30 January to 3 February

Many senior members of the Israeli army warned against premature action against Iran, as the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are defending. According to them, Israel has not quite evaluated the consequences of such action, which may include adverse effects, as boosting the popularity of Ahmadinejad in the Iranian population. Those divisions within the military leadership make it difficult to prognostic about the possibility of an Israeli strike.

Osama Diab analyzes the probable causes and circumstances surrounding the tragedy occurred Thursday in Port Said, between supporters of Al Masry, Club of Port Said, and Al Ahly of Cairo. He said the security forces that are sufficiently numerous to control this type of event. Their absence could be due to a calculation designed to create a climate of insecurity, intended to justify military forces intervention and legitimate the power of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Egyptian actor Adel Imam, star of the Arab cinema, was sentenced to three months in prison for « defaming Islam » by a Cairo court. Worth noticing : he is not prosecuted for recent events, but for his role in a play in 1985, and for the role of a fundamentalist played in a movie in 1994. Adel Imam yet recognized as a committed actor, had never been questioned before.

Noting the shift in European opinion between the enthusiasm of early spring Arab and today’s skepticism, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton stresses the need for the EU to continue supporting the democratization movements. It notes the importance of continuing dialogue with the Islamists emerged victorious from the polls, in order to create an atmosphere of dialogue and trust between partners. Democracy will not come directly from the polls, but Ashton promised that the EU will be stay present in support throughout the process of democratization, although it ought to be long and difficult.