Tag Archives | israel

A beginner’s guide to Lebanon’s oil and gas

oil

Check out this nice informative page created by Executive magazine for everything you need to know about Lebanon’s oil and gas.

The page has information about how much oil does Lebanon have, how did we end up falling behind out neighbors in exploring our fields, who’s holding the negotiations from our side with the oil and gas giants in the world, where will the money go, and what is the dispute with Israel about.

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Will Julian Khazzouh play in the Lebanese basketball league?

There are some things in this country that are meant to never be understood. Things like whether sports players who have earlier played in the Israeli leagues are allowed to play in Lebanon or not.

The basketball player you see in the photo above is Julian Khazzouh, a Lebanese who was born in Australia where he played for the Sydney Kings in addition to some other Europan teams and Israel’s Ironi Ramat Gan. He also recently joined the Sagesse squad and is supposed to start playing for them starting the upcoming season.

Now you all know it was made clear last year that foreign players who previously received a work permit in Israel are not allowed to play for the Lebanese sports club.

However, Julian Khazzouh used his Australian passport to play for the Israel team, but started using the Lebanese ID he already has when he came here, and practically the law doesn’t apply to him anymore since it just mentions foreign players!

Moreover, it’s very clear for the Lebanese that traveling to Israel or dealing with Israelis is against the law, yet the Lebanese Basketball Federation is still to this moment going in discussions to decide whether Khazzouh will be given a permit to play or not! How on earth is this a hard case to solve?!

What’s even more shameful than Sagesse signing this guy is reading people like Elie Mechantaf defending him!

“We solved the issue with the Lebanese judiciary, as he [Khazzouh] played in Israel with his Australian passport,” Sagesse’s former captain and current president Elie Mchantaf said.

“[Khazzouh] has now regained Lebanese nationality and the law does not prevent him from playing here.

“We are working lawfully regarding this issue, and I assure everyone that he will be present in Sagesse’s first game of the season,” he added. Source

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Lebanon ranks 69th in the Happy Planet Index

The New Economic Foundation issued the Happy Planet Index for 2012 showing how well are nations doing to keep their inhabitants living a good life, while ensuring to maintain the conditions for future generations to do the same.

The index was calculated following this formula:
Happy Planet Index = (Experienced well-being x life expectancy) / Ecological footprint

The Ecological footprint is by the way measures how quick humans consume nature capital compared to how much time earth takes to renew them.

Anyway, the report shows Lebanon in the 69th position with a life expectancy of 72.6 years, which is quite surprising knowing how much we nag here!

Globally, Costa Rica came first while Botswana was ranked last (151st). On the other hand, Algeria came first among the Arab countries in the 26th place, and Israel was ranked 15th.

You can download the full report here.

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Claire Danes in Beirut

So as I mentioned in a previous post, the events in the first episodes of “Homeland” take place in Beirut, but its producers decided to shoot these scenes in Tel Aviv and make it look like Beirut as shown in the above photo. Still, the result didn’t seem pretty convincing to Karl from Karl reMarks blog, and so he offered the below alternatives!

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Beirut featured in Homeland TV series

Fatima Ali, the first wife of a Hezbollah district commander, has information about an attack on the United States. Fatima refuses to speak to anyone but Carrie, who knows another secret from having recruited her eight years ago: She loves Julia Roberts movies. (What did she think of her in “Charlie Wilson’s War”?) This leads CIA counterterrorism director David Estes (David Harewood) and avuncular CIA vet Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) to pull Carrie back into the business for a three-day, one-off mission to Beirut, Lebanon. (The Beirut scenes, however, were filmed in Israel.) Source

Funnily enough, the scenes in Beirut were all filmed in Tel Aviv.

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A new malware targets Lebanese Bank customers!

Kaspersky Labs recently discovered a new malware called “Gauss” with a module that aims to capture Lebanese bank accounts login credentials. And the targeted banks included Bank of Beirut, EBLF, Blom Bank, Byblos Bank, Fransabank, and Credit Libanais.

The article suggests the malware has been created by the US and Israeli governments and was not intended to steal money from client accounts, but rather to trace the source of funding to certain individuals (Hezbollah members I suppose).

The spyware, dubbed Gauss after a name found in one of its main files, also has a module that targets bank accounts in order to capture login credentials. The malware targets accounts at several banks in Lebanon, including the Bank of Beirut, EBLF, BlomBank, ByblosBank, FransaBank and Credit Libanais. It also targets customers of Citibank and PayPal.

The researchers don’t know if the attackers used the bank component in Gauss simply to spy on account transactions, or to steal money from targets. But given that the malware was almost certainly created by nation-state actors, its goal is likely not to steal for economic gain, but rather for counterintelligence purposes. Its aim, for instance, might be to monitor and trace the source of funding going to individuals or groups, or to sabotage political or other efforts by draining money from their accounts.

Still, that doesn’t seem like the only purpose for that malware, since the people at Kaspersky are still working to crack the larger part of its code and identify what is it responsible for.

Make sure to read the very interesting and worrying report from Wired.com here.

I know protecting your network from a nation-state-created malware is quite hard, but I hope Lebanese banks are now taking the necessary measures to protect themselves from such attacks and eventually safeguard our information.

 Thank you Ibrahim Lahoud

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AUB students demonstrate against Donna Shalala during commencement

Several dozen people disrupted the Master’s graduation ceremony at AUB Friday evening to protest against the awarding of an honorary degree to Donna Shalala due to her support for engagement with Israel.

Shalala, president of the University of Miami in Florida and a former U.S. secretary of health, has three honorary degrees from universities in Israel, and does not support a cultural boycott of the country.

Around 40 protesters heckled Shalala as she began her speech of thanks, shouting “boycott Israel.” Some held a large banner that read “Boycott Zionist Shalala.” Source

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33 Days – A Lebanese movie

33 Days is a Lebanese movie taking place in the summer of 2006 when Israel launched its war on Lebanon after Hezbollah succeeded in capturing two Israeli soldiers on the borders.

This is the second movie about the 2006 war after “Under the bombs“, and portrays what people who were resisting the Israeli invasion were going through in the town of Aita El Shaab.

However, since Iranians have contributed in its production, the movie has been banned from showing in Lebanon’s most popular theaters like Empire, City Mall, and Grand Cinemas ABC and is currently being shown at Planete Abraj, Concord, Las Salinas, and Saida Mall. What a shame!

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Hariri’s tweet

Reading all these articles in the Lebanese media slamming Saad Hariri for replying by mistake to a “good morning” tweet by the Israeli ministry of defense spokesperson Avichay Adraee was quite normal. It just proved that some Lebanese journalists have really nothing to do sometimes other than “philosophizing” a two words tweet!

But has anyone found it weird how it’s very acceptable in Israel for a high ranking official to initiate a conversation with a Lebanese person? Don’t they consider us their enemies?  I just tried searching for an article in Israel criticizing Avichay Adraee for his tweet to Saad Hariri and failed to find any!

Even if you check his twitter account now, you’ll see that Adraee went on and simply apologized to Saad Hariri for disturbing him!

Oh and did you notice how whoever took the screenshot above, supposedly to criticize Hariri for that tweet, is following Avichay Adraee? Hypocricy much?

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Israeli pilot getting all artistic

Parallel lines are so 2011! Israeli pilots are flying with style this year.

Photo via ramla8

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