Jan. 26: Cairo protesters stop metro train. (h/t @benjamingeer)
More scenes from Egypt.
We are primarily relying on twitter for news from Egypt. Protests are continuing today, and a very large demonstration is planned for tomorrow. Organizers are calling for one million people to join them in the streets, as well as for global solidarity actions.
One of the most striking reports we’ve heard from Egypt was from the Guardian‘s Jack Shenker, who audio taped his arrest and detention by the Egyptian authorities. Shenker was on Democracy Now this morning, listen to his recording and an interview with Amy Goodman:
Revolution in Egypt
Egyptians calling for a 1 MILLION march All over egypt after friday prayers which end at 1pm share,Retweet,forward,broadcast #Jan25 #Egypt
Walk like an Egyptian on #jan28
Egypt: Arresting record number of women
Police continued to arrest women in big numbers. This is noteworthy because young Egyptian women, many wearing the veils and many others without it, are taking part in the demonstrations despite the violent crackdown by the police. I expect this to be a major contentious point that could push more ordinary to protest against the government that is arresting “their daughters.” In this generally conservative society, women are often treated with more respect and are often shiled from dealing with the brutal and abuse police members. It shows how nervous the government is. They are starting to cross some extra red lines.
Hundreds held in Egypt protests
Unprecedented protests are continuing across Egypt, as demonstrators defy a government ban on public gatherings. Those on the streets are protesting against the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, the president. Security forces have intensified their crackdown, advancing on crowds with batons, tear gas and even rubber bullets. Police say they have detained more than 800 people across the country. Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reports from Cairo.
Egypt charges 40 protesters with trying to overthrow regime
Protesters gathered in the eastern city of Suez early Thursday morning torched a police post, to decry killing of demonstrators earlier this week.
Egypt protesters set fire to govt building in Suez
ISMAILIA, Egypt, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Protesters in Suez set a government building on fire and tried to burn down a local office of Egypt’s ruling party late on Wednesday, security sources and witnesses said. Protesters threw petrol bombs at the National Democratic Party office but failed to set it alight. Police fired teargas to push the demonstrators back, they said. Officials in the city in Egypt’s northeast ordered that shops be closed after incidents of looting were reported. Clashes with police left some 55 people injured, according to Reuters witnesses.
Egypt: Reports of Police Brutality, Arrests and Live Ammuntion
More reports are emerging of arrests and police harassment and brutality, as Egyptians rise for the for the third day in a row. There are also reports of deaths but the details and exact toll remain sketchy.
Amnesty International: Egypt must stop crackdown on protesters
Reports of ongoing demonstrations in Egypt today follow a day of protest that saw at least three deaths, beatings of detainees and 500 protesters arrested.
Egypt must change, says ElBaradei
Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei says the country must change as he flies back to Cairo to join escalating protests.
Egypt stocks down, protester morale up as they prepare for Friday
Egypt’s benchmark stock index plunged as much as 10 percent today, amid wild rumors that businessmen close to President Hosni Mubarak were preparing to flee the country and as protesters vowed to take to the streets once again in large numbers following afternoon prayers tomorrow.
Media Coverage of Protests
Protests in Egypt – live updates
• Third day of protests
• Reformist Mohamed ElBaradei returning to country
• Death toll from protests has risen to six
• International criticism of police crackdown
• Read a summary of today’s key events
Clashes in Egypt protest cities
Police clash with protesters in the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Suez for a second day, as 500 are arrested throughout the country.
Egyptians defy security clampdown
A security crackdown in Egypt, after fury over poverty and inequality, led to the biggest anti-government rallies in decades against the 30-year-rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian police have moved in on groups of protesters in Cairo and Suez on Wednesday, enforcing a ban on demonstrations enacted following mass rallies a day earlier. Hundreds of people had gathered at the headquarters of the journalists’ syndicate, before police moved in, firing tear gas to break up the rally. Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reports from the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Egypt protesters brave crackdown to clash with police for second straight day
‘This is Egyptian democracy!’ cried one protester as he pointed to his bandaged forehead. Today’s clashes were exactly what US ally Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime tried to prevent with a heavy-handed clampdown.
Egypt security forces crack down on scattered protests
A day after unprecedented nationwide protests against President Hosni Mubarak, security forces tighten their grip on the capital and quickly disperse pockets of rebellion. The crackdown appears to be keeping many protesters off the streets. Pockets of rebellion echoed across Cairo on Wednesday as security forces tightened their grip on the capital and activists tried not to lose the momentum sparked a day earlier by an unprecedented nationwide protest against President Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt’s ‘unprecedented’ protests
Thousands of demonstrators have taken part in major rallies across several Egyptian cities, including Cairo, the capital. Observers have called the protests the largest in years, possibly since the infamous bread riots of the 1970s. Four people were killed on Tuesday, including a police officer, as sporadic clashes with security officers lasted into early Wednesday morning. By the pre-dawn hours, Cairo’s central Tahrir Square had been turned into a “battlefield.”
Angry Egyptians defy protest ban
At least two people killed as thousands take to the streets in second day of anti-government demonstrations.
Reporter’s first hand account of Egypt police brutality
Ahram Online reporter Lina Wardani was arrested, beaten and dragged away in a shielded pickup truck by police last night. She gives a first person account of her experience.
Journalists Beaten and Detained, Websites Blocked, Amidst Massive Protests in Egypt
January 26 – The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the violence against journalists covering demonstrations in Egypt. Plainclothes and uniformed security personnel have beaten at least 10 journalists between Tuesday and today and detained others. Egyptian authorities have also shut down the websites of two popular independent newspapers and a number of social media sites.
Egypt clashes: 8 journalists arrested
(Video) Egyptian Interior Ministry announces it is forbidding protests – but frustrated citizens come out in force to demonstrate, confront security forces. So far, 5 protestors killed, 860 arrested. EU’s Ashton calls on Mubarak to ‘respect citizens’ rights’.
Journalist and friend Lina El-Wardani of Ahram Online has been detained an hour ago in Bulaq Abul Ela, while covering the protests. She sent out SMS saying: “arrested, beaten, kidnapped”. She’s not answering her mobile phone now.
APTN crew arrested, photographer hurt in Egypt
CAIRO — Egyptian police arrested an Associated Press Television News cameraman and his assistant early Wednesday while they were filming clashes between security forces and protesters in Cairo. An AP photographer was beaten by a policeman and injured while shooting demonstrations.
Egypt Targeting Reporters: Press Freedom Group
CAIRO — An international press freedom group on Wednesday condemned violence against journalists covering anti-government protests in Egypt and called on authorities to release at least seven journalists who it said have been detained. Among them were an AP Television News cameraman and his assistant arrested by police early Wednesday while they filming clashes between security forces and protesters in central Cairo. An AP photographer was also beaten by a policeman and injured while shooting demonstrations.
Facebook blocked in Egypt – Herdict Web center
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Social networking website Facebook has been blocked in Egypt amid anti-government protests, a day after Twitter was blocked, a representative of Harvard University’s Herdict Web monitoring center said on Wednesday.
Company behind Egypt gov’t network denies involvement in Twitter blackout
vodafonelogo Company behind Egypt govt network denies involvement in Twitter blackoutAs Egypt lurched toward revolution amid the fiercest protests since its 1977 bread riots, one service that’s been of great importance to civil organizers has been increasingly hard to access: micro-blogging site Twitter. This has led British-based Vodafone Group PLC, which held a contract with the Egyptian regime for its telecommunications infrastructure, to declare on its own Twitter account that it was not behind the apparent mass-censorship.
Egyptian Revolution Jan 25th 2011
Scenes from the Egyptian Intifada
Uprising egypt – the true story
More protest videos
Facing the regime’s police force
Egypt’s day of Rage #Jan25
Egypt Protests: Photos Of The Clashes
Tear Gas Made in the USA
Notable International Reactions
Israeli Knesset member expresses support for Mubarak
Israeli parliamentarian Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a member of Israel’s Knesset, expressed support on Wednesday for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, according to Israel’s daily The Jerusalem Post. “I don’t think it is possible [for there to be a revolution in Egypt],” Ben-Eliezer was reported as telling Army Radio. “I see things calming down soon. Israel cannot do anything about what is happening there. All we can do is express our support for Mubarak and hope the riots pass quietly.” The paper also reported that Ben-Eliezer, a member of Israel’s Labor party, met with senior Egyptian officials on Tuesday.
US Supports Mubarak as Thousands Call For His Ouster
Top US senator mum on Mubarak support
“All I could say this morning is that Egypt has been an extremely important ally of ours since Anwar Sadat, and we’re all watching these developments in Cairo very carefully,” said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
US shifts tone, bluntly urges Mubarak to reform now
* Clinton says Egypt has chance to implement key reforms
* White House: Egypt must respect speech, assembly rights
* Obama administration puts Egypt on notice, analyst says
Israel eyes events in Lebanon and Egypt neighbours with concern
Tel Aviv – Israel is watching developments in Lebanon – and in Egypt – with deep concern. ‘We are following events very closely,’ Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor told the German Press-Agency dpa Wednesday of the turmoil on the other sides of Israel’s northern and southern borders.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should continue to rule his country “with wisdom and far-sightedness, as he has always done…”
The US response to Egypt’s protests
‘Not much’ probably sums it up best.
UPDATE 1-Arab officials say reform only answer to unrest
* Arab League’s Moussa says Arab world must reform
* Saudi prince says unsure about Mubarak’s future
* Annan sees reform dilemma for Arab rulers
Inside Story – Is Mubarak’s rule threatened?
After a day of mass protests in Egypt, the government has banned any futher demonstrations. It’s also warning protesters they will be prosecuted if rallies continue. The clamp-down comes after a wave of protests swept through Egypt leaving at least four dead. Protesters are demanding an end to president Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. But how different are these demonstrations from previous ones? How worried should Mubarak be? And is it that easy to unsettle him?
It’s too early to say how they will go. It’s a miracle how they continued past midnight yesterday in the face of fear and repression. But having said that, the situation has reached a level that everyone is fed up, seriously fed up. And even if security forces manage to put down protests today they will fail to put down the ones that happen next week, or next month or later this year. There is definitely a change in the level of courage of the people. The state was helped by the excuse of fighting terrorism in 1990s in order to fight all sorts of dissent in the country, which is a trick all governments use, including the US. But once formal opposition to a regime turns from guns to mass protests, it’s very difficult to confront such dissent. You can plan to take out a group of terrorists fighting in the sugar cane fields, but what are you going to do with thousands of protesters on the streets? You can’t kill them all. You can’t even guarantee that troops will do it, will fire on the poor.”
The Lede: Egyptian Bloggers Report on New Unrest
Egypt’s bloggers found ways to post text accounts and images of fresh protests in Cairo on Wednesday, despite government restrictions on the Internet.
Wael Nawara: Egyptian People Tell Mubarak OUT
The Egyptian people have decided to communicate directly with the oppressive regime to demonstrate that they want the regime out.
‘Anonymous’ calls for attacks on Egyptian government websites
The online group of hactivists known as “Anonymous” expressed their support for protesters in Egypt Wednesday by calling for cyber attacks on websites run by the Egyptian government.
From Tunis to Cairo?, Stephen M. Walt
Do the large and angry demonstrations in Egypt mean that I was wrong to predict that the revolution in Tunisia wouldn’t spread? Not yet, but I will be watching events closely and developments there could eventually prove me wrong. (As Keynes famously retorted, “when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”) But thus far, I’m sticking with my original forecast.
It is clear how Mubarak can live a long tyrannical life. He realized that he can serve Israel and win high scores from the American administration and congress no matter what he does inside Egypt and no matter if he even commits massacres against the Egyptian people. As long as he keeps his doors open to Netanyahu, and as long as he imposes a savage siege on the people of Gaza, the US congress is happy–very happy–with Mubarak.
If it comes to massacres by the Mubarak regime, the US would firmly support him
This is about Israel, not about Mubarak. The Israeli strategy in the Middle East has been firmly set on the continuity of the Sadat-Mubarak dictatorship. There is much about the security of Israeli terrorism and occupation there. The US understands that: and Mubrak knows that the US understands that too. Expect a tightening of the siege of Gaza by Mubarak. But if Mubark needed to massacre people in the streets, the US administration AND Congress would stand firmly behind Mubarak. No question about it at all. That attests to the bravery of Egyptian protesters: but they know what they are facing. A Mubarak Monster.
Arab nationalism is not dead–far from it
There is an important layer in what is happening in the Arab world. In the late 1970s, Fouad Ajami wrote a silly piece in Foreign Affairs in which he proclaimed the death of Arab nationalism. Zionists loved that piece and have been reiterating the message ever since (but if it is dead, why do you find the need to read the obituary regularly?). But it is clear if you read Arabic and follow Arabic debates on the internet (on facebook and twitter in particular) that Arabs are rallying to the same causes and stressing the solidarity among Arabs. I just saw a message by a Saudi citizen on Twitter: his profile picture is the Tunisian flag and he wrote to express solidarity with the Egyptian people. And this in countries that consistently repress expressions on the internet. Oh, how false the premise of Zionist analysis on the Middle East. Oh, one more thing: do you know that history books on the Middle East a century from now would mention the footnote that is Israel in this way: the state that was Israel (1948-2015–or whatever year in which the demise of Israel was completed).
This was the chant in Egypt today:
يا مبارك, يا مبارك. الطيّارة في إنتظارك
O Mubarak, O Mubarak The plane is waiting for you.
Egypt’s anti-regime protests are unprecedented in size, frequency and ferocity. In Shubra, Dokki, Mohandaseen and Bulaq, Cairenes chanted ash-sha’ab yureed isqaat an-nizam, or The People Want the Fall of the Regime, and braved tear gas and baton-wielding thugs in the central Tahrir Square. Alexandria, Tanta, Suez, and the labour stronghold of Mahalla al-Kubra have also demonstrated. A government building has been burnt in Suez. Posters of Mubarak have been ripped down and burnt in several locations. Mish ayazeenu, the people shout: We Don’t Want Him.
Rabab El-Mahdi, “Labor as a Pro-democracy Actor in Egypt and Brazil”
In Egypt, the biggest country of the region, a cycle of protest has ensued with a new phase of neoliberal changes in 2004, witnessing the rise of a pro-democracy movement followed by the largest workers movement known to the region in fifty years. By comparing the case of Egypt to that of Brazil, where a strong relationship between the labor movement and the democratization movement was witnessed in the 1970s and 80s, the paper seeks to address two questions: What is the relationship (if any) between the pro-democracy movement and the rising labor movement that followed in Egypt? And what are the points of divergence and convergence between the experience of Latin America, specifically Brazil, and that of Egypt, in terms of neoliberal changes and collective mobilization. In doing so the paper analyzes the role and potential of labor as an agent of democratization and its relationship to another social movement with different class composition and demands (the pro-democracy movement). The paper also offers preliminary conclusions regarding the changing pattern and thus impact of labor mobilization at different historical junctures.
Ian Lee, “Second Day of Egyptian Protests”
Anger over unemployment and poverty continue driving people to protest. So far six people have died, and many more injured. Hundreds have been arrested, even journalists since Tuesday. . . . All eyes are on Friday, when various organizations are calling for the largest demonstration yet.
Shihab Rattansi lays bare US hypocrisy on Egypt
Al Jazeera International is head and shoulders above all competitors in the MSM and Shihab Rattansi is by far the best news anchor currently on air. There is much journalists could learn from him. In the following interview with PJ Crowley watch Rattansi straitjacket the usually slick US State Department spokesman with relentless questions about […]
Egyptians Defy Protest Ban, Plan big Rallies for Friday; Death toll Rises to 6, Juan Cole
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backed away from her unqualified support of the Egyptian government on Wednesday, saying, “We believe strongly that the Egyptian government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” The Obama administration appears to be rethinking its position in the region, worried that if popular revolts like that of Tunisia spread and succeed, the US will suffer from its support of the dictators unless it now at least urges them to democratize.
‘The American gov’t gives our dictators tear gas, but our American friends gave us Facebook!’, Ali Glenesk
“There will be no revolution in Egypt. Mubarak will get a grip by tomorrow.” Change has always got its nay sayers and haters. We have also got our analysts and academics. We’ve got people sitting around and thinking, unsure of what will happen, waiting to pounce. They’re gonna write something about the would-be revolution, say something about the struggle.
‘Anonymous’ hacker group joins the fight in the Middle East
The above video was issued by “Anonymous,” a loosely affiliated group of computer hackers who have recently gained notoriety by coming to the defense of Wikileaks. Towards this end they have staged distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and other companies which distanced themselves from the website.
PA’s foreknowledge of the Gaza war?
Did the PA know about the Gaza war in advance? That’s a question raised by several eexchanges in The Palestine Papers.
The threat of a one-state solution
PA negotiators are increasingly proposing an idea that’s met with derision from Israelis, sharp criticism from the US.
A glimpse into the negotiation room
Playful banter, inappropriate jokes and bizarre rants: We take you through the “lighter side” of The Palestine Papers.
Erekat “told Amr Moussa to behave”
PA is bluntly critical of many Arab states, particularly Egyptian efforts to broker a deal between Hamas and Fatah.
Gaza war report was stalled by Palestinian Authority on US request
Papers reveal PA held up Goldstone report from UN security council and suggest Abbas was warned of 2008 invasion
“The region is slipping away”
Documents reveal a Palestinian Authority that’s critical, mistrustful and fearful of Arab neighbours.
Israelis asked PA to outlaw Hamas: report (AFP)
AFP – Israel urged Palestinians to outlaw Hamas as a political and social movement, according to the latest batch of leaked documents published on Wednesday.
In the interview on Aljazeera, the host, Ahmad Mansour, started the show by asking `Urayqat to not lie
“Erekat: I’m lying, I’ve been lying for the last weeks.
Yossi Gal: Between jogging?
Erekat: No, no, lying, lying. I was in Cairo, I was in Jordan, I was in America. Everybody is asking me what is going on Israel, what is Olmert going to do?
Gal: And you are telling everyone we are on the verge of success.
Erekat: And I always tell them this is an internal Israeli matter, a domestic Israeli matter and I keep lying. If somebody sneezed in Tel-Aviv, I get the flu in Jericho, and I have to lie. So that’s my last week- all lies.
Gal: As a professor of negotiations, you know that white lies are allowed now and then.
Erekat: I’m not complaining, I’m admitting – and sometimes I don’t feel like lying.”
Palestine Papers: Admiral Mullen says Palestinian state is a U.S. ‘cardinal interest’ after raising troop deaths, Alex Kane
General David Petraeus backed away from uttering similar words, but it’s clearly a view that holds wide currency in the U.S. military establishment: ending the Israel/Palestine conflict is a core U.S. interest that affects the safety of U.S. soldiers. Haaretz picks up (though they bury it) that U.S. Admiral Michael Mullen echoes the “linkage” argument in a document published by Al Jazeera as part of the “Palestine Papers.”
BREAKING: Palestinian students demanding democracy take over Palestine diplomatic mission in London
Announcing a sit-in at the Palestinian Embassy, London, UK, in the name of the General Union of Palestine Students, and as part of a campaign for Palestinian national representation, calling for the holding of direct elections to the Palestine National Council. More details are attached in our English and Arabic press releases. We are currently talking with the ambassador.
Thousands march in anti-Abbas protests in Gaza
Protestors hold up photos of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with his face crossed out, in backdrop of Al Jazeera documents supposedly indicating he agreed to significant concessions during peace talks with Israel. In Nablus, Palestinians vandalize Al Jazeera studio.
Mother of slain fighter Madhoun calls for punishing killers of her son
The mother of Hasan Al-Madhoun called for forming a committee to investigate the involvement of the Palestinian authority in the assassination of her son and prosecuting his killers.
PA-controlled office in Gaza ransacked
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Unknown assailants entered the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority-controlled Civil Administration building in the northern Gaza Strip early Thursday morning, sacking the office, officials said.
Palestinian Zionists Laughable (and treacherous) Response
PA compels West Bankers to go on protests against Al-Jazeera, Qatari Emir
Security militia men and civil servants from the Palestinian authority called through loudspeakers of West Bank mosques for going on marches on Thursday to condemn Al-Jazeera satellite channel.
Fayyad set to take Al-Jazeera to court
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Justice announced Thursday that it was preparing to file a suit against Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news station for its role in the publication of documents that the ministry said “aimed at tarnishing the image” of the government.
PA condemns ‘inciting and deceptive campaign’
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — During its weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority ministers “strongly condemned” what a statement called “the campaign of incitement and deception which the Aljazeera Channel has launched against the Palestinian National Authority.”
Mahmoud Abbas asks Egypt to mediate with Qatar “to stop defaming the PA”
“The release by Al-Jazeera of sensitive documents revealing the Palestinian Authority’s apparent willingness to make huge concessions to Israel during 10 years of closed-door peace talks, have put Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in an embarrassing situation. So much so, diplomatic sources have claimed, that he has asked Egypt to mediate between the PA and Qatar to stop what he sees as the “defamation” of the Authority. The documents show that there are clear contradictions between the private and public utterances of the Palestinian negotiators.
Eerekat: We want to question British, French and U.S. Palestine papers whistleblowers
Chief Palestinian negotiator Erekat says he asked France, U.S. and Britain to help investigate the men, but stresses that he is not accusing them of wrongdoing.
Erekat: Former CIA agent, EU official are responsible for leaking Palestine papers
Chief Palestinian negotiator claims that a U.S. citizen, who works for Al-Jazeera and used to work in Erekat’s office, as well as a British citizen and former EU official leaked the secret Mideast documents.
The Palestine papers are a distraction from the real issue | Saeb Erekat
We made no backroom deals, and negotiated in good faith. But Palestine had no partner for peace. The release of Palestinian documents by al-Jazeera reveals nothing new about the nature and content of negotiations. Rather, it constitutes an unambiguous slander campaign aimed at the Palestinian leadership at a time when we seek to take new measures in defence of the Palestinian cause.
`Urayqat on Aljazeera
Ahmad Mansur hosted Sa’ib `Urayqat to speak on the Palestinian Papers. US/Israel puppets in the Middle East have never been in more trouble, I would argue. The chief PA buffoon looked as comfortable in the encounter as I was when my wisdom teeth were extracted. He started to yell and shout and Mansur ended the program. I never saw a man as visibly lying as he was, and I never saw a man/woman vomit as many slogans and lies as he did in that show. He threatened “international lawyers” who will look into the “incitement” by Aljazeera.
On the outburst and semi-cardiac arrest of Sa’ib `Urayqat live on aljazeera
Comrade Joseph Massad sent me this (I cite with his permission): ”What is amazing about Ahmad Mansur and about al-Jazeera generally and about how democratic they are is that had any of the PA goons who appeared on al-Jazeera appeared on CNN or BBC, they would have been cut off and kicked off the set immediately had they addressed their hosts the way they did on al-Jazeera. It is testament to al-Jazeera being the most professional news organization in the world that they actually give these idiot collaborators time on the air.”
PalMedia office vandalized after Al-Jazeera uses studio
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Half a dozen Palestinians entered the PalMedia office in Nablus on Wednesday evening, smashing equipment and turning over furniture, telling reporters that the attack came because the agency’s studios had been rented out to Al-Jazeera for the taping of an interview earlier in the day.
Mideast peace top US priority: Clinton (AFP)
AFP – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that peace in the Middle East remained the top US priority, despite unrest in the region and a leak of alleged Palestinian negotiation documents.
Palestine Papers Analysis
Documents reveal PA-Israeli collaboration to target resistance
Details on the growing security cooperation between the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, the United States and the United Kingdom were revealed yesterday, the third day of Al Jazeera network’s release of more than 1,600 internal documents and secret correspondence from the last decade of negotiations between the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority and the United States.
Ehud Olmert gives account of key meeting with Palestinian president
Former Israeli prime minister describes ‘weight of Jewish history on my shoulders’ in talks with Mahmoud Abbas. The memoirs of Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister of Israel, are to be published shortly, to add to the deluge of recent material on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli daily, published this interesting teaser for its serialisation this weekend.
The PA vs. Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera receives numerous mentions, none of them flattering, in this trove of Palestinian documents.
Palestine Papers: If US can’t be ‘honest broker’ in Middle East, get out of the way, Ali Abunimah
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.
Palestinian Negotiators Must Tell All, George S. Hishmeh
The Arab peoples, almost anywhere from ‘the Atlantic to the Gulf,’ are nowadays seething with anger more than at anytime in recent decades, partly because of their poor economic conditions and rising unemployment as well as the absence of good governance. But equally shattering has been the feeling that their autocratic rulers are not responsive to their political goals and only serve as instruments in the hands of the big powers, especially the United States which has been a firm ally of Israel, the usurper of the Palestinian homeland.
Palestinians: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even, Stuart Littlewood
See this embarrassment as your big chance – a God-sent opportunity to sweep away the shameful Palestinian Authority. Then make a fresh start. Bypass Israel and its twisted backers and deal direct with those responsible, the United Nations. Don’t think that you are the only ones with traitors in your midst. We too have our quislings. They have given away our sovereignty to the EU and Brussels, sold off our national assets to foreign corporates and shackled us to the US-Israel ‘axis of greed’. They have even abused the trust and loyalty of our troops by committing them to illegal wars that have nothing to do with defence of the realm and everything to do with advancing the crazed ambition of foreign “allies” to get their dirty mitts on other people’s resources.
The “Corrupt Betrayers” of the Palestinian People, MICHAEL NEUMANN
The Al-Jazeera leaks concerning Palestine have provided lots of new material for the tough guys of the Israel/Palestine conflict. These hard cases have been around at least since the Oslo Accords of 1993. Most of them are university types – graduate students and also faculty, some too sainted to name. Almost all of them live thousands of miles from the conflict. They tell us how the Corrupt Palestinian Authority has betrayed the Palestinians. The original Corrupt Betrayer was Yasser Arafat who is still, oddly enough, much beloved by Palestinians who actually live in Palestine. The new Corrupt Betrayers are of course the current Palestinian leadership in the West Bank. They are weak, we hear. Like Arafat, they’ve sold out the Palestinians. They are no Nelson Mandelas.
Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Meanwhile, in Judea and Samaria . . ., Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz
While parts of the Middle East seem on the verge of revolutionary change, in other parts it appears to be business as usual. This is a whack settler video, narrated by Eliyokim Cohen of Framingham, MA, gloating over the goldrush construction in the occupied West Bank. Pure messianism, with a lot of racism (or as he puts it on his website “You as a Jew are the highest form of creation”). It’s hard to believe it’s authentic, but it sure sounds that way…
Completed tunnel ‘puts lives in danger’ Jerusalemites say
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The announcement of Israeli archaeologists of the completion of an excavation beneath the Old City of Jerusalem Tuesday “represents another violation against Al-Aqsa Mosque,” officials from the Wad Hilweh Information Center said the following day.
‘The days of ‘48 have come again’: 15 minutes from Tel Aviv, Israel creates a new refugee camp, Max Blumenthal
On December 13, 17-year-old Hamza Abu Eid was taken out of class and summoned to the principal’s office. “The Israelis are destroying your house right now,” the principal told him. “It is best that you remain here. The last thing we want is for you to have a confrontation with a police officer.”
Palestinian tractor torched in West Bank
Suspected ‘price tag’ attack may be response to razing orders issued against Bat Ayin settlement buildings.
Israeli Governmnet Involvement in the Settlements
The Israeli government plays an integral role in the settlement infrastructure of East Jerusalem. The authority wielded by various ministries of the federal government, the Police Department, Devleopment Authority, National Parks Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality all contribute to the livelihood and expansion of the settlement enterprise.
Israel gearing up to open Silwan – Wailing Wall tunnel
The Israeli Antiquities Authority intends to open the tunnel linking Silwan Spring in Wadi Hilweh to the Wailing Wall plaza in the Old City, Israeli press claimed yesterday. The Antiquities Authority announced this morning, however, that plans have been postponed indefinitely, citing the need for further construction work. The tunnel extends from Silwan Spring, which lies next to a mosque owned by public religious foundation the Islamic Waqaf, through an old sewage canal that runs underneath Wadi Hilweh neighborhood to the Wailing Wall. The tunnel’s construction was financed by settlement organization Elad, which controls all tourist sites throughout Wadi Hilweh. Elad excavations have caused extensive damage to Palestinian areas in Silwan, causing the collapse of several homes, a school and other buildings and the main street of Wadi Hilweh, amongst others, to cave in. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center has warned against the well-documented dangers of the tunnel and other excavation Israeli settler-government joint projects in Silwan.
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Arrests and night raids: the repression of the Popular Struggle in Nabi Saleh, Joseph Dana
Shackled and drowning in an adult prison uniform, 14 year old Islam Tamimi was brought before a military court this morning for a hearing on his detention. Exhausted and nervous, Tamimi sat before a court room of soldiers. Tamimi was arrested during a night raid in the village of Nabi Saleh early Sunday morning. After soldiers arrested the child, they forced him to stand outside in the cold until 09h00 Sunday morning. Soldiers also repeatedly threatened the child while he was in their custody.
Mother of Bilin martyrs: we will not be stopped
Jawaher was not the only member of the Abu Rahmah whose life was taken by Israeli military violence. In April 2009, during a similar protest against the wall, an Israeli soldier fired a tear gas canister directly at Bassem Abu Rahmah, Jawaher’s brother, which hit him in the chest and killed him. The Electronic Intifada contributor Alex Kane interviews Soubhiya Abu Rahmah, the mother of Bassem and Jawaher, in Bilin.
Harassment in Nabi Salih: Intimidation tactics in Israel’s wider strategy of expropriation
As a quick Google search for ‘Nabi Salih’ will demonstrate, it is clear that intimidation tactics are standard fare from an Israeli military whose presence in the village has increased significantly since 2009. But a more in depth look reveals the wider goal at hand. Palestine Monitor reports. In December 2009, settlers from Halamish seized control of Nabi Salih’s main water supply, a natural spring called Ein Al Kus. That same month, the villagers retaliated by staging unarmed demonstrations, protesting the theft of the well and Israel’s policy of supporting the settlers’ encroachment.
Human Rights/Humanitarian Issues/Siege/Repression
UPDATED URGENT APPEAL – Children of the Gravel
Between 26 March 2010 and 18 January 2011, DCI-Palestine has documented 24 cases of children shot whilst collecting building material or working near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Due to a severe lack of job opportunities and a shortage of construction material entering Gaza from Israel, hundreds of men and boys scavenge for building gravel and other items amongst the destroyed buildings close to the border fence. The gravel is collected into sacks, loaded onto donkey drawn carts and sold to builders for use in concrete. Children can earn between 30 and 50 shekels (US $8-14) per day which is used to help support their families. Reports indicate that Israeli soldiers on duty in the observation towers which line the border between Gaza and Israel frequently fire warning shots to scare workers away from the border region. Reports also indicate that these soldiers sometimes shoot and kill the donkeys used by the workers, and also target the workers, usually, but not always, shooting at their legs. In the cases documented by DCI-Palestine, the children report being shot whilst working between 50 to 800 metres from the border fence. These cases have also been reported in Haaretz, The Guardian, The Independent, AFP and CNN media outlets.
Gaza’s dilemma: buildings or bread
Late last June, residents of Gaza received some long overdue good news. Israel declared a change in the closure policy: it promised to expand the operation of the active border crossings, open additional border crossings “if there is a need to further increase the capacity of the border crossings” and to allow the transfer of building materials for projects undertaken by international organizations. The Turkel Commission’s interim report published this week determined that these “easings” made the closure, which, according to the commission, was already kosher, more kosher still.
Israel reveals blueprint of desert holding facility for illegal migrants
JERUSALEM, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — In an effort to stem the flow of illegal labor migrants infiltrating into Israel in recent years, the government has begun planning a second detention facility that will be built in the Negev desert. Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonot on Wednesday revealed the outlines of the facility, whose construction is expected to be completed within six months, based on architectural diagrams it obtained.
Israeli War Criminals
Israeli soldiers told to ‘cleanse’ Gaza – C4 News exclusive
Exclusive: Israeli soldiers tell Channel 4 News they were ordered to “cleanse” Palestinian neighbourhoods, as filmmaker Nurit Kedar says “the atmosphere was that nobody should talk about this war”.
Israeli troops avoid jail in Palestinian shooting (AP)
AP – An Israeli military court on Thursday sentenced two soldiers convicted in the close-range shooting of a bound and blindfolded Palestinian man, but spared them jail time.
The Goldstone Report: more important than you think
With each passing day, the publication of the Goldstone Report seems like a key event in shaping the political and diplomatic trends that currently dominate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A new book – to which I contributed an article dealing with the Israeli reaction to the report – takes a fresh look at the findings and the political significance of the UNHRC fact-finding mission to Gaza
Settlers Kill Palestinian in Iraq Burin
Oday Maher Hamza Qadous, 19 years old, has been killed by settlers while farming his land in Iraq Burin. Army forces have taken over the village of Iraq Burin. 19 year old Oday Maher Hamza Qadous was shot to death this afternoon while farming his land in Iraq Burin near Nablus. Qadous was farming with his cousin, Omer Ahmed Qadous, on the west side of Iraq Burin when settlers from Barcha entered the farmland and shot Oday in the stomach. Omer Ahmed Qadous saw the entire event and reported that there was no confrontation with the settlers before the shooting. He said that settlers entered the farmland and began to shoot. Qadous was evacuated from the area to a Nablus hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The army is now occupying the village of Iraq Burin but no clashes have been reported.
Jewish settlers attack village, burn citizen’s car
Jewish settlers attacked the village of Einbaus, southeast of Nablus city, and burnt a car for one of its citizens before fleeing the village, local sources reported.
IOF troops advance in southern Gaza
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced into southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Younis on Thursday morning, local sources reported.
Four arrested in village raid this morning
Four Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces this morning. Khaled Silwadi (37), Suhaib Rajabi (19) and 2 minors were arrested during a raid on the village. Minor clashes broke out in Baten al-Hawa district following the arrests.
Group: PA arrests Palestinian rights group lawyer
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations condemned Sunday what it called the “arbitrary arrest” of a rights lawyer by the Palestinian Preventive Security Force. The detention, a statement said, took place on Jan. 10 in the early morning, and targeted Mazen Abu Aoun, a lawyer for the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, from his home in Jenin.
Hamas: PA arrested 5 West Bank affiliates
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas said Wednesday that Palestinian Authority security forces arrested five of its West Bank affiliates. The Islamist movements said in a statement that PA forces arrested five members in the Jenin and Bethlehem districts.
Detention of Sheikh Musa and other arrestees extended
The detentions of Al-Bustan Popular Committee member Sheikh Musa Aoudeh, Ibrahim Abu Diab and Mahmoud Razem were extended by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court today until 31 January. Diab and Razem were seized by Israeli forces from a Silwan shop during clashes on 24 January; Musa was taken from the street as he passed by the shop.
Palestinian families barred from visiting detainees before being strip searched
Some families of Palestinian prisoners said they are deprived of visiting their sons in Israeli jails before they accept to be strip searched by soldiers.
Political Developments/Other News
Fatah fighters point fingers to PA for ’05 assassination
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Fatah-aligned Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades named names on Thursday, identifying four PA officials who they said were behind the 2005 assassination of a leader within the militant wing. Former Fatah strongman in Gaza Muhammad Dahlan topped the list, along with PA security forces leaders Naser Yousef, Samir Al-Mashharawi, and Rashid Abu Shabak.
Israel reprimands Irish envoy for upgrading Palestinian mission to embassy
The head of the Foreign Ministry department responsible for Irish affairs told Ireland’s ambassador to Israel that ‘this does not contribute to the peace process in any way.’
PA ministers subject of corruption investigations
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Head of the Palestinian Authority’s Anti-Corruption Commission Rafiq Al-Natsheh asked the prime minister to remove the legal immunity of several government ministers in what was said to be a request to question the officials on charges of corruption. A statement, issued the day after news agencies began releasing documents containing details of more than a decade of negotiations between the PLO and Israel, said the commission had 80 files of corruption charges that were being investigated.
US, Jordan seek resumption of Mideast peace talks (AP)
AP – The United States and Jordan say they remain hopeful for a quick resumption of Mideast peace negotiations.
Syria supports gov’t representing Lebanese people’s will: official
DAMASCUS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad said here Wednesday his country supports a government that represents Lebanese people’s will. He made the remarks at the celebration of Kuwaiti embassy to Damascus on Kuwait’s national day. “We hope Lebanese people overcome current disputes by consisting a government representing people’s will and developing relations with Syria,” the senior diplomat said.
The Lebanese Army
Look at this AP picture. 1) can you imagine the international uproar if those March 14 Hariri goons who are chasing the Lebanese Army were Hizbullah supporters? In that case, the UN Security Council would have met and Western governments would have issued stern condemnation and stressed the need to support the Lebanese Army. 2) Look at the Lebanese Army. Those can’t even do police work and we are told that they will be sufficient and capable of defending Lebanon against Israeli attacks and invasions. Those who say that want a recipe for un-resisted Israeli aggression on Lebanon. Let those Lebanese who want to resist Israel, resist Israel, and let those Lebanese Army do what they do best: eat shish tawuq or…snakes in shows in schools around the country.
Hariri to NYT: “Whoever Killed My Father Doesn’t Want Me in Power”
Former Prime Mnister Saad Hariri believes that whoever killed his father doesn’t want him to be in rule. In an interview with the New York Times, Hariri said: “Whoever killed Rafik Hariri in 2005 doesn’t want Saad Hariri to be in power.” “What’s happening today is that they are trying to achieve what they wanted to achieve in 2005,” Hariri added.
Saudi Editorialists Criticize Hariri: It’s Not World’s End!
26/01/2011 Two prominent Saudi writers criticized outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in editorials published on Wednesday, stressing that his defeat in the premiership battle is not the end of the world. In an editorial in Saudi-owned al-Hayat entitled “The Lebanese Opposition Cloned,” Daud al-Shiryan wrote that Hariri’s camp “tried to impose a prime minister using the streets and burning tires, employing the same means used by their adversaries, the means they have always criticized,” he noted. “Some deputies of Hariri’s bloc have employed clearly sectarian language.
Wednesday: 6 Iraqis Killed, 5 Wounded
At least six Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in light attacks that focused on ministry officials in Baghdad. Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law called on the International Court of Justice in The Hague to try the former premier on crimes related to the Iraq War..
Car bomb at Iraq funeral kills 37
A car bomb rips through a funeral tent in a mainly Shia area of Baghdad, killing almost 40 people and wounding dozens more.
Two foreign ministry officials killed in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — Two officials of Iraq’s Foreign Ministry were killed by gunmen in Baghdad on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry source said. Unidentified gunmen using weapons equipped with silencers shot dead Abdul Jabbar Abdullah, a director of the foreign ministry, as he was driving his car at an intersection in Baghdad’s northern district of Kadhmiyah, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Iraqi refugees find limited aid in US (AFP)
AFP – Iraqi refugee Ayad Salman opens a folder and lays out the story of how he and his family came to Chicago.
Five injured, dozens arrested in Yemen anti-gov’t protests
SANAA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — At least five anti-government protesters were injured and dozens of others arrested in clashes on Wednesday when army forces tried to disperse hundreds of demonstrators in Yemen’s southern province of Shabwa, a local councilman said.
Inspired by Tunisia and Egypt, Yemenis join in anti-government protests
SANAA, YEMEN – Thousands of Yemenis took the streets Thursday demanding an end to the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled this impoverished Middle Eastern nation for more than three decades.
The Lede: Video of Protests in Yemen
The wave of protests against autocratic governments in the Arab world has now spread to Yemen. Video of a large demonstration in the capital, Sana, has been posted online by Al Jazeera.
Anti-government protests erupt in Yemen
Protestors are putting pressure on governments across the Arab world – demanding changes in leadership and policies. In Yemen, tens of thousands of people marched in the capital, Sanaa. Opposition groups are calling for the president to stand down, after more than three decades in power. Al Jazeera’s Caroline Malone reports on the developments in Yemen.
Egypt forbids Protests a Day after it was Shaken by Thousands of Demonstrators, 3 Killed, Juan Cole
Egypt was wracked by demonstrations on Tuesday’s “Day of Rage,” called for by the April 6 committee of youth activists on social media last week. The protesters were hoping to profit from the momentum for reform in the region created by the Tunisian revolution, which forced the Ben Ali regime from power nearly two weeks ago.
The First martyr in Egypt : Mustapha Rajab Mahmoud
Fourth Egyptian dies as a result of protests
CAIRO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – A fourth Egyptian died in hospital on Wednesday as a result of protests the previous day that were staged to call for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, a medical source said.
Gamal Mubarak reportedly flees Egypt, Longtime president’s son once seen as likely successor
The son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Gamal Mubarak, has reportedly fled Egypt for the UK with his family. Unconfirmed reports out of Cairo say the younger Mubarak boarded a private jet bound for London with his family and nearly one hundred pieces of luggage. His departure, if confirmed, comes after a day of unprecedented mass protests in the streets of Cairo and other cities throughout Egypt. Over 30,000 people gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to protest the Mubarak regime, which has run the country for 30 years under a state of emergency and with little tolerance for dissent. One riot police officer has been confirmed killed, and about 600 people were arrested in the Cairo protests. Gamal Mubarak’s departure from Egypt comes on the heels of Tunisian President Ben Ali’s flight from Tunisia following violent anti-government protests in Tunis.
Thousands Protest in Egypt in Largest Popular Challenge to Mubarak in 30 Years
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across Egypt in the largest popular challenge to longtime President Hosni Mubarak since he came into office 30 years ago. Drawing inspiration from the recent uprising in Tunisia, an estimated crowd of 15,000 packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square. We go to Cairo to speak with independent journalist and blogger, Hossam Hamalawy.
Egypt protests: ‘We ran a gauntlet of officers beating us with sticks’
Jack Shenker, the Guardian’s reporter in Cairo, was beaten and arrested alongside protesters in the capital last night. He made this remarkable recording while locked in the back of a security forces truck next to dozens of protesters. Listen to the audio
Thousands join Cairo protests
Thousands of protesters are marching in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, to demand that Hosni Mubarak, the president, step down. They clashed with riot police in a rare show of strength by the people. Many in the crowds called for a Tunisian style ousting of Mubarak. Rawya Rageh reports from Cairo.
‘Remarkable scenes’ at Cairo protests
Anti-government protests have broken out in Egypt after an internet campaign inspired by the uprising in Tunisia.
Cairo erupts as Egyptian protesters demand Mubarak resign
Twitter reportedly inaccessible. Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Egypt Tuesday, facing down a massive police presence to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in protests inspired by Tunisia’s popular uprising. Gamal Mubarak, son of President Hosni Mubarak, had fled the country along with his family, according to the Adnkronos International news service.
Journalist ‘trapped and beaten’ in Egypt
MB: We didn’t participate in Tahrir Square demonstrations
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Egypt’s largest opposition group, says it did not take part in a demonstration held in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Tuesday, one of several “Day of Rage” protests held in several cities throughout the country.
Twitter BLOCKED In Egypt As Demonstrations Turn Violent
As protestors fill Egypt in rare public demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak, Twitter has been blocked, according to reports.
Today in Egypt
This amazing video (h/t Blake Hounshell) is from today in Cairo, where tens of thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets in a day of unprecedented protest. We hope to run an on the ground report later today, but in the meantime you can get news by following #jan25 on Twitter.
Picture: The scene at the protest at the Lawyers Syndicate in Cairo
Must see picture: Tahrir square taken over by protesters
Egyptian anti-government protests – in pictures
More Protest pics
More protest videos
#Jan25 Mansoura protesters smash NDP office
Egypt: The January 25 Demonstrations in Photographs
Egypt anti-govt protests escalate
Thousands call for Tunisia-style ouster of president Hosni Mubarak as US, an ally, says government there is “stable” .
Protests in Egypt and unrest in Middle East – as it happened
• Cairo a ‘war zone’ as demonstrators demand president quit
• Protests continue in Tunisia and Lebanon
• Click here for summary of key events so far
Thousands of Egyptian protesters clash with police
Protesters take to the streets of Cairo to demonstrate against political repression and unemployment under President Hosni Mubarak. It is unclear if the protests in Egypt will mimic those in Tunisia, leading to revolt against the government. Thousands of Egyptian protesters inspired by the revolt in Tunisia rushed police and battled tear gas Tuesday in demonstrations against the political repression and unemployment that have defined three decades of rule by President Hosni Mubarak.
Live updates: Opposition groups protest on Police Day
Egyptians and Sudanese are the best people when it comes to slogans and chants. Today, in Egypt: demonstrators chanted:
يا مبارك, يا مبارك. السعوديّة بإتنظارك
O Mubarak. O Mubarak. Saudi Arabia is waiting for you.
Egypt’s protests, told by #Jan25
Cairo’s streets erupted in protest today and Twitter and other social media sites made it clear that today was a big day for Egypt’s opposition.
Egypt’s unstable regime
TENS OF thousands of Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo and other cities Tuesday in an unprecedented outburst of protest against the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Inspired by Tunisia’s popular uprising, they demanded political concessions that Mr. Mubarak’s rotting government should have made long ago: an end to emergency laws, freedom for political activity and a limit on the president’s tenure in office. The United States has said that it favors such reforms. But when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked about the demonstrations, she foolishly threw the administration’s weight behind the 82-year-old Mr. Mubarak.
Hisham Omar Abdel Halim, Maha Bahnasawy, Mohamed Ismail Ghaly, Nashwa el-Hofi, Mary Joseph, Adham Khorshed, and Mahmoud Metwally, “Egypt: The Day of Wrath” (Videos)
“When people see what happened today, more will join the protests — especially now that Egypt has become a tinderbox waiting for a match to set it alight.” — Amar Ali Hassan
Will Egypt Be the Next Domino to Fall?, Ashraf Ezzat
Ever since the Tunisian uprising managed to topple the dictatorship of former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and the people in the Arab world are wondering if the Tunisian scenario could be repeated in their countries. Egyptians responded to the news of the overthrow of the regime in Tunisia with great joy and astonishment at the same time. To most Arabs, Tunisia is another Arab country ruled by similar authoritarian regime such as theirs.
A dam breaking in Egypt
Today Egypt experienced the largest outpouring of public fury at the government since January 1977, when cuts in government food subsidies saw hundreds of thousands of Egyptians pour into the streets in an uprising that shook the government of then President Anwar Sadat. That ended three days later with dozens dead but the Egyptian poor who spearheaded the action triumphant: Sadat restored the subsidies.
Aljazeera and Egypt
Many Egyptians are furious that Aljazeera has not been covering the massive protests in Egypt today. Explanation? Mubarak visited Emir of Qatar last month and basically reached an agreement to reduce Aljazeera’s critical coverage of Egypt and Mubarak’s tyranny.
Arab world waking from 40-year sleep?, Helena Cobban
The Arab world has been in a state of increasing ossification ever since I started following its affairs closely in 1970. That was the year that King Hussein beat back the Palestinian-radical challenge to his regime in Jordan, and that Egypt’s President Jamal Abdel-Nasser died. Also, the year that Hafez al-Asad’s relatively conservative “Corrective movement” seized power from its more radical Baathist colleagues in Damascus.
Obama plays catch-up on popular movements in Egypt and Tunisia, Philip Weiss
There was no mention of Egypt in tonight’s State of the Union Speech, though the State Department released a statement on Egypt (below) that was blandly supportive of the protests. Obama did mention Tunisia– without any indication that the “dictator” he now denounces was “backed politically and militarily by the U.S. for more than two decades” (as Phyllis Bennis said on PBS).
This Time, Protestors Outnumber Police in Egypt
The days of a 5-to-1 ratio of police to demonstrators appears over. Will the Egyptian regime reform or respond with more deadly force and police state action as they have in the past?
The meaning of today’s events in Egypt, Issandr El Amrani
For the first time in recent memory, Egyptian security has also implemented a communications clampdown. Twitter, Bambuser, Ustream are all reported to have been shut down. Some ISPs, including Vodafone Egypt, say that the problem is not with them but with the national internet link. Communications may have also been disabled in specific areas. It’s worth remembering that the US is said to have intervened forcefully against Tunisia’s disruption of communications (which went beyond this to include hacking of major social media sites) and that Hillary Clinton launched an internet initiative last year — this gives her traction to act here (if the other reasons aren’t enough). Mrs Clinton’s initial statement was pretty weak, but also came early in the days’ development. Personally, I think the US acted as well as can be reasonably expected in Tunisia and should do the same in Egypt, including reaching out to different elements of the regime to convey dissatisfaction (ahem — major euphemism here). But we’ll see their fuller reaction tomorrow.
Egyptian Rap Against the Regimes
Palestine Papers & Cables
Palestine papers show Netanyahu vowed not to link Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim
Claim made in leaked documents contradicts long-standing plan to build a neighborhood of 3,500 homes in area E1.
Qurei: “Occupy the crossing”
Top PA negotiator offers to allow Israel to re-occupy the Philadelphi corridor on the Gaza-Egypt border.
Erekat: “I can’t stand Hamas”
For Fatah, the Annapolis process seems to have been as much about crushing Hamas as about ending Israel’s occupation.
MI6 offered to detain Hamas figures
British government also provided financial support for two Fatah security forces linked to torture.
Controlling the mosques
Barnaby Phillips reports on the Palestinian Authority’s control over religious sermons in the West Bank.
The al-Madhoun assassination
Documents include handwritten notes of 2005 exchange between PA and Israel on plan to kill Palestinian fighter in Gaza.
Dayton’s mission: A reader’s guide
Mark Perry explains what The Palestine Papers reveal about Gen. Keith Dayton’s training mission in the West Bank.
PA questions Tony Blair’s role
Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad wondered whether Quartet envoy’s initiatives were too small to be helpful.
Cutting off a vital connection
Palestinian officials were often more concerned with applying pressure to Hamas than easing the crisis in Gaza.
Demanding a demilitarized state
Israeli negotiators demanded to keep Israeli troops in the West Bank and to maintain control of Palestinian airspace.
Blair’s counter-insurgency “surge”
Former British prime minister’s support for Palestinian security forces contributed to decline of EU’s influence.
The Palestine Papers: Secret talks over a Jewish state
One and a half million of Israel’s citizens are Palestinian Arabs, that is roughly 20 per cent of the population. However, Israel still insists on calling the country a “Jewish state”. And the Palestine Papers reveal the human price that they were willing to make that a reality. Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips reports from Baqah al Gharbiyyeh, Israel.
The Palestine papers: ‘I’m not coming from Mars!’
Palestinian chief negotiator despairs that Israeli settlement building will continue unfettered, regardless of US linguistic tricks in peace process formulations
‘Palestinian Authority closely coordinates security operations with Israel’
New ‘Palestine papers’ released Tuesday detail meetings discussing security measures, including instructions to kill Hamas militants.’Palestinian Authority closely coordinates security operations with Israel’
PLO urged Israel and Egypt to do more to prevent Gaza smuggling
Leaked documents underline hostility of PLO towards Hamas – but show Palestinian leadership willing to negotiate in long run
Palestinian refugees rule out compromise on return to homeland
Disclosure in Palestine papers that negotiators gave up fight over refugees is greeted with disgust in Bethlehem camp
Palestine papers: Mohammed Dahlan
Former Fatah security chief who had close links to the CIA and Israel’s Shin Bet security service
Palestine papers: Shaul Mofaz
Former IDF chief of staff and defence minister who was a key figure in co-ordinating security with the Palestinian Authority
The Palestine papers: a blueprint for security
A British embassy official offers a detailed plan of action to reform and bolster Palestinian security forces, which have failed to stop terrorist attacks on Israel
Refugee rights of little concern to PA, documents reveal
Al Jazeera has released more leaked documents related to several “core issues,” including the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, as part of the Palestine Papers exposé.
Rice: US Army Presence In Iraq Protects Israel
Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice reassured Israel that the US military presence in Iraq should calm any Israeli security concerns “from the east,” minutes from a 2008 trilateral meeting between Rice and the Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams reveal.
Pressman: One Leaked Document on the Annapolis Process, Juan Cole
As al-Jazeera continues to release more leaked documents from the negotiation office of the Palestine Authority, what do minutes of the back-and-forth negotiations reveal about the core issues? On April 8, 2008, Abu Ala and Tzipi Livni met in Jerusalem for a two-hour meeting on drawing the West Bank borders for a two-state solution. The document is entitled, “Meeting Minutes: On Borders,” April 8, 2008
‘The Palestine Cables’: WikiLeaks exposes Egypt, PA cooperation with Israel during Gaza assault, Alex Kane
This is the fifth installment of my column on WikiLeaks and Israel/Palestine at Mondoweiss. You can read all the installments here. The left-wing publication Counterpunch has obtained eleven U.S.-authored cables “accessed” from WikiLeaks that deal solely with “Operation Cast Lead,” the 2008-09 Israeli assault on Gaza. Kathleen Christison, a former CIA analyst and co-author of Palestine in Pieces, has the scoop.
Palestinian Zionist’s Laughable (and treacherous) Response
Erekat: Al Jazeera’s ‘vicious smear campaign’ puts my life in danger
Chief Palestinian negotiator says in interview that Palestine papers contain misrepresented and made-up quotes, says Al Jazeera is ‘asking Palestinians to shoot me.’
Defiant Abbas says he’s on ‘right path’
Upon his return from Egypt, PA leader promises to weather storm over leaked peace process documents; hundreds gather outside Arab channel’s downtown Ramallah office, chant ‘Al-Jazeera, you whore’.
Al-Jazeera leaks part of plot to topple PA: Erakat (AFP)
AFP – Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat accused Al-Jazeera television on Tuesday of participating in a campaign aimed at overthrowing the Palestinian Authority.
Al-Jazeera leaks a ‘boring soap opera’: Abbas (AFP)
AFP – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday dismissed the leak of hundreds of secret files on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as nothing but a “boring soap opera.”
The Lede: Police Reportedly Joined Jazeera Protest
An angry mob that attempted to storm the office of Al Jazeera in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday included Palestinian police officers in civilian clothes, a local journalist said.
Abbas welcomed home as hero while Qatar denounced
Reuters – President Mahmoud Abbas got a hero’s welcome on Tuesday from thousands of Palestinians who denounced the Qatari regime and its Al Jazeera television channel for accusing their leader of selling out to Israel.
Nablus Governor Calls for Anti-Jazeera Protests on Thursday
Nablus – PNN – Major General Jibreen al-Bakri, governor of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, called for popular protests to be held on Thursday against the “slanders targeting Palestine” released by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV station.
This shocking “editorial” from PNN (Today is Palestine’s Mon-Fri news aggregator will no longer be featuring any content from their site): Al Jazeera Directs another Bad Movie
By Fadi Abu Sada- PNN Editor in Chief- I can’t believe even for one minute that the so-called Al Jazeera TV “exposure” of Palestinian-Israeli negotiation documents came from the Qatar-based station alone—it was coordinated with the Qatari leadership and I am tempted to say that it was also coordinated with Syria and Iran. As a Palestinian, I do not care what those documents include because they’re only minutes of meetings and during those meetings, one says what one likes. The most important issue is the final deal and what will come out of it.
Other Reactions to the Palestine Papers
Gaza govt: PLO not authorized to negotiate for Palestinians
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The government in Gaza on Tuesday said the Palestine Liberation Organization was not authorized and did not have the power to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people. The statement was issued in response to a series of leaked PLO documents related to talks with Israel, which reveal the PLO offered Israel huge concession on refugees’ rights and Jerusalem.
Arab villagers ‘don’t want to live in Palestine’
Revelation of former FM Livni’s proposal during peace talks to transfer some Arab-Israeli villages to future Palestinian state as part of land swap ‘indicative of racism, discrimination against Israel’s Arabs,’ Barta’a resident says; another villager says ‘it would be a good thing for us to unite with Palestinians’
Palestine Papers Analysis
Al-Jazeera becomes focus of leaked documents debate
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Conspiracy, a case of bad timing and a dis-service to the Palestinian people were some of the immediate reactions by Palestinian critics and media professionals, as Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera continued to release documents from over a decade of mediation efforts with Israel.
Possible source of Palestine papers leak
Israeli TV has reported that the Palestine papers were leaked by a former staffer of the Negotiations Support Unit, a foreign-funded NGO that advises Palestinian negotiators.
Clayton Swisher – Al Jazeera’s Palestine Papers Specialist
Yasser Abed Rabbo, Senior Palestinian Official has given the fullest response on the Palestine Papers. He spoke for nearly an hour on the documents. Clayton Swisher, Al Jazeera’s specialist on the Palestine Papers analysed Yasser Abed Rabbo’s response.
Leaks claim Palestinian ‘collusion’
Leaked US cables say Palestinian security forces engage in extensive co-operation with their Israeli counterparts.
Robert Fisk: A new truth dawns on the Arab world
The Palestine Papers are as damning as the Balfour Declaration. The Palestinian “Authority” – one has to put this word in quotation marks – was prepared, and is prepared to give up the “right of return” of perhaps seven million refugees to what is now Israel for a “state” that may be only 10 per cent (at most) of British mandate Palestine.
Palestine Papers: Israel’s Peacemakers Unmasked, Jonathan Cook – Nazareth
For more than a decade, since the collapse of the Camp David talks in 2000, the mantra of Israeli politics has been the same: ‘There is no Palestinian partner for peace.’ This week, the first of hundreds of leaked confidential Palestinian documents confirmed the suspicions of a growing number of observers that the rejectionists in the peace process are to be found on the Israeli, not Palestinian, side. Some of the most revealing papers, jointly released by Al-Jazeera television and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, date from 2008, a relatively hopeful period in recent negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The view on the ground of the Palestine papers | Laila El-Haddad
The Palestine papers may have sent shockwaves around the world, but they came as no surprise to most Palestinians, particularly those living out the horrific reality on the ground that has been “non-negotiated” over in the occupied territories, like my own family – or in refugee camps outside the occupied territories, like my husband’s family in the sidelined camps of Lebanon.
The Palestinian cause has been betrayed. But no more | Osama Hamdan
These stooge negotiators have acted as tools for the repression of their people. We in Hamas must seize back the initiative. The revelations about the conduct of the Middle East peace process made by al-Jazeera and the Guardian over the past few days have shocked people around the world, but they did not surprise the membership of Hamas. They simply confirm what many of us have been warning against for nearly two decades.
Palestine papers: More nations floated for Palestinian resettlement
Al Jazeera’s release this week of the so-called ‘Palestine papers’ – a collection of secret documents from the past decade of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations – revealed a US suggestion made in 2008 that Palestinian refugees be permanently resettled in Chile and Argentina. The disclosure was a slap in the face to the many Palestinian refugees and descendants – the UN Relief and Works Agency estimates at least 4.7 million worldwide – hoping to eventually return to what is now Israel. But it wasn’t the first time the idea of permanent resettlement has been floated. Here are some of the countries proposed as permanent resettlement locations.
The Palestine Papers: Offering Palestine, Ramzy Baroud
The Palestine Papers had damaged whatever little credibility the Ramallah-based authority still enjoyed among Palestinians The Palestine Papers, the 1,300 leaked documents that Aljazeera began publishing starting January 23, are the Palestinian response to the Israeli ‘generous offer’, an Israeli diplomatic ruse that was aimed at discrediting Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat following the collapse of the Camp David talks of July 25, 2000. But unlike the fictitious Israeli ‘generous offer’, the Palestinian offer, as revealed by Aljazeera, was barely a testament to the spirit of the famed Arab generosity, but a series of decided and embarrassing concessions that, at times, took even the Israelis by surprise.
The truth that the ‘Palestine Papers’ has broken into the mainstream: Israel is the obstacle to peace, Alex Kane
The release of the “Palestine Papers,” Al Jazeera’s leak of thousands of documents relating to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, is creating space in the American mainstream for this central truth: it is Israel’s fault that there has not been a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Jonathan Cook, a journalist based in Nazareth, writes that “hundreds of leaked confidential Palestinian documents confirmed the suspicions of a growing number of observers that the rejectionists in the peace process are to be found on the Israeli, not Palestinian, side.” This fact, which has been obscured by Israeli propaganda since the collapse of the Camp David talks, is pushing its way into U.S. media coverage as well as into the reactions of liberal American Jewish groups to the papers.
A letter to the Israeli people
The US president should write that the US “must withdraw from direct and active involvement in this process.”
Palestine Papers confirm Israeli rejectionism
For more than a decade, since the collapse of the Camp David talks in 2000, the mantra of Israeli politics has been the same: “There is no Palestinian partner for peace.” This week, the first of hundreds of leaked confidential Palestinian documents confirmed the suspicions of a growing number of observers that the rejectionists in the peace process are to be found on the Israeli, not Palestinian, side.
Diana Buttu on the Palestine Papers – Diana Buttu on the Palestine Papers
Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Demolition orders in Khirbet al Tawil
Jan 26, 2011– A week ago, Occupation forces delivered final warnings to four farmers from Khirbet al Tawil, east of Aqraba, for the destruction of their homes. The buildings, constructed from mud, have received seven consecutive demolition orders.
‘Demolition of Palestinian homes in West Bank’s Area C tripled in 2010’
A B’Tselem report reveals that as a result, 472 Palestinians, including 223 minors, lost their homes last year, up from 217 – including 60 minors – in 2009.
Palestinians say new Jerusalem tunnel will damage Temple Mount
Contrary to Israeli claims, parts of tunnel pass just meters from the Western Wall.
Ma’aleh Adumim mayor demands Netanyahu build West Bank corridor immediately
Mayor Benny Kasriel implores Netanyahu to explain latest Palestine papers revealing the premier had reportedly made a secret promise not to go forth with plans to link Jerusalem to nearby settlement.
Israel denies PLC official permission to travel
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas on Tuesday said Israeli border police at the Allenby crossing between the West Bank and Jordan denied a PLC member passage. In a statement, Hamas said Nasser Abdul Jawad was detained at the border for a number of hours and told he could not pass from the West Bank into Jordan. Jawad was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, He was given no reason for being denied passage, the statement said.
Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Dec 26 – Jan 22
Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Dec 26 – Jan 22
New Campaign in Israel: “Kosher” Certificate to Businesses that Employ Only Jews
A new campaign has been launched in Israel to provide a “kosher certificate” to businesses that employ only Jews and do not employ “enemies”.
Violence & Detainees
An-Nabi Saleh Popular Committee Leader Beaten, Two Children Arrested
Following the arrests of Karim Saleh al-Tamimi and, his brother, Islam, the leader of the Popular Commitee Against The Wall & Settlements in Nabi Saleh, Bassam Tamimi has been arrested, on Wednesday, along with two fifteen year old boys.
Palestinian detainee in coma
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A 45-year-old Palestinian jailed in Israel is in a coma, a detainees’ center said Monday. Detainees in Be’er Sheva prison in the Israeli desert smuggled a letter to the center detailing Saed Fahmi Salah’s condition, the group said. Israeli forces beat Salah when he was detained in March 2008, the letter said, adding that he bled for several days. Since then, he has fallen into a coma several times but doctors have failed to diagnose him, detainees told the center. He has 18 children, the letter added.
No more cancer: Israeli Army admits Jawaher killed by tear gas, Jesse Bacon
In a triumph of the obvious truth over incoherent lies, the Israeli Army now admits that Jawaher Abu Rahmah was indeed killed by tear gas at a demo, not as their anonymous speculation would have it by cancer or an honor killing. These tales violated basic plausibility, but they did provide animplausible denial, which is all Israeli government’s supporters need to fan out online with the narrative that there were “doubts about her death.” The new Army version still blames Palestinians for not treating her better. We know from the Republican Party’s tactics in the United States that such attempt to create doubts actually unfortunately work.
Knesset member calls Turkel Report “professional and moral scandal for Israeli judiciary”
A member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has called the Turkel Report “a professional and moral scandal for the Israeli judiciary”. Taleb El-Sana MK, who heads the Arab Democratic Party, made his statement about the official Israeli report which exonerates Israel for its assault on the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010. Nine Turkish peace activists were killed by Israeli commandos as they stormed the Mavi Marmara and hundreds more from around the world were taken into custody. The flotilla was in international waters at the time of the murderous attack.
Turkey releases report on flotilla incident, accusing Israel
Turkey publicizes its internal report on the flotilla debacle in response to Israel’s Turkel Commission investigation report on Sunday.
Begin: Don’t probe MK Zoabi over Gaza flotilla
Likud minister says Arab-Israeli lawmaker hurt Israeli-Arab relations by joining ‘instigator’ Raed Salah aboard Turkish vessel last May, but says Knesset should not be used as court.
Hamas denounces results of Israel`s investigation into flotilla raid
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas on Tuesday withdrew its authorization of President Mahmoud Abbas as the head of negotiations. Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya said Abbas’ mandate was not valid without the party’s recognition. He also dismissed the PA’s claim that it negotiated on behalf of Palestinians. Hamas does not participate in talks with Israel.
Other Political Developments
Israel worries over possible EU states’ recognition of Palestinian state
JERUSALEM, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Israel’s efforts to stem a rising tide of recognition of a Palestinian state received a blow Tuesday afternoon, with Ireland’s decision to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Dublin to that of an embassy. The announcement, broadcast by Israel Army Radio, followed a symbolic gesture of recognition by Peru on Monday.
Peace activist’s murderer released
Yona Avrushmi, who killed Emil Grunzweig during Jerusalem left-wing rally in 1983, freed after 27 years.
U.S. says U.N. expert should be fired for Sept 11 remarks (Reuters)
Reuters – A U.N. expert on Palestinian human rights who suggested there was a cover-up over the September 11 attacks should be fired, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said on Tuesday.
‘Chastity Squad’ member sent to prison for store attack
Shmuel Weisfish gets two year sentence for threatening to murder employees of Jerusalem computer store. ‘Shame that leaders of this bunch of thugs couldn’t make it clear there was line that shouldn’t be crossed,’ says Judge Bar-Or.
Obama Is Looking for New Ideas in All the Old Places
Politico’s Laura Rozen reported earlier this month that the White House has convened two different task forces to provide the Obama Administration with new ideas for moving forward its efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. At first glance, this would appear to be good news given the rut in which President Obama has got himself mired. An anonymous adviser to the White House stated the obvious: the Administration is “utterly stuck” on how to move forward with there being “no pretense of progress.”
Irish republican bent-knee episode of 1922 suggests that P.A.’s weakness could have virulent consequences, Ed Moloney
With its massive green, copper dome and neoclassical columns, the Four Courts is one of Dublin’s most distinctive landmarks. Situated on the quays by the River Liffey in the heart of the city, it is also Ireland’s most important legal building, housing the country’s Supreme Court, the High Court and the Dublin Circuit Court. Ninety years ago the Four Courts played a short, tragic and very symbolic part in the story of Ireland’s violent and tortured struggle for independence from Britain which left marks on the national psyche that are still visible to this day. Although the parallels are far from exact and there are countless differences between the two situations, Irish people will read the Palestine Papers leaked this week to Al Jazeera and The Guardian and know exactly the pain that many Palestinians must be feeling.
Ignorance is a blessing: UK Jewish leaders cancel trip to West Bank
The only way to continue supporting Israeli policies these days is to enter a state of denial regarding the occupation and its consequences. This is exactly what leaders of the Jewish community in the UK decided to do.
On Gen. Shishakli: the post of the day
Comrade Khaled today replies to comrade Kamal:
“1. ‘Afeef El-Bizri was a captain at the time. He was dispatched to France for higher degrees (Mathematics), and attended later the French Staff College in Military Engineering to return as Commander of the Artillary Corps and later Premiere Bureau.
2. Salah El-Bizri was a Lt. Col and headed of the Deuxième Bureau before and after General ‘Husni Al-Za’eem’s dictatorship while out of it for the period of the rule of Za’eem. He stated to me that he conducted personally the interrogation of General Hinnawi who was released later. The son and the daughter of General Hinnawi seem to think as they told me in Aleppo in the 1980s, that he ‘organized’ the assassination of their father, although the murderer was a relative of the Muhsin Al-Barazi, the Prime Minister revenging his death, and Col Salah El- Bizri was then in the Mezzah prison by orders of Mr. Shishakli, who told him upon his capture “You are too dangerous to be stay free!” Salah El-Bizri told me Shishakli was probably referring to his close bond with his fellow officers before he resigned first in 1949, a bond that remained, it seems, to the rest of his life.
Nasrallah: Naming of Mikati chance to unite
BEIRUT: The appointment of former Prime Minister Najib Mikati to form a new Cabinet provides “a real chance” for feuding Lebanese parties to close ranks and form a government of national salvation, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday.
Protesters’ assaults on media draw condemnation
BEIRUT: Media watchdogs and parties across the political spectrum condemned Tuesday assaults against the press as demonstrations erupted throughout Lebanon in support of caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The protests broke out after Tripoli MP Najib Mikati was designated to head the new Cabinet.
‘Facebook Photoshop’ by the Lebanese Forces & Phalangists …
Mini-Hariri self-destructing before your eyes, As`ad Abukhalil
Of course, you can’t dramatically announce the demise of leaders or sticks in Lebanon: the sectarian system (and billionaire’s money) can always revive somebody’s fortunes in a lousy country like Lebanon. But mini-Hariri sefl-destructed fast–before your eyes. When his father left government in 1998, he handled himself much differently: but Rafiq Hariri–as much as I detest him and never miss his destructive role in the region–was smart and very shrewd politically. Western media are not stressing that what happened in Lebanon is the result of a typical parliamentary maneuver in any political system: that one faction in the parliament, decided to shift its alliance. Walid Jumblat–that shifty opportunist–decided to throw his lot with the March 8 and to solidify his alliance with Hizbullah and Syria. Simple. People forgot that the last parliamentary election was “won” (if you can say that because the US and Saudi Arabia clearly manipulated the results and in one Wikileak that remained unexplained, Fu’ad Sanyurah, told David Petreus that his “security assistance” was crucial to winning the election against Hizbullah) by a difference of a handful of votes in parliament. So fortunes shifted and mini-Hariri instead of falsely posing as a statesperson decided to play it thuggishly and it seems to have backfired. They are clearly embarrassed as evidenced by the speech of mini-Hariri and they have scared off the Christian allies of Hariri Inc. Gen. `Awn (the Christian ally of Hizbullah) was beaming today and this is why. Christians still remember when the Hariri Inc sponsored a Salafi demonstration 4 years ago (?) against the Danish embassy in Beirut over the Danish cartoons and it went out of hand and the Salafite Harirites went wild attacking churches and residential buildings. But Najib Miqati may not stick: he has legs made of jello. But then again: it depends what Saudi Arabia decides: there may be sign that Miqati may not have agreed without Saudi consent. Also, this sleaze Saudi website sponsored a survey of Saudi writers, journalists, and “politicians”–there is no such category in the kingdom of horrors, and they agreed that mini-Hariri does not alone represent the Sunnis in Lebanon.
men in shirts
Last week, Hizbullah men gathered peacefully while wearing black t-shirts in various parts of Lebanon. They did not speak and stayed for an hour. The Western and Hariri press treated that as an assault on the city and its civility. Watch and see how the Western press will treat the thuggish and Salafaite protests of today in Lebanon.
Majority rule in Lebanon
Jeffrey Feltman and the various officials of the US government have been stressing since the last parliamentary election that Lebanon should be governed purely according to the majority rule principle (of course, they did not say that about the transition from apartheid in South Africa: there they worried about the rights of white supremacists). I doubt that now the powers in the Lebanese parliament has shifted that Feltman and his colleagues would invoke the principle of majority rule.
Day of Hypocrisy, Qifa Nabki
The political story in Lebanon is changing so quickly that I’m loathe to forecast how things are going to play out over the next couple of weeks. A few quick thoughts, though, on the calculations of the various players and the choices they face.
Dictionary definition of Chutzpah: from the State Department’s spokesperson
“We continue to want to see a government that is serving the interests of the people of Lebanon and not the government of other countries. We want to see a government emerge in Lebanon that will continue to support the work of the tribunal and end the era of impunity in Lebanon.” I almost want to tell him in colloquial Lebanese Arabic: Wlah. Wlah. You, you of all people the government that has sponsored and supported every Israeli killing spree in Lebanon, think that you are qualified more than the Lebanese themselves to decide what the interests of Lebanon are? You speak for the interests of Lebanon? How dare you, really. How dare you? You think that live in colonial times and you are speaking to the natives like they are children?
Blackwater suit tossed 7 years after grisly deaths (AP)
AP – A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit that blamed the security company formerly known as Blackwater for the deaths of four contractors killed in a grisly 2004 ambush on the restive streets of Iraq.
Iraqi journalists face sacks of gold, fists of fire (Reuters)
Reuters – Iraqi journalists who have survived deadly threats through years of war and insurgency now face a new challenge — whether to accept cash “bonuses” from the government, and even cheap flats and free land.
Hassan Nasrallah, “Feltman in Tunisia”
We heard that [US Assistant Secretary of State] Jeffrey Feltman visited Tunisia. This is a bad omen. The Tunisian people should be on guard: when Feltman wants to discuss processes and elections with the interim Tunisian government, it definitely means an American conspiracy in the making. Wherever this sorcerer Feltman appears, strife and ruin follow him.
Tunisia seeks arrest of ex-leader
Ousted President Ben Ali is wanted to stand trial for theft and currency offences, says the nation’s justice minister.
Tunisia protests turn violent
Police clash with demonstrators who want interim-government reshuffle to exclude all members of former government.
The Tunisian people welcome Jeffrey Feltman
US efforts in Tunisia
This is hilarious. I read in Prince Salman’s mouthpiece, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, that Jeffrey Feltman offered US help to the Tunisian government to conduct a free and honest election. Yes, the US government has been helping the Saudi government for decades in conducting free and honest elections there.
Tunisian politicians meet amid protests
Tunisian politicians are working out ways to end the crisis over the fate of interim government amid the protesters’ demand for removal of ministers who were part of Ben Ali’s government. Nazanine Moshiri reports from Tunis.
Juan Cole: The Corruption Game: What the Tunisian Revolution and WikiLeaks Tell Us about American Support for Corrupt Dictatorships in the Muslim World, Juan Cole
There should be a diplomatic middle path between overthrowing governments on the one hand, and backing odious dictatorships to the hilt on the other.
US: Tunisia example can spur reform
Envoy from US, which backed the deposed Ben Ali, says “example” of uprising can bring reform to other parts of region.
Other Arab Protests
Tunisia political turmoil inspires Jordan protesters
Yemen protests urge leader’s exit
Thousands of students, activists and opposition groups stage anti-president protest at Sanaa University.