An Event and a Regional Trend

An Israeli Embarrassment and the Influence of the Arab Street

The Palestinian event is still the center of Arab and international attention, while the following developments were covered by the press:
- 1. The Israeli field massacre continues in different forms and more martyrs fall amid a big determination by the resistance’s factions to confront the occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
- 2. An Israeli attempt to turn around the Palestinians’ opening of Rafah crossing and the Egyptian authorities’ response which resulted from the popular anger. President Mubarak announced publicly this stand while Israel asked Egypt to assume the responsibility of Gaza.
- 3. The US obstructed the Security Council’s attempt to issue a resolution concerning the Israeli collective punishments on Gazans.
- 4. The continuity of the Arab solidarity campaigns and their change into protest movements that started to raise concern in Israel.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Crisis Continues and the Arab Initiative is Waiting

Amid the successful strike and the interactions of the Lebanese crisis everybody anticipates the results of the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo next Sunday. The following developments can be recorded in the political scene:
- 1. The strike of the transportation sector and the agricultural sector was generally successful and peaceful. The workers’ leaderships stressed their determination to organize a continuous protest movement in other sectors due to the escalation of the living crisis.
- 2. The loyalists launched a political and press campaign that accused the opposition of standing behind a plan to transfer the political conflict to the street and considered the strike a failure.
- 3. The campaign of the prime minister against the house speaker Nabih Berri raised a new wave of political and press contests between the loyalists and the opposition.
- 4. Leaks on the report of the Arab league secretary general said it will focus on the confidence crisis between the two Lebanese teams who prepared two memorandums which will be submitted to the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting.
- 5. Syria stressed it support for the Arab initiative while press reports from Cairo said Egypt makes preliminary contacts to abridge the gap between the Syrian and Saudi points of view.
- 6. Walid Junblat talked about a proposal from Arab and foreign sides concerning two candidates other than General Michel Suleiman while loyal press said the loyalists decided not to facilitate solutions until the international tribunal starts its mission in order to build apressurizing climate that may affect the balance of powers in Lebanon. The opposition considered this an evidence on the political function of the tribunal while the human rights council intends to punish the government due to the continuity of the illegal arrest of the four officers.

Arab and International Press

The Syrian daily al-Thwara said clinging to the Palestinian people national rights and the unity government is the only road for restoring the usurped rights.
Michael Movitz said in an article published in al-Qabas that the US Democratic presidential candidates and Democrats at the Congress attacked a White House plan for signing a long term security agreement with the Iraqi government and opposed the attempt to fix the military presence in Iraq before the end of the current administration.
Ronny Bergman said in an article published in al-Qabas that the Iranian president MAhmud Ahmadinejad succeeded in becoming the most famous Persian in the world due to some important political measures.
The Iranian paper Mateen said the US president statements concerning supporting the Iranian opposition raised a political crisis and some accused the reformers of being the US allies, but the reformers answered that the conservatives are the real agents of America because they agreed to hold direct and public talks with Washington.
The Iranian paper I’timad said the Iranian press talked about president Nejad’s isolation of the ambassador to Italy Abu al-Fadl Zaherhound pointing out that he was a supporter of the former president Mohamed Khatami.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said the US provides a cover for the increasing Zionist terrorism in Gaza.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said the Egyptian stand towards Rafah events is a noble stand.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian Satellite Station
News Covering
Syria’s permanent representative at the UN office in Geneva said the human rights office should send a clear message to Israel to stop its criminal acts in Gaza.

Al-Arabiya
Program: Bel-Arabi
Lebanese representative Walid Junblat said that the Syrian regime and its partners in Lebanon do not want to hear the name of the Tribunal and for this reason the assassinations will continue.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said the strike ended and everybody looks forward to the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting pointing out that there is no clear horizon concerning the presidential elections in Lebanon.
As-Safir said the peacefulness of the strike proves that there is a big political decision to prevent confrontation.
Al-Akhbar said everybody is waiting for the results of the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the strike was successful and the accusations against it turned out to be baseless.
The NTV said the strike was natural.
The NBN said the house speaker made condensed communications with the general workers union and the workers leaderships to preserve the peaceful aspect of the strike.
The OTV said Egypt asked the opposition to send a delegation to explain the reality of its stand.
The LBC said the opposition prepared a memorandum to be submitted to the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting while the loyalists considered this as turning around the Arab initiative.
The Future said the strike failed and the Lebanese who did not participate in it proved that the round of life is more important than all the political complications.

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.