An event and a Regional Trend

Israel accelerates the juadaization of Jerusalem and every day the Israeli press talk about newly annexed lands and plans for building colonies and housing units including the recent project for building ten thousand housing units.
The theatrical speech at Annapolis about stopping settlement and Goerge Bush’s promise to oblige Israel to stop the expansion of the settlement blocs collapse and reveal that the real US decision is supporting the Israeli massacre against Palestinians and facilitating the judaization of Jerusalem and making it an eternal capital for the “Jewish state” that Bush blessed during his visit to Tel Aviv and works to carry it out next May on the occasion of the 60th anniversary for the occupation of Palestine if Abbas authority succeeds in eliminating resistance.
A Palestinian leading source said what is required is using and squeezing Abbas and his team to strangle their people with the collective punishment that Ehud Barak decided to escalate under the ceiling of a plan to assassinate leaders of the resistance and its cadres and the talk about the end of the preparations for a comprehensive military operation against Gaza while the occupation crimes continue in the West Bank.
The other question which poses itself is related to the stands of the US’s Arab allies who announce their clinging to restoring the holy sites while they participate in covering the judiazation and the collective punishment against the Palestinian people.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

A US Message Increases the sharpness of Tension

Despite the condensed information and press leaks about activating the endeavors of the Arab league secretary general Amr Moussa and the available chance to reach a compromise before the date of holding the Arab summit in Damascus, the atmospheres of escalation and tension which were raised by the loyalists’ stands are still dominating the Lebanese condition. The press talked about the following indicators:
- 1. The visit of the US deputy secretary of defense to Beirut and conveying a message of support which was described as strong to the prime minister Fouad al-Siniora and his team. This message that President Bush chose for it a studied timing included an attack on the Lebanese opposition and on Syria and Iran. It also stressed support for al-Sinora government and the immediate election of a new president in addition of the US-French refrain concerning activating the international Tribunal.
- 2. The press said that the US message plays a role in encouraging the climate of escalation whose sharpness retreated yesterday. The loyalists resorted yesterday and today to the language of escalation contrary to the pledges of Saad al-Hariri and Walid Junblat through the Saudi mediators.
- 3. Junblat called frankly yesterday to a kind of division under the title of warm divorce with Hezbollah repeating his clinging to Sunday speech which raised a lot of reactions while al-Hariri said in a press talk about the loyalists’ preparations for a campaign that starts tomorrow and ends with electing a president. Predictions and interpretations said this means either electing a president through the half plus one or accepting the framework of understanding which was prepared by Amr Moussa with the house speaker Nabih Berri.
- 4. Security problems happened in Beirut yesterday and led to an immediate movement by the army to impose security and the anticipation of tightening security measures tomorrow to prevent any possible clashes in the street.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper Al-Khalij said the rhythm of security deterioration in Lebanon is accelerated after everybody started to mobilize the street.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that warnings from the Lebanese crisis reached the red lines and the condition may slip from control.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said the Israeli settlement policy in Jerusalem does not suggest that there is a solution in the horizon.
Reuters said that the Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak started yesterday a visit to Turkey hoping that Ankara will have a positive influence on Damascus.
Europolitique said the military specialists in the European Union study a plan to evacuate European citizens from the third world states during crises.
Tichrin daily said there is a project for a new Middle East which aims at canceling the Arab identity.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said President Bashar Al-Assad received a message from the prince of Kuwait and sent an invitation to the Yemeni president to attend the Arab summit in Damascus.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said despite the failure of Amr Musa in his recent visit to Beirut, it seems that there are Arab efforts to push the Arab initiative to the forefront.
As-Safir said the political efforts aim at controlling the street and focusing on commemorating the anniversary of al-Hariri’s assassination, pointing out that the loyalists received a provocative message from President Bush.
Al-Akhbar political escalation dominated the Lebanese scene and coincided with preparations for al-Hariri’s third anniversary.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered why the February team withdrew its threats to burn Lebanon, pointing out that al-Hariri’s anniversary should be an occasion to unify the Lebanese not to divide them.
The NTV said that President Bush stressed again his support for al-Siniora government.
The NBN said an earthquake hit South Lebanon yesterday which reached 4 degrees on Richter’s scale.
The OTV said the ruling team clings to provocative language while the opposition insists on civil peace.
The LBC said Iranian foreign minister Manushar Mutaqqi will discuss in Damascus the Lebanese file with Syrian officials.
The Future said field preparations for commemorating the anniversary of Rafiq al-Hariri are completed.

Radio Stations’ News

Al-Nur Radio
Program: The Morning Political Program
Secretary General of the Lebanese Democratic Party Walid Barakat said Al-Hariri’s anniversary should be national and unify all the Lebanese.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: Special Interview
Representative Walid Junblat said it is impossible to coexist with Hezbullah and there is not hope to disarm this party.

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.