Arab affairs

Editorial: Collapse of Western hypocrisy over settlement
Since the 1967 war and the issuance of resolution 242 and 338 by the Security Council, the international attempts to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict became the headline of the American and European strategy. And ever the since the signing of the Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel and the Israeli army’s occupation of Lebanon while supported by the North-Atlantic Alliance led by the United States, the content of these Western peace projects became the framework for Israeli hegemony over the region and the attempts to consecrate the facts imposed by the Israeli occupation over the Arab territories in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the occupied Arab Golan. Consequently, the negotiation efforts and the peace initiatives became political maneuvers, while the Oslo accord became a tool to liquidate the Palestinian cause. For their part, the Palestinians experienced the Western position which is in support of Israel, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the expansion of the settlements in the West Bank throughout twenty years of futile negotiations.
The new Palestinian awakening seen in the May 15 action on the Lebanese and Syrian borders with the occupied territories and the signs of popular resurgence in Egypt and Jordan over the Palestinian issue, point to the fact that the Arab=Zionist conflict will take new forms in light of the reality produced by the victories of the resistance forces which inspired the Palestinian youth to defy the Israeli security wall.
In his speech before AIPAC, American President Barack Obama toppled the last illusion over the possibility of activating initiatives under the headline of the just and permanent settlement which constituted the content of the Western rhetoric that was filled with political hypocrisy during the last forty years. The truth is that the American empire is a mere Israeli colony whose major decisions are controlled by the Zionist lobby. Consequently, the Arab people and the powers of resistance and independence in the Arab countries must deal with the occupation of the land and the violation of the rights via popular and armed resistance which has already proven its efficiency and will prove it even further in the near future in Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

International affairs

Editorial: The Zionist lobby toppled the Baker-Hamilton policy

In light of the American failure in Iraq and the region following Israel’s defeats in Lebanon and Gaza, and in light of the depletion with which the Iraqi resistance afflicted the occupation army, the ruling institution in Washington produced the Baker-Hamilton document that set a framework to contain the failure based on two ideas. The first is to reach an agreement with Syria and Iran over the arrangement of the pullout from Iraq and the second is to try to get Israel to accept the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the establishment of the Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan and the withdrawal from the remaining Lebanese territories that are under occupation.
When Barack Obama was elected as president of the United States, there were expectations in the region that Washington will immediately start implementing these inclinations. But now, following Obama’s speech before AIPAC and in light of the American hostile policies toward Iran and Syria, one could say that the Zionist lobby led by Netanyahu has completed the coup against the Baker-Hamilton document and made the United States adopt an aggressive policy to serve the project of the Jewish state and bury the idea of a just and comprehensive solution, by eliminating the Palestinians’ right of return and holding on to the new facts imposed by the Judaization of Jerusalem and the settlement activities in the West Bank.
In other words, all the foundations for the talk about a Palestinian state were eliminated while the pressures exerted on Damascus, Tehran and the resistance movements aim at subjecting them all to the logic of Israel’s hegemony over the Middle East.
Between the popular turmoil in Egypt, the American-Israeli alliance at the level of the Palestinian cause and the clear failure of the attack on Syria, it seems that Washington will witness an uncomfortable stage, especially if the popular opposition voiced against the stay of the occupation forces in Iraq were to lead to a climate that would contribute to the escalation of the military resistance following the crowded marches organized by the Sadrist Movement and many national forces.
The next few months will force Washington and the Western capitals to urgently draw up a new document that would contain the failure, especially since the tests will be more difficult after Syria’s victory over the crisis and the Palestinian uprisings inside the occupied territories and along the Arab borders.

The Arab file


• The Muslim Brotherhood absent from the Tahrir Square demonstrations.
Egyptian activists organized crowded demonstrations on Tahrir Square on Friday, in order to demand what they called the fast transition toward a civil system of governance. For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood group rejected the demonstrations in Tahrir Square staged in the center of the capital Cairo to demand the hastening of the trying in court of the symbols of the former regime, thus warning against the possible eruption of clashes between the people and the army.

• The activists called for what they dubbed ‘a second revolution’ in protest against the slowness of the reforms and the trials of former officials charged with corruption and abuse of power.


• Yemeni sheikhs and politicians warned against “A dangerous plan which might lead Yemen toward civil war in order to annihilate the peaceful revolution through the escalation of violence and infighting.”

• At this level, the secretary general of the Nasserist Party, Sultan al-Atwani, said that what was happening in Al-Hasba region between the authorities and the Al-Ahmar family fell in the context of a dangerous plan undertaken by the authorities to target the family and lead the situation towards confrontation that would achieve its plans to secure the breaking out of civil war.
He added that “this is a dangerous move by the authority to thwart the peaceful popular revolution. But this will not happen because this revolution is peaceful and will remain so no matter how hard the authorities try to generate confrontations and acts of violence.”

• For his part, Yemeni tribal leader Sadek al-Ahmar assured there was no room for mediation with Yemeni Oresident Ali Abdullah Saleh, pledging that Saleh will leave the country barefoot.

• In the meantime, tribal dignitaries allowed the shedding of the blood of President Saleh following the confrontations which have been ongoing in Sana’a since last Sunday and have left dozens of dead and wounded.


• Opening of the Rafah Crossing indefinitely
The Egyptian authorities have decided to open the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip that is blockaded by Israel starting next Saturday, as it was revealed by the official Egyptian Middle East News Agency. Hamas welcomed this decision and considered to be “a courageous and responsible decision that is completely in line with the pulse of the Arab, Egyptian and Palestinian streets.”

• On the security level, Israel violated the prevailing security situation by opening fire on three Palestinian fishermen from a boat off the shores south of Gaza.

• In the town of Salwan south of the holy Al-Aqsa mosque, confrontations erupted in parallel to the inauguration of the Har Hazeetim settlement in Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, with wide participation from Israeli leaders headed by the parliament speaker, a number of extremist right wing Knesset members, a number of ministers and heads of extremist Jewish settlements associations.

• And while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on denying the Palestinians’ rights while exploiting the blunt American support offered to his entity, the Palestinian official and factional levels agreed over the necessity to unify the domestic front as it was expressed by Islamic Jihad politburo member Nafez Azzam.

• In this context, Hamas said via its spokesman Sami Abu Zahri: “The practical response to Netanyahu’s speech is through the ending of the negotiations and the increase of the efforts to implement reconciliation as soon as possible.”


Libya under NATO’s bombardments
NATO sources indicated that the decision to use Apache helicopters –as it was leaked by French sources- was confirmed during the G8 summit in France.
The Libyan television announced that NATO was continuing to bomb targets in the Libyan capital Tripoli, while the pro-government Al-Jamahiriya television quoted a military source as saying: “Civilian positions in the city of Tripoli, including a technical school, were bombarded which caused human and material losses.”

• In the meantime, intelligence reports conveyed to British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had become very paranoid, that he was hiding in hospitals at night and that his senior officials could not communicate with him.

• Libyan sources: Gaddafi’s wife and daughter are still in Tripoli
Asharq al-Awsat newspaper carried an article in which a source denied that Gaddafi’s wife and daughter had fled Libya, after reports claimed that Gaddafi’s wife and daughter left the country via Tunisia and headed to Poland or Belorussia. Indeed the source said to the daily: “The reports of the international agencies are inaccurate. The two women are currently present in Tripoli and never left the country. The statements delivered by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this regard are a mere propaganda campaign against Colonel Gaddafi. As usual, Mrs. Clinton is getting her information from international news agencies and satellite channels. It is unfortunate to see the foreign minister of the most powerful state in the world relying on these sources.”


Between the destruction of the mosques and the arrests of civilians
The director of the Jaafari endowments in Bahrain, Ahmad Hussein, sent a letter to King Hamad Ben Issa al-Khalifa regarding the mosques and worship places that were subjected to sabotage during the last stage. According to the Bahraini Al-Wasat newspaper website on Wednesday, “the letter includes the names of 45 worship places that were vandalized and destroyed, in addition to the names of two burial grounds that were sabotaged.”
A Bahraini martial court sentenced four oppositionists to one year in prison due to their participation in the demonstrations demanding reform, while the Bahraini youth association for human rights conveyed its concerns over a fifteen-year old young man who was detained and being tortured for that same reason.


Qatar provides Israel with gas
Mohammad Basiouni, the former Egyptian ambassador to Israel, said that Egypt exported gas to Israel at much higher prices than the gas it exported to Jordan. In one of the national dialogue sessions, Basiouni said: “The gas and oil agreements will not be long-term ones due to their high cost.” He pointed to the emergence of voices in Egypt following the revolution calling for the annulment of the Camp David agreement and the banning of the exportation of gas to Israel, saying he recommended the continuation of this agreement to achieve a bond of interests between the two countries. He said that Egypt supplied Israel with 40% of its gas needs and that in case the agreement were to be annulled, Israel had other alternative countries from which it could import gas such as Qatar and Russia, indicating that Israel was willing to supply Israel with gas.


Call for Friday of wrath in Kuwait
The Kuwaiti Al-Rai al-Am daily assured that while youth groups were preparing to organize protests next Friday with parliamentary support from different, the Interior Ministry assured it will not hesitate to hold accountable and pursue all those who try to undermine security, whether through illegal gatherings, the blocking of the roads or the obstruction of the work of the citizens.
And while a number of deputies announced their support of the demonstration which was dubbed by Deputy Muslem al-Barrak as ‘the Friday of wrath’, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ali Rashed assured that the government believed in freedom as guaranteed by the constitution, hoping that this freedom of expression will not undermine others.

The Israeli file

• President Obama’s speech before the AIPAC conference was the most prominent topic tackled by the Israeli papers issued last week. For its part, Haaretz pointed to a noticeable rise in Netanyahu’s popularity following his speech before Congress, adding on the other hand that the opening of the Rafah crossing was one of a series of benefits which the new regime in Cairo was offering Hamas in exchange for its approval of reconciliation with Fatah.

• On the other hand, Maariv revealed there were secret negotiation channels between President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
It added that Peres and Abu Mazen had secretly met in London before Peres met with his American counterpart, a meeting which most likely carried an impact on Obama’s speech. The newspaper added that Peres became extremely angry when he learned about the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

The Lebanese file

• UNIFIL targeted again
In a fourth incident targeting UNIFIL since 2007, 6 soldiers from the Italian contingent were wounded following an explosion which targeted a military vehicle on the coastal road in Rmayleh north of Saida. The security forces estimated that the size of the bomb was between 10 and 12 kilograms of TNT.
The incident was met with great condemnation on the Lebanese political, official and partisan levels, especially from Hezbollah that issued a brief statement in which it considered that the explosion was a criminal act and called on the specialized Lebanese authorities to investigate it, expose the perpetrators and sanction them.
For his part, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon harshly condemned the incident and believed it was unfortunate, especially since it coincided with the international day for the UN peace keeping forces.
Italy condemned via its defense minister and its ambassador in Lebanon the cowardly terrorist attack which prompted comprehensive and strong condemnation from the different Lebanese political forces that believe in peace, stability and democracy and reject violence as a means to settle a political conflict.

Putschist general Achraf Rifi, commander of the FSI

Nahhas prevented from entering his ministry
Minister of telecommunications in the caretaker government Charbel Nahhas, was prevented by forces affiliated with the Information Branch on Thursday from entering a building that is part of his ministry in Al-Adliye area, to monitor the equipment of the third Chinese GSM network. Indeed, the Internal Security Forces directorate did not respect the commands of the authority to which it is affiliated, i.e. the Interior Ministry, which had ordered it to evacuate the building.
This raised a massive wave of reactions, following which Minister of Interior and Municipalities Ziad Baroud indicated: “It seems to me that logic is on vacation after the law has become a matter of viewpoint. It has become clear during the last few days that the problem is much greater than it appears to be.”
He thus announced he was liberating himself from the Interior Ministry because he did not wish to be a “false witness” in the absence of the language of reason and not because he was eluding the responsibility.

• Lebanon celebrated the eleventh anniversary of the liberation and resistance while recollecting the historical accomplishments achieved on May 25, 2000 when the resistance - and in light of numerous sacrifices - was able to get the Israeli enemy to withdraw from most of the occupied territories in the South and West Bekaa without any restraints and conditions.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said during a celebration in the Bekaa: “The resistance will remain loyal to its goals, its path, its sufferings and the blood of its martyrs.” He added: “Fear was in Netanyahu’s eyes two days ago when he was speaking before Congress about Hezbollah’s and Hamas’s missiles… we are neither frightened by Netanyahu nor by Obama and all their fleets. We belong to a land that has vanquished all the fleets and we are not scared by anyone’s threats, intimidations or accusations.”

The Lebanese affairs

Editorial: The coup of the Information Branch and the hidden facets of the Telecommunications Ministry
What happened at the Lebanese Telecommunication Ministry was a military coup or a rebellion against the law and the regulations in place, carried out by the Internal Security Forces or rather the Information Branch. In this context, the stringent position of Interior Minister Ziad Baroud revealed the reality of what happened, after a general director in his ministry refused to implement his decision to pull out from the building whose occupation he had ordered. It thus became clear that a security apparatus in the state is receiving its orders from a political authority, i.e. the leader of the Future Movement.
Had it not been for the stringency of Minister Nahhas and General Michel Aoun, no decision would have been issued to extinguish the rebellion and assign the Lebanese army to gain control over the situation, while the militia-logic would have continued to impose itself and raise dangerous questions over the future of the state and the institutions in Lebanon.
This file with all its dimensions requires the formation of a parliamentary-judicial committee enjoying wide prerogatives, based on which it would be able to summon whoever it wants, interrogate them and open a comprehensive file that would pave the way before the instatement of accountability. If this is not done, the country will face more deterioration toward anarchy and the law of the jungle.

News analysis: Syria and the defeat of the sabotage plan
All the signals seen on the Syrian street this past week, point to the fact that the security incidents that were provoked in several areas were retreating after the state was able to extinguish the armed rebellion and fight the gangs of Takfir and anarchy. The rebellion attempts, as well as the acts of violence and terrorism erupted in light of protests which were provoked by objective factors and incentives but were exploited by political opposition forces representing a minority to turn them into an opportunity to impose a military control that would lead to a foreign interference which was revealed by Abdul Halim Khaddam in his recent statements.
The opposition which is linked to the United States and the plan aiming at sabotaging Syria fell in the weapons trap, thus provoking an overwhelming popular insistence on the national centralized state and stability. In the meantime, this opposition had dangerously fell in sectarian instigation exposed by the presence of Takfiris fatwas and satellite channels airing form the Gulf and targeting Syria through mobilization and the instigation of civil war. This led the opposition towards failure and the exchange of accusations and would explain the presence of major disputes within its ranks despite the American, Turkish and Qatari efforts deployed to form a political entity that would combine all its elements.
The retreat of the incidents and the emergence of new facts regarding the sabotage plans and the external and internal forces involved in it imposes the progress of the dialogue led by President Bashar al-Assad over reform in the next stage, in order to consecrate partisan and media plurality and instate new foundations for the parliamentary and local elections

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