An Event and a Regional Trend

Gaza’s Massacre, Israel’s preparations and the Silence of the Moderates

The massacre in Gaza, the political and press escalation in the area, the arms and nuclear reactors deals form an integrated content in the Arab and regional press scene for the tour of Sarkozy and Bush in the Gulf and some other Arab capitals where the instigation against Iran and marketing the content of Bush’s stand which was announced in Tel Aviv and Ramallah towards the Palestinian track formed the content of the press and political interactions that accompanied these developments.
- 1. In Israel, anticipating the publication of Winograd’s report at the end of this month, dominates the scene, while discussion focused on the limits of the military operation in Gaza. Olmert tried yesterday at the Knesset to belittle the importance of betting on a wide-scope invasion preferring the idea of the continuous operation which he considered as an open war in the Strip without hiding his wish to reach an equation that resembles the reality imposed by the balance of terror with Hezbollah.
- 2. Ehud Barak, who plans to oust Olmert, through Winograd’s report, focused on the size of the military preparations to expand the scope of Israeli incursions in Gaza without denying the existence of a more comprehensive plan.He preferred keeping silence over the topics of Gaza and Iran and the margins of the possible Israeli military movements.
- 3. The number of Palestinian martyrs yesterday embarrassed the Palestinian authority while Cairo and Riyadh ignored this preferring to focus on Lebanon and exert pressures on Syria and the Lebanese opposition.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Threats of Internationalization and Moussa’s Last Chance

The explosion that targeted yesterday a US convoy in Beirut attracted the attention of the political and press circles’ attention in the eve of Amer Moussa’s preparations for a new round of negotiations with the Lebanese side. The following indicators refer to the course of the crisis:
- 1. The pressure under the title of internationalization focuses on calling for a gradual implementation of the Arab initiative: Electing the president immediately and delaying the agreement on the other two items which are the unity government and the new law for elections until after general Michel Suleiman assumes his presidential authorities. This is the content of the Egyptian president’s statements and the statements of his foreign minister Abu al-Gait about rejecting the idea of the guaranteeing third and the idea of the three thirds which was suggested by the Arab foreign ministers’ statement.
- 2. The opposition clings to the Arab initiative as a framework in accordance with the previous Saudi description of it. Therefore, the opposition insists on the principle of political understanding before the elections and that is what was stressed by secretary general Hasan Nasrullah, the house speaker Nabih Berri and General Michel Aoun.
- 3. The political use of the explosion operation appeared in the stand of al-Siniora government which used the phrase of the immediate election of the president. This was considered by the opposition as an American-Arab-international password for the coup on the Arab foreign ministers’ initiative.
- 4. The firm stand expressed yesterday by secretary general of Hezbollah gives a chance for Moussa’s endeavors on the basis of negotiating with general Aoun and rejects any submission in accordance with the logic of the conqueror and the conquered suggested by Arab and international atmospheres.

Arab and International Press

The Syrian daily Tichrin said Israel reaped the biggest prize from Bush’s Middle Eastern tour.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that French president official visit to the United Arab Emirates enhances bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said gossip on peace is no longer useful in the shadow of the Israeli massacres against Palestinians.
Geoffrey Sacks said in an article published in the Spanish paper El Pais that all the spots of wars in the world like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan are poor countries exposed to natural disasters.
Rebelion website said the US is involved in crimes committed against the Palestinians in the occupied lands.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian Satellite Station said an official Syrian source expressed its surprise concerning president Bush’ dropping of Palestinian refugees’ right to return.
Iranian foreign minister Manushaher Mutaqqi said sanctions will not affect Iran’s economy.
Head of foreign policy committee at the German parliament said that Iran and the European Union can expand their relations.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the terrorist explosion in al-Krantena sent messages in different directions, and especially the explosion coincided with the return of Amer Moussa to Lebanon.
As-Safir said al-Krantena explosion cast dark shadows on the Lebanese in general, and made them feel that a new stage of dangers is coming.
Ad-Diyar said the explosion is a message to the Americans and to Bush’s tour in the Gulf and his arms deals.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered about the political function of the Krantena explosion and the reasons for targeting the US embassy this time.
The NTV said the US ambassador is safe but the victims are Lebanese.
The NBN said for the second time this month the hand of terror strikes again and this time it wants to convey a political message.
The OTV said the Lebanese file moves towards internationalization.
The LBC said the explosion that targeted the US car takes place within the context of the escalation of regional confrontation between the US and the extremist forces.
The Future said the explosion targeted Lebanon’s stability and the attempts to solve the crisis.

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, French, German, and Spanish languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and Spanish.