Saudi switches investment from Lebanon to Israel

An article lifted from one of my favourite blogs “the fanonite” http://fanonite.wordpress.com

When I used to live in Dubai (a place described by one friend as Xanadu-meets-Disneyland) the parking lot of the American University would fill up with Rolls Royces and other expensive cars with Saudi and other Gulf state registration plates whenever Ramadan would end . They would be there to celebrate the end of the holy month by helping themselves to Eastern European prostitutes at the nearby exclusive nightclub.

One of the reasons they were so upset with Hizbullah, when it chose to confront Israel last year, is that Saudis had invested billions in Lebanon to turn it into another Dubai, with easy access to luxury hotels with associated hedonistic appurtenances. It turned out to be a bad investment: the regions endemic instability ultimately resulted in another war, and Israel proceeded to destroy billions worth of property.

It appears there is no place on the Mediterranean coast that is safe enough to invest not-so-hard earned petrodollars in, save Israel itself. But the Saudis – a proud arab nation; champions of the Palestinian cause; and self proclaimed leaders of the Muslim world — couldn’t really do business with a criminal regime which is brutalizing the mostly Arab-Muslim population of Palestine, now could they?

Jerusalem Post reports:

Plans by Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal to build an eight-story hotel in Tel Aviv together with the Abulafia family of Jaffa are in their early stages. But too much publicity could doom the project.

Bin Talal – the world’s eighth-wealthiest man and the wealthiest Arab, according to Forbes – is eyeing a beachfront property facing the Opera Building on Herbert Samuel Road to build a 150-room, Oriental-style hotel. Bin Talal’s regular architect, London-based Basil al-Bayati, is said to be in charge of planning for the project.

Israel Gudovich, an Israeli architect who once was Tel Aviv’s city engineer, said the plans were still in their very early stages. “We will know more in two weeks, when I meet with Basil al-Bayati in London,” he told The Jerusalem Post Thursday. Gudovich said press coverage – “this Israeli excitement” which saw an item on the project make headlines in Yediot Aharonot’s business section on Thursday – could scare the project away.

City engineer Chezy Berkowitz confirmed that initial discussions had taken place, but said reports that architectural plans had been submitted to the municipality were incorrect. “No plans have been submitted for approval to planning committees,” he told the Post , adding that the start of construction was months away.

Another glorious peace initiative by the ever helpful Saudis. At a time when academics, churches, trade unions, businesses and activists are campaigning to end the creeping genocide of the Palestinians by bringing economic and political pressure to bear on Israel through a campaign of cultural, academic and economic boycott, the Saudis ensure that visitors to Israel are not deprived of exotic whores or luxury accomodation.

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