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International affairs

Editorial: Israel is the reference
The speech that was delivered by American President Barack Obama about the situation in the Arab region was not a speech about the American withdrawal, as it was promoted by some Arab writers who wanted to give the impression that the priority of the United States was the so-called democratic transformation and that consequently, nothing prompted concerns in Washington in light of the Arab revolutions.
Obama was very clear in stressing the United States’ insistence on its hegemony over the region when he spoke about the economic interests, which specifically meant American control over the oil wells and pipelines that constituted for a long time the core of the American strategy. Obama was also clear about reaffirming the American vision which perceives Israel as being the reference at the level of the American policy. Therefore, he focused in one part of his speech on two principles: The consecration of Israel as a Jewish state – i.e. a state of racial cleansing - and the consecration of the idea of the Palestinian entity that is under joint Israeli-American tutelage, that is without sovereignty, with the elimination of the right of return and with the alleged exchange of lands.
Obama who is eagerly seeking a second presidential term wants to use all possible means to ensure the protection of Israel before engaging in his electoral campaign next fall. Therefore, he is placing all his weight against President Bashar al-Assad because without Syria’s weakening and depletion, it would be difficult to impose a new equation at the level of the Palestinian cause and the Arab-Israeli conflict, or to arrange an exit from Iraq based on the conditions of the United States following its failed adventures in the country.

Arab affairs

Editorial: The right of return following the collapse of the two-state illusion
Israel, which is heading towards the imposition of the Jewish state, has liquidated the two-state idea in the occupied West Bank through the expansion of the settlements that swallowed up most of the West Bank and drowned the city of Jerusalem.
The alleged state for which Obama is calling is rejected on the Israeli level because e a new racial cleansing is the current priority which can only be achieved through the prevention of the establishment of a Palestinian entity and even through the prevention of the expression “Palestinian state.” Although, he tried to give the impression that the US was still holding on to the idea of the two state-solution, Obama was very clear. He thus bluntly threatened the Palestinian authority if it were to choose to head to the United Nations to demand the recognition of the alleged state, but also informed the agents of the West in the Arab region about the American decision to prohibit any attempt to proceed towards that option at any price.
The only choice left for the Palestinians is the choice of resistance to liberate their land and the insistence on the right of return which Israel and the United States wanted to eliminate for being the key foundation for the consecration of the Jewish state on the Palestinian lands occupied in 1948 and 1967.
The May 15 uprising which breached Israeli security through the flow of Palestinian crowds on the Lebanese and Syrian borders with the occupied territories, confirmed two main realities which will govern the course of the Palestinian struggle during the next stage.
- Firstly: The Palestinian Diaspora is present in the equation, holding on to the right of return to Palestine, is completely willing to make any necessary sacrifices and has broken the barrier of fear.
- Secondly: There is no doubt that the new and surprising transformation is the emergence of a new Palestinian awakening which marks the core of a popular resistance under the headline of the right of return. It thus became clear that the youth of the camps are not less determined than the freedom fighters and they consequently rushed with all their strength to defy the occupying forces with their blood and offer martyrs and wounded. They reached the peak of their attacks in the Golan when they arrived to Majdel Shams, embraced their families and saw Palestinian national Hassan Hijazi entering the heart of Palestine before being brought back by the International Red Cross after he had defied the state of the occupation and its security by walking on foot into his stolen country.
This new spirit acquired by the Palestinian youth marks the beginning of a new stage in the history of the popular and armed resistance that will take the defiance until the end.

The Arab file

Naqba

Israel held both Iran and Syria responsible for what was seen in South
Lebanon and the Golan in terms of demonstrations on the anniversary of the Naqba. Similar demonstrations were staged in Gaza and the West Bank and saw the fall of dozens of dead and wounded at the hands of the Israelis. For its part, the Syrian Foreign Ministry issued an official statement in which it harshly condemned what it described as being the criminal Israeli practices against our people in the Golan, in Palestine and South Lebanon.

• Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said that the blood that was spilt on the Syrian and Lebanese borders with Israel, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was for the freedom of the Palestinian people.

• In Jordan, unknown elements opened fire on participants in the march of return organized by the May 15 youth, after the march was launched from Amman and more specifically from the Al-Kalouti Mosque near the Israeli embassy towards the Karama Battle memorial that is about 100 kilometers away from the mosque.

• In Egypt, the authorities prevented dozens of Egyptian activists from reaching the city of Rafah on the border between Egypt and Gaza to participate in what was dubbed the “Day of Marching” towards the Palestinian territories on the anniversary of the Naqba, as they were brought back to the city of Al-Arish in Sinai. In Cairo, hundreds of citizens gathered in front of the Israeli embassy headquarters in Giza, blockaded it, and demanded the ousting of the Israeli ambassador and the severance of diplomatic relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

• On this occasion, the Syrian Tishreen newspaper carried on May 16 an article by its chief editor Munir al-Wadi in which he condemned the peacekeeping troops for allowing the forces of the Zionist enemy to shoot at peaceful civilians who were deprived from their most basic right, i.e. their right to return to their land. He wondered at this level if these forces were positioned on the border to protect the occupation, but also if the Arab citizens who demonstrated were not included in the principle of human rights. He then assured that May 15, 2011 constituted a new turning point in the Arab-Israeli conflict and marked the beginning of the journey which will allow the Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and villages from which they were displaced. He noted that during the last 63 years, the status of the Palestinians deteriorated due to the displacement of more citizens, assuring that this prompted the people to rise to “achieve martyrdom or return.”

Yemen

• An official in the ruling party in Yemen announced that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will sign the Gulf initiative in his capacity as the president of the republic. However, it must be noted that on Saturday the opposition signed the agreement unilaterally despite the doubts voiced the opposition youth. These doubts were confirmed on Sunday when President Saleh said that the signing should be made jointly with the opposition, while stressing his non-recognition of “signing in closed rooms.” The demonstrators on change square in the capital Sana’a consequently reiterated their rejection of the initiative and assured that the political settlements were a betrayal to the blood of the martyrs.

Libya

• The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, issued [arrest warrants against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi->article169912.html[, his son Sayf al-Islam and head of the Libyan intelligence apparatus Abdullah al-Sannoussi on charges of having committed crimes against humanity.

• On the field, the NATO forces are continuing to bomb areas in the Libyan capital Tripoli, as well as the positions of the Gaddafi brigades. These raids have caused massive destruction and the eruption of fires. It is worth mentioning at this level that the Libyan leader has already sent his wife and daughter Aisha to Tunisia and that they are currently present in the island of Djerba.

Syria

• Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is proceeding with his meetings with popular delegations and dignitaries from the different provinces that witnessed protests to listen to their demands. On the field, Friday witnessed the gathering of citizens in Edlib and Homs, leading to the fall of 17 martyrs among civilians and police and security men at the hands of armed groups which exploited these gatherings to open fire on those who were present. The latter groups also attacked police headquarters in Ariha and Deir Ez-Zor to facilitate the escape of criminal detainees as it was announced by Syrian military sources.

• The United States decided to impose additional sanctions on the Syrian officials, at the head of whom is President Bashar al-Assad, while Russia rejected the adoption by the United Nations of a decision allowing the use of force against Syria. American President Barack Obama signed an order imposing sanctions on the Syrian president and six Syrian officials. Based on these sanctions the assets of all the people whose names are on the list will be frozen in the United States and the Americans will be prevented from dealing with them.

• However, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev considered that Al-Assad had announced reforms and that consequently, it was the responsibility of the international community to contribute to the implementation of these reforms and not to exercise pressures through decisions that will not entail any results.

Palestine

• As he was receiving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, President Obama pointed to the existence of disputes with Israel over the peace process, cautioning that the situation in the Middle East featured opportunities and risks.

• Following the meeting, Netanyahu said he was willing to make concessions to serve peace, but rejected President Obama’s proposal regarding Israel’s withdrawal to the June 1967 border.

• President Mahmud Abbas for his part welcomed Obama’s speech and called on Israel to abide by it.

Arab League

• The Arab League member states agreed on Sunday to name Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi as the League’s secretary general. This decision was surprising since Egypt’s candidate, Mustafa al-Fakki, was supposed to be elected to that position. However, the fact that the Qatari candidate had no chances of winning forced Doha to plead with Al-Arabi to withdraw Al-Fakki’s candidacy and present his own, allowing therefore the Qataris to save face after they had expressed reservations over Al-Fakki and could in no way accept his nomination.

The Israeli file

• The visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington and his meeting with American President Barack Obama at the White House was the main topic tackled by the Israeli newspapers issued last week. They pointed to the fact that the meeting was not as friendly as desired, considering that the American Department of State angrily responded to what it referred to as being “the selective analysis” of what was featured President Obama’s speech, seeing how Netanyahu stated that Israel will not withdraw to the June 4, 1967 border.

• On the day that followed the speech which was delivered by President Obama regarding the Middle East, the Israeli papers were filled with analyses which agreed there was a contradiction between the American and Israeli viewpoints over peace.

• The papers also focused on the events witnessed on the anniversary of the Naqba in Majdel Shams and Maroun Al-Ras, prompting Maariv to accuse the intelligence apparatus of not being ready to confront any incidents on the northern border and in Majdel Shams itself. Haaretz for its part indicated that the Arab revolution had knocked on the Israeli door and that the scenario which has been feared by Israel for years had come true: Palestinian refugees marching on foot from their camps and across the border to secure the right of return.

• The papers also tackled the Israeli reactions to Obama’s speech and the details of the resignation of Israel’s chief of national security in light of his involvement in the leaking of confidential information.

The Lebanese file

• On May 15, a march of return was staged on the 63rd anniversary of the Naqba. More than fifteen martyrs and five hundred wounded fell under the bullets of the Israeli occupation from the Lebanese Maroun al-Rass to Majdel-Shams and the occupied Syrian Golan.

• A statement issued by the Lebanese army said that the military forces were in a state of alert and established the necessary coordination within the international troops to prevent the enemy from targeting the crowds and violating Lebanese sovereignty.

• On the political level, and via its mission at the United Nations in New York, Lebanon filed a complaint against Israel before the Security Council, considering that the attack carried out by Israel was an act of hostility, a violation of Lebanese sovereignty and marked the disregarding of the UN resolutions.

• President of the republic Michel Suleiman condemned the Israeli criminal practices against the peaceful civilians in South Lebanon, the Golan and Palestine, calling on the international community to react to this behavior. Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati considered that the Israeli attack against Lebanon confirmed once again, without the shadow of a doubt, that safety and security were a mere illusion covering up Israel’s deceit.

• In parallel, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed the necessity of proceeding with the resistance until victory is achieved and until all the lands and sanctities are liberated, assuring at this level he was standing alongside all those who demonstrated on Sunday on the Lebanese and Syrian borders with occupied Palestine and inside Palestine on the anniversary of the Naqba. Sayyed Nasrallah saluted the courage and faith of the demonstrators, saying: “You honorable people have proven to both the enemies and the friends that your insistence on your rights is non-negotiable, that it will not be forgotten or wasted and that your return to your homes is a certainty for which blood and major sacrifices must be offered.” He added: “Your message to the friends saying that you will not accept an alternative nation other than Palestine was delivered, so let no one fear naturalization because your decision to return is truly unshakable and about to be achieved more than ever before.”

• Deputy Walid Jumblatt stressed in his weekly position to al-Anbaa newspaper it was necessary to form the government as soon as possible in order to confront the developments and accompany the course of the international tribunal, knowing that every day it was becoming more certain that this tribunal was being exploited politically based on the regional and international circumstances.

• Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim for his part said following a visit to Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami that the talk regarding the fact that the government formation was linked to the situation in Syria was a mere media analysis. He said: “We hope that Lebanon will witness the birth of the government that will meet the aspirations of the Lebanese people. Syria’s and Lebanon’s security are intertwined and require a well-studied and responsible governmental action that would immunize this relationship.” According to a statement by the American embassy, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman conveyed to the Lebanese officials with who he met a message saying that the United States perceived the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa as being a historical opportunity to meet the aspirations of the people of this region. In regard to the awaited government in Lebanon, he spoke in the name of the international community by saying that this community will assess its relationship with the government based on its structure, its ministerial statement and the measures it will adopt in regard to the international community.

• Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Reza Shibani held a series of meetings with the president of the republic and a number of March 8 leaders, during which he stressed that the formation of the Lebanese government was a domestic issue related to the Lebanese people.

News analysis

The truth, a matter of viewpoint

Certain media and political sides spread a climate of pride and joy over the role played by some media outlets at the level of the recent Arab events. In the meantime, courageous confessions were made by a number of journalists regarding the existence of a political agenda prevailing over each satellite channel and linked to the financiers the owners and their political inclinations and ties. They also put forward samples of fabricated material regarding the Syrian situation, after this material was spread by Arab and foreign media outlets and ignored by others. Reuters in particular took this material from an opposition website, since unfortunately, the falsifiers who are active online are still being used as news sources. We are thus entitled to wonder about the amount of tapes that are exposed by neutral journalists and honest channels such as the Australian television or the German television which exposed two samples of falsified tapes, one taken in Iraq eight years ago and another in Lebanon three years ago. For its part, the Syrian Al-Dounia channel exposed falsified tapes that were recently shot in Bahrain and Yemen and were said to have been shot in Syria and are still being circulated. It is also our right to wonder about the results generated by the instigation campaign that was based on falsified tapes and about the side that should be held responsible for the blood that was spilt over them. The recognized truth is the fact that media outlets are subjected to the influence of the owners and financiers, which consequently leaves no room for any talk about an independent media in the Arab reality. As for the involvement of some media outlets in the instigation which was bluntly tackled by the journalists, it confirms the priority of serving the political agendas over the objectivity of the news.

Semi-governmental and non-independent

When the signs of the telecommunication revolution emerged during the last decade of the twentieth century, the Arab countries were witnessing a state of turmoil over the relationship between the public opinion and educated elite with the official Arab media that was characterized by a one-faceted and conservative performance. The spread of private and nongovernmental media outlets thus raised massive celebrations over the freedom and autonomy space that had come to prevail over the media process. Promises of a free media that presented the news as it actually was from numerous facets and far away from the one-facet that characterized the official media thus started to surface, heralding a media that would allow free expression of the different opinions in the Arab countries.

The truth is still a matter of viewpoint

However, upon orders from their owners, the media outlets started carrying out a dangerous professional mixing between news and political positions. Indeed, it is recognized that media work should clearly differentiate between the announcement of a certain position toward a specific event by the media outlet via its anchorman or editor and its objective coverage of the event. In the meantime, the viewers, the listeners and the readers are puzzled and are unable to believe anything especially during the recent events that saw the surfacing of the blackout phenomenon that affected events that actually took place such as the developments in Bahrain and the eyewitnesses’ scandal that accompanied the Syrian events. This prompted accusations made by many to media outlets of having prepared in advance newscasts serving a clear political propose, through witnesses who are taught specific tales regarding facts that some wish to promote by claiming they had actually happened.

Source
New Orient News