitional government in Syria?

Michel Kilo: I don’t know, believe me I don’t know. I’m not aware there are serious talks about this issue. But I think Mr. Manaf Tlas is a reformist figure that, from the beginning, was seeking a political solution and he was in disagreement with Bashar Al-Assad on this issue. For him violence is no solution for the Syrian crisis which can be solved only by dialog and political, social and economic procedures. He’s, now, out of power somewhere- he’s actually, a friend of mine- but I think this man is suitable for the coming phase.

A joke? Maybe not”.

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Nordland, again

July 4th, 2012 Comments off
Oh, I forgot this classic one:  “The security directorate has broad powers in other areas, too, refusing permission, for instance, for the director Francis Ford Coppola to land his private jet in Beirut in 2009 because the engine included parts made in Israel…”  How dumb do you have to be to write this?  How on earth would the Lebanese know where the engine parts made? Does this guy not try to question anything that his pro-Saudi contacts in Lebanon tell him?  And notice that Western Zionists always like to confuse the issue of censorship with the issue of BDS in the Arab world.  The US has tons of sanctions against Iran and Syria and Cuba: is that censorship as well? Or is it only censorship when the target is Israel?

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Supreme Court declines to take US Health Care in direction of Sub-Saharan Africa

June 28th, 2012 Comments off

Well, we dodged the bullet of looking like Zimbabwe on this issue. But we still need a single payer system. And the court exempting states from medicaid expansion could leave millions uninsured.

(From this site, though I made some changes; China, e.g., at least tries to provide health care to its citizens; and Iraq is now on its own).

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Rod Nordland: Remember his name: another clueless New York Times correspondent

June 27th, 2012 Comments off
Gunmen erected roadblocks, burned tires and fired into the air in downtown Beirut in the predawn hours of Tuesday, while in the suburb of Jounieh to the east, at least two land mines were found on the grounds of a hospital.

The roadblocks were manned by Shiites who apparently support President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and who were angry over the arrest of a Shiite man for firebombing and shooting into the offices of New TV, a Lebanon broadcaster that has been critical of the Syrian government.”  Notice that the headline and the narrative her insists on dragging the Syrian issue into it when it has absolutely nothing to do with foreign policy. The matter is about the appearance of Shaykh Ahmad Al-Asir on New TV and his expressions of sectarian incitement which apparently enraged a group of Shi`ites whose political affiliation is not even known (Minister of Interior stated that they were neither Amal nor Hizbullah, and the two movement denied any link with the thugs).  But Rod Nordland’s ignorance does not stop here: even when Karma Khayyat tells him that the issue is about sectarianism and not about Syria, he wants to make it about Syrian issue.  And notice that Rod, who clearly has no knowledge of Lebanon or Arabic, insists that Al-Asir attacked Hizbullah and Amal when he is known for attacks on Shi`ites.

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Internet startups in Egypt

June 16th, 2012 Comments off
“The primary issue with internet-based “startups” in this context is that they rarely produce significant numbers of jobs. For all the media attention they receive, the combined workforce of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Groupon, for example, is less than 20,000 people so it is unlikely that Egyptian web-based companies, especially those based on the development of computer apps, would make a major impact on the job creation front.
Moreover, just as Facebook’s IPO created a few hundred new super-rich, if any of the profiled Arab internet companies make it big – and some probably will – the financial rewards will go to a few already wealthy investors, or the generally high-skilled computer programmers, who already have plenty of employment opportunities. This is not a value judgment – they would deserve it, for sure, since they took the initiative and the risks. But the question here is what does Egypt need more: millions of “middle class” jobs or a few hundred tech millionaires?
Secondly, while these computer programmers are nobly developing apps that address serious social problems, such as providing vetted taxis to women in a country where sexual harassment is a problem, or to provide traffic alerts in one of the world’s most congested cities, the benefits will primarily go to the already well–off. In a country where less than 50% of the population uses the Internet at all, only 10-15% of the population at most can afford access to smartphones, where they would use these apps?” (thanks Nathan)

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Germany asks Israel for gesture on settlements

May 30th, 2012 Comments off

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) welcomes German President Joachim GauckGerman President Joachim Gauck asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday for a gesture on the issue of West Bank settlements, which the international community define as illegal.

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Eltahawy and Sadjadpour in Foreign Policy’s "Sex Issue"

April 24th, 2012 Comments off

Foreign Policy’s May/June issue is labeled their “Sex Issue.” Yes, at first encounter it seems an unlikely publication to have a sex issue, but it turns out to have some important content, not least on the Middle East. Anyone even slightly familiar with the region hardly needs to be told that the role of women is a central thread in all the culture wars now roiling the region, and that sexuality and sexual harassment are among the taboos often met with denial. So Foreign Policy has a sex issue.

In their introduction they say:

When U.S. magazines devote special issues to sex, they are usually of the celebratory variety (see: Esquire, April 2012 edition; Cosmopolitan, every month). Suffice it to say that is not what we had in mind with Foreign Policy‘s first-ever Sex Issue, which is dedicated instead to the consideration of how and why sex — in all the various meanings of the word — matters in shaping the world’s politics.Why? In Foreign Policy, the magazine and the subject, sex is too often the missing part of the equation — the part that the policymakers and journalists talk about with each other, but not with their audiences. And what’s the result? Women missing from peace talks and parliaments, sexual abuse and exploitation institutionalized and legalized in too many places on the planet, and a U.S. policy that, whether intentionally or not, all too frequently works to shore up the abusers and perpetuate the marginalization of half of humanity. Women’s bodies are the world’s battleground, the contested terrain on which politics is played out. We can keep ignoring it. For this one issue, we decided not to.

Two of their articles are particularly noteworthy for anyone dealing with our region:

There’s much more in the issue, but these two powerful articles are a good place to start.

These issues will not go away, and it’s refreshing to see them addressed directly and not sensationally.

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China calls for flexibility on Iran nuclear issue

April 11th, 2012 Comments off

BEIJING – China on Tuesday urged the world powers to show "flexibility" and "sincerity" in dealing with Iran's nuclear programme, ahead of the scheduled talks between Tehran and the five permanent Sec
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