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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tourist Boat Sinks Near Bahrain

A tourist boat carrying up to 150 people sank Thursday night in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Bahrain, and at least 44 bodies had been recovered, the country’s interior minister said.

Interior Minister Sheik Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said at least 52 people had been rescued.

The passengers were thought to be a mix of Bahrainis, nationals of other Gulf Arab nations and Westerners. Health Minister Nada Haffadh told al-Arabiya television that survivors who arrived at hospitals included nationals of India, South Africa, Singapore and Britain.

The Interior Minister, who is in charge of security, said most of the ferry's passengers were employees of a Bahrain-based company and that they came from several nationalities.

The British Foreign Office in London said it was "very likely" the ship was carrying British passengers.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Israeli Software Bought

BMC Software today announced it's agreed to buy diagnostic software maker Israeli Identify Software for $150 million.

"In the last three years, with the acquisitions and new development here, we now have some strong growth businesses in our company," said Bob Beauchamp, president and CEO of BMC.

Israeli company Identify /founded in 1996/, formerly known as Mutek Solutions, is the parent of the Appsight software family. The products monitor applications as they run, warning of problems and locating the source of the glitch.

Identify has operational headquarters in New York, but Beauchamp said he did not foresee any cuts in work force because of the acquisition.

Identify has 500 customers spanning multiple industries, with typical customers of midsize to large organizations. It logged $23 million in sales last year, an increase of 60 percent over 2004.

To compare BMC earned $75 million on sales of $1.46 billion in its last complete fiscal year.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Record Earning of Israeli Banks

Israel’s three largest banks, Hapoalim, Leumi and Discount, are expected to present record earnings for this year on Wednesday, continuing the trend of the past two years. Top five israeli banks are expected to show revenue of NIS 7 billion between them.

Although profits are higher than previous year, Israel still have some ground to cover in international terms: Hapoalim is expected to present 19% capital yields and Leumi a 15% yield, compared to the 20% yield typical in western countries.

The excellent profits mainly result from economic improvement /that is also seen at improving unemployment results/. Bank Hapoalim is expected to show profits of NIS 2.8 billion, and Leumi profits of NIS 2.3 billion.

Forecasts predict that next year will show continued increases in bank profits, as the economic situation is expected to continue to improve.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Bank of Israel to cut salaries

It affects top level only. Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer also decided that the bank's top people will be employed through personal contracts from now on. This reform in management employment terms and pay is part of a wider manpower reform at the central bank. The executive pay cuts will be of the same magnitude as the other workers face; the cutbacks are expected to be progressive. Also, Fischer said, certain management perks customary at the Bank of Israel will be abolished.

Pay under the personal contracts, which are the norm at high levels in the public sector, will comply with agreements with the Finance Ministry.
Some of the changes will be implemented right away and others are subject to negotiations with the treasury.
Fischer took the opportunity to praise the central bank management for its responsible conduct regarding the reform.
Source Haaretz

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kosher Phones in Israel

Israeli orthodox rabbis are happy. They will have their own safe phone lines.

Cable, internet and fixed-line provider Hot was recently approached by the rabbis committee for communication affairs and asked to provide the haredi sector in Israel with a 'kosher' phone line service, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.

New serwice will be blocked for adult calls, a blocking that will be implemented using a "black list" of phone numbers the rabbi committee will provide Hot. In return, the committee will grant Hot with an official certification that will allow it to operate a phone line for the ultra-Orthodox population.

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Israel Water Superpower

Waterfronts Israel Water Alliance, on Wednesday presented its strategy to turn Israel into a "world water technology superpower."

Waterfronts will work to integrate government policy to assist in realizing the growth potential of Israel's water sector; to turn Israel's water industry into a brand recognized worldwide; to establish international standards related to advanced water technologies; to expand the activity of the Mekorot state water company into world markets; to encourage academic research, industry research and development, and professional training related to water technology; and to encourage applied innovation in water infrastructures based on Israeli water technology.

David Wanetick, Managing Director of The Wall Street Transcript, said "Israel is becoming a world leader in water management. Due to its population and industrial growth, scarcity and threats of having its water supply disrupted by Syria and Lebanon, Israel has been forced to become resourceful in its management of water."

Interesting facts about Israel's water management include:

-- Ashkelon, Israel is home to the world's largest operating desalination facility.

-- Despite its tiny geography, Israel's climate is representative of half the world's climates.

-- Israel has 31 desalination facilities and 1,200 wells. Israel recycles 75% of its water. The second largest water recycler is Spain, with 12% recycling. Israel's Water Commission anticipates that Israel will desalinate 20% of its water consumption by 2010.

-- Israeli venture capitalists are becoming more active in investing in water-related technologies. For instance, the Millennium Materials Technologies Fund is reported to have allocated at least $20 million to the water sector. Also, Kinarot

-- The Jordan Valley Technological Incubator, which is active in water investments, is being privatized.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Israeli Unemployment Drops

Unemployment in Israel continues to decline. In the period from December 2005 to January 2006 the jobless rate was 8.7%, or 241,000 jobless - the lowest unemployment rate in 12 years in November and October it was 8,8%.

This rate of israeli unemployment is lowest in the last 12 years.

Unemployment in Israel has been steadily declining since reaching a peak of 10.9% at the end of 2003. Sources in the israeli Finance Ministry predict that the unemployment rate will continue to fall in 2006, and will fall below 8% by December.

If the government were to continue with the policy of cutting the number of foreign workers, Israelis would take their places, "unemployment would fall further, wage would rise, poverty would lessen, and wages of unskilled workers would rise," Rafi Melnick, Dean of the Lauder School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and formerly of the Bank of Israel argued.

On the other side of the wall situation is not so good as in Israel. According to the World Bank report, unless financial support of the Palestinians continues, two thirds of the population are expected to fall under the poverty line by the end of the current year, and unemployment rates will shoot up to 40 percent. Average individual income will be decreased by 30 percent as well, while economic projects will decrease by 27 percent.

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Israeli Gas Stations Revolution

As of April 2 of this year, the official price of fuel in Israel will be that offered at self-service pumps rather than full-service gas stations.

The new measure will lower gas prices and will force full-service stations to offer the discounted self-service rate. In addition, stations that do not offer a self-service pump would not be able to charge extra for nighttime, holiday, or Shabbat fueling.

Currently, the vast majority of israeli gas stations offer full service only.

"The revolution of self service operated petrol stations is the start of a new age for the petrol industry in Israel," said Eli Ronen, director general of the National Infrastructures Ministry. "There is no doubt that the new era will increase competition of petrol prices leading to a drop in fuel prices."

The self-service move is part of a larger plan that seeks to reduce the number of large filling stations in the center of Israel's cities, replacing them with numerous small stations that will be required to comply with stricter environmental standards.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tunnels found in Israel

More informations like this from Israel will be better than tons of news about palestinian-israeli violence.

Underground chambers and tunnels used probably during a Jewish revolt against the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago have been uncovered in northern Israel /in israeli Arab village Kfar Kana/, archaeologists said Monday.

Archeologists say they`ve found remains north of Nazareth of the Jewish settlement 'Kana of the Galilee,' dating from the Roman period.

Archeologists said the Jewish settlers built igloo-shaped pits on the ruins of the previous settlement, in which the bedrock served as the floor of the pit. A rock-hewn pit was discovered in one of the tunnels containing 11 complete storage jars that are characteristic of the second half of the 1st century.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Israeli plan to attack Iran

The Israeli media was dominated by one story on Friday — comments made by Israel’s former military chief of staff concerning Iran's nuclear programme. Speaking at the Hudson Institute in Washington, Moshe Ya'alon suggested that Israel is well-equipped to attack Iran and has the means to defend itself against possible missile attack /more info about israeli anti-ballistic system /.

Arrow Israeli Anti-ballistic Aystem

Moshe Ya'alon added that Israel has the ability to launch a pre-emptive strike that could set back Iran's nuclear programme for years. He said that a single attack would not be sufficient, and that Israel was not limited to air strikes, a possible reference to submarine-fired missiles.

There is a precedent for a pre-emptive strike, the Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. Whether or not the former army chief's comments were authorized, Israel has sent a tough message to Iran and the international community, that there is a military option.

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Britain Gives A-Bomb to Israel

According to a recent BBC 2 report, it was Britain, under the government of Harold Wilson, that supplied Israel with plutonium to build an israeli atomic bomb.

In 1966 Israel asked Britain to supply 10mg of Plutonium. Although this was a small amount , and Israel would have required almost 5 kilos of plutonium to build an israeli atom bomb, British officials were warned this had "significant military value" and could enable Israel to carry out vital experimental work to speed up the the development of nuclear weapons.

Israel established its main nuclear reactor outside the desert town of Dimona in the 1950s, primarily with French help. Historians believe resources for the israeli plant were also obtained from elsewhere in Europe and from North America.

Based on revelations made by former Dimona technician Mordechai Vanunu to a British newspaper in 1986, independent experts concluded that Israel has amassed as many as 200 nuclear warheads using uranium and plutonium.

But there is no problem. Israel steals cow its good turn, Iran steals cow its sin. Or simplier Israeli bomb is good but iranian is bad.

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Rabbis: Destroy Israel

Some radical Jewish rabbis are supporting destruction of Israel.

Leading rabbis of Neturei Karta, an 'anti-Zionist' group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who consider the existence of Israel an abomination, met with Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the top-selling Yediot Aharonot reported.

The group's spokesman, Rabbi Dovid Weiss, was quoted as supporting Ahmadinejad's call during an interview on Iranian television last week.

Although all of the rabbis who visited Iran live in either New York or London, there are some 400 israeli Neturei Karta families living in Jerusalem who refuse to recognize Israel's authority, according to AFP.

Following Ahmadinejad's claim that the Holocaust, the killing of an estimated six mln Jews by the Nazis and their allies during World War II, was a myth used to justify the creation of Israel, the visiting rabbis agreed the mass killing had been hijacked by 'Zionists'.

"The issue of the Holocaust has to do with the 'Zionist' use ... The 'Zionists' are using this issue. We, the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, do not use the Holocaust as a tool for promoting our cause," Weiss was quoted as saying, AFP reported.

"Neturei Karta are well known for their hatred towards Israel," Yediot Aharonot wrote, "but it seems that this time they have crossed the line."

Iranian officials should remember that this group confirmed existence of Holocaust. So it is not only a myth used to justify the creation of Israel as Ahmadinejad suggested. So score is better on israeli side now.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

13 insurgents executed in Iraq

Iraqi authorities hanged 13 insurgents Thursday, marking the first time militants have been executed in the country since Saddam Hussein was ousted, the government said.

“The 13 terrorists were tried in different courts and their trials began in 2005 and ended earlier this year,” an official of the Supreme Judiciary Council said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to fears of reprisal from insurgents.

Capital punishment was suspended during the U.S. occupation, but the Iraqis reinstated it in 2004, saying it was necessary to help put down the persistent insurgency.

Terrorists ? Insurgents ? Murderers ? Patriots ?

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Egypt: Arrested For Eating Cheese

Very strange story about christian man arrested in Egypt for eating danish cheese. I don't think that story is true but here are words of the autor.

"Now, provided that this story is in fact true, I believe he was most probably arrested after arguing with his Muslim neighbors about Denmark. Afraid of religiously motivated communal tensions, the police just arrested the guy. He has been locked up for over 2 weeks, and according to the interview, his family are urging Christians in the diaspora to intervene and secure his release."

Mp3 with some voice isn't so great proof, maybe there will be some more serious media /I don't think Copts that don't like Egypt are serious source/, that will inform what happened in Egypt. And if there will be no serious source confirming this info, we can consider it as a fake.

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Israel for safe surfing

Today is at Israel National Safe Internet Day. A “safe surfing” site has been launched by the israeli government, including information specifically directed to parents, children (aged 5-11) and youth (aged 12-17). Thousands of parents participated in the event, which highlighted the dangers of the Internet to children.

Israeli program was co-sponsored by amongst others: Microsoft Israel, the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture; the Finance Ministry; Smile Internet Zahav; the Israeli Police; and the IDF.

Search engine Google Israel, meanwhile, continued its rapid ascent in the local market, launching its news site in Hebrew, providing local news in the same format as its English site. The company officially launched its Israel office just two weeks ago with a strategic plan to expand its services on the Hebrew site, and followed that up with an announcement last week that it would build a Research & Development center in the israeli town Haifa.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Evidence against Iran

Show must go on. Do you remember funny artworks from Langley ? Colin Powell presented to whole world dangerous Weapons of Mass Destruction. Weapons were produced on some mysterious trucks /copyright CIA painters/.
Now new cartoons are coming. We have nice pictures of nuclear weapons from Iran. And those pictures are probably same danger as well remembered CIA trucks.

According to Time magazine, the US plans to present the UN security council with evidence that Iran is designing a crude nuclear bomb. The evidence will be in the form of blueprints that the US said were found on a laptop belonging to an Iranian nuclear engineer, and obtained by the CIA in 2004. However, any such presentation will bring back memories of a similar briefing in February 2003 in which Colin Powell, then US secretary of state, laid out evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which proved not to exist.

The computer also contains a Farsi-language powerpoint presentation with “catchy graphics,” the magazine said. “Other documents show a sphere-shaped array of tiny detonators. US officials say the design of the sphere — an outer shell studded with small chemical-explosive charges meant to detonate inward, which would squeeze an inner core of material into a critical mass — is akin to that of classic devices like fat man, the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki during World War II,” it said.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Egypt and Cartoons

Students at Cairo University in Egypt found a way how to respond to danish Muhammad cartoons accident. Students defend respect for religion with ...... their own satiric cartoons. Isn't egyptian way better than burning flags, destroying embassies and so on?

One showed a Danish strongman struggling to balance weights labeled "freedom of speech" and "respect for religion." Another showed a man wrapped in a Danish flag cowering before a giant made up of stick-figure Muslims carrying one another. The slogan: "We might look little, but if we unite, we can do something."

One of the biggest handwritten messages from Cairo students said, "If we talk about Jews, it's anti-Semitism. If we talk about blacks, it's racism. But if they insult Muhammad, it's freedom of expression. This is terrorism!"

"As Muslims, it is important for us to know how the West views us so we know how to respond," said Mustafa Mohammed, a 21-year-old egyptian law student. "As the prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'He who wants to be safe from a people knows their language.' "

"When I first saw the cartoons, I was so angry, but you can't show your anger in a nonpeaceful manner, like shooting embassies or killing each other," said Riham Nagi, 21, a political science student from Egypt who helped organize the display. "All the Egyptian students like this idea, but there are still some foreign students who come up and say it's a matter of freedom of speech. They still don't accept that it (making fun of the prophet) was wrong."

If freedom of speech has no limits, when we see all serious newspapers /that printed Muhammad cartoons/ start printing caricatures of for example holocaust, insane, seriously ill or handicaped people and so on ? It's not about freedom of speech it's about politeness. Almost anyone learned from parents that insulting other people is bad.

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Palestine:Hamas Attempting Coup

Winner of parliamentary elections in Palestine Hamas is taking more power to his hands. They are reducing new powers /that Fatah on the last session of old parliament - after elections - awarded him/ of Palestine prezident Abbas. Fatah tried to limit Hamas, but it look like that Hamas do not want to take it easy.

Hamas has 74 seats in the new Palestine parliament and Fatah just 45, and the first order of business for Hamas was to cancel the powers the outgoing parliament gave to Abbas, the Fatah leader, authorizing him to cancel laws passed by the new parliament and appointing Fatah officials to key positions.

Fatah legislators stormed out of the parliament building before the end of the session in protest. So changes were very easy to make

With its absolute majority, Hamas can also set up Palestine government by itself, but Hamas leaders prefer to bring in other parties, partly to deflect international criticism and threatened economic sanctions because of Hamas' record of violence and refusal to recognize Israel.

What Fatah expected ? They changed law after lost elections, to keep at least a bit power in their own hands. They probably thought that Hamas will be so stupid and do not want to change this.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Palestine says no to Zawahiri

New rulers of Palestine don't want support from Al-Quaeda. Strange, many media suggested that they are allies ?

Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal said the movement had "its own vision" and did not need al-Qaeda's advice.

A Hamas official in Gaza, said: "Hamas believes that Islam is completely different to the ideology of Mr. al-Zawahiri."

Zawahiri urged Hamas to "continue the armed struggle" and reject agreements signed between its predecessors in government and Israel, describing them as "surrender accords".

He called on Muslims in "Palestine, Iraq and everywhere else... [to] be wary of the new American game entitled the 'political process'", alluding to recent elections.

Meshaal informed, "The movement always acts in the interests of the Palestinian people, and makes any changes to its strategy only after careful deliberation."

Zawahiri said the Palestinian Authority had betrayed its people
Chief Hamas legislator Mahmoud al-Zahhar denied his movement had "walked into a US trap" by participating in the Palestinian elections.

"Entering these institutions does not mean that we will be a carbon copy of other factions," he told al-Jazeera.

Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, told Al-Jazeera his group was elected through its moderate approach to Islam, which did not compare to al-Qaeda's exclusionary tactics.

“We are not a movement that labels people infidels or that abandons them. We are a movement that lives the realities of the people and that uses wisdom ... to turn them to Islam,” he said.

“When Hamas entered parliament, it did so under the slogan: Islam is the solution. When the people decided to vote for it, they believed that Islam can solve their economic, social and political problems as well their military battles against the occupation.”

He said Hamas has proved through its good behavior and its resistance to the occupation “that it is fit to be the leader of this street.”

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Israeli PM: Iran a Major Threat

Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned world that Iran nuclear ambitions are "a major threat to all the civilized world."

Israel cannot curb the Iranian nuclear threat on its own, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a satellite speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Sunday.

Countering Iran cannot be done alone, Olmert told those in attendance as he asked for the international community's help in facing the Iranian threat. The acting prime minister expressed his hope that the world, led by the United States, will impose sanctions on Iran.


But there are few strange things. We have good nukes /USA, GB, Israel, France, India/ and bad nukes /Iran, Korea/ and neutral nukes /Pakistan, China, Russia/. What are bad nukes are deciding countries that allready have their own good nukes /and even are taking new countries to good nukes club - Bush and India/.
There is still no proof that Iran have military nuclear ambitions. All "arguments" still look like arguments against Saddam and his "huge arsenal of WMD".
Even if stories about nuclear program in Iran are truth, than Iran is not a danger to whole modern world. Iran don't like three countries: USA /for supporting Israel/, Great Britain /for colonialism/, Israel /whole muslim world has smaller or bigger irracional problems with existence of this country/. And I don't think that those three countries are "all civilized world".
And last small thing is why is Israel so scared when they just annouced their perfect antiballistic system Arrow 2.

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Mohammad Cartoons and Zawahiri

Al-Quaida no 2 /and probably no 1 in Iraq/ explained in the video broadcast on Al-Jazeera what is his view on Mohammad cartoons.

"They did it on purpose and they continue to do it without apologising, even though no one dares to harm Jews or to challenge Jewish claims about the Holocaust nor even to insult homosexuals."

"The insults against Prophet Mohammad are not the result of freedom of opinion but because what is sacred has changed in this culture."

"The Prophet Mohammed, prayers be upon him, and Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, are not sacred anymore, while Semites and the Holocaust and homosexuality have become sacred."

"In the eyes of the West, they have the right to occupy our land, rob our wealth and then insult us and our religion, and humiliate our Koran and our prophet, prayers be upon him."

"After that they give us lessons in freedom, justice and human rights."

Zawahiri has issued several video and audiotapes in the past year. The previous was on Jan.

Unnamed American Intelligence officials reported that there was a CIA strike in Pakistan and that al-Zawahiri, Usama bin Laden’s top lieutenant, could have been at the compound in the Bajur area or about to arrive.
How many times they will kill Zawahiri ?

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Muslim Brotherhood Arrested

Two days ago Gaddafi released Muslim Brotherhood activists link. And Egyptian security forces arrested today seven members of this banned group.

Abdul Munem Mahmoud, the Muslim Brotherhood official, said seven members of the group, all university organizers, were arrested during a raid on their Cairo apartment.

"Security men broke into the apartment and arrested the young men and took them to an unknown destination," Mahmoud said. "They were only arranging a protest against the offensive cartoons of our great prophet."

A police official confirmed the arrest.

"The men attached to the Brotherhood were having a meeting in their place, which is banned by the government," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Muslim Brotherhood has 20% opposition seats in egyptian parliament after last elections.

Bad Libya is releasing them and good Egypt is arresting them. Strange world.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

The Blue Voice Article

Just another point of view in case of "humanitarian interventions"
A lot of the articles in professional military journals are well worth reading, even for general audiences. It does take getting used to some jargon. The whole military has been going through an extended program called the "revolution in military affairs" (RMA), or "transformation". So lots of the articles work in references to "transformation", which as often as not seem to be just ritual use of the organization jargon.

The article, Humanitarian Intervention and the War in Iraq: Norms, Discourse, and State Practice by Eric Henze, appears in the Spring 2006 Army War College journal Parameters.

It takes a look at the concept of "humanitarian intervention" in terms of the classic precepts of Just War doctrine, and specifically in the context of the Iraq War. This article has one of the characteristics I find appealing in such writing, which is a refreshing directness. Take the first paragraph.

Full Article
The Blue Voice

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Israelis throwing firecrackers inside church

Yes, we know, attackers from Israel are only mad or ill people. There is never racism, terrorism and so on.
Jewish man, his Christian wife and their 20-year-old daughter enter Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth disguised as pilgrims and proceed to throw firecrackers;13 police officers, 13 civilians hurt in incident and ensuing violence.

The incident during a service late on Friday caused panic among worshippers and sparked angry protests outside.

The three intruders were taken away for psychiatric checks as police sought to disperse large crowds.

Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra told Israel radio it "was not a (terrorist) attack and there was no specific intention to harm the Church of the Annunciation".

Arab MK Azmi Bishara (National Democratic Assembly) called the attack on the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth a “vile act.”

“This was a religious or nationalist attack, which in this country both are one and the same,” Bishara said.

“Such creatures (couple) grow here due to the racist atmosphere and culture in Israeli society. We ask that police act with restraint during the demonstrations by the city’s residents.”

The Church of the Annunciation marks the place where Christians believe the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to foretell the birth of Jesus.

/Ynet, BBC/

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Saudi Golf not For Women

Saudi Arabia's longstanding ban on female drivers went an extra mile this week when women were barred from using golf carts to move around a cultural festival, according to Saudi newspapers.

According to Seham Al-Dosary, an organizer from the company supplying the carts, no clear reasons were given for the decision.

“We suggested to the festival organizers that they use small golf carts for visitors inside the cultural village. The idea was to facilitate the movement of both male and female visitors within the cultural village. We felt that the carts would be particularly useful for the old and the disabled,” Al-Dosary told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

She said that SR400,000 had been spent on the golf carts and that young men and women had been trained to drive them. The idea was that golf carts are small and easy to use and, as she pointed out, “Golf carts are already used in women’s universities in Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi traditionalists object to women driving. Although there is no specific law to forbid it, women cannot obtain driving licences. In remote parts of the kingdom they sometimes drive without licences, and the use of golf carts on private land is another way to circumvent the rules.

/Guardian, Arab News/

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Israel and Rockets

Maybe Iranian nuclear program isn't so dangerous. Israeli experts maybe found solution and there will be no further need of international pressure on Teheran.

Israel's Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile system is capable of intercepting and destroying any Iranian missiles, even were they to carry nuclear warheads, a high-ranking IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

While Iran is Israel's most serious strategic and existential threat, the country, he said confidently, was sufficiently protected by the Arrow, which plays a major role in maintaining Israel's protective envelope.

"We will shoot all of [Iran's missiles] down," he told the Post. "The Arrow knows how to intercept the Shihab missile."


Full Article

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Israel Yes, Israel No

Every day new opinion.
Today's version is: "The issue of recognition is a done issue. We are not going to recognise Israel," Mohammed Nazzal, a senior official accompanying exiled Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, told reporters after their delegation arrived in Moscow.

And older version was :
Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Russia Baker Abdel Munem stated the radical Palestinian movement Hamas “links the issue of the recognition of Israel as a state with the necessity of ceasing the occupation of the Palestinian lands," ITAR-TASS informs.
"I think Hamas may change its position in the interests of the whole Palestinian people," the envoy said.

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Al-Qaida in the Palestine

Hamas said on Thursday that the movement had no intelligence information on al-Qaida cells in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.

It is response to President Abbas words from interview published on Thursday with the London-based Arab daily el-Hayat: "We have signs of an al-Qaida presence in the West Bank and Gaza. The infiltration of al-Qaida can ruin the whole region," he said.

Salah Al-Bardaweil /Hamas spokesman in the Palestinian Legislative Council/ said if the things Abbas said were true, the matter must be handled immediately and with "special treatment."

"If it was true that al-Qaida is really here then Israel is the reason behind such parties, through its crimes against the good ones among the Palestinian people and striking any chance of peace, " he said.

Usama Hamdan, a spokesman for Hamas in Beirut told UPI that both sides were mistaken in their assessment of the situation. Hamdan said it is in Israel's interest to promote the rumor as it gives them an out as far as political agreements and it allows them to ignore agreements and to put the pressure back on the Palestinians.

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American forces Want Go Home

Is Mr Bush listening? His boys in Iraq are screaming: Get Us Out of Here!

A new Zogby poll shows 72 percent of U.S. forces fighting the war think the U.S. should get out within the next year. And 29 percent say the pullout should happen immediately.

Other interesting results of Zogby poll:

While the administration keeps going on about "foreign fighters" being the problem in Iraq, only 26% of the troops questioned thought eliminating foreign fighters would weaken the insurgency.

The strongest opposition to "staying the course" in Iraq came from reserve and National Guard troops, but even among active-duty Marines, the most gung-ho of troops in Iraq, 58% favored a pull-out within a year. Nearly half of reserve and guard troops favored an immediate pull-out.

While the president talks about starting to reduce the number of US troops in Iraq, currently at a peak of 136,000 (a political imperative with congressional elections coming up this November), a majority of troops in the country say it would take a doubling of troops and a stepped up bombing campaign to control the Iraqi insurgency.

A clear majority of the troops oppose torture and aggressive interrogation techniques and four out of five polled oppose the use of such banned weapons as napalm and phosphorus bombs, such as US forces employed in the assault on Fallujah in November 2004.

And how educated are brave soldiers ?
85 percent of troops in Iraq still think they're fighting "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks." And to prevent Saddam from allowing Iraq to become a safe haven for the al-Qaida terrorist network.
Yes, we know. Saddam was brother of Osama and they destroyed WTC with thousends tons of WMD hidden in truck labs. And it's all about war on terror.

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Muslim Brotherhood freed

Libyan authorities released 130 political prisoners on Thursday, including 83/Reuters/ /84 AlJazeera/ /85 BBC/ members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Libyan activist said.

The Brotherhood detainees were freed under an amnesty from the government.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says this latest decision seems to be the product of more than a year of lobbying by the local Qadaffi Charity Foundation headed by the Libyan leader's son, Seif al-Islam.

In Cairo, Egypt Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Mahdi Akef welcomed the move and said it marked the opening of a new chapter in reforms and the spreading of liberties.

"We are delighted in this development and we thank the Libyan leadership for releasing the Muslim Brotherhood members and ask God for their continuous success and prosperity," he said.

Libya arrested at the end of the 1990s 152 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 2002 two were sentenced to death, 73 to life in prison and 66 were acquitted. The others were handed 10 year jail sentences.

The condemned, mainly students and academics, were accused of supporting or belonging to Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya al-Libiya, an Islamist group created in 1979, whose beliefs reflect those of Egypt's banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood.

/Reuters, BBC, AlJazeera/

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Jaafari Rejected

The Kurdish and Sunni political factions of Iraq are opposed to incumbent Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari staying on in his post in the next government, a Kurdish leader said on Thursday, AFP reported. Last month, al-Jaafari was re-selected for the post of prime minister by Iraq''s dominant Shiite United Iraqi Alliance after it won 128 out of 275 parliamentary seats in the December general elections.

Prime Minister cancelled a meeting Thursday with Iraq's top political leaders. Al-Jaafari called the meeting to discuss ways to resolve the political standoff and contain a surge of sectarian violence that has pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war. His office gave no reason for cancelling it. "The cancellation of this meeting is a regrettable thing because such meetings are essential under the current situation," said Mahmoud Othman, from the Kurdish bloc in Parliament.

The talks on a new government broke down last week when Sunni parties pulled out in protest against attacks on Sunni mosques triggered by the Feb. 22 bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine in the central city of Samarra. Hundreds were killed in the sectarian fury that followed

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Egypt Art Online

Western world knows only a little about modern art in the middle east. So this article about modern art in Egypt can by very interesting

A beautiful online gallery for Egyptian modern and contemporay artists is built to serve as a window for Egypt's modern art that is usually overlooked due to the populatrity and fame of ancient Egypt.

The site also serves as a gateway for art collectors who are interested in owning some art pieces from modern Egypt. And that includes paintings, mosaic, sculpture, graphic art...etc. You can find description of each piece as you click on any piece you like.

Among very popular talented artists featured on this site are Raghed Ayad, George Al Bahgoury, Ezmeralda, Seif Wanly, Antione Hagger, Mohamed Sabry ...etc

Though the site is so impressive and secured, however little information is given about this business or who is running it. Is it the government that owns these collections or individuals who want to give up their own properties or the artists themselves.

Full Article
Freedom for Egyptians الحرية للمصريين

Egy Art is offering the best original artworks from a variety of famous egyptian artists as well as emerging ones.

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Soccer results


Iran 3-2 Costa Rica
Karimi (9.), Daei (15.), Hashemian (34.):Hernandez (43.), Fonseca (60.)

Portugal 3-0 Saudi Arabia
Ronaldo (30., 85.), Maniche (45.)

Tunisia 0-1 Serbia and Montenegro
Kezman (12.)

Turkey 2-2 Czech Republic
Umit (89., 90.):Poborsky (20.), Stajner (61.)

2007 Asian Cup Qualifying

India 0-3 Yemen
Iraq 2-1 China
Kuwait 0-0 Bahrain
Oman 3-0 Jordan
Palestine 1-0 Singapore
Qatar 2-1 Uzbekistan
Taiwan 0-4 Syria

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Saudi satellite misses orbit

The Arabsat 4A telecommunications satellite owned by the Saudi ARABSAT company was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was atop a rocket equipped with an additional booster stage, the Russian Federal Space Agency said in a statement.

The rocket successfully delivered the satellite to a preliminary orbit, but the booster failed to function properly and could not deliver the satellite to a designated orbit, the agency said.
Engineers hoped to use the satellite's microengines to correct its position, although some experts believed the unit was lost.
'It's doubtful that they will be able to use it as a space telecommunications device as planned,' an unnamed specialist involved in the launch told the RIA Novosti news agency.
Arabsat-4A is a civilian satellite made by EADS Astrium for the Saudi ArabSat corporation. It is intended to operate for 15 yeras, serving customers in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

It is another embarrassing failure of russian space program. In October, a high-profile European satellite was lost because of a Russian booster failure. The loss of the $142 million CryoSat satellite dealt a major blow to the European Space Agency, which had hoped to conduct a three-year mapping of polar ice caps and provide more reliable data for the study of global warming.
Also that month, space experts failed to recover an experimental space vehicle after its return, engineers lost contact with an earlier launched Russian Earth-monitoring satellite and a new optical research satellite was lost due to a booster failure.

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Bombing in Amman not happened

Jordanian police have foiled a planned suicide bombing by al-Qaida in the kingdom and arrested two Iraqi militants and a Libyan, state-run media said /Al Arabiya said the militants, were Saudi nationals/.

Police are hunting several other militants, including a Saudi Arabian and three Iraqis.

There was no mention if the arrests were related to today’s three prison riots in Jordan that ended after a 14-hour standoff.

State-run TV showed photographs of three men described as the two detained Iraqi nationals and the Libyan. Other images were broadcast showing automatic rifles and explosives materials.

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