Tag Archives: Times of Israel

The excuse not mentioned

Have you ever considered the times you used the expression ‘not to mention‘? It is an interesting phrase and it is overwhelmingly used to give rise to excuses or reasons of a listing. Yet the act of not mentioning issues has a much larger reach. This gets us to the usage of Embargo, now in the true spirit of embargo is needed to not give rise to dangers. I have seen my shares of embargoes all over the world, I have never been personally privy to one, but I understand and accept the reason. The most accepted form is a ‘requirement by a government agency that the information or news provided is not be published until a certain date or certain conditions have been met‘, it makes sense that the news of drug deals are not broken until the undercover agent is out of harm’s way, the famous raid on Entebbe (Operation Entebbe), had to make certain that in those days spotters would not voice what they saw whilst the plane was in flight; fortunately for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) they have an above average security in place, so not much chance of that, yet with the 1977 Dutch train hijacking that issue was very much an issue, especially as on that very same day there was a touristic event (I believe it was by the AVRO), that took us to almost exactly where the train was, whilst that morning Dutch Marines were ordered to settle the matter. Good luck with an embargo at that point. If there was a smartphone in those days, the event might have gone very differently. In that same trend, the events that are on route involving the Credit Agricole would prefer some kind of embargo, but governments cannot play that card, so some players (like some banks) will have to rely on other means, and as we are only drip-fed issues on the Russia Money-Laundering Scandal, we will have to await the media friends of outlets, to see what is allowed to be released.

Yes, you heard it correctly, what some people allow to be revealed to you all. They would hide behind optionally claimed issues like: “We ran out of time“, “there were other pressing matters“, or my favourite “We did not think it was interesting“, it is in that light that media enforced embargoes take another turn.

Is it not interesting that the Boston globe gives us: ‘US can’t keep turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s murderous prince‘, yet based on what evidence? That UN essay is not the evidence we should regard as actual evidence. We see in addition Al Jazeera give us: ‘UN again blacklists Saudi-led forces for Yemen child killings‘, yet in that light in opposition the news is not giving us: ‘Yemen’s Houthi rebels attack food factory in Hodeidah‘, which was reported 12 hours ago.

So in a place where famine is a direct threat to hundreds of thousands, the Houthi terrorists are aiming for civilian population and destroying places that produce milk and fruit products (juices, cheese, yogurt), essential food for the people of Yemen and the Houthi forces are shelling that place as well as residential areas of Hodeidah city last Saturday. Yet the western news to the largest extent did not give us any of that, did they?

The fact that we see news avoided to the largest degree is becoming an issue, the people are not being informed on what is going on, and when we do get informed, there is a veil that depicts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE) as: ‘the big nasty’, whilst the actions of Houthi terrorists as well as the facilitation by Iran is not mentioned at all, and this has been going on for months now. When we consider one source (Times of Israel, at https://www.timesofisrael.com/yemeni-houthi-rebels-long-range-arsenal-grows-lethal/) we see: “In June alone, the Iran-aligned Shiite Houthis launched at least 20 missile and drone attacks on the oil-rich kingdom, Iran’s regional foe, some resulting in casualties and damage“, in addition we see: “A Yemeni army retired brigadier, Jamil al-Mamari, believes the “Houthis are not capable of manufacturing missiles in Yemen… They are only capable of assembling and modification.”“, the growing evidence from several sources on the incapability of Yemen to produce Iranian hardware is ignored by the Western Media all over the place, including the bigger accusation: “Experts rule out the possibility that Houthis may have modified these arms on their own“, a simple deduction that could have been made by a 4th year engineering undergrad student, and yes, the media ignores this, we are sold a bag of goods through business driven embargo’s, just like the issues seen in Syria, the people are left for dead and illuminating merely part of the equation is making the western media guilty of a few facts, even subverting the old premise: ‘the people have a right to know‘ into: ‘We are guided by some to tell you what you optionally need to know‘.

I wonder what will happen when I decide to give out the messages, mails, events and connections that are in existence between people like Raphaël Appert and Daniel Epron, with all the media links they have, and they have a lot. So when we look at some of the Russia Money-Laundering Scandal that have been known to some extent and all the papers that decided not to give visibility to that part, what excuse will we be told? There was a revolutionary Apple message that bumped the revelation? Or perhaps the economic plan of President Macron took all the space available? I do not know, I am merely speculating, but the lack of visibility on some of these news events all over the place, are now a much larger concern. When we look at the papers that actually took space and time to look into the Iranian Qasef-1 missiles and their targets, how many papers took time to look into that? The list (the lack of papers there) will surprise you. Oh and the excuse that it was merely a copy of the Iranian Ababil-2 drone will not work, I checked for both. In that same air, when searching for the Russian Money Laundering Scandal, we see the mentions of the Deutsche Bank, but several others like for example Credit Agricole, they did not make it to the news, not in the Guardian and not in several other papers. Revelations that are filtered are not revelations; it is merely corporate forms of censoring and it is my speculation that we get more and more of that as the year progresses.

As I have state in the past, I believe that news is filtered for publication as long as it is filtered through the Shareholder filter, the stake holder filter and the advertiser filter. What is left is ranked according to emotional ability to flame and push people. When we look at Turkish Journalists (in light of the large amount of them in prison) in the google News section we get: ‘About 163,000 results‘ (for all those journalists mind you), yet when we see: ‘About 725,000 results‘, which is in the same section, it is about Jamal Khashoggi, so we see that not all journalists are equal, not by a long shot (even as dozens of Journalists have been murdered in Turkey). These are all elements that give a view to the filtering of information that we get, and when you consider the excuse that ‘there was no space’ consider that there is no space limit to online news. And for the most it is not about resources, it is about that they consider we should know.

When we search news for ‘Hodeidah‘ in the last 24 hours we get 4 hits, two on the Shelling of the Dairy factory (Xinhua and Al Ain) one Blog and one by Yemen Online on ‘The opening up of Hodeidah port to ensure a better flow of humanitarian aid‘, that’s it, nothing more according the Google Search, so any excuse that the West is giving us some level of balanced news is a joke, and at present a bad one at that.

 

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The Iranian escalation

We know that their nuclear accord is not worth the paper it got printed on. We also know that the involvement in Yemen is a lot larger than anyone has been able to illuminate on (especially the media). Yet the cupcake of the day goes to the Times of Israel (not the most neutral party in all this). they gave us mere hours ago ‘We bought spares for nuke equipment we agreed to destroy‘ (at https://www.timesofisrael.com/irans-nuclear-chief-we-bought-spares-for-nuke-equipment-we-agreed-to-destroy/). It is ‘supported’ with the by-line Ali Akbar Salehi says supreme leader was convinced West would renege on 2015 pact, so replacement tubes for nuclear reactor were secretly purchased‘. We get this part, whilst a mere 4 days ago the Financial Times give us: ‘EU seeks to keep Iran nuclear deal alive despite US pressure‘, a policy state of mind that I called reckless and not too bright close to 5 months ago. So now we see that not only did Iran have no intention to keep its word, it is actively setting the stage of being a danger to a lot more than merely Israel. Has anyone considered the dangers when one of the warheads goes missing, gets an added dirty load and both elements miraculously in the hands of Hezbollah?

This is not a fictive danger!

Consider the following ‘facts’:

  • Article 151 of the Constitution obliges the government to “provide a program of military training, with all requisite facilities, for all its citizens, in accordance with the Islamic criteria, in such a way that all citizens will always be able to engage in the armed defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • General Qasem Soleimani is in charge of the IRGC army, his direct inner core has direct control of the Basij and they protect and reinforce several locations where nuclear materials can be found. In addition there have been several pieces of evidence that the support of Hezbollah by the IRGC goes beyond simple funds and hardware, hence the danger I am illuminating is not the weirdest one, or the least likely one.

So when the Financial Times gives us: “We need to accept that the [nuclear deal] is important and it has been a signal achievement“, we also need to consider that this is merely what Iran wants you to think. It is a stage that is too dangerous for some ‘peace for our time‘ moment as the UK thought to have in 1939, it did not end well then and it will equally not end well this time either. The trouble here is not merely what is in store for Israel, the defeat that they currently face opposing Saudi Arabia in Yemen (via Hezbollah), it also implies that there is every indication that proxy strikes against Saudi Arabia are not out of the question. I am not talking about the two fired on Saudi Arabia 4 days ago (source: Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi). The quote “According to the official media wing of the Houthi forces, their rocket battalion fired two Badr-1 ballistic missiles towards the Asir and Jizan provinces of southern Saudi Arabia. The Houthi forces said that one of their ballistic missiles managed to hit a Saudi military gathering near the Yemeni border with the Jizan province.” gives is that Houthi forces are upping the game. Whether Hezbollah is directly involved is unknown at present, yet the danger is that Hezbollah makes for a decent Iranian mule and as such a dirty payload is not out of the question at present. The part that none are giving is that both the Asir and Jizan areas are predominantly civilian and that with the lousy aiming abilities of both Houthi and Hezbollah forces we can speculate that the only way for these two to hit a military target was done by aiming for civilian targets. No matter how it turns out, Houthi (and optionally Hezbollah) forces are waging war on Saudi civilians which is a big no-no and as the Western media stays out of it (to a larger degree) the Saudi coalition will be forced to strike hard and harsh against the enemies of Saudi Arabia. The important part here is that this is no longer merely Yemen, at some point in the near future a meeting and decision will be made to actively engage Iran and that is when all bets are off for Tehran. the evidence shown in regards to the Nuclear deal as well as their involvement in Yemen, we see that both the EU and the US have no other option but to stand by Saudi Arabia in all this, decency would demand it from them and by not doing so, we will see a very different stage and Russia is only one step away from enabling themselves into a political stage of becoming best friends with Saudi Arabia. So as we saw three days ago the statement “Iran has not been invited to a global conference on the Middle East in Warsaw next month and Russia has declined the invitation“. The question in my mind becomes, is that truly the reason for declining, or is Russia playing a larger game? I will emphasize at this point that this is pure speculation from my side, yet if there is chance to get a much closer relationship with Saudi Arabia and get that achieved by ‘seemingly remaining friendly with Iran‘, we see a Russia that has plenty to win with this path. Unlocking the ties between Saudi Arabia and the USA would be one of the greatest wins of the decade for Russia and that danger should not be underestimated.

In the end Saudi Arabia and the Saudi coalition needs to do what is best for them and the events of the last two years give rise to the stage that America has merely been thinking of their own needs in the last 3 years and most allies have had enough of that.

What will happen in the end is not to clear, not whilst there are gaps in either path of allies and whilst Russia is playing its own cards close to their chest, the Americans have been too clumsy for close to two years. The Khashoggi and Yemeni events have clearly shown that part. The media gives us even more when we consider Al Arabiya. There we see: ‘Orchestrated media, political campaign to damage Saudi-US ties, says analyst‘. The quote “I strongly believe that Qatar, Turkey, and certain Muslim Brotherhood proxies in the West are involved in funding a media campaign and political operations to discredit Saudi reforms and the government in general” by Irina Tsukerman (at http://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2019/01/10/Orchestrated-media-political-campaign-to-damage-Saudi-US-ties-says-analyst.html) is as I personally see it incomplete. She is looking at one part, but there is a second stage. Not unlike the UK actions in the 70’s against the Cairo-Tel Aviv attempts for a peace, we see another stage here too. You see, the events from Saudi Arabia regarding Neom City have been so overwhelmingly progressive that larger US industrials are now worried, they cannot live with the fact that they are soon to be less impressive than the Saudi advances in 5G, it goes further, large players like AT&T are now openly deceiving the people with their 5G Evolution, a product that has been heralded all over the media as a fake product. The Register, USA Today, Android Police, TechCrunch and many others are seeing this as deception. The idea that Saudi Arabia beat them to the punch was too unacceptable to these people. They are increasingly worried that every win towards Neom City will be regarded as a loss towards their own economy, which is the America the allies of America face. It also fuels the entire recession mess that is upcoming, merely because corporations can fund one place and whatever goes towards Saudi Arabia is not going towards other places and in all this, the UAE will benefit to some degree as well. As Saudi Arabia is facing down it’s not so hidden enemy Iran, Saudi Arabia will face opportunities as well as challenges and its allied neighbours will have positive waves of economy going their ways too.

Yet before there can be a positive outlook on it all, the global players will have little choice but to put down Hezbollah as soon as possible. No matter how they try to commit to peace, there is enough evidence that Hezbollah is still committed in wars against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Even as we see “Tens of millions of Iranian dollars have gone to Yemen“, we see that this image is also incomplete. That part is seen when we consider the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-46958455). When we consider the fact that ‘Pro-government forces removed 300,000 landmines laid by the Houthis between 2016 and 2018‘, the numbers do not add up. the value of the mines, the time required to place them as well as the manpower required to place them we get the clearer picture that the entire funding goes well beyond ‘Tens of millions of Iranian dollars‘. That part as well as the missile costs, the Hezbollah support and other goods imply a financial support that implies close to 1000% of the support that is claimed by some. The found number of mines implies that Yemen required placing 200+ mines a day every day. That require a much larger workforce and support engine (including some form of logistics and communication) than anyone could possible consider. That requires no less than two regiments placing mines 24:7. That is the number that does not make sense in all this and Yemen is not known for soft sands, there are plenty of rocky surfaces to content with. The numbers do not add up and it seems to me that the media has been ignoring those facts to a larger degree, making the Iranian involvement a lot larger than anyone expected, which also implies that the commitment by Hezbollah was a lot larger making them a more essential enemy to get rid of and that part is not limited to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Europe and America have every interest in dealing with Hezbollah with extreme prejudice. Well, that is if they ever want to see true peaceful balance in the Middle East, because with Hezbollah (and Hamas) that will never happen.

In all this Iran has been the catalyst to escalation and it is high time that the global media is taking a very serious look and openly reports on the actions that Iran has been an active participant in, do you not think so?

 

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Pussies, Cowards or Other? (updated)

On the 23rd of December a resolution passed against Israel. It is Resolution 2334, which is attached at the end of the story. 14 votes for, one abstained (USA), we need to ask question on why the 14 nations voted in favour. China, France, Russia, UK, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. The paper is of course legally speaking an excellent piece of work. Yet let’s take a look at several parts: “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice“, in that same stride ‘Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War‘, in answer to Palestine, in support and active assistance of terrorist forces, namely Hamas, who has fired well over 8000 rockets into Israel in the last decade alone, with a clear indication that they were send towards civilian targets, as such these hits require compensation in the form of land and as such a case could be found in support of settlement building.

In addition, there have been issues with article 19 of the Palestinian charter for the longest of times. The fact that the latest news regarding of the ethnic cleansing of Jews on the west bank, this was September 9th 2016 (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-world-silent-as-palestinians-seek-ethnic-cleansing-of-jews-in-west-bank/). In all this other media remained silent. There were strong rebukes from the US State Department. So, should we accept that the comments of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is incorrect? The literal quote that SBS Australia gave was “US State Department spokeswoman, Elizabeth Trudeau, has described Mr Netanyahu’s language as “inappropriate and unhelpful”, saying settlement activity continues to hamper the peace process“, ‘inappropriate and unhelpful‘ is not stating that it was incorrect, so here the question becomes was it correct? The Washington Post analysed the video (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/09/09/watch-netanyahu-says-palestinians-want-to-ethnically-cleanse-jews-from-west-bank/), we see the quote ‘The Israeli media mostly ignored the Netanyahu video‘, yet the news made it to Haaretz and the Times of Israel, in addition, there is no evidence given that it was not happening, which is interesting to say the least, in opposition in the same WP article we see: “the Palestinians today cannot “ethnically cleanse” any Jews. The Israeli settlements are all in the 60 percent of the West Bank called Area C, which is under the complete control of the Israeli army“, which carries its own brand of validity.

So, as the world news seems to genuinely ignore events on the West Bank, as the call of Hamas in its charter gives “On the Destruction of Israel: ‘Israel will exist and  will  continue  to  exist  until  Islam  will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’” Hamas, a clear terrorist organisation, as seen supported by Palestinian officials, give rise to the dangers that Israel has faced and opposed since 1987. It still is not recognising the state of Israel, which the then Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal stated as “the Charter is ‘a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons’“, which we see as part of the problem, an unadjusted charter is either irrelevant, or illegal. In that same light we see Prof. Robert Pastor from Columbia University state “Pastor surmised that those who quote the charter rather than more recent Hamas statements use it as an excuse to ignore Hamas“. Something he said in 2010, a statement that is proven to be false when we consider the well over 6000 missiles fired by Hamas on Israel since his speech.

If we want to be fair and balanced, we need to look at both sides, and in that case we must admit that wrongdoings from both sides have been done. Yet, that does not excuse either side. If the state of Israel had been accepted this situation would not have existed, in addition, after the Jewish population had been near decimated during Adolf Hitler’s European Tour, the Jewish population had a primary duty to protect itself from extinction, no one can deny that need. We can accept Reuters when we read “Hamas has observed a de facto ceasefire with Israel since 2014, when 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed in a war over the territory. But small jihadist cells in the Gaza Strip occasionally fire rockets across the border“, that innocuous statement ignores a basic part. Someone supplies these cells with rockets and I feel personally certain that these cells are still proclaiming to be ‘real Palestinian Hamas members‘. In that light, the support that the UK is giving this resolution is becoming a bit of an issue. Did it not learn from its earlier mistakes? In addition, as the UK now sees British soldiers being charged in regards to the death of an IRA leader in 1972, whilst the members of the IRA cannot be prosecuted due to earlier agreements. I reckon the UK has its share of issues, giving rise to the support of an Egyptian bill in regard to areas Egypt pretty much abandoned half a century ago. I admit that the last statement is rather dramatic in flavour, yet not incorrect.

So let’s get back to the resolution. When we see “Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines“. How is ‘viability‘ an acceptable word as we have seen acts of terrorism in name and in implied concession of the Palestine ruling administration for decades, with thousands of rockets fired towards civilian targets. That verse gets even more visibility when we see “Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001“, where the same defense can be given that resolution 1515 is no longer in play as the rockets kept flying for well over a decade. It is a personal view, yet the fact that the lands could be seen as possibly to be annexed by the state of Israel is not that far-fetched. It is unlikely to happen, yet the fact that the Palestine leadership has never truly acted against the terrorist organisation Hamas is more than questionable regarding the validity of any Palestine solution.

In regards to France we can speculate that they agreed as they have their own share of issues, the idea that Hamas turns its attention to France must be unsettling to both DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) and ANSSI (Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information), it is one headache the French at present do not need, although, I reckon they could have merely abstained their vote.

The resolution takes a swing when we see “Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution” and “Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism“, this gives way that the taste of war is changing. It gives way that the Palestinian leaders are in serious trouble. Not only do they have to deal with the danger of Islamic State, as ISIS has been reported a week ago to be ‘choking Hamas’ we now see the resolution in a different light. As ISIS is implied to be soon unopposed in Gaza and Sinai, Egypt is about to get a situation a lot less appealing. Especially if the thousands of Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers see an option to find a common goal with ISIS. This last part is my speculation, even as they have opposed each other, their common hatred of Israel is one part they both ‘agree’ on. As the Palestine elders of Gaza panic, trying to find any solution as their funds run dry (apparently the lack of rockets this year was mainly due to sponsors placing their funds somewhere else) and the reality that the middle east economy is in the biggest dip of their existence, not in the least due to the pressures that the Syrian war has placed on all the neighbouring countries is a clear sign that there are issues all over the place.

I think that this resolution is one of desperation, when the economy gets its second earthquake in the form of an economic crash (expected Q2-Q3 2017), places like Palestine will see the deterioration of all support as those who were willing to fund will see a desperate need for funds at the home front, this includes the Muslim Middle Eastern Nations. Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE and Egypt will be in a long time crunch, not only today, yet as the Euro destabilises due to the Euro issues and exit referendums, both America and Japan will see their economies under severe pressures. The statement by President elect Donald Trump (read: ‘so, I’ll bankrupt America’) didn’t help either. With the economic pressures we see that Japan is also eager to get something moving here. Out of the 14 nations, we could only argue that New Zealand has the cleanest reasons (neither anti-Israel nor selfish reasons), that is unless they got a call from London to vote in a certain way.

In all this Israel is not in a good place and one could argue that Israel is starting to get anger management issues (considering the actions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is contemplating. Or as the Times of Israel article stated “still more devastating, potential diplomatic defeat at the hands of the outgoing Obama administration via a mixture of pleas, threats and boycotts“, (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-goes-to-war-with-the-world/). With political pressures rising, not in the least due to cancelled visits, we see the summoning of Israeli ambassadors. Currently only the Ukrainian one, but that is unlikely to remain the only one. In a time when the Ukraine needs positive visibility, the cancelled meeting to Israel might be seen as a body blow to the Ukrainian administration. Yet, in all, this will be regarded as a failure on the side of Prime Minister Netanyahu, an act from emotion which now prevents a show of information that could have seen other resolutions, especially against Palestine regarding the actions of Hamas, that opportunity will now no longer be an option. Again, it is just speculation from my side, yet the emotional reactions by Benjamin Netanyahu could bring delays to whatever data Mossad is trying to collect. Svoboda has its anti-Semitic elements, which could fuel growing of extremisms. Ukraine is too far from Israel to be a direct threat, yet the chaos in Turkey implies that any journey via Cyprus makes these extremists a larger threat than previous considered. However, this is not about that.

The resolution shows that the document as one sided as it is opening really dangerous doorways in whatever future we would like to see, in addition, ignoring certain elements from the past by the 14 vote casters will have longer consequences. We all accept that the Middle Eastern issue is not easily answered, there might not be an answer at all. Yet the reality is that Resolution 2334 should not have been given the light of day, especially when we consider the acts of Hamas and their decades of acts of terror. The fact that the Palestinian councils have never truly acted against Hamas making this resolution an issue. All peace options offered in the past were disrupted by more attacks, in the past Hamas has only ever offered a seize fire when they ran out of rockets and ammunition. Now that they realise that this is not a dry spell, their support is waning in a faltering economy, now we see their need to get the best deal possible starting with Resolution 2334. Which is as I personally see it, the worst action possible.

If this continues, it will be a signal for extremists all over the place that their method works, which under this economy isn’t the worst strategic assumption to make.

No matter how this wind blows over, the fact that Palestine is now in a state to get whatever it can get, also shows that the breech of confidence with Hamas is a lot more brittle than many are assuming, whether this means that ISIS is in charge cannot be made without more data, what has been confirmed are the execution of Hamas officials as well as the drained budget of Hamas shows that the dynamics have changed to such an extent that Egypt is now moving to get whatever solution possible in place, because it is seeing the impact that the ISIS attacks have had over the last two months alone. It cannot be denied that Resolution 2334 is a method to stop the changing dynamic and see if this change can alter the path of ISIS, again, this is a speculation from my side. Without more data there is no viable credibility to these acts. Yet the issues are clearly connected, the voiced acts by ISIS shows increased pressure on both Egypt and the West-Bank, to see them as unrelated whilst they are pretty much next to one another is equally nuts. with ISIS proclaiming a mere 5 days ago that it is closing in on Israel’s borders give way that the pressures in this region are about to rise a fair amount (Source: Jerusalem Online). Abu Hajar also called for new recruits to join the ISIS branch in Sinai, this whilst he states that the Israeli air force is ineffective. The latter is not a given, but the fact of small cells constantly in motion will delay Israeli actions a fair bit. The fact that Abu Hajar is addressing Hamas members is a larger issue, not just for Hamas. From my point of view, the issue is not Israeli Intelligence, it is the timeline of processing. In the hour that intelligence is disseminated, the mobile units could have gone 30-50 miles, making a valid target much harder if not impossible to set. It is in this active environment that Resolution had been voted on, the fact that 14 voted in favour implies that it was a one sided political view, not set on the premise of any solution, it is not a crucible, it is merely a loom holding a one-sided weave, in the days to come some of the voters in that resolution will be scrutinised and several not in a good way.

united_nations_security_council_resolution_2334

Update!

So, as we now get to the ‘Other’ part, we get to a different part then I had originally imagined. You see, after this blog went live, a development was given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/27/obama-and-allies-seek-to-isolate-netanyahu-before-trump-takes-office). Not only is this current US Democratic party a collection of losers, they have gone to such desperate acts in the 11th hour to prevent the media to state that they have become the worst administration in American history. They have decided that 5 days before the end of the administration, they will push through a 2 state ‘solution’. The subtitle gives us ‘John Kerry to propose principles for two-state solution in Middle East at conference next month in wake of UN resolution’, so even as such principles take months and months to design, requiring legal expertise to mull over such papers, we now see their act of ‘abstain’ was nothing less than the cowardly act of a traitor selling Israel down the drain by literally setting an agenda with a terrorist organisation (Hamas) and letting Egypt blow the clarion, making them an American vassal, which should go over really well with both the ISIS elements next to Egypt as well as the Muslim brotherhood. This level of orchestration is the most dangerous and as I see it, the most stupid of all. So, if, I say again IF other buildings start falling down like the song ‘London bridge…..’ implies, the American Democratic Party will only have themselves to blame and they will be utterly alone should that happen. To push a two state principle down the throats of a global community so that some individual can state ‘we brought peace to the middle east’ like it is a cheap infomercial just before they get kicked out of their office. This is really bad and the fact that other papers are not full of the political analyses of the dangers that the American Democratic Party created, after they got their nation bankrupt is just beyond words. The initial quote I saw yesterday and initially ignored was from the Israeli Prime Minister: “Netanyahu claims there is ‘ironclad evidence’ Obama administration plotted to promote the UN resolution”. The info seen was the Egypt came with it (no way that America was not involved), yet the statement seemed a little too ‘conspiracy theory’ to me. Now it seems that the reality of it all is actually a lot worse.

Now consider the following: “The UN resolution and Kerry’s speech represent an attempt by the outgoing Obama administration and the rest of the UN security council to box in and isolate the Israeli government before Trump, a fervent supporter of the Israeli right, enters the White House”. If so, there is now a possible case that Barack Obama President of the United States and John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State could find themselves prosecuted for Malfeasance in office. This is seen when we take a look at the case Daugherty v. Ellis, 142 W. Va. 340, 357-8, 97 S.E.2d 33, 42-3 (W. Va. 1956) where we see the following quote: “Malfeasance has been defined by appellate courts in other jurisdictions as a wrongful act which the actor has no legal right to do;
as any wrongful conduct which affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duty; as an act for which there is no authority or warrant of law;
as an act which a person ought not to do;
as an act which is wholly wrongful and unlawful;
as that which an officer has no authority to do and is positively wrong or unlawful;
and as the unjust performance of some act which the party performing it has no right, or has contracted not, to do”. So now the part that matter, how come that this is in play, how could they be regarded as prosecutable before the law? Well, that is seen when we consider that any deal of this magnitude will take months, sometimes years to properly set. The fact that a departing administration does this in their final week, means that they are taking away the freedom of action by the legitimate elected office. They are already being replaced by another party and as implied, the fact that they know that their path would not be followed, forcing their path on others could be seen as both Malfeasance as well as Misfeasance in nature. It can be seen as intentional harm from an act improperly performed, that part is pretty adamant when we see that this is forced down the throats of several people in the last 5 days of office, an act that will very likely have years of consequences as such an intentional act to prevent the next in line from properly conducting the state of the American union. I will not go as far as to see this as an act of treason by public officials, yet I feel certain that many, especially the republican side will call this act a lot harsher than I just did.

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United we classify others

Two articles hit me a few days ago. One of them was an article describing a survey by the Reputation Institute. The news article titled ‘Tel Aviv ranked among least reputable cities‘. The article was found at http://www.timesofisrael.com/tel-aviv-ranked-among-least-reputable-cities/. This was an issue for me, because I have been to Tel Aviv. Why would it not be reputable, or at least one of the more reputable cities. In all that I wonder, because the top 600 cities (by population) are larger than Tel Aviv with its 425,000 people. So coming in at 92 whilst 600 are larger is still a good achievement. What puzzles me in all this is the part ‘least reputable cities‘. What makes a city reputable? I did not see the research or the questionnaire, but when we see “the Reputation Institute, asked 19,000 residents of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Japan, the US, Canada and Russia to rank the world’s top 101 cities based on their levels of trust, esteem, admiration and respect“.

Trust, “In a social context, trust has several connotations“, which is nice yet did the interviewees realise that? The paper (at http://misrc.umn.edu/workingpapers/fullpapers/1996/9604_040100.pdf) gives a nice view on how trust is not an easy thing to tackle. at Page 43 we read “one can develop a good relationship with another person by gradually increasing Trusting behaviour, while at the same time decreasing any minor control measures directed at the other person. Decreasing controls includes less ‘checking up’ on the other person. It also includes moving from a formal relationship to a more personal, informal relationship

Which is nice when we consider that Russia, land of GRU and FSB gives way to ‘decreasing any minor control measures directed at the other person’, so do the interviewees from Russia consider trust the way a person from Sweden, the Netherlands or even Uruguay does? I can go on for the other nations, but in all, many have a feeling towards Israel, their view is biased from day one. Plenty with an anti-Israeli view, some with an anti-Jewish view, the probability of a mean will not apply here.

Then we get ‘esteem’, are they looking upon Tel Aviv in a particular way? Are they confusing esteem with ‘self-esteem’? All questions that go through my mind. We could state that Bagdad in last position is validly there, but over what level of reasoning? Because it is in a warzone?

Yet, do my thoughts invalidate the results? The paper as shown does give a solid foundation, the methodology sounds sound. In that I state ‘sounding sound’ is not entirely on the ball. You see, the heart of the respondent, how does that come in? The study overview states “G8 general public (only people who were ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ familiar)” Yet what makes you somewhat or very familiar? How many Non-Jewish people who have been to Tel Aviv answered this? How many know this place. I was there, and I felt safer there than in Budapest (and Budapest is a decent and safe city). Tel Aviv scored less than Johannesburg, Hanoi, even Cape Town, known for its high crime ended up with a score better than Tel Aviv.

So what gives value to this report? This is not the setting of my view, it is a question. The question exists in my mind because if we give reputation and value to a place we must know and agree to the standards given here. That is the question that should be on your mind too. Now, you might not care about Tel Aviv for many reasons. The bulk of us will never visit the city, visit the country or end up anywhere near it. So how do we give value to a place, even when we are somewhat familiar? Yet there is more than just the result as given in the Times of Israel. Slide 22 when you get the 2015 reputation report (at http://www.reputationinstitute.com/), shows a very interesting part. Familiarity versus Reputation. So how about the places with low familiarity? How come their reputation is so high? Is it the media, because there again we see that Tel Aviv gets in the news when there are rocket attacks and terrorist issues towards Israel, so how can we consider reliability in this report? Beware my words, I am not stating that the methodology is in question, I am wondering how the validity of vision from the interviewee is correct. In a similar way, we can understand that Baghdad is graded poorly, but why is Tehran graded so bad, it is because of our impression of Iran? In that same context we might understand why Sydney, Stockholm and Melbourne are graded so high, yet in all this, what makes Zurich more reputable than Amsterdam or Oslo, perhaps because FIFA is placed there? With the FIFA news Zurich got a lot of visibility, but is that visibility correctly graded in the mind of the beholder? The issue here is the colouring by the media, that influence cannot be countered, which is why I think that Tel Aviv got placed so badly (in this 101 list). Behind all this is a bigger issue. It is the one reason why I object to some of these studies.

In my personal view this list caters to presentations and to some who need to see a national interest, it also places my own view in debate (as it should), not because my view is too shallow, but as we go through the iterations of reasoning behind this as we see in slide 24. The Advanced Economy gives view to the question ‘why is an advanced economy part of reputation or familiarity?‘ This connect on more than one level, which got me to ‘The Economics of Developing Countries‘, what makes for an Advanced Economy? In that view Peru, Chile and Uruguay are not amongst them, so with close to 1/3 of the measurement absent, in that case, how come Montevideo scored so high in that list? If it is the state of peace, we see something a lot more linking, Tel Aviv, Karachi and Abu Dhabi together, a pattern seems to emerge. In that view we must wonder as Tel Aviv is not in war, but under near constant attack. Now when we add Rio to all this, we see another pattern emerge, those not relying on ‘stability of peace’ we see the need for positive reinforced publications, Rio is certainly getting that. In all this we do not question the reputation institute or their methodology, it is all about the people giving their vote. It is that view which gives voice to my worry. Slide 24 is descriptive in all this. ‘Appealing environment’ is one, which give the view to ‘non war torn places’, Effective government is the second one. Yet, why is ‘effective’ government part of all this? You see, in my view, the most effective government is a corrupt one, a humane based government (like Norway and Sweden) tends to be expensive and not that effective. Perhaps effective government and humane government are terms that are interchangeable? I am just asking. In all this we see the four earlier words at the core of this. ‘Trust’, ‘Admire’, ‘Esteem’ and ‘Feeling’, so how does this all link?

Slide 25 gives us ‘Social, Economic & Environmental Policies’ in regard to ‘Effective Government’, are they for real? Environmental policies can be made more effective, but they do not, I say again absolutely not make for an effective government. In addition when an Advanced Economy relies on ‘Financially Stable & Future Growth’ we can state that Wall Street took care of that not happening in the last decade and in addition not for many more years to come, so when we acknowledge that the elements of attributes are an issue, does that not add question marks to the stated foundation of this report? In all this the summary from page 28 onwards makes sense. I do not disagree, I do not oppose it, but in all this, it is a view brought to us on the premise of a flawed view, the influenced view of the interviewee, that part is missing, which gives the question mark within me. This gets me to slide 34, a good reputation might influx tourism, yet in all this, the tainting influence of media becomes a colouring issue, discriminatory and revoking as we ignore or forget that perception is tainting and the press factor seems to be uncorrected for. So how is that not an issue in all this, or at least a non-correcting influence? This all gets me to the final part “living or working in the city, or deciding to invest in the city” might be deciding factors for anyone when the reputation is an issue, but on what foundation? Still overall the report remains an interesting piece of work, the supportive behaviour slide gives fuel to that.

My views do come to fruition in slide 40 where we see the two quotes “Communication is required to capitalize on good reality and overcome poor perceptions” and “Change is required to alter ‘reality’ and minimize reputational risk“. In my mind, this states that opportunity and risk are influential factors that can be pressed on by the media, the media sets perception and alters reality in a hundred ways, so does this paper show true reputation, or does this show how the media is too large a factor to ignore and in all this a place like Tel Aviv got introduced to the less reputable score than they should have gotten? The question is how we see a true score on reputation and perhaps that list is not completely incorrect, but in my personal view, the idea that Bangkok is more reputable than Tel Aviv remains an issue, one of perception and I have actually been to both places.

 

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