An Event and a Regional Trend

Israel faces again the complex of the Palestinian resistance’s missiles which are used in retaliating against the expanded aggressions of the occupation forces. And while Neguev colonies, especially Sderot, live the contagion of what is called by the Israeli press as "the Galilee state", a big confusion appeared yesterday inside the Israeli government concerning three options:
- 1. Ehud Olmer’s warnings to continue the assassination of resistance’s leaders and activists.
- 2. Some Israeli ministers’ call for the necessity of preparing for a comprehensive invasion of Gaza Strip, and this raised the mockery of military analysts, who recalled the introductions of Sharon’s decision concerning the unilateral disengagement after experiencing all kinds of invasion, bombing an massacres against the Strip.
- 3. The Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni’s talk about continuing the policy of economic siege and cutting water and electricity in Gaza in order to force the Strip to kneel down.
However, Ehud Barak kept silent and the Israeli analysts read in this silence the reality of what the military institution is living now since its last Summer,s defeat before Hezbollah, because the prime minister can not talk about proposals but about decisions that he knows he can implement, but he is recently busy in building the steel dome through installing anti-missiles missiles’ networks that the Israeli strategists consider as an illusion.
The occupation faces are in a vacuum, but what is shameful in all of this is that the campaigns against the West Bank and Gaza Strip are based on some Arab and Palestinian stands which responded to the US pressures and cooperated with the Israeli agenda either by keeping silent or by coordination.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The European stands which welcome the house speaker Nabih Berri’s initiative continued. And while the opposition stressed its support of the initiative as a final opportunity for a political solution, waiting is still dominating the scene on the level of the possibility of taking practical steps towards the content of the initiative in the shadow of the contradictory stands of the loyalists. Political sources, which are close to Berri, said he is waiting for the loyalists’ answers to identify the next step after the initiative, and that the foreign and Arab welcoming forms a suitable climate for moving, despite the US stand which is not responsive until now.
Former president Amine Gemayel and representative Botros Harb and representative Robert Ghanem welcomed the initiative, but the leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea demanded dropping the item of the constitutional quorum for electing the president, despite his description of the initiative as positive. The opposition considered this stand as an indirect rejection of the initiative. Meanwhile, the silence of the head of the Future Trend continued, and the press and political circles are looking forward to what the representative Walid Jumblatt will probably announce tomorrow. The available information said some communications take place to limit Jumblatt’s negative climate, since his description of the compromise as betrayal.
A parliamentary source said that the opposition has offered everything to facilitate the compromise through dropping the demand of the unity government which formed the cornerstone of its political discourse since its movement in the street. The opposition also assumed the responsibly before its masses for the burden of giving up this demand in order to support Berri’s initiative because it is committed to the facilitation of solutions to avoid any big problems in the country. Therefore, what is demanded is a responsive step from the loyalists, in order to achieve a halfway meeting. But acting through the logic of holding the card of the unity government that the opposition withdrew from circulation in order to hold the elections with the half plus one quorum or with the present representatives in military maneuvers will be confronted by all the possible means by the opposition, because the public opinion knows who is ready to offer concessions for the sake of facilitating the compromise, and knows who bases his calculations on foreign interests, without caring about the country’s destiny, and rejects any national partnership even if the price is the violation of the constitution.

Arab and International Press

The US assistant finance secretary during Regan’s term Paul Craig Roberts warned in an article published in Online Journal, the American public opinion that president Bush may carry out new September 11 attacks that allow him to renew the exceptional authorities to deal a deadly blow to democratic organizations in the country, pointing out that if the congress does not oust Cheney and Bush, the US will enter a war with Iran. International Press said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has tried to reduce the rhythm of dispute with Washington after the British withdrawal from Basra by saying that the two countries are on the same line concerning the future of Iraq.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that the US president Bush’s surprising visit to Iraq implies fearful meanings and its timing and symbolism and the signs that accompany it indicate that Iraq has entered a new turning-point, open to the unknown.
Arab and international press agencies said the Israeli threats to attack Gaza has escalated.
Al-Khaleej paper said in its editorial that when Israel announces a huge armament plan that covers all the branches of its army, this means that Israel prepares for war.
International press agencies said Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maleki has launched a new strategy called "Iraq first" in order to achieve national reconciliation, after receiving support from the US president Bush.
Eugene Robinson said in an article published in the Washington Post that president Bush’s reference to Vietnam war in his speech aims at justifying the continuity of war ion Iraq.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said the army confirmed Fatah Al-Islam’s link to al-Qaeda and house speaker Berri’s initiative received European encouragement.
Al-Akhbar said minister of defense Elias Murr has warned from forming two governments and two Lebanons, wondering who is accelerating the political employment of the army’s achievement.
The press said the minister of defense ignored the Syrian logistic support to the army during three months of battles and thanked those who hindered the army’s mission through unfulfilled promises.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Syrian Satellite Station
Program: A special Covering
Syrian deputy prime minister Fayçal Mokdad said the daily crimes of the Israeli occupation in the Golan aim at obliterating Syrian Arab identity and the history of the Golan in order to impose an alternative culture.

Lebanese Television Stations’ News

Al-Manar said the press conference of the minister of defense was full of paradoxes, while the NTV said the Lebanese army taught terrorism and its supporters a historic lesson. For its part, the NBN said that in the aftermath of Nahr Al-Bared’s battles’ end, the rescue initiative of the house speaker dominated the scene.
The LBC said the army’s victory morally pressurizes the constitutional merits so performance can come in the size of sacrifices.
The Future said the Lebanese army offered many sacrifices in its confrontation with terror.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: With all Courage
Head of the executive organization in the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea said Hezbollah is different from Fatah Al-Islam group, and its weapon should be dealt with quietly.
He added that the current president will be made in Lebanon and no one can impose anything on us by force as they are doing now,

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