Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why Don't the Palestinians Use Nonviolence: In pictures: When a nonviolent protest ends in death

(Click on photos to enlarge; many more in the source)
Palestinian villager killed after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister by an Israeli soldier at close range.

Lazar Simeonov and Renee Lewis

"Nabi Saleh, a small village of about 550 people 20km northwest of Ramallah in the West Bank, has been organising nonviolent protests against land theft since 2009.

On December 9, 2011, the Friday demonstration began as it always did: villagers and international activists - including Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression - gathered in the centre of the village and marched towards land usurped by the Isreali settlement of Halamish. Soon after, the Israeli military entered the village in jeeps and began firing teargas at the protesters.

Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was protesting with other young men from the village. As the jeeps stopped to let a bulldozer clear rocks that had been placed in the road to prevent their entrance, Tamimi and a few others moved closer to throw stones in a symbolic gesture against occupation.

An Israeli soldier opened his door, aimed his gun and shot Tamimi directly in the face with an "extended range" teargas canister; he was shot from a distance of less than 10 meters, according to witnesses.

Tamimi died from his injuries......"

Al-Jazeera Video: More deaths reported as Syria protests continue

Video: Aftermath of the shooting of a protester, a-Nabi Saleh, 9.12.2011, Raw footage

Palestinian dies of wounds sustained in anti-wall protest

"Mustafa Tamimi, 28 was pronounced dead Saturday after being hit with a teargas canister directly to his face at a short range.

Palestinian media sources said Tamimi was throwing rocks at the armored Israeli jeep when one of the soldiers opened the door and fired the teargas canister at him.

Local sources said Israeli military prevented Palestinian ambulance from arriving to the scene and Tamimi was evacuated to an Israeli hospital, where he passed away in the intensive care unit.

The village of Nabi Saleh organizes weekly nonviolent protests against Israeli plans to confiscate part of the villagers' land to build an Israeli settlement. "

Balance, by Mike Luckovich

Bankers are the dictators of the West

By Robert Fisk

"....The real comparison, needless to say, has been dodged by Western reporters, so keen to extol the anti-dictator rebellions of the Arabs, so anxious to ignore protests against "democratic" Western governments, so desperate to disparage these demonstrations, to suggest that they are merely picking up on the latest fad in the Arab world. The truth is somewhat different. What drove the Arabs in their tens of thousands and then their millions on to the streets of Middle East capitals was a demand for dignity and a refusal to accept that the local family-ruled dictators actually owned their countries. The Mubaraks and the Ben Alis and the Gaddafis and the kings and emirs of the Gulf (and Jordan) and the Assads all believed that they had property rights to their entire nations. Egypt belonged to Mubarak Inc, Tunisia to Ben Ali Inc (and the Traboulsi family), Libya to Gaddafi Inc. And so on. The Arab martyrs against dictatorship died to prove that their countries belonged to their own people.

And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against "governments". What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people's power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of "experts" from America's top universities and "think tanks", who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people's wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.....

The Arabs have at least begun to shrug off this nonsense. But when the Wall Street protesters do the same, they become "anarchists", the social "terrorists" of American streets who dare to demand that the Bernankes and Geithners should face the same kind of trial as Hosni Mubarak. We in the West – our governments – have created our dictators. But, unlike the Arabs, we can't touch them...."

Debating the Major Issues of the Arab/Islamic World: Cucumber sheikh “far from the truth,” says Egypt Islamic leader

"CAIRO: The “cucumber” conterversy continues as the opinions of a sheikh residing in eroupe on how women should avoid certain foods due to their sexual resemblence has sparked massive outcries.

An Islamic scholar and chairman at Egypt’s Religious Endowments Ministry said this sheikh could not be more “far from the truth.”

Sheikh Gaber Taye’ Youssef knows a lot about preaching and the process in which scholars are selected to be assigned to a job aborad. He expressed serious doubts that the sheikh sourced is even qualified for his position.

Nonesense and wrong, such talk is empty of any logic or sense and has no roots or relations with Islam or its belief system,” said Youssef when interviewd him over the phone early on Saturday....."

Tunisia: Fundamentalists Disrupting College Campuses

Protect Universities From Threats of Violence

December 9, 2011

"(Tunis) – The Tunisian authorities should protect individual and academic freedoms from acts of violence and other threats by religiously motivated groups acting on university campuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Both the university authorities and the state security forces will need to cooperate to protect the rights to security and education of students and faculty.

One university suspended classes on December 6, 2011, because of security concerns. Demonstrators have caused disruptions on the campuses of at least four universities since October, demanding imposition of their own interpretation of Islam in the curriculum and in campus life and dress. They have interrupted classes, prevented students from taking exams, confined deans in their offices, and intimidated women professors....."

Gingrich calls Palestinians 'invented' people

Republican presidential hopeful defends Israel and says Palestinians are Arabs who "had a chance to go many places".

"Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich has stirred controversy by calling the Palestinians an "invented" people who could have chosen to live elsewhere.

The former House of Representatives speaker, who is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential race, made the remarks in an interview with the US Jewish Channel broadcaster released on Friday.

Asked whether he considers himself a Zionist, he answered: "I believe that the Jewish people have the right to a state ... Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire" until the early 20th century,

"I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Do you support the SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) in Egypt forming an advisory council?

With over 600 responding, 80% said no.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas, cucumbers for sexual resemblance

"CAIRO: An Islamic cleric residing in Europe said that women should not be close to bananas or cucumbers, in order to avoid any “sexual thoughts.

The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Sawsana news, was quoted saying that if women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve...."

Inside Syria: lightly armed townsfolk take on tanks as army closes in

Exclusive: As Assad's forces near a town that has lost 11 fighters, the resistance, although afraid, prepares to fight again

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Benish, Friday 9 December 2011

"Twice the army had come to Benish. On the first occasion they arrested more than 70 people, demonstrators, old and young. The lucky ones were released after two months. Some are still missing. On the second occasion the people fought back, with hunting rifles, old guns, stones even. When the security forces withdrew there were 21 dead: 11 demonstrators and 10 pro-regime fighters.

The people had won their liberty, temporarily at least. Buildings were covered with anti-regime slogans. "Benish is free," reads graffiti scrawled with red paint on a whitewashed town wall. In the middle of the market square is a huge revolutionary flag in green and black and adorned with three red stars: it is the old Syrian flag, the one that predates the Assads.

But this freedom is precarious. The security forces are gathering once again at the town's margins. Today, as in other hotspots in Syria's nine-month uprising, this is a town under siege, surrounded by tanks and roadblocks manned by the army, police and pro-regime militias.

This menacing array does not dampen the revolutionary fervour. By night crowds gather in the town centre. More than 100 men stand in rows waving their hands and chanting...."

Al-Jazeera Video: Iran displays purported US drone

Real News Video:Wilkerson: New Military Powers the Road to Tyranny

Larry Wilkerson: National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate giving the military power for indefinite detention without trial is a draconian violation of our rights

More at The Real News

Syria: Homs massacre warning - live updates

• Opposition claims Syrian army preparing to attack Homs

The Guardian

10.56am GMT / 5.56am EST Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who was beaten by the security forces in August, has been named reporter of the year, by Reporters Without Borders and Le Monde.

As Enduring America notes the Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said:

"This year we are honouring a courageous journalist who has been the victim of brutal repression by an obsolete government. Ali Ferzat fully deserves this award. His cartoons target the abuses of a desperate regime with its back to the wall and encourage Syrians to demand their rights and to express themselves freely."

The Egyptian photographer ghazalairshad produced this Flickr gallery of Cairo exhibition of Ferzat's work and cartoonists response to his treatment.

Latin America's message to the Arab world

Latin Americans should share their experiences with democratisation with other countries in the global South

By Pepe Escobar

".....These things take time

Egyptians may not know that it took Brazilians no less than 21 years to get rid of a military dictatorship. The unbreakable Dilma in the photo is the 1970s counterpart of the Google generation today fighting for democracy from Cairo to Manama, from Aleppo to eastern Saudi Arabia.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - except a lot of time. In Brazil, real democracy was advancing just as it was smashed by the 1964 military coup - actively supervised by Washington. The coma lasted for a long two decades.

Then, in the 1980s, the military decided to dub their snail-pace "transition" towards democracy as "slow, gradual and secure" - secure for them, of course. But it was the street - Tahrir Square-style - that finally turbocharged it.

The strengthening of democratic institutions took over a decade - including a presidential impeachment for corruption. And it took another eight years for a president - the immensely popular Lula, whom Obama revered as "the man" - to open the way for Dilma.

So the road was long until one of the most unequal countries in the world - ruled for centuries by an arrogant, rapacious elite who only had eyes for the wealthy North - finally enshrined social inclusion as essential to national politics.

The progress in Brazil was parallel to many other parts of South America...."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Al-Jazeera Video: Egypt's military tightens reins on government

"Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has made its strongest declaration yet that it intends to control the direction of the country's politics.

In a rare briefing to a group of mostly American reporters, SCAF General Mukhtar Mulla said the military would appoint a civilian advisory council to help guide the selection of a 100-member constituent assembly that will draft the country's new constitution.

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party looks set to win a plurality in parliament, has pushed for strong parliamentary powers and responded by declaring that it would boycott the advisory council.

Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reports from Cairo."

The "New" Egyptian Constitution

"God willing, we will enact a new Constitution. In that constitution, the term for the parliament will be 70 years."

Assad the apologetic: the new face of the Syrian regime

Cracks may be starting to show as Bashar al-Assad desperately tries to head off sanctions from fellow Arab states

Fares Chamseddine, Thursday 8 December 2011

"....I've never seen the Syrian president speak this way before. We are used to Bashar the triumphant, when he called the Gulf Arab heads of state "half-men". There is also Bashar the comedian, who cracked jokes and laughed at them when he addressed the Syrian people in his parliament at the start of the crisis. But I have never seen Bashar the apologetic. Listening to the autocratic ruler of the Middle East's most repressive police state say that somebody else did all the bad things, and that he doesn't own the country but is merely the president, reminded me an awful lot of Muammar Gaddafi, when he famously declared that if he held an official government position he would have waved his resignation letter in the face of the people.

Similarly, Gaddafi once threatened to set the Mediterranean on fire if Libya were attacked, while Assad also promised to unleash an earthquake that would "burn the Middle East" if Syria became a target for Nato. But in spite of the pompous military exercises the Syrian army has just carried out, the regime today has never been more isolated, or more worried....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Psychologist says Syrian president 'removed from reality'

"Speaking to Al Jazeera, Scott Atran, a psychologist and anthropologist at France's National Center for Scientific Research, says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's behaviour shows he is removed from reality. "

Real News Video: Military to Gain Power of Indefinite Detention in Senate Bill

Ray McGovern​: Amendment to NDAA gives military the right to operate on American soil, detain people without trial for an indefinite period of time including US citizens

More at The Real News

Explosion hits major Syrian oil pipeline

"A massive explosion hit a major Syrian pipeline carrying crude oil to Homs, activists and government news agencies reported on Thursday.

"This is the main pipeline that feeds the Homs refinery," said Rami Abdulrahman an activist in the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Activists and government officials traded accusations over the attack, with the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claiming the pipeline was "bombed," while the state-run news agency SANA blamed terrorists.

Flames and huge plumes of black smoke could be seen billowing from the site of the explosion and footage posted on the Internet appeared to verify the explosion....."

Obama Raises the Military Stakes: Confrontation on the Frontiers of China and Russia

By James Petras

"Introduction: After suffering major military and political defeats in bloody ground wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and failing to buttress long-standing clients in Yemen, Egypt and Tunisia and witnessing the disintegration of puppet regimes in Somalia and South Sudan, the Obama regime has learned nothing: instead he has turned toward greater military confrontation with global powers, namely Russia and China. Obama has adopted a provocative offensive military strategy on the very frontiers of both China and Russia.....


Obama’s ‘crackpot realism’, his shift from wars in the Islamic world to military confrontation in Asia, has no intrinsic worth and extraordinary extrinsic costs. The military methods and economic goals are totally incompatible and beyond the capacity of the US, as it is currently constituted. Washington’s policies will not ‘weaken’ Russia or China, even less intimidate them. Instead it will encourage both to adopt more adversarial positions, making it less likely that they lend a hand to Obama’s sequential wars..."

Towards a True Paradigm Shift in Palestine


By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"....A paradigm shift is in fact underway in several Arab countries, especially those immediately adjacent to Palestine and Israel. While the breeze of the so-called Arab Spring is likely to be felt by occupied Palestinians, the extent of its political influence remains uncertain. Even if change in Egypt, for example, proves truly fundamental and irreversible, it will do the Palestinians little good if an alternative and truly revolutionary leadership doesn’t materialize soon. This is the only change that could possibly renew and harness the indefatigable energies of the Palestinian people.

The political attitude of the Palestinian leadership, whether the US-backed ‘moderates’ in the West Bank, or Hamas in Gaza are maneuvers aimed at accommodating the political change underway in Cairo and Damascus. The unity talks between Fatah and Hamas – the latest touted ‘successful’ talks being held in Egypt on November 24 – might, in theory, bridge the divide between the two rivals. Yet, in reality, it remains a political project between two movements aspiring to find common ground for their own political ends. This is arguably a positive feat, but it will definitely fall short of the minimal paradigm shift required in Palestine under the current circumstances.

It is almost ahistorical that Palestinians haven’t yet marched forward, along with Tunisians, Egyptians and others. This could be attributed to the extreme factional polarization and bitter politics that have divided Palestinians in myriad of ways. There have been a few bashful attempts at reaching a critical mass of popular mobilization, but instead a limited movement with overly sentimental and unclear political demands was quickly co-opted.

In reality, national unity is not a mere strategic decision, necessitated by rapidly changing political reality. It requires a fundamental shift from old strategies and the shedding of old beliefs. In the case of Palestine, a new beginning requires the total mobilization of all aspects of Palestinian society, restating nationally unifying priorities, introducing original language, new tools and strategies, and accompanied by as little empty rhetoric as possible.

This critical stage of the Palestinian struggle cannot be satisfied by the rebranding of Palestinian politicians, and it cannot be ushered in by a leadership with tainted records. It requires a generation of leaders with clean slates, revolutionary in their thinking, motivated by the single belief that no freedom can be achieved without true national unity, under a single flag. The allegiance must not lie with any particular faction, but to Palestine itself, and the only unifying slogan should be ‘Freedom’. "

An Important Repost: A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

Following is a report prepared by The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies’ "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000." The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.


This report needs to be read again to gain perspective into the developments taking place in the Middle East now. Are they not following this script presented to Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996?

Think about it.

'Every Syrian has lost someone. Now we are ready to fight back'

In the hills near Ain al-Baida, the rebels tell Justin Vela why they are prepared to die to liberate their country

The Independent

Thursday 08 December 2011

"The sharp pop of gunfire draws little reaction. The soldiers of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) point to a multi-storey house just across the wide valley from their base above the village of Ain al-Baida, about a mile from the Turkish border. "That is where the military is," says commander Abo Mohammad, who wears a camouflage jacket over civilian clothes and cradles an AK-47.

Unlike many of the 150 fighters he claims are positioned in Ain al-Baida, Mr Mohammad has not defected from the Syrian army. Originally from a village not far from this complex of abandoned buildings that houses the FSA fighters, Mr Mohammad says he spent April and May organising peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

In June, when the Syrian military's infamous 4th Brigade came north, leaving a path of destruction in its wake, Mr Mohammad fled to Turkey, spending two months in a refugee camp near the border. But he grew tired of waiting, and returned to Syria to fight.

"People are dying in Syria," he said. "No one came to help us. I did not accept what is happening. I can't be patient, I prefer to die here."

He is one of a growing number of civilians leaving their homes and joining the military defectors who make up the bulk of the FSA, a symbol of both the powerful hatred many ordinary Syrians feel towards the Assad regime and of how far the country has slid towards civil war....."

War on Iran has already begun. Act before it threatens all of us

Escalation of the covert US-Israeli campaign against Tehran risks a global storm. Opposition has to get more serious

Seumas Milne, Wednesday 7 December 2011

"They don't give up. After a decade of blood-drenched failure in Afghanistan and Iraq, violent destabilisation of Pakistan and Yemen, the devastation of Lebanon and slaughter in Libya, you might hope the US and its friends had had their fill of invasion and intervention in the Muslim world.

It seems not. For months the evidence has been growing that a US-Israeli stealth war against Iran has already begun, backed by Britain and France. Covert support for armed opposition groups has spread into a campaign of assassinations of Iranian scientists, cyber warfare, attacks on military and missile installations, and the killing of an Iranian general, among others.

The attacks are not directly acknowledged, but accompanied by intelligence-steered nods and winks as the media are fed a stream of hostile tales.....

There seems little doubt that the US administration is deeply wary of a direct attack on Iran. But in Israel, Barak has spoken of having less than a year to act; Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, has talked about making the "right decision at the right moment"; and the prospects of drawing the US in behind an Israeli attack have been widely debated in the media.

Maybe it won't happen. Maybe the war talk is more about destabilisation than a full-scale attack. But there are undoubtedly those in the US, Israel and Britain who think otherwise...."

The Assads: An iron-fisted dynasty

One powerful, tight-knit family has controlled Syria for four decades.


"....Like father, like sons

Images of tanks rolling into what appear to be often unarmed protesters and reports of towns under siege have drawn parallels between how the Assad brothers (Bashar and Maher) are responding to the uprising to how their father, Hafez and uncle, Rifaat, dealt with the the Muslim Brotherhood party in the early 80s.

Indeed, the actions of the younger Assad brothers appear to closely mirror those of the elder Assad siblings 30 years ago.

The Assad family's response to the months of constant and sustained protest in Syria starting in March 2011 has garnered international criticism.

The European Union in May announced sanctions against 13 Syrian officials, and the list includes Maher as well as several cousins and other relatives.

Indeed, Maher's leadership of the Presidential Guard's 4th Armoured Division is seen as the driving force behind the violent crackdowns against the protesters.....

"The savagery right now... think about it, the images they are playing in the heads of the women they kill is so ugly, these images are hard to eat, hard to swallow," Erdogan told the Turkish Anatolia news agency.

Bashar has kept a relatively low profile during the months of unrest, speaking in public only a handful of times, when he's blamed the uprising on foreign elements and compared the protesters to "germs."

In December 2011, Assad denied culpability for his government's crackdown on protests, saying he had never given an order for security forces of whom he was commander-in-chief "to kill or be brutal".

"They're not my forces," Assad told the US's ABC television network when asked about the crackdown.

"They are military forces [who] belong to the government. I don't own them. I'm president. I don't own the country. No government in the world kills its people, unless it is led by a crazy person.""

Egyptian elections in comparative perspective

How do the elections in Egypt compare to post-communist elections in the former Soviet Union?
Al Jazeera
Islamists won about two-thirds of the vote in the first round of parliamentary elections in Egypt [Reuters]

One of the ways to get a handle on the current Egyptian elections is to try to compare them to the first set of post-communist elections. Some similarities are immediately apparent: Turnout is high. The forces of the "Old Regime" are apparently doing badly. But perhaps more illustrative, however, are the following differences:

First, the early post-communist elections were essentially dichotomous affairs: They were contested between forces supportive of the "Old Regime" (i.e., communist successor parties) and forces that wanted to lead to a transition to a more market based economic and a liberal-democrat political system, which I have elsewhere labelled "New Regime" parties. In Egypt, however, the contest appears to be trichotomous: between the Old Regime, liberal parties and Islamist parties.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

فيلتمان: امريكا توصلت لتفاهمات مع الاخوان بمصر والاسد ارهابي.. ولن نؤيد دولة فلسطينية بوجود حماس

فيلتمان: امريكا توصلت لتفاهمات مع الاخوان بمصر والاسد ارهابي.. ولن نؤيد دولة فلسطينية بوجود حماس
زهير اندراوس

"الناصرة ـ 'القدس العربي': نشرت صحيفة 'يديعوت احرونوت' العبرية، امس الاربعاء، لقاء خاصا مع جيفري فيلتمان، مساعد وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية لشؤون العالم العربي، قال فيه ان ادارة الرئيس باراك اوباما تقوم في هذه الايام باجراء حوارٍ بناء مع زعماء حركة الاخوان المسلمين في مصر، وانه في سياق هذا الحوار تم التوصل الى تفاهمات بين الجانبين تقضي بان تحترم هذه الحركة اتفاق السلام بين اسرائيل ومصر، الذي تم التوقيع عليه خلال فترة حكم الرئيس المصري الاسبق، انور السادات.
وقال المسؤول الامريكي في معرض رده على سؤال لمراسلة الشرق الاوسط بالصحيفة، سمدار بيري، حول الاوضاع في الشأن الفلسطيني انه لا يعتقد بان المصالحة التي تم توقيعها في القاهرة في شهر ايار (مايو) المنصرم بين حركتي فتح وحماس ستتحقق، وذلك بسبب وجود فجوات كبيرة بين الحركتين تشكل عقبات امام امكان انجاز مصالحة حقيقية، واشار الى انه اوضح للرئيس الفلسطيني، محمود عباس، انه، اي عباس، لن يحصل على دولة فلسطينية مستقلة اذا ما شكل حكومة وحدة مع منظمة ارهابية، على حد قوله، ايْ مع حركة المقاومة الاسلامية حماس. علاوة على ذلك تطرق فيلتمان الى المستجدات الاخيرة على الساحة السورية الداخلية، وقال للصحيفة العبرية ان الرئيس السوري، د. بشار الاسد هو اداة ارهابية في يد النظام الايراني، وعليه ان يتنحى عن السلطة فورا.
اما في ما يتعلق بمصر، فاستطرد المستشار الامريكي قائلا للصحيفة العبرية ان المندوبين الامريكيين خرجوا من الحوار مع قادة الاخوان المسلمين بمصر في انطباع فحواه ان زعماء الاخوان المسلمين يدركون الاهمية الكبيرة لاتفاق السلام الموقع بين تل ابيب والقاهرة، لافتًا الى ان الامريكيين اوضحوا لهم خلال الحوار ان اتفاق السلام مع الدولة العبرية يعتبر عاملا مهمًا للغاية في استقرار مصر، على حد قوله.
علاوة على ذلك، اكد فيلتمان للصحيفة العبرية على ان الادارة الامريكية فوجئت بحصول حركة السلفيين المتطرفة على نحو 20 بالمائة من الاصوات في اول مرحلة من الانتخابات البرلمانية المصرية، مشيرا الى ان هذا الموضوع سيكون في محور المحادثات التي يجريها مع كبار المسؤولين في تل ابيب.
وفي الوقت نفسه شدد على ان هناك شراكة وتنسيقا على مستوى ممتاز بين الولايات المتحدة واسرائيل في جميع القضايا الاستراتيجية ذات الاهتمام المشترك، وخصوصا في ضوء التغيرات الكبيرة التي تشهدها منطقة الشرق الاوسط في الاونة الاخيرة.
وفي معرض حديثه للصحيفة العبرية قال مستشار الوزيرة كلينتون انه خلافا للموقف المذكور ازاء حركة الاخوان المسلمين فان الادارة الامريكية تعتبر حزب الله اللبناني منظمة ارهابية، وبالتالي فانها لا تتعامل معها مطلقا على الرغم من كونها شريكة اساسية في الحكومة اللبنانية الحالية، على حد تعبيره.
واشارت الصحيفة العبرية الى ان مساعد وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية يقوم في هذه الايام بجولة مكوكيةٍ في الشرق الاوسط تشمل كلا من مصر والاردن والسلطة الفلسطينية واسرائيل، والتقى خلالها كلا من العاهل الاردني الملك عبد الله الثاني، ورئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس، والمدير العام لوزارة الخارجية الاسرائيلية رافي باراك، وقيادة مجلس الامن القومي الاسرائيلي.
ولفتت المراسلة الاسرائيلية الى ان فيلتمان لم يتقدم بطلب الى الجهات ذات الصلة في تل ابيب لعقد اجتماع مع رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي، بنيامين نتنياهو، كما قالت المصادر السياسية في تل ابيب.

USA repeatedly shipped arms supplies to Egyptian security forces

Amnesty International
6 December 2011

"Data obtained by Amnesty International shows that the US has repeatedly transferred ammunition to Egypt despite security forces' violent crackdown on protesters.

A shipment for the Egyptian Ministry of Interior arrived from the US on 26 November carrying at least seven tons of "ammunition smoke" - which includes chemical irritants and riot control agents such as tear gas.

It was one of at least three arms deliveries to Egypt by the US company Combined Systems, Inc. since the brutal crackdown on the "25 January Revolution" protesters.

US arms shipments to Egypt’s security forces must be stopped until there is certainty that tear gas and other munitions, weaponry or other equipment aren’t linked to bloodshed on Egyptian streets,” said Brian Wood of Amnesty International.....

Many of the cartridges and grenades picked up by protestors in Tahrir Square were US-made tear gas, including those marked Combined Systems Inc. or Combined Tactical Systems, which is the company’s law enforcement division.

“Even in situations where protesters clash with riot police, it is no licence to use excessive force and tear gas recklessly,” said Brian Wood.

“Egypt’s security forces, including the riot police, must be reformed and trained to respect UN standards on use of force and firearms. Without fundamental change in the behaviour and accountability of the security forces, it is irresponsible for foreign countries to provide arms and other equipment to forces that are most likely to misuse them.”...."

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press

What next for Pakistan's President Zardari?

There is little doubt that Pakistan's army want him out, so Asif Ali Zardari's trip to Dubai could well spell the end of his presidency

Tariq Ali, Wednesday 7 December 2011

"The war in Afghanistan, as I argued a decade ago, was a potential threat to the stability of the system in Pakistan. Events have long confirmed this view. The US raid on a Pakistan border position a few weeks ago that killed 24 soldiers was only the latest disaster. Motives for the attack remain a mystery but its impact is not. It will create further divisions within the military, further weaken the venal regime of president Asif Ali Zardari, strengthen religious militants and make the US even more hated than it already is in Pakistan.

Was it intended as a provocation? Is Barack Obama seriously thinking of unleashing a civil war in an already battered country? Some commentators in Islamabad are arguing this but it's unlikely that Nato troops will occupy Pakistan. The death of soldiers stirred the mind of the nation to new activity. "Save us from our friends" is a growing sentiment even within the ruling elite.

Egypt's military will have final say on country's new constitution

Scaf generals say they will have final approval over new political system, whatever the outcome of the election

Jack Shenker in Cairo, Wednesday 7 December 2011

"Egypt's ruling generals have put themselves on a collision course with the country's new parliament after declaring that MPs will not have the final say over the drafting of a fresh constitution.

The revelation is likely to escalate tensions once again between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) and an increasingly confident Muslim Brotherhood, which looks set to dominate the new assembly once voting is completed and parliament opens for business, in March....."

Al-Jazeera Video: US worried intercepted stealth drone will aid Iran

"US officials have acknowledged that the military lost control of one of its stealth drones while it was flying a mission over western Afghanistan.

Iran's official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday that Iran's armed forces had shot down the RQ-170, known as the Sentinel, and are now in possession of it.

US officials rejected that claim, saying there were no indications the plane was shot down. In either case, officials said this would be the first Sentinel lost by the US.

Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan looks at the potential implications of losing the high-tech drone."

Real News Video: Egypt and Another Day of Martyrs

Jihan Hafiz reports that protesters in Cairo vow to continue even as recent elections reduced their numbers

More at The Real News

The "New" Egypt, by Emad Hajjaj

League Action Reflects Regional Rivalry

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"....The fact is, the activation of the League will not endure. It is a temporary renewal aimed at realising regional policies, punishing or isolating old foes, and ultimately redrawing the centres of powers in the region. This largely resembles its behaviour following the second Gulf war in 1990-91.

The so-called Arab Spring has really done little to truly revolutionise the political institution, which continues to tread between its members’ own political ambitions and outside influences and pressures."

The biggest liar in history

Syrian activists report bodies dumped on the streets of Homs

Reports of 34 dead, apparently kidnap victims, found after 'one of the deadliest days since the start of the revolution'

Ian Black, Middle East editor, Tuesday 6 December 2011

"Syrian opposition activists have reported dozens of bodies dumped on the streets of the central city of Homs in one of the worst single incidents of violence in the nine-month uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 34 dead, apparently kidnap victims, had been found after what it called "one of the deadliest days since the start of the Syrian revolution." It quoted an activist from Homs's al-Zahra neighbourhood as saying that they had been abducted by members of the feared Shabiha militia. Monday's death toll for the country was 50, it said......"

The Rabbit in Full Spin Mode: I Don't Control the Army!

Syria: Assad distances himself from army violence

The Guardian

"Assad's most interesting comment is his apparent attempt to distance himself from the army. He said:

"They are not my forces, they are military forces belong[ing] to the government. I don't own them. I'm president. I don't own the country, so they're not my forces."

Bahrain: Release People Jailed for Speaking Out

Response to Independent Commission Should Include Investigating Officials

Human Rights Watch
December 6, 2011

"(New York) – Bahraini authorities should quickly address the systematic and egregious rights violations documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Human Rights Watch said today. As a first step, the government should immediately release hundreds of people wrongfully detained or convicted following unfair trials. And it should investigate high-level officials responsible for serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said.

Authorities should void all verdicts issued by the special military courts and drop all charges brought solely because people exercised their right to freely express political opinions and assemble peacefully. Authorities should only try civilians for legitimate criminal offenses, before a civilian court meeting international fair trial standards. These standards include the right of defendants to examine the evidence and witnesses against them, and the exclusion of all evidence obtained by torture or ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said.

“The independent commission’s report gives Bahraini authorities an opportunity to remedy some of their gross abuses by releasing all persons convicted or held for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It is crucial for Bahrain to send a strong message that there will be no impunity for the human rights crimes documented by the Bassiouni commission.”......"

Syrian blogger arrested as crackdown continues

Amnesty International
6 December 2011

"The arrest of a prominent Syrian-American blogger apparently for her peaceful pro-reform activities is another step backwards for the Syrian regime, Amnesty International said today.

Razan Ghazzawi, aged 31, was arrested by Syrian immigration police at the Syrian-Jordanian border on Sunday. She was on her way to the Jordanian capital, Amman, to attend a workshop on media freedom in the Arab world.

Born in the United States, but brought up in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, Razan Ghazzawi has campaigned for the release of imprisoned bloggers and activists in Syria during the ongoing popular pro-reform protests and ensuing violent crackdown by Syrian security forces.

“The Syrian government committed to release all detainees held for their involvement in the ongoing events but many thousands remain behind bars, and are now joined by blogger Razan Ghazzawi who is well known for her promotion of freedom of expression,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s interim Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Razan Ghazzawi is almost certainly a prisoner of conscience, held solely for the peaceful expression of her legitimately held beliefs. She should be be released immediately and unconditionally unless she is to be charged with a recognizable criminal offence.”

“The fact that she is currently being held incommunicado at an unknown location means that she is at risk of torture. At the very least, the Syrian authorities must immediately inform her family of her whereabouts and grant her access to relatives and a lawyer of her choice.”...."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Do you see the conflict between the West and Iran as real?

With about 500 responding so far, 69% said no.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

رسالة الى شباب الثورة .. الانقاذ الأخير

Courtesy of

رسالة الى شباب الثورة .. الانقاذ الأخير - جـ 1

رسالة الى شباب الثورة .. الانقاذ الأخير - جـ 2

Why Syria's arrested blogger, Razan Ghazzawi, is one of my heroes

A consummate activist, let's hope my friend's belief in the power of people is well placed and helps secure her freedom, Monday 5 December 2011

"I got an urgent instant message from my good friend Razan Ghazzawi last Tuesday night. Having tweeted and blogged against the Syrian regime for the past several months under her real name, from inside Syria, Ghazzawi was concerned that she had become a target.
Always prepared, she sent me her contingency plan: close her online accounts. Syrians who have been arrested and detained over the past nine months have reported having their passwords demanded by authorities. Though closing her accounts wouldn't help her, it could protect her friends – that's the kind of person Ghazzawi is.

Those close to her say that she was on her way to a workshop in Jordan organised by her employer, the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, when she was arrested. Though it's difficult these days to understand anything the Syrian regime does, her blog may have been the impetus for her arrest, or it may not have, but in either case her outspoken writing could very well make things worse for her.

By birth, Ghazzawi is an American citizen – though she would undoubtedly resent the idea of that being used to free her. In any case, it is unlikely that the US government could have any pull with the Syrian regime at this point......"

Egypt’s “nude photo revolutionary” just that, revolutionary

Aliya Mahdy

CAIRO: Despise Aliya Mahdy or not, she has done what few revolutionaries in Egypt have been able to do: take revolutionary action. Her public display of her naked body in a blog post has seen attacks from the conservative Islamists and the liberals alike. Nudity, especially female nudity, leaves people queasy. Had she been a man, would the reaction have been so virulent against her? Doubtful. The man would likely have been praised for his use of his body as expression. Mahdy, unfortunately, is a woman living in Egypt.

Women are objects in many conservatives’ views. Things that can be owned and used for a man’s pleasure when he desires and when he wants. This is why we have seen the growth of polygamy, the shoving aside of a woman’s ability to choose her life’s goals, and the unending “debate” over the causes of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Whether we agree that one’s body should be a form of protest – which so many of Egypt’s liberals disagree with – is irrelevant. The reality is that Mahdy has been able, with her body, debunk all myths of Egyptian liberalism. Her naked image, which has seen over one million hits, has shown that Egypt is not ready for free expression.

“Eye-Hunting” in Cairo: The Military’s Assault on Reporters

Human Rights Watch

December 2, 2011

"(Cairo) - Dozens of eye injuries from rubber bullets have marked the crackdown on protesters in Tahrir Square. “Eye-hunters,” Egyptians are calling the armed police who aim at head-level.

Besides the physical damage, there’s a sinister symbolism about it. Egypt’s military rulers have been on a persistent campaign of trying to blind the public through clampdowns on the media.

The toll on reporters during the Tahrir unrest has been notable. The Committee to Protect Journalists, the New York-based press freedom advocate, reported that 17 journalists were beaten or wounded by rubber bullets between November 19 and 21, the first three days of the latest Tahrir demonstrations.

In Cairo, Ahmed Abdel Fattah, who makes videos for the website of Al Masry Al Youm, an independent newspaper, was hit in the right eye by a rubber bullet, possibly disastrous given his line of work.

“I saw the officer who shot me,” Abdel Fattah said. “He was aiming right for me. I think it was because I was carrying my camera.” Five Masry Al Youm journalists have been injured in and around Tahrir. Abdel Fattah faces repair surgery on his eye....."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Islamic Spring, by Emad Hajjaj

Islamists and Women

By Yasmin From Cairo

Now that Salafist lawmakers (two words which should never go together) are speaking confidently about mandatory dress codes for women, I'm gonna call a spade a spade and speak my politically INcorrect views on hijab/niqab. If my dress is openly derided as offensive, then I have the right - finally - to break my polite silence.


I don't know what happened to Egypt over the past two decades where we went from almost all uncovered to almost all covered today - but I assure you it had nothing to do with suddenly discovering a previously overlooked passage that made millions of Egyptian suddenly realize their dress was anti Islamic.

This is what I find most offensive about it. The idea that veiled woman are on some superior religious ground compared to me - more true to the faith. Wear what you want but don't insist you're any more religious than I am. Personally I'm a secular atheist (or at least agnostic) but I'm still insulted by this holier than thou stance.


Veiling is just another manifestation of the devout's infantile obsession and preoccupation with sex and the female body. A salafist recently told an Egyptian journalist that "a woman's face is like her sex organ". These people don't see women as people. Even the less extreme Islamists abhor the female body. The veil SCREAMS "I am a sex object. Be warned!"

Faith that revolves around denial of female sexuality is silly and juvenile. These guys need to take a goddam cold shower. And everyone just grow up. There's more to life than sex.


While it's impossible to say whether a woman is pressured by the Muslim male community into veiling herself or makes an independent choice, i think one has to admit that social coercion is a major factor in what's happened in Egypt over the past 20 years or so.


Finally, my views on the clothing itself. I have seen nothing to convince me it's Islamic, I find layers of clothing in 100+ degree heat absurd, ridiculous, bizarre and abhorrent. These women are drenched in sweat in the summer, and one can barely bear to stand next to one becuase of their ghastly body odor. If this isn't oppressive I don't know what is.

Iran’s First Great Satan Was England

N Y Times

"IF there is one country on earth where the cry “Death to England” still carries weight — where people still harbor the white-hot hatred of British colonialism that once inflamed millions from South Africa to China — that country would be Iran. And that is what the leaders of Iran must have been counting on when screaming militiamen, unhindered by the police, poured into the British Embassy in Tehran to vandalize it on Tuesday.....

More than half a century ago, Secretary of State Dean Acheson wrote that Mr. Mossadegh was “inspired by a fanatical hate of the British and a desire to expel them and their works from the country regardless of the cost.” Many Iranians still feel that way, as their country falls into ever deeper isolation. In Iran, the words “anger” and “Britain” fit easily together.

Outside interference is a central fact of modern Iranian history. And for most of the 20th century, Britain was at the center of most of it....."

A strong Islamist showing in Egypt's election need not be cause for panic

It is depressing Islamists have garnered such support, but all is not lost if the Muslim Brotherhood is serious about democracy

Issandr El Amrani for the Arabist, part of the Guardian Comment Network, Monday 5 December 2011

".....This news has profoundly depressed most educated, middle-class Cairenes I know who had hoped that the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak would be followed by a relatively liberal democracy that would be inclusive of moderate Islamists. It is particularly distressing to non-Muslims, who will now fear the Islamisation of public life that has taken place in the last two decades will be accelerated, with full backing from parliament and government leaders in the next few years.....

The success of the Salafists is more of a surprise, and must reflect their grassroots presence in Egyptian society. But it is deeply worrisome, because the Salafists have made clear in their statements that they are an illiberal party with extreme views on many topics, whatever their charitable works are. In my opinion they should have never been legalised, on the same grounds that far-right parties are often forbidden in European countries, and particularly since Egypt has a law against religious parties (either that, or don't have the law).....

Among my Egyptian friends (most decidedly on the liberal side) there is now tremendous worry about a future in which politics is ruled on the one hand by identitarian Islamist politics and on the other by a populist, hyper-nationalistic army......"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

محنة الإسلاميين

محنة الإسلاميين
عبد الحليم قنديل

"قد يصح أن نندهش من المندهشين لفوز الإسلاميين في الانتخابات العربية الجارية، فقد فازوا بنسبة 40' في تونس، وفازوا بنسبة أقل في الانتخابات المغربية الأخيرة، ويفوزون بنسبة مكتسحة في الانتخابات المصرية الجارية، وليس في ذلك مفاجأة سياسية من أي نوع، فالنتيجة ذاتها مرجحة في أي قطر عربي قد تجري به انتخابات الآن .
وقد نخاطر بتوقع ما سيجري بعد الفوز الانتخابي الكبير للإسلاميين، فسوف يحكم هؤلاء في الأقطار العربية، سوف يشكلون الحكومات، وربما يصنعون الرؤساء، ولكن دون مقدرة ظاهرة على إحداث فارق حقيقي، سوف يراهم الناس في كراسي الحكم، وهم أكثر براجماتية وأقل مبدئية، ولن يكون بوسعهم تقديم حلول جذرية، بل وربما تتفاقم أزمات الاقتصاد والمجتمع مع حكمهم، وتنخفض شعبيتهم بإطراد، وتتراجع نسب فوزهم في الانتخابات اللاحقه، هذا كله متوقع 'إلا إذا'.
و 'إلا إذا' هذه هي التحدي الأكبر الذي يواجه الإسلاميين، فالثقافة التي يحملونها معادية بطبيعتها للتغيير والتنمية والتحديث، وهنا لا يمكن التعميم بذات القدر، فحركة النهضة في تونس تبدو أنضج بكثير، بينما تبدو التفاعلات الداخلية في جماعة الإخوان المصرية أكثر تعثرا، ويبدو 'حزب العدالة والتنمية' الإسلامي المغربي في حالة وسطى، وخارج الجماعات الإخوانية المنشأ تبدوا المشكلة أكبر، يبدو السلفيون المصريون مثلا في حالة بدائية وصحراوية تماما، أفكارهم تخاصم العصر بالجملة، وأراؤهم تثير العجب، والفزع، ومن نوع منع نشر صور مرشحاتهم، وإحلال صور أزواجهن محلها، أو وضع وردة مكان الصورة، أو ستر الأهرامات والآثار ببطانيات، أو من نوع حل المشكلات الاقتصادية بالغزوات وجلب السبايا، أو من نوع جواز أكل لحم العفاريت، أو إلى غيرها من أراء وفتاوى غاية في الشذوذ، تخاصم العقل وصحيح الإسلام، وتوقعهم في التهلكة السياسية إن حكموا، وإن يكن هؤلاء ليسوا من النوع الإسلامي المرشح للوصول إلى الحكم الآن، فالجماعات الإخوانية على اختلاف مراحل تطورها أسبق قدما، وتنتظرها محنة الحكم، وربما لا ينجحون فيها 'إلا إذا' تحولوا إلى شئ آخر تماما، أو أن يتحول عنهم الناس المقبلين عليهم الآن .
وليس صحيحا أن الإسلاميين لم يحكموا في العالم العربي من قبل، لا نتحدث هنا عن السعودية ونظم الخليج، ونظم الحكم فيها تقول أنها تحكم بالشريعة، والمحصلة كما نعرف، نظم حكم ديناصورية ناهبة، وتحكم بشرائع الأمريكيين لا بشريعة الله، وقد يكون من الظلم أن نحكم على الإسلاميين العرب بفساد وتخلف النظم الخليجية، لكن الإسلاميين حكموا في أقطار عربية أخرى، وسواء كان هؤلاء من منشأ سني أو من منشأ شيعي ، حكمت الأحزاب الدينية الشيعية في العراق بعد الاحتلال، وثبت أنها مجرد جماعات لصوص، وفي الصومال حكم الإسلاميون في السنوات الأخيرة، وكانت النتيجة مزيدا من هلاك وفناء الصومال، واشتعال الحرب الأهلية بين 'المحاكم الإسلامية' إخوانية النزعة، و'حركة شباب المجاهدين' السلفية الأقرب إلى فكر تنظيم القاعدة، وفي السودان حكمت حركة حسن الترابي إخوانية المنشأ، وعلى مدى زاد إلى الآن عن عشرين سنة، والمحصلة كما ترى، تحسن اقتصادي طفيف، ومقابل تفكيك السودان، وتفكيك الحركة الإسلامية نفسها، وخروج الترابي نفسه إلى خلاء المعارضة، واستيلاء المشير البشير على غالب كوادر الحركة الإسلامية القديمة، ودمجها في نظام حكم لا يغرى أحدا بتقليده، وقد يقال أن هؤلاء الإسلاميين فشلوا لأنهم وصلوا للحكم بغير الطريق الديمقراطي، وهو اعتراض فيه بعض الصحة، وبرغم أنه يخالف دعاوى هؤلاء عن أنفسهم، وعن شعبيتهم الجارفة، وعن حكمهم بالشريعة طبعا .
المعنى: أن خرافة عدم تجريب حكم الإسلاميين لا أساس لها، وقد يكون وصولهم للحكم هذه المرة بالطريق الانتخابي فيه جديد، ولو كان في الشكل أكثر من المضمون، ومجرد الفوز الانتخابي للإسلاميين حدث لا يستهان به، ويثير المخاوف إلى حد الفزع عند قطاعات من الرأي العام العربي، بينما تبدو مخاوف الإدارة الأمريكية أقل، وهي ذات الإدارة التي دعمت نظم حكم يرثها الإسلاميون الآن، والمفارقة تحتاج إلى تفسير، وليس صعبا تبين حقيقة التفسير، فللأمريكيين مصالح دائمة لا أصدقاء دائمين، ولا يهمهم أن يكون الحاكم بذقن ثقيلة أو خفيفة، وعدا خلافات تبقى حول الموضوع الإسرائيلي، تبدو الإدارة الأمريكية مطمئنة تماما لحكم الإسلاميين، والسبب ظاهر، فهؤلاء الإسلاميين أقرب لشريعة السوق، وإن أطلقوا على اقتصاد الخصخصة اسم الاقتصاد الإسلامي، وقد توالت ظواهر ترحيب الأمريكيين والاوروبيين بفوز الإسلاميين، وبدأت جولات الحوار النشيط، وتوالت الأحاديث عن خيبة الليبراليين، وعن ' ليبرالية ' الإسلاميين المتزايدة، فهؤلاء الأخيرون ـ براجماتيون جدا، وما يكون حراما في دهر يتحول إلى حلال زلال في ثانية، وهم قوة يمينية بامتياز، لكنهم أكثر حيوية بمراحل من اليمين الليبرالي ذي المنشأ الفكري الغربي، واستفادوا في صعودهم من ظروف استجدت على مسرح العالم والمنطقة، استفادوا من الانقلاب في مصر بالذات على مشروع النهضة والتصنيع والتنمية والتوحيد وعدالة التوزيع، وتحول المجتمعات العربية من طبقات وفئات إلى غبار بشري، وسيادة مشاعر البؤس واليأس، والانقطاع عن سباق العصر، وقد خاطب الإسلاميون بؤس المجتمع كجمعية خيرية، كما خاطبوا يأس المجتمع كجمعية دينية، ولم تكن نظم الحكم العائلي تمانع في الدعوة الدينية، ولا في العمل الخيري، وهو ما أدى لتضخم أدوار وموارد المجموعات الدينية على اختلافها، فقد تضخم دور الكنيسة المصرية في الفترة ذاتها التالية على تصفية المشروع الناصري، كما تضخم دور التيار الإسلامي، وانتفخت عضلاته المالية والتنظيمية خلال أربعين سنة مضت، وكان طبيعيا مع كسر القيود على حريات السياسة، كان طبيعيا أن يجري التصريف السياسي لطاقة هائلة اجتمعت من موارد دينية وخيرية، وأن يبدو فوز الإسلاميين قدرا لا فكاك منه في أول انتخابات تجرى، لكنه الفوز الذي يقود إلى اختبار، أو إلى محنة، لا نقصد هنا محنة المجتمع، بل محنة الإسلاميين الفائزين بالذات، محنة التكيف مع تجربة حكم مراقب ديمقراطيا وشعبيا، محنة الامتحان العملي، وعند الامتحان يكرم المرء أو يهان.

Activists: US-born Syrian blogger (Razan Ghazawi) arrested

 Activists say a U.S.-born Syrian blogger has been arrested at the Syrian-Jordanian border while on her way to attend a workshop for advocates of press freedoms in the Arab world.
A statement issued by the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression said Razan Ghazzawi was arrested by police and immigration officials at the border. She was on her way to Amman to attend the conference as a representative of the center.
The Local Coordination Committees activist network confirmed her arrest Sunday.
Ghazzawi is a human rights advocate and had been documenting violations and arrests in Syria since the start of the uprising againstPresident Bashar Assad in March.
She is one of the few Syrian activists who blogged under her real name.

Delerium: Sword of Islam

For Tony :)

Osama, Where Are You When the Salafis Need You!

Osama, Where Are You When the Egyptian Salafis Need You!

Al-Jazeera Video: Israel debates restrictions on civil liberties

"As millions of people in the Arab world fight for greater democratic rights, Israel appears to be restricting some of its freedoms.

Proposed laws would allow for harsh penalties to be imposed on media organisations.

Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley reports from Tel Aviv."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Are you worried about Islamists' win in some Arab countries?

With about 500 responding so far, 85% said no.