An Event and a Regional Trend

The available data about the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian communications under the title of preparing for the Annapolis meeting clearly indicate that Israel rejects all the demands which are submitted by Mahmud Abbas’s team and adopted by the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in order to save the conference which Bush promised that it will be a turning point in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as the Americans insist on calling it since the Oslo Agreement as a metaphor for dismantling all the Arab tracks after the Madrid conference.
The Israeli and Arab reports say that Israel refused commitments to the first stage of the roadmap and the formation of a tripartite committee with the US to guarantee the implementation of the agreement. The Israelis also insist on emptying the final statement of Annapolis’s conference of any commitments related to the final solution.
Palestinian sources said Israel will carry out military exercises in the West Bank to escalate its military pressures on the Palestinian reality. Israel also considers as a priority is collaboration with the Palestinian authority to eliminate resistance groups without any thing in return of this. What is remarkable is the wave of escalation in the Israeli statements about Jerusalem and the Jewish identity of the Israeli state and other security issues. On the other hand, it is not clear if Rice will visit the area next week within the framework of preparing for the conference whose date is still unknown.

An Event and a Lebanese event

Lebanese circles expect launching a new stage of discussions concerning the presidential merit after the French envoy conveyed to the house speaker Berry information about the possibility of issuing the list of candidates by patriarch Sferi after a few hours and delegating someone to take it to Berry’s office to inform the opposition and the loyalists about it before making the final decision to name the approved president in a bilateral meeting between Berry and Al-Harirri.
The names were the main topic in the corridors but on a level which is deeper than this we can record the following indicators:
- 1. Loyal sources stressed that the loyalists study keeping the card of the half plus one. This will be the answer if president Lahoud issues a decree to form a new government.
- 2. New information appeared abut the possibility of proposing new alternatives for discussion on November 21 within the framework of the French initiative including the return to the idea of a transitional government under the chairmanship of the army’s leader if approving the president proved difficult.
- 3. General Aoun officially refused to include his name in a list which does not enjoy a representational aspect and stressed the topic of the program as a starting point for approaching the presidential merit.
- 4. The meeting between Jean-Claude Cousseran and the delegation of Hezbollah after Bernard Kouchner’s negative hints about Hassan Nasrallah’s speech revealed that Kouchner did not read the speech which did not mention the French initiative.
- 5. The condensed foreign visits to Lebanon have put the merit under continuous pressures in which European foreign ministers and the Un Secretary General participate.
- 6. Predictions about president Lahoud’s next steps returned to the scene. If the president is not approved before the end of his constitutional term, Lahoud will not allow the options of the March 14 coalition. Meanwhile, there are American, Arab and European attempts to explore the regulations that these sides may demand from al-Sanyurah in return of leaving him and president Lahoud in office without forming anew government with decree before 24 November.

Arab and International Press

The New York Times published an article for Max Boot which said that the Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice did not work to correct the viewpoint of the administration and the government concerning what he called as the war on terror.
Jeff Jacoby wondered in an article published in Boston Globe about the reasons that prevent some states from recognizing Israel as a Jewish state since it is the only Jewish state in the world while all the 55 member states of the Islamic organization are recognized as a Islamic states.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial that the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert moved to fulfill the promise of the Jewish state that President Bush gave to the Zionist entity during Sharon’s term.
The Saudi paper Al-Watan said that when crown prince and minister of defense Sultan Ben Abduln Aziz announces that Yemen’s security is a part of the Saudi kingdom’s security, he does not approve a new truth but reminds us of a deep-rooted value which forms the basis of Saudi Arabia’ foreign policy.
Christina Science Monitor said that President Bush ignored the practices of torture by the American army, pointing out that these practices are a stupid strategy.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

ANB
News Covering
Sudanese president Omar Hasan al-Basheer accused Israel and Western states of conspiring against Sudan and financing the war in Darfur. He added that the conspiracy is revealed through opening the door of migration to Israel.

Lebanese press

An-Nahar said Lebanon waits for revealing the secret of the presidential list which was the fruit of French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner’s visit to Lebanon.
Al-Akhbar said patriarch Sfeir promised France to hand his list today pointing out that Hezbollah informed Jean-Claude Cousseran that its presidential candidate is general Michel Aoun.
As-Safir said the presidential merit forced the Maronite patriarchy to assume a historical responsibility that surpasses the limits of its spiritual authorities.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the speech of Hezbollah’s secretary general Hasan Nasrullah ignited an active diplomatic movement in Lebanon.
The NTV said patriarch Sfeir did not prepare the candidates’ list due to disputes among the Christian leaderships and that Smeer Gagea said there is no conciliation after the speech of Hasan Nasrullah.
The NBN said there will be a big problem between the house speaker Nabih Berry and representative Sa’d al-Hariri in sieving the names.
The OTV said the race of the ten days before electing the president or the vacuum started today.
The LBC said the presidential merit will be a test for Bkerki, while the F Future wondered if the French road map succeeded in Beirut.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Al-Manar
Program: What Else?
Editor-in-chief of Ad-Diyar paper Charl Ayyub said if Prime Minister Fouad Siniora had agreed on forming a unity government, we would have been able to elect a president, pointing out that what happens is a US plan that prevents conciliation with the opposition.

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.