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Thursday, March 25, 2004

U.S. may recognize Israeli sovereignty in West Bank

From JTA

The United States is considering recognizing Israeli sovereignty in parts of the West Bank, a Bush administration official said. The official said some sort of recognition of Israeli sovereignty over three West Bank settlement blocs could be part of a withdrawal plan in which Israel would pull out of most of the West Bank. The Palestinians’ failure to be viable peace partners led the Americans to reconsider their prior opposition to such recognition, the official said. “In the current environment, anything is possible,” the official said.

posted at 11:26 PM by Jonathan

Democracy Now!

After noticing a pro-Baathist speaker on MSNBC the other day using the same tired mantra "Democracy must come from within" referring to how the USA cannot "impose" democracy on the Arab world, I started to think........ Ever notice that those who are most concerned about promoting democracy "from within" are also those who are always the most against supporting Arab dissidents. I mean, if democracy must come from within, why aren't there massive protests by Arab-Americans in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, DC condemning Mubarak's authoritarianism? Democracy from within all too often means ..... support for status quo.

posted at 11:19 PM by Jonathan

Syria may be experiencing the warming tremors of a political earthquake



At issue is not only the status of Kurds but a historic challenge to Arab, Turkish, and Iranian societies. They must learn to let minorities live among majorities without effacing their otherness.


....from the Boston Globe

posted at 9:28 PM by Oubai

Women's Rights and Freedom

I have said it before and I will say it again - the future of the Middle East lies with its women, with their untapped talent, with their ability to integrate into the workplace, to dress how they like, to not fear honor killings in certain states, to be able to be presidents and prime ministers. Here are some great photos of a women's group protest in Iraq. The fact that this event took place should be cause for thought for those who think that the "occupation" has brought no benefits to Iraqis.


posted at 7:46 PM by Jonathan

Statehood or Struggle : That is the Palestinian choice

Interesting article about how Palestinian notables realize the futility of violence. Whether this does any good remains to be seen.


posted at 2:17 PM by Jonathan

Will Wonders Never Cease

Never thought I would find myself agreeing with a Qaddafi..... This from the Associated Press:

``Instead of shouting and criticizing the American initiative, you have to bring democracy to your countries, and then there will be no need to fear America or your people,'' said Seif al-Islam Gadhafi. ``The Arabs should either change or change will be imposed on them from outside.''

Seif denied reports that he is a candidate to succeed his father, who rules Libya with little tolerance of opposition.

``Many Arab countries are now following the policy of inheriting the leadership, but there are hundreds of Libyans who are better (suited) than I,'' Seif said.

Seif even praised Israel, saying that unlike Arab countries, sons do not tend to succeed their fathers in power there.

``We don't put the appropriate person in the right place, but Israel is a democratic country,'' told the Al-Jazeera television station.



posted at 2:13 PM by Jonathan

Baath still supporting anti-US terror groups


from the Reform Party of Syria

Middle East Newsline reported March 24 that the CIA has determined that Syria still maintains the operational arms of leading Islamic insurgency groups based in Damascus.

Officials said the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the regime of President Baschar al-Assad has stopped the propaganda arms of Islamic and Palestinian insurgency groups from operating in Damascus. These groups include Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the General Command of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The CIA, according to closed door testimony by CIA director George Tenet to the Senate Intelligence Committee, has determined that groups labeled as terrorist organizations by the US State Department continue to plan and carry out operations from Damascus. Officials said much of the funding for attacks by Hamas, Jihad and Hezbollah inside Israel either originated or were transferred through Syria.

posted at 2:06 PM by Oubai

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