|Siege, Wall, Checkpoints|
| A wish of a dying mother ||Edited by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC - Farha Barghouhi, 74-year-old, known as “the mother of prisoners” was admitted to the Intensive care unit at Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah on April, 10, 2005 suffering from pneumonia, her first and last wish is to see her jailed sons before she dies.
|Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood calls for civil disobedience ||Agence France Press - Antiwar - CAIRO - Egypt`s opposition Muslim Brotherhood movement called for nationwide civil disobedience as a means of increasing pressure on President Hosni Mubarak to end his 24-year rule.
|Egypt`s reformers and opposition say Rice `not interfering`||Ola Galal - Middle East Times - Following a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Cairo last week, a number of Egyptian reformers and opposition members told the press the aim of Rice`s talks with them was merely to exchange views on political reform in Egypt and stressed that she was not interfering in the country`s internal affairs.
|Egypt opposition leader attacks Mubarak from the dock||Mona Salem - Metimes - Prominent Egyptian opposition leader and possible presidential candidate Ayman Al Nur used the opening of his trial for forgery on Tuesday to challenge the regime of veteran President Hosni Mubarak.
|Iraq Update: 19-22 June 2005||CPTnet - Will Van Wagenen, Greg Rollins and Anita David went to a demonstration at the Ministry of Human Rights (MHR) held by a women`s organization in support of detainees.
|IRAQ: Why 500,000 Iraqi children are dead||CPTnet - Walking through the streets of Baghdad I often see children playing next to raw sewage, which flows freely and causes a terrible stench. Even if the city keeps waterrunning, it is unsafe to drink, which I recently learned the hard way after spending the better part of two days throwing up and sitting on the toilet.
|Iraq: What is really going on where does the situation lead to ? ||Collection of Articles from the Iternational Media -1.Foreign fighters only a tiny part of the rebellion; 2.A Case for Progress Amid Some Omissions; 3. Bush spells out strategy for war in Iraq; 4. U.S. Military to Expand Prisons in Iraq; ||30/6/2005|
|Iraq: A bloody mess||Patrick Cockburn - The Independent -
A year ago the supposed handover of power by the US occupation
authority to an Iraqi interim government led by Iyad Allawi was
billed as a turning point in the violent history of post-Saddam
|Lebanon: Reforming the judiciary will protect Lebanese citizens from predators||The Daily Star - Editorial - The appointment of Fouad Siniora, the most likely candidate for premier, would mark the only case in Lebanese history where a new prime minister actually embodies the concept of continuity.
|Iraq: Washington now faces a no-win situation in Iraq||Patrick Seale - The Daily Star - America is facing the real possibility of defeat in Iraq. The insurgency is as robust and as lethal as ever. U.S. troops are overstretched and thin on the ground, while Iraqi troops are far from ready to replace them. Sectarian violence is on the rise, suggesting that civil war is just round the corner. ||29/6/2005|
|Still being fooled in the Middle East?||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - In important remarks last week at the American University in Cairo, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a powerful case for the promotion of democracy and liberty in the Middle East. I would like to praise her for what she said, but also urge her to think more deeply and honestly about some of the key issues she raised. ||29/6/2005|
|The Red-Dead project leaves Jordan vulnerable on water||Lamis Andoni - The Daily Star - It is difficult to evaluate the tripartite Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian project to build a link between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea without analyzing the broader political context. ||29/6/2005|
|Syria: Opposition forum rejects order to disband; Families wait for word of jailed teenagers||Agence France Presse - DAMASCUS: Syrian security services have ordered the country`s only remaining political forum to close down, just weeks after briefly arresting its founder and seven other members, the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) said; Families had had no word of their detained children, aged between 14 and 17, since their detention in January in the central city of Homs
|Iraqi front demands US withdrawal||Al Jazeera - A former cabinet minister has formed a political front to represent the demands of an umbrella group of fighters in Iraq demanding a timetable for US troop withdrawal.
|Syrian forum served closure order||Aljazeera - The Syrian security services have ordered the country`s only remaining political forum to close down, just weeks after briefly arresting its founder and seven other members, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights said.
|IRAQ: Focus on Fallujah||CPTnet - CPT Iraq`s assessment of current conditions - June 2005||29/6/2005|
|Kafkaesque abuse of Rateb Abu Rahma||Kobi Snitz - IMC Israel - The cruel process of expectation and disappointment was repeated again today (June 29). With just minutes before Rateb`s scheduled release, it turned out that the hearing of the appeal of his release will heard the next day.
|IRAQ REFLECTION: Exit interviews from Falcon Camp||Tom Fox - CPTnet - CPT Iraq has visited U.S. base Falcon Camp three times during the last five weeks to interview relatives of detainees held there. Falcon Camp is the holding center for the Dora district in Baghdad. Anyone detained by Multinational Forces (MNF)
|Lebanon assembly blocs back pro-Syrian as speaker ||Reuters - Lebanon`s main parliamentary blocs have agreed to back the re-election of Nabih Berri, virtually guaranteeing the strong Syrian ally will secure the post of parliament speaker, political sources said on Monday.
|Imneizel Villagers Bring Occupation Bulldozers To Standstill ||Stop The Wall Campaign - Villagers from Imneizil in South Hebron district brought Occupation bulldozers to a halt on Monday June 27th. Palestinian flags adorned the bulldozers which have razed 400 dunums of land here in the last week as villagers took back their confiscated land||28/6/2005|
|World Powers Urge Israel to Ease Checkpoints||Reuters - Palestine Chronicle - World powers on Thursday urged Israel to allow Palestinians to move more freely around occupied territories, echoing a key demand from Palestinians ahead of the Jewish state`s planned withdrawal from Gaza.
|Iraq Diary - Karbala, the city of peace||Joe Carr - CPTnet - I just spent two days in Iraqi city of Karbala, about seventy-five kilometers south west of Baghdad. Getting there was a bit of trick; we had to drive through the dangerous "Sunni Triangle" and dozens of checkpoints.
|Syria: US pushes for punitive action against Syria||Ewen MacAskill - The Guardian - The US secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, discussed plans for punitive action against Syria with other western foreign ministers yesterday over its alleged involvement in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel.
|Iraqis Tallying Range of Graft in Rebuilding||James Glanz - The New York Times - BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 23 - Allegations of widespread corruption have
dogged the Iraqi government since the invasion in 2003, when
billions of dollars for reconstruction and training began pouring
into the country.||26/6/2005|
|Iraq: Another Year of Living Misery in Baghdad; Residents Face `So Many Problems`||Andy Mosher and Bassam Sebti - The Washington Post - In the streets of Baghdad, people wondered Thursday what else could possibly go wrong.
|Censorship||Dahr Jamail - Electronic Iraq - At long last, the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq
is upon us. As a witness providing testimony, like the other
witnesses I`m being interviewed by many outlets. Today, one of them
was by reporters for one of the larger newspapers in Turkey, the
Yeni Safak Newspaper.
|Claim: IDF soldiers harass Palestinian vendors||Wallah! - allegations of serious abuse at the Kalandia checkpoint||27/6/2005|
|For Lebanon, a struggle to become whole||John Kifner - The New York Times - BEIRUT Throughout the darkest days of 15 years of civil war, the paradox of Lebanon was always that what enabled its people to survive and even prosper were the close bonds of family, clan, village and ultimately religion, while these were the very forces that tore the country apart.
|Hariri And The Lebanese Realities ||Ghassan Charbel - Al-Hayat - Saad Hariri’s supporters have the right to celebrate the exceptional landslide achieved by the Future Movement under his leadership. They also have the right in creating the aura and the image of the young leader. They have the right to say that Saad Hariri went where his father was not able to go, and that he won the battle his father was forbidden to wage to deprive him form the right to win. ||27/6/2005|
|Time for the second phase of the Cedar Revolution||Kamal Dib - The Daily Star - The world community will be surprised that the revolution that occurred in Lebanon on March 14, 2005, did not simply dissipate with the advent of the Parliamentary election as each warlord looked inward after his own clan. While this could be true of the traditional leadership that rode the wave of protest and took on the "Opposition" tag, the civil society continued the march and will soon impose new demands on the elected Parliament.||27/6/2005|
|Jordan to tackle corruption amid Cabinet reshuffle||The Daily Star staff - Jordan`s King Abdullah II instructed the government to set up an independent anti-corruption commission and draft a law to fight graft as part of a reform drive in the kingdom. The king`s message comes as Prime Minister Adnan Badran prepares to announce a government reshuffle in a bid to win a parliamentary vote of confidence denied him since he formed his government in April.
|Lebanon`s anti-Syrian Parliament set to re-elect pro-Damascus speaker||Majdoline Hatoum and Nafez Qawas - Daily Star staff - Lebanon`s newly elected anti-Syrian Parliament is set to re-elect leading pro-Damascus politician Nabih Berri as its speaker when Parliament convenes for the first time since the election on Tuesday. Saad Hariri`s Future Movement bloc, the single largest opposition grouping in Parliament last night declared its intention to vote for Berri virtually guaranteeing his re-election.
|Egypt Briefs: A summary of Egypt-related news. ||Middle East Times - More than 1,000 Palestinians stranded at Gaza-Egypt border; NGO condemns 15-month `arbitrary` detention of Shia in Egypt; Egypt bans opposition leader from travel; Egypt ends manhunt for terror suspect; Egypt becomes first Arab country to name ambassador to Iraq; Egypt`s judges criticize changes in political law; Mubarak says Egypt smashed cell planning attack on Israelis; Egypt says it is holding only 37 Muslim Brothers; ||24/6/2005|
|A hint of glasnost for Syria||Sami Moubayed - Asia Times - DAMASCUS - A week after the Ba`ath Party conference in Syria, which many people believed could mark significant change in the country, it`s clear that it was foolish to think the Ba`athists would willingly abandon their status in government. On the contrary, the conference came out with a very strong message to Syrians and the world: the Ba`ath is here, as it has always been since 1963, and plans to stay around for a whole lot longer.
|Egypt sets new conditions for presidential candidates||Mona Salem - Metimes - CAIRO - The Egyptian parliament on Wednesday approved three amendments to an electoral bill, amid opposition protests that the ruling party was seeking to bar credible rivals to long-standing President Hosni Mubarak.
|The USA`s neo-conservative world supremacists will fail||Eric Hobsbawm - Guardian - Current US megalomania is rooted in the Puritan colonists` certainties||25/6/2005|
|The new face of Lebanon||Mohalhel Fakih - Al Ahram Weekly - Lebanon`s most daunting tasks lie ahead. MPs representing a wide array of ethnic, sectarian and political factions have to wrestle with local and international pressures to carry out urgently needed political and economic reform and engage in dialogue with Hizbullah over its armament.||25/6/2005|
|Question for Condoleezza Rice||Mohamed Sid-Ahmed - Al-Ahram weekly - On her visit to Egypt and a number of other Middle Eastern countries this week, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice focussed on the need for democratic reform throughout the region. Other items on her agenda included regional peacemaking efforts and counter- terrorism.||23/6/2005|
|Ducking democracy, Arab regime style||Wayne White - The Daily Star - In Cairo and Riyadh this week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chastised American allies for not doing enough to advance democratic reforms and freedoms. Her criticisms echoed the disappointment and frustration of many Iranians, Egyptians, Saudis, Lebanese and Syrians, and encouraged regimes to "go forward as quickly as possible." But she added: "Obviously regimes will do this at their own speed."
|In Egypt, some judges still consider independence an ideal||Dina Shehata - The Daily Star - In recent months, with growing pressure on the Egyptian government to reform, elements of Egyptian civil society have seized the moment to advance longstanding agendas.
|The dangers of Egypt`s low-grade fever||Mona Eltahawy - The Daily Star - These are the words of a friend: "I never was near collapse like today because of how helpless I was before the state security forces. One woman took me in her arms in the middle of all the harassment to say `this is beginning of the end.` She fainted afterward. I shiver at the fact that I had to just give in at the end and stop fighting it and let them grope me."
|IRAQ UPDATE: 14-18 June 2005||CPTnet - Baghdad - Anita David and Will Van Wagenen went to a women`s human rights organization to meet a family whose son was detained in March. They had visited several holding facilities in Baghdad looking for any record of their son. Each time U.S. or Iraqi officials told them that they had no record of their son`s detention.
|We shelter behind the myth that progress is being made|| Robert Fisk - The Independent - "So we are going to support the myth. As the headless bodies are found along the Tigris, as the mortuaries fill up, as the American dead grow far beyond 1,700 - and, let us remember, the Iraqi dead go into the tens of thousands - Europe and the rest of the world still support the American project.
|Iran`s Presidential Runoff: The Long View||Kaveh Ehsani - Middle East Report -Many observers were caught off guard when the first round of Iran`s
presidential election on June 17, 2005 catapulted the arch-conservative
mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, into a runoff against former president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani.
|Another Year of Living Misery in Baghdad; Residents Face `So Many Problems`||Andy Mosher and Bassam Sebti
The Washington Post - "In the streets of Baghdad, people wondered
Thursday what else could possibly go wrong.
In Karrada, a commercial district across the Tigris River from the
city`s fortified Green Zone, wreckage was still smoldering hours
after four car bombs exploded shortly after dawn, killing 17 people
and wounding 20."||24/6/2005|
|US pushes for punitive action against Syria ||The US secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, discussed plans for punitive action against Syria with other western foreign ministers yesterday over its alleged involvement in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel.
|Iraq creating new breed of jihadists, says CIA||Ewen MacAskill, Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor -
The Guardian -
"The war in Iraq is creating a new breed of Islamic jihadists who
could go on to destabilise other countries, according to a CIA
|The war president||Paul Krugman - The New York Times - "Leading the nation wrongfully into war strikes at the heart of democracy. It would have been an unprecedented abuse of power even if the war hadn`t turned into a military and moral quagmire. And we won`t be able to get out of that quagmire until we face up to the reality of how we got in."||25/6/2005|
|Israel will transfer security control of Bethlehem and Qalqilya; No progress was obtained in Sharon-Abbas summit ||Updates from the unusccesful Abbas-Sharon "summit" and an update on the Israeli state prosecution claim to the Supreme Court that the Separation Wall is a political, rather than a security, means. Chief Justice Barak rejects the claim.||23/6/2005|
|Warning bells are ringing||The Palestinian Bar Association has described legal professionals` "unsafe working environment." A discussion of corruption and other problems in the Palestinian judiciary, including violence against lawyers and judges and the Palestinian Authority`s failure to protect the judicial system.||23/6/2005|
|Another Wednesday at Kalandia Checkpoint ||Tami Goldshmidt and Aya Kanyuk - MachsomWatch - As has been reported, every few hours they go over to the peddlers, and either they beat them or they turn over their carts with all their merchandise, or they both beat them and turn over their carts. Its seems that the favorite sport among soldiers at Kalandia during the last three years, hunting down and shooting at children from the Kalandia refugee camp, has been replaced with the abuse of vendors. A link to a short movie.||28/6/2005|
|The fence, non-violent activists targeted, and the children of Bil`in ||Gush Shalom report - While the joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle against the Fence is daily taking place and often in more than one location, we get used to hear that activists were arrested or got wounded. Two leading Anarchists (if such a thing exists) were targeted especially: Yonatan Polak is no longer allowed to enter the occupied territories (for three months), and Leiser Palas was beaten up and spent a day in hospital with a head wound and is still limping.
|Despite the gloom, Lebanon is changing||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - How refreshing! An Arab parliamentary election whose results were not known three months ahead of time, and did not result in the ruling party winning a victory of over 90 percent, as has been the norm in many Arab countries in the last half century.
|Mother Russia, a father no more in the new Middle East||Vitaly Naumkin - The Daily Star - In the years since the break-up of the Soviet Union, two differently directed processes have unfolded simultaneously in Russia`s relations with the countries of the Middle East. On the one hand, Russia established and actively developed relations with new partners (this process began even before the dissolution of the Soviet state).
|For Syrian optimists, now is the time to reconsider||Ammar Abdulhamid - The Daily Star - If the last five years in Syria have shown anything, it is that the country`s Baath regime cannot accommodate serious reforms - economic, political or structural. As such, the lackluster nature of the recent Baath congress and its recommendations were not surprising. If anything, the Baath simply lived up to its, by now, well-established reputation as the party of missed opportunities and disappointments.
|How Cheney Fooled Himself||E. J. Dionne Jr. - The Washington Postn - President Bush planted the seeds of the destruction of his Iraq
policy before the war started. Salvaging the venture will require an
unprecedented degree of candor and realism from a White House that
was never willing to admit - even to itself - how large an
undertaking it was asking the American people to buy into.
|Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation||Dahr Jamail - Electronic Iraq - Dahr Jamail reports on the struggling health care situation in Iraq. The report surveys 13 Iraqi Hospitals, examines the actions taken by US military against hospitals and care workers that constitute war crimes as defined by the Geneva conventions, discusses and documents cases of US medical personnel complicit in torture through failures to document the visible signs of torture on their patients, and much more.
|Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation||Dahr Jamail - Electronic Iraq - Dahr Jamail reports on the struggling health care situation in Iraq. The report surveys 13 Iraqi Hospitals, examines the actions taken by US military against hospitals and care workers that constitute war crimes as defined by the Geneva conventions, discusses and documents cases of US medical personnel complicit in torture through failures to document the visible signs of torture on their patients, and much more.
|WMD claims were `totally implausible` ||Richard Norton-Taylor - The Guardian - A key Foreign Office diplomat responsible for liaising with UN inspectors says today that claims the government made about Iraq`s weapons programme were "totally implausible".
|Trying to Bridge A Great Divide||Nicholas Le Quesne - Times Magazine - Tariq Ramadan has the measured delivery of an academic, which is no more than you would expect from a man who used to be a high school principal and wrote his doctoral thesis on Nietzsche. But as the leading Islamic thinker among Europe`s second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants, the Geneva-based university lecturer also inspires a good deal of mistrust—from both Arab Muslims for his Western sensibility and Westerners for his controversial Islamic roots.||21/6/2005|
|An Introduction to the man and his writings||Tariq RAMADAN - Holds MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. He taught Islamic Studies and Philosophy as a professor at Freiburg University in Switzerland for many years and held the post of Professor of Islamic Studies in the Classic Department and Luce Professor of Religion Conflict and Peacebuilding at Kroc Institute in 2004 at University of Notre Dame in the United States. He had to resign that post due to visa revocation by the USA administration.
|Lebanon: Real renewal means no Lahoud or Berri||Chibli Mallat - The Daily Star -
The Cedar Revolution may become a political watershed as important for the Middle East as was the fall of the Berlin Wall for Eastern Europe, but only if change occurs at the top.
|Rice makes forceful case for democracy in Mideast||Daily Star staff - For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region, here in the Middle East, and we achieved neither," Rice said. "Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people." But Rice`s message drew a less than enthusiastic reception in Egypt.
|Iraq update: 9-13 June 2005||CPTnet - Tom Fox and Will Van Wagenen went to Falcon military base and detainee holding facility south of Baghdad. They investigated how easily relatives of detainees are able to get information regarding their detained relatives.
Iraqis said they keep receiving different and contradictory information
regarding the whereabouts of their detained relatives.
|The US war with Iran has already begun||Scott Ritter - Aljazeera - Americans, along with the rest of the world, are starting to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that President George Bush not only lied to them about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the ostensible excuse for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of that country by US forces), but also about the very process that led to war.
|Anti-Syrian politician killed in Beirut blast||Joelle Bassoul - METIMES - MURDERED: George Hawi, former leader of the Lebanese Communist Party, gestures during parliamentary elections in Mount Lebanon in this June 12 file photo. Hawi, an anti-Syrian politician, was killed on June 21 when a bomb ripped through his car in Beirut.
|Egyptian judges call for an independent judicial system to ensure honest elections||Ola Ahmed - Middle East Times - CAIRO - Egyptian judges called on the authorities last week to pass a new judiciary law in line with the new political rights law in order to ensure the independence of Egypt`s judiciary system and the transparency of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections||26/6/2005|
|Arab press condemns Hawi killing ||BBC - Online - The Lebanese and wider Arabic press is appalled by the car bomb death of George Hawi, the former Communist Party leader and critic of Syria, and sees it as the latest in a line of political assassinations.||22/6/2005|
|The everyday of the checkpoints||Nina Mayorek - MachsomWatch - what can be seen recently A-Ram and Qalandiya checkpoint, and at a flying checkpoint at the Tapuah junction.||26/6/2005|
|Lebanon voters `welcome change` ||BBC online - Saad Hariri has campaigned for an end to Syrian influence
Lebanon`s main opposition anti-Syrian alliance has claimed victory in the final round of the country`s four-round parliamentary elections.
The alliance`s leader, Saad Hariri, said the Lebanese people had had their say and had voted for change.
|Rice and the Palestinians||DAOUD KUTTAB - Jerusalem Post - Perhaps the best indication of the wide-ranging negative effects of the checkpoints can be found in the daily reports of Machsom Watch. These reports show that basic humiliations and restriction of movement are arbitrary, often dependent on the mood of a particular soldier or officer rather than on any genuine security need.
|Does Iraq`s main labour union support the occupation?||Lee Sustar - Counterpunch - the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions appears to support the continuation of the US occupation of Iraq||20/6/2005|
|Meeting of the committee of ministers against the Wall in Bil`in||ISM News - Today, Saturday June 18th, the Bil`in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements will host a meeting of the committee of ministers against the Wall including ministers Walid Abed Rabbo,
Ghassan Khatib, Khaled Kawasmi, Hind Khoury, Ahmed Majdalani, Naser
El Qidwah, and Mohammed Shtayeh.
|Iraq: Baghdad restaurant bomb kills 23 ||BBC Online - The restaurant was popular with security troops; A suicide bomber has killed at least 23 people in a restaurant near the Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
|Ramallah, Tel Aviv, New York: Three Cities Against the Wall Collaborative Art Show ||WAFA - Palestinian, Israeli and American artists organized an exhibition named `Three Cities Against the Wall` protesting the Separation Wall under construction by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
|Israeli sea barrier planned to prevent attacks from Gaza||Israel is planning a barrier stretching almost a kilometre into the Mediterranean to prevent seaborne Palestinian militants infiltrating its coastline after it pulls out of Gaza. But how effective is this measure and what is the price that Palestinians in Gaza pay in terms of freedom of movement ?
|Progressive Islam, not an oxymoron ||William Fisher - The Jordan Times - The movement is still embryonic and faces huge challenges from traditional, more conservative Islam, and from conservatives of other religions as well. But for Islam, its success holds out the promise of a consequential, if glacial, paradigm shift in the relationship of Muslims to Islam and to modernity.
|Egypt: Sixty articles more||Gamal Essam El-Din - Al Ahram weekly - The People`s Assembly is today expected to pass a law regulating Egypt`s first-ever presidential elections. The 60-article law, the subject of a week`s intensive debate in both the People`s Assembly and Shura Council, follows the constitutional amendment allowing multi-candidate presidential elections. ||19/6/2005|
|Syria: Reform dynamics||Sami Moubayed from Damascus - Al Ahram Weekly - Hopes for democratic reform in Syria may have been put on hold, but they are not dead; a profile of the great survivor of Syrian politics Abdel-Halim Khaddam, who finally stepped down this week ||19/6/2005|
|Listen to the Palestinian refugees, they know their foul plight best||Karma Nabulsi - The Daily Star - The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are held hostage in a variety of cruel ways. Several generations of refugees have lived in recognized and unrecognized refugee camps since 1948, not far from their original homes across the border, where they have been prevented by force from returning. Everything else follows from this.
| Egyptian politics awaken from their half-century slumber||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - You know that a country suffers distress and deep distortions when the policemen at the airport ask foreign visitors for tips and the waiters at the five-star hotels do not. When the waiters are better trained and disciplined than some of the security forces, you have a problem. Egypt today is a country with problems, but also prospects for change.
|Syria gets new intelligence chief||Reuter - El Jezeera Net - President Bashar al-Assad is under pressure to liberalise
|What`s Next for Egypt: Democracy or the Fundamentalism of the Muslim Brotherhood?||Wahid Abdel-Majid - Al-Hayat - At a small party to mark the 60th birthday of Egyptian novelist Gamal Ghaitani on 9 May, Naguib Mahfouz was asked what he expected to happen in Egypt, in view of the rapidly developing events there. "It looks like Egypt wants to try the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood," Mahfouz responded.||13/6/2005|
|Analysing mistakes in peace-making||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - This is either a moment of real hope for a resumption of peace-making between Israelis and Palestinians, or just a good time for some really thoughtful analysis of the situation. Judging from the discussions in Cairo this week at a United Nations-sponsored international media seminar on reinvigorating the Middle East peace process, we are likely to get much more quality analysis in the near future than tangible peace-making.
|For democratic change, deal with moderate Islamists||Amr Hamzawy - Daily Star - It has become common to suggest that the West should reach out to nonviolent Islamist political movements in the Arab world and integrate them into its democracy promotion efforts.
|The scalping party||Mike Davis, Tom Engelhardt - Tom Dispatch - The current Usanian atrocities in Iraq have precedents in previous wars - in Mexico, Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. ||15/6/2005|
|Egypt: Mubarak vows to name vice-president; Rights group calls for international monitoring of Egypt polls||Roula Khalaf in Cairo - Financial Times - President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt will name a vice-president after the September presidential election, a move he has strongly resisted throughout his 24-year rule.
Mona Salem - MET - Egyptian rights group called for international observers to be allowed to monitor upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections ||14/6/2005|
|Lebanon: The general out of his labyrinth||Michael Young - Daily Star staff - In trying to be sorcerers, Walid Jumblatt and Saad Hariri proved they were mere sorcerer`s apprentices. Surely the most deceitful line coming out of the elections in Mount Lebanon on Sunday was the warning by the Druze leader that the victory of the Aounist movement placed Lebanon on the threshold of a new civil war. Yet Jumblatt and Hariri were the ones most responsible for fortifying Aoun, and they must now ponder how they so irresponsibly pushed the Christians into the arms of the general.
|Kuwait names first woman minister||Omar Hasan - AFP, Middle East Times - MINISTER: Maasuma Al Mubarak sits in her home in Sabah Al Salem area on June 12. Kuwait appointed its first female cabinet minister on Sunday, naming veteran women`s rights activist Mubarak as minister of planning and administrative development. (REUTERS)
|The Madrassa Myth||Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey - The New York Times - It is one of the widespread assumptions of the war on terrorism that the Muslim religious schools known as madrassas, catering to families that are often poor, are graduating students who become terrorists.
|Lebanon`s Christians deal blow to anti-Syrian coalition; Michel Aoun emerged from Lebanon`s third round of polls Sunday as a hard-line Christian political force ||Nicholas Blanford - The Christian Science Monitor - BEIRUT - Michel Aoun has gained a surprise victory in the key third stage of Lebanon`s elections, delivering a blow to the anti-Syrian opposition`s chances of forming a majority in the next parliament.
|State Sponsored Civil War||Dahr Jamail- Electronic Iraq - Yesterday at a conference in Baghdad, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a prominent Shia leader who is also the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq announced, "In gratitude to the efforts, sacrifices and heroic positions of our brothers and brave sons from the Badr Organization."
|Iraq Reflection: Abu Nawas Street||Greg Rollins - CPTnet - Last summer my teammate Max and I took one of our many walks down Abu Nawas Street. Abu Nawas runs along side a park adjacent to the Tigris River. When the U.S. ousted Saddam, they closed off seven blocks of Abu Nawas to protect the Palestine/Sheraton hotels and several business offices.
|Irish Times on Machsomwatch special report||Nuala Haughey - Irish Times -Machsom (Checkpoint) Watch this week revealed the detailed testimonies of its
>500 volunteers, exposing what it calls a pattern of abuse and humiliation
>feeds Palestinian rage and resentment and leads to the very terrorism the
>checkpoints are supposed to prevent.
|The thousands of bodies I`ve seen prove that death is just a heartbeat away||Robert Fisk
- Independent - "The old question asked by those of us in the trade is: just how much is a journalist`s life worth?..Early on Thursday evening, I watched the Lebanese laying roses and lighting candles on the Beirut street where "they" murdered Samir Kassir just over a week ago."||13/6/2005|
|Egyptian women`s groups outraged by attacks against women on Referendum day||Ola Ahmed - Middle East Times - OUTRAGED: Egyptian women activists demonstrate in front of the Syndicate of Journalists building in Cairo on June 1. The words on the photograph of the state security chief held by the protestor read `trial him`. (Reuters)||12/6/2005|
|Syria`s Assad consolidates power as old guard shown the door||Acil Tabbara - The Middle East Times - DAMASCUS - President Bashar Al Assad consolidated his power base on Thursday as the ruling Baath party`s old guard made way for figures close to the Syrian leader, at the close of a four-day congress.
|Review of the Arab press||The Middle East Times - A roundup of commentary from Arab newspapers
|Syria`s Ba`ath party reforms `not enough`||Ferry Biedermann in Damascus - The Financial Times - Bashar al-Assad, Syria`s president, used the 10th congress of the ruling Ba`ath party this week to consolidate his power, while the hoped-for progress on much touted reforms was patchy.
|Egypt: Wife bids to build Mubarak dynasty||Uzi Mahanaimi - Anti War - A DISPUTE has erupted between President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and his half-Welsh wife over whether their son Gamal should succeed him. His main rival is one of Mubarak’s best friends, General Omar Suleiman, 69, the spy chief.
|Syria`s Ba`athists ease up, just a little||Sami Moubayed - Asia Times - DAMASCUS - As Syria`s ruling elite met in a grand hall from Monday to Thursday to discuss the political future of Syria and the Ba`ath Party, a United Nations Development Program report was issued on Wednesday, saying that 11.4% (2 million) of Syria`s 18 million people are living beneath the poverty line, earning less than US$2 a day. ||11/6/2005|
|Evolution, not revolution, in Arab lands||Jim Lobe - Asia Times - WASHINGTON - The administration of US President George W Bush should back up its pro-democracy rhetoric in the Middle East with more action and consistency, according to a new bipartisan report that also urges Washington to ecourage
"evolutionary" rather than "revolutionary" change in Arab lands.
|Web of cold-blooded lies||Eric Margolis - Toronto Sun - Eric Margolis is appalled by Anglo-U.S. scheme to scare citizens into backing Iraq war||12/6/2005|
|Mothers of convention break down the barriers ||Ed O`Loughlin - The Sydney Morning Herald -"All these checkpoints pretend to offer security but the children at the checkpoints are becoming the next generation of terrorists," said Lia Nirgad. "What they endure there everyday is enough to create thousands of people who have nothing to lose."
|A Counterview: Checkpoints 2004||Link to the MachsomWatch yearly report on military checkpoints (pdf)||11/6/2005|
| Iraq bomb kills five US Marines||BBC - "The attack came hours after reports that 17 bodies had been found bound and killed execution-style in the same restive province, Anbar."||11/6/2005|
|Lebanon election report: resistance sweeps the south||Bilal El-Amine - Znet - "Everyone knew who would win well in advance—no one doubted that the alliance of the two major Shia parties Amal and Hizbullah would clean up."||11/6/2005|
|Samir Kassir - Killing an Arab ||Rasha Salti - Al Aharam Weekly - An Obituary for Samir Kassir: Freedom, imagination and the shadow of death ||10/6/2005|
|Sudan: It`s blood for oil in Southern Sudan||Julie Flint
The Daily Star
Friday, June 10, 2005
When UN Secretary General Kofi Annan went to Darfur recently, he went to the front line - to Labado, where more than a hundred people died in one of those aerial bombardments the Sudan government says isn`t happening.||10/6/2005|
|Islam: Progressive Islam, or how to accept it`s time to start a-changin`||William Fisher - The Daily Star - In the United States there is an impression that no internal struggle exists within Islam between reformers and more rigid conservatives. The truth is, however, that such an internal debate, centering on how to interpret the Koran, has been going on for centuries. It is also true that today the debate has risen to a new level, fueled by the emergence of a small but rapidly growing branch of the faith known as Progressive Islam.
|Egypt and the paradox of American democratization||Maha El-Dahan - The Daily Star - Egypt and the paradox of American democratizationA brief published by Newsweek in its May 9 edition about the abuses taking place in Guantanamo Bay prison had the Muslim world up in arms demonstrating against the desecration of the Koran. Or did it?
|Egypt: Rights group insists Egypt`s academia stifled||Bonnie Docherty - HRW - AFP - Daily Star - Egypt`s academic life has been stifled by years of intimidation and censorship imposed by the regime and Islamists alike, giving birth to an apathetic generation unwilling to challenge the status quo, a rights group charged||10/6/2005|
|Syria: Baath Party amends emergency law and embarks on modest policy change||Daily Star staff - The ruling Baath party approved the emergence of independent political parties and the relaxation of the state of emergency, in a move that fell short of what activists have been calling for. The congress also recommended that Syria improve relations with Iraq and commit itself to a strategy of peace to "restore occupied lands," a reference to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, the official Syrian TV reported.
|Iraq: Economic recovery unlikely in short term||Agence France Presse - Iraqi Plans to lure foreign investors keep getting hijacked by outlaw rebels and corruption||10/6/2005|
| Soldiers attack a procession against the Wall in Salfit|| Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Thursday afternoon, the Popular Committee Against the Wall, and Salfit municipality, organized a procession against the Separation Wall in Salfit and the surrounding areas.
Israeli soldiers attacked the peacefully protesting residents, Israeli and international peace activists and attempted to bar them from reaching the bulldozed fields, and wall construction area. ||10/6/2005|
| Israeli Army Vs. Anti-Wall Protestors|| George Rishmawi - IMEMC & Agencies - There has been an increase in the reports of Israeli soldiers’ assaults against protestors in nonviolent anti-wall actions.||10/6/2005|
|Lebanon: Living War||Naomi Klein - Electronic Intifada - Report on an independent media initiative that coincides with a period of significant political change in Lebanon||10/6/2005|
|Six Day War Gave Child A Lifelong Yearning for Peace ||Experiences of a Palestinian child under occupation. The author hopes for a new culture of peace that includes a shared concept of history and cooperative endeavours, making borders unnecessary. A hope for a better tomorrow||9/6/2005|
|Iraq reflection: Tunnel Vision||CPTnet - Tom Fox - "Iraqis always seem to have lots of guns in their houses." We were meeting with a U.S. Army colonel in his office in the Green Zone. Draped across his high back chair was an ornate leather holster with his service revolver.
|Villagers mounted bulldozer in AL Ramadin||ISM - "The people of the village of Al Ramadin in South Hebron staged a
protest two days ago against the Israeli annexation wall. The wall is
being built on land stolen from the village and will cut the
population off from all except 12% of the West Bank."||9/6/2005|
|Salfit has been announced a closed military zone||ISM - "Soldiers and border police repeatedly entered the village from 5.30 AM onward, throwing sound bombs and firing tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition into the air and into a home, breaking its window. Approximately 20 Palestinians were treated for tear gas inhalation, among them a Red Crescent ambulance worker who was injured when a tear gas canister was fired at an ambulance. "||9/6/2005|
|Egyptian women`s groups outraged by attacks against women on Referendum day||Ola Ahmed - Middle East Times - Egyptian women activists demonstrate in front of the Syndicate of Journalists building in Cairo on June 1. The words on the photograph of the state security chief held by the protestor read `trial him`.
|Review of the Arab press - 30.5.2005 - 31.5.2005||Middle East Times - A roundup of commentary from Arab newspapers - Qatar`s Al-Ray: Israel`s prisoner release deceptive move; Lebanon`s Daily Star: Libya`s `farcical drama`; Jordan`s Al Ghad: America`s `stupid behavior`; Al Quds Al Arabi: US making costly mistakes in Iraq; Qatar`s Al Watan: Arabs will suffer from French `no` vote; Al Khaleej: French `no` might `infect` other EU countries; Jordan`s Ad Dustour: Exploiting emotions to consolidate the status quo;
|Egypt: `Pick Mubarak or face chaos`||Reuters
Reuters - President Hosni Mubarak loyalists are delivering a simple message to Egyptians before they choose their leader for the first time in an election pick Mubarak or face chaos.
|Syria`s hardline deputy resigns||Reuters - The Times - DAMASCUS: Veteran hardline Syrian Vice-President Abdel-Halim Khaddam, a key architect of the nation`s involvement in Lebanon, has reportedly resigned from the Government as talks begin in Damascus to reform the ruling Baath Party.
|Jordan: Better a storm than a hurricane||David Ignatius - Daily Star staff - When an Arab leader removes his chief of intelligence, it`s a sign that some kind of serious internal shakeup is under way. And that`s just what has been happening in Jordan as the storm of political reform settles deeper over the Arab world.
|Syria: Veteran politician Khaddam makes way for new blood||Daily Star staff - Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam`s decision to stand down removes a veteran aide to Syria`s former President Hafez Assad and is part of a Baath Party effort to inject new blood into top positions, analysts and party members said.
|Syria opposition too weak to confront state||Nicholas Blanford - The Daily Star - DAMASCUS: Bludgeoned by 40 years of authoritarian rule and riven by internal bickering, Syria`s diverse and often fractious opposition is in a poor state to confront a Baathist regime undergoing a process of consolidation.
|Report on Beit Surik Action against the Annexation Wall||Lisa - ISM - In a demonstration in the West Bank village of Beit Surik 60 Palestinian villagers accompanied Israeli and international activists marched from the village to a construction site of the Annexation Wall near the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Adar.
|Lebanon: From Samir to Sassine, the perils of a security void||Michael Young - Daily Star - Recent violence was less destined to target Christians as such than to rouse sectarian hostility. That wasn`t difficult. As one outraged teenager asked after the last violent incident: "Is this national unity?"
|What Hope for Arab Democracy?||Patrick Seale - Al-Hayat - striking feature of the Arab world today is a burning sense of impatience, bordering on revolt, with the existing state of affairs. The thirst for change is palpable. From one end of the region to the other - and with very few exceptions - the Arabs are unhappy with the way they are governed. In several countries there is a feeling that an explosion is near. ||3/6/2005|
|Syrian leader seeks economic revival||Al Jazeera Net - Al-Assad said the focus should be on economy and corruption: "The economic situation is a priority for us all to improve its performance and improve the life of our citizens. So is corruption," said al-Assad, presiding over his first Baath Party congress since succeeding his father Hafiz al-Assad in 2000.
|Syria: A watershed||Ronald Bruce St John - The Asia Times - As the Ba`ath Party congress began on Monday, Syrian President Bashar Assad continued to be torn by competing forces. In the wake of the hasty removal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, hardliners now are pushing for a reassertion of party control. Reformers see the moment as ripe to accelerate socioeconomic and political change. The end result may well set the stage for Syrian politics for years to come.
|Syria`s leap - forward, or over the precipice?||David Hirst - The Daily Star - The 10th Congress of the Syrian Baath Party opened yesterday in Damascus. It may turn out to be another ritual in the annals of the Soviet-style, single-party system over which the Baath has presided for 42 years. And, even if it does accommodate more self-criticism than usual, it will probably end up with a re-endorsement of the basic "correctness" of the party line, and the need to go on following it until the next congress five years hence.
|Egypt: Reformist groups mushroom to shake off state grip||Agence France Presse - CAIRO: In increasing numbers, advocates of reform are flexing their muscles in Egypt, setting up new movements for change and democracy with a common focus - to shake off the grip of the state. Judges and academics, journalists and writers, workers and politicians, have all announced embryonic groups.
|Syria: Assad reaffirms role of Baath Party||Rhonda Roumani - Special to The Daily Star - Assad reaffirmed the dominant role of the Baath Party in his opening speech of the 10th Baath Party Congress and failed to offer any details on what reforms would be addressed at the conference, which many here had hoped could be a possible turning point toward long-awaited changes.
|Syria: Opponents of Syrian Ba`athists murdered before party conference ||Inigo Gilmore in Damascus - Syria`s ruling Ba`athist regime has launched a brutal crackdown on dissenters in the run-up to a landmark gathering of senior party leaders this week. Damascus`s feared secret police have detained at least 14 opposition figures and have been blamed for the murders of two more.
|Iraq: Baghdad children die; toll grows||Bassam Sebti in Baghdad and Falah Hasan in Balad Ruz - The Jordan Times - A mortar barrage killed three children and their
uncle as they played together outside their south Baghdad home, the
latest deaths in an insurgency that claimed a total of six lives
Wednesday and showed no signs of slowing down.
|Anti-Syria writer slain in Beirut||BBC News Online - A car bomb in a residential area of mostly Christian east Beirut has killed Samir Qasir, a prominent newspaper journalist.
|Syrians call on Baath Party to free political prisoners||The Daily Star staff - Among the signatories on the appeal calling to free political prisoners were prominent human rights lawyers Anwar al-Bunni and Khalil Maatouk, intellectuals Michel Kilo and Sadek Jalal al-Azm, and journalist Hakam al-Baba. ||9/6/2005|
|Every day life in Baghdad: Help us take out the trash, and other Iraqi requests||Scott Peterson - The Christian Science Monitor - The Amiriyah district of western Baghdad has long been a tough neighborhood for American troops and the Iraqis willing to work with them
|The failed siege of Fallujah||Dahr Jamail - Asia Times - After two devastating sieges of Fallujah in April
and November of 2004, which left thousands of Iraqis dead and
hundreds of thousands without homes, the aftermath of the US attempt
to rid the city of resistance fighters in an effort to improve
security in the country continues to plague the residents of
Fallujah, and Iraq as a whole
|Syria: Assad under fire as exiled uncle signals wish to return to Syria||Robert Fisk - The Independent - Even Syrian officials now profess themselves at a loss to know what is happening in their country. Is Mr Assad really in charge? Or is Syria being run by a clique of powerful intelligence officers, like Algeria? Tomorrow`s party con- gress may provide some clues.
|Lebanon: Why Ridley Scott`s story of the Crusades struck such a chord in a Lebanese cinema||Robert Fisk - The Independent - See it if you haven`t. I came away realising why - despite the murder of Beirut`s bravest journalist on Friday - there probably will not be a civil war here again. So if you see "Kingdom of Heaven", when Saladin sets the crucifix back on the altar, remember that deafening applause from the Muslims of Beirut. They wanted Islam to be merciful as well as strong. And they roared their approval above the soundtrack of the film.
|Lebanon: A death that hastens the liberal victory||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - The assassination Thursday of Lebanese writer and activist Samir Kassir has sent a huge shockwave throughout Lebanon, because of its timing, target and implications. ||6/6/2005|
|Syria: Some thoughts on a mundane Baath event||Ammar Abdulhamid - The Daily Star - Syria has been abuzz with all sorts of nasty and hopeful rumors regarding the Baath Party congress that will begin today. Some predict that a virtual coup will take place as a result.
|Indonesian Muslims can pave the way toward a `moderate Islam`||Munim Sirry - The Daily Star - Islam in Indonesia, whose 200 million people constitute the world`s largest community of Muslims, is increasingly viewed as very different from the Islam practiced in the older Muslim communities of the Middle East.||5/6/2005|
|Syria: Can Assad make the `great leap` he has promised?||Michael Glackin - Daily Star - In fact, the Arab world`s one true growth industry is reform seminars. But amid all the talk, a most unlikely reformer threatens to change all that this week when Syrian President Bashar Assad opens the much-touted 10th Baath Party Congress in Damascus later today.
|Syrians have low hopes for Baath Party Congress||Rhonda Roumani - The Daily Star - Promises that major internal reforms could be announced at a Baath Party conference, set to begin today in Damascus, have Syrians waiting to see whether democratic changes may finally be on the horizon after five years of stalled reforms.
"Expectations are down," said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert who runs Syriacomment.com, a Weblog on Syrian affairs.||6/6/2005|
|Syrian authorities arrest two human rights activists despite reform promises||Agence France Presse - The Daily Star - DAMASCUS: Syrian authorities have arrested two human rights activists, one of whom was allegedly detained for speaking at a memorial service for a slain Kurdish cleric, rights groups said.||6/6/2005|
|Women: Why Arab women are still in the slow lane of reform||Hanan Nasser - Daily Star - Kuwait`s move to appoint two women to its municipal council is the latest in a series of timid but sure steps toward granting women more say in the country`s decision-making process. ||6/6/2005|
|Elections Pose Lebanon`s Old Questions Anew||Sateh Noureddine and Laurie King-Irani - MERIP - Watching a wave of peaceful protests compel the Lebanese government to resign on February 28, 2005, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli hailed the victory of a "Cedar Revolution" in line with, among others, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and "the Purple Revolution in Baghdad."
|Nonviolent direct action in Bilin - Israeli soldiers tear down the fence!||Eye-witness report of a creative non-violent anti-War demonstration and Israeli military brutality in suppressing the demonstration||3/6/2005|
|Knesset member hurt in anti-fence rally||Ali Waked and Efrat Weiss - Ynet English Site - Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, senior PA official, IDF soldier sustain light injuries during clashes between security forces, protesters during anti-West Bank security fence demonstration.||3/6/2005|
|Egypt: Women in Black||Jailan Halawi - Al Ahram Weekly - Women activists lead a day of mourning, even as the government promises to investigate allegations of abuse and sexual assault on protesters on 25 May. Jailan Halawi reports ||3/6/2005|
|Egypt: The reform dilemma||Hassan Nafaa - Al-Ahram Weekly - It was never realistic to think that the opposition in Egypt could prevent the NDP from pushing through its amendment of Article 76, let alone tailoring the reform process to its own whims. The opposition attempted to question the legality of the referendum in the courts, and when that failed they launched a boycott campaign. That, too, backfired, with the majority of the electorate going to the polls and voting in favour of the amendment. ||3/6/2005|
|Lebanon: A death that hastens the liberal victory||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - The assassination Thursday of Lebanese writer and activist Samir Kassir has sent a huge shockwave throughout Lebanon, because of its timing, target and implications. A country on the road to peaceful national revival and reconstruction has found itself still mired in murderous political retribution and intimidation. ||4/6/2005|
|Syria: Expect very leisurely change from the Baath congress||Ziad Haydar - The Daily Star - As Syria`s Baath Party prepares to hold its 10th congress on Monday, there is little agreement over what will happen, or what Syria`s status will be in the aftermath of the event. When President Bashar Assad first came into power five years ago, circumstances were very different. ||4/6/2005|
|In Egypt even the unborn endorse Mubarak||Maria Golia - The Daily Star - On May 25, Egyptians had a chance to say yes or no to a constitutional amendment allowing for multiple candidates in presidential elections. By all accounts, except official ones of course, voter turnout was low (around 20 percent). Many citizens were uncertain as to what they were voting for, but they knew that by saying "yes," they were supporting President Hosni Mubarak and the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). Officially, 84 percent of them did just that.
|The car bombings in Iraq||Michael Schwartz - Znet - signs that the Iraqi resistance is changing tactics - moves towards sectarian civil war||4/6/2005|
|Army bulldozes the entrance of a village near Bethlehem ||IMEMC & Agencies - “When the work is done, the residents will not be able to reach the surrounding areas, and Bethlehem, if the residents want to reach Beit Sahour, or Bethlehem, they have to walk through a very hilly path, on foot for 3km”
|Murder of Lebanese journalist points to rising crisis||Marianne Stigset - Inter Press Service/Antiwar - "Samir Kassir was assassinated by the remnants of the security agencies that control the country and that is headed by Emile Lahoud," said leading opposition leader Walid Jumblatt.||4/6/2005|
|Who killed Samir Kassir, Lebanon`s fearless journalist?||Robert Fisk - The Independent (Counterpunch) - "The bloody hand has reached out to Lebanon once more, striking down one of its most prominent journalists and one of the most vociferous and bravest critics of the Syrian regime."||4/6/2005|
|Today Demonstration in Beit Surik ||ISM - Today, 5.6.2005 at 8:30 AM, the villagers of Beit Surik will once again stand with Israeli and international peace activists to protect their land from destruction and theft. Israel is continuing to erect the Annexation barrier on Beit Surik in defiance of the International Court of Justice.
|Addicted to war: an insider examines the seductive myths of militarism ||Greg Guma - Vermont Guardian/Commondreams - Andrew Bracevich argues that the seed of Bush’s invasion of Iraq was planted by Jimmy Carter in January 1980 ||25/6/2005|
|Lebanon: Travels to Baino||Nahla Atiyah - The Daily Star - Casting my vote in the ballots of Baino, my hometown in Akkar. I only make it this far up north on rare special occasions, mostly funerals. No home there, a withering identity, no acquaintances, just a scattering of the remains of a family. No attachment. But get a load of this: I love going there.
|Is Hamas planning the inconceivable?||Khaled Haroub - The Daily Star - Will the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sit at the same negotiating table in the near future? Yesterday`s inconceivable fantasies may become tomorrow`s realities, regarding developments in Hamas. In a series of historic decisions over the past few months, the organization has decided to run for Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections in the West Bank and Gaza, put on hold all militant operations along with other Palestinian factions, and seriously consider joining the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). ||20/6/2005|
|Aoun anti-corruption vow easier said than done, say analysts||Middle East Times - BEIRUT - Christian firebrand Michel Aoun, who scored a surprise victory in the third round of Lebanon`s four-stage general elections, vowed on June 14 to fight corrupt politicians, whom he blames for the country`s hefty public debt.
|Lebanon`s former exile puts Christians back on political map||Sophie Claudet - Middle East Times - VICTORIOUS: Lebanon`s anti-Syrian Christian leader Michel Aoun waves at a polling station in Beirut`s suburbs on June 12.
|The Baathists will keep the Mercedes||David Ignatius - Daily Star staff - I`m standing in the hot sun at the gate of a fancy new conference center outside Damascus, trying (unsuccessfully) to get inside and watch the Baath Party debate political reforms. The headline in the morning`s government-run Syria Times has proclaimed: "Congress continues with openness and transparency." But alas, it`s not so open and transparent that they`re actually going to let me in.
|Libya is reforming, but Libyans don`t feel any better off||Eman Wehbe - The Daily Star - As part of its emergence from political and economic isolation, Libya is converting to an open-market economy after decades of socialist-style policies. Among the most unpopular steps taken by the government so far has been cutting subsidies, which has triggered widespread anger among Libyans.
|IAEA inspects Iran N-plant||al-Jazeera/Reuters - "Experts from the UN nuclear watchdog have inspected an underground uranium enrichment plant in Iran and verified that Tehran has kept its word by freezing all sensitive nuclear work there, diplomats say."||11/6/2005|
|Darfur talks resume||Al-Jazeera/AFP - negotiations between Sudanese govt and Darfur rebels resume, mediated by African Union||11/6/2005|
|Campaign To Change Mideast Under Fire; U.S. Cites Actions Behind the Scenes ||Robin Wright - The Washington Post -
A year after the United States persuaded allies to launch a campaign
to spur democratic change in the Islamic world, the Bush
administration faces growing criticism for failing to follow through
or get tough enough with Arab governments, according to Arab
activists, Middle East analysts, human rights experts and even some
on its own foreign policy staff.
|Surprises of democracy||Michael Jansen - The Jordan Times - The Bush administration is likely to pay a high price for its policy of promoting democracy in the Middle East, because elections in many of the region`s countries are certain to give Islamist parties antagonistic to the US strong representation in parliaments as well as in government ministries.
|Jordan: Reform Retreats Amid Jordan`s Political Storms||Curtis Ryan - MERIP - For weeks in the spring of 2005, banners advertising an international gathering at the Dead Sea resort of Shouna adorned every main street in Jordan`s capital city of Amman.||10/6/2005|
|`Two targets, one enemy`||Diaa Rashwan - Al Ahram Weekly - Examines the links between Al-Qaeda and Egyptian Islamist movements: Relations between Egypt`s two main militant Islamist organisations, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and Jihad, have been clear since at least 1984. ||10/6/2005|
|Arab World: Document The liberalism we espouse||A Declaration of Principles - Al-Aharam Weekly - In an unprecedented initiative prominent intellectuals from across the Arab world this week issued a liberal declaration of principles ||10/6/2005|
|Syria: Business as usual in Assad`s `revived` Baathist cabinet ||Robert Fisk - The Independent - The man who once handled Syria’s affairs in Lebanon, the ex-foreign minister Abdul Halim Khaddam, 72, was reported to have resigned his vice-presidency last night at the ruling Baath party’s annual congress in Damascus. But his departure will do nothing to obscure the fact that, rather than open Syria to new political freedoms, President Bashar al-Assad is intent on "reviving" the Baath to turn round the economy and stamp out "corruption".
|Syria: out the door, back through the window ||Robert Fisk - The Independent - Reporting on the intelligence war that is threatening a nation`s future. The presence of Damascus`s spies has cast a shadow over the first free elections in Lebanon for 30 years.
|Lebanon - Pro-Syrian general routs Lebanese opposition ||Robert Fisk in Beirut - The Independent - President Emile Lahoud appears to have won Lebanon`s first free elections in 30 years. A pro-Syrian, Mr Lahoud, wasn`t standing, of course - he`s safe, for almost another three years.
|Lebanon: We are all complicit in these vile acts of torture - but what can we do about it? ||Robert Fisk - The ndependent - "If our government uses information drained out of these creatures, it is we who are holding the whips"
|Fisk says Middle East anchored in history||Tony Jones - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Robert Fisk is the Middle East correspondent for the Independent and he`s reported and observed politics in that region for more than 25 years. He joins us now from Beirut. Robert Fisk, thanks for joining us again. Can we start with the assassination of George Hawi? Only yesterday in one of your articles, you quoted an old Lebanese friend as saying, "Someone else is going to get killed soon." I mean, you couldn`t have been more prophetic. ||21/6/2005|
|We shelter behind the myth that progress is being made ||Robert Fisk - The Independent - So we are going to support the myth. As the headless bodies are found along the Tigris, as the mortuaries fill up, as the American dead grow far beyond 1,700 - and, let us remember, the Iraqi dead go into the tens of thousands - Europe and the rest of the world still support the American project.
|America`s neo-conservative world supremacists will fail||Eric Hobsbawm - The Guardian - Three continuities link the global US of the cold war era with the attempt to assert world supremacy since 2001. The first is its position of international domination, outside the sphere of influence of communist regimes during the cold war, globally since the collapse of the USSR. This hegemony no longer rests on the sheer size of the US economy.
|What do the Usanian people know and when did they know it?||Zeynep Toufe - Counterpunch - "if there had been another attack on American soil around or after the February 15, 2003 protests, I believe that Islamist terrorism would take a nosedive in legitimacy in the Middle East. ... But now, I fear, many people would shrug, with sadness for sure, if America were to be attacked again. ... there seems to be a growing level of indifference and dislike towards Americans because they are perceived to have turned away from the crimes of their government." ||25/6/2005|
|Italy Judge Orders Arrest of 13 CIA Agents ||Associated Press - "An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA agents for allegedly helping deport an imam to Egypt as part of U.S.
|Lebanon`s elections — on the road to Arab modernity? ||Rami G. Khouri - The Jordan Times - How refreshing! An Arab parliamentary election whose results were not known three months ahead of time, and did not result in the ruling party winning a victory of over 90 per cent, as has been the norm in many Arab countries in the last half century.
|Rights group urges Egypt to release Shiite advocate in detention ||The Jordan Times - CAIRO (AP) — A human rights group on Thursday renewed its call for the Egyptian government to release a Shiite Muslim advocate held in detention for more than a year without being charged.
|Dividing Iraq||Zaid Al-Ali - Al-Ahram Weekly - Almost a century ago, foreign powers waged war in the Middle East officially for the purpose of liberating the region from oppression. Although each of their local allies had been promised self determination, plans were being drawn up at exactly the same time to deny them this very right. The region was split into separate countries and minorities were granted favoured status over the majority. Nowadays, `Federalism` is the new stick that is being used to beat Arab nationalism.
|The Murder of Samir Kassir ||Beirut - News, as well as TV pictures, have just come in of the car-bombing of the prominent journalist Samir Kassir. As most of you know, Kassir was a prominent figure in the Al-Nahar Newspaper, the main daily newspaper in Lebanon. This is a clear warning to the founders of the paper, Ghassan Tueini and his outspoken son Gibran Tueini who is the editor in chief of the paper. ||2/6/2005|
|Syria`s troops have gone. So who killed Samir, Lebanon`s fearless journalist?||Robert Fisk - The Independent - The bloody hand has reached out to Lebanon once more, striking down one of its most prominent journalists and one of the most vociferous and bravest critics of the Syrian regime.
|Palestinian murderers executed as Abbas bids to crack down on crime||Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, ordered four convicted murderers executed the first since he was elected in January. He had been under intense Israeli and international pressure to show he was serious about restoring law and order.
|An Open Letter to the Palestinian and International Community ||Palestinian Civil Society representatives - "We, the undersigned, medical and health service providers and members of professional unions and research and training institutions working in the health sector in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, would like to register our protest and deep concern over the increasing pressure exerted upon us to enter into Palestinian-Israeli cooperation schemes in the sphere of health. ||13/6/2005|
|State Sponsored Civil War||Dahr Jamail - Electronic Iraq - Yesterday at a conference in Baghdad, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a prominent Shia leader who is also the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq announced, "In gratitude to the efforts, sacrifices and heroic positions of our brothers and brave sons from the Badr Organization."
|Military action won`t end insurgency, growing number of U.S. officers believe||By Tom Lasseter - Knight Ridder Newspapers - Baghdad - A growing number of senior American military officers in Iraq have concluded that there is no long-term military solution to an insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis and more than 1,300 U.S. troops during the past two years.
|Iraq Moves Further Toward a Political Stalemate||Sabrina Tavernise - The New York Times - Baghdad - Iraq moved further toward a political stalemate today, as Shiite political leaders agreed on what they said was a compromise to include Sunni Arabs in the writing of this country`s constitution, and Sunnis flatly rejected the offer.
|Ministers were told of need for Gulf war `excuse`||Michael Smith - The Sunday Times - (British)ministers were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.
|Iraq: Focus on Fallujah. CPT Iraq`s assessment of current conditions, 28 May, 2005||CPTnet - Iraq - Checkpoint: The team`s car arrived at the checkpoint at 9:20 a.m. The driver moved to the lane reserved for "official" vehicles. When the car reached the first Iraqi National Guard (ING) station, a soldier told the driver to turn back and join the regular line. The driver complied. Ten minutes later, another ING told the driver to use the center "official" lane. Clearing the checkpoint took forty five minutes.
|The Anti-Arab Ad that Appeared in the IHT||Mounir El Mawry and Stephanie Hartgrove - ASharq Al-Awsat - Anyone reading the International Herald Tribune on 15 th June 2005, could not have missed the full page advertisement entitled “What does it take to make peace?” and including four pictures, each with a caption illustrating a different period of the Arab Israeli conflict.
|Iraq: How many dead Iraqis are enough?||Mona Eltahawy - A`Sharq Al-Awsat - "Our past is sad, our present is tragic, but luckily we have no future."
These could be words said by any Iraqi today. What better way to describe Iraq`s bloody days under Saddam Hussein`s tyranny, its bloody days since the U.S. invasion and the blood-filled days that seem to dominate its dreams of a future?
|Egypt: Kifaya to low grade fever politics||Mona Eltahawy - ASharq Al-Awsat - “I never was near collapse like today because of how helpless I was before the state security forces. One woman took me in her arms in the middle of all the harassment to say ‘this is beginning of the end’. She fainted afterwards. I shiver at the fact that I had to just give in at the end and stop fighting it and let them grope me.”
|Is democracy a right for Islamists too?||Abdul Rahman Rashed - ASharq Al-Awsat - On her first visit to the Arab World as US Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice has confused many with her pronouncements. During a lecture at the American University of Cairo , she gave out clear statements and ensured an implied message is delivered, regarding her country’s foreign policies in the next three years.||23/6/2005|
|Egypt: The increasing Frustration of Egypt’s Youth||Mona Eltahawy - AlSharq AlAwsat - CAIRO - I came home to shout Kifaya.
Ever since December when a small group of demonstrators began using the word at a protest in Cairo that was unprecedented for its focus on internal issues, I have feverishly followed news from Egypt from my New York flat.
|Cairo`s Middle Class||Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - Al-Sharq Al-Awsat - In Cairo , social trends appear and disappear very quickly. On my last visit, I noticed luxury has taken hold amongst the middle class in the Egyptian capital.
|Why do they die?||Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - Al-Sharq Al-Awsat - ||28/6/2005|
|Marda Villagers Under Attack as Resistance to Occupation and Apartheid Wall Steps Up ||Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Several villagers were injured on Tuesday 21st July, as resistance to the Apartheid Wall and Occupation continued in Marda. Occupation Forces attacked Palestinians attempting to reach their confiscated lands, and fired tear gas canisters into houses and at demonstrators. ||21/6/2005|
|Apartheid Wall Foundations Dismantled in Bil’in||Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Clashes ensued for several hours in Bili`n on Friday June 24th as Occupation Forces attacked Palestinians confronting the Apartheid Wall with an array of sound bombs, rubber bullets and tear gas. Later a section of the Wall path foundations - built by Occupation Forces over the last week - was destroyed as Palestinians continued their resistance to the Occupation and the Apartheid Wall.
|Washington now faces a no-win situation in Iraq||Patrick Seale - The Daily Star - America is facing the real possibility of defeat in Iraq. The insurgency is as robust and as lethal as ever. U.S. troops are overstretched and thin on the ground, while Iraqi troops are far from ready to replace them.
|Egypt: Nour looks to indict Mubarak`s regime at trial||Agence France Presse (AFP) - CAIRO: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak`s only serious election rival, Ayman Nour, vowed to use his trial to indict the regime and win more support ahead of September`s presidential poll.
|Egypt sets new conditions for presidential candidates ||Jordan Times - CAIRO (AFP) — The Egyptian parliament Wednesday approved three amendments to an electoral bill, amid opposition protests caliming that the ruling party was seeking to bar credible rivals to long-standing President Hosni Mubarak. Any candidate must prove he has a clean financial record, a certificate showing he performed his military duties and a signed declaration certifying he does not hold a second nationality.
|Kurdish Officials Sanction Abductions in Kirkuk; U.S. Memo Says Arabs, Turkmens Secretly Sent to the North||Steve Fainaru and Anthony Shadid - The Washington Post - KIRKUK, Iraq -- Police and security units, forces led by Kurdish political parties and backed by the U.S. military, have abducted hundreds of minority Arabs and Turkmens in this intensely volatile city and spirited them to prisons in Kurdish-held northern Iraq, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials, government documents and families of the victims.
|In Iraq, victory is really a question of numbers, and of time||Niall Ferguson - Daily Star - "I think that this could still fail." Those words - uttered by a senior American officer in Baghdad last month - probably gave opponents of the war in Iraq a bit of a kick. Judging by the polls, a majority of Americans probably now share that view. According to Gallup, 57 percent of Americans say it was not worth going to war in the first place. Around the same percentage say things are going badly today.
|A democracy both liberal and sectarian||David Ignatius - Daily Star staff - The road to Beirut from Damascus last week was a billboard for democracy, quite literally. The moment you crossed the border, you saw huge posters touting the various candidates in this month`s parliamentary elections, and the banners continued every hundred yards or so over the mountains and down to the sea.
|Murbarak Rival in Egypt Pleads Not Guilty to Election Fraud||NEIL MacFARQUHAR -NYT - The most prominent opposition candidate in Egypt`s fall presidential elections, Ayman Nour, pleaded not guilty to forgery charges today in a chaotic trial that he and his supporters say was intended to blacken his reputation before the official campaign season.
| Egypt`s Brotherhood calls for opposition alliance ||Reuters - Egypt`s banned Muslim Brotherhood group said on Tuesday it was inviting opposition groups to a conference to set up a permanent alliance to push for political reform in the Arab world`s most populous nation.
|Surrealism in Beit Surik ||From an eye-witness - how the Peace Process is enforced in Beit Surik by the Most Humane Army in the world||2/6/2005|
|Beyond sports and scouting: Arab youth imperatives||Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - I have always found the Arab Gulf countries, especially the smaller ones with some room for political expression like Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, to be excellent barometers of the political and social state of mind in the Arab world. Within these societies, youth are excellent barometers of living conditions and citizen attitudes, for they are usually the first population group both to reflect emerging problems and stresses and to grasp new opportunities.
|Journalist`s killing shocks Lebanon||By Cilina Nasser in Beirut - AlJazeera - Samir Kassir, a prominent Lebanese journalist known for his fiery criticism of Syria, has been killed in a car explosion. Kassir was a columnist with the Lebanese daily An-Nahar
|17 rebels killed in Turkey||Al-Jazeera - AFP - violent clash in southeast Turkey||18/6/2005|
|Fighting the wall with gravestones in Bil’in ||George Rishmawi-IMEMC & Agencies - With expressive notes written on gravestones, residents of Bil’in west of Ramallah in the West Bank summarized their message to the world in their weekly nonviolent anti-wall protest on Friday.
|Paradox and Possibility in Iran`s Presidential Election||Arang Keshavarzian and Mohammad Maljoo - MERIP - Just a short time ago, the Iranian presidential election being held on June
17, 2005 was regarded as a non-event. The prospect that the election would
advance debates over political reform and democratization appeared weak, in
the shadow of the self-described defeat of Iran`s parliamentary reformist
movement and the increasing skepticism of the disappointed citizenry that
voting for reform-minded candidates will in fact democratize the regime. ||17/6/2005|
|US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war||Colin Brown -
The Independent - "Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.
|Bush policies blocked as US mood on Iraq sours||Rupert Cornwell - Independent - "As American and Iraqi casualties on the ground mount relentlessly, President George Bush is in growing political trouble, with Republicans as well as Democrats questioning his handling of a war that has never been less popular here.
|History`s Greatest Reoccuring Hoax: Colonization "For Security Reasons"||Rima Merriman - The Electronic Intifada - In Gaza and north of the West Bank, the Israelis are taking down what should never have been put up in the first place (their illegal settlements), all the while muttering, "they haven`t made us do it; we are doing it on our own". On the West Bank, the Israelis are busy constructing what must in future be taken down. It must.
|Change in Syria?||Mohamed Sid-Ahmed - Al-Ahram Weekly - To what extend has the Syrian Baath Party congress in Damascus changed the political landscape of the Middle East?||17/6/2005|
|Reform and the rentier state||Azmi Bishara - Al-Ahram Weekly - The democratic transformation of Latin America and Eastern Europe came about when the ruling elites of those countries found it impossible to perpetuate their rule through the usual means and instruments. As social stability verged on total collapse the security services began to think twice before facing down the opposition with a massive campaign of repression.
|`Exit Strategy` Is More Than a Whisper in Washington, With Lawmakers Speaking Out||Sheryl Gay Stolberg - The New York Times - "With opinion polls showing a drop in support for the war, and a
British memo asserting that the Bush administration had intended to
go to war as early as the summer of 2002, the words "exit strategy"
are being uttered by both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
|Herald Tribune cartoon with a checkpoint||"Abbas in Washington"||2/6/2005|
|The `Grass Widow` Procedure ||Hava Halevi - MachsomWatch - about a Palestinian house renovation by the Israeli army ||2/6/2005|
|How to make violence inevitable in Saudi Arabia||Mai Yamani - The Daily Star - A democratic tide seems to be sweeping across the Arab world. Even the traditional Arab monarchies and emirates are changing in its wake. Kuwait now allows women to vote; Qatar has embraced an ambitious reform program; Bahrain has shown great tolerance of mass demonstrations; and the United Arab Emirates is allowing something like a free press. But Saudi Arabia continues to be deeply wary of any sort of change, and thus remains a huge and seemingly immovable obstacle to region-wide reform.
|Lebanon: Saving Private Saad, and ourselves||Michael Young - Daily Star staff - No sooner had I predicted last week that President Emile Lahoud would soon be on the bread line, than there were signs that Walid Jumblatt and Saad Hariri were concocting a plan to extend Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri`s term in office in exchange for helping them politically liquidate the president. Suddenly, all optimism evaporated. Such a plan, if it comes through, would be a spectacular mistake. It would allow the president to take up residence in Bkirki, sell himself as the new Maronite patriarch, and enlist Michel Aoun as his enforcer.
|Iran: Reform via the airwaves is still hitting some turbulence||By Amin Tarzi - The Daily Star - The relationship between mass media and reform in any part of the world cannot be underestimated. It becomes a crucial factor for the advancement of reform programs, or the lack thereof, when Arab countries and Iran come into the equation. In most cases in these countries reform, whether political or social, has been nonexistent or limited to half-measures.
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