Middle East

25.08.2009

A just and lasting peace is possible between Palestinians and Israelis

Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Saeb Erakat, said today, 25th August, that a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis was possible. “International law and United Nations resolutions clearly outline how to resolve this conflict. The Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative provide a clear way forward”, said Erakat. »

25.08.2009

Jew elected to Fatah Revolutionary Council

The official list published Saturday of winners in elections to the Revolutionary Council of the Palestinian Fatah movement included 67-year-old Dr. Uri Davis, a Jerusalem-born Jew. He was elected number 31 of 80 members. When his name was announced, members in the auditorium of the Bethlehem school where the conference was being held, applauded long and loud. »

19.08.2009

No new West Bank settlements until 2010

Israel has promised to build no new settlements on the West Bank until the beginning of 2010. The Israeli government says the decision should be seen as a gesture towards the United States. US President Barack Obama reacted positively to the offer, which he described as “a step in the right direction”. He hinted that he now expects a similar gesture from the Palestinians. »

19.08.2009

Israel Declares Shooting of Unarmed American Activist an “Act of War”

In other Mideast news, the Israeli military has declared the shooting of an unarmed American peace activist “an act of war.” The activist, Tristan Anderson, was critically injured when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister directly at his head in March. According to Anderson’s family this would mean that Israel’s government admits that it is at war with civilians. »

19.08.2009

Iraqi Cabinet Backs Referendum on Troop Withdrawal

Iraqi’s government is backing a vote that could force an early US withdrawal. On Monday, the Iraqi cabinet said it would support holding a national referendum over the US-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement. The agreement calls for a US withdrawal by the end of 2011. But if Iraqis reject the timetable, US troops would be forced to begin pulling out nearly one year earlier. »

17.08.2009

Human Rights Watch Calls On Israel to Investigate ‘White Flag’ Shootings of Gaza Civilians

Human Rights Watch released a report last week detailing new evidence of possible Israeli war crimes committed during last winter´s operations in Gaza that left over 1400 Palestinians dead. The report says Israeli soldiers unlawfully shot and killed at least 11 Palestinian civilians, including 5 women and 4 children, who were in groups waving white flags. »

17.08.2009

Global Domestic Policy: Wrong Approaches

The self-appointed Inter Action Council, IAC, chaired by German ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt had its 27th Annual Meeting in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia 10-13 May, with 20 other former prime ministers and presidents, many right wing social democrats, attending. They issued a Final Communiqué with a Present State of the World. My comments follow. »

15.08.2009

New Israel-Kurd magazine surprises Arab world

The new magazine ‘Israel-Kurd’ has caused a stir in northern Iraq. To the surprise of many in the Arab world, the second edition also recently made it into the kiosks. A third edition expected for september. Kurdish Iraq is increasingly positioning itself between Israel and the Arab world. It is known that the late Kurdish leader Moustafa Barzani made two visits to Israel. »

13.08.2009

No retaliation for the first time in a thousand years.

New non violent lights looming on the horizon in Iraq. It is a far cry from 2006, when a bomb set off at the sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra killed no one, but ignited a fury at the sacrilege that set off two years of sectarian warfare. This year more than a hundred people were killed, but there was no retaliation. »

11.08.2009

Overhaul of Fatah’s Central Committee opens a new chance for Peace with Israel

In the first poll in 20 years, though Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's continues in office, an important overhaul of Fatah’s Central Committee changed 14 of the 18 members with younger representatives. Fatah’s position has rejected violence and proclaims “two states for two people”. Their main condition is the removal of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank. »

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