MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Support the Free Muslim March against Terror
MidEastWeb is proud to endorse a march against terror and for freedom in the Middle East, organized by the Free Muslims and open to all. Decent people everywhere understand that there will be little hope for a better world if we allow terrorists to dictate the agenda. Details of the march are given here: http://freemuslims.org/news/article.php?article=542.
The march will be held May 14 from 1-5 PM, beginning at Freedom Plaza in Washington DC, Pennsylvania Ave between 13th and 14th St. NW. Contact information - 202-776-7190. If you can get to Washington - please be there!
The Free Muslims have called on other organizations to join in endorsing the march, and MidEastWeb for Coexistence joins in their call. If your group is concerned about peace in the Middle East and a better future for everyone, please do not miss this opportunity. Contact President@freemuslims.org or call with your endorsement.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Palestine and Israel - Is baby peace process progressing or lulled into complacency?
The Middle East comes into strong focus when there is "hot news." Airliners crash into office towers and people rush to find maps showing where all those countries are with the weird names. However, the important things in history probably happen in the "slow news times" when nobody is getting killed. Some very significant, if low key, events happened in the Palestinian-Israeli arena in the past week or so, some good and some bad news for peace, and some news that can be good or bad. The Palestinian factions met in Cairo and declared a "lull" - a tahadiyeh. Nobody knows what this means exactly. In practice, it seems to mean that Israelis and Palestinian forces continue to catch would-be suicide bombers, but there are less of them than before. Even as one spokesman was saying it is an indefinite lull, another said it would last to the end of the year, and the Gaza Popular Resistance Committees said they weren't bound by this "lull" at all.
Israel and Palestine - Developmental Problems of Baby Peace Process Jr.
The good news is that (so far) relative quiet has prevailed between Israelis and Palestinians. The bad news is that there has been no real progress for a long time, despite lots of meetings and some Israeli and Palestinian gestures. Things that don't happen rarely make news, but they can be cause for alarm. A growing child who does not talk or walk by age 5 should arouse concern in its parents. The renewed peace process, Peace Process Jr., is several months old now, but it is still lying in its crib more or less helpless, at an age when we would have expected it to begin doing things. At least, it smiles occasionally, which is a positive sign, but that is about all it does.
Perhaps it is inevitable that eventually the rejuvenated peace process will founder on the polls-apart stands of Israel and the Palestinians regarding core issues such as refugees, land and Jerusalem. However, the current impasse is not related to those issues. It is due to concrete things that Israel could do, but is not doing, to alleviate the onerous nature of the occupation and to show Palestinians that the way of non-violence advocated by Abu-Mazen can bring real benefits, as opposed to the Intifadah, which brought only poverty, death, suffering and delegitimization. Without such elementary improvements that will make life tolerable for everyone and give some hope to the Palestinians, we will not even be able to have a pragmatic "modus vivendi," let alone a final settlement. [more]
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
"Beirut Diary" - Closeup of events, opposition and Hizbollah demonstrations
A Lebanese wrote to a friend about the historic events in Beirut, including the Hizbullah demonstration. The author has graciously allowed MidEastWeb to post this correspondence anonymously. From closeup, not everything look like it does in newspaper reports.
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Lebanon: Deliverance or Despair?
Lebanon's brief Beirut spring of freedom may be coming to an end. The spurt of anti-Syrian activity that was sparked by the assassination of Rafiq Hariri on February 14 was atypical of Lebanese politics: nonviolent demonstrations exhibiting unity of all factions in a national cause. Not it is not even certain that Lebanese want the Syrians to leave. [more]
Sunday, March 6, 2005
Lebanon: Point of No Return
Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, Beirut
One of the wonderful things about Lebanon is the multiplicity of realities that exist side-by-side in this tiny republic. Thus, the "truth" about the rapid change that we are now experiencing in this country is dependent upon both who you ask and who is asking the question. [more]
The Fate of Lebanon and the Oracle at Damascus
Yesterday, President Assad said that "sister" Syria is leaving Lebanon. Or perhaps he did not. Lebanese would be ill-advised to make hasty conclusions on the basis of Assad's speech, which was a masterpiece of ambiguity. [more]
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
The incredible lightness of non-being in Iraq
An eerie silence surrounds the now routine horrors of Iraq. Scores of lives are snuffed out and yet there is hardly any reaction. The apathy is eerie and unexplained, almost psychotic. [more]
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