Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dollars and Deals

This captured vulture was accused of spying for Mossad by the Saudi press,  but was later exonerated by a Saudi prince.
The AP published yesterday that a Saudi princeling has upped the offer of $100,000 for the capture of an Israeli soldier by a further $900,000 if used for the exchange of Palestinian prisoners currently in Israeli jails. H'm. The Arab presses either print the article in its entirety without comment or tweet ravenously about the Saudi predisposition to play Devil's advocate dependent on who they perceive to be winning the propaganda war. Paying for jihad seems to some to be as repugnant as paying for indulgences, to others, a fair price to pay.
If those on the Eastern fringes of the Gulf do nothing else, they can make their considerable resources available to the footsoldiers engaged at the front line of the conflict with the hated enemy.  As a propaganda exercise, as the vultures gather,  it may very well backfire. 
Would that it were so simple.  Here's an alternative.
Some believe that the ties of the House of Saud to Tel Aviv have in recent years become increasingly visible and pervasive. A much-discussed secret Israeli-Saudi alliance may well exist within the context of a broader Khaliji-Israeli alliance formed through strategic cooperation between the ruling families of Saudi Arabia and the Arab sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf. Together Israel and the Khaliji ruling families form a frontline for Washington and NATO against Iran and its regional allies. The alliance also acts on behalf of Washington to destabilise the region, creating ethnic divisions between Arabs and Iranians, religious divisions between Muslims and Christians, and confessional divisions between Sunnis and Shiites relying upon uninformed public opinion to keep the snowball rolling, bloodstained, down the hill.  It is the “politics of division” or “fitna” that has also served to keep the Khaliji ruling families in power.  Israel and the Khaliji ruling families would not survive without the regional fitna. Iranophobia may have been used by the Khaliji ruling families, from the U.A.E. to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as a pretext for the repression of their own people, who are demanding basic freedoms and democratic rights in the sheikhdoms.

All this may very well have a ring of truth about it - the ideas are not new. It remains to be seen whether or not a few zealots in Gaza will attempt to take the bait, scoop the jackpot and suffer the consequences of their so doing. 

Meanwhile, one rocket on average per hour has been fired in the last thirty six hours from Gaza, in response to  the Israelis targeting a 'terrorist squad' in southern Gaza that was preparing to launch long-range rockets. Five Islamic Jihad militants were killed, including a senior commander of the Al-Quds brigade. 

The cost of raw materials for a Qassam IV rocket is about $500.

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