Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Foreign Ministry official to hold 'meeting' in Israel's virtual Persian Gulf embassy

Foreign Ministry official to hold 'meeting' in Israel's virtual Persian Gulf embassy
 Senior Israeli diplomat to hold Twitter chat with Gulf residents in unusual direct and public channel of communication.It is no secret that Israel has various degrees of communication, commerce and cooperation with the Persian Gulf countries. [[[[It is also no secret that all this contact is usually held behind closed doors, far from the public eye]]]].This will change Tuesday when Foreign Ministry director-general Rafi Barak is scheduled to hold a Twitter chat on the “official channel of the virtual Israeli embassy to GCC countries.” The ministry opened the Twitter account last month, and defined it as “dedicated to promoting dialogue with the people of the GCC region.” The GCC, or Gulf Cooperation Council, includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain.
By 8 p.m. Monday night, the virtual embassy had some 1,043 followers, and had tweeted 57 times.
On Monday, the following tweet appeared: “Want to know what #Israel thinks about the #GCC? Israel’s top diplomat is ready to respond live! Tuesday 6/8 @ 12:15 (Riyadh time) #EidTalk.”[[[[Another tweet read, “Who’s behind @IsraelintheGCC? Live Q&A with Director General of Israel Foreign Ministry!”]]]]]
[[[What makes the scheduled “Eidtalk” unusual is not only that it will be a direct and public channel of communication between a high-level Israeli diplomat and the Persian Gulf, but also because it will be with Barak, a veteran diplomat who has remained well out of the Israeli public’s eye – rarely giving interviews – since taking over the key post in 2011.]]]]]According to the ministry, the “EidTalk” will be in Arabic and English.
So far, the fare posted on the account in English of the virtual embassy has been relatively tame, though the responses have not always followed suit.On July 18 there was a “Ramadan Kareem greeting all the #gcc countries peoples wishing #peace and #humanity to all muslims.”
This elicited a number of responses that varied from the pleasant –“Good job Israel. Hope this initiative will bring a much needed dialogue b/w Israel and other GCC Countries” – to the nasty – “@IsraelintheGCC to all muslims? Then stop killing and torturing them!”Other tweets ranged from wishing a “Happy Renaissance Day (June 23) to the people of #Oman,” (“It’s July 23 you Zionists,” someone responded), to a tweet with a link to a site introducing an Israeli innovation that turns air into drinking water.A number of postings on the account said that they hoped the virtual embassy would be a prelude to a real one.
Israel does have a single representation in the Persian Gulf, but – in an indication of the degree to which these ties are kept completely out of the public eye – it is not even willing to say where it is. The mission’s existence came to light a few months ago when a Finance Ministry document presented to the cabinet showed that one of 11 new Israeli representations set up from 2010-2012 was established in the Gulf.
Officials from the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office would not, however, reveal where it was established.
Israel maintained interest sections in Qatar and Oman in the past, but they were both closed shortly after the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000  
(ed note: then it qatar...quietly reopened again behind the scenes ).
[ed note:quick correction,.the israhelli trade office in doha was open as recently as *2006!!!!it had trade offices with many  zionist arab pagan regimes in gcc and outside as well...,''Syria notable exception'' !!! see list here,

Qatar's Relations with Israel: Challenging Arab and Gulf Norms (extract) Middle East Journal, The › Vol. 63 Nbr. 3, July 2009
also see...even more recently... ZIONIST QATAR ...IN BUSINESS WITH ISRAHELL

and of course, the latest zionist qatar hosts zionists at us islamic world forum
extra reading.. The Political Potential of Israel-GCC Business Relations
Shaham, Dahlia
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Abstract: The economic discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace process has been governed over the years by two contradicting paradigms: the Arab Boycott and the vision of the New Middle East  It focuses on the special case of the GCC states, which are the richest and most globalized economies in the region. The second chapter outlines the history of Israeli-GCC relations; the third chapter exposes the reality of the officially non-existent Israel-GCC business relations - the sectors in which they are created and the bypass mechanisms used to facilitate them.
 The first two summits held in Casablanca (1994) and Amman (1995) were covered with great enthusiasm, primarily by Israeli and international media. Proclamation of visions of economic cooperation along the lines of the European Community abounded.54 The conferences resulted in some private sector joint ventures between Israeli, Egypt and Jordan, but most of the achievements were in drawing foreign investors to the region. 1997 Doha summit Qatar, who hosted the conference, was focused on concluding deals with foreign, non-regional, partners to develop its natural gas exports. Deals between Israeli and Arab businessmen were largely sealed behind closed doors:55 Plotkin
GCC states and Israel. Gawdat Bahgat points to three paradoxes that shape the politics of Saudi Arabia:81"The country is the birthplace of Islam, but increasingly the main challenge to Saudi national security is Islamic fundamentalism. Saudi Arabia holds the world's largest oil reserves, but a growing number of Saudis are unemployed and living poverty. For more than half a century the kingdom has been an ally to the United States. However […] [o]ne f the major problems facing the Saudi leaders has been how to explain to their domestic constituency their close cooperation with the United States, Israel's closest ally".While all three paradoxes are manifested in other GCC states as well, they are by far the most prominent in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the only GCC state that formally enacts the Shariah as state law and its role as the guardian of the holy places to Islam is a significant factor in its foreign policy. Its population is the largest in the GCC, accounting for 66% of the entire region, and is also the poorest in terms of GDP per Capita.
Saudi Arabia's accession to the WTO also signified a shift towards greater integration of the GCC into the global economy and structures of economic global governance.126 This trend too undermines the GCC states' ability to uphold the appearance of the boycott. Leading multinational companies, such as Intel and IBM, run centers in Israel, for R&D and manufacturing. Israeli start-ups are also bought by leading multinationals.166 It is in this respect that the information revolution has made the secondary and tertiary boycotts practically impossible. Israeli technology prevails in the field of internet software solutions. The global market share of IBM and Intel alone is indicative of the fact that companies and individuals in the GCC are not upholding the indirect boycotts. The primary boycott does not apply to most Israeli ITC products, since they are primary inputs that into further manufacturing elsewhere, or web software solutions that are sold to other web-services suppliers. Nonetheless, there are some niches in the Israeli high tech industry that meet direct demand in GCC countries. These include primarily solutions for telecommunication infrastructure (e.g. Nice Systems), logistic solutions for supply chain management (e.g. Retalix) and information security solutions (e.g. Checkpoint). Demand for such businesses in the GCC states comes primarily from Governments, who have been investing heavily in ITC infrastructure as part of the diversification policy, and partly from foreign companies that have set up shop in the GCC It is worth noting that trade in this sector is particularly sensitive. Israel's hi-tech industry is known to have grown out of, and in tight collaboration with Israeli military intelligence. This factor raises suspicion concerning the security implications of allowing Israeli companies access and influence on the information and telecommunications grid in the Gulf. Nonetheless, businessmen I interviewed indicated that it is a field in which trade is known to exist.

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