August 8 to 12, 2011

–          Israel’s new settlement plans irk US and EU Al Jazeera – 11/08/2011

The White House on Thursday urged Israel and the Palestinians to avoid any actions that jeopardize efforts to restart stalled peace talks while EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday expressed her « deep regret » over Israel’s approval of more new settler homes in east Jerusalem. Once again, these weak reactions from international community will certainly encourage Israeli government to build up more and more settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

–          Exclusive: A Visit to Hama, the Rebel Syrian City That Refused to Die) Time  – 11/08/2011
This is a city used to adversity. The bloody events of 1982 — when the President’s father and predecessor, Hafez Assad, destroyed the city for its Islamist insurrection — are still vivid. Almost every family in this city of some 800,000 lost relatives during that blood-soaked period.  An exclusive document from TIME.

–          Protests Force Israel to Confront Wealth Gap The New York Times – 12/07/2011

The handful of wealthy families who dominate the Israeli economy , The “tycoons,” as they are known even in Hebrew, are suddenly facing enraged scrutiny as middle-class families complain that a country once viewed as an example of intimate equality today has one of the largest gaps between rich and poor in the industrialized world.

–          Libya: the specter of civil war in Somalia (Libye: le spectre de la guerre civile à la somalienne) Slate – 12/08/2011

In addition to the clash between pro-and anti-Gaddafi, we cannot exclude that the factions, still united in the National Transitional Council, can oppose each other using, where appropriate, to arms a little just like what happened in Somalia in the late 1980s. A nightmare scenario that NATO members do not want because it would undermines the image of unity and solidarity of the rebellion against Gaddafi.

–          Ramadan in Tunisia : freedom of worship rediscovered or Islamic activism? (Ramadan en Tunisie: liberté de culte retrouvée ou activisme islamiste?) La Libre Belgique – 12/08/2011

The first Ramadan without Ben Ali has seen a resurgence of religious practice in Tunisia, where mosques and Madrasahs have never known so much affluence, a phenomenon that raised fears of Islamic activism, two months before the elections. “Excess of religiosity can be explained by a return of the repressed. The former regime exerted heavy pressure and strict police surveillance of mosques, » told AFP the anthropologist Iqbal Al-Gharbi.