MasterFeeds

Subscribe in a reader Add to Google Reader or Homepage

October 29, 2018

@Netanyahu seeks to bolster #Israel’s ties with #ArabGulf nations even as Israeli-#Palestinian peace process may be stalled

Netanyahu seeks to bolster Israeli ties with Gulf nations | Financial Times

"Israel does not want it to stand in the way of normalizing ties with the wealthy and increasingly interventionist Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia."

"The younger generation of Gulf Arab leaders have not shown the same determination as their elders to shun Israel because of the Palestinian conflict and have instead engaged in informal outreach to Jerusalem."

https://www.ft.com/content/9a7933aa-db93-11e8-8f50-cbae5495d92b

Netanyahu seeks to bolster Israeli ties with Gulf nations

Israel sends cabinet members to Oman and UAE following prime minister's Gulf trip

© AFP

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, is seeking to bolster his country's ties with Gulf countries long seen as its foes in an unusual public effort focused on Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

On Friday, Mr Netanyahu revealed that he had visited the Sultan of Oman, who greeted the prime minister, his wife, and the head of Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service. Next week, his minister of transportation and intelligence, Israel Katz, will head to Oman for a conference.

At the weekend one of Mr Netanyahu's parliamentary allies wept as the Israeli national anthem rang out in an Abu Dhabi sports auditorium after a Jewish athlete won a judo championship. On Tuesday his communications minister, Ayoob Kara, is expected in the UAE, which has no diplomatic ties with Israel, for another conference.

Much of the Arab world has shunned the Jewish state since it was born in 1948, but Mr Netanyahu is betting he can create stronger relations with influential Gulf nations on the basis of shared fears over Iran and a shared interest in boosting trade ties.

The Gulf initiatives come at an opportune political moment for Mr Netanyahu. Israeli analysts predict an election early next year and note that the prime minister — who also holds the foreign policy portfolio — could claim improved relations as a win.

Mr Netanyahu's visit to Oman — the first by an Israeli leader since 1996 — was filmed and made public at the request of the prime minister's office, according to a person familiar with the talks leading up to it.

Although Israel has maintained clandestine ties with Gulf nations for at least a decade, they have not been publicised because Arab leaders worry that they would anger their citizens as long as the Israel-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved.

The Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, severed ties with Israel during the second intifada, but he hosted some of the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal and is seen as an intermediary between Jerusalem and Tehran.

Other Gulf nations share Israel's concerns about Iranian expansionism in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere.

Because of Oman's strong relations with Iran it has been left out in the diplomatic cold by the Trump White House, which has abandoned the nuclear deal.

A visit from a western ally helped shore up the Sultan's standing in Washington, while allowing Mr Netanyahu to advertise an example of Israeli-Arab co-operation, said Eli Avidar, the former head of the Israeli delegation to Qatar.

"This visit to Oman was made possible purely because of the interests of the Sultanate of Oman," said Mr Avidar, who also advised former prime minister Ariel Sharon on diplomatic issues.

Iranian officials have criticised the Israeli leader's visit to Oman, but few expect Muscat to pivot away from Tehran as it seeks to balance interests across the divided region.

While the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is stalled, Israel does not want it to stand in the way of normalising ties with the wealthy and increasingly interventionist Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia.

The younger generation of Gulf Arab leaders have not shown the same determination as their elders to shun Israel because of the Palestinian conflict and have instead engaged in informal outreach to Jerusalem.

"Israel is building a wall of countries [with] which it has interests that it can use as leverage to get Iran to start backing down," said Michael Stephens, research fellow for Middle East studies at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank. "The idea is to surround Iran from all sides — it's the diplomatic equivalent of putting missiles in Cuba."

Next week, Mr Katz, the transportation minister, will go to Oman to present a somewhat improbable plan for a railway line to connect Haifa in northern Israel with the Gulf via Jordan.

The plan, nicknamed, Regional Tracks for Peace, has Mr Netanyahu's approval, despite the fact that all the countries involved except Jordan still officially consider Israel an enemy state.

"Mr Katz is going as the minister of transportation to a conference of ministers of transportation, but he is going also in his double function, as part of his intelligence portfolio," said Arye Shalicar, an adviser.

"Already we see that little by little countries in the Middle East are approaching each other and approaching us, and we're sure that contacts on a wider and a more intensive scale will probably take place."



June 11, 2018

#Hamas knows there is a hunger among the West’s so-called progressives for evidence of #Palestinian pain, and by extension of #Israeli evil, and it is more than willing to feed this hunger.

#Hamas pushes #Gaza's people into harm's way because it knows…images of their hardship will be shared widely, wept over, and held up as proof of the allegedly uniquely barbarous nature of the Jewish State. Hamas knows there is a hunger among the West's so-called progressives for evidence of Palestinian pain, and by extension of Israeli evil, and it is more than willing to feed this hunger.

The ugly trade in Palestinian pain
The ugly trade in Palestinian pain

The Israel-Palestine conflict is unique among modern wars.  No, not because Israel is an unnaturally wicked state, as its many critics across the West, and in the Middle East of course, would have us believe. And not because this conflict has been a long one. Or because it is a sometimes asymmetrical one, pitting a well-armed state against protesters armed with catapults and attitude. Many wars have been long and imbalanced.

No, this war is different because of who shapes it. Who impacts on it. Who contributes to it, usually unwittingly. This war is unique because very often its distant observers, those who watch and comment and hand-wring from afar, play a role in intensifying it and making it bloodier than it already is – without even realising they are doing so.

This should be the central lesson of the terrible events at the Gaza-Israel border last week: that much of what happens in the Israel-Palestine conflict is now largely a performance, a piece of bloody theatre, staged for the benefit of outsiders, especially for myopically anti-Israel Western activists and observers.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Hamas pushes Gaza's people into harm's way because it knows their suffering will strike a chord across the West. Because it knows images of their hardship will be shared widely, wept over, and held up as proof of the allegedly uniquely barbarous nature of the Jewish State. Hamas knows there is a hunger among the West's so-called progressives for evidence of Palestinian pain, and by extension of Israeli evil, and it is more than willing to feed this hunger.

The clashes at the Gaza border, in which more than 60 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured, cannot be viewed in isolation from Western liberals' peculiar and disproportionate obsession with Israel. It now seems undeniable that this was no instinctive, grassroots protest, but rather one that was carefully orchestrated by Hamas. As a New York Times reporter described it, after midday prayers clerics and leaders of Hamas 'urged thousands of worshippers to join the protests'. And Hamas's urging was littered with false claims. It told people 'the fence had already been breached' and Palestinians were 'flooding into Israel'. This was a lie. A Washington Post reporter details how Hamas's leaders told people to keep attacking the border fence because 'Israeli soldiers [are] fleeing their positions'. In truth, as Hamas knew only too well, the IDF was reinforcing its positions.

Read the rest of the article online here: 
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-ugly-trade-in-palestinian-pain/21414?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Brexit%20tragedy&utm_content=The%20Brexit%20tragedy+CID_74fe1606c01f4484d23feb0a649dbc8c&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=The%20ugly%20trade%20in%20Palestinian%20pain#.Wx6GCYqxXmr

#Canada #Cannabis Senate passes #BillC45 ushering era of official legalization of Cannabis in Canada

This from Canaccord on the approval by Canada's senate of Bill C-45 fully legalizing cannabis 

In a watershed moment for global cannabis, last night, the Canadian Senate passed the third and final reading of Bill C-45 by a vote of 56-30 (with one abstention). As a result the official legalization of cannabis in Canada has effectively reached the finsih line; however, the amendments made to the Bill in the interim will have to be approved in the House of Commons and then ratified by the Senate before reaching Royal Assent and brought into law. We expect this remaining process to be procedural in nature and likely completed in the coming week.

Looking ahead, provinces will continue to finalize respective distribution platforms, and we expect meaningful legal rec sales to roll-out on a national level by September/ October. However, we caution investors that there remain several issues to be ironed out, and it is not likely that the launch will be smooth given challenges for retail distribution and ramping up cultivation capacity.Although logistical hurdles remain, we believe positive industry catalysts are still on the horizon. This includes major provinces such as Ontario, Alberta and BC still to announce initial tender allotments for product and
the legislation of more recreational friendly products, such as vape pens, edibles and other derivative cannabis product that will become increasingly important for producers as the cultivation of cannabis is expected to become largely commoditized.

For further analysis and review please see our full analyst coverge attached here 

The MasterFeeds

MasterSearch