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Cyber wars could be better than rubber bullets
By Ray Hanania — I quickly took notice when it was reported that someone, possibly Saudi computer geeks, had broken into the Israeli banking system to steal Israeli credit card numbers.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (he’s the smart one) vowed to avenge the “terrorist act” by “Saudi terrorists.” Ayalon may have exaggerated the extent of the theft, though. Chances are the majority of the stolen credit cards belong to “Israelis” who are actually living in the United States.
But knowing how tough the Israelis are on violence, and on Arab members of the Knesset who think they have free speech without consequences, I fully expected Israel to launch an retaliatory cyber-strike against the Saudis.
So did the Saudis; they quickly announced that due to fears Israel would to act on its threats, planned reforms giving women the right to vote were being suspended.
I think one of the Saudi Sheiks huffed at Ayalon’s threats, declaring, “We don’t need credit cards.”
Why would we steal them when we own everything already?” Iran’s mercurial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad didn’t want to miss an opportunity to jump into the pool of another international incident. He issued a fatwa declaring Israel and the Saudis “Great Satans” because apparently, in Iran, the only people who have credit cards are the infidels and wealthy mullahs who wear religious garb in public but are the first in the line at Dubai’s international airport changing rooms to shed their veils and their holier-than-thou attitudes.
Feeling left out of the international crisis (again) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that one of the credit card numbers stolen was actually his. He hinted through advisors that he suspected the cyber-theft was actually an Israeli “inside job” aimed at covering up the poisoning of the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, not wanting Abbas to one-up him on leadership, was quick to respond to a question about the credit card crisis from burka-clad and nikab-veiled Arab journalists in the Gaza Strip.
“We refuse to renounce our refusal to recognize the Zionist entity, compromise on land or give up on our demand for control of al-Quds – not the newspaper, of course, I’m talking about the city!” Ayalon’s threats should not be taken lightly, though. It’s very possible that the Mossad will organize a hit squad made up of their top agents. I imagine they’ll all be dressed to the nines in Prada, carrying Louis Vuitton purses, with dresses by Donatella Versace and ruby-red lipstick named after Ehud Barak.
I always wondered after Barak led that assault on Beirut so many years ago why he didn’t do a Paul Newman. Newman launched a very successful salad dressing brand. Barak could have launched a whole clothing line and put new meaning behind the phrase “dressed to kill.”
When they go to purchase the disguises for the Mossad hit squad, there is a slim possibility their credit cards will be declined.
Hmmm. This credit card war could cause a major international scandal.
Of course, there is a silver lining in all of this.
When we have our international leaders screaming about credit cards and cyber-war, that means they’re not firing real weapons at each other.
In the Middle East, that could be a good thing.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, media consultant, standup comedian and Chicago radio talk show host. www.RadioChicagoland.com.)
This post has already been read 71 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com