Israel turns away from Obama in drift to right



TEL AVIV // The United States president, Barack Obama, has repeatedly declared his unflinching support for the security of Israel, Washington's closest ally in the Middle East.

Israelis such as Avi Vakhnin, 50, a house painter from a suburb of Tel Aviv, are unconvinced by Mr Obama's approach towards Israel and would prefer to see him defeated by the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

"In the last four years, Obama hasn't shown that he is doing enough for Israel. We should try Romney now," said Mr Vakhnin, donning a paint-stained white shirt and shorts as he ate a cucumber in a fruit and vegetable shop on a midday break from work.

Israeli public opinion has shifted against Mr Obama, partly because of the Israeli government's perception that the US leader is not doing enough to stop Iran's nuclear programme and is applying too much pressure on Israel to curb settlement growth, analysts say.

Those views have not gone unnoticed by the campaigns of both Mr Obama and Mr Romney. Analysts say the candidates recognise that the views of Israeli Jews could reflect the sentiments of US Jews and the pro-Israel constituencies of evangelical Christians.

A poll released this week by Tel Aviv University and the Jerusalem-based research body, Israel Democracy Institute, showed that 57.2 per cent of Israeli Jews prefer Mr Romney to win, while 21.5 per cent back Mr Obama. In contrast, the survey also showed that 45 per cent of Israel's Arab minority preferred Mr Obama while 15 per cent opted for Mr Romney.

Yossi Alpher, an Israeli political analyst, said Israeli Jews' support for Mr Romney was "a reflection of the overall drift in Israel to the right".

The Israeli right tends to harbour hostility towards Israel's Muslim neighbours and towards Israel's Arab minority, which is predominantly Muslim.

They view Mr Obama's bid to improve US relations with Muslim countries with suspicion. For Israelis, Mr Obama's middle name, Hussein, has helped spur such distrust.

Echoing long-time speculation that Mr Obama, a practising Christian, is a Muslim, Mr Vakhnin said: "He doesn't like us, and that's also probably because he is Muslim. Isn't his name Mohammed or Mahmoud or something like that?"

Mr Vakhnin quieted down for a moment as a man came into the shop, saying afterward that the man "looked Arab" so he did not want to voice condemnation of Mr Obama near him.

Analysts say Israeli Jews' preference for Mr Romney has also been influenced by criticism about Mr Obama not having visited Israel during his presidency despite travelling to Muslim countries such as Egypt and Turkey.

The US and Israeli media has also reported that Benjamin Netanyahu is rooting for Mr Romney, a close friend with whom the Israeli premier shares powerful friends, including a key US financial backer, the billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

In the meantime, Jewish voters in the US are also appearing less supportive of Mr Obama - a trend that analysts said was being manipulated by the Republican Party.

"Never in the history of US election campaigns has Israel occupied such a prominent place," said Eytan Gilboa, an expert on US-Israeli ties at Israel's Bar-Ilan university. "That's because Republicans think Obama has become vulnerable on the issue of Israel."

In 2008, Mr Obama garnered about 75 per cent of the total Jewish American vote, reflecting the tradition that most Jewish voters typically vote for Democrats.

In this campaign, polls suggest that Jewish backing for Mr Obama is waning in crucial swing states such as Ohio and Florida.

In Israel, however, that drop in support for the US president is most evident because many believe that Mr Romney would be hawkish on Iran - viewed by the Israeli government as the biggest threat to the country's security - and would put less pressure on settlement activities.

Some experts, however, say that expectation could prove false on crucial issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"History tells a different story. Whenever the United States has put sustained pressure on Israel's leaders - from the 1950s on - it has come from Republican presidents, not Democratic ones," the former head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, Efraim Halévy, wrote in The New York Times last week.

According to Mr Halévy, that includes the administration of George W Bush, Mr Obama's predecessor, officially adopting the 2003 so-called "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that included a halt to settlement activity despite Israeli opposition to the plan.

It also includes the same Bush administration putting pressure on Israel to allow Hamas to run in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, apparently failing to anticipate its victory, Mr Halévy said.

Israel views Hamas as a terror organisation.

Aggro Dr1ft

Director: Harmony Korine
Stars: Jordi Molla, Travis Scott
Rating: 2/5

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Quick pearls of wisdom

Focus on gratitude: And do so deeply, he says. “Think of one to three things a day that you’re grateful for. It needs to be specific, too, don’t just say ‘air.’ Really think about it. If you’re grateful for, say, what your parents have done for you, that will motivate you to do more for the world.”

Know how to fight: Shetty married his wife, Radhi, three years ago (he met her in a meditation class before he went off and became a monk). He says they’ve had to learn to respect each other’s “fighting styles” – he’s a talk it-out-immediately person, while she needs space to think. “When you’re having an argument, remember, it’s not you against each other. It’s both of you against the problem. When you win, they lose. If you’re on a team you have to win together.” 

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Brief scores:

Toss: Sindhis, elected to field first

Kerala Knights 103-7 (10 ov)

Parnell 59 not out; Tambe 5-15

Sindhis 104-1 (7.4 ov)

Watson 50 not out, Devcich 49

KLOPP AT LIVERPOOL

Years: October 2015 - June 2024
Total games: 491
Win percentage: 60.9%
Major trophies: 6 (Premier League x 1, Champions League x 1, FA Cup x 1, League Cup x 2, Fifa Club World Cup x1)

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Results

2pm: Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (Dirt) 1,200m, Winner: Mouheeb, Tom Marquand (jockey), Nicholas Bachalard (trainer)

2.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh68,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Honourable Justice, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

3pm: Handicap (TB) Dh84,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Dahawi, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

3.30pm: Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Dark Silver, Fernando Jara, Ahmad bin Harmash

4pm: Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Dark Of Night. Antonio Fresu, Al Muhairi.

4.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh68,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Habah, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

Fitness problems in men's tennis

Andy Murray - hip

Novak Djokovic - elbow

Roger Federer - back

Stan Wawrinka - knee

Kei Nishikori - wrist

Marin Cilic - adductor

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

The Farewell

Director: Lulu Wang

Stars: Awkwafina, Zhao Shuzhen, Diana Lin, Tzi Ma

Four stars

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Titan Sports Academy:

Programmes: Judo, wrestling, kick-boxing, muay thai, taekwondo and various summer camps

Location: Inside Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Telephone: +971 50 220 0326

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo (BMW B58)
Power: 340hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 500Nm from 1,600-4,500rpm
Transmission: ZF 8-speed auto
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The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre supercharged V8

Power: 712hp at 6,100rpm

Torque: 881Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 19.6 l/100km

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On sale: now

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Saturday, May 16 (kick-offs UAE time)

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (4.30pm) 
RB Leipzig v Freiburg (4.30pm) 
Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin (4.30pm) 
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn  (4.30pm) 
Augsburg v Wolfsburg (4.30pm) 
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach (7.30pm)

Sunday, May 17

Cologne v Mainz (4.30pm),
Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (7pm)

Monday, May 18

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen (9.30pm)

Winners

Best Men's Player of the Year: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Maradona Award for Best Goal Scorer of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year: Robert Lewandowski

Top Goal Scorer of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Best Women's Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)

Best Men's Club of the Year: Chelsea

Best Women's Club of the Year: Barcelona

Best Defender of the Year: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)

Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)

Best Coach of the Year: Roberto Mancini (Italy)

Best National Team of the Year: Italy

Best Agent of the Year: Federico Pastorello

Best Sporting Director of the Year: Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)

Player Career Award: Ronaldinho

Getting there and where to stay

Fly with Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to New York’s JFK. There's 11 flights a week and economy fares start at around Dh5,000.
Stay at The Mark Hotel on the city’s Upper East Side. Overnight stays start from $1395 per night.
Visit NYC Go, the official destination resource for New York City for all the latest events, activites and openings.

Dunki

Director: Rajkumar Hirani 

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vikram Kochhar and Anil Grover

Rating: 4/5

The biog

Name: Dhabia Khalifa AlQubaisi

Age: 23

How she spends spare time: Playing with cats at the clinic and feeding them

Inspiration: My father. He’s a hard working man who has been through a lot to provide us with everything we need

Favourite book: Attitude, emotions and the psychology of cats by Dr Nicholes Dodman

Favourit film: 101 Dalmatians - it remind me of my childhood and began my love of dogs 

Word of advice: By being patient, good things will come and by staying positive you’ll have the will to continue to love what you're doing

'Laal Kaptaan'

Director: Navdeep Singh

Stars: Saif Ali Khan, Manav Vij, Deepak Dobriyal, Zoya Hussain

Rating: 2/5

EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Four-day collections of TOH

Day             Indian Rs (Dh)        

Thursday    500.75 million (25.23m)

Friday         280.25m (14.12m)

Saturday     220.75m (11.21m)

Sunday       170.25m (8.58m)

Total            1.19bn (59.15m)

(Figures in millions, approximate)

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

THE SWIMMERS

Director: Sally El-Hosaini

Stars: Nathalie Issa, Manal Issa, Ahmed Malek and Ali Suliman 

Rating: 4/5

BIRD BOX BARCELONA

Directors: David and Alex Pastor
Stars: Georgina Campbell, Mario Casas, Diego Calva
Rating: 2/5

How to help

Call the hotline on 0502955999 or send "thenational" to the following numbers:

2289 - Dh10

2252 - Dh50

6025 - Dh20

6027 - Dh100

6026 - Dh200

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

6.30pm Meydan Classic Trial US$100,000 (Turf) 1,400m

Winner Bella Fever, Dane O’Neill (jockey), Mike de Kock (trainer).

7.05pm Handicap $135,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Woven, Harry Bentley, David Simcock.

7.40pm UAE 2000 Guineas Group Three $250,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

Winner Fore Left, William Buick, Doug O’Neill.

8.15pm Dubai Sprint Listed Handicap $175,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Rusumaat, Dane O’Neill, Musabah Al Muhairi.

8.50pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 Group Two $450,000 (D) 1,900m

Winner Benbatl, Christophe Soumillon, Saeed bin Suroor.

9.25pm Handicap $135,000 (T) 1,800m

Winner Art Du Val, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

10pm Handicap $135,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Beyond Reason, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

About Krews

Founder: Ahmed Al Qubaisi

Based: Abu Dhabi

Founded: January 2019

Number of employees: 10

Sector: Technology/Social media 

Funding to date: Estimated $300,000 from Hub71 in-kind support

 

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Tailors and retailers miss out on back-to-school rush

Tailors and retailers across the city said it was an ominous start to what is usually a busy season for sales.
With many parents opting to continue home learning for their children, the usual rush to buy school uniforms was muted this year.
“So far we have taken about 70 to 80 orders for items like shirts and trousers,” said Vikram Attrai, manager at Stallion Bespoke Tailors in Dubai.
“Last year in the same period we had about 200 orders and lots of demand.
“We custom fit uniform pieces and use materials such as cotton, wool and cashmere.
“Depending on size, a white shirt with logo is priced at about Dh100 to Dh150 and shorts, trousers, skirts and dresses cost between Dh150 to Dh250 a piece.”

A spokesman for Threads, a uniform shop based in Times Square Centre Dubai, said customer footfall had slowed down dramatically over the past few months.

“Now parents have the option to keep children doing online learning they don’t need uniforms so it has quietened down.”

Teaching your child to save

Pre-school (three - five years)

You can’t yet talk about investing or borrowing, but introduce a “classic” money bank and start putting gifts and allowances away. When the child wants a specific toy, have them save for it and help them track their progress.

Early childhood (six - eight years)

Replace the money bank with three jars labelled ‘saving’, ‘spending’ and ‘sharing’. Have the child divide their allowance into the three jars each week and explain their choices in splitting their pocket money. A guide could be 25 per cent saving, 50 per cent spending, 25 per cent for charity and gift-giving.

Middle childhood (nine - 11 years)

Open a bank savings account and help your child establish a budget and set a savings goal. Introduce the notion of ‘paying yourself first’ by putting away savings as soon as your allowance is paid.

Young teens (12 - 14 years)

Change your child’s allowance from weekly to monthly and help them pinpoint long-range goals such as a trip, so they can start longer-term saving and find new ways to increase their saving.

Teenage (15 - 18 years)

Discuss mutual expectations about university costs and identify what they can help fund and set goals. Don’t pay for everything, so they can experience the pride of contributing.

Young adulthood (19 - 22 years)

Discuss post-graduation plans and future life goals, quantify expenses such as first apartment, work wardrobe, holidays and help them continue to save towards these goals.

* JP Morgan Private Bank 

The new Turing Test

The Coffee Test

A machine is required to enter an average American home and figure out how to make coffee: find the coffee machine, find the coffee, add water, find a mug and brew the coffee by pushing the proper buttons.

Proposed by Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder

The biog

First Job: Abu Dhabi Department of Petroleum in 1974  
Current role: Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding since 2008
Career high: Regularly cited on Forbes list of 100 most powerful Arab Businesswomen
Achievement: Helped establish Al Maskari Medical Centre in 1969 in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region
Future plan: Will now concentrate on her charitable work

Results

6.30pm: Maiden Dh165,000 (Dirt) 1,400m. Winner: Rio Angie, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer).

7.05pm: Handicap Dh170,000 (D) 1,600m. Winner: Trenchard, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

7.40pm: Maiden Dh165,000 (D) 1,600m. Winner: Mulfit, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

8.15pm: Handicap Dh210,000 (D) 1,200m. Winner: Waady, Dane O’Neill, Doug Watson.

8.50pm: Handicap Dh210,000 (D) 2,000m. Winner: Tried And True, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

9.25pm:Handicap Dh185,000 (D) 1,400m. Winner: Midnight Sands, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.


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