Hamas, now ‘in play’, could sway Saudis

November 26, 2012

a little white girl grab ass? yeah… we know what goes down with the journalists…

Hamas, now ‘in play’, could sway Saudis
Elizabeth Dickinson


After Hamas signed onto an Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Israel last week, Khaled Meshaal, the organisation’s leader in exile, had a message that would have seemed impossible a year ago.
He thanked Iran for its role in arming the Sunni-Islamist group that rules Gaza and he called on Arab Gulf states to provide arms in the future.
The statement laid bare Hamas’s fluid regional position. After breaking with the Syrian regime over its brutal crackdown, vacating offices in Damascus and clashing with Iran over continued support for the president, Bashar Al Assad, Hamas has moved tentatively away from the so-called “Axis of Resistance” toward the patronage of Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Turkey and Qatar.
Missing from the stage so far has been Saudi Arabia, whose support or cold shoulder could have a decisive impact on Hamas’s political role.
For the last decade, Riyadh has preferred to support the secular and US-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. Now, analysts say that Hamas’s rising profile – and the possibility that it could move away from the patronage of Riyadh’s arch rival, Tehran – may entice Saudi Arabia to cultivate stronger ties.
“Hamas is in play,” said Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the Washington-based American Task Force on Palestine. “The Saudis have to ask themselves whether they want to simply stick with the PA or also get involved in the game of trying to court Hamas. And that raises the same question everyone is going to have to answer – particularly the United States and Israel: which group of Palestinians do they want to empower?”
A shift in Saudi policy would probably come slowly, but it could affect both the political dynamics of the region and the prospects for reopening the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Saudi Arabia has the region’s deepest pockets, arguably the closest relationship with the US and a long history of behind-the-scenes involvement in efforts to find peace in the Middle East.”The Saudis have become domestically focused, plus, they’re trying to deal with the Arab Spring,” said Kamran Bokhari, the London-based vice president for the Middle East and South Asia at Stratfor, which provides security analysis. “But the Gaza conflict will push the Saudis to say, ‘We’ve been out of this for a while; it’s time we go back in’.”
In the lead-up to the Iraq war in November 2002, Saudi’s then-Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz sent a letter to George W Bush asking the US president to “confirm to us that you will be seriously engaging in solving the Middle East problem” in exchange for his support.
Saudi Arabia did not always favour Fatah over Hamas in Palestinian politics. In the early 2000s, US law enforcement officials estimated that as much as half of Hamas’s operating budget, about US$10 million, came in cash from Riyadh.
But in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Washington put heavy pressure on Saudi authorities to steer clear of Hamas, which the US calls a terrorist organisation. Saudi funding for Hamas dried up around 2004, according to testimony before the US senate by a treasury official a year later.
In the years since, Riyadh has repeatedly come to the financial aid of the PA in Ramallah. In July, Saudi Arabia announced that it would inject $100m (Dh367.31m) in emergency cash to the PA, which relies heavily on external budget support. Last year, Saudi Arabia contributed at least $200m.
But Riyadh has never abandoned its relationship with Hamas, said Ghassan Al Khatib, a former PA spokesman who now teaches at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank.
Despite receiving international support, the PA has seen its public support among Arabs drop in recent years over a failure to win concessions from Israel. Its continuing attempt to win recognition at the United Nations has so far only lost it financial backing; the US put a months-long hold on funding to the PA over the issue.
Hamas, by contrast, seems to be gaining leverage. A Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organisation, Hamas seems at ease dealing with ideological allies who now run the governments of Egypt and Tunisia.
Its armed resistance secured real gains in the latest clashes with Israel, despite a heavy cost. In the recent ceasefire, Mr Meshaal won a minor relaxing of the economic blockade on Gaza. “This last escalation between Gaza and Israel increased dramatically the political prominence of Hamas, not only among Palestinians in the Occupied Territories but also among Palestinians everywhere and Arab people more generally,” said Mr Al Khatib. “The PA has taken the peace negotiations approach, which seems to be not working to Israel and US. Hamas went about things using the resistance approach which, at least this time, wasn’t defeated.”
Riyadh would likely struggle to completely displace Iran as a Hamas benefactor, since close ties to the US would preclude Saudi Arabia from arming the organisation. Still, the regional balance would almost certainly be altered if Hamas’s patrons were largely allies of the West, rather than foes.
Mr Ibish argues that Hamas itself may change if it won broad international backing.
“If Hamas inherits or comes to dominate the Palestinian movement, the question is, will they adapt, and in what way?” he asked.
“Will they moderate? Will they become even more extreme? Will other radical forces emerge? It’s in the least not clear. But the point is that there is a decision for everybody, especially the traditional backers of the PA, about whether they want to make that kind of open-ended gamble.”
edickinson@thenational.ae


Thirty-Six Years Ago Today, Richard Nixon Saved Israel—but Got No Credit

December 11, 2010


Precise details of what transpired in Washington during the first week of the Yom Kippur War, launched by Egypt and Syria on October 6, 1973, are hard to come by, in no small measure owing to conflicting accounts given by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger regarding their respective roles.
What is clear, from the preponderance of information provided by those directly involved in the unfolding events, is that President Richard Nixon — overriding inter-administration objections and bureaucratic inertia — implemented a breathtaking transfer of arms, code-named Operation Nickel Grass, that over a four-week period involved hundreds of jumbo U.S. military aircraft delivering more than 22,000 tons of armaments.
This was accomplished, noted Walter J. Boyne in an article in the December 1998 issue of Air Force Magazine, while “Washington was in the throes of not only post-Vietnam moralizing on Capitol Hill but also the agony of Watergate. . . . Four days into the war, Washington was blindsided again by another political disaster — the forced resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew.”
“Both Kissinger and Nixon wanted to do [the airlift],” said former CIA deputy director Vernon Walters, “but Nixon gave it the greater sense of urgency. He said, ‘You get the stuff to Israel. Now. Now.’”
Boyne, in his book The Two O’Clock War, described a high-level White House meeting on October 9:

As preoccupied as he was with Watergate, Nixon came straight to the point, announcing that Israel must not lose the war. He ordered that the deliveries of supplies, including aircraft, be sped up and that Israel be told that it could freely expend all of its consumables — ammunition, spare parts, fuel, and so forth — in the certain knowledge that these would be completely replenished by the United States without any delay.

White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig concurred:

As soon as the scope and pattern of Israeli battle losses emerged, Nixon ordered that all destroyed equipment be made up out of U.S. stockpiles, using the very best weapons America possessed. . . . Whatever it takes, he told Kissinger . . . save Israel.

“It was Nixon who did it,” recalled Nixon’s acting special counsel, Leonard Garment. “I was there. As [bureaucratic bickering between the State and Defense departments] was going back and forth, Nixon said, this is insane. . . . He just ordered Kissinger, “Get your ass out of here and tell those people to move.”
When Schlesinger initially wanted to send just three transports to Israel because he feared anything more would alarm the Arabs and the Soviets, Nixon snapped: “We are going to get blamed just as much for three as for 300. . . . Get them in the air, now.”
Haig, in his memoir Inner Circles, wrote that Nixon, frustrated with the initial delays in implementing the airlift and aware that the Soviets had begun airlifting supplies to Egypt and Syria, summoned Kissinger and Schlesinger to the Oval Office on October 12 and “banished all excuses.”
The president asked Kissinger for a precise accounting of Israel’s military needs, and Kissinger proceeded to read aloud from an itemized list.
“Double it,” Nixon ordered. “Now get the hell out of here and get the job done.”
Later, informed of yet another delay — this one because of disagreements in the Pentagon over the type of planes to be used for the airlift — an incensed Nixon shouted at Kissinger, “[Expletive] it, use every one we have. Tell them to send everything that can fly.”
Nixon acted despite threats of reprisal by Arab oil producers — indeed, the day after Nixon asked Congress for an emergency appropriation of $2.2 billion for Israel, Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal announced an embargo of oil to the U.S. — not to mention Europe’s overwhelming opposition to aiding Israel. 
Some revisionists have taken to claiming Nixon’s actions on behalf of Israel were prompted by Golda Meir, who supposedly threatened to go public with all manner of juicy political and personal information she had on the president. Another commonly cited blackmail scenario, popularized by the play Golda’s Balcony, has Meir putting the squeeze on Nixon by threatening to use nuclear weapons.

But Mordechai Gazit, who at the time of the Yom Kippur War was director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, told authors Gerald Strober and Deborah Hart Strober in Nixon: An Oral History of His Presidency: “The airlift was decided not because we asked for it. Our relations with the United States were not at a point where we could have asked for an airlift; this was beyond our imagination.”           
As for Meir herself, to the end of her life she referred to Nixon as “my president” and told a group of Jewish leaders in Washington shortly after the war: “For generations to come, all will be told of the miracle of the immense planes from the United States bringing in the materiel that meant life to our people.”           
Wrote Nixon biographer Stephen E. Ambrose:

Those were momentous events in world history. Had Nixon not acted so decisively, who can say what would have happened? The Arabs probably would have recovered at least some of the territory they had lost in 1967, perhaps all of it. They might have even destroyed Israel. But whatever the might-have-beens, there is no doubt that Nixon . . . made it possible for Israel to win, at some risk to his own reputation and at great risk to the American economy.
He knew that his enemies . . . would never give him credit for saving Israel. He did it anyway.


Al-Assad to Receive Saudi FM

January 5, 2010
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (L) meets Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal in Damascus March 22, 2010.
Syria‘s President Bashar al-Assad (L) meets
Saudi Arabia‘s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal
in Damascus March 22, 2010.

via daylife.com

to those that thought that Harriri was held hostage to Syria… you are wrong. no one is being hostage to anyone. these elements are allied because they are going to attack Israel. Lebanon has Saudi backing. the Saudis are getting chummy with Syria. this clipping was taken from a Palestinian website that is hostile to Israel

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal delivers a statement during a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, unseen, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal
delivers a statement during a joint news conference
with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,
unseen, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.

Damascus, January 5, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is expected to host the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal in Damascus Tuesday, in a further sign of thawing relations between the two countries.
Faisal’s visit to the Syrian capital follows visits to Riyadh by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal.
Diplomats in Damascus said efforts to revive the Israeli- Palestinian peace process would be ‘near the top of the agenda’ in the talks between al-Assad and Prince Saud al-Faisal.
The two would also discuss conflicts in Yemen and Iraq, diplomats said.
Relations between the Saudis and Syria have thawed in recent months, particularly following Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz’s landmark visit to Damascus in October.
Agencies

Posted via web from noahdavidsimon’s posterous

Al-Assad to Receive Saudi FM

January 5, 2010

to those that thought that Harriri was held hostage to Syria… you are wrong. no one is being hostage to anyone. these elements are allied because they are going to attack Israel. Lebonnon has Saudi backing. the Saudis are getting chummy with Syria. this clipping was taken from a Palestinian website that is hostile to Israel

_Damascus, January 5, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is expected to host the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal in Damascus Tuesday, in a further sign of thawing relations between the two countries.

Faisal’s visit to the Syrian capital follows visits to Riyadh by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal.

Diplomats in Damascus said efforts to revive the Israeli- Palestinian peace process would be ‘near the top of the agenda’ in the talks between al-Assad and Prince Saud al-Faisal.

The two would also discuss conflicts in Yemen and Iraq, diplomats said.

Relations between the Saudis and Syria have thawed in recent months, particularly following Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz’s landmark visit to Damascus in October.

Agencies

Posted via web from noahdavidsimon’s posterous


1920 The year the Arabs discovered Palestine

December 22, 2009


The Arabs backstabbed the Jews after promising Israel to them. Faisal supported a Zionist state in Palestine. (these are not my opinions) Faisal and Weitzman were allies and friends during World War I before Faisal betrayed the Jews because he was angry at Europe.

Emir Feisal I (right) and Chaim Weizmann (also wearing Arab dress as a sign of friendship) in Syria, 1918.

You project your culture’s wrong doing on the victims of your hatred if you do not support Israel. it is hate because it is a reneged modern agreement. After betraying a friend because of a failed outside agreement with a third party the Sauds supported the Nazis till 1945. Eventually the French handed over Syria and Lebanon to the Arabs, but the Arabs never supported Israel again because their agreement was never with an intent to do what they promised only what would immediately benefit their power. the right of a people to rule themselves only applied to Faisal and no one else.

“We Arabs… look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home… I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilised peoples of the world.”

King Faisal

would any judge in the world have any empathy for murderers whose reason was a third outside party stole from them?


1920 The year the Arabs discovered Palestine

December 22, 2009


The Arabs backstabbed the Jews after promising Israel to them. Faisal supported a Zionist state in Palestine. (these are not my opinions) Faisal and Weitzman were allies and friends during World War I before Faisal betrayed the Jews because he was angry at Europe.

Emir Feisal I (right) and Chaim Weizmann (also wearing Arab dress as a sign of friendship) in Syria, 1918.

You project your culture’s wrong doing on the victims of your hatred if you do not support Israel. it is hate because it is a reneged modern agreement. After betraying a friend because of a failed outside agreement with a third party the Sauds supported the Nazis till 1945. Eventually the French handed over Syria and Lebanon to the Arabs, but the Arabs never supported Israel again because their agreement was never with an intent to do what they promised only what would immediately benefit their power. the right of a people to rule themselves only applied to Faisal and no one else.

“We Arabs… look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home… I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilised peoples of the world.”

King Faisal

would any judge in the world have any empathy for murderers whose reason was a third outside party stole from them?