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Israel’s ‘get to the bunker’ timings 21, May 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
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On every fridge in Israel

Harvard’s MESH shows this chart in a post titled “On Every Fridge in Israel”. It is shows the time that Israeli’s have to get to their hardened basement-bunker in the event of the warning siren going off. Whilst this is a tragic ‘sign of the times’ one can but wonder as to the impossibility of such a chart appearing for the Palestinians.

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Al Wahhab’s Jewish origins – according to Saddam 10, April 2008

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Middle East, Saudi Arabia.
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It is well known that Saudi Arabia was born out of an agreement between the Muhammed ibn Abd Al Wahhab and Muhammed Ibn Saud in the 18th century. Ibn Saud would provide the means and protection for Al Wahhab to spread his word, and he would in turn provide religious sanctification of Saud’s rule. This particular deal is still intact today. Because of the central nature of Wahhabism to Saudi Arabia and of the central nature of Saudi Arabia to modern politics (because of its masses oil and its provision of the majority of the 9-11 hijackers if nothing else) Wahhabism has been well documented. However, some new infHormation has been found on this suggesting that the grandfather of Muhammad ibn Abd Al Wahhab was, in fact, from Jewish origin in Turkey.

Perhaps at this stage, before anyone gets angry about this, I ought to say that this new information comes from a recently translated and declassified Iraqi intelligent report from the Saddam era. Indeed, there are ‘questions’ as to the veracity of this report and, I would suggest, one need only think of Comical Ali, the former Iraqi spokesperson to get an idea of just how much truth and fiction intermingled under Saddam.

Bernard Haykel over at MESH where I found this story makes two interesting points. Firstly, that just such a spurious story would perfectly dovetail with the Iraqi’s desperate desire to vilify and denounce Wahhabis. Indeed, he goes on to suggest that this is yet more evidence that strongly supports the notion that Al Qaeda (quasi-Wahhabi in origin) had nothing whatsoever to do with the Iraqi regime, being as Saddam patently hated such groups: hence the report. Secondly, he says that this document “echoes a well-known Turkish conspiracy theory—probably fabricated by one Ayyub Sabri Pasha—which claims that the British sought to weaken the Ottoman empire by creating the Wahhabi movement.”

N.B – There are some interesting (apparantly) true conspiracy theories over at the Times.