Thursday, March 02, 2006

Arsenal brings together Emirates and Israel: "The $612,000 deal was signed in Tel Aviv by officials from the team and the ministry. It is the second such deal with a country in the Middle East signed by the team. The team has already named its stadium for the state-run Emirates Airlines, for $100 million. Team officials say the United Arab Emirates expressed no objections to its new business ties with the Jewish state."


Blogger nzm said...

Yet according to this article, Emirates Airlines may not be so chuffed.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Slagothor said...

Of course, NZM, Emirates has to give the appearance of being offended, regardless of whether they are or not. The Islamists don't have a lot of power in the UAE, but the powers that be still see the benefit of spooning them a little pablum from time to time.

It's the same as when the chairman of Emaar was alleged to have travelled to Israel to talk about purchasing abandoned Israeli settlements in Gaza and giving them to Palestinians. The alternative is that they would be demolished. Of course, to anybody with more than a couple of brain cells, demolishing perfectly good buildings that could be used by a severely impoverished populace appears to be rank stupidity.

But there was an (overhyoed) Islamist outcry, and the buildings ended up being torn down, because they were a sign of the "illegitimate Jewish occupancy."

If Arabs come to terms with the fact that Israel is here to stay, then maybe they can move forward with the betterment of their own lives. Destroying Israel will not accomplish that.

11:48 AM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Love it. Intelligent conversation. Thanks to you both for your enriching contributions.

Slagothor, the pablum point is well taken. What would happen if the UAE were to forgo that survival tactic? The UAE is a force for good. I wonder if it went cold turkey and gave up the pablum tactic whether it would pass through a period of heightened short term danger into a long term period of greater moral authority in the region, and be more secure, too.

12:03 PM  
Blogger nzm said...

In the end a lot of damage is caused in the names of posturing, politics and posterior-kissing!

It did make me wonder though, if the UAE expressed no objections, why did Emirates Airlines feel the need to do so? Or is this all part of the game? Good cop/bad cop scenario!

I was in Jordan recently, and while driving down the Dead Sea coast to Petra, it was really brought home to me how much tension there is in this region. The map that we were using had no mention of Israel. Even in the Emirates planes, the location map doesn't show Israel!

Some of the colleagues whom we met in Jordan have family in Gaza, and they say that some of the young boys there are worse than animals - always thinking about how they can kill the next person. Given their conditions, there's little wonder, but at some time the cycle has to be broken to initiate positive change.

I agree that one side needs to make the first move towards getting on with it - and it would be with enormous respect and kudos if it was the Arab world who would do it.

I think that if left alone, the Arabs and the Israelis may be able to find resolution, but with superpowers running interference all the time, it makes this scenario more like a dream.

Or maybe we need to find another combination of people like in the Sadat/Begin/Kissinger/Carter era to make it happen?

What if, as John says, the UAE could be that country that says to its fellow Arab nations, "enough is enough - this is what we're going to do - we would prefer you to be with us, but we're going to do it anyway."

I think that this book would be a good read.

6:39 PM  

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