The Happy Arab News Service

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dead or Red ?

Last updated: August 07, 2008

March 22, 2007

The Economist has its doubts about how much red is better than dead. In its 'Better red than dead' the 'Economist' struggles to find anything sensible about the latest costly Shimon Peres' project of saving the Dead Sea. The sea, losing about one meter of its level each year, is expected to stabilize only at the levels that spell disaster for the environment and for the tourism and spa industry flourishing around the sea.

The mega-projects, envisioned by the last Peres 'make peace, save the Dead Sea' initiative, include a plan to build a 200km-long conduit to bring water from the Red Sea to stabilize the water level of the Dead one. The costs of just the conduit itself may go as high as $5 billion. According to The Economist:

Environmentalists, though, are sceptical. Research by the Geological Survey of Israel suggests that sea brine added to the hyper-salty, denser Dead Sea will float on the surface, mixing in only over years or decades. If so, what draws the tourists in will be lost, and algal blooms could turn the water from blue to reddish-brown.

The economics are also dubious. Red Sea water would have to climb 125m before running downhill to the Dead Sea. Once desalinated, it would have to climb again by up to 1.4km to reach Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian cities. The cost of all this pumping, according to one American study, might outweigh the energy gains from the downhill run.

The Economist is waiting for a study of the feasibility of the project due to be started this year by the World Bank. But The Economist is already at loss to explain a mysterious economic quantity called the “peace dividend”, not a typical variable for the World Bank. Calculating peace dividends is never easy. In particular in a region that resembles a super active volcano constantly erupting with bloody civil wars and viciously violent insurgencies. Given Shimon Peres' record as a peace maker and the fact that the Red Sea connects to the Persian Gulf and through it to the global oceanic system, it should come as no surprise if the latest Peres' peace project ends starting a global World War III. All this greatly complicates calculating this elusive peace dividend.

Finally it appears that despite the fact that apparently Shimon Peres managed to convince World Bank officials to use some very dubious variables in their study, he does not see himself in any way obliged to comply with its conclusions.

And in any case, says an adviser to Mr Peres, the plan's progress is “not dependent” on the World Bank study. So what exactly is the study for?


The Economist should have better asked - what exactly is the whole project for?

The chief architect of the failed Oslo process is obviously still living in his socialist past of a few decades ago and retained much of his enthusiasm for huge Soviet style mega-projects that never fail to astonish one by their magnitude and almost as much by their impracticality. Among other projects, Peres' visions include creating a huge pan Arab - Israeli economic common market spanning continents, establishing silicon valleys and biotechnology steppes at the border between Israel and Jordan and planting every inch of the Negev desert with flowers.

The most ambitious of all Peres' visions was of course the Oslo process, which he envisioned as the first step towards creating a new Middle East. The new Middle East of Shimon Peres was Middle East in name only, while in substance it was supposed to be a replica of the European Union in which Peres planned to unite the Israeli democracy with the Arab dictatorships and Sharia states. The Oslo process happened to be a mistake of colossal proportions and Shimon Peres as a chief architect of the whole thing bears much of the responsibility for its unhappy end, which he never really admitted.

Shimon Peres, the King of Peace Making

While it's unreasonable to blame Peres for the delusions at the time shared by too many people, it would be fair and of a good taste, if Shimon Peres would have just quietly left the scene, his reputation as an architect of huge historic mega-projects having been so thoroughly compromised by the Oslo. For many his lingering and his insistence on getting a second chance have finally become too irritating. Israeli political culture does not worship the concept of personal responsibility. Otherwise with a Taliban state across the border in Gaza and with another one having just lobbed 4,000 Katyushas into Israel in the North, neither Peres nor Ehud Barak would have ever dared to show their faces in public.

Lion, the King of Nature

About 10 years ago Shimon Peres took to regularly amusing Israelis by joking that when the time comes he won't forget to die. This indeed inspired some people to believe that one day they may finally see the end of the guy and his grand visions. A few days ago 83 year old Peres reiterated his old promise, but this time the audience failed to get amused, as by now the overwhelming majority of Israelis have plainly lost all hope to ever see any progress on this issue in their lifetime. Facing the tough choice of whether to risk Shimon Peres coming up with another peace initiative or to sacrifice the two seas for the sake of keeping the old man busy, many Israelis clearly prefer the last one.

September 18, 2007

Peres says sun is more democratic than Saudis

Tue Sep 18

JERUSALEM (AFP) - President Shimon Peres touted Israel as a future think thank for solutions to global warming, quipping that the sun was a more reliable resource than oil from Saudi Arabia.

"Israel in my judgment can and should become a laboratory, or a pilot plant, for most of the solutions which are necessary in our time," he told a news conference with foreign journalists.

"More than a think tank, a pilot plant in Israel," Peres said, adding that his country was seeking to produce environmentally sound cars in cooperation with foreign countries and to develop solar power.

"We have decided that we should try to be the first country to use cars based on batteries totally. We can do it because from a transportation point of view, our smallness is on our side.

"We are very close to concluding an agreement to build battery cars here. It will be done with a French company, an American company. We will do it together with the Jordanians. It will provide 50,000 jobs," Peres said.

Government officials in Amman told AFP they had no information about the planned project. (!!! ? מה יהיה אתך,פרס)

. . .

"We want to go from oil energy to solar energy. We feel that the sun is more reliable than the Saudis. The sun is more permanent, more democratic and... more objective (!!! NB)," he said.


September 20, 2007

Peres brings democracy to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH - Following the surprising announcement by president of Israel Shimon Peres that the sun is more democratic than the Saudis, the Saudi king has convened an urgent meeting of the Ulema (the supreme counsel of Islamic scholars) to discuss possible ways of abolishing Sharia courts and establishing a true multi-party parliamentarian democracy in Saudi Arabia.

Source: The Happy Arab News Service

August 07, 2008

Saudi Hawks vs Electric Cars

Half way through 2008, Shimon Peres seems to be still struggling to find understanding with the Saudis. An Israeli commercial promoting use of electric cars caused outrage in the Gulf. Presumably the ad hinted at Saudi displeasure with the latest advancements in electric cars technology.

The Saudis are shown leaving a hotel and encountering the new, fuel-efficient vehicle. One man pounds his fists on the car and is then held back by his companions as he shouts at it, "Hawks should peck at you day and night."

At the end of the commercial, the voice-over says, "It's clear the oil companies won't like you."

"It's my opinion that Nissan made a huge error by igniting these [racist] instincts," official Hani al-Wafa told MBC TV, a Saudi-run station headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. "We need to apply punishments... against these things. In order for Nissan to keep its interests in the region, it must apologize."

Source: Jerusalem Post

Other Saudi officials have also expressed their indignation, wondering how on earth these doomed to perdition but otherwise harmless polytheists from the Far East could fell so low as to be cooperating with these sons of apes and pigs in running such a racist advertising campaign. The latest scandal is only aggravated by the fact, that, despite Saudi claims to the opposite, some people keep insisting that the Saudis don't like electric cars.

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