Maritime Media Spectacle Part Two

This week in Athens, Greece, blockade runners conducted a training session on how to thwart Israeli efforts to enforce their Gaza blockade. At the same time the Israel Navy conducted a simulation of all possible scenarios for the flotillas to run the naval blockage.

Jordan, Egypt, Grapel

On Friday, more than 500 Jordanians demonstrated outside the prime minister’s office in Amman, pleading for a government free of corruption and other particular. At the same time, some 600 Hashmoneans held pro-reform protests in the southern cities of Tafileh, Karak and Thieban as well as the Northern city of Irbid.

Demonstrators chanted:

“The people want to reform the regime. Speed up democratic reforms now. We want our stolen money back…We demand an incorruptible national salvation government…”

One banner read:

“Democracy means an independent judiciary, honest MP’s and an elected government…”

In Karak, protestors hailed former information minister Taher Adwan who was forced to resign on Tuesday after accusing the government of introducing “restrictive” legislation, he described as a “blow to the reform drive” and “martial laws.”

Heavy protesting in Jordan actually began in January, as Arab citizens throughout the Middle East have demanded political and economic reforms and an end to corruption.

In Jordan, unlike other Arab countries, the protests have usually passed without serious violence.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian Transport Ministry said it was following up with Egyptian authorities on re-opening the maritime line between Aqab and Taba for tourism. These hot resort towns were closed by Egypt.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated story, Jerusalem and Washington held meetings with Cairo on June 13, to release 27-year-old Ilan Grapel, the dual US/Israeli citizen arrested on charges of Mossad affiliated espionage. Israel announced on Monday, Grapel had no connection to Israeli intelligence, whatsoever. Furthermore, the Israeli foreign ministry insisted Cairo had not informed Jerusalem of the arrest.

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials renewed his detention. Grapel will spend 15 more days in an Egyptian jail pending further investigation.

The Hope for Gaza

The IDF has permitted Gaza to receive the entry of construction material for two housing projects and 18 new schools. Starting last June, Israel cautiously permitted the entry of construction materials for 150 different projects in the Gaza Strip; this includes water and infrastructure projects as well as 42 United National Relief and Works Agency schools.

Chana Ya’ar of Israel National News indicated that:

“Until recently, materials such as cement, gravel and metals were on the “no go” list for import into Gaza due to the potential use by Hamas and other terrorist groups in the manufacture of weapons and the construction of smuggler tunnels and military bunkers.”

Meanwhile, according to Jerusalem Post:

“In related news, Israel Radio said that Israel was continuing its attempts to determine where the kidnapped Schalit was being held in the Gaza strip, sending out text messages offering $10 million for any information on the whereabouts of the hidden soldier.”

The article continues:

“An Egyptian source denied any progress in the prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel in regards to kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit who enters his sixth year in captivity this week, London-based al Hayat reported Wednesday. The source also told al Hayat that he had received a letter from Hamas with a message for Israel saying the Gazan group was willing to restart negotiations and even reduce the number of prisoners Hamas demands be freed in exchange for Schalit.”

Enter: Muslim Brotherhood

With the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in February, Israel’s relations with Egypt have been turned on their head. It is a game of waiting. Will a treaty between Egypt and Israel hold? Will Muslim Brotherhood take more than 50 percent of Parliament seats? If yes, does it mean direct threat? Imminent danger for the Jewish State? Is everything going to be alright after all?

Ahead of legislative elections, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has reportedly joined forces with 17 Egyptian political parties – both liberal, secular and religious alike – to concretize a mutual platform. Involved in the joint platform are such political parties as Brotherood’s Freedom and Justice Party, the more liberal Wafd party, the leftist Tagammu and the brand new Salafi (Muslim Fundamentalist) Noor party.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – which took the governmental reins after Hosni Mubarak was ousted – has set the parliamentary elections for a date in September.

Despite these signs of modernity and democracy from the Brotherhood, Chairman Mohammed Badie held an interview on Egyptian television, indicating as Caroline Glick paraphrased:

“That the Brotherhood will end any thought of democracy in Egypt by taking control over the media. Badie said that the Brotherhood is about to launch a public news channel,” committed to the “ethics of the society and the rules of the Islamic faith.”

Mr. Badie recently said in an interview:

“Mubarak tries to black mail Obama by using Muslim Brotherhood name to remain in charge of on going chaos. All 1.57 billion Muslims are part of Muslim Brotherhood excluding Mubarak, he is member of Israel Brotherhood, he can go Israel and live there.”

Jerusalem Post in February reported Badie saying:

“Asked on CNN if his organization would support the maintenance of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Mohamed Morsy, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, dodged a direct answer but said Israel had failed to honor the treaty. He said it would be up to the Egyptian parliament to decide on the fate of the treaty, and that the parliament would reflect the will of the people.”

Amdocs/Bridgewater

Israeli software giant, Amdocs, who had $1.16 billion in cash and equivalents as of March 31, acquired Canada’s Bridgewater Systems for some $215 million in a deal which promises to improve its phone-billing software business.
Bridgewater provides network control solutions for mobile and convergent service providers.

Bridgewater president and CEO Ed Ogonek had this to say:

“As the market leader in customer experience systems, Amdocs has an excellent reputation for delivering tangible value to service providers worldwide. The combination of Bridgewater’s policy and subscriber data management portfolio with Amdocs CES portfolio will create a unique offering that would further extend Amdocs industry leadership, and deliver innovative solutions for service providers as they seek to transform their networks, improve customer loyalty and monetize their data services…This acquisition would build on Amdocs’ leadership in delivering innovative solutions that change market paradigms. It is a continuation of our strategy to support service providers as they seek to transform their businesses in anticipation of new market opportunities like 4G and machine-to-machine, and in response to clear threats, such as the data explosion…”

Not Discounting Jewish Terrorism

No one is paying the price for price-tagging but the settlers. Period.

Four female Jews, three of them minors, were arrested on suspicion of torching Palestinian vehicles in Hebron last month. Seems to the court this was related to the Price tag policy of some of the settlers.

The brother of one of the suspects was killed during Operation Cast Lead, this may have affected her judgment, admitted the authorities.

This does not excuse price-tagging.

In an even more disturbing tale, according to Ynet, an IDF major was indicted Sunday on charges of ordering a soldier to run over a 20-year old Palestinian with an army jeep in 2008.

And again: a lieutenant and infantry commander were indicted on charges of vandalism with malicious intent for torching Palestinian vehicles with his soldiers in 2009.

There is no hope for Zionism when we fan the flames of Jihad. We become guilty.

Note to Obama

Dear President Obama,

I am writing today with a somewhat unusual request. First and foremost, I will be asking that you return America to its August 20th, 1959 borders so that Hawaii is no longer a state and you are no longer a citizen.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Did Obama Violate the Constitution With Libya Bombing?

A group of bipartisan lawmakers filed a federal lawsuit against President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, requesting a court to bar the administration from using U.S. funds for military action in Libya.

LibyaThe lead plaintiffs, Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, and Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina filed the lawsuit at U.S. District Court in Washington Wednesday afternoon, as the White House prepared to deliver an address to Congress.

Along with Kucinich and Jones, the plaintiffs are Democratic Representatives, Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and John Conyers of Michigan; and Republicans Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Dan Burton of Indiana, Howard Coble of North Carolina, John Duncan of Tennessee, Tim Johnson of Illinois, and Ron Paul of Texas.

Jones told National Journal:

“For too long, the Constitution has been put on the back shelf for so long when it comes to the issue of war…I’m sure the drafters of the Constitution would be with us. For too long the Congress has stood in the stands and not been on the field when it comes to the issue of the war.”

In the 36-page lawsuit, the lawmakers claim the president violated the law by going to war in Libya sans any declaration of war from Congress as required by the War Powers Resolution. They also contend the administration is violating the North Atlantic Treaty, which “allows only for military actions in defense of a member state” and requires that any U.S. involvement in a NATO action occur only in “accordance with [the] respective constitutional processes” of the United States.