August 16 to 20, 2010

– Israelis and Palestinians to Resume Talks, Officials Say (20/8/2010) – New York Times

The NY Times announces the forthcoming resumption of direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, under the auspices of the Quartet (UN, EU, USA and Russia). American diplomacy and the tireless efforts of the Special Envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell seem to have borne fruit. The Palestinians seem to have been reassured by the guarantee of an agreement within the year, while the Israelis have managed to avoid the application of any preconditions for negotiations, including an extension of the moratorium on the partial settlement, which ends on September 26.

– The Libyan of Lockerbie celebrates the anniversary of his release (Le Libyen de Lockerbie fête l’anniversaire de sa libération) (20/8/2010) – Le Figaro

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi is preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of his release, at a party hosted by Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam. The news caused a stir in Britain and the United States. In fact, Tony Blair was accused of having negotiated the release of the Libyan convicted of Lockerbie bombing against a contract in Libya for BP. The United States, from which a majority of the victims of the attack originated, are particularly concerned. Moreover BP is already in the crosshairs of the Senate for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

– Muslim Brotherhood differs with opposition over pre-election strategy(19/8/2010) – Al Masry Al Youm

Wednesday evening, a meeting between leaders of the different groups and parties of the opposition was convened by the Muslim Brotherhood. At the end of the evening, however, one could note the difficulty of the parties to agree on a common pre-election strategy. The main issue is the participation in elections. Most appear to agree on the condition of « No elections without guarantees » of the opportunity for all to attend. The Muslim Brotherhood, whose electoral weight is the most important but that cannot stand for elections as a political organization, are suspected by other formations to have the will to boycott the elections.

– Saudi Arabian judge asks hospitals to paralyse man (19/8/2010) – The Guardian

A Saudi Arabian judge has asked the opinion of several hospitals in the kingdom about the possibility of inflicting paralysis to a man. The one had caused the paralysis of another man during a fight more than two years ago. This episode illustrates the application of Sharia in Saudi Arabia, where the code « an eye for an eye » is sometimes applied. King Abdullah often tries to curb extremist ideologies used by religious leaders.

– The soldier who humiliated the Palestinians (La soldate qui humiliait les Palestiniens) (18/8/2010) – Courrier International

Earlier this week, photos posted by an Israeli soldier on her Facebook profile were revealed to the media. Eden Abergil titled album « The army, the most beautiful moment of my life, » and posed on them with Palestinian prisoners shackled and blindfolded. These photos are reminiscent of those taken in 2004 at Abu Ghraib prison by a soldier of U.S. troops. The Israeli press has reacted virulently against the soldier attitude, the most newspapers highlighting the culture of dehumanization of the Other arising from the occupation and increasingly common among young people doing their military service.