March 22 to 26, 2010

– Netanyahu will have to choose (Netanyahou devra choisir) (26/3/2010) – La Libre Belgique

Netanyahu thinks he made a step forward a « middle ground » between U.S. demands and requirements of his national electorate. Yet this is not the opinion of the White House for which the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama brought nothing new. Prime Minister of Israel will yet have to choose between his nationalist creed and a diplomatic revival.

– Iraqi tension rises as poll candidates dispute result on eve of election(25/3/2010) – The Guardian

In Iraq, neither of the antagonists do recognize the election results if he loses. Nouri al-Maliki, the outgoing prime minister, condemned the way the 13 million votes had been counted and said he would not prevent the outbreak of violence. His challenger, Iyad Allawi and his mixed coalition received a large support from the large Sunni community. Neither coalition leaders is guaranteed to take the place of Prime Minister if he wins in the light of the difficult negotiations to form a government. The situation seems unstable on the eve of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

– Syria’s summit ambitions (25-31/3/2010) – Al Ahram Weekly

With the approach of the Arab summit to be held on 27 and 28 March in Tripoli, Syria places its pawns in order to confirm its position as regional leader. President Bashar Al-Assad met on Wednesday his Libyan counterpart Muammar Gaddafi to prepare the summit and to find ways to prevent possible blockages of the summit. For its part, the Syrian Vice-President Farouk al Sharae toured the Arab capitals to solve the eventual disputes before D-Day. Syria wants the summit to focuses on subjects receiving almost unanimous consent as the issue of Palestinian reconciliation or the Israeli military threat. Following three years of diplomatic cold between Syria and Egypt, Damascus also wants to resume relations with Cairo. But before being accepted as a regional leader, Syria will have to explain its position on certain issues such as its relations with Iran or Hezbollah.

– Towards a Third Palestinian Intifada? (23/10/2010) – Arab Reform Bulletin

Are the more and more frequent clashes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank predicting the rise of a third intifada? Hossam Ezzedine, journalist from Ramallah, explains how the divisions within Palestinian society between Fatah and Hamas do not make possible a new intifada. Hamas calls for a new armed uprising. For its part, Fatah is calling for passive resistance and is suspecting the Israeli authorities to provoke violence’s to hide the ongoing diplomatic crisis with the United States.

– Hissa Hilal, Saudi Woman Blast Muslim Clerics On Live TV (22/3/2010) –Huffington Post

In a televised competition of Arabic poetry, modeled as ‘American Idol’ on channel Live TV, Hissa Hillal recited a poem attacking ferociously Muslim clerics. The Saudi woman, whose eyes were the only visible parts to viewers, rebelled against the Muslim preachers « who sit in the position of power, but are ultimately frightening people with their fatwas, or religious edicts, and « preying like a wolf » on those seeking peace « .

– Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to New Head Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb(21/3/2010) – Asharq Al-Awsat (English)

In an interview with Mohammed Khalil in Cairo, the new Sheikh of Al Azhar, Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb talked in Asharq al-Awsat about his succession to Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed al-Tantawi, who passed away last week. The new leader of Al-Azhar is known as a moderate and a critic of the Muslim Brotherhood. His program will focus on strengthening the education of a moderate Islam based on tolerance and to train generations of students able to cope with the changes of modernity. « The new Sheikh would also strengthen interfaith dialogue with the West, initiated by Al Azhar a few years ago.