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As much-needed rain began to pour down on poor old Israel, rumbling thunder sent vibrations through the desert – right down to old Egypt, on the heels of the Tunisian shakedown, causing many Egyptians to decide suddenly that 30 years of autocratic rule means pull the hose out of old Hosni Mubarak. Chaos ensued. Cries of “Allahu Achbar!” Car windows shattering, rubber bullets firing, car alarms and emergency sirens sounded in the streets throughout the country. The scene was like something out of Watts.
Actually, trouble began exactly one week ago. Hundreds are dead. Thousands gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo to commend Mohamed ElBaradei – once head of the U.N. nuclear agency, Egyptian masses want him to lead the transition to democracy.
Muslim Machiavels, the Middle East wide, are trying to keep their cool. Will the desert thunder create a domino effect? Will coup d’état continue to be the great cry in Tunisia? Will many Iranian students test the fascist powers that be? Will Jordan fall like the walls of Jericho? Will democracy be demanded and served once and for all? If this happens will Israel lose her treaty with Egypt and/or Jordan thereby causing peaceful negotiations? Stay tuned!
PM of the JS, Binyamin Netanyahu spoke Saturday evening with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and on Sunday, DM Ehud Barak spoke on the phone with DS Robert Gates.
In a statement, the White House said:
“The president reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint, supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech, and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people…”
Before 2020, says Israel’s entrepreneurial sweetheart, electric cars will be flying off the showroom floor faster than gasoline-powered automobiles.
“It doesn’t mean that oil is not necessary, but we’re starting the way out…In Israel, in 2016, plus or minus a year, more electric cars will be sold than gasoline cars. When that happens in Country One, within two years you will see it in every country.”
Before the end of the year there will be 56 stations b’Eretz and 5,000 cars produced. In 2012, Denmark, Australia, Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area will fall in line.
Agassi has raised some $700m and spent one-third of it on setting up recharging stations. This leaves him with enough cash to absorb losses assuring his breaking even with the initial steps of the venture.
Shai did not shy away from expressing his enthusiasm to the press:
“Israel will become the first country in the world to put 100,000 all-electric cars on the road…Not the US. Not China. Not countries much bigger – Israel!…From 2000 to 2010, China added 120 million cars on the road (and) next year, 25 to 30 million..It’s no longer the US that sets the price (of oil). Now it’s a question of how many cars were added in China, how many were added in Brazil, how many were added in India…The end of the oil era will not come because we ran out of oil – it will come become we don’t want to use oil any more to drive…I can guarantee you that we will finish the need for oil as an energy source for cars before we run out of oil in the ground.”
Muslims in the Middle East can’t win for trying. Former Lebanese prime minister, Najib Miqati, after being the candidate of Syrian/Iranian proxy, Hezbollah’s choice, will undertake the daunting task of reforming the Republic of Splintered Cedars. With the forces of terror on his side he should succeed.
Senor Miqati, the billionaire businessman, won 68 seats in Lebanon’s 128-member Parliament – against Saad Hariri’s 60.
Miqati, and his wife, May, have three children. Born in 1955, Mikati was educated at the American University of Beirut, at INSEAD, and at Harvard University.
Here’s a bit from his bio:
“He is the co-founder of M1 Group, a multi-billion dollar privately-owned financial and industrial conglomerate with interests in telecom, asset management, luxury retail trade, real estate, transport, as well as oil and gas…
Before entering politics, he co-founded INVESTCOM, a leading telecom family business which pioneered telephony in emerging markets and was later merged into MTN after its shares were listed on both the London and Dubai stock exchanges, in what was the largest international listing of a Middle Eastern company.”
Moderate protesters, supporters of Hariri demonstrated in the streets, burning tires and clashing with police.
“I understand the shouts of anger that have come out of your chests…But it is not right that this anger leads us to what is against our values and upbringing and our belief that democracy is our only resort and the only way we express our political stance. … Raise the Lebanese flag high above your head and know that I will always be with you…”
Officials of Hezbollah – who have rearmed since the 2006 Jewish offensive with more than 40,000 far-reaching rockets stockpiled – are waiting to be named in the indictments, by a United Nations-backed tribunal, on the assassination of Rafik Hariri.
According to our friends at al-Jazeera:
“Nasrallah has accused the Netherlands-based tribunal of being under US-Israeli control…Nasrallah has also said he expects the tribunal will implicate Hezbollah members and warned of grave repercussions.”
We will wait and see just what Nasrallah intended by “grave repercussions.”
“…In its formative decades the government of Israel was almost indistinguishable from the party of Labor.”
Wrote Time Magazine’s Karl Vick of Ehud Barak’s departure from Labor.
“David Ben-Gurion, the new nation’s equivalent of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson rolled roughly into one, headed both the party and the government it largely populated.”
Proving his inability to separate Israel from his own United States of America, he compared the formation of the Jewish State to the American colony’s secession or better, coup d’etat from Great Britain, because Barak compared his departure from Labor and formation of an independent faction to Ben-Gurion’s historied Labor departure. This journalist is like a child who misbehaves because of some adult activity, unrelated to his own: a window breaks in the house, mom yells, so the kids pees on the carpet and screams. When the child grows up, he learns to deal with the wild energy like an adult. No call to ring America’s Freedom Bell here Mr. Vick.
With Labor’s pull from Netanyahu’s inter-Knesset support league, the coalition’s majority in the 120-member Knessent falls to 66 from 74.
Isaac Herzog, Binyamin, Avishay Braverman, Ben-Eliezer and the rest of the Labor bongos can finally stretch their legs in the back seat with Barak out of the driver’s seat, Herzog said:
“The Labor Party, which founded the State of Israel, got rid of the hump on its back…Ehud Barak’s masked ball is over.”
Nay, the Palestinian’s masked ball is over!
Einat Wilf, one of four Labor members who will join Barak in the brand spanking new Independence faction said:
“I don’t belong to the camp that believes Israel is solely responsible for the failure of these [last summer in Egypt and America] negotiations…The Palestinians bear responsibility for not entering the talks. Some people have sent them a message to wait around for a new government.”
The other Labor babies to join Barak are Matan Vilnai, Shalom Simhon and Orit Noked.
The Independance faction will be “Zionist, Center and Democratic…”
Two weeks ago, the New York Times had an article about Kabbalistic dancers, it was a reminder of the ubiquity and diversity of the various forms of this ancient mysticism; today, Kabbalah is not just a red-string on the left wrist of Ashton Kutcher, it connects to various aspects of our lives in ways that are sometimes hard to foretell and are always interesting and enriching.
Two of the main fields Kabbalah has always had a hold in are art and jewelry, spiritual home decor and jewelry engraved with verses or blessed with special meaning for a certain purpose. In such a popular and long-established world it’s hard to create something new, but like the Kabbalah modern dancing group, examples of creativity are out there waiting to be found.
Mizze Jewelry, a company in Israel recently created a new line of handmade jewelry that combines two very traditional and popular ideas, the red string strand from Rachel’s Tomb and the friendship bracelet we all know and love, the result is what they call the Kabbalah Friendship Bracelet.
How is it done you wonder, well, within the hand knit friendship bracelet given by men and women of all ages throughout the world, runs a single Red String strand believed to offer the wearer protection and ward off spiritual harm.
What caught my eye about the combination is the fact that the idea marries a worldwide cultural tradition to the ancient Kabbalah mystical tradition while managing to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of each, love and friendship are interweaved with good fortune and safekeeping.
They made their name – bought their reputation – killing Jews for sport. Then, with Stalin, they warmed our hearts with cute experimentation in cruel authoritarian government ala the figurative meeting of Cosimo De Medici I and Karl Marx. Threats to blow the West to smithereens underscored this nostalgic era.
After being single-handedly responsible for the formation of the largest, most dreadful Islamic terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, when they lost a war to Afghanistan; they greeted Iran’s Islamic Revolution with aiding that country to build its first nuclear reactor.
So what is Russia up to these days? Why, I’ll tell you what, after years of imprisoning their poverty-stricken Jews within the now-ruined walls of their fallen Soviet Union, they have decided to lead the world in the fight for Palestinian Statehood, along lines that defy the State of Israel.
Plus, the price of Kettle One, has just gone up! Bummer…
Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed his recognition of a Palestinian state, saying Moscow has no reason to change the position adopted by the former Soviet Union when they first recognized an Arab State in Palestine under Arafat in 1988.
The Russian President went down to old Jericho last week and said:
“Russia’s position remains unchanged. Russia made its choice a long time ago…We supported and will support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem.”
Mahmoud Abbas thanked Medvedev and his country for being “one of the first states in the world to recognize the state of Palestine in 1988“.
An al Jazeera journalist realized:
“This surely has raised a lot of hopes and a lot of optimism among Palestinians that this kind of recognition would boost their efforts and might influence the upcoming quartet meeting in February…”
Next month, the Middle East Quartet of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and of course Russia will meet in Munich to shock the peace process back to life.
Medvedev also said:
“We discussed the possible prospects of resuming the dialogue…In order to do that, we need to express maximum moderation. This in the first place relates to the freezing of settlements…”
On top of the political significance of Medvedev’s visit, at least three agreements were signed between Abbas and Medvedev; and $30m was allocated to media, agriculture and sports in the region, promising much more Russian involvement in Palestine’s “nation-building.”
Jerusalem, nay, the Middle East is a place where everyone thinks they have authority over the ‘other-guy’, yet the situation is proverbially out-of-control.
Led by Hezbollah member, Raed Salah, the Northern Branch-Israeli Islamic Movement has demanded all Mezuzot be taken off the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City.
“This is a disgusting attempt to Judaize the Arab and Islamic heritage of the old city…and all Islamic institutions are called upon to act quickly to remove the Mezuzot.”
(Judaize the Jewish State? I don’t know you guys!)
Spokesman for the Al-Aqsa “institution” Mahmoud Abu Atta, says:
“The only religion who owns Jerusalem is Islam…The old city of Jerusalem to the Arabs forever.”
Meanwhile, in a different part of the Old City, the Jerusalem Development Authority opened its Muslim Quarter site – ‘Little Kotel‘ – to Jewish prayer. Scaffolding was removed from under an arch supporting Palestinian homes.
According to the Ateret Cohanim Website, students at Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim pray every Friday in the courtyard, where no disturbances a have been recorded in recent years.
This move does not come in response to Palestinian groups last month claiming the Western Wall is not a Jewish holy site, and instead, is sacred to Muslims.
And then, in an unrelated story, Gaza’s health sector seems to be on the verge of collapse due to a lack of medicine.
Medical care, said Medhat Abbas, general director of the Ash-Shifa medical complex in Gaza City, must be separated from political disputes.
Gaza’s Health Ministry has blamed its counterpart in Ramallah for a shortage of medicine in the Strip. Health Minister of Hamas, Bassem Naim, said Gaza was lacking 40% of basic medicines which he accused the PA of withholding.
Meanwhile, Israeli spokesman, Ofer Gendalman, warned Hamas to stop firing projectiles into southern Israel.
Dozens of projectiles have been launched from Gaza at Israel since the start of 2011. The launches have been the work of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the National Resistance Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Islamic Jihad.