January 10 to January 14, 2011

– Youth rises (La jeunesse se soulève)
10/01/2011 – La Libre

This article analyzes in detail the uprisings and their reasons for being in Tunisia and Algeria. Unemployment, lack of employment and future prospects but also the Tunisian regime’s contempt for its people has fueled the indignation of Tunisians while in Algeria, the sharp rise in prices of essential commodities has been the source of unrest. These are mostly young unemployed graduates who have been the engine of mobilization in both countries. But in the case of Tunisia, where basic freedoms are the most cynically denied, the movement has spread to other strata of society, also stifled by the regime. In both countries, power and national wealth are confiscated by a small circle close to the regime, without investment in the future of the country and its people.

– Lebanon faces a new political crisis (Le Liban confronté à une nouvelle crise politique)
13/01/2011 – RFI

Following the mass resignation of 11 ministers of Hezbollah or allies, the coalition government collapsed. This resignation followed the refusal of Saad Hariri to disavow the Special Tribunal for Lebanon before the publication of the indictment. Saudi Arabia and Syria had yet led mediation to bring an inter-Lebanese agreement and prevent the country from slipping back into a political crisis but Washington would have obstructed the process, according to Lebanese press. The outcome of this new crisis and the formation of a new government are even more uncertain than the majority in Parliament has been deconstructed by the recent rally of Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader, to the pro-Syrian camp.

– EU diplomats say East Jerusalem should be treated as Palestinian capital
10/01/2011 – Haaretz

A report by the European heads of diplomatic missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah considers East Jerusalem should be treated as the capital of the Palestinian state and recommends encouraging a boycott of Israeli products from East Jerusalem. The report, completed last month, was sent to the main body of the EU foreign policy, the Political and Security Committee in Brussels but was not published directly given the sensitive nature of its contents. The recommendations in the report are unprecedented and are a basis for sanctions against the State of Israel.

– Politicians pass blame, call for domestic solution
13/01/2011 – Daily Star

Lebanese politicians seem to agree on the need for inter-Lebanese dialogue to overcome the political crisis triggered by the resignation of Hezbollah ministers. Politicians of all stripes have urged that no group does appeal to the streets to support his claims and the opposition said it was not his intention.

– Tunisia: Ben Ali’s pledges, symbols of a regime out of hand (Tunisie : les gages de Ben Ali, symboles d’un « régime aux abois »)
12/01/2011 – Le Monde

In order to find a solution to popular revolts, the Tunisian government announced the dismissal of Interior Minister and the release of all persons imprisoned since the beginning of the movement. The paper gives an analysis of the motivations of the pledges given by President Ben Ali. His fluctuation between forms of brutal repression and appeasement gestures characterized by economic stimulus and the call for national dialogue, is symptomatic of the weakness of power and his desire to regain control. But everyone realizes that this is a diversionary discourse and mobilization does not weaken. The pledges seem more intended to appease foreign allies and to respond to American pressure.
Regarding the possibility of a collapse of the regime, it is obvious that it is not finished as a system, but it no longer has popular supports. Its legitimacy is now reduced to zero and the post-Ben Ali era is currently preparing.

– “The firing of rockets into Israel will stop” said Hamas (Les tirs de roquettes en Israël vont cesser, dit le Hamas
12/01/2011 – L’Express

The leaders of Palestinian armed groups from Gaza to Hamas said on Wednesday they would stop firing rockets into Israel not to provoke a new offensive by the IDF, thus complying with the commitments made two years ago to stop firing rockets or mortars against Israel.

Tunisians cautious on concessions
14/01/2011 – Al Jazeera

After a historic speech of President Ben Ali on Thursday 13 January 2011, promising to cut the price of staple foods, to open the country to political freedoms and an end to censorship of the media and the Internet, Tunisians expressed their joy at their first victory but remain cautious. After 23 years of total control and repression that culminated in the recent events, many are skeptical about the sincerity of the speech and see it as a diversion to prepare a phase of better organized repression.