Sunday, February 06, 2011

Israel "jittery" about gas supply from Egypt

"An explosion at an Egyptian gas terminal that disrupted the supply of fuel to Israel had Israeli officials pressing Sunday to speed development of a natural gas deposit that they say can make Israel energy independent."

Perhaps they should also rethink their policy on settlements on Palestinian land.


CMAR II said...

errr...Jordan's a little nervous about that too. The people you seem to be banking on to get even with Israel are looking a lot like the ones supposed to get even with the Americans and Shi'a in Iraq.

Speaking of which:

Iraqi Mojo said...

I'm not banking on anybody "getting even" - there will be no "getting even" with America in terms of bombs dropped on Iraq, or all the bad things the Arabs perceive, legitimately or not. It's a new age of reconciliation, between the Iraqis and Americans, between the Americans and Sunni Arabs, and hopefully between Arabs and Israelis. I know the history of the strange love between Sunni Arabs and Saddam. For a while there it was quite disgusting to watch and read. But they didn't understand the criminality of Saddam, and even if they did, sometimes they didn't care. He stood up to Israel and America for them, and that's how they looked at it. Not all Sunni Arabs are alike, and we Iraqi Shia (and Americans) must understand this. Most of us do, I believe, and most of us understand that there must be justice for Palestinians, even if they did root for Saddam. We have to stop the cycle of injustice, and Israel must help by stopping their settlements on Palestinian land. Or annex the West Bank and give all the Palestinians there the right to vote in Israeli elections. That would be the right thing to do. F.W. De Klerk did it in 1990. Israel continues to stall in the year 2011.

The Muslim Brotherhood will have a major role in Egypt's government, it is inevitable. Israel knows what needs to be done to avoid further conflict. It's not about getting even. It's about getting justice and avoiding war.

CMAR II said...

We'll see if the Muslim Brotherhood does anything to improve the prosperity or the liberty of Palestinians OR the Egyptians. Or if they do for them both what Hamas has done for Palestinians. You think their going to open their border to Gaza? Based on this first of event of the Age of the MB, I'm guessing the people of Jordan (which has more Palestinians than anywhere else) is not welcoming this new regime with flowers.

The MB probably WILL have a major role in the new Egypt. What do you think Egypt's Christians and seculars think of that?

Don said...

"Or annex the West Bank and give all the Palestinians there the right to vote in Israeli elections. That would be the right thing to do. F.W. De Klerk did it in 1990. Israel continues to stall in the year 2011."

The single state solution would leave the Jews in a minority. You know what happens to Jews when they are a minority. Where are the Jews of Iraq or Egypt?

That solution just is not practical.

Meanwhile, the Jordanians would love to drive out their "Palestinians" (most of whom were born in Jordan). But where to? The planet is full.

Maybe Arabia has room for a Palestinian city, if the water problem could be solved by giant solar-powered desalinisation plants. (Iraq will need these too, soon.)

As for the explosion, if it was not an accident it was most likely done by Bedouins.

Maury said...

Natural gas probably will provide all of Israel's energy needs after the offshore finds are developed. Israel wants to be the first country to go all-electric on transportation. It won't be hard to blanket such a small country with charging stations. They'll have enough natural gas to produce all the electricity they'll need for at least 100 years.

I say "at least", because natural gas reserves are always growing. World reserves were 2500 TCF in 1980. We've used about 2500 TCF since then, yet reserves have grown to over 6600 TCF. Pretty cool if you ask me.

CMAR II said...

I still think this post stirs a lot more questions in my mind about things our host did not intend. I'm sorry that this is going to sound hostile, because I'm obviously a fan. However, I'm flummoxed by the angle of his posts lately.

Isreal is jittery about the pipeline being blown up? Jordan gets fuel by that pipeline as well. And Egyptian society desperately needs the funds from the sale of that oil to Israel and Jordan. So, who benefits from this act? Only nihilistic morons who know nothing of economics or history, but know only hate for Jews in Israel and would happily burn down Egypt and Jordan if it would stick a finger in the eye of Israelis.

Secondly, Mojo seems to have taken a little bit of a shine to Pan-Arabism lately...without regard to whether it is secular or mullah-owned. But Mubarac came to power on a policy of SECULAR Pan-Arabism. Now our host doesn't like the way he does it (neither do I, but I think P-A is Fascism).

Mojo says that "this is about avoiding war", but he is fine with the MB taking more control because it makes the prospect for war with Israel more real.

Iraqi Mojo said...

CMAR II, "jittery" is a quote from the article. They have a right to be jittery, more than they have a right to Palestinian land. It is merely an observation of Israeli states of mind. I would be jittery too! I would want to avoid conflict. I would be worried about the conservatives who insist that God gave us that land. I would want a quick and fair resolution, for the sake of Israel's future at least.

Iraqi Mojo said...

When I say that it's inevitable that the MB have a major role in the Egyptian govt, I'm again making an observation, my prediction of what will happen in Egypt. If you support democracy, then you'll support free and fair elections in Egypt.

I do not want to see any Islamic law anywhere on this planet. But just as in Iraq, we cannot stop the people from wanting Islamic law. I think we all agree that people should be governed according to the country's constitution, not the Qur'an. But what happens when they make the Qur'an their constitution, like KSA has? Why is KSA an ally of the US? The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which sent hundreds of suicide bombers to Iraq and none to Israel, the country that has no free elections, chops off heads every Friday, doesn't allow women to drive, forces women to wear niqab, is a US ally. Yet Americans are worried about free elections in Egypt that might bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power? Let's not be such hypocrites, please. Obama is doing the right thing. Republicans are supporting dictators, and it's no surprise, honestly.

We should allow free and fair elections. If the MB takes over and if they impose Sharia law then we will have evidence of their unfairness, and hopefully they will lose the following election. This is what's been happening in Iraq, and secular Iraqis have gained power and the Islamists have lost power. People change when they have a free press, a decent economy, no war, freedom of religion - you know, the stuff we enjoy in America.

At least we can laugh at them. In time I believe even the Saudis will change.

C.H. said...

"Republicans are supporting dictators"

Come on Mojo...seriously? Just the other day Joe Biden said that Hosni Mubarak is "not a dictator". When did he change parties?

I don't mean to stir things up but your Republican/Democrat divide over Israel and the Middle East doesn't exist. I don't know where you get these claims from.

For every Republican you can find who defends Israel I can find you a Democrat...same thing with Mubarak.

C.H. said...

You've been talking a lot about Republican attacks on Jimmy Carter, but Democrats have been assailing Rand Paul and the Tea Party over their Israel stance. How come you don't seem to notice this?

Iraqi Mojo said...

My only "pan-Arab" sentiments are my views on Palestine. I've been writing about Palestine pretty much since the beginning of this blog, and I've also pointed out that outsourcing torture to Egypt is wrong. On Oct. 16, 2007 I posted "Outsourcing Torture" and on Nov. 29, 2006 I posted "Extraordinary Rendition": "This is the kind of torture inflicted on Iraqis by Saddam Hussein's regime. I'm surprised that the USA, being the morally superior country that we are, is participating in it."

Mubarak has been a dictator, not as bad as Saddam, but a dictator nevertheless. Why should I support him? Because he's made sure that Israel can continue annexing Palestinian land without too much trouble?

Palestine is the single most important issue that unites Arabs and Muslims, secular & religious, poor & rich, you should understand this.

Iraqi Mojo said...

So Joe Biden supports dictators too? Well I guess that shouldn't be surprising either. LOL

Compared to Saddam, Mubarak has been a benevolent dictator. And I can see why most Americans, being the generally pro-Israel ignorants they are on the Palestine issue, think Mubarak is a cool cat. LOL

Iraqi Mojo said...

Another quote: ""The Israeli government is freaking out," said Dr Shmuel Bachar, at the Israel Institute for Policy and Strategy. "For the past 30 years we have depended on Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. Now, suddenly, we have rediscovered the existence of something called an Egyptian public, the existence of which we've vigorously tried to ignore.""

C.H. said...

Yep...he apparently does support dictators.

"Asked if he would characterize Mubarak as a dictator Biden responded: “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

Ayman said...

We should discuss the Israeli settlements issue in more detail. How does Israel justify the settlements? Does Israel engage in these settlements because they have an endless appetite for land? Or do they view themselves as "victims" who are only doing this to protect themselves?

Iraqi Mojo said...

I don't think they have an endless appetite for land. They want the West Bank, that is obvious. I think they'd be willing to give up Gaza. Unless they discover gas reserves off its shores.

They've been playing the victim card for decades, saying they need the land as buffer between Israel and their neighbors. Meanwhile they build settlements on that land.

Ayman said...

Iraqi Mojo,


How did the March 2010 Iraqi elections compare to the previous elections? Which political parties gained seats and/or share of the vote and which political parties lossed seats between these two elections?

In other words, do we see a trend in which Iraqis are moving away from certain political parties and towards other political parties? If so, how significant is the shift?

Are the Iraqis voting more religious or more secular as time goes on?

Seems like an important issue consider the fears of Islamic Theocracy in Tunisia and Egypt.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Ayman, the Islamic parties won big in the 2005 elections. Da3wa and The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq ran together in the same list in 2005 and they got to form the government.

Between 2005 and 2009, many Iraqis were disappointed in their leaders. I don't know if it was a move towards secularism or if it was a realization that Islamic clerics are simply not suited to govern, but Islamic parties have lost votes. In the 2009 provincial elections the Supreme Council got something like 5% of the votes in Baghdad.

Fouad Ajami wrote last year "In the provincial elections of 2009, pro-Iranian candidates were trounced and Iraqi nationalists carried the day."

Da3wa is now a "State of Law" party, but their embrace of the law and of nationalism wasn't enough to win a majority. Allawi, the secular candidate, did better than anybody in the 2010 parliamentary elections, narrowly beating Maliki's State of Law.

I think in the last six years in Iraq we've seen a general shift from an ideology of Islam ruling all parts of life to a realization that Islam must be separated from politics and government. The shift is slow and many Iraqis still want government by Islam, or at least that's what they say, but I can see a general trend towards secularism in Iraq. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the 2014 elections.

Ayman said...

I see.

CMAR II said...

Look, Mojo, I agree that the Egyptians deserve democracy. Mubarak has certain not transformed Egypt into a secularist society. But to say the following seems to be whistling past the graveyard:

"If the MB takes over and if they impose Sharia law then we will have evidence of their unfairness, and hopefully they will lose the following election."

...Mojo, if they impose Sharia law, there will BE no further elections. God doesn't run for elections. As Ali Ayaan Hirsi said in her recent column it's a lot easier to vote these people in than to vote them out.

WHAT I WANT is for the Egyptian people to have a chance to vote on a constitution. I want the people who are elected to be constrained by a contract with the governed. I want them to be able to vote on representatives who will gain a MAJORITY of the vote so a divide secular population is not overrun by a unified religious block.

In Iraq, the US had significant (but hardly overriding) influence in on the framework of the new government. We're not going to get that with the post-Mubarak government, so we should make hay while the sun shines to promote the cause of secular government. Focusing on ONLY toppling Mubarak's dictatorship is only ensuring that the Egyptians trade a Tyrant-of-the-Body for a Tyrant-of-the-Body-and-Soul.

CMAR II said...

heh heh heh...

It's positively quaint the way Democrats pretend Biden and Hillary Clinton are unconnected to their President.

I think Pres Obama is handling Egypt like an amature. He couldn't bring himself to support the protesters in Iran. He dragged his feet supporting the protesters in Egypt, and now he's trying to make up for it by pulling the rug out from under Mubarak without any idea of what he is trying to ultimately accomplish.

We need to get some grown-ups back in charge, rather than over-credentialed aspiring bureaucrats.

CMAR II said...

For the record, I don't think Israel wants the West Bank (unless we decide that Jerusalem is inextricable from the West Bank). I think the Israelis believe that if they handed over the whole of the West Bank unconditionally to the Palestinians, they would demand more. They they believe the P's would continue to demand more until the Jewish Israelis were standing at the bottom of the Mediteranean Sea.

The Israelis were not in the West Bank in 1969.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"...Mojo, if they impose Sharia law, there will BE no further elections."

I think it depends on how they impose "Sharia" law. If they stick to the six principles of Sharia, they should be fine. One of the principles of Sharia is freedom of religion. It should be clear: freedom of any religion or no religion. Freedom to worship whomever you want, or not.

the six principles of shariah:

1. The right to the protection of life.
2. The right to the protection of family.
3. The right to the protection of education.
4. The right to the protection of religion.
5. The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
6. The right to the protection of human dignity.

If those are the six principles of Sharia, I'd say America is doing a good job of enforcing Sharia, at least inside America, Much better than Saudi Arabia! Although the US could do better in the education principle, it seems.

They can say they are for Islamic law, but if they abide by Egypt's constitution, then they should be allowed to participate in the political process. It's the US policy in Iraq, after all. Sadrists want to impose Sharia too.

Maury said...

"the six principles of shariah:"

I think you've been smoking something Mojo. Freedom of religion? In Sharia? C'mon man.

The oldest reference I can find to those so-called principles is 6 months. The Quran is somewhat older than that. Surely someone bothered to write these cherished principles down before last Sept?

Maury said...

Someone should send this Sharia judge a copy of those 6 principles. Something tells me he didn't get the memo.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"The Quran is somewhat older than that."

And the 1400 year-old Qur'an says: ‘Do not argue with the followers of earlier revelation [Jews and Christians] otherwise than in a most kindly manner – unless it be such of them as are bent on evil-doing – and say: “We believe in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, as well as that which has been bestowed upon you; for our God and your God is one and the same, and it is unto Him that we [all] surrender ourselves.”’

Iraqi Mojo said...

Thanks for linking to the clip of Sean Hannity, Maury. Hannity did a good job in interviewing Anjem Choudary, "a British former solicitor, and, before it was proscribed, spokesman for the Islamist group Islam4UK. He is married, has four children, and lives in Ilford, London."

Perhaps next time Mr. Hannity will interview an Egyptian Islamist to give us an idea of what they would want in government.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"You can live under Sharia," Anjem Choudary tells Sean Hannity. Meanwhile Anjem Choudary is living under UK law, which supersedes Islamic law. Sean shoulda asked him if Sharia is enforced in London. LOL

Iraqi Mojo said...

Sharia IS enforced in London. Freedom of religion, and education is very important too. They're all about human dignity as well, wouldn't let any Englishman, any citizen, even refugees, be homeless.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Fact is most western nations enforce the principles of Sharia better than most Muslim countries, it seems.

Iraqi Mojo said...

'According to a report published in 2006, student friends say he called himself "Andy", drank alcohol, indulged in casual sex, smoked cannabis and even took LSD. A friend was also reported as saying that he expressed anger at the publication of The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.[2] In March 2009 the Daily Mail published photographs of Choudary as a student, which appear to show him drinking, posing with a pornographic magazine, and smoking cannabis.[62] Choudary himself says claims about alcohol and drug use are "all fabricated",[2] although in an interview with The Independent newspaper published later in 2009 he acknowledged "yeah, obviously, I had a period where I was not practising ... I have no shame at all in saying that I didn't always use to be like this. And I have great thanks to Allah that he guided me."[63]'

It seems the converts in western countries always get media attention.

Maury said...

I think those "six principles of sharia" came from this article, written by an Islamic scholar surfer chick from Southern California. Of course, once it appeared on the internet, it became true, LOL.

Maury said...

I can't find any references to those priciples from an actual cleric, or even a legitimate Islamic website. Nobody quoting those six principles bothers to link to something that backs the claim up. In other words, some dingbat in LA made the claim, and gullible people started quoting it as gospel.

Maury said...

Sumbul Ali-Karamali grew up in Southern California, answering questions about Islam. LOL.

CMAR II said...

[sigh] Mojo, Mojo, Mojo...
As Ayaan Hirsi Ali said,
‎"The Muslim Brotherhood will insist that a vote for them is a vote for Allah’s law. But the positions of power in government will not be filled by God and his angels. These positions will be filled by men so arrogant as to put themselves in the position of Allah. And as the Iranians of 2009 have learned to their cost, it is harder to vote such men out of office than to vote them in."

If Sharia comes to Egypt, there will be no further votes that matter. We have examples of Iran and the Taliban--governments founded but by people who cared a great deal about the tenets of Islam. But SOME people keep deluding themselves that they were aberrations.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Wikipedia: "Muslims have responded in a variety of ways to the forces of modernity. These responses cross the lines of tradition, sect and school. They affect the way Sharia is interpreted by the individual in their personal lives, and the extent to which Sharia is implemented in the public sphere by the state."

Iraqi Mojo said...

WP: 'Sharia in Arabic means "way" or "path." Muslims agree that sharia is God's law, but there is little consensus on the particulars. To some, sharia is a set of rules that are codified and unchanging. To others, it's a collection of religious principles that shift over time.

Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University and spokesman of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America, describes Muslims as being divided into two camps: "Those who see sharia mandating that we live as Muslims did 1,300 years ago, and those who say sharia doesn't have a specific format as to how you live your life, that Islam gives you paradigms." '

Maury said...

Muslims need to come to grips with why the Islamic Golden Age ended, and 700 years of stagnation settled in. My own opinion is that Muslims went from being tolerant of other peoples, cultures, and opinions, to being intolerant of anyone, or anything, the clerics chose not to like.

There was a time when Muslims, Christians, and Jews collaborated. They shared knowledge and ideas, built libraries and universities, and reasoned through their philosophical and religious differences. At some point, the Islamic world turned inward, and began to distrust everyone, and everything, from outside. I think Islam still has a lot to offer. But, not before Muslims realize where they went wrong, and do a whole lot to fix it.

Maury said...

Individuals contributing to the Islamic Golden Age were not necessarily Muslim however, considering many parts of the then-tolerant Islamic world were inhabited by other religious groups, such as Christians, Jews and Mandeans.

Religious freedom, though society was still controlled under Islamic values, helped create cross-cultural networks by attracting Muslim, Christian and Jewish intellectuals and thereby helped spawn the greatest period of philosophical creativity in the Middle Ages from the 8th to 13th centuries. Another reason the Islamic world flourished during this period was an early emphasis on freedom of speech, as summarized by al-Hashimi (a cousin of Caliph al-Ma'mun) in the following letter to one of the religious opponents he was attempting to convert through reason.

Tolerance, religious freedom, and freedom of speech. Imagine that. Is it any wonder Islam flourished then, and the West flourishes today? I don't think Sharia will fix what's wrong with the Muslim world. Tolerance might though.