|Siege, Wall, Checkpoints|
|Egypt awakes||Ahdaf Soueif - The Guardian - Hosni Mubarak has been president of Egypt for 24 years, and repressive `emergency laws` have been in force throughout. Finally, Egyptians have had enough. This is Ahdaf Soueif`s diary of a long, hot summer of protest that shows no sign of ending.
|A decisive year||Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly - Israeli settlement expansion, the separation wall, internal leadership struggles and the limited return of Gaza made 2005 another tough year for Palestinians, writes Khaled Amayreh
|Imperialism and its young admirers||Azmi Bishara - Al-Ahram Weekly - Democracy talk was a sham, and realists in Washington are getting worried as the vacant character of the neo-cons is exposed for what it is: adolescent, dangerous bravado||30/12/2005|
|Egypt: deadlock and a whiff of sedition||Maria Golia - The Daily Star - The year 2005 will be regarded as a momentous one for Egypt. There was action on the ground, a whiff of sedition and the usual bungling of opportunities to demonstrate sagacity on behalf of the powers that be.
|Where in the world is Osama bin Laden?||Agence France Presse - PARIS: He has not issued any public statements all year. Speculation has grown over his influence, health and even possible death. Where is the Western world`s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden?
|Beirut`s legendary spirit dulled by terror: threat of violence grounds festivities||Agence France Presse (AFP) - The Daily Star - BEIRUT: Hotel bookings are down, shop sales are slack, and wild parties are off the agenda. Christmas and New Year is a somber affair this year in Lebanon.||30/12/2005|
|Talks begin on Arab League reform||Al Jazeera - Foreign ministers and diplomats from 21 Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority have met in Cairo to begin talks on reforming the 60-year-old Arab League and rewriting its charter.
|Meet the Islamist vanguard||Charmaine Seitz - Bitterlemons International - The further integration of the Muslim Brotherhood into a legitimate electoral process marks a defining moment in the group`s relations with the regime, after a history of brutal suppression and mutual violence.
|Suicide blast kills IDF officer||Efrat Weiss - Ynet - "Major attack foiled: Palestinian en route to attack in Israel detonates himself at roadblock set up by troops following intelligence tip; huge blast leaves four Palestinian dead, wounds another three soldiers"
|Qalandiya, checkpoint , 27.12.05||Ofra Ben-Artzi - Machsomwatch report - " we saw on the other direction (to Jerusalem) a dense crowd of 200 HUNDRED MEN hovering over ONE carousel. We were disgusted and frustrated at the scene. It looked as if it was on the verge of explosion."
|"The Truth" is the Problem||Abdul Wahab Badrakhan - Al-Hayat - If there was an Arab initiative for Lebanon and Syria, then the time for it is today and not tomorrow, because the ground has been spoiled at the political and security levels, and the horizon is only open for one of two options: first, thwart the functioning of government as a prelude to impede the Parliament, and second, more assassinations and explosions.
|Lebanon: Agreement and Sects||Abdullah Iskandar - Al-Hayat - Regardless of the good intentions and the forceful declarations the fact remains that in Lebanon the active parties reflect a sectarian and confessional polarization. ||27/12/2005|
|New Kalandia “Crossing” Causes More Suffering ||Amjad Al-Umari and Wasel Al-Khatib - Al-Quds - The Israeli authorities increased their strict measures at Kalandia checkpoint and its environs since the early Thursday morning, which increased the suffering of the citizens and obstructed their access to their jobs, schools and universities.
|Israeli planes attack in Lebanon ||BBC News - Two Palestinian militants have been wounded in an Israeli air strike on their base in Lebanon, hours after rockets hit two Israeli border towns. ||28/12/2005|
|Israel`s war with Iran||James Petras - peacepalestine - Israel Bombs Iran: The US Suffers the Consequences||28/12/2005|
|Egypt: The rich and the Brotherhood||Amira Howeidy - Al Jazeera - When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak addresses parliament on 17 December, it will be the first time in Egypt`s history that 20% of the MPs will belong to the officially outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
|Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: Myth remark not denial||Al Jazeera - Muhammad Mahdi Akif, the leader of Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood said that when he called the Holocaust a myth he did not mean to say it never happened but wanted to highlight the West`s hypocritical attitude towards democracy.
|Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood chief: Holocaust a myth||Al Jazeera - "Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned," Mohamed Akef said in a statement on Thursday.
|US rift with Egypt over Nur||Al Jazeera - The US has said the five-year jail term given to Ayman Nur, the Egyptian opposition leader, calls into question its key Middle East ally`s commitment to democracy.
|Dark months for Syria||Sami Moubayed - Al-Ahram Weekly - The latest political developments in the Lebanese file show that if anything, the upcoming "Syrian months" are going to be terrible for Damascus||23/12/2005|
|Images already in place||Salah Hemeid - Al Ahram Weekly - Preliminary election returns confirm Iraqi voters were divided along ethnic and religious lines||23/12/2005|
|Iranian president calls holocaust a `myth` in live TV broadcast ||Robert Tait and Luke Harding - The Guardian - Iran`s ultra-Islamist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, triggered a fresh wave of international outrage yesterday by dismissing the Holocaust as a myth and calling for Jews to be moved to Canada and Alaska.
|Egypt: After the elections||Mohamed Sid-Ahmed - Al Aharam Weekly - Analyses the results of Egypt`s parliamentary elections
|State of decay||Azmi Bishara - Al Ahram Weekly - The furious switching of Israeli politicians between parties is a sign of the degeneration not only of Israeli politics, but Israeli society as a whole||21/12/2005|
|Date with destiny||Mona El-Nahhas - Al Ahram Weekly - Prominent opposition politician Ayman Nour`s high-profile court case is nearing its end
|Zero for Nasserists||Mustafa El-Menshawy - Al Ahram Weekly - Longtime Nasserist Party leader Diaaeddin Dawoud placed the blame for his electoral downfall everywhere but on himself||18/12/2005|
|Egypt: Paying the price?||Mohamed El-Sayed - Al Ahram Weekly - Tagammu leader Rifaat El-Said explains his party`s dismal parliamentary elections performance||21/12/2005|
|Orhan Pamuk and Turkey`s unfinished modernization||Kaelen Wilson-Goldie - The Daily Star - Just as the trial of Orhan Pamuk stumbled off the blocks last Friday, a judge in Istanbul called a false start. A few minutes after the trial began, judge Metin Aydin announced he was postponing the proceedings until next February 7 on a technicality.
|Arab nationalism will surely make a comeback in Iraq||Saad N. Jawad - The Daily Star - The history of Iraqi politics was and still is a history of struggle between advocates of Arab nationalism and advocates of Iraqi nationalism. The former believe in the close connection between Iraq and the rest of the Arab nation, while the latter believe in concentrating on Iraq and leaving any attachment to other Arabs in a secondary place. This is a struggle that goes back to the time of the founding of the state.
|Jumblatt: Syria taking path of terrorism||Majdoline Hatoum - Daily Star staff - BEIRUT: Lebanon`s Druze leader and MP Walid Jumblatt said Thursday he expected the Syrian regime to go on with "terrorizing" the Lebanese, and disclosed that threats have been made to "bomb public places".
|Lebanon`s leaders seek end to Cabinet boycott||Adnan El-Ghoul - Daily Star - BEIRUT: Political maneuvers and meetings intensified on Thursday between Lebanese parties and blocs as the Shiite ministers stuck to their guns regarding their government boycott, and President Emile Lahoud continued his refusal to head a Cabinet session till the issue is resolved||23/12/2005|
|3 Palestinians shot dead in Nablus ||BBC News - Three Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian medical sources say. The men were shot dead as they tried to flee a building that had been sealed off by Israeli troops, witnesses said.
|`Dr. Rice: There can be no `democratic peace` while occupation continues`||Bouthaina Shaaban - The Daily Star - It is nonsensical that the U.S. describes its global mission as the elimination of evil. By all standards, terrorism is absolute evil. It is, however, not restricted to race or faith. Unless terrorism is seen as consequential to certain circumstances, it will remain misunderstood.
|Iraqis Spoke, but Hardly in Unison||Jim Lobe - Inter Press Service - Just one week after a reported 70 percent of Iraq`s 15 million eligible voters flocked to the polls, the actual results - and the way they will play out in the coming
days - may not be so reassuring.
| Latin Patriarch: Bethlehem becoming a giant prison:||Agence France Presse - "The head of the Roman Catholic church
in the Holy Land accused Israel on Wednesday of turning
the birthplace of Jesus Christ into a "giant prison" with
its West Bank separation barrier."
|The new Qalandiya Terminal||Roni Hammermann - Machsomwatch report -"...the terminal is occupation in its most perfected, alienated, bureaucratically cruel form."||21/12/2005|
|After Babylon, Persia||Arshin Adib-Moghaddam - Antiwar.com - In an essay for Bitter Lemons last year, I discussed the
ways in which neoconservatives (in tandem with their
allies in the Likud Party) were directly involved in
manufacturing the invasion of Iraq.
|The nadir of occupation||Salim Lone - The Guardian - Last week`s election does little to heal the wounds that are splitting Iraq up into violent fiefdoms
|Refiguring the Iraq body count||Andrew Cockburn - The Los Angeles Times - Almost as soon as President Bush gave the number of Iraqis
who have died as a result of the U.S. invasion and
occupation as "30,000, more or less," aides hastened to
downplay the number as "unofficial," plucked by Bush from
|Iran Dismisses Criticism of Israel Remarks||Nasser Karimi - Associated Press - Iran dismissed international criticism of anti-Israeli remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
urging the West on Sunday to show greater tolerance for differing points of view.
Last week, Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a "myth" and
said if Europeans insist it did occur, then they should
give some of their own land for a Jewish state, rather
than the one in the Middle East. The comments came just
two months after the hard-line president called for Israel
to be "wiped off the map."
The remarks sparked outrage in Israel and the United
States, and European leaders warned Saturday they would
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said
Sunday the international reaction was overblown.
"The West had a very emotional attitude about
Ahmadinejad`s comments. Westerners have to learn to
tolerate other`s opinion," Asefi said at a news
He dismissed the European sanctions threat as "baseless
and illogical" and said Ahmadinejad was simply
articulating Iran`s position toward Israel.
Ahmadinejad`s remarks came as Iran and the Europeans
prepare for a new round of negotiations Wednesday over
Iran`s nuclear program. The United States accuses Iran of
aiming to produce nuclear weapons; Iran says its program
is intended only to generate electricity.
In the U.S.-backed talks, the Europeans are trying to rein
in the program to ensure it cannot produce weapons. Iran,
however, has rejected a proposal under which uranium
enrichment for its program would be carried out in Russia
rather than in Iran.
Asefi said Iran has some propositions for the EU envoys
but would not give further details.
"We have not demanded anything excessive. The European
side should not make an excessive demand either," Asefi
Ali Larijani, Iran`s top nuclear negotiator, told the
state news agency IRNA that the new round of talks will be
"Their problem is not with the atomic bomb, they want to
thwart Iran`s scientific advancements," he said.
Uranium enrichment is a key step in the nuclear process
and can produce either the material necessary for a bomb
or fuel for a reactor. Under the European proposal, Iran
would get fuel from abroad for its reactors, but Tehran
has insisted it has the right to carry out uranium
enrichment on its soil.
(7) U.S. firm paid $20M for Iraq propaganda
United Press International
18 December 2005
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Washington company hired
by the Pentagon to secretly write anonymous pro-U.S. news
stories in Iraq was paid $20 million for a two-month
The Pentagon has ordered an investigation into the work
last year by the Lincoln Group, led by Navy Rear Adm.
Scott Van Buskirk.
On Dec. 2, Pentagon officials told Senate Armed Services
Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., that all of the
published materials were supposed to be identified as
originating with the U.S. military, but that
identification was occasionally omitted by accident.
However, Lincoln Group documents obtained by the Los
Angeles Times show that those who worked on the campaign
believed the media products would be far more credible if
their origins were disguised.
Several current and former employees of the Lincoln Group
told the Los Angeles Times that U.S. military officials in
Iraq were aware of the information campaign to sway public
opinion, and called it "unnecessarily costly, poorly run
and largely ineffective."
"In my own estimation, this stuff has absolutely no
effect, and it`s a total waste of money," said a former
Lincoln employee. "Every Iraqi can read right through it."
|Iraq: Shiite Alliance Leads In Partial Iraq Count; Secular Parties Failing to Win Broad Support||Doug Struck - The Washington Post - BAGHDAD - The first results from Iraq`s national parliamentary election showed powerful support for the
leading Shiite Muslim religious alliance, and suggested that the country`s splintered politics have coalesced into a few large political groups divided along ethnic and religious lines.
|Under the eyes of Lebanon`s dead, more determination||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - Every day as I drive to my office at The Daily Star newspaper in Beirut, the pictures of the dead and wounded stare at me from posters and banners throughout the city, attesting to the pain and suffering of the Lebanese people, but also to their heroism and determination.||21/12/2005|
|Self-sufficiency makes Syria sanctions-proof||Raed El Rafei - Daily Star - BEIRUT: Any possible international economic sanctions on Syria will have no major impact because the country is self-sufficient and does not have a large external debt, a Syrian official said on Tuesday.
|Syria `to cooperate` with new probe chief||Leila Hatoum - Daily Star staff - BEIRUT: Syria has decided to extend full and "sincere cooperation" to the new UN chief investigator, even going so far as to "welcome him in Damascus," according to Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Sharaa.
|Assassinating the truth about the Iraq war||Michael Rubin - The Daily Star - "The story of the Iraq war is a story of ideas about the role of the United States in the world, and of the individuals who conceived and acted on them." This is the view of George Packer, a staff writer at The New Yorker, in the preface to his much publicized recent book "The Assassins` Gate," an account of the planning and personalities involved in the Iraq war.
|Fighting for peace means ending media-fed misperceptions||Lucy Nusseibeh - Common Grounds - The failure of the Oslo process to sufficiently address public opinion was one of the major causes of the lack of trust eventually leading to the failure of the Camp David talks and to the renewed violence between Israelis and Palestinians after September 2000.
|Anti-Syrian youth movements erect `Camp Freedom`||Nada Bakri - The Daily Star - BEIRUT: Anti-Syrian youths have returned to camp in Martyrs` Square, demand the resignation of President Emile Lahoud and protest against the unstable security situation in the country, in what has already earned the name of "Camp Freedom." ||20/12/2005|
|Post-Saddam Iraq poses new threats in Jordan||Oraib Al Rantawi - Bitterlemons International - The November 9 terrorist attacks on three hotels in Amman perpetrated by Al-Qaeda in Iraq put the focus on Iraqi-Jordanian relations.||20/12/2005|
|Iraq: Shiites set to dominate Iraqi government||The Daily Star - Partial election results in Iraq suggested Monday the new government will be dominated by Islamist Shiites, as bombs exploded in three cities and two senior officials survived assassination attempts .
|March 14 forces rekindle call for Lahoud`s resignation||Raed El Rafei - Daily Star - BEIRUT: In the face of the "Syrian regime`s war on Lebanon," the forces of March 14 have rekindled their demands for the resignation of President Emile Lahoud, in addition to the removal of all members of the former security regime.||20/12/2005|
|Gulf leaders single out Israel in calls for weapons-free zone||The Daily Star staff - Gulf Arab leaders called on Monday for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, but singled out only Israel, not Iran, despite having voiced alarm at Tehran`s nuclear ambitions at the end of their two-day summit. ||20/12/2005|
|Iraq: To avert all-out civil war||Michael Jansen - The Jordan Times - Iraq`s 14 million voters go to the polls today for the
third time this year. They will choose the first four-year
national assembly since the fall of Saddam Hussein. But
the election will not end the insurgency or provide
security, water, electricity and jobs for Iraqi citizens.
|Iraq: No elections will be credible while occupation continues||Harith al-Dari - The Guardian - Iraq`s current political process will not solve the crisis. Only a US and British pullout and a UN sponsored
poll can do that
|Crafty Chalabi still player in Iraq politics||Michael Georgy - Reuters - Baghdad - Ahmad Chalabi has been called many
things, few of them flattering: a crook, a Pentagon stooge and a trickster who fooled Americans into invading Iraq with false intelligence and then sold U.S. secrets to Iran.
|Bush Says Iraq War Is Good for Israel||Forward - In sharp contrast to the growing consensus of Jerusalem`s
security and political establishment, President Bush
argued this week that Israel`s safety depends on
democratization of the Arab world.
|Shattering the "Politics of Silence:" Satellite Television Talk Shows and the Transformation of Arab Political Culture||Marc Lynch - Arab Reform Bulletin - In an appearance on Cairo`s "Dream TV" in the spring of 2004, the eminent Egyptian journalist Muhammad Hassanayn Haykal broached the deeply sensitive topic of Gamal Mubarak’s aspirations to succeed his father as president. ||19/12/2005|
|If America leaves, Al-Qaeda will not inherit Iraq||Christopher Preble and Justin Logan - The Daily Star - In making the case for an open-ended American military presence in Iraq, the Bush administration and its supporters have deployed various worst-case scenarios of what will occur in the event of a military withdrawal. The most important of these is the assertion that Iraq will become a terrorist haven if the United States leaves.
|Iran threatens to strike back if Israel attacks||Daily Star staff - Iran on Friday warned its response to any attack by Israel would be "swift and destructive," while European leaders warned the Iranian president`s remarks about the Holocaust could be grounds for sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
|In Egypt, the twilight of an era||Hani Shukrallah - The Daily Star - Is Egypt`s political future destined to hang between the decaying and crumbling semi-secular authoritarianism of the NDP and the rising, and considerably more vigorous, Islamist authoritarianism of the Muslim Brotherhood? It is too early to tell. ||31/12/2005|
|Can Amir Peretz survive as a political nonconformist?||Hazem Saghieh - It is not clear how much Israel`s newly-elected Labor leader Amir Peretz will battle against the tide, or how much he will drift leeward, when it comes to Israeli politics and relations with the Palestinians.
|Egypt`s Ayman Nour moved to prison hospital in `life-threatening` condition||Agence France Presse - CAIRO: Detained Egyptian opposition figure Ayman Nour was rushed to a prison hospital in serious condition on Saturday, eight days after he began a hunger strike, his lawyer said.
|Mehlis says Syria `definitely` behind Hariri assassination||Leila Hatoum - Daily Star staff - BEIRUT: The acting head of the UN investigation into the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri said Saturday he believed "Syrian authorities" were behind the murder.||19/12/2005|
|Muslim leaders denounce extremism||Adnan El-Ghoul - Daily Star staff - The Organization of Muslim States held a conference in Saudi Arabia earlier this month to deal with the rise of religious fundamentalism, among other issues concerning the tainting of Islam`s international image.
|Iran: Top Ministers Implicated in Serious Abuses||
Joe Stork - Human Rights Watch - "Iran’s new Minister of Interior is implicated in grave human rights violations over the past two decades, possibly including crimes against humanity in connection with the massacre of thousands of political prisoners, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today||15/12/2005|
|The Wall in a Week: land theft and ghettoization step up another gear||Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - "This week has been marked by extensive land confiscation and isolation, from Tamoun in the northern Jordan Valley to Hebron in the South. House demolitions are taking place in the northwestern areas to completely depopulate areas isolated by the Wall and to create further space for settlement expansion."
|Pregnant Palestinian Women and Israeli Checkpoints. A Deadly Encounter! ||MITAH - report - "The report highlighted the denial of basic human rights and obstetric health care to 61 Palestinian women, who were forced against their will to give birth at one Israel`s many illegal checkpoints scattered randomly throughout the West Bank and Gaza."||15/12/2005|
|Collective punishment at Qalandiya checkpoint||Iris Bar - Machsomwatch report -" ...a soldier has been stabbed. And died and left behind him lots of pain. But the man who stabbed him has been arrested. So why is this harsh act of collective punishment? How is it supposed to help if not by creating yet a new generation of hopelessness and reinforce the despair of this current generation?"||15/12/2005|
|Whatever happened to Lebanon`s `Cedar Revolution`?||Alaa Shahine - Jordan Times/Reuters - In Beirut`s Martyrs` Square, 11 photographs hang on a wooden wall, showing hundreds of thousands of
anti-Syrian protesters thronging the city`s streets after the February assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
|ISM Report: Resistance to Israel’s Apartheid Wall Continues in Aboud ||International Solidarity Movement - The villagers of Aboud have taken up a campaign of nonviolent resistance against the Israeli Aphartied wall which will steal agricultural land, olive trees and water resources. ||12/12/2005|
|Jordan`s Prince Hassan urges change of U.S. policy in Iraq||Agence France Presse - LONDON: Prince Hassan of Jordan said that the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq had run out of goodwill and must change tack to prevent growing instability in the Middle East.
|Toddler latest to die in Sudanese refugee protest in Cairo||Vivian Salama -The Daily Star - Demonstrators say 4-year-old died of cold temperatures, poor nutrition||13/12/2005|
|UN report backs Syria suspicions ||BBC News - A second UN report on the murder of Lebanese ex-PM Rafik Hariri confirms that Syrian officials are key suspects and questions Syrian co-operation. Mehlis says that 19 suspects have been identified but much work remains.
|Lebanon: The Situation is Very Worrying||Jihad el Khazen - Al-Hayat - The situation in Lebanon is worrying, or very worrying.
This is the opinion of Arab diplomats, Egyptian diplomacy, and some leading Egyptian journalists. I heard these ideas in Cairo when I spent a day there on my way from London to Beirut this week.
|Bethlehem lacks Christmas spirit: ||Ali Waked - Ynet - “We want to be free during the holiday", say residents who`re finding it difficult to get into Christmas spirit this year, despite PA’s efforts. Local: ‘There will never be a real Christmas in Bethlehem until all signs of occupation are gone’
|Egypt jails opposition leader||Reuters - An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced leading opposition politician and former presidential candidate Ayman Nour to five years in jail on forgery charges.||24/12/2005|
|Facts and fantasies about Arab satellite TV||Rami G. Khouri - Daily Star - The most dramatic edge of a wider phenomenon that is being extensively discussed in the Middle East and throughout the West: the virtually unregulated Middle Eastern and global Arabic-language satellite services, and their impact on Arab social and political sentiments, especially their views of the U.S. and Israel.
|Will Iraqi democracy soon become a good habit?||Judith S. Yaphe - Arab Reform Bulletin - Iraq has acquired the trappings of democracy, including a Parliament, elected government, free press, and the outlines of democratic institutions. It also has deep-seated sectarian and ethnic rivalries, unstable political alliances, closed-door deals, institutionalized corruption, and cronyism, which also sometimes occur in democracies.
|Hizbullah is Lebanon`s bulwark against Al-Qaeda||Clancy Chassay - The Daily Star - Since the events of September 11, 2001, there have been numerous attempts to link Hizbullah to Al-Qaeda - some more plausible than others. Investigation, however, reveals considerable animosity between the two groups, and two leading academics on the subject suggest Hizbullah may be Lebanon`s best protection against an Al-Qaeda presence in the country.
|Israel says it will impose `aerial siege` on Gaza||TheDaily Star - Israel will enforce a new off-limits zone in the Gaza Strip with artillery, helicopter and gunboat fire, its latest response to rocket attacks on Israeli towns, defense officials said Friday, drawing condemnations from the Palestinian Authority.||24/12/2005|
|Mehlis slams `Syrian propaganda` ||BBC News - Detlev Mehlis, head of a UN inquiry into the killing of the former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri has accused Syria of using propaganda to discredit the commission. Mehlis told Lebanese newspaper al-Safir the tactics were similar to those used by Communist states in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.
|Syria faces more Lebanon pressure ||BBC News - Syria is coming under increased international pressure over its role in Lebanon, following the murder in Beirut of leading anti-Syrian MP Gibran Tueni. ||12/12/2005|
|New Mehlis report implicates Syria ||Al Jazeera - New evidence has reinforced investigators` belief that the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services were probably involved in the assassination of Lebanon`s former prime minister, a UN inquiry says in its latest report.
|New Mehlis report implicates Syria ||Al Jazeera - New evidence has reinforced investigators` belief that the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services were probably involved in the assassination of Lebanon`s former prime minister, a UN inquiry says in its latest report.||12/12/2005|
|Lebanon blast kills anti-Syria lawmaker||Christian Henderson in Beirut - Al Jazeera - Anti-Syrian journalist and Lebanese Christian lawmaker Gebran Tueni has been killed along with two others in an explosion that targeted his convoy in an industrial suburb northeast of Beirut.
|Assad warns sanctions could destabilize region||Rym Ghazal - The Daily Star - As the Security Council receives the Mehlis report on Monday, rumors are swirling that Syria will be punished for not "fully" cooperating with the UN probe into former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri`s assassination.
|MP Tueni targeted in Beirut blast||Mayssam Zaaroura - Daily Star - BEIRUT - Anti-Syrian journalist and prominent lawmaker Gebran Tueni was killed by a car bomb Monday, a day after he returned from France, where he had been staying periodically for fear of assassination.||12/12/2005|
|Israel readies forces for strike on nuclear Iran||Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv, and Sarah Baxter, Washington - Israel`s armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.
|An Islamic predicament ||Ghazi Hamad - Bitterlemons - There is, of course, an immediate link to be made between the war in Iraq and Palestine; that both are wars of liberation against foreign occupying powers, the US and Israel respectively||4/12/2005|
|Nationalism v Pan-Arabism: A continuing tug of war ||Saad N. Jawad - Bitterlemons - The history of Iraqi politics was and still is a history of struggle between advocates of Arab nationalism and advocates of Iraqi nationalism. ||4/12/2005|
|Lebanon: "Impossible" options ||Nizar Abdel-Kader - Bitterlemons - Between May 29 and June 19, Lebanon held its first parliamentary elections in 30 years free of Syrian military and intelligence domination. The political alliances leading to the elections were drawn along sectarian and traditional lines.||11/12/2005|
|Analysis: Hariri`s son fears for his life||Claude Salhani - United Press International/METimes - Fearing that he, too, could be killed, Saad Hariri, the son of slain Lebanese former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, has been living in self-imposed exile, moving around a number of Arab Gulf states for the last six months.
|Damascus blunts sanctions momentum ||Sam F. Ghattas - The Associated Press - Al-Rai - Beirut - Syria, reeling under international pressure just a few weeks ago, has largely managed to blunt forward momentum towards sanctions against it for its alleged role in a Lebanese political assassination.||11/12/2005|
|Media Are No Exception||Ramzy Baroud - Palestine Chronicle - "If political decline brings about decline in all aspects of a nation`s life, including its media, can the process be reversed?.."
|Syria in a new mood||Mohammed A. R. Galadari - The Khaleej Times - Reports are that Syria is in secret talks with Israel to settle its problems with the Jewish state in an amicable manner. Whether it is true or not, it isn`t too late for Syria to do so, on the same lines as Anwar Sadat had done a quarter of a century ago.
|Fisk: War is the total failure of the human spirit ||Justin Podur - Interview with Robert Fisk - "I`m not some cranky left wing or right wing nut. We are a newspaper, that`s the point. That gives us an authority most people are used to growing up with newspapers."
|America slowly confronts the truth||Robert Fisk - The Independent - Watching the pathetic, old, lie-on-its-back frightened labrador of the American media changing overnight into a vicious rottweiler is one of the enduring pleasures of society in the United States. I have been experiencing this phenomenon over the past two weeks, as both victim and beneficiary.
|From Beirut to Damascus||Charles Glass - The Nation - In the autumn of 1972, arriving in Lebanon as a graduate student at the
American University of Beirut, I discovered radical student politics.
The mainly Palestinian-led student movements were only a few years
behind Paris and New York, and strikes were common. When police raided
sit-ins, students sang "We Shall Overcome." Discussions went on all
|International Hariri tribunal could be also used for other things||Zeina Abu Rizk - The Daily Star - Mutual apprehensions prevail among the "Gathering of Four," which groups the main parliamentary blocs of Hizbullah, Amal, the Future Movement and the Democratic Gathering. These unspoken worries need to be addressed quickly if the various partners want to avoid a collapse of their alliance. ||6/12/2005|
|Assad urges UN investigation commission to `correct its mistakes`||Leila Hatoum and Majdoline Hatoum - Daily Star staff - BEIRUT/NEW YORK: Syrian President Bashar Assad urged the UN commission probing the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri to "correct its mistakes," as the investigation team began interrogating five Syrian officers at the UN Headquarters in Vienna on Monday.
|Saudi prince gives Sharon `benefit of doubt`||Agence France Presse (AFP) - DUBAI: Billionaire Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal said Monday he was willing to give the "benefit of the doubt" to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon if he could broker peace between the Jewish state and the Arabs. "We should leave him the benefit of the doubt," bin Talal said during a panel discussion at the Arab and World Media Conference organized by the Arab Thought Foundation in Dubai.
|UN, EU condemn mass graves found in Anjar: Five burial sites already discovered||Rym Ghazal - Daily Star - BEIRUT: The United Nations and European Union on Monday condemned the mass graves discovered in the northeastern Lebanese town of Anjar, as excavations were brought to a close with coroners` estimates putting the grizzly tally of the remains at 27 bodies. ||6/12/2005|
|Arab Christians are nationalists, not `fifth-columnists`||Jonathan Kuttab - The Daily Star - Arab Christians have always been an integral part of Arab society. Yet they have also been uniquely situated to play a vital role in the confrontations between the Arab world and the nominally Christian West.||10/12/2005|
|Liberalism means more than just elections||Ralf Dahrendorf - The Daily Star - There can be no liberal order without political democracy, but today we are frequently reminded that political democracy alone does not guarantee a liberal order.||10/12/2005|
|For Egyptians, electoral payback time||Maria Golia - The Daily Star - Egypt`s parliamentary elections have made manifest a truth long in the offing: the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) has a formidable rival in the Muslim Brotherhood who already has enough seats to nominate a presidential candidate in 2011. ||2/12/2005|
|Leave democracy promotion outside the State Department||Mustapha Khalfi - The Daily Star - Democracy promotion is a good in itself and should not be put at the service of other goals, such as improving the U.S. image or gathering support for other U.S. policies. For this reason it is best pursued by organizations such as the NED rather than from the State Department.
|TV talk show host alleges Syria forced witness to claim coercion||Nada Bakri - The Daily Star - Future Television talk show host Fares Khashan alleged Thursday that Syrian intelligence had forced a Syrian witness to claim he had been coerced into giving false testimony to the international commission investigating the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.
|Eid questions sister of Sidon mayor||AP - Elias Eid, the investigating magistrate handling the assassination file of former Premier Rafik Hariri, interrogated four new witnesses on Thursday, including Rouqayya Bizri, the sister of Sidon mayor Abdel-Rahman Bizri. ||2/12/2005|
|Egyptian shot dead as election day turns violent||Agence France Presse - An Egyptian was shot dead Thursday in the latest round of parliamentary polling which was marred by attempts by security forces to prevent opposition supporters from voting. ||2/12/2005|
|Mehlis slated to resign from mission||By Raed El Rafei - Daily Star - Detlev Mehlis, the head of the UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, plans to resign from his mission when his mandate expires on December 15, UN diplomats said Thursday.||2/12/2005|
|Mehlis and rule of law in the Arab world||Rami G. Khouri - Daily Star - The Washington-Damascus show is nearing its dramatically climactic moment. In the coming months, the protagonists must either conclude there can be no coexistence and accordingly fight it out to the death;||3/12/2005|
|Lebanon: Fuad Siniora urges creation of common Arab market||Daily Star staff - Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Thursday that the Arab states should liberalize the services sector and remove trade barriers to speed up the creation of a common market.||3/12/2005|
|Ski season officially starts in Dubai||Agence France Presse - DUBAI: Skiing officially started on Friday at Dubai`s new indoor Alpine ski resort, offering the world`s first indoor black-run just minutes away from the desert emirate`s beaches.
|Witness claims Rouqayya Bizri received advance warning of Hariri assassination||Mohammed Zaatari - Daily Star - Witness into the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri, Mustafa Singer, elaborated Friday his allegation that Rouqayya Bizri, the sister of Sidon mayor Abdel-Rahman Bizri, had received information two weeks before the murder that the premier would be "gone in 15 days." ||3/12/2005|
|Amal MP: Shebaa Farms being Lebanese is `nothing new`||Therese Sfeir - Daily Star - Amal MP Ali Khreis said Syria`s recent affirmation the Shebaa Farms were Lebanese "was nothing new".||3/12/2005|
|U.S. urges Annan to convince Mehlis to remain as head of UN probe||Leila Hatoum - Daily Star - The United States urged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Friday to persuade German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis to stay on as head of the UN investigation into the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri, after numerous reports Mehlis would step down after December 15.
|GCC presses NATO for nuclear-free Middle East||Agence France Presse - The head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) called on NATO Friday to press for the elimination of nuclear arms in the Middle East so that the Gulf region does not become "sandwiched" between Israel and Iran.||3/12/2005|
|Brotherhood wins no seats in Thursday polls||Daily Star - Cairo: The leading opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, won no seats in the final round of Egypt`s parliamentary elections after police barred thousands of its supporters from casting ballots, according to official results announced Friday.||3/12/2005|
|Even in Iraq, don`t write off Arab nationalism yet||Eric Rouleau - Bitterlemons International - Is Iraq still an Arab nation? No longer, according to its new Constitution. Although the document states that "Islam is the official religion of the state and a fundamental source of legislation" and that Iraq is "part of the Islamic world," it does not mention either the Arab identity of the country or it`s belonging to the Arab community.
|UN probe chief Detlev Mehlis set to continue mission||Leila Hatoum - Daily Star - Detlev Mehlis, the head of a U.N. investigation team into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, is likely to stay on, Lebanese political sources said on Sunday, after Beirut asked for the probe to be extended.||5/12/2005|
|Mass graves found in Anjar shock Lebanese||Rym Ghazal - Daily Star - Mass graves which were dug up in Lebanon over the weekend are believed to hold the bodies of Lebanese soldiers killed during the Civil War. The number of bodies is expected to reach a total of 40 as the Lebanese authorities continue to dig in the third and largest mass grave to be exhumed within a month.||5/12/2005|
|Rectifying Western misperceptions will require sustained initiative||Editorial - The Daily Star - Since September 11, 2001, and the ensuing U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the world has become increasingly interested in events in the Middle East. But unfortunately, much of the international reporting on the region has only served to reinforce stereotypes and misperceptions about Arabs and Islam. ||10/12/2005|
|Try a new approach to fighting terror||Salim Al-Hoss - The Daily Star - Despite all the energy and resources mobilized in fighting terrorism, this atrocity is gaining rather than losing momentum in various parts of the world. ||6/12/2005|
|The Arab world is a hotel Iraq can never leave||Abdel Monem Said - Bitterlemons International - What happened in Iraq regarding association with the Arab world after the fall of Saddam Hussein`s regime was no different than similar developments following major turning points in other Arab countries, such as Egypt in the 1970s and Kuwait in the 1990s.||10/12/2005|
|Palestinians in Lebanon: Pro-PLO groups agree on reform||Mohammed Zaatari - Daily Star - SOUTH LEBANON: Fatah Commander in Lebanon Brigadier General Sultan Abu al-Aynayn and several pro-Palestine Liberation Organiza-tion factions here have drafted a paper that redefines the struc-ture of the Palestinian organism in Lebanon.||7/12/2005|
|Houssam joins Syrian officers for questioning in Vienna||Leila Hatoum - Daily Star staff - BEIRUT: As United Nations chief investigator Detlev Mehlis gets ready to leave Lebanon with his final report on the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri, Houssam Taher Houssam, the Syrian witness who publicly confessed to having lied to investigators, joined three Syrian officers for questioning in Vienna.
|Egyptian women fear an Islamist Victory would restrict their freedoms||Agence France Presse - CAIRO: "I am against all their policies. Not only the ones related to women.Their political stance of openness is a mere tactic to reach power", said liberal writer Nawal Saadawi.
|King Abdullah: Extremists have hijacked Islam||Daily Star - Saudi Arabia`s King Abdullah appealed to Muslim leaders on Wednesday to unite and tackle extremists who he said have hijacked their religion. ||8/12/2005|
|How might Israeli and Palestinian elections affect one another?||Yossi Alpher - The Daily Star - Israeli and Palestinian elections have never before been held at the same time. Currently, the simultaneous election campaigns on both sides of the "green line" are just getting under way. ||9/12/2005|
|Egyptians will not wait forever for Mubarak`s promises to be fulfilled||Editorial - The Daily Star - In a sign that democracy is beginning to flourish in Egypt, a changing of guards will take place when the newly elected members of Parliament take office.||9/12/2005|
|Robert Malley, Former U.S. envoy discusses Mideast future||Adnan El-Ghoul - Daily Star - U.S. policy in the Middle East is at a crossroads and must choose whether to continue on the path mapped out by the policies of Washington`s neoconservatives or to choose a new path.
|U.S. will increase pressure on Damascus||Majdoline Hatoum and Leila Hatoum - Daily Star staff - NEW YORK/BEIRUT: The U.S. "does not have plans for any sanctions at the moment, but will certainly continue pressure on Syria to show more cooperation with the investigations" into the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri, according to a high ranking U.S. diplomat in New York.
|`The hijab is a swastika-type symbol`||Taris Ahmad - The Daily Star - "I still cannot imagine a black on the German Olympic team," a German student admitted recently over dinner. The sentiment is widespread as Europe`s most populous nation struggles with the presence of minorities and its treatment of foreigners - mostly Muslims. Germany struggles with the presence of minorities and its treatment of foreigners.||9/12/2005|
|Lebanon: `It`s time for us to know the truth`||Jessy Chahine - Daily Star staff - Relatives of missing urge Lebanese cabinet to unearth remaining graves
|Free Marwan Barghouti to curtail the power of Hamas||Yossi Beilin - Common Ground News Service - Once Barghouti is free, he will be able to join Abbas and help him to lead the areas under PA control. If Israel is interested in a strong Palestinian partner that is capable of administering law and order and of standing up to Hamas, this is Israel`s opportunity. ||2/12/2005|
|Let Islamists take the democratic challenge||Rami G. Khouri - Daily Star staff - The moment of reckoning for the next stage of Arab political development is upon us faster than anticipated, with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt winning 88 seats out of a total of 444 in the Egyptian parliamentary elections||10/12/2005|
|In Dubai, indoor snow and a market on fire||David Ignatius - Daily Star staff - If you`ve been wondering what happens to that extra money you`re paying at the gas pump, take a stroll amid the skyscrapers and super-luxury hotels of the desert emirate of Dubai, which is becoming the global economy`s biggest boomtown.
|Syria denies reports of peace talks with Israel||Agence France Presse (AFP)- DAMASCUS: Syria on Friday denied it was in secret peace talks with Israel after a British newspaper reported Damascus was engaged in clandestine discussions on reopening contacts with the Jewish state.
|Mehlis to present report to Annan on Monday||Leila Hatoum and Majdoline Hatoum - Daily Star staff - The head of the UN probe into the murder of former Premier Rafik Hariri, Detlev Mehlis, "will present his report to the UN Secretary General Monday morning" before discussing it with the UN Security Council "on Tuesday," a top UN diplomat told The Daily Star Friday.
|Israel threatens `economic siege` on Gaza if militant attacks continue||The Daily Star - Israel has threatened to impose an "economic siege" on the Gaza Strip unless Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas disarms militant groups, as Middle East quartet diplomats met in Jerusalem to examine ways of kick-starting talks between the two sides.||10/12/2005|
|Give Detlev Mehlis six more months||Michael Young - Daily Star staff - Depending on whom you listen to, Mehlis` decision to talk to Syrian witnesses in Vienna was either a victory for Syria or a humiliating climb-down. ||1/12/2005|
|State wants to delay barrier ruling ||Dan Izenberg - The Jerusalem Post - If the state has its way, the High Court of Justice ruling on the security barrier around A-Ram will be postponed for anywhere between two and four months, according to a request submitted during a hearing on Sunday.
|Forgotten promises||Jerusalem Post - "As Talia Sasson, author of an official report on the legal morass that allowed the creation of dozens of illegal outposts, told this newspaper in an interview which appeared on Wednesday, the only obstacle to the promised removal of these outposts is a lack of political will."||8/12/2005|
|Do These Two Have Anything in Common?||Zbigniew Brzezinski - The Washington Post - President Bush has equated Islamic radicalism with communism. Is the comparison sound? Is it wise?
|Jubara ... A Prototype Aftermath of the Israeli Segregation Wall||Link to ARIJ - "Jubara was one of the first Palestinian communities to feel the lash of the Israeli built Segregation Wall." ||1/12/2005|
|West Bank barrier designed to expand settlements: report||Agence France Presse - "Israel has deliberately routed its West
Bank separation barrier to expand and create new Jewish
settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, a human
rights report charged Thursday"||1/12/2005|
|New checkpoint kills of Bethlehem`s tourist trade||Amelia Thomas - Middle East Times - " According to Bethlehem`s mayor, Victor Batarseh, the new checkpoint is "the main obstacle to the revival of tourism in Bethlehem", just one in a series of measures to ensure the death of Bethlehem`s tourist trade, on which the city almost entirely depends."
|Israeli soldiers abuse two Palestinian children near Ramallah ||Manar Jubrin - IMEMC & Agencies-"Israeli soldiers posted at the Qalandia checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Ramallah, attacked and abused two Palestinian children on Monday afternoon, the (Machsom Watch) Israeli organization reported."||14/12/2005|
|March 14 forces blame Syria for Tueni killing, demand Parliament take action against Lahoud||Rym Ghazal - Daily Star - Beurut: The March 14 political forces renewed their campaign against Syria, blaming it for the assassination of MP and leading journalist Gebran Tueni and calling for an emergency parliamentary session to debate the fate of the Syrian regime`s last representative in Lebanon, President Emile Lahoud. ||14/12/2005|
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