Edito 2008

  • 2008121212/12/2008
    Tensions between Cyprus and Turkey: the energy issue in watermarks
    On November 14th , Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, sent out two letters, one to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon another to the European Commission in which he denounced one “serious incident” which took place in the Mediterranean Sea. Nicosia deplored three additional cases in late November. In those letters Cyprus accuses Ankara of harassing its...
  • 2008120808/12/2008
    The European Parliament and the defense of a certain coherence of the EU
    The European deputies were expected to vote this Thursday an agreement to strengthen the relations between the EU and Israel in several fields. However, on Wednesday, a majority of MEPs voted to postpone the vote, as required by certain associations and NGOs, despite the recommendation of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Are MEPs opposed to the...
  • 2008112828/11/2008
    The mirage of the Blue Card
    Entered one year ago in the European landscape, the Blue card just passed an additional cap: the report of the MEP Ewa Klamt was approved Thursday 20 November by the European Parliament. But the “European Green card” does not enthusiasm. On a positive point of view, one can speak of visibility, simplification and standardization of administrative...
  • 2008112121/11/2008
    Piracy at the gates of the Mediterranean
    The capture of the Sirius Star last week, in the Gulf of Aden, has once again demonstrated the total lack of control of the area towards Somali pirates, who are more and more trained, informed and organized. The attack of the super-tanker 800 km away from the Kenyan coast, despite the French, British, Russian and...
  • 2008111414/11/2008
    Absurd tolerance
    Absurd is the story opposing the Muslim community of Jerusalem and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The latter projects to build a Museum of Tolerance, designed as a place of education and a social laboratory. Only false note: the future Center for Human Dignity will be built on an ancient Muslim cemetery. Welcome in Absurdity! A...
  • 2008110707/11/2008
    Euro-Arab versus Euromed
    This week, Europe was looking South because of two events: the Arab week in the European Parliament, and the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Union for the Mediterraneanon November 3 and 4 in Marseille. First, the European Parliament lived its « Arab week » as part of the year for Intercultural Dialogue. Over the meetings, ideas...
  • 2008103131/10/2008
    U.S. and EU in the Middle East : future prospects
    In the light of the American raid carried out past Sunday in Syria and the reactions it has generated in the United States and Europe, it is possible to draw some conclusions and a few predictions on the future of relations between the two powers and their respective influences in the Middle East. Can we...
  • 2008101717/10/2008
    The peace into action
    Past weekend, the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) held its annual plenary Assembly in Jordan. In addition to the future of the institution, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the theme of the parliamentary debates. The statement issued by the Assembly touches on many sensitive issues such as settlements, the Palestinian economic situation, and so on. Upon reading...
  • 2008101010/10/2008
    Rising power of the military in Turkey
    Logically following last Friday attack which killed 17 soldiers in the barracks Aktütün, the anti-terrorist measures have been tightened in Turkey. The military require freedom of action that is uncomfortable for many. Some speak of backsliding on the progress made concerning Human Rights and Freedoms. The leaders are trying to reassure, but the concern persists....
  • 2008092626/09/2008
    The Israeli extreme right in a spiral of violence
    A pacifist attacked for his ideas of compromise with the Palestinians, a force raid on a Palestinian village in response to an aggression … the level of violence from the extreme Israeli right is increasing more and more. Opposites in a first time only to the Palestinians, in a second time to Israeli Defense Forces,...
  • 2008091919/09/2008
    Israel: democracy versus stability
    And what had to happen, happened: here comes Tzipi Livni at the head of Kadima, and perhaps soon at the head of the State of Israel. The one that from a long time was calling for the resignation of Ehud Olmert has managed to succeed despite having been neck and neck with her competitor, Shaul Mofaz. Good thing,...
  • 2008091212/09/2008
    Tell me about your war
    The film Waltz with Bashir was released this week in Belgium. Let’s come back on the conditions of his release on the occasion of the 61st Cannes Film Festival in past May. Most critics were positive, even laudatory towards the third feature-length film of the Israeli director Ari Folman. Many had also sounded it out about...
  • 2008090505/09/2008
    Ramadan Kareem !
    The Muslims began on Monday the month of Ramadan (on Sunday in Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday in Iran). Month of fasting, deprivation, inner thoughts, spiritual depth, tightening of family ties, it is a very special period for the community of Muslims. But talking about the community Muslims consists in addressing very different realities. To illustrate...
  • 2008082828/08/2008
    Free Gaza : a success
    Since the beginning of Israel’s boycott of the Gaza Strip, men and women have sought ways to break it. In the eyes of some of them, mails and demonstrations were no longer sufficient. The idea of Free Gaza was born : a maritime operation to circumvent the Israeli blockade of the territory. In an intelligent...
  • 2008081414/08/2008
    The challenge of peace in Lebanon
    The good news aren’t frequent on the Middle Eastern scene, but this week the diplomatic rapprochement between Lebanon and Syria can be considered as such. This is just the beginning, the road is still long and undoubtedly fraught with pitfalls before actually normalized relations to be established between the two countries, but the hope is there and...
  • 2008080808/08/2008
    « Democratic » Coup d’Etat in Mauritania
    Mauritanian President Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdallahi was overthrown Wednesday by a military coup. The General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, head of the uprising, and three other members of the presidential guard had been dismissed that morning. The President suspected them to lead the parliamentary rebellion which had resulted Monday in the secession of fifty parliamentarians...
  • 2008080101/08/2008
    Wreck of Ehud Olmert, bad weather for peace
    If Ehud Olmert’s resignation is for nobody a surprise and even delights many, its consequences raise numerous questions. Head of the young Kadima party, Olmert has deeply tarnished its image. A disastrous management of the war against Hezbollah during summer 2006, a gradual dissolution of the ruling coalition and multiple corruption cases caused the discredit...
  • 2008072525/07/2008
    Obama: perspective of an ambiguous policy in the Middle East
    These last few days the European press has been watching the Democrat candidate to the White House’s tour in the Middle East. His successive visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Israel and Palestine have caused much ink flow. Actually, the positioning of Barak Obama on the international scene raises many questions. Sounded to be the candidate...
  • 2008071414/07/2008
    “Barcelona Process: A Union for the Mediterranean”
    The diplomatic success hide the lack of consistency of the project Well done by Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday inside the Grand Palais in Paris. The Union for theMediterranean was launched in an imposing way and in an atmosphere of enthusiasm out of the ordinary. But let’s not give in to the temptation of a naive and little cautious...
  • 2008071111/07/2008
    The Union of Mediterranean on the starting blocks: fear of a false start
    D-Day-3 before the launch of the project of the Union of Mediterranean, and one impression: the enthusiasm for a new start in the Mediterranean policy of the EU has never seemed so low. The new Union – which is not really one – could have hit the headlines of the European news if the Irish « No »...
  • 2008052323/05/2008
    Israel-Syria: a new Annapolis
    Two days ago, Israel and Syria simultaneously announced the resumption of peace negotiations between their two countries under Turkish mediation. Although it was sensed by many, the announcement has surprised more than one in Israel and internationally. The timing indeed poses many questions. Last 27th of November Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas relaunched the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in Annapolis. Six...
  • 2008042525/04/2008
    The new springtime of the Euromed
    The idea of this editorial is born of an observation made these recent weeks: things are moving on the Euro-Mediterranean scene. It is therefore clear that the Union for the Mediterranean M. Sarkozy, although still in draft form, has awakened an enthusiasm  that wasd sleeping in recent years. Conferences, meetings, dialogues of all kinds succeed at a...
  • 2008041111/04/2008
    Situation under pressure in Egypt
    This week the European press has shown another face of Egypt. Accustomed to hear about this country when an archaeological discovery happens, or on the occasion of an official visit, very few Europeans perceive the true situation of this country: population growth, poverty, authoritarian and irresponsible government. Tuesday April 8th municipal elections were held. On this occasion, the...
  • 2008032828/03/2008
    An Arab summit not very promising
    Before getting started, the Arab summit being held this weekend in Damascus has already shown its limits. The most obvious being that it is intended to solve the problem of Lebanon even though the country of the Cedar took the decision to boycott the meeting. In doing so, the government of Fouad Siniora intends to protest against...
  • 2008031414/03/2008
    The Union for the Mediterranean’s project accepted, but in which shape?
    In view of the forthcoming French presidency of the European Union, Nicolas Sarkozy came to defend his project of Union for the Mediterranean at the EU summit initiated last night in Brussels and continuing today. While winning every day in credibility, this new initiative remains controversial within the European Union. From today to the founding meeting of...
  • 2008022929/02/2008
    The destructive action of the Evangelists in Algeria
    According to an article published last Monday by Le Figaro, the situation of Christians in Algeria today is very worrying. Many of them were arrested for proselytizing when their only crime is to pray outside a place of worship, or simply being a Christian and likely to influence Muslims in their faith. In February 2006, a law...
  • 2008021515/02/2008
    Lebanon on the brink of chaos
    Following the assassination in Damascus of a important men of the armed wing ofHezbollah, Imad Moughnieh, Hassan Nasrallah publicly declared an « open war » on Israel and accused it of having perpetrated the attack. Yet despite this rising tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, it is now more a matter of internal instability in Lebanon. Indeed, three years...
  • 2008020101/02/2008
    Olmert’s government on a tightrope, peace also…
    Published Wednesday, the Winograd report on the management of the Lebanon war of 2006 deals a further blow to the government of Ehud Olmert. Although the commission of inquiry led by Judge Eliyahu Winograd does not explicitly recommend the resignation of the Israeli Prime Minister, it underlines its mismanagement of the war against Hezbollah. Ehud Olmert has already...
  • 2008012525/01/2008
    Who’s managing Gaza?
    The last few days have been marked by a situation of increasing concern in the Gaza Strip, following the total blockade exercised by Israel on this piece of land. The humanitarian situation there already bad as normal, this sudden disruption of supply has quickly provoked an uprising of the population of Gaza. Hamas did nothing to restore...
  • 2008011010/01/2008
    The peace from above and the peace from below
    This week witnessed the start of the tour of GW Bush in the Middle East, and in particular his visit to Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories. The American President said he believed in the process of Annapolis, and that he hoped to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace by the end of the year. Yet nothing seems less secure. Indeed, December...
  • 2008010404/01/2008
    US Elections 2008: wich future for Iraq?
    At the dawning of the year 2008, the media offered their share of retrospectives and fireworks, but they also paid special attention to the first round of which will represent the topic of the year 2008: the American elections . What interests the rest of the world in this event, it is not the new...
  • 2008010202/01/2008
    Annapolis paradoxes
    Edito 21/12/2007 Donors for the Palestinian state met Monday in Paris. The result is unexpected: 7.4 billion dollars will be allocated for the construction of the future Palestinian state during the next three years. The effort of Annapolis continues and the international community seems to believe that, rather than let first hear the media. Yet one...
  • 2008010101/01/2008
    Annapolis : is EU a real actor in the conference?
    Edito 14/12/2007 Following the American initiative, Israelis and Palestinians met on November 27 in Annapolis. The delegations were able to reach agreement on the fact of holding negotiations with a view to reaching the construction of a Palestinian state and that before the end of 2008. And as expected, negotiations have started this Wednesday, December...