Israel

The owners of the Miami Heat are also the builders of illegal Israeli Settlements in Palestine

The owners of the Miami Heat are also the builders of illegal Israeli Settlements in Palestine

The Miami Heat is largely an Israeli-owned organization. The Arison family, one of the wealthiest families in the world, has owned the team from its early years in the 1980s. Its patriarch, Ted Arison, was the son of Romanian settlers who, in 1882, helped (along with Baron Edmond James de Rothschild) to establish of Zikhron Ya’akov, one of the first Jewish agricultural colonies in Palestine in the late nineteenth century. His father, Meir, was a multi-millionaire in his own right, owning the largest shipping company in Palestine under British Mandate. Ted served in the nascent Israeli army after the unilateral Israeli declaration of independence in 1948 that literally wiped Palestine off the map.

In 1990, Ted Arison renounced his U.S. citizenship, in an effort to avoid estate tax in the United States and returned to Israel to found Arison Investments. In 1997, he led a business consortium that purchased a controlling share in Israel’s Bank Hapoalim for more than $1 billion, a deal that marked the largest privatization in Israel’s history. Sadly, his died just nine months shy of being able to reap the benefits of his tax avoidance scheme.

The Arison Group, in addition to its Carnival and Miami Heat holdings, also owns the Israeli Shikun & Binui construction and real estate development behemoth which operates not only in Israel, Asia and Africa, but also in the occupied and colonized Palestinian territories.

“God can always help; we need him on our side against Dallas,” joked Katz, back in 2006 when the Heat were poised to play the Mavericks. “Every Israeli must support us; they must go the Western Wall and pray for us. Miami Heat is no less Israeli than Maccabi. This is also a group with Israeli ownership in which many Americans play.”

Read more here.

Sidi Nazim Baksh on the controversy over the visits of Habib Ali Al-Jifry and Shaykh Ali Gomaa to Masjid Alaqsa in Jerusalem

Sidi Nazim Baksh on the controversy over the visits of Habib Ali Al-Jifry and Shaykh Ali Gomaa to Masjid Alaqsa in Jerusalem

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By Nazim Baksh

The Ikhwan and the Salafist political parties might be making electoral gains in the Middle East, but it appears a growing chorus of religious scholars is determined to test their commitment to the democratic ideals they so ardently espouse.

Among the scholars who are refusing to dance to the Ikhwan’s tune are Habib Ali Al-Jifry and Shaykh Ali Gomaa. Shaykh Ali Gomaa is Egypt’s Grand Mufti, a position that carries the weight of centuries of Muslim legal history. Habib Ali, on the other hand, is a rare type of public intellectual, admired by many Muslims both in the East and the West for the clarity of his religious commitments.

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“The only Democracy in the Middle East”: Women not allowed to speak at conference for Women

In Jerusalem, women are voiceless at a decidedly womanly event

The controversial exclusion of women from various settings in Israel because of pressure from ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders reached a new level this week with a major conference on gynecological advances that is permitting only males to address the audience.

The conference on “Innovations in Gynecology/Obstetrics and Halacha [Jewish law]” is being held by the Puah Institute this Wednesday in Jerusalem. It will include such topics as “ovary implants,” “how to choose a suitable contraceptive pill” and “intimacy during rocket attacks,” in which there are many qualified female professionals, but none will be permitted to speak, at least not from the podium.

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Not saying Muslim countries aren’t women-friendly either (some are better than others), but Muslim countries don’t claim to be the “only Democracy in the Middle East”. Then again, Democracy in another country known as the “defender of the of the free world” pre-1900 didn’t allow Women to vote.

Just postin…