An Event and a Regional Trend

The Israeli Bewilderment and the Hysteria of Measures

The hysterical Israeli measures continued since the speech of Hezbollah secretary general to the degree that Israel summoned the reserve forces and took the measures of the time of war while the state of alarm abroad continued amid Israeli anticipations of assassinating or kidnapping senior Israeli officials or organizing condensed military operations inside occupied Palestine to retaliate against the assassination of Mughniyeh.
- 1. The Israeli official dealing with the assassination of Mugniyeh reflects the reality of the Israeli responsibility without an official declaration. Experts considered this a traditional measure in the intelligence institution adding that it is possible that a big regional team led by official of the Middle East in the American national security council Elliot Abrams arranged the operation. Therefore, it is possible that the groups which were mobilized for the operation include more than one Arab and international side under a US leadership. The experts talked about the meetings sponsored by secretary of state Condoleezza Rice secretly and privately among directors of intelligence organs in Sharm esh-Sheik’s group and Israeli security officials in the presence of Elliot Abrams.
- 2. Some Israeli analysts think that Israel committed a fallacy through this assassination due to the cost that it may pay and criticized Olmert and Barak for issuing the order to assassinate Mughniyeh while others belittle the importance of the results thinking they will be limited to escalating the Palestinian operations without chasing the Israelis worldwide. Interpretations and predictions concerning the possible retaliation of Hezbollah continue amid serious Israeli threats to launch a destructive war in the area in the light of the continuity of missiles attacks which still pose a real danger that Israel did not treat as the Israeli defense minister admitted when he talked about the time and cost of his metallic dome that many Israeli experts mocked.
- 3. The increasing anticipations about an extensive military operation in Gaza which tops the agenda of the Israeli leadership’s options despite some Israeli sides’ doubts about the benefit of such war.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

In the eve of the arrival of the ambassador Hisham Yusef in Beirut to prepare for the visit of the Arab league secretary general, which aims at activating the Arab initiative, new contradictory signs appeared and reflected a number of opposite trends concerning the horizons of the development of the political crisis, especially in the light of press information about the Saudi foreign minister’s attempt to internationalize the Lebanese file and the statements attributed to French sources about opening the way for the Arab initiative before transferring the file to the international level. Press information said that the UNIFIL states and Russia informed al-Faisal that they rule out the idea of issuing a new international resolution that includes threats to take measures against Syria to force it to interfere. Meanwhile, the Lebanese army’s leadership deployed the army in 25 points in Beirut and formed joined committees to contain any clashes.
- 1. The date confirmed by the Arab league secretary general for a new meeting between the loyalists and the opposition on Sunday is the topic of a continuous coordination between the house speaker and Musa who prepares a political proposal for the compromise project but expressed reservation about its details.
- 2. The foreign relations concerning the Lebanese condition face a US-Saudi stand which does not want the progress of the Arab initiative. Lebanese opposition sources said that the statements of the ambassador Satterfield about the Arab initiative from Paris and the Saudi statements to the Saudi citizens and closing French cultural centers in Lebanon are a message of security escalation that raises the level of Lebanese fears from the existence of a US plan to explode the internal condition and prevent any understanding in the country.
- 3. Press information in Paris said the ambassador Kosran may visit Syria and Iran to discuss the Lebanese file, but this remains in the circle of leaks.
- 4. The continuity of discussions which resulted from the loyalists’ political and press campaign which focused on the horizons of the confrontation that Israel opened its gates after the assassination of Mughniyeh, and the direct contribution of Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora in this campaign while he received support from British premier who stressed the importance of Syria in the area.
- 5. Anticipating Hasan Nasrullah’s speech and the results of the investigations while interpretations say the crime is an introduction for a comprehensive war in the area.
- 6. The continuity of the Saudi press campaign against Syria and Hezbollah which holds Damascus responsible for the crisis in Lebanon. This campaign used the language of sectarian provocation against Hezbollah which reminds us of the campaign during July war.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said conditions in Lebanon are very dangerous due to the street clashes and the presidential vacuum.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said that the Arab league secretary general seems determined to move against the current through his decision to return to Beirut.
Al-Bayan said that Kosovo announced its independence and this led to the division of the international arena.
The Ukraine political analyst Vladimir Sadavoy said despite the existence of borders between Ukraine and Russia, and despite problems they seem as one homeland.
Yidiot Aharonot wondered if Israel will enter Gaza or go to hell after the assassination of Mughniyeh.
The Syrian paper Tichrin said if the US wants to talk about the return of the Diaspora Jews to the promised land its better to return the American continent to its real owners, the red Indians.
The French paper Le Figaro said the European Union foreign ministers justified the absence of a common stand towards Kosovo. France was the first state to recognize the independence while Spain said it will not recognize it.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian satellite station said that president Bashar al-Assad and Sheik Ben Rashed discussed the Arab summit and ways of activating joint Arab work.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said the US works directly to obstruct the Arab summit in Damascus.
Al-Akhbar focused on the generalization issued by head of the borders centers which allows Lebanese citizens to purchase supplies and fuel oil form Syria and cross the borders without accusing them of smuggling. This implicitly means that instead of supporting these materials, the government leaves people to the market’s confusion and the high prices.
As-Safir said Lebanon and the Middle East pass in a very critical stage due to some regional and international calculations.

Television Stations News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said that Lebanese people focused their attention on the Saudi statement which warned the Saudis from the danger of traveling to Lebanon and on closing the two French cultural centers and the reasons for these measures.
The NTV said we thought the time of Musa ended after it was destroyed by the “nos” of Satterfield, but the man is returning to Lebanon again.
The NBN said that some sides try to use the Lebanese condition to pressurize the Arab summit.
The OTV said the time of the Arab initiative started to finish and the imagined time for its life is very short.
The LBC said Paris station witnessed communications between Saud al-Faisal and the Arab league secretary general to activate the Arab initiative, which are the only card left on the table.
The Future said Prime Minster Fouad al-Siniora continues his European tour.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

The US charge d’affaires in Lebanon Michel Sesson called all the sides to accelerate the election of the Lebanese president.

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.