October 25 to 29, 2010

– New controversy over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (Nouvelle polémique autour du Tribunal spécial sur le Liban)  (28/10/2010) – RFI

On the occasion of the visit of the President of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri on Thursday in France, Nicolas Sarkozy reaffirmed his support to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) created by the United Nations. This position occurred the day after an incident in Beirut when investigators were denied access to the archives of a hospital located in the southern suburb of Beirut, which is Hezbollah’s bastion. The latter denies the decisions of a court he considers endangering the Lebanese sovereignty. The issue of TSL seems poised to perturb the fragile equilibrium in Lebanon.

– A bomb to defuse (Une bombe à désamorcer ) (27/10/2010) – Al Ahram Hebdo

An international conference was held in Cairo under the auspices of several and European and Arab ministries of Foreign Affairs to discuss « prospects for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament » and in particular the idea of making the Middle East « a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.  » Long been carried by Egypt, this project aims in particular unofficial arsenal of Israel. This year, the United States have accepted the implementation of the project in 2012, without accepting Israel to be singled out. Besides the military denuclearization, the conference aimed also to encourage the development of civilian nuclear infrastructure, especially in the Arab world.

– Exodus. The changing map of the Middle East (26/10/2010) – The Independent

Robert Fisk highlights the situation of Christian communities in the Middle East as a synod was held in Rome at the invitation of Benedict XVI. Their exodus is of enormous proportions in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and especially in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Christians in the Middle East are often portrayed as privileged bridges between the West and the East. But nobody can deny that there are problems between Muslims and Christians in the Arab world. Indeed, except in Lebanon, Christians are often treated as second class citizens. And this reality is often ignored by Western Christians.

– Loose Ends: Iraq’s Security Forces Between U.S. Drawdown and Withdrawal(26/10/2010) – International Crisis Group

The ICG provides an analysis on the reconstruction of Iraqi security forces between US drawdown and withdrawal. In a podcast released by the think tank on their report, the Deputy Director of the Middle East, Joost Hilterman notice that they have gained in capacity what they have lost cohesion. Security forces undergo a permanent risk of politicization, which makes them fragile and unable to sustain a long power struggle. These questions must be addressed by the future Iraqi parliament and government but also by the international community, as said Robert Malley, director of the MENA program for ICG.

– What Europe Must Do to Ensure a two-state deal (Fall 2010) – Europe’s World

In December 2009, the 27 Europeans gave their support to Salam Fayyad’s plan of the construction of a Palestinian state by 2011. Is this position tenable for an EU which has never dared to take a firm stand towards one or the other party? Moreover, the Palestinian territory seems too fragmented to be able to sustain a viable state. Muriel and Jan Busse Asseburg the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (German Institute for International and Security Affairs) analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the European position in the peace process in the Middle East.