a different side of Israel

Tag: Dubai

Chechen First Lady Brings Fashion Show to Dubai

Medni Kadyrova, the first lady of Chechnya, walks down the catwalk donning a beautiful traditional Islamic dress in front of an audience in Dubai. 20 more veiled models soon follow behind her clad in their own custom, silk wardrobe. Each model was covered from top to bottom; yet, the outfit still manages to provide an outline of their slender figures. Traditional wedding garments were also displayed.

The event was organized by Firdaws Fashion House, which was launched by Kaydrova three years ago. It is the first show to take place outside of Chechnya. Kaydrova founded Firdaws in 2009, which was inspired by her desire to bring a new sense of fashion based on customary dresses of Islamic fashion.

According to Zeina Habib, a public relations agency who helped put the show together, stated that Dubai was selected for the event due to the friendly relation between Chechnya and the emirates. Dubai has also been long known as a fashion hub and was the ideal spot for such a show to make its debut outside of Chechnya.

Kaydrova stated that her inspirations for the designs are inspired by the grace of Arab women. She further added that the fashion show in Dubai is just the first in a series of shows that she hoped would soon follow in other regions.

Kadyrov and her husband, Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, have been harshly criticized for favoring Islamic law and regarding it as superior to the laws of the Russian federations. Furthermore, the Kadyrov’s insistence that all women wear headscarves and veils has also been met with intense backlash. Nevertheless, the controversy does not take away from the Dubai fashion show, which is nonpolitical and strictly about promoting a more modest style of wardrobe for women. There is no reason to bring politics into a fashion show that is merely displaying an alternative sense of fashion.

Kissed by the English Rose

England’s Message

British-Israeli FlagBritain will expel an Israeli diplomat on Tuesday to reprove Israel for allegedly using forged British passports in the assassination of Hamas operative, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel room in Dubai.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband was supposed to address Parliament over the issue, following an investigation into the use of the 12 fake U.K. passports. Britain’s Foreign Office would not provide any details of Miliband’s statement in advance.

Israel’s foreign ministry confirmed that the country’s ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor was called to London’s Foreign Office on Monday for talks, but did not give further details.

Diplomatic expulsions are a rarely used sanction against foreign governments. Britain kicked out four Russian diplomats in 2007 over the country’s refusing to extradite to London one suspect in the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko.

Hang on a Second England

Needless to say Knesset members are outraged by this action – remember, Israel has confessed nothing, further, nothing can be proven in the smooth hit. MK Arieh Eldad suggested that perhaps in response a British diplomat should be expelled from the Jewish Country. In an interview on UK’s Sky News he said:

“…I think the British are being hypocritical and I do not wish to insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty. Who gave the British the right to judge us on the war on terror?”

Eldad was alluding to the Passover haggadah, passed down to him from his father, the late Lehi leader Yisrael Eldad:

“When my father held the seder in Latroun before 500 prisoners he read Chad Gadya (One goat song sung at Passover) to the British prison commander. And the question was posed: If the goat is righteous, then the cat is evil, then the dog is righteous, then the stick is evil – and in the end it turns out that, heaven forbid, God Almighty is evil. What is the answer he gave to the Briton? The answer was that ‘the goat may be righteous, the cat may be evil, but you are the dog. You Briton. Who gave you the right to judge?'”

Eldad’s fellow party member Michael Ben-Ari was asked if he agrees with the comparison and said, “Dogs are usually loyal, the British may be dogs, but they are not loyal to us. They seem to be loyal to the anti-Semitic establishment.

“Unfortunately, the Israeli government and Israeli diplomacy play into their hands. We have learned that a dog must be called by its name. This is anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism.”

Chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima) said that Israel should desist from responding to the crisis with Britain:

“I believe that Israel’s abstaining from giving any kind of response at the height of the Dubai crisis was right. Now that the height of the crisis is behind us, it is certainly all the more logical to refrain from making matters worse.”

He further said:

“Over the years, Israel has adopted a policy of not responding to allegations made against it in such matters. This is sometimes used to accuse Israel of things it has nothing to do with.”

Britain plans to formally announce that Israel is behind the cloning of British passports used in the assassination of the Hamas official.

Last Vacation in Dubai

It’d make a good spy thriller novel, you know?
Those keepers of law and justice, the Dubai police have released the names of new suspects linked to the slaying of a top Hamas operative and founder Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

Wednesday saw the Dubai police release the names of 15 suspects, bringing to 26 the number of people suspected. At least 15 of these names match those of real persons who live in Israel. All of them say that their identities were used without permission.

Israel still has not confirmed or denied involvement in the killing. Perhaps they never will. Israeli security officials at least admit knowledge that al-Mabhouh was involved in smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip with Iranian help and was wanted in the deaths of two Israeli soldiers who were captured and killed in 1989. But nothing can be proven in the assassination.

Five of the names released on Wednesday appear in Israeli telephone directories, and Australia’s foreign minister said that two other names belong to Australians living in Israel. An eighth, Roy Cannon‘s name, matches that of a 62-year-old man who immigrated to Israel from Britain.

His son, Raphael Cannon told The Associated Press that his father had moved to Israel in 1979.
The photographs on the passports released by the Dubai police, though, do not match the people whose names were used, and several countries have said that the documents were either forged or fraudulently obtained.

Although Dubai’s police chief, Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, said he was nearly “100 percent” certain that Mossad was behind the killing, (suffocation with a pillow) the new details added at least one incongruous detail: Two of the suspects left Dubai on a ship bound for Iran, Israel’s archenemy, a seemingly unlikely move for alleged Israeli agents.
Australia, Britain, Ireland and France have all seek clarifications from Israeli diplomats.

Australia’s Herald Sun has a good description of the hit:

“The assassination is an old-fashioned tale of a “honey pot” theory, look-outs in tennis gear, and killers in trilbys, fake moustaches and wigs.

Their target was under surveillance from the moment he boarded an Emirates flight in the Syrian capital Damascus on January 20.

It is believed he was flying to Dubai to organise a new consignment of weapons from Iran that could strike Israel from Hamas strongholds on the Gaza strip.

His killers were waiting for him. From midnight on January 19, at least 11 members of the team began arriving in Dubai separately on flights from Zurich, Rome, Frankfurt and Paris.

They used duplicated passports of citizens from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Australia, and were co-ordinated throughout the operation from a command centre in Austria. Everything was paid for in cash. Their associates are suspected to have already been in Dubai.

They formed two teams, one for surveillance, the other to eliminate the target.

Al-Mabhouh arrived in Dubai at 3pm on January 20, without a bodyguard.

Collecting his baggage from the carousel, he had to walk around one of his adversaries as he made his way to passport control. He was watched all the way to the taxi rank and followed to the Al-Bustan Rotan hotel.

Two men in tennis gear were standing by the reception desk where he checked in at 3.25pm. The portly man with the moustache and his taller friend looked just like any tourists fresh from the court.

But they followed the Hamas commander into the lift, and he was one step closer to his death.

Within minutes the death squad knew which room he was in and within an hour the alleged leader, using the identity of French passport holder Peter Elvinger, rang from another hotel in the city and reserved room 237, directly across the hall from al-Mabhouh’s room 230.

The team then began a rotating system of surveillance, moving casually around the hotel and watching for him to leave his room.

Conscious of all the CCTV cameras in the hotel, the agents used disguises such as wigs, facial hair and glasses.

One was caught on camera entering a hotel toilet bald, and walking out with a full head of hair and glasses.

Just before 8pm, al-Mabhouh left his room, deposited some documents in the hotel safe and left the hotel for a walk. He had less than an hour to live.

Four men arrived at room 237 and waited for his return.

At 8.25pm the Hamas commander returned. There is no CCTV footage of the hallway outside room 230, but several theories exist about how the assassins were able to enter the room for the kill.”

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