An Event and a Regional Trend

The Israeli press publishes everyday news about clashes and operations carried out by Palestinian resistance’s activists in the occupied West Bank, especially in the biggest settlements. Writers and analysts in the Israeli press concentrate on the signs of the security impotence before the missiles that the resistance launches from Gaza on Negev colonies, especially on Sderot, which became a symbol of Israeli impotence.
The Israelis consider the daily operations as an evidence which proves that the Palestinian Authority is unable to meet Israel’s security demands in the field of fighting the resistance’s cells and activists despite the cooperation of Mahmud Abbas and his team with the Israeli security organs since Gaza events.
Betting on invading Gaza is mocked by many Israeli commentators, who recall the political and practical introductions of Ariel Sahron’s decision to leave Gaza, which he called the unilateral disengagement.
It is the vacuum in which the Israeli occupation is moving, where the aggressive adventures only lead to the reproduction of the defeat complex. But Israel uses the Palestinian division and some Arab stands in a dangerous way, because studying experiences and learning their lessons did not change into a tradition in the general Arab and Palestinian life despite the heavy costs of such conditions.

An Event an a Lebanese Trend

The initiative launched by House Speaker Nabih Berri has received different reactions among the loyalists. The two blocs of Walid Jumblatt and Samir Geagea expressed negative stands closer to rejection, while the Future Bloc decided to study the initiative despite the participation of its representatives in the campaigns which questioned the initiative and its seriousness.
What attracted the attention of analysts is that whoever attacked the initiative or criticized it, has forgotten that the House Speaker has dropped the demand which they considered as an obstacle on the road of the presidential merit, namely insistence on forming a unity government even in the quarter of the hour that precedes presidential lections.
Criticisms did not focus on the content of the initiative, because Berri has embarrassed all those who do not want the compromise or partnership through his call for an agreement on the principle of the constitutional quorum and on a new president. This corresponds to the moderate loyal representatives and to patriarch Sfeir’s call for finding a conciliatory outlet from the political and constitutional crisis.
What is strange is that political attacks of some of the loyal representatives focused on questions on Syria’s stand, wondering if the opposition has changed its stand, although Syria expressed stands that support conciliation. The opposition circles announced their support of the initiative, and despite this, the campaigns of some of the loyal representatives continued in a way that raised the concern of the street, which considered the initiative as a last opportunity for solving the crisis.
What increased the concern is the US escalatory stand and what was published by the Israeli intelligence internet site Debka.com which said that the goal of the US Admiral William Fallon’s visit is exploring the way of landing the Marines special forces division 22 in Lebanon under the title of protecting the March 14 leaders.
An opposing leader said this indicates that there is a U.S. plan and poses a big question on the calculations of the enemies of the compromise, as long as setting fire in Lebanon aims at covering the US failure in Iraq, or may be making bargains that do not serve Lebanon’s interest.

Arab and International Press

The British paper the Sunday Times has revealed a US plan to hit 1200 targets in Iran in a preemptive strike to destroy the Iranian military capabilities.
The Spanish paper El Pais said Turkey has for the first time since 48 years a president with an Islamic past and a first lady that wears the veil.
The ABC television network said there are growing disputes among European states, especially between Spain and Germany, on the NATO’s critical condition in Afghanistan and the future of the UNIFIL mission in South Lebanon.
Turkish Daily News said electing Abdullah Gül as a president reflects the Islamic tendency of the Turkish population.
Agence France Presse said chief US negotiator on the North Korean nuclear file Christopher Hill announced in Geneva yesterday that North Korea has agreed to offer a comprehensive statement on all its nuclear file and to dismantle all its nuclear installations at the end of this year.
The Emirate paper Al-Bayan) said Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri’s initiative represents a possible solution to the Lebanese crisis.
Thomas Friedman said in an article published in the New York Times that there is no hope that the Iraqi sects will formulate a social contract for coexistence and that the only solution for Iraq is a Sunni – Kurdish – Shia federation.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said: the Lebanese army has achieved a comprehensive victory in Nahr Al-Bared camp’s battles, and killed leader of the group Shaker al-Absi.
As-Safir quoted the army’s leader Michel Suleiman as saying the army’s victory in Nahr al-Bared has prevented the division of Lebanon.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the army has tightened its grip on Nahr al-Bared camp, while the NTV wondered who will reap the fruits of Nahr al-Bared victory, the government or the army?
The NBN) said Fatah al-Islam group’s attack on the Lebanese army has raised many questions on the goals and backgrounds in the shadow of the security and political condition in Lebanon.
The OTV said the fundamentalist of Fatah al-Islam are defeated.
The LBC said question marks will remain until everything becomes clear concerning the backgrounds of Fatah al-Islam and other organizations.
The Future said celebrations on the occasion of Nahr al-Bared victory were held in all the Lebanese areas.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

NTV
Program: The Week in an Hour
Representative Salim Aoun said if the majority rejects Berri’s initiative, the country will face a big crisis.
Representative Atef Majdalani said the meeting between General Michel Aoun and representative Saad Hariri will take place, pointing out that Hariri did not announce any sharp stands against Aoun.

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on Voltairenet.org in Arabic, English and French languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic and English.