Egyptian Protesters Wise-Up, Attack Israeli and Saudi Embassies

Photo: EPA

Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Cairo suffered losses after this night’s looting in the city center, local media report. Rioters first attempted to break into the Israeli Embassy where they were resisted by police. Then dozens attacked the Saudi Embassy burning several diplomatic cars.

Security services managed to help six Israeli diplomats to escape to the airport. Now the whole mission has fled.

The unrest killed two people and 19 were arrested.

Saudi Arabia: The Teflon kingdom

While Afghanistan and Iraq were targeted quickly after 9/11, it’s a mystery why Riyadh’s support for bin Laden was a non-starter


Late in the day of Sept. 11 10 years ago, someone asked me who I thought the United States would blame for what had just happened in New York and Washington.

Without thinking about it too much I replied: “They’ll attack Afghanistan, but they should bomb Riyadh.”

A decade later I don’t see much reason to change my off-the-cuff judgment that it is in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, that the real source of global Islamic radicalism and support for terrorism is to be found.

And it is not just that the Saudi royal family and government have financed and encouraged the worldwide export of their brutally puritanical Wahhabist form of Islam.

Members of the Saudi royal family and government were directly involved in financing and facilitating the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Three senior royal princes have been named by one of bin Laden’s lieutenants as key supporters of al-Qaida and the attacks on New York and Washington.

All three died within one week in July 2002. The implication is that they were put to death by Saudi authorities in an attempt to placate the U.S. administration and minimize damage to relations with American officials.

Details of the Saudi involvement with al-Qaida, bin Laden and 9/11 were first set out by author Gerald Posner in his 2003 book Why America Slept. Many other writers, journalists and filmmakers have added details to the Saudi charge sheet since then.

A new book examining the relationship between Saudi Arabia, the Sept. 11 terrorists and the Bush White House, The Eleventh Day, by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, has just been published. One of the things this book takes a close look at is the 28-page section of the 2004 Congressional Joint Inquiry into the attacks, which was censored on the orders of president George W. Bush.

Several newspapers have reported that blanked-out sections of the 396page report dealt with Saudi involvement in the attacks. The censorship of those 28 pages is being continued by the administration of Barack Obama.

Bob Graham, the co-chair of the Congressional committee, is quoted by Summers and Swan as telling them his panel found “that the Saudis were facilitating, assisting, some of the hijackers. And my suspicion is that they were providing some assistance to most if not all of the hijackers. It’s my opinion that 9/11 could not have occurred but for the existence of an infrastructure of support within the United States.”

Financial support for bin Laden and his terrorist objectives by elements within the Saudi royal family and government was well known before the 2001 attacks. The CIA noted bin Laden’s transition in the 1990s from an ally in the war against the occupation by the Soviet Union of Afghanistan to a freelance sponsor of jihadist terror against the U.S.

But when in 1996 the CIA set up its first unit dedicated entirely to bin Laden and al-Qaida, it got absolutely no cooperation from the Saudi General Intelligence Department, then headed by Prince Turki al-Faisal.

A former head of intelligence for the Taliban, al-Qaida’s hosts and protectors in Afghanistan in the 1990s, has testified that in 1998 Prince Turki did a deal with bin Laden.

In return for bin Laden’s agreement not to attack Saudi targets, the Saudi government would provide funds for the Taliban and not seek bin Laden’s extradition.

In addition, the tens of millions of dollars in Saudi government money being channelled to bin Laden every year would continue.

By late morning on Sept. 11, 2001, it had been established that the attacks on New York and Washington had the hallmarks of a bin Laden, al-Qaida operation. And by the end of the next day, American officials knew that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

This created panic among the many members of bin Laden’s family and the royal family who were in the U.S. at the time. For reasons that have never been adequately explained, the Bush administration allowed four planes to take the Saudis out of the U.S. while all regular flights were still grounded. How many people on these planes might have been useful for American investigators to question and why they were not has never been made clear.

Among those to flee was well-known horse racing enthusiast and owner of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

After senior bin Laden aide Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan in 2002 he named Prince Ahmed as one of three Saudi princes who had actively supported the 9/11 attacks.

Soon afterward, in July 2002, all three died within a week. Prince Ahmed is said to have died of a heart attack following stomach surgery. Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah al-Saud supposedly died in a car crash while speeding to Prince Ahmed’s funeral. And Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, we are told, died of thirst. By this time the FBI had retraced the steps of the hijackers’ lives in the U.S. before the terrorist attacks. The stories of two in particular showed clear involvement by elements in the Saudi government.

Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, part of the team that crashed American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon, arrived in Los Angeles in January 2000.

Over the next 20 months they received Saudi government money and support through two Saudi officials. They were Fahad al-Thumairy, a diplomat appointed by the Saudi ministry of Islamic affairs to liaise with American Muslims, and Omar al-Bayoumi, an employee of the subsidiary of the Saudi Civil Aviation Administration.

Also involved in supporting the two hijackers was Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexican-born Islamic lecturer now hiding in his family home country, Yemen, who acts as an online recruiter for al-Qaida.

He inspired Fort Hood gunman Nidal Malik, the “Christmas Day Bomber” Umar Farouk, and wouldbe Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

Some of the money paid to Mihdhar and Hazmi while they prepared for 9/11 even came through Princess Haifa al-Faisal – the wife of longtime Saudi ambassador to Washington, and close personal friend of both George W. Bush and then CIA director George Tenet, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.

Prince Bandar is the son of the Saudi Crown Prince and is now the country’s defence minister.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Making Everyone Into Anglo-American Bitches

Re: Noble Energy to ignore Turkish threats on Cyprus

September 8 2011, 3:33 PM 
The real sick joke here is the fact that the americans/british/jews will get most of the pie.

The logical choice would be for Turkey and greece to form one nation along with cyprus and azerbaijan as well as north iraq, and share that wealth between this nation, instead of the snakes constantly getting their way.

This animosity and hatred between the greeks, Turks, cypriots, kurds, armenians etc only works to serve anglo-american interests, whose end goal is to make us all their b1tch. 

As long as these nations remain divided, the outcome is obvious. The anglo-american establishment will destroy everything about us and they have done wonders as it is.

[linked image]

Greece exists, not through the self-determination of its own people, but rather through the political designs of an external entity. Such that a Greece cannot exist unless others foreign to the nation demand it. This alone, explains why Greece will always remain a political and economic failure.

Cyprus Center of Zionist Storm, Massive Iranian Arms Seizure Explosion and Israeli Drilling Provocation

[Is gas drilling uproar a “red herring” to distract from potential revolution over Evangelos Florakis naval base investigation  (SEE: Violent Protests In Cyprus Over Naval Base Explosion )?]

Mari inquiry: Christofias not to blame in the least

Published on September 6, 2011
President Christofias arrives at yesterday’s hearing

TENSIONS rose during President Demetris Christofias’ testimony at the Mari inquiry yesterday after he offloaded all blame for the blast on his subordinates, claiming no one told him of the risks involved in storing the deadly munitions cargo.

Some of the relatives of the 13 men killed in the July 11 explosion shouted “murderer” at Christofias as he made to leave the packed hall where the inquiry is being held.

Police intervened to protect the President, threatening the son of one of the dead naval officer’s with arrest. It was only the intervention of investigator Polys Polyviou that stopped the situation from escalating further.

The relatives had been angered by Christofias’ total denial of any responsibility for the debacle during his questioning.

“No one told me of the risks,” Christofias told the inquiry.  “No I do not accept (personal responsibility), with all due respect.” He said the incident was the result of a “systems failure”.

Christofias was being quizzed by investigator Polys Polyviou on the events that led to the explosion of munitions seized in 2009 from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria, which not only claimed 13 lives but incapacitated the island’s main power station.

It was the first time in the history of the Republic that an incumbent president appeared before a public inquiry.

The President started his testimony by reading from a prepared 13-page document, in which he outlined the pressures Cyprus was under to confiscate the cargo, and the reaction from Syria which wanted the ship to be allowed to sail to its destination.

He then spoke of the issue of storing and handling the deadly cargo, the responsibility of which was assigned to the National Guard.

“It is clear in my perception that the whole incident constitutes a failure of the system,” Christofias said. “A failure of the operational and systemic procedures built through the decades on the bases of expediencies, beyond the principles of meritocracy and just administration.”

The president said he had not been briefed of the outcome of a February 7, 2011 meeting, which discussed the possibility of destroying the cargo, neither was he informed about a meeting that took place a week before the blast “after the great risk was identified.”

The President said neither was he informed about a request by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on Iran to send a delegation to Cyprus to inspect the cargo, which was stalled by the foreign ministry.

In a cabinet meeting that took place on July 11, after the blast, Christofias said: “I had told my cabinet … the President felt like a cheated husband, who was the last to know.”

He added that “everyone had underestimated the dangers”, and referred to a comment made by former Defence Minister Costas Papacostas at the time that the cargo was safe enough to store in a residential area.

Christofias also denied it was him who decided where to put the munitions, adding that he had never visited the Evangelos Florakis naval base at Mari, which neighbours the Vassilikos power station, before the blast.

“If I knew the proximity to the power station I would not have accepted them being stored there,” Christofias said.

“The head of the National Guard (army) told us that gunpowder wouldn’t explode … we later (post explosion) discovered nitroglycerine was mixed in with the gunpowder.”

The containers had been stacked together forming one huge block that was exposed to the elements for over two years.

Asked by Polyviou if he agreed that the foreign and defence ministers and the National Guard commander had responsibility, the President said “certainly. They have all assumed their responsibility and have resigned.”

Polyviou then put it to Christofias that it is an oxymoron for them to be responsible while their superior was not.

“How can he be responsible if he did not know,” Christofias said, referring to himself.

Polyviou said: “Either you knew and you did not take measures or you did not know because you did not ask; thus, either based on knowing and lack of decisions or based on not knowing and lack of decisions, one could claim that the President is left seriously exposed.”

Christofias said anyone could claim that. “Some want my head on a platter, but nobody spoke to me about the serious risks of this cargo and therefore they cannot attempt to offload (responsibility) onto the President of the Republic.”

He added that in the instances when he was informed of the matter “no one had spoken to me of serious dangers. Other people’s handling cannot burden the President.”

Turkish Naval Buildup in the Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish Naval Buildup in the Eastern Mediterranean


According to Turkish daily Sabah, Turkey’s new strategic focus is shifting from the Aegean towards East Mediterranean. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had indicated earlier that Turkey would take steps towards ensuring freedom of navigation in Eastern Mediterranean, as a reaction to the Palmer report. In the following days it is expected that the Turkish Navy will start to assert its presence in larger numbers around Cyprus. Accordingly, more frigates, gunboats, submarines, naval helicopters and sentry jets will be allocated to what is called ‘Operation Barbarossa: Aegean Shield’. Additionally, Turkish Navy will now be in constant cruise in the Adriatic, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

According to the plan, Turkey will reinforce its earlier 2006 Aegean Shield operations initiated to protect the territorial waters around Ceyhan area, as the port city has become a major natural gas transportation hub. Based on the strategic concerns over the protection of the Ceyhan area and following Israel’s refusal to apologize over the death of 9 Turkish civilians in the Mavi Marmara debacle, Turkey has deployed 2 additional frigates, gunboats and sentry ships each. Also, in addition to Konya 3rd Main Air Force Command, Izmir 2nd Main Air Force command is now designated as the second air cover base responsible from the protection of the area.

Finally, the plan introduces constant cruise duty to the Turkish Naval Mission Group (Frigates Barbaros, Gelibolu, Gemlik and Kudret Gungor – 1st logistical support ship – 3 naval helicopters – underwater assault and defense elite commando units) which had visited Oman, UAE, Pakistan, India, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Jordan port cities in the last 3 months.

Noble Energy to ignore Turkish threats on Cyprus



Noble Homer Ferrington rig

Noble Energy to ignore Turkish threats on Cyprus

Cypriot Energy Service head Solon Kassinis expects exploratory drilling of Block 12 to start before October 1.

Adi Ben-Israel
Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) says that it will push ahead with its Cypriot offshore exploratory well at Block 12, in spite of warnings from Turkey not to do so. Block 12 adjoins Israel’s Leviathan field.The “Cyprus Mail” says Cyprus is stuck between a rock and a hard place in the Turkish-Israeli dispute. If President Demetris Christofias chooses to push ahead with drilling, he is essentially calling Turkey’s bluff. Failure to do so effectively acknowledges Turkey’s dominion over the island.

“Cyprus Mail” says that the heightened tension between Israel and Turkey comes on the back of repeated warnings by Turkish officials against Cyprus drilling in its exclusive economic zone. While some commentators believe the feud with Israel may be used as a pretext to build up naval patrols in seas between Israel and Cyprus, at a time when both latter countries are discussing collaboration on the extraction and distribution of hydrocarbon deposits in their respective marine zones, the paper says that current diplomatic thinking in the region is that Turkey has more important issues to contend with than create serious problems for the island.

Energy Service head Solon Kassinis told the “Cyprus Mail” that he expects drilling to start before October 1. Noble Energy will use the Homer Ferrington rig currently drilling in the Noa field offshore from Ashkelon in Israel’s exclusive economic zone.

Kassinis said, “I expected Turkey to bark but I don’t think they will do anything because what we’ve done is based on international law, and if they want to be considered a country that respects international law, when it has a network of (oil and gas) pipe lines, charging transit fees, how can it?”

Kassinis added that any fears from Noble Energy have been assuaged by the US Embassy in Nicosia which has told the company to go ahead and expedite the exploration process.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – – on September 8, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

“Any attack on Cyprus would constitute an attack on Greece.”

[SEE:  Does Turkey Really Intend to Protect Gaza Cargoes and to Stop Cyprus Gas Exploration?]

Army must be ready to face threat

By George Psyllides
The National Guard’s new vice commander Major General Andreas Petrides

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias called yesterday for the armed forces to show “vigilance and readiness” in the face of Turkish threats over the island’s intention to exploit potential hydrocarbon reserves in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as the EU told Turkey for the second time not to issue threats against Cyprus.

Greece also joined in, warning that any attack on Cyprus would constitute an attack on Greece.

“Turkish arrogance and the threats that are launched in a bid to intimidate (and) prevent Cyprus from exploiting its EEZ, call for vigilance and readiness,” Christofias said, during the confirmation of the National Guard’s new vice commander Major General Andreas Petrides.

Christofias said the armed forces are called on to deliver their top mission – to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the semi-occupied country, as well as the people’s freedom and dignity.

“Times are difficult, but states and societies are being tested during tough times,” the president said.

For the second day running, the EU told Turkey to stop issuing threats against Cyprus.

“The EU urges Turkey to refrain from any kinds of threats, sources of friction that could negatively affect good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of border disputes,” a spokeswoman for the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters.

Maja Kocijancic said Turkey should work towards a “comprehensive” solution to a conflict between Turkey and EU member Cyprus over the occupied north.

Turkey has raised tension in the area, combining its spat with Israel over the death of nine Turkish activists killed in international waters last year with Cypriot and Israeli plans to explore for oil and gas in their respective EEZ’s. Exploratory drilling is due to begin within weeks.

Turkey said it plans to beef up navy patrols in the region and secure free navigation of the seas, but it is believed that it really wants to build up a naval presence between Cyprus and Israel to scare investors away from the gas fields there.

Turkey has been irked by Cypriot-Israeli energy deals, and the tensions with Israel could enable Ankara to send a message without making explicit threats.

“Turkey’s emphasis on freedom of navigation is also connected to the assessment that in the eastern Mediterranean there are natural gas deposits beyond what have already been discovered,” Gallia Lindenstrauss of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, told Reuters.

Greece meanwhile said yesterday that an attack on Cyprus would mean an attack on Greece.

”Cyprus is an independent member of the UN and has the right to independently determine its interests, alone or in cooperation with other countries,” vice president of the Greek government Thodoros Pangalos said.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said the government is working in different directions regarding Turkey, urging the neighbouring country to operate in the framework of international law as Cyprus does “to secure peace and normalcy in the region”.

A Mediterranean Battlefield

[Apparently we are witnesses to a bizarre reordering of global alliances.  The massive Leviathan gas find in the eastern Med. is bringing-out the true nature of certain nations, namely Israel, Greece and Russia, along with Turkey and only God knows who else, at this point.  In my mind, the Russians and Israelis have shared a secret friendship for many years, only seeing it come to light in the great avarice on display off the coast of Lebanon.  Turkey’s game and the hidden hand of the CIA are a bit harder to figure-out.  If Russia and Israel are seriously pursuing the gas off Lebanon and Cyprus, and if Turkey is ready to play the wild card, challenging the Israeli/Russian/Greek claims to all the gas, does this place Israel and America on different sides?  Have our Zionist parasites written America off as its host, judging us to be a dying Empire?  Has the shitty little country, comprised mostly of Russian Jews, judged the growing gas and oil empire of their former homeland to be a superior “gravy train” in these troubled times?

As preposterous as most of this sounds to the rational observer (it sounds insane to me), but could it be possible that a combination of American economic collapse, Obama’s pressure on Israeli fundamentalists, Arab revolutions and international pressure over Gaza, have so moved Netanyahu and his accomplices, as to push them into breaking the long-standing profitable alliance?  Has the upcoming move on Palestinian statehood really created a new paradigm for Israel? 

Is Turkey really on a break-out course, or is this all just another CIA psyop?  How will the Saudis fit into all of this?  Turkey’s navy is much larger than that of Israel and Greece combined, but that is more than offset by the much stronger Israeli Air Force.  If the whole ball game is really up in the air now, because of all these trillions of feet of Mediterranean gas, could it be possible that the much, much larger Russian Navy will come into play off the coasts of Lebanon and Cyprus?  Another nightmare seems to be unfolding right before our eyes, doesn’t it?  Does all of this, together with the chaos unleashed in N. Africa, mean that the Empire has written-off Central Asia as the biggest game in town, or has it merely been turned-down to a slow boil, while the world catches on fire from what is being overcooked in the Middle East?]

A Mediterranean Battlefield

In need of room to maneuver, Israel re-discovers Greece

An Israeli plane KC-135 Stratotanker Boeing 707 refuels an F-16C Fighting Falcon during a military parade marking Israel's 60th anniversary on 8 May 2008 in Tel Aviv.

An Israeli plane KC-135 Stratotanker Boeing 707 refuels an F-16C Fighting Falcon during a military parade marking Israel’s 60th anniversary on 8 May 2008 in Tel Aviv.

By Iason Athanasiadis


Greece’s finances may be battered, so why is the country encouraging a controversial alliance with Israel? With a regional war on the cards for 2011 and Israel in search for allies, the burgeoning Greek-Israeli relationship features sophisticated airborne weapons systems, intelligence collaboration and the discovery of an enormous potential energy supply in disputed waters. Could the eastern Mediterranean be the next battlefield in the proxy war between Turkey, Israel and Iran?

ISTANBUL: A new eastern Mediterranean front has opened in the regional strategic conflict being waged between the US and its allies on one side and a loose alliance of actors including Turkey, Iran and Syria on the other.

The new alliance with Israel was midwifed last year in Russia during a reportedly chance restaurant encounter between Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Russia’s Gazprom petroleum conglomerate was already eyeing the enormous energy reserves that had just been discovered under the eastern Mediterranean, estimated at 4.3 billion cubic meters of petroleum and a staggering 16 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Fittingly, the field was named Leviathan.

The Greek-Israeli rapprochement was then nursed last June, after the bloody Israeli interdiction of a humanitarian flotilla headed to Gaza. Greece’s half-American prime minister is an admirer of the Jewish work-ethic and maintains advisers such as Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stieglitz. He exchanged visits with his Israeli counterpart over the summer even as he continued trips to countries such as Libya, courting Arab investment. As the number of Arab tourists in Turkey surged to over a million last year, Israeli arrivals in Turkey plummeted. Many followed the example set by their prime minister, who endorsed the new ties by taking his family on holiday to the Greek islands.

Now Israel is looking to extend a pipeline across the Mediterranean to Greece and jointly exploit Leviathan. Extending all the way from Israel’s coast to Cyprus and including portions of Egypt’s and Lebanon’s territorial waters, it is the largest deepwater natural gas deposit to be discovered in a decade. As regional tensions mount, the UN turned down a Lebanese request to resolve the dispute, the Iranian ambassador to Beirut declared that three quarters of the field belong to his host country and Turkey’s foreign minister refused to recognize a maritime border delineation agreement between Cyprus and Israel that would open the way to drilling. As state-owned Russian monopoly Gazprom shouldered its way into the fray, all the ingredients for the next regional conflagration clicked into place.

The energy-related tensions do not end there. In November, Turkey dispatched two oil-exploration ships into disputed eastern Mediterranean waters, prompting protests from Greece. In a traditionally tense region where Greek and Turkish fighters engage in daily mock dogfights, the potential for escalation is huge. An ongoing court case in Turkey charges members of its military with planning to foment a war with Greece as a pretext to carry out a coup against the incumbent government.

From a Greek perspective, engagement with Israel could attract Israeli investment and technological knowhow to its moribund economy, secure sophisticated arms-sales and win over an influential protector that can act as a foil to a newly-energized Turkey eyeing energy deposits in the Leviathan field and the Aegean Sea.

“Papandreou wants to attract the interest of Israeli business in the Greek economy and perhaps attract US business through Jerusalem,” said Sotiris Roussos, the head of the Center for Mediterranean, Middle East and Islamic Studies at Greece’s University of the Peloponnese. “He also wants to reintroduce Greece as a player with specific natural interests in the eastern Med.”

Greek-Israeli trade, currently approaching half a billion dollars a year, is increasing by 12 percent annually.

Tehran also seems perturbed. On a visit to Greece last December, former Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki offered Greece the status of “favored partner.”

But his words “were more rhetoric and flattery than structured plan,” said an informed Greek foreign ministry official. Mottaki offered no details of what Greece would gain in return for arguing Tehran’s corner in Brussels.

“We very politely said we would consider their offer and left it at that,” the official said, who also revealed that an Iranian embassy official had been caught trying to assess Athens Airport’s security procedures as a “NATO-standard international airport.”

In the same month as Mottaki’s offer, an Israeli delegation was in Athens to discuss “a new military partnership in the Mediterranean” while a Greek military official visited Israel, tasked with purchasing unmanned aerial vehicles and weapons systems for Greece’s F-16 fighter jets.

Greek-Israeli military ties were warming-up years before the political rapprochement. In 2008, Greece earned Iran’s ire when it opened up its airspace for Israeli fighter jets to train for a possible long-range strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Greece’s Russian-purchased S-300 air-defense system is similar to Iran’s.

“Tel Aviv is in need of air and naval space for the conduit of its military maneuvers,” said Ioannis Michaletos, a terrorism analyst, “and the Aegean and East Mediterranean is considered an ideal space for any kind of military exercise due to the challenge that islands and mountain ranges pose to any modern jet or radar equipment.”

The Greek media has been split over the new strategy, with one portion regretting the conclusion of a thirty year pro-Palestinian policy (Greece was the last western country to recognize Israel) and another appearing optimistic over where the new ties can take Greece.

“Any foreign attention is welcome,” said Amnon Sella, professor emeritus at the Hebrew University. “I can imagine that significant ties may evolve in the future.”

Until the Nazis occupied the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, it boasted Europe’s largest Jewish community of immigrants taken in by the Ottoman Empire after the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. But Greece held out from opening an embassy in Israel until 1990 against a background of anti-Israeli and pro-Arab political rhetoric championed by former Prime Minister Andrea Papandreou, the current prime minister’s father.

With a fresh Middle Eastern war widely expected in 2011, Israel is anxiously seeking out new allies in an ever more hostile region. Netanyahu warned Papandreou during their private meeting that Turkey has the capability and intention to acquire a nuclear arsenal.  But an alliance with Greece that would also bring Israel closer to Cyprus would see Israeli and Turkish fighter jets eye-to-eye on the disputed island’s airspace.

Some Greek Cypriots view the prospect of a regional face-off with glee.

“The current climate supports the development of a powerful tripartite alliance between Israel, Cyprus and Greece, to which it would be wise to include friendly Egypt which has many reasons to be worried about Turkey’s neo-Ottomanist imperialism,” wrote Savvas Iakovidis in the Simerini daily.

Calmer voices such as Roussos, caution that “Greece has not the resources for a significant role in the Mediterranean. Its political elite is too absorbed by the IMF directives and badly injured by extensive corruption allegations to undertake initiatives regarding the Middle East.”

Under the new agreement, Israeli intelligence services are expected to expand their already significant presence in Greece, a country that hosts over a million mostly Muslim immigrants seeking to reach the northern European Union and has become a potential center for Islamic radicalism.

“Significant Iranian interests such as the presence of Saderat Bank and a large Shi’ite immigrant population prompt Tehran to direct intelligence cells to monitor dissidents in Athens,” said Michaletos. “The Israelis will also be interested in the Hezbollah cells operating in Athens, the strong business links with Beirut, ELPE’s (Greek Petroleum) purchase of Iranian oil and the speculated funneling of Iranian capital flows through Dubai to Greece by Greek-Arab banking interests.”

“You can be sure that Israel has considerable Mossad assets in Greece,” said Philip Giraldi, a former CIA analyst, “but it is more interesting still that they might be angling for some kind of energy deal.”

Iason Athanasiadis – Journalist based in Istanbul, who covers Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia. Since 1999, he has lived in Cairo, Damascus, Doha, Sana’a and Tehran.