September 20 to 24, 2010

– Last call for the freeze / The Desperate Have Nothing to Lose (24/9/2010) –Haaretz

Yossi Sarid highlights the challenges of September 26 when the moratorium on settlements building in the West Bank will end. He said that if Benjamin Netanyahu is not able to extend the freeze on settlements, it will not do more in negotiating the terms of a peace agreement. In case of resumption of the construction, Mahmoud Abbas will get out of the negotiation table. If he does not get out of it, he will come back humiliated by his fellow citizens. In any case, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said he did not fear an outbreak of violence regarding the little hope placed by the Palestinians in the negotiations.

– Obama calls on Arab countries to support the peace process (Obama appelle les pays arabes à soutenir le processus de paix) (24/9/2010) – France 24

At the tribune of the General Assembly of the United Nations on Thursday, the U.S. President has invited his Arab counterparts to throw their weight for successful negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, hoping the presence of the State of Palestine to the next annual assembly. In making such a statement before the UN, Obama is showing he wants to use his weight for the outcome of a peace agreement.

– Aren’t we proud? Yes we are (24/9/2010) – Arab News

Hundreds of thousands of young people and families took the streets in the major cities in Saudi Arabia to celebrate the national day. While it has been only five years since September 23 has been chosen to celebrate the foundation of the country, the population seems to have adopted the datum with pride. Following the disturbances last year, the event was marked by the important presence of security forces to ensure the party to run smoothly.

– Contradictory noises (23/9/2010) – The Economist

While the Hamas leadership based in Damascus expressed a few weeks ago a support to a negotiated two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, the Qassam Brigades seem now to have taken up arms. On the other hand, as the ease the blockade of Gaza initiated in June has allowed the economy of the small territory to raise its achievements, the pressure on the Islamic society is increasing strongly. But this campaign of morality has other motives and seems to be also dictated by the concern that Western aid might revive the old merchant elite that the new business class of Hamas sought to supplant.

– The Lebanese Army: Victim Of The Politicians (22/9/2010) – Arab Reform Bulletin

In dressing a protrait of the actions and components of the Armed Forces in Lebanon, Nadim Hasbani highlights the lack of willingness on the part of politicians to strengthen the Lebanese institutions. A strong Lebanese state would indeed prevent feudal political leaders to provide services to their constituents. The lack of an effective planning policy is leading to misuse the foreign aid and to prevent sufficient weapon procurement. In addition a strong Lebanese army would be challenging Hezbollah’s self-proclaimed role of defending the country against Israeli aggression.

– A cartel that has a hard time (Un cartel qui a la vie dure) (22-28 September 2010) – Al Ahram Hebdo

50 years after its creation, OPEC is facing many challenges such as the restarting oil potential of Iraq and the evolution of western demand and its policies against global warming. But OPEC is not buried so far and still has a considerable influence on the oil market, controlling roughly 40% of the world production of hydrocarbons. The Gulf States have already begun thinking about the post-oil era, trying to find ways to break with the rent economy.