Following the news from Egypt: ‘We are saying enough of this regime! It is a corrupt regime!’

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Raw video of today’s protests from the AP (h/t The Lede)

232056676The protests currently taking place in Egypt are massive. Al Jazeera English has reported that they are at least twice as big as those that took place on January 25. You can watch their live coverage from Egypt on the station’s website and here.

You can also still follow #jan25 and #jan28 on Twitter where people are tweeting reports that are getting out. Below I have embeded the twitter feeds from some of the news sources on the ground, including Al Jazeera and CNN’s Ben Wedeman, who has been doing some exemplary reporting.


Seham’s headline roundup after the jump:

The Egyptian Revolution

Curfew imposed in Cairo from 6pm to 7am, AlJazeera reports #Jan25

Egypt places top reformer under house arrest following mass riots
Pro-democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei joined anti-government protesters as they clashed with police, called for ousting of President Mubarak.

Map of Egypt’s ‘day of wrath’

Egypt protests in Cairo with Dan Nolan
Protests have erupted in cities across Egypt following Friday midday prayers, with angry demonstrators demanding an end to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year presidency. Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country.

Fresh protests erupt in Egypt
Thousands stream out of mosques to protest against President Mubarak’s 30-year rule, defying a government crackdown.

Photos: Mass demonstrations in Egypt

Picture of the protests from Al Jazeera

Armored vehicle set on fire

And a third

Protesters attack different armored vehicle

Picture of BBC Arabic journalist

Protesters control the streets of Suez

Slideshow of protests

Egypt protests: ‘Something has changed in the Egyptian psyche ‘
The demonstrations this week against the Mubarak regime have gripped Egypt – while the world has looked on. We asked local bloggers and photographers for their frontline reports.

Egypt Protests: LIVE Updates As Opposition Fills The Streets
CAIRO (AP) – CAIRO – The Egyptian capital Cairo was the scene of violent chaos Friday, when tens of thousands of anti-government protesters stoned and confronted police, who fired back with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons. It was a major escalation in what was already the biggest challenge to authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year-rule.

Clashes in Cairo Extend Arab World’s Days of Unrest

Demonstrators calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak poured from mosques in Cairo after noon prayers on Friday, clashing with police.

Amnesty International: Egyptian authorities urged to rein in security forces
Authorities urged to act to prevent further deaths of protesters, amid continuing nationwide protests against poverty, police abuse and corruption.

Four dead, dozens injured in Suez
Hundreds of people gathered today in front of the Arbaeen police station in Suez demanding the release of relatives who were arrested in protests the past two days. Reports say those arrested are between 300 to 400, but the figure has yet to be officially confirmed.

Egypt prepares for fresh protests
Internet and SMS services reportedly disrupted and Muslim Brotherhood members arrested ahead of planned demonstrations.

Egypt arrests two Muslim Brotherhood leaders
CAIRO Jan 28 (Reuters) – Egypt arrested two leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and other members of the group overnight ahead of planned countrywide protests on Friday, their lawyer said.  “The police detained Dr. Essam El-Erian and Dr. Mohamed Mursi, and there were others also detained. Many people, it’s hard to figure out the exact number,” said lawyer Abdel-Moniem Abdel-Maksoud. “The reason is of course known: it’s what is expected to happen tomorrow.”

Egypt’s MB joining protest tomorrow. End of US-Israel imperium in ME?
Today, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt announced their decision to join the mass protest in the country tomorrow. (That’s #jan28 in Tweetspeak.) This is huge. The MB is far and away the largest force in Egypt’s opposition. It has pursued a determinedly nonviolent path for nearly 30 years now– though that has not prevented the Mubarak regime from engaging in a sustained campaign of often horrendously abusive repression against its leaders and many of its cadres. The MB’s leaders have responded to the repression by sticking to a political course that is very conservative and non-confrontational. Often, in recent years, they have been criticized by members of other movements or even younger members of their own for not joining in or giving any support to the various waves of street protests or labor activity that have erupted around the country.

Lousy, dictatorial regime-controlled “Islam”, As’ad Abukhalil
The clerics who serve the dictator in Egypt have issued an order that Friday sermons tomorrow will all preach against “opposing legitimacy and destruction.” [end]

Agents provocateurs in Cairo?, Helena Cobban
Issandr’s reporting on this from 1 a.m. Friday Cairo time is very worrying: I have received eyewitness reports from three people that Central Security Forces (the riot control police) are pulling out of multiple locations in Cairo. Plainclothes security has been seen at various locations pouring gasoline on vehicles and setting them on fire, also trying to burn storefronts in the following Downtown Cairo Locations: Falaki Square, Omraneya, Near the American University in Cairo.  Earlier in the day, I received an eyewitness report from a friend in Downtown Cairo (near Champollion Street) that policemen were loading vans with clubs, nails, metal bars and other objects that could be used as weapons by Baltaguiya, the hired thugs sometimes used by police to attack protestors.  There are, of course, many more ways for the regime to disregard international calls for nonviolence than simply by opening up with guns on protesters.

#Jan25: ACTION ALERT: Contact Egyptian Embassies in Your Country

#Jan25: How you can help Egyptians & lift the info blockade
Friday, January 28th has been declared “The Day of Anger” in Egypt! After the noon-time prayers, Egyptians will empty the mosques and flood the streets for the 4th and hopefully, most impactful day of protests, yet. The government has cutoff access to the internet and there are reports that the military will be deployed in full force. A massacre in Egypt is about to take place if the world doesn’t interfere. Talk to the media. Talk to your representatives. Help get the voices of our Egyptian brothers and sisters heard across the globe!

Help The Egyptian People
Thanks for standing firm with the brave people of Egypt.  Sometimes we see things in the media and wonder how we can really help. Right now, the Egyptian government is periodically blocking Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which are critical tools for organizing protests. But with all of our help, Egyptians and others in the region can jump their government’s firewall and anonymoulsy access these online communications platforms which are currently being blocked or throttled. There are several ways that you can help them to do this…

#Jan25: A Call from the People of Egypt
To all the people of world, The people in Egypt are under governmental siege.  Mubarak regime is banning Facebook, Twitter, and all other popular internet sites. Tomorrow the government will block the 3 mobile phone network and the internet completely.  And there is news that even the phone landline will be cut tomorrow, to prevent any news agency from following what will happen…

A message to Anonymous from inside Egypt

Syria: Internet Users Race to Support Egyptian Protesters
As protests to take down the Mubarak regime in Egypt rage on, Syrians are rushing to aid the protesters in every way they can. Damascus Bureau reported that hackers took over the website[ar] of Baladna Daily and left a message saying: “We will not allow a media blackout in regards to what’s going on in Egypt. Here are some headlines about what’s happening in Egypt.”

Follow the Arab World Protests Online
It started in Tunisia, where weeks of protests forced dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down on Jan. 14. Now Egypt, the historic hub of the Arab world, is in its third day of protests to end the 30-year regime of Hosni Mubarak; and Yemen is aping the Tunisians, too. Unlike prior eras of Mideast unrest, it’s all happening online. Here’s how to follow what could be history in the making.

Egypt: Twittering from the Rooftops

Elbaradei arrives in Egypt
Democracy advocate returns to country to join anti-Mubarak protests, the latest of which has claimed one life.

In run-up to Friday protests, political activists ‘bet on the people’
Three days after tens of thousands of Egyptians participated in nationwide protests, activists are hoping that their calls for another “Day of Anger” on Friday will attract even larger numbers–and, perhaps, lead to political change.  Over 70,000 Egyptians have confirmed–via social media–their intention to attend, while reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei is expected to arrive in Cairo on Thursday to take part in the protests. All political currents in Egypt have also confirmed their participation.

Demonstrators call for Mubarak’s ouster
CAIRO (IPS) – Demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt continued for the second day in several Egyptian cities with police cracking down violently, a development that many analysts here say reflects the nervousness of the regime.

Egypt Protests Continue As Government Offers No Concessions
CAIRO — Egypt’s ruling party said Thursday it was ready for a dialogue with the public but offered no concessions to address demands for a solution to rampant poverty and political change heard in the country’s largest anti-government protests in years.

EGYPT: No let up to protests – Briefing
CAIRO Thursday, January 27, 2011 (IRIN) – Thousands of Egyptian protestors have taken to the streets for the third day in a row to demonstrate against rising food prices, unemployment and lack of political freedom. IRIN takes a closer look at the campaign, which has defied a ban on rallies announced earlier in the week by the Interior Ministry, and is instead calling for mass action on 28 January.

Facebook says has seen drop in traffic from Egypt
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Facebook has seen a drop in traffic to its Web site from Egypt on Thursday amid anti-government protests in that country, the company said.  “We are aware of reports of disruption to service and have seen a drop in traffic from Egypt this morning,” Facebook spokesperson Jillian Carroll told Reuters in an email.

Egyptian Bloggers Brave Police Intimdation
Their voices may not be the ones heard on the streets of Egypt, but what they’re saying is coming through loud and clear over the Internet, via websites, blogs and social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter.  Egypt’s bloggers are young, as much of the nation is, with the median age being 24. Noha Atef, 26, started blogging about five years ago, spurred by reports she read about Egyptian women who were being tortured in police stations.

The Lede: Interview With an Egyptian Blogger
Gigi Ibrahim, an Egyptian blogger and activist involved in the country’s protest movement, spoke to The Lede on Thursday evening.

Egypt: Rage against the Mubaraks | Editorial
It has been 34 years since Egypt was shaken by mass demonstrations on the scale of Tuesday’s “Day of Rage”. In 1977, Anwar Sadat’s decision to cut subsidies on food and fuel ignited three days of rallies until the government relented and restored them. Today, the rage is directed against not just a specific act, but a whole sclerotic regime. Mass arrests will not stem it.

A day with Egypt’s protesters
Ahmed Moor spent one tumultuous afternoon with protesters in central Cairo, where he found that the ‘Arabs are alive.’

It’s Egypt’s young who are leading the protests
There is a level of organisation springing up here in Cairo that can best be described as solidarity in action

Young Egyptians mount unusual challenge to Mubarak
A Facebook-fueled youth movement has called for more protest, challenging a government that says it won’t tolerate it. Security forces have blocked activists’ Twitter accounts but not their anger.  Draped in a scarf and smoking a water pipe, Ahmed Maher sat in an outdoor cafe, looking too relaxed to be an often-jailed dissident and the leader of a youth movement that has shaken the Egyptian government by rallying thousands of protesters into the streets this week.,0,7095266.story

Video from Thursday Protests
Latest Egypt (and Beyond) Video: Thursday’s Protests

The Lede: More Video of Protests in Egypt
As Egyptian bloggers and activists seek to rally support, they are pointing to evidence of unrest this week in other cities, including video posted on YouTube showing clashes in the cities of Suez and Ismailiya.

“I saw video of an old man, literally lying on the ground as if reclaiming his country yelling “Tahya Masr, Tahya Masr, Tahya Masr…” [Long live Egypt] I never saw someone lie on the street with such dignity.”

Protests in Ismailia

Suez Jan 28

YouTube, Flickr Show Escalating Violence in Egyptian Protests

Other Protest Video

Pictures from Thursday
Egypt in Pictures: The “War Zone” in Suez

The Revolution with be Flickrized

Tahrir Square!/album.php?fbid=10150383370695512&id=889875511&aid=617584

International Reactions
US embassy cables: Egypt’s strategic importance to the US
SUMMARY: General Schwartz, welcome to Egypt. Since our Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program began almost 30 years ago, our strong military relationship has supported peace between Egypt and Israel and ensured critical Suez Canal and overflight access for U.S. military operations. The relationship, however, should now change to reflect new regional and transnational security threats. In FY2009, Congress removed conditions on U.S. assistance to Egypt. We and the GOE will be able to make the best case for continuing a robust FMF program by targeting funding for shared priorities like peacekeeping and border security, and must take more action on emerging regional security threats such as piracy.

US embassy cables: US discusses Iran and Gaza with Mubarak’s son
During an hour-long meeting on February 17, Gamal Mubarak discussed with Senator Joseph Lieberman the problems with Gaza and Palestinian reconciliation, as well as the broader political split within the Arab world. Senator Lieberman sought Gamal’s advice on ways for the U.S. to engage Iran; Gamal offered that the best way to defeat Iranian ambitions in the region is to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Unfortunately, Qatar is playing “spoiler” in order to get “a seat at the table.” Gamal, a former international banker, opined that the U.S. needed to “shock” its financial system back to health, and said that Egypt — which had so far escaped much of the pain of the global economic crisis — was preparing to face tough economic times ahead. The Ambassador, Senator Lieberman’s foreign policy adviser, and the ECPO MinCouns as note taker were also present. End summary.

Joe Biden says Egypt’s Mubarak no dictator, he shouldn’t step down… [I’m impressed with the outrage of American commentators on this article’s comment section]
Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the PBS NewsHour tonight with the most direct US governent comments yet about the gathering Egypt protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year reign. Mr. Biden’s comments are unlikely to be well-received by regime opponents, as they fit a narrative of steadfast US support for a government they want to bring down. About eight protesters and one policeman have died this week as Egypt has sought to bring down the heavy hand of the state against opponents. Since the US provides about $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt a year, the repressive apparatus of the state is seen by many in Egypt as hand in glove with the US.|+World%29

State Dep’t says democracy is OK for Tunisia but not Egypt because of Israel, Philip Weiss
Thanks to Pulse, here is a wonderful interview of State Dep’t spokesman P.J. Crowley by Shihab Rattansi of Al Jazeera that shows why Obama talked about Tunisian democracy in the State of the Union but said nothing about democracy in Egypt. At about 5:40 Rattansi asks Crowley why the U.S. with all its leverage over Egypt doesn’t pressure it to call off the dogs and let the society move toward democracy?

For Husni Mubarak
“Connecticut National Guard Detachment 2, Company I, 185th Aviation Regiment of Groton has mobilized and will deploy to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, to support the Multinational Force and Observers.  The unit left Connecticut Jan. 15 for Fort Benning, Ga., for further training and validation. The unit operates C-23C Sherpa aircraft and has deployed three times in the last seven years in support of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The unit will provide an on-demand aviation asset to the Multinational Force and Observers commander to support its mission of supervising the security provisions of the Egypt/ Israel Peace Treaty.”

Italy supports Egypt’s Mubarak but urges reform
ROME, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Thursday that a sudden, dramatic change of government in Egypt would lead to chaos in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, where President Hosni Mubarak had played a key stabilising role.

Bahrain calls for Arab summit to address region-wide protests
Bahrain called Thursday for an Arab summit to discuss efforts to calm the region amid widening protests in the Arab world while Syria expressed hope that “reason will prevail” in Egypt. The state-run Bahrain News Agency said Thursday that King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa urged the emergency Arab meeting in a telephone call with Hosni Mubarak.

World Solidarity with Egypt
The Palestinian people are rallying in solidarity

The writer prefers to be anonymous: “Hi Asad, Please find details in the following event invitation. I’d be thankful if you publish about it in your blog. Here is the Facebook event link.  The situation in Jerusalem has been quite dead, though there are million of reasons to protest and go to the streets, a general strike. It’s almost surrealistic, living under occupation in all of its brutal faces, to say: it’s the real time. However, we are a group of Palestinian students and activists from Jerusalem and 48 lands who believe that the way to Palestine starts from liberating all Arab capitals. I prefer to be anonymous.”

#Jan25: Protest in Occupied Jerusalem on Friday in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution

San Francisco 1/26 protest in solidarity with the anger revolution in Egypt

Montreal Rally in solidarity with Egypt
protest against dictatorship, repression & in solidarity with street protests in Egypt. Friday January 28th 14h-17h30 1000 rue De La Gauchetiere O. (Metro Bonaventure) Montreal, QC On Friday January 28th, Egyptians have called for the second day of anger following the historic demonstrations that took place on Tuesday January 25th across Egypt and that have continued since then.

#Jan25: Saturday – San Francisco solidarity protest with Egypt intifada

Sat. Jan. 29, 12noon, Market & Montgomery Sts., SF
Emergency Demonstration in Solidarity with Egyptian People
Down with Mubarak – Stop the Repression!
End U.S. Aid to the Mubarak Regime!
Victory to the Egyptian People!

Following the popular revolt that overthrew the U.S.-allied dictatorship in Tunisia, the Egyptian people have taken to the streets in the hundreds of thousands demanding the fall of another U.S. client dictator, Hosni Mubarak. The U.S. gives $1.3 billion per year in “security aid” to Egypt, second only to Israel as the largest recipient of U.S. aid. That “security aid” has been used to buy the tear gas and other weapons and equipment that are killing Egyptian people attempting to exercise their right to protest and speak out. Many organizations including the ANSWER Coalition will be participating in the Jan. 29 emergency demonstration. Click here to see a video of the protest held on Wed., Jan. 26 in SF, which was called on just a few hours notice.

İstanbul and Ankara:


Los Angeles:
New York City:
New York:
Occupied Jerusalem:
Twin Cities, Minnesota:
New Jersey:
Washington State:
Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto: // // //

Protests Map in the US:

Egyptian Intifada Rap

Egypt Analysis
Uprising in Egypt: “This is the Biggest Political Challenge the Regime Has Yet to See From the Streets”
Protests have erupted across Egypt again today with the largest and most widespread anti-government demonstrations seen so far. In an unprecedented display of popular protest, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are gathering in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, Sharqiya and elsewhere. Intense confrontations are taking place with state security forces. The protests come amid a vast security clampdown. Earlier, the government blocked the Internet, mobile phone and SMS services, with the hope of disrupting demonstration planning. We go to Cairo to speak Ahmad Shokr, an editor at the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Mubarak state TV, As`ad Abukhalil
Something is going on. That Egyptian state TV is showing scenes of demonstrations and tear gas smoke is unusual and unprecedented even if they keep repeating the warnings that “other channels” are exaggerating.  I see signs of cracks on top.

Egyptian state TV, As`ad Abukhalil
So I switched now to Egyptian state TV.  It has a very extensive and intense discussion of sports and football strategy.  Mubark sure knows its priorities.  Wait: now I am watching coverage of demonstrations on the same channel.  It warns against exaggeration of the events in Egypt.  It says that it alone shows the accurate picture of Egyptian events.

Zionists and Egypt, As`ad Abukhalil
Zionists are in a panic. Zionists and those who want to reassure them are saying that the slogans are not mentioning Israel.  Read the slogans on my blog and see for yourselves.  Plus, no matter what they chant. can anyone doubt that a new regime in Egypt (whether secular or Islamist) in now way can continue the official embrace of Israeli war crimes and that the siege of Gaza would be first to go.  Be afraid, O Zionists.  Be very afraid.  The future of Israel is very very bleak–and deservedly so.  That state would be extinguished, sooner or later, and only then can Jews, Muslims, Christians, and atheists live in peace in the holy land.

Comrade Hosssam via As`ad Abukhalil
““It would be criminal for any political party to claim credit for the mini-Intifada we had yesterday,” said Hossam el-Hamalawy, a blogger and activist.”

Islamist demagogues in Egypt, As’ad Abukhalil
Some people argued with me when I dismissed the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood.  I know that they suffer great repression: in one year in 2007, some 8000 members of them were arrested and not one word was uttered in protest in the West.  But those Islamists of the MB have been cowardly in dealing with Mubarak from the get go.  They have absolutely no role whatsoever in what is happening.  They have made themselves irrelevant and for that I am glad.  None of the slogans in Egypt are Islamist or Islamic in nature.  The activists are mostly young and educated and generally progressive from lower and middle class backgrounds.  Some are some of the people that I have communicated with about events in Egypt in the last few years.  And Twitter and Facebook have been greatly utilized by them.  One of the great activists in Egypt has a graduate degree in internet media and he is putting his skills to a great use.  Salutation comrades. [end]

Juan Cole: “Egypt is a Praetorian Regime”
Hundreds of thousands of taken to the streets across Egypt today in the fourth day of unprecedented protests against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. We speak with University of Michigan Professor of History Juan Cole. “The last 30 years, the Arab world has seen a series of Arab nationalist regimes relatively secular, which have become increasingly sclerotic,” Cole says.

Ahmed Rehab: US Tacit Support for Mideast Autocrats Reeks of Short-Sightedness, Undermines US Interests
The US government’s blurry vision when it comes to the Arab world is a victim of its own simplistic two-bit approach to the region: lust for oil and fear of Islamism.

Egypt protests pose US dilemma
Political uproar in Egypt has Washington stuck between a reflex to back freedom-seeking protests and a vital diplomatic ally — a dilemma with deep implications for Washington’s troubled Middle East policy. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been a fulcrum of US regional strategy for decades, a guarantor of his nation’s peace with US ally Israel and a central player in successive and frustrated American peace initiatives.

Backing Mubarak and Tunisian People?,  Ahmed Amr – Cairo
America has never met an Arab despot it couldn’t coddle. Before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Reagan and Bush had a nice working relationship with Saddam Hussein. In fact, when the Iraqi dictator invaded Iran, they went so far as to supply him with chemical weapons and intelligence. After ‘liberating’ Kuwait, the powers that be in Washington had no qualms about re-installing the Emir as the absolute ruler of his people.

Correcting a slur against Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, James North
This site has already effectively dismissed the long Goldberg/Ibish op-ed article in yesterday’s New York Times.  But one line in that tortured piece does deserve more scrutiny, especially with the uprising in Egypt. Goldberg and Ibish contend that “. . . Gaza, of course, remains an intractable problem, since no peace treaty will end the conflict so long as Hamas is in power and loyal to the uncompromising Muslim Brotherhood ideology it espouses.”

Egypt’s Day of Rage goes on. Is the world watching? | Amira Nowaira
The scale of protests in Egypt has shaken a regime that has long relied on citizens’ passivity to retain power. Tens of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators took to the streets on 25 January, young and old, Muslim and Christian, rich and poor, educated and not so-educated. They all chanted “Long live Egypt”, “Life, liberty and human dignity” and “Down with the Mubarak regime”.

“How to Revolt Intelligently”, As’ad Abukhalil
[Just a commentary not a link to the manual]
I have just received from Egypt a secret document titled “How to Revolt Intelligently” prepared by the youth activists in Egypt.  It is a most sophisticated manual by activist that I have seen.  I am not exaggerating. It has very specific instructions as how to deal with the oppression tactics and methods of the Mubarak regime.  I would have shared it with you, but the activists are circulating it as a secret document with special instruction against wide distribution for fear of falling into the hands of police. It has specific instruction as to how to deal with tear gas canisters and the repression vehicles and baton of the police.  It sets the demands and style of the movement with well-done illustration.  It ends with an illustration of Jamal Mubarak nicknamed Jaban Mubarak (Coward Mubarak).  It is most impressive and makes me more hopeful about change in Egypt. I have not seen anything like this before, not by any revolutionary or activist movement anywhere. [end]

Israeli-US scenario: Jettison Mubarak and find another servitor, Ira Glunts
When I saw a picture on GoogleNews captioned, “Thousands protest against Mubarak,” I thought Tiananmen Square and Israel.  Surprisingly, neither the massacre of Chinese dissidents nor the Jewish State was mentioned in the accompanying article.  Since then, two news items appeared which talk about the Israeli connection.  The first is from The Angry Arab News Service, the second is from The New York Times.

What if this was Iran?, As’ad Abukhalil
The Egyptian regime is clamping down hard: they stopped the internet altogether, they stopped SMS, (and Twitter and Facebook obviously shut down).  Vodaphone and two other phone companies stopped SMS.  Najib Suwayrus, the Egyptian billionaire friend of Jamal Mubarak, is a collaborator in the repression.  Even the regime’s mouthpiece, Al-Ahram, has been shut down.  Egyptian goons are erasing clips of repression from Youtube.  In Suez, the land lines are down.  What if this was Iran??  And when there were protests in Iran, Twitter (the company) and Facebook (the company) came out in support of the protesters.  The US media were enamored with the protesters back then.  Why are those protesters not sexy for you?  You can’t say that they are Islamists this time (as if Islamists have no rights to protest–but let us go along with the argument for the sake of it), and yet they are all alone.  It will be remembered (when you ask now and later why they hate us), that Mubrak’s repression took place with the full support of both parties in the US and the Obama administration.  Do you know now why whenever a US official, any US official, ever utter the word “democracy”, Arabs get a strong urge to throw up?  In Iran, the US covertly smuggled those cute camera pens for demonstrators.  They were not cute enough for the Egyptian people. [end]

Could Suez be Egypt’s Sidi Bouzid?
SUEZ, Egypt: Mosaics lining the road to Suez glorify Egypt’s achievements in a 1973 war with Israel but, further on, toppled billboards, charred signposts and shattered glass stand as monuments to a more recent conflict.  The port city has jumped onto the world’s radar as the scene of clashes between government forces and protesters demanding the removal of President Hosni Mubarak.

Inshaallah Twitter, Parvez Sharma
Sitting at a Manhattan Starbucks, enjoying the free wireless and watching the snow fall softly outside, a definitely less-wired Cairo seems a million miles away. This greatest of Arab cities has always been the city of my dreams and many passions and very much a frequent destination in this past decade. I have barely slept for two nights. Gmail chats with friends, Facebook chats, occasional tweets, a few Skype calls and some phone conversations have built a fragmented picture of the dissent in this one city, which truly defines the Arab street.

Robert Fisk: Egypt’s day of reckoning
A day of prayer or a day of rage? All Egypt was waiting for the Muslim Sabbath today – not to mention Egypt’s fearful allies – as the country’s ageing President clings to power after nights of violence that have shaken America’s faith in the stability of the Mubarak regime.

Egypt Relies on Familiar Strategy Against Protests, MONA EL-NAGGAR and MICHAEL SLACKMAN
Egypt’s government has responded to the unrest primarily as a security issue, largely ignoring, or dismissing, the core demands of the protesters.

The Egyptian intifada and what it may mean for Israel/Palestine, Alex Kane
The Egyptian uprising against the Mubarak regime is historic and important in its own right.  But it may also lead to significant changes in the region that could be positive for the Palestinian cause.  Israel is worried about a reliable ally being toppled next door.  The Mubarak dictatorship is a core pillar of the U.S./Israeli order in the Middle East, an order that completely ignores the wishes and aspirations of people on the ground.  The U.S. and Israel are scared of the new order that is to come.

We live in times where the power is coming to back the people, Lina Al-Sharif
Glued to my laptop, unable to unfix my eyes to anything but Twitter and Facebook, every bundle of tweets matters, the revolution in Egypt IS the history in the making nowadays.  Being dehumanized and terrorized on daily basis is something both Egyptians and Palestinians can relate to. Palestinians in Gaza, in particular, have been directly abused by the despotic regime of Mubarak. Overwhelmingly, support and prayers for the peaceful protests in Egypt are felt by the Palestinians, who see their freedom as an extension to the freedom of the Egyptians.

#Jan28: This revolution will not be twittered?, Parvez Sharma
Hosni Mubarak is 82 years old. He has been Egypt’s absolute ruler for three decades. He is America’s biggest ally in the Middle East. He has probably never really learnt how to use a computer. I cannot imagine that he tweets or even fully comprehends how this most omnipresent of social networks works.

Jonathan Wright’s great reporting from Cairo, Helena Cobban
I learned from Issandr that Jonathan Wright, former long-time Reuters newsman now living and working in Cairo as a translator (hey, we former reuters people end up doing the darnedest things!) has now gotten a return of the journo-adrenalin itch and has started a blog.

Dyab Abou Jahjah, “Egypt and Tunisia: How Do Revolutions Start, and When Do Revolutions End?”
Egypt has its own Sidi Bouzid now: the city of Suez. Three people have already been shot dead there, and the crowd stormed into the National Democratic Party (Mubarak’s party) headquarters in the city. Maybe what the uprising in Egypt needs is more grassroots organizing. Till now, in Cairo at least, the mobilization has been done online, mainly through Facebook and Twitter. This is very efficient in spreading the word, but it is also vulnerable to infiltration and makes it hard to control real neighborhoods like what happened in Tunisia where neighborhoods and villages organized themselves against repression: since everybody knows everybody on that organic level, infiltration becomes difficult. Eventually, if the uprising continues, it will start trickling down into the neighborhoods; once that happens, the regime will have difficulties controlling the crowds. In a neighborhood like Imbaba for instance, any revolution will make a whole part of Cairo inaccessible to the police. In Suez and Alexandria similar scenarios can occur faster with a strong regional sentiment present.

Middle East dictators’ sons – in pictures
Simon Tisdall: Food prices, corruption, poverty, youth unemployment and authoritarian governance are common factors linking street protests raging through the Arab world from Algeria to Egypt. But opposition to ‘tawrith’ – inherited rule – among non-monarchical, secular regimes is also fuelling the unrest. Across the region Arab rulers are seeking to pass on power to favoured sons or other male family members. In the wake of this month’s overthrow of the Tunisian dictatorship we take a look at the heirs-apparent who must be wondering whether they will get their turn at the top.

Stephen Zunes: The United States and the Prospects for Democracy in Islamic Countries
Despite Western stereotypes to the contrary, Islamic countries have been at least as prone to large-scale nonviolent struggles as other societies.

In Arab World, Obama Riding a Tiger, Jim Lobe
Suddenly faced with an unprecedented number of challenges across the Arab world, the administration of President Barack Obama is scrambling hard to keep up.  The fate of President Hosni Mubarak, long regarded as Washington’s most powerful Arab ally, no doubt gets top billing as the crisis of the moment, as Egypt girds for what are expected to be massive anti-government demonstrations – bolstered for the first time by the explicit support of the powerful but illegal Muslim Brotherhood – in Cairo and other cities Friday.

The Palestine Papers and other Political Developments

Palestinian distrust of Iran revealed in leaked papers
Mahmoud Abbas asked businessman to donate $50m to Mahmoud Ahamdinejad opponents, according to the documents.

The Palestine Papers: “The region is slipping away”
There is little Arab unity on display in The Palestine Papers: The documents reveal a Palestinian Authority that is often critical and mistrusting of its “Arab brothers”.

Former head of Israeli intelligence says security coordination with the PA included field operations
The former head of Shabak, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, has praised his country’s security coordination the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority. Ami Ayalon said that “without such coordination we couldn’t have thwarted major terrorist operations.”

Netanyahu preps peace-building measures for PA ahead of expected criticism from Quartet
Gestures are expected to consist of easing the blockade on Gaza, removing roadblocks in the West Bank and enabling the PA to take over land required to build the new town Rawabi.

Palestinians preventing Middle East peace deal, says Israeli deputy PM, Harriet Sherwood
Moshe Ya’alon says Israel is ‘fed up of giving and giving’ while Palestinians refuse to recognise Jewish nation state. An agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not happen in the next “one or two years”, Israel’s deputy prime minister said today, blaming the Palestinians for the lack of progress. “We’re fed up with giving and giving and giving, and not getting any real substance [in return],” said Moshe Ya’alon, the minister of strategic affairs, after this week’s leak of secret documents on the peace talks. He dismissed the extensive concessions offered by Palestinian negotiators, revealed in the documents, saying they were insignificant compared to the “core of the conflict – our right to exist”.

PA undermined accountability for Gaza victims, papers reveal
Among some of the latest Palestine Papers revelations are agreements to push the United Nations Human Rights Council to delay a vote on the Goldstone report, the fact-finding probe of alleged war crimes committed during Israel’s winter 2008-09 attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Paraguay recognizes ‘free’ Palestinian state (AFP)
AFP – Paraguay has recognized a “free and independent” Palestinian state within its 1967 borders, the ministry of foreign affairs said Friday.*

Palestinian Reactions/Aftermath
Palestinian students claim right “to participate in shaping of our destiny”
We are at the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization delegation to the United Kingdom in order to reassert our inalienable rights, and today we claim our right to democratically participate in the shaping of our destiny.

Al-Jazeera correspondent in Ramallah resigns
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Ramallah correspondent for Al-Jazeera International resigned Wednesday, Ma’an has learned.  Nour Odeh was the English-language network’s first reporter stationed in the occupied Palestinian territories. She joined in 2006. The journalist has been praised for her reporting from the Gaza Strip, where she was based before Ramallah.  Odeh had no comment on her departure. The network did not return calls.  Al-Jazeera has faced staunch criticism from the Palestinian Authority over its publication this week of 1,600 leaked PLO documents from over a decade of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Palestinian Zionists Reactions
Erekat condemns Palestine Papers
Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator, has condemned the release of the Palestine Papers. He has also called for the source of the leaks to be revealed. And he’s accused Al Jazeera of slander.

Sa’ib `Uraykat: a world buffoon, As’ad Abukhalil
I watched another time the interview by Ahmad Mansur with Sa’ib `Urayqat.  He is by far the most vulgar and loud buffoonish, demagogic, and lying clown that you can see.  Mansur would ask him about specifics of the documents (the authenticity of which he never disputed), and he would yell back accusing the Aljazeera staff and the leakers of being CIA agents.  He was most indignant when confronted with his criticisms of Saudi Arabia in one of the documents: he went into a fit yelling that Saudi Arabia gave martyrs to the Palestinian cause. Martyrs? Are you referring to the death of Prince Muhammad bin Fahd from a drug overdose?  Or are you referring to the incapacitation of King Fahd from years of alcohol abuse?  He kept yelling: you don’t know who are you talking to. I am the son of strugglers.  I am the son of martyrs. You don’t know the Palestinian people.  etc.  Send me the link to post: this is a show that will love forever to discredit the Abu Mazen-Fayyad gang.  It greatly pleases me that there is not one dignified and smart Arab collaborator with Israel.  This is like that Gaza Dr. who lost his three daughters to Israeli shelling and goes on a tour with a Zionist organization and his book features his picture with Ehud Barak. One reader asked me yesterday: are you not being cruel to him given his tragedy? I said: no, he is being cruel to the memory of his daughters by bowing to the ground to their killers. PS David sent me the links  [end]

The buffoon is losing his mind, literally, As`ad Abukhalil
“A senior Palestinian official today said he has asked the US, Britain and France to help bring three of their nationals for questioning about the huge leak of confidential documents relating to peace talks in the Middle East. Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the three include a former British intelligence officer, a US employee of al-Jazeera TV and a French citizen. He said he is not accusing them of wrongdoing, but would like them to appear before an investigative committee.”  I don’t know if he asked for a smoothie too, but I am sure they will help you once they find the source of leaks in Washington, DC newspapers. [end]

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Palestinian home set ablaze under volleys of tear gas
A Palestinian home in Baten al-Hawa have been set ablaze from tear gas fired inside by Israeli troops. The house, located close to Beit Yonatan settlement, was fired upon by the military, the red-hot cannisters causing the contents of the home to catch alight. Clashes in Baten al-Hawa between Israeli troops, police and settlers and Palestinian residents have intensified as a result. Eyewitnesses report that the fire has spread to a neighboring house. Clashes have spread to Ras al-Amoud district. Imams of this neighborhood are broadcasting messages through mosque speakers warning people to take care amidst the violence.

A New Tunnel in Silwan
Co-authored by Shir Alon: On Tuesday the Israel Antiquities Authority was about to make the announcement, accompanied by a heartfelt video, that it had completed digging and revealing an underground tunnel extending from the Pool of Siloam, underneath the houses and streets of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, coming out near the Western Wall plaza inside the Old City walls. Soon enough, Israeli media reported that the police increased its presence throughout East Jerusalem, fearing Palestinian riots over the dig.The Arab media warned of a tunnel to the Temple Mount, towards al-Aqsa, and of violation of the sites most holy to Islam.

Israeli occupation demolish 227 Palestinian homes in 1948-occupied Palestine
A study prepared by the Arab Center for Alternative Planning revealed that in 2010, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished 227 Palestinian homes in various areas of 1948-occupied Palestine.

Settlers Destroy More Trees in Beit Ommar
On Wednesday January 26 at 10 am, settlers from the militant Bat Ayn settlement destroyed several hundred olive trees in the Ayen Al-Baid region of Beit Ommar. The trees belonged to Hamad Soleiby, a 70 year-old farmer who has been repeatedly subject to violence and harassment at the hands of the Bat Ayn settlers. Hamad Soleiby was beaten by settlers in 2004, and his fruit trees and grape vines were cut down by settlers the same year. The olive trees that were destroyed this week were at least 30 years old.

Violence and Aggression
Jewish settlers shoot 2 Palestinians in West Bank
BEIT UMMAR, West Bank (Reuters) – Jewish Settlers shot two Palestinian men in the occupied West Bank on Friday, critically injuring one of them, the mayor of a Palestinian village and Israeli police said.

Settlers join the fray as clashes intensify in Baten al-Hawa
Israeli settlers have joined Israeli forces in the clashes currently underway in Silwan. Residents of the illegal Beit Yonatan settlement in Baten al-Hawa have begun hurling stones at Palestinians from the 7-story building. Clashes erupted today after the Friday prayers as a vast number of Israeli troops continued to amass in Silwan. Baten al-Hawa has witnessed heavy violence with much tear gas and rubber bullets fired on residents by Israeli troops. 4 Palestinians have been arrested, some of them minors. Settlers who throw stones at Palestinians are never investigated by police for their actions, despite extensive photographic and video evidence of such actions, including both teenage and adult settlers. Palestinians accused of stone-throwing are arrested and generally sentenced to prison and/or house arrest and large fines.

Violent clashes underway, several injured and arrested
Violent clashes are continuing in Silwan today, with several arrests, beatings and the use of rubber bullets on protesters. Undercover police arrested 4 Palestinians in Bir Ayyub district, 3 of them minors. 4 residents were beaten by Israeli forces and several injured by a rubber bullet. Clashes currently remain underway with both Israeli military and police forces present in Silwan. Tear gas and rubber bullets is being fired wantonly throughout the village, with a vast number of residents suffering from asphyxiation due to gas.

12-year old hit with rubber bullet
A 12 year old child has been hit in the face with a rubber bullet in Baten al-Hawa. Troops are continuing to fire rubber bullets and tear gas at crowds of Palestinian residents as clashes intensify.

Medics: Ordnance explodes, killing child
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Ordnance left behind in Israel’s war on Gaza exploded Wednesday and killed a Palestinian child, medics said.  Basel Adwan, 13, died after the weaponry detonated near the Sofa crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials said.  No other details were immediately available.

Israeli forces spread across Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces were on high alert in Jerusalem Friday, with hundreds of soldiers, border guards and police fanned out around the Old City and guarding the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.  With tens of thousands protesting in Egypt for the ouster of long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak, and Palestinian groups warning of retaliation against the PA following leaked documents that showed large gaps between the government’s public statements and positions taken during closed-door negotiations sessions with Israeli officials.

Police: Israeli responsible for shooting death of Palestinian teen
Video footage captured near scene of shooting shows group of Palestinians attacking man, who responds by firing at them; police continue to investigate, search after shooter.

Heavy military presence in Silwan sparks new clashes
Violent clashes erupted in al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan today after the end of the Friday prayer held weekly in al-Bustan protest tent. Confrontations were sparked by a heavy amassing of Israeli troops, first at the entrances to the village and then closing in. Each Friday sees tensions raised in Silwan as Israeli forces tighten the military stranglehold over the area. Barriers were erected at these entrances from early morning, with the Wadi Rababa entrance closed entirely by troops. Israeli forces have been firing tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds of Palestinian residents, with clashes centered around Samer Sarhan street on the outskirts of Wadi Hilweh, named after the martyr killed by a settler guard last September.

Israeli Forces Arrest Two Palestinian Boys, Ages 11 and 12, in Beit Ommar
On Thursday, January 27th at 2pm, two army jeeps full of Israeli soldiers entered the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar in the southern West Bank, and arrested two Palestinian boys, Bilal Mahmood Awad, age 12, and Hamza Ahmed Abu Hashem age 11. The boys were arrested while they were playing football not far from their homes.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Price of Dignity: Palestine’s Political Prisoners,  Kim Bullimore
Currently there are more than 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners locked up in Israel’s jails. This week, I found out that my friend Hasan (not his real name) is one of them. When in Ramallah, I mentioned to a mutual friend that I had planned to ring him to let him know I was in Palestine. Our mutual friend informed me that Hasan was being held under “Administration Detention” and had been in prison for three months.

At last, boycott gains legitimacy at Harvard
Notice: who is co-sponsoring the following event at Harvard Law School in two weeks: the Human Rights Program at HLS, International Legal Studies at HLS, and The National Lawyers Guild (HLS Chapter). The lesson of the event: BDS is now a respectable subject/option in elite Ivy League educational venues.

New McCarthyism: Brooklyn College fires ass’t prof who dared to speak out for Palestinian self-determination, Philip Weiss
What follows is a press release from CUNY grad student Kristofer
Petersen-Overton following his firing by Brooklyn College, where he was to serve as an adjunct prof, over an academic paper in which he analyzes the role of sacrifice and martyrdom in Palestinian society. The story is in the Daily News today. And in the NY Post, “Anti-Israel” Professor Canned. WPIX also has the story, pretty fair, though they blur the face of Petersen-Overton’s student denouncer. Note that City Councilman Dov Hikind says that efforts to “understand” suicide bombers must not be undertaken at American institutions. Also in that report, Petersen-Overton, who worked for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, says that he is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian right to self-determination and that the reports on his paper are “slander.”

Macy Gray wants to build bridges, can she help tear down an illegal wall?
American pop singer, Macy Gray published on Wednesday 26 January what she must imagine is the final word on her forthcoming performances in Israel: ‘My Concert in Tel Aviv, Israel’. The header to her piece is the pull out quote: “Music builds bridges, brings joy and offers peace…” It is an exercise in faux-modesty, “how arrogant it would be of me to think that my appearance or lack of would change anything”, with an underlying message of appeasement: “Based on the comments I received, I found that there were one or more statements in my post that incensed people, which was also a surprise. It was never my intention to upset anyone or insult.” While Gray qualifies this with the assurance that there are things the U.S. government does that she does not agree with, she is seeking forgiveness and tolerance from Israel’s apologists, many of whom – even after she announced she would play Tel Aviv – verbally abused her with extreme racist and sexist epithets for her 19 January Facebook post that stated ‘What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting’.

Human Rights/Humanitarian Issues/Siege/Repression
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (20-26 January 2011)

27 Jan. 2011: The army must internalize the gravity of the Ni’lin shooting incident
Today, the special military court sentenced Lt. Col. Omri Borberg and Staff Sergeant Leonardo Corea, who were convicted in the case of the shooting at a Palestinian detainee in the West Bank village of Ni’lin exposed by B’Tselem in 2008. The judges sentenced Borberg, who was convicted of attempted threats and conduct unbecoming an officer, to a suspended jail sentence and determined that he will not be demoted. The court also recommended that he not be promoted for two years, and ruled that he will be forbidden from serving as a commander for one year. Corea was sentenced to demotion from the rank of staff sergeant to the rank of private.

The Lede: Death Threats for Israeli Filmmaker, ROBERT MACKEY
After Israeli soldiers expressed regrets about their part in Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2008 on film, the woman they spoke to said she received threatening calls and messages.

Other News
Time to end foreign aid to Israel: ‘We just can’t do it anymore,’ Sen. Paul warns
One of the Senate’s newest members has settled upon an idea to reduce American debt that’s likely to come off as highly controversial in the halls of power: ending all foreign aid, including the tens of billions dedicated to Israel.

Al Jazeera English Video: Israel-Palestine and the future of two states
The revelations from the Palestine Papers may have angered many Palestinians. But how does it affect the future of negotiations towards a two-state solution? Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports from occupied East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian people betrayed, Saree Makdisi
The leaked papers published by Al Jazeera show how craven Palestinian leaders are and how willing they were to sell out their people’s rights. Yet all they had to offer wasn’t enough for Israel.,0,3343339.column

Palestine Papers: If US can’t be ‘honest broker’ in Middle East, get out of the way

The Palestine Papers – a collection of classified documents on the Middle East peace process, leaked to Al Jazeera – reveal that the US has stifled true Palestinian democracy and acted more like Israel’s lawyer. Only a bold policy shift could salvage a positive US role in the Middle East peace process. Otherwise, the US must stand back and allow the popular movements now shaking countries across the region, like Tunisia and Egypt, to establish representation for their people.

“The PA was designed in the 1993 Oslo agreement to be a temporary administration for a five-year transition to statehood. Eighteen years later it has become an open-ended authoritarian quasi state, operating as an outsourced security arm of the Israeli occupation it was meant to replace, funded and effectively controlled by the US, Britain and other western governments.”

State Dep’t says Goldstone report ‘significantly retarded’ efforts to achieve Middle East peace, Philip Weiss
I’ve been reading the Palestine Papers published by Al Jazeera and my chief impression is that the U.S. was Israel’s lawyer. There’s tons of pressure on the Palestinians to stop talking about the ’67 border, and meanwhile George Mitchell is expressing sorrowful regrets that the Israelis have not agreed to a settlement freeze. And Saeb Erekat is raging at the Americans: we began this process as a way to share historical Palestine, now it is a process about sharing the West Bank.

Palestine Papers: The peace process is dead and the Palestinians’ Arab ‘allies’ should shoulder some of the blame, Hisham Wyne
Barely had the pundits and populace come to grips with the Tunisian revolution than the existence of the Palestine Papers was declared. Al Jazeera, the Qatari based television channel, has released a number of documents pertaining to the Israeli Palestinian peace process into the public domain, together with UK publication the Guardian.

The Palestine Papers and the “Gaza coup”
An initial reading of the Palestine Papers provides details of hitherto unknown secret, high-level “Quadripartite” meetings among Israeli, American, Egyptian and Palestinian officials whose explicit goal appears to have been to undermine the Palestinian national unity government. The essential point here is that part of the PA — loyal to Mahmoud Abbas and backed by the US — was actively plotting with Israel and its allies against the legitimately-constituted unity government. Ali Abunimah analyzes.

Leaks will cripple Palestinian Authority / Nadia Hijab
The nearly 1,700-document leak bombshell that cable television station al-Jazeera dropped on Sunday on an unsuspecting Middle East will have major repercussions for weeks to come. It is likely to deal a death blow to an American-led peace process already on life support, and hasten the end of the Palestinian Authority created by the 1993 Oslo accords.

Seizing a Moment, Al Jazeera Galvanizes Arab Frustration
Al Jazeera has helped to shape a narrative of popular rage against oppressive American-backed Arab governments since its founding 15 years ago.

On the ‘Palestine Papers’, Stephen M. Walt
There is an awful lot of unpredictable stuff going on right now — Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, etc. — and I haven’t had time to comment at length on the “Palestine Papers” that were leaked to Al Jazeera and released earlier this week. So here are a few quick reactions, based on a less-than-complete survey of the documents (which you can find here), and some perusal of the commentary surrounding them.

Hey Agent Schaefer please get your hands off my identity, Max Ajl
Some of you know that I left Gaza last Thursday, spent Friday and Saturday in Cairo, and left early Sunday morning. Consequently I missed the beginnings of this beautiful Egyptian revolt, and landed in the land of blizzards on Sunday afternoon. Little did I know what a treat I would find at Customs and Immigration. On my customs form, in the section for “Countries visited on this trip prior to U.S. arrival,” I put Egypt. I had also been in Gaza, but had been slightly befuddled as to how to list it. Palestine is not yet a country. So I scribbled, “Occupied Palestinian territories,” attentive to the fact that the customs forms warn us we’ll get in big trouble if we make any untrue statements. The “Occupied” caught the eye of the guy at the desk blankly sifting through customs forms. He handed me off to one Agent Schaefer. I looked at the nametag and was not happy. In Brooklyn, a Schaefer is probably a Jew, and these are not the days of the Bund. I knew I was in trouble.

Tunisia names 12 new ministers to Cabinet
Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, who served under ousted President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, is among the few to keep their jobs. Public pressure forced the removal of ministers with ties to the former regime.  Facing mounting public pressure and the demands of a powerful labor union, Tunisia’s interim government named 12 new ministers to the Cabinet late Thursday and removed those with ties to ousted authoritarian President Zine el Abidine ben Ali.,0,5586752.story

Tunisian foreign minister resigns
Kamel Morjane quits post as country’s powerful labour union votes to endorse the struggling interim cabinet.

Tunisia: How We Got Here and the Task Ahead, Ramzy Baroud
Hunger strikes. These were the last resort for Tunisian activists as they fought against a brutal and highly oppressive regime. Prior to the ousting of Zineal-Abidine Ben Ali by an unprecedented people’s uprising on January 14, there seemed to be no end in sight to the regime’s wide-ranging human rights violations. Over time, these became a relegated segment of evening news across the Arab world. Even hunger strikes, shocking at first, became a routing event.

Waves of Unrest Spread to Yemen, Shaking a Region
Thousands protested in Yemen and secular and Islamist Egyptian opposition leaders vowed to join rallies as calls for change rang across the Arab world.

The Lede: Yemen’s Opposition Goes to Code Pink
Weeks ago, a committee of the Joint Meeting Parties, an umbrella group of Yemen’s opposition parties that helped organize Thursday’s protests, settled on an escalating scale of protest colors.

Winds of Arab revolt reach Yemen
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Yemeni capital yesterday to demand the end of the three-decade rule of its President in the latest sign of rebellion sweeping the Arab world.

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah January 25th, 2011.

Lebanon Complains to UN over Kidnapping of Lebanese Shepherd
27/01/2011 Lebanon filed a complaint with the UN Security Council on Thursday after an Israeli patrol crossed the technical fence and kidnapped a shepherd from inside Lebanese territories last week.  The complaint was filed through the Lebanese mission in New York, saying the incident took place on January 18 when the patrol kidnapped Charbel Khoury and took him to the occupied territories.  “This is a clear violation of Lebanese sovereignty and Security Council resolution 1701,” Lebanon said in its letter to the 15-member body. The letter urged the Security Council “to take appropriate measures to prevent Israel from making daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty” by continuously kidnapping Lebanese citizens. It also said that the UN should urge the Zionist entity to withdraw from Lebanese territories in accordance with resolutions 425 and 1701.

Thursday: 87 Iraqis Killed, 153 Wounded
At least 87 Iraqis were killed and 153 more were killed in a series of bombings across Baghdad. The most serious attack occurred at a funeral. If attacks occurred in other parts of the country, they went unreported, even in volatile Mosul.

Iraq’s largest hydropower dam grinds to halt (AFP)
AFP – Record low water levels at Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam have ground turbines there to a halt, amplifying a power shortage that led to riots last summer, a top official said on Thursday.*

Other Mideast
Thousands protest in Jordan
Protesters gather across the country, demanding the prime minister step down.

Activists call rare protest in flooded Saudi city
JEDDAH, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Activists in Jeddah called on Thursday for a protest against poor infrastructure after deadly floods swamped Saudi Arabia’s second biggest city, a rare expression of dissent in the absolute monarchy.

JORDAN: King calls for political, economic reforms after weeks of demonstrations
Following two weeks of demonstrations in various cities across Jordan against high commodity prices and government policies, the country’s ruler King Abdullah II said on Wednesday that it’s time to bring about more political and economic reforms in the desert kingdom.

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