New Saudi Arabia Peace Plan?

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan is committed to modernizing and ending support for violent jihad.  He is transforming the Saudi political economy and culture out of necessity, Saudi Arabia has to modernize.  Today’s fracking and associated technologies mean oil prices will not return to past high prices.  The Saudi’s cannot continue exporting their problems (violent jihad), writing checks to the Palestinian Authority,  and continued cultural isolationism.

Caroline Glick:  A Credible Peace Plan, At Last

Not only does it secure the future of both Israel and the Palestinians, it enables Arab states like Saudi Arabia to work openly with Israel to defeat their joint Iranian enemy.
Monday, The New York Times published the Palestinian response to an alleged Saudi peace plan. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly presented it to PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas last month.

According to the Times’ report, Mohammed told Abbas he has two months to either accept the Saudi proposal or leave office to make way for a new Palestinian leader who will accept it.

The Palestinians and their European supporters are up in arms about the content of Mohammed’s plan. It reportedly proposes the establishment of limited Palestinian sovereignty over small portions of Judea and Samaria. The Gaza Strip, over which the Palestinians have had full sovereignty since Israel pulled its military forces and civilians out in 2005, would be expanded into the northern Sinai, thus providing economic and territorial viability to the envisioned Palestinian state. While the Palestinians would not receive sovereignty over Jerusalem, they would be able to establish their capital in the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis.  JPost

Saudi Authorities Order Detained Princes To Pay Billions To Secure Their Release

Previous article:  Saudi Arabia Arrests 11 Princes, Four Ministers And Tens Of Former Ministers

Saudi authorities are demanding princes detained in a luxury hotel following a supposed anti-corruption purge pay billions of dollars to secure their release.

The deals involve separating cash from assets like property and shares, and looking at bank accounts to assess cash values.

It comes after reports King Salman plans to step down and announce his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman as successor in a move seen as the culmination of a power grab by the 32-year-old.

Dozens of princes, senior officials and businessmen, including cabinet ministers and billionaires, have been detained in the graft inquiry at least partly aimed at strengthening the power of the prince, known as MBS.

These include billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the kingdom’s most prominent businessmen.

One businessman had tens of millions of Saudi riyals withdrawn from his account after he signed.

In another case, a former senior official consented to hand over ownership of four billion riyals worth of shares, a source told Reuters news agency.

The Saudi government earlier this week moved from freezing accounts to issuing instructions for ‘expropriation of unencumbered assets’ or seizure of assets, said a second source.  DailyMail

Saudi Arabia Arrests 11 Princes, Four Ministers And Tens Of Former Ministers

Saudi Arabia arrested 11 Princes, four ministers, and former ministers.

The announcement of the arrests was made over Al Arabiya, the Saudi-owned satellite network whose broadcasts are officially approved. NYTimes

The stunning series of arrests has implicated three of the country’s richest people, including Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who’s No. 50 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking of the world’s 500 richest people, with $19 billion. Also being held are the kingdom’s second- and fifth-wealthiest people, as well as a travel-agency mogul and Bakr Binladin, a scion of a one of the country’s biggest construction empires. BloomBerg

A sign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman consolidating his power.

After the arrest of 11 Saudi princes and current and former officials, Saudi Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, a potential rival to the succession legitimacy of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in a helicopter crash.

Continue reading “Saudi Arabia Arrests 11 Princes, Four Ministers And Tens Of Former Ministers”

Saudi Arabia To Vet Use Of Prophet’s Sayings To Counter Terrorism

The Saudis are admitting that Mohammad’s statements are being used to “justify violence and terrorism”.   Violence and terrorism is a part of Islam; the worst version of Islam, certainly, but Islam nonetheless.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is to monitor interpretations of the Prophet Mohammad’s teachings to prevent them being used to justify violence or terrorism, the Culture and Information Ministry has said.

In a decree, King Salman ordered the establishment of an authority to scrutinize uses of the “hadith” – accounts of the sayings, actions or habits of the Prophet that are used by preachers and jurists to support teachings and edicts on all aspects of life.

The ministry said late on Tuesday that the body’s aim would be to “eliminate fake and extremist texts and any texts that contradict the teachings of Islam and justify the committing of crimes, murders and terrorist acts”.

The body will be based in Medina and overseen by a council of senior Islamic scholars from around the world, according to the decree. The ministry offered no specific details of how it would work in practice. Reuters

Gunman Attacks Saudi Security Forces At Gate Of Jeddah Royal Palace – Two Guards Shot Dead

Two Saudi guards were shot dead and three others injured on Saturday morning when a man drove up to the gate of the royal palace in Jeddah and began shooting, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news.

Royal Guards killed the gunman, who was identified in the statement as Mansour al-Amri, a 28-year-old Saudi national.

The attack occurred at a checkpoint outside the western gate to the Peace Palace in Jeddah, where the royal family conducts official business during the summer months.

Saudi King Salman is currently outside the kingdom on a state visit to Russia.

The statement did not elaborate on the whereabouts of his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, although recent state news reports have placed him in Jeddah.

Security forces seized Kalashnikov rifles and petrol bombs that had been in Amri’s possession.

Amri did not have a criminal record or any known connection to extremist groups, said Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki, speaking by phone to al-Arabiya television.  DailyMail

Saudi Arabia Agrees To Allow Women To Drive For The First Time

It is about the economy.

Vision 2030 to reform the economy, spearheaded by deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key part of the reform effort is to increase women’s participation in the workforce to 30% from 22%.

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, overturning a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.

The change, which will not happen immediately, was announced on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington. It highlights the damage that the policy has done to the kingdom’s international reputation and its hopes for a public relations benefit from the reform.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is a Muslim monarchy ruled according to Shariah law. Saudi officials and clerics have provided numerous explanations for the ban over the years.

Some said that it was inappropriate in Saudi culture for women to drive, or that male drivers would not know how to handle women in cars next to them. Others argued that allowing women to drive would lead to promiscuity and the collapse of the Saudi family. One cleric claimed — with no evidence — that driving harmed women’s ovaries. NYTimes

Saudi cleric suspended for saying women can’t drive due to brain shrinkage

A Saudi cleric who said women should not drive because their brains shrink to a quarter the size of a man’s when they go shopping has been banned from preaching, state television said.

Saad al-Hijri was suspended from all religious activity after advising against allowing women to drive in a speech that contained comments “diminishing human value,” the broadcaster quoted a spokesman for the governor of Asir province as saying. JPost

Saudi Arabia, Egypt Lead Arab States Cutting Ties With Qatar

A  number of Arab nations cut ties with Qatar.  The move escalates a dispute over Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and accusations it backs the agenda of Iran.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Maldives severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

Iran — long at odds with Saudi Arabia and a behind-the-scenes target of the move — immediately blamed President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh.

Gulf Arab states and Egypt have long resented Qatar’s support for Islamists, especially the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, which they regard as a dangerous political enemy.

The coordinated move, with the Maldives and Libya’s eastern-based government joining in later, created a dramatic rift among the Arab nations, many of which are in OPEC.

Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Oil giant Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of backing militant groups — some backed by regional archrival Iran — and broadcasting their ideology, an apparent reference to Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera.

“(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly,” Saudi state news agency SPA said.

It accused Qatar of supporting what it described as Iranian-backed militants in its restive and largely Shi’ite Muslim-populated eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain…

Iran saw America pulling the strings.

“What is happening is the preliminary result of the sword dance,” Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted in a reference to Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. CNBC

Jordan also downgrades ties with Qatar

Jordan will downgrade its diplomatic representation with Qatar, it said on Tuesday, standing with several Arab powers that have cut ties with the tiny Gulf state.

The decision was made after Amman examined the “cause of the crisis” between Doha and the other Arab states, government spokesman Mohammed al Momani said.

He added that Jordan also revoked the TV license for Al Jazeera, Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel. Haaretz

Struggle For Regional Dominance

The decision by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to punish the Gulf Cooperation Council member over its support for Islamist groups — as well as their key rival, Iran — pits some of the world’s richest nations in a struggle for regional dominance. Qatar’s population is smaller than Houston’s, but it has a sovereign wealth fund with stakes in global companies from Barclays Plc to Credit Suisse Group. It’s also a home to the forward headquarters of the U.S. military’s central command in the region. Bloomsberg

FLASHBACK: Obama Sent Taliban Terrorists To Qatar

In May of 2014, then President Barack Obama released five Islamic terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility into Qatar’s custody in exchange for the Taliban’s return of Bowe Bergdahl; the Taliban partly operates its international diplomatic operations via representatives in Qatar…

The New York Post reported that the five Islamic terrorists released to Qatar – dubbed “The Taliban 5” – received a “hero’s welcome” upon arrival in the Islamic Gulf State. DailyWire

President Trump Delivers Powerful Speech To Arab Leaders

Great speech and an important message!

Before President Trump delivered his first big international speech, an address in Saudi Arabia to dozens of Arab leaders, reports swirled that he would not utter the words “radical Islamic terror.”

Of course he said the words — repeatedly — and much more. He lectured the Saudis on human rights, including the nation’s long repression of women. And most of all, he laid out — in simple black and white terms — the real battle that is has been raging for two decades.

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” Trump told some 50 Muslim leaders gathered in an ornate conference center in Riyadh. “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil.”

And Trump said the Muslim world has an obligation — even a moral imperative — to squelch terror emanating from the Muslim faith. “Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith,” Trump said. “That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.”

And Trump appeared to give the Muslim leaders a direct order about the terrorists who declare their Muslim faith demands they kill infidels.

“Drive them out!” Trump said. “Drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your communities, drive them out of your Holy Land, and drive them out of this Earth!”

Read full article at DailyWire

Full transcript President Trump’s speech on terrorism in Riyadh (The Washington Post)

Full Video

President Trump Signs $110 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia

Jobs!

President Trump on Saturday signed a $110 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

The arms transaction is intended to bolster national security in Saudi Arabia as well as the country’s ability to combat terrorism. The White House says the agreement will provide fighter jets, tanks, radar, combat ships and anti-missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia and will create defense-related jobs in the U.S.

The defense cooperation agreements signed Saturday offer the Saudis $110 billion immediately, and ultimately worth $350 billion over the next decade. WashingtonExaminer

The agreement will provide fighter jets, tanks, combat ships and anti-missile defense systems and create defense-sector jobs in the U.S., according to the White House. The deal includes additional private-sector agreements and a joint vision statement with Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil producers.

“That was a tremendous day,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “Tremendous investments in the United States.”

“Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.” he continued.

The agreement signals a strengthening relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and distances the U.S. from Iran, Saudi Arabia’s adversary. KtVA

Saudi Arabia Relaxes Rules For Women

“If you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country, you’re not going to get too close to the top.”
-Bill Gates said of Saudi Arabia in 2007 World Economic Forum meeting

“The Saudi government’s denial of basic rights to women is not only wrong, it hurts Saudi Arabia’s economic development, modernization, and prosperity.”
-Barbara Boxer

It’s about the economy. A need for increased female labor participation and being attractive to Western investment.

Saudi Arabia can not remain a strictly oil-driven economy.  Its “Vision 2030” plan seeks to increase Saudi Arabia’s non-oil revenue as it faces growing deficits and depletion of financial assets within five years.

On May 4, the King Salman of Saudi Arabia issued a decree concerning opportunities for women in his country.

This decree has two parts. The first part orders government agencies to list services that women can seek from the government without permission from a male guardian (usually a father or husband). Until now women could not obtain government services without the presence and permission of a male guardian. The second part of the decree directs organizations to provide transportation for female employees, in a country in which women are not permitted to drive…

These changes are not drastic liberalizations. However, they could present significant improvement in the lives of many women. It is not clear yet which government services will become available to women now, but there is a hope that this can lead to greater economic and even social autonomy. Some in the country believe that this decree means that women will no longer need a guardian’s consent to obtain a passport, work outside the home and receive medical care. Forbes

Saudi – Israel Alliance Comes Into The Daylight

A growing Israeli-Saudi alliance that has been kept hidden is coming out into the daylight.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Shortly before al-Jubeir spoke, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on the Arab world to help put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The Palestinians do not have a capacity to sign a final status agreement with Israel,” he said. “It is possible only as a part of [an] all regional solution. We must sign simultaneously a regional solution with the Arab world and [the] Palestinians.” JOL

After Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on the Arab world to help put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that he believes that the conflict will be resolved this year.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir spoke at the 53rd Munich Security Conference today about the option of achieving regional cooperation in order to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “I believe that 2017 will be a year when a number of challenges in the Middle East will be resolved,” he said, adding that Saudi Araba is ready to do what is necessary in order to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. JOL

Iran

Al-Jubeir also sounded optimistic about the Trump administration, saying that the US president and Riyadh both want to destroy ISIS and stop Iran from gaining too much power. “Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world,” al-Jubeir said. “It’s determined to upend the order in the Middle East.” JOL

Saudi Arabia and Israel both called on Sunday for a new push against Iran, signaling a growing alignment in their interests, while U.S. lawmakers promised to seek new sanctions on the Shi’ite Muslim power.

Turkey also joined the de facto united front against Tehran as Saudi and Israeli ministers rejected an appeal from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for Sunni Gulf Arab states to work with Tehran to reduce violence across the region. Reuters

Nationalism and Transnationalism

President Trump’s nationalist sensibility, “America First”, has shattered the globalist elitist consensus.

Nationalists see patriotism as a virtue; they think their country and its culture are unique and worth preserving. This is a real moral commitment, not a pose to cover up racist bigotry. Some nationalists do believe that their country is better than all others, and some nationalisms are plainly illiberal and overtly racist.

But as many defenders of patriotism have pointed out, you love your spouse because she or he is yours, not because you think your spouse is superior to all others. Nationalists feel a bond with their country, and they believe that this bond imposes moral obligations both ways: Citizens have a duty to love and serve their country, and governments are duty bound to protect their own people. Governments should place their citizens interests above the interests of people in other countries. American-Interest

Nationalist strengthen allies to minimize U.S. overseas military deployments while still securing American interests.

The same economic forces that were transforming the world after the Cold War had salvaged “Palestine”. Arafat had lost his sponsors in Moscow, but his new sugar daddy’s name was “Globalism”.

The Cold War had been the focus of international affairs. What replaced it was the conviction that a new world tied together by international commerce, the internet and international law would be born.

The demands of a clan in Hebron used to be able to hijack the attention of the world because the scope of the clash between Capitalism and Communism could globalize any local conflict. Globalization was just as insistent on taking local conflicts and making them the world’s business through its insistence that every place was connected. The terrorist blowing up an Israeli pizzeria affected stock prices in New York, the expansion prospects of a company in China and the risk of another terrorist attack in Paris. And interconnectedness, from airplane hijacking to plugging into the international’s left alliance of global protest movements, had become the  best weapon of Islamic terrorists.

But now globalization is dying. And its death may just take “Palestine” with it.

A new generation of leaders is rising who are actively hostile to globalization. Trump and Brexit were the most vocal rebukes to transnationalism. But polls suggest that they will not be the only ones. The US and the UK, once the vanguards of the international order, now have governments that are competitively seeking national advantages rather than relying on the ordered rules of the transnational safety net. Read full article at FrontPageMag

Saudi Arabia Deports 40,000 Muslim Pakistanis, Citing Terrorism Concerns

Saudi Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chairman of the security committee calls “for thoroughly scrutinizing the Pakistanis before they are recruited for work in the Kingdom.”

Saudi Arabia has deported a staggering 40,000 Pakistani migrant workers in the span of just four months, citing terrorism concerns.

The Saudi Gazette reported last week that “a number of Pakistanis were held in the crimes of drug trafficking, thefts, forgery and physical assault.” Authorities feared that some of the migrant workers were linked with ISIS, or as the Saudis call the terror group, Daesh. Other migrants were deported due to expired residency and work permits.

“Against this backdrop, Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chairman of the security committee of the Shoura Council, called for thoroughly scrutinizing the Pakistanis before they are recruited for work in the Kingdom,” added the Gazette. “He asked for more closer coordination with the concerned authorities in Pakistan to thoroughly check those coming to work in the Kingdom due to the involvement of a number of Pakistanis in security issues.”…

Is Saudi Arabia immune from the charge of Islamophobia because its leaders are Muslim? Or, better yet, is the Left’s entire hysterical crusade against Trump’s “Islamophobia” a red herring meant to delegitimize the political opposition DailyWire