An Event and a Regional Trend

The Massacre Unites Palestinians and Embarrasses Abbas

The Palestinian condition occupied the forefront of the area’s events despite the press noise of the tour of the US president who left the area after reaping billions of dollars from contracts and arms deals signed with Gulf governments:
- 1. The continuity of the Israeli massacre against Palestinians, and a wave of anger in the West Bank and Gaza Strip dropped the illusory barrier made by the US plans since Dayton-Dahlan coup that cancelled Mecca agreement.
- 2. The Palestinian authority feels embarrassed before the Palestinian street, while the Israeli army’s preparations continue within the framework of the continuous war theory which was proposed by Olmert at the recent Knesset’s meetings.
- 3. The Arab street’s reactions in Egypt forced moving the meeting between Bush and Mubarak from Cairo to Sharm esh-Sheikh.
- 4. The political and governmental crisis in Israel started some days before publishing Winograd’s report, while information in the Israeli corridors and press said Olmert may resign and go to early elections. But the US pressurized the parties to prevent them from creating a problem for Olmert before May, but the resignation of Lieberman and his party from the government may accelerate and lead to more surprises.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Confrontation Competes with Understanding

The Lebanese developments and the surrounding events continued yesterday on many levels and drew an escalating track for the crisis whose sharpness will increase if the local and regional forces do not open a hole in the wall of the crisis:
- 1. Arab league secretary general continued his endeavors. He prepares for a meeting that he failed in arranging before between general Aoun and Saad al-Hariri. The loyalists informed Musa of their rejection of dialogue with Oun who is authorized by the opposition. The loyalists insist on rejecting the guaranteeing third after the French threats to internationalize the crisis.
- 2. The Syrian information minister Muhsen Bilal answered Riyadh and Cairo saying that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have friends and play big roles in Lebanon and should also assume responsibility for guaranteeing the success of the Arab initiative.
- 3. Sides in the opposition stress readiness to face the worst possibilities, including the international intervention. The available information talked about the beginning of popular movements if the Arab initiative remained under US pressures. Former minister Suleiman Franjiyeh announced the opposition’s clinging to the guaranteeing third and the election law calling on the army’s leader to express a clear stand from the opposition’s demands.
- 4. The political circles look forward for the speech of Hasan Nasrullah which will be delivered on Saturday on Ashura anniversary. This speech may refer to a new development in the opposition’s stand and contain a comprehensive retaliation against the recent stands and threats.
- 5. The loyalists rejected the formula of the three thirds especially in the issue of internationalization and stressed an unconditional election for the president, which should be followed by discussing the disputed issues. Press reports talked about US promises conveyed by David Welch and Elliot Abrams to loyal leaders, to activate the international Tribunal concerning al-Hariri’s murder on May and to start projects for imposing sanctions on Syria in order to force its to interfere in Lebanon and pressurize the opposition.

Arab and In International Press

The New York Times said Tuesday explosion in Beirut targeted for the first time since end of the cold war in 1990 US officials. And this sends a message that expresses the concern of the growing American community in Lebanon.
Cal Thomas said in an article published in al-Qabas that President Bush believes that peace is possible between Israel and the Palestinians.
Charles Lewiston said in an article published in al-Qabas that Nuri al-Maleki was praised by the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice because he tightened his grip on power through using the reduction of violence in the country.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said it is nice that French president Sarkozy said he wants the friendship of the Arabs and he seems honest in this.
The Syrian daily al-Thawra said the US president Bush’s tour in the area ended in failure.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Syrian Satellite Station
Program: The International Scene
Press analyst and member of the national press council Ghaleb Kandil said the essential thing in Bush’s tour is protecting Israel after its defeat in 2006.
Professor at Qatar University Mohamed Al-Musfer said Bush’s speech in the United Arab Emirate was provocative.
Editor-in-chief of Al-Wahdah magazine in Tehran Abbas Khamah Yar said Bush did not say anything new because his anti-Iran statements started since seizing power.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station quoted head of Hamas political office Khalid Mishal as calling the Arabs to retaliate against the Israeli massacre in Gaza.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the new visit of the Arab league secretary general Amr Musa to Beirut takes place amid press blackout.
Ad-Diyar said investigations continue to know the complications of the al-Krantena explosion.
As-Safir focused on the diplomatic dispute among Damascus, Cairo and Riyadh in the aftermath of calling Syria to exert pressures on the opposition. Syrian information minister announced at a press conference that Syria is committed to the Arab foreign ministers’ statement.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said Bush’s tour in the area succeeded in securing a cover for the Israeli war on the Palestinian people.
The NTV the Arab league secretary general Amr Musa knows the reasons of obstruction and it seems the Lebanese crisis will be internationalized.
The NBN said Musa returns to Beirut but he was preceded by the echoes of al-Krantean explosion which aims at obstructing the Arab initiative.
The OTV said the Arab league secretary General Amer Musa decided not to give any statement until the end of his visit.
The LBC said the US ambassador cancelled three meetings after al-Krantena explosion. Informed security sources said the US embassy in Beirut received threats from unknown persons.
The Future said that the Syrian information minister Mohsen Bilal said the Syrian efforts are not enough to solve the crisis in Lebanon.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: Useful Summary
Head of al-Maradah trend Suleiman Franjiyeh said the Maronite patriarch covers the project of internationalization and settling in Lebanon and he should be changed.

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