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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler

Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Wednesday, June 13.
1) 4+ IDF rescues
The IDF Spokesperson recalls 4 Daring Rescue Operations. These were: Home Front Command soldiers rescue Shiran Franco - who had been trapped for four days after an earthquake in Turkey - Operation Solomon, The 669 Unit’s Historical Operations and The 2010 Haiti Earthquake.
IsraAid has a long list here.
After the Haiti earthquake, I put together a long list of international emergencies that Israel had responded to. One was the embassy bombing in Nairobi Kenya. The following exchange was recorded there:
"You are heroes," a Red Cross volunteer shouted at the Israelis on Sunday.
"We are not heroes. We are only working," Maj. Ofer Pomeranz answered with a modest shrug.
"Yes, but you know what you are doing," she said.
2) So sue me

Yasser Abbas is suing Foreign Policy magazine for the article The Brothers Abbas (h/t IMRA):
The June 5 Foreign Policy report examined Yasser and his brother Tariq's leadership of a number of Palestinian companies in light of recent corruption allegations by Muhammad Rashid, former adviser to late President Yasser Arafat.
Rashid, who was convicted by a PA court of embezzlement last week, has threatened to reveal financial corruption within the current Palestinian leadership.
Yasser Abbas said the Foreign Policy report was "dependent on lies, because it did not make its own investigations, but instead depended on other sources, of which the main source seems entirely unreliable."
Apparently, one of the pastimes of the Abbas family is to sue news organizations that report on them. They've sued Al-Jazeera, Reuters, and Israel's Channel 1. (Thanks to In Context for the research.) I guess when you can't jail the journalists, you sue them.

Among other things Yasser Abbas objects to having his company described as a monopoly.

I found this interview with Yasser Abbas and here's part of it:
A: Falcon, Falcon Tobacco Company – we are the importers of British-American tobacco. We have negotiated this, and it is one company, and it is not the monopoly of the importation of cigarettes in the world. I hope you understand this. British-American is one company. Philip Morris is another company. Gauloise is another company. And all the other importation from Israel is another company. So. it’s a big, broad market. BAT – British-American Tobacco – happens to be one of the largest in the world. We are their importers since nine years. Hamas went into my stores and robbed all my stores, and our loss was greater than any other.
It's an interesting argument. Because there are multinational companies selling cigarettes, he doesn't have a monopoly. Of course, the charge is that he's the exclusive seller in the Palestinian territories.

I'm sure it's related, though not sure how, but Yasser Abbas's biography disappeared!

3) Social science vs. terror

While the Israeli government denies that the it was snubbed by not being invited to the Global Counterterrorism Forum meeting, FresnoZionism points out that, at least superficially, the non-invitation fits into a disturbing pattern.
Considering that the Mavi Marmara affair was orchestrated by the Turkish regime, following other provocations — a visit by Hamas leader Haniyeh to Turkey in 2006 (and this year), and a theatrical display by Erdoğan in 2009 at the Davos economic forum, this behavior is not surprising. Turkey under Erdoğan’s AKP has made enmity with Israel a fundamental part of its program to become the major power in the Middle East, as US influence there fades.
However, how important is this Global Counterterrorism Forum? The State Department has the archives of relevant documents. In the forum's political declaration there is this:
6. We support efforts to develop and implement, comprehensive, long-term, counterterrorism strategies that focus on, inter alia,
a) identifying and addressing the social, political, and economic conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and violent extremism which can lead to terrorism, while recognizing that none of these conditions can excuse or justify acts of terrorism;
b) building the necessary institutional and other capacities of states to combat terrorism and to address the conditions conducive to its spread and counter violent extremism while respecting human rights and the rule of law,
c) strengthening existing and building new public-private partnerships, including between governments, multilateral bodies and civil society;
If social, political and economic conditions are identified as being the root causes of terrorism this can't be a very robust counterterror effort. The word "ideology" does not appear anywhere in the document. There is no reference to using force to defeat terrorists or defending nations against terror.

This is all about marshaling the forces of the social sciences to overcome the root causes of terror rather than employing all the necessary means - including the military - to defeat the forces of terror.

Maybe Israel really wasn't interested in this forum.

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