• The news website that’s keeping press freedom alive in Egypt | Leslie T Chang | News | The Guardian

    A relire alors que les autorités égyptiennes ont bloqué l’accès au site hier (en même temps qu’à une vingtaine d’autres sites)


    Last modified on Thursday 11 May 2017 12.31 BST

    On the afternoon of 17 June 2013, a group of friends gathered in a fourth-floor apartment in downtown Cairo. They sat on the floor because there were no chairs; there were also no desks, no shelves, and no ashtrays. A sign on the door, written in black marker, read “Office of the Artists Formerly Known as Egypt Independent”. What they had was a name – Mada, which means “span” or “range” in Arabic, had been chosen after much debate and many emails between 24 people – and a plan to set up an independent news outlet. Most of them had not seen each other since their former employer, a newspaper called Egypt Independent, closed two months before.

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    Lina Attalah, the venture’s founder and editor-in-chief, called the meeting to order. Designers were rushing to finish the website; a team was drafting a business plan; half a dozen grant applications were pending. “The update is: there’s no money,” she said, to laughter, “but we have a lot of promises. I’m working on the faith that the money will be there.” She signed off on 17 articles to be delivered over the next week. Lina is dark-eyed and fine-boned, with long black hair; she speaks in lengthy and well-wrought sentences that suggest a professor teaching a graduate seminar. Nothing in her demeanour betrayed the pressures she felt. The company had no cash to pay its writers. She was covering the rent and furnishing the office out of her own pocket. This would be, by her count, her seventh news venture; many of the previous ones had folded owing to the hostility of successive governments towards independent-minded journalists (“I have a history of setting up places that close”). Although she was only 30 and didn’t have a husband or children, Lina was accustomed to taking care of other people.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/601327 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt Behind the curtains of the Foreign Ministry: Security apparatuses play for control | MadaMasr

    Five Egyptian diplomats were informed by the Foreign Ministry in early May of a presidential decree to transfer them to agriculture and development government entities outside the ministry.

    Two plenipotentiary ministers, two first secretaries and another secretary suddenly found themselves in new surroundings.

    The decree’s force is in line with the diplomatic service law, which grants the president the power to reassign diplomats to other positions in national administrative bodies if such a move would fulfill some public interest, according to one of the diplomats affected by decision who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity.

    However, none of the diplomats was told why he had been transferred or what public interest his marginalization in the diplomatic class might serve. Unable to formally challenge the decree, the only recourse they could have would be to request retirement, an unlikely choice given their age range: 20 to 45.

    The five diplomats are not the first to be transferred from their diplomatic positions. Rather, they are part of a larger arc in which 40 diplomats have been reassigned in the last two years under pressure from Egypt’s security apparatuses, another diplomat who has been affected by the practice tells Mada Masr on the condition of anonymity. The reasons for their reassignment vary, the diplomat says: implicit accusations of being sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, the April 6 Youth Movement or the January 25 revolution; their rejection of the political changes that followed the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013; as much as their failure to advocate for these changes through their diplomacy work.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/600351 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • As Trump prepared for Riyadh visit, Saudis blocked U.S. on terrorist sanctions - The Washington Post


    By Joby Warrick May 20 at 3:42 PM
    Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich kingdom touted by President Trump as a key ally in the fight against the Islamic State, has helped block a Trump administration proposal to impose sanctions against a Saudi branch of the terrorist group, documents show.

    The plan to add the Islamic State’s Saudi affiliate to a U.N. list of terrorist groups was quietly killed two weeks ago in a bureaucratic maneuver at the U.N. Security Council, records show. U.S. officials familiar with the move said the Saudis objected to the public acknowledgment of the existence of a separate Saudi offshoot of the terrorist group inside the kingdom.

    [Read the letters blocking the U.N. proposal to add ISIS in Saudi Arabia to the terror list]

    “They don’t want to admit they have an issue in their back yard,” said a U.S official familiar with the events, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy.

    The news of the maneuver comes as Saudi Arabia hosts Trump in Riyadh in his first visit to a foreign capital since becoming president. U.S. and Saudi officials are expected to use the visit to underscore close cooperation between the two countries in battling Islamist extremist groups. Riyadh has contributed money, arms and fighter jets to the international coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria.

    #OEI #ArabieSaoudite #Etats-Unis

    https://seenthis.net/messages/600228 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Life and death of the knowledge industry, Peter Harling

    Une réflexion approfondie sur la crise de l’industrie du savoir et pourquoi il devient de plus en plus difficile de produire des analyses de qualité. Et les responsabilités sont partagées, y compris celles du public (avec une référence à OrientXXI)

    – Synaps open-source

    The quality conundrum

    WHOM TO TRUST for food for thought? In a confusing world, we are left to opt for one dominant pattern of behavior or the other: to lock ourselves into a bubble, where increasingly prolific media churn out large quantities of whatever material we want to ingest, to fit our interests or emotions; or to drift in limbo, bouncing off such comfort zones in search of bits and pieces of palatable knowledge more suited to a discerning diet. You feast on sweet corroboration, or scavenge for smidgens of reason.
    There is another, more practical way of putting the question: “why is it so hard to access high-quality intellectual content that meets our desire for making sense of troubling trends and events?” Indeed, it has become paradoxically difficult to do so, at a time when cognitive needs, analytic talent, archival references, knowledge-producing institutions, communication tools, and publication platforms are all in abundance. On the face of it, humankind has never been so well-equipped to decipher and rationalize the world, and yet wisdom appears as elusive as ever. Leaving aside the existential interrogations this may raise, there are prosaic explanations for our ongoing failure to obtain content as meaningful as we would hope, and possible remedies too.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/599721 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Lebanon economy
    Abracada... broke

    The most explosive thing to keep an eye on in Lebanon is also what no one wants to think about seriously. Indeed, it is not terrorism, Syrian refugees, or the latest ostentatious squabble among the country’s political factions. If anything can genuinely threaten the country’s hard-earned and stubborn stability—it’s the economy, stupid. What solutions are currently discussed or implemented promise at best to postpone a severe, structural crisis. Most stakeholders view this prospect as sufficient, as the country’s economy has for decades been living on borrowed time. But that is the critical mistake they should want to avoid: a much flaunted “resilience” has become part of the problem, allowing for all sorts of anomalies to stack up, relentlessly bringing the system closer to breaking point.
    The price of a sack of Lebanese flatbreads was fixed at 1500 LBP in 1997, but its weight went from 1,5kg to 900g today
    Anecdotal signs of economic stress are multiplying. In 2016, a dangerous slowdown in foreign currency inflow forced the central bank—Banque du Liban or BdL—to intervene by making the kind of offer big money couldn’t refuse: a 20% kickback on US dollars deposited for as little as one year. Sustaining an overpriced real-estate market has also required legislative and financial stimuli orchestrated by BdL. In the absence of reliable figures, the IMF guesstimates growth at less than 1%. A decline of the insurance sector attests to slowing business across the board. Shop fronts have been putting up signs for rent or sale all over Beirut. At the bottom of the chain, taxi drivers jump on the first occasion to complain of ever longer hours to make ends meet.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/599710 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • The Jerusalem obsession - Opinion -

    Of all of Israel’s whims, this is the craziest of all. A country trying look secular, Western and modern is going nuts over a wall

    Gideon Levy May 18, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.789919

    The sky has fallen. America is stuttering about the Western Wall. Where is it located? Whom does it belong to? It’s the end of the world, the Zionist enterprise is finished. It’s a good thing we have a Habayit Hayehudi representative in the United Nations (in the guise of the American ambassador), Nikki Haley. She hastened on Tuesday to prevent another emotional holocaust by stating that in her personal opinion, the Kotel is ours. What a relief! The Temple Mount is (again) in our hands.
    Of all of Israel’s whims, this is the craziest of all. A country trying look secular, Western and modern is going nuts over a wall. It’s a fetish. You can live with it, of course, but like any obsession it can drive you insane.
    But the obsession with the Kotel is part of a wider syndrome, the Jerusalem obsession. There’s no more divided city than united Jerusalem, and we’ve devised no greater self-deception than thinking there can be a solution without justice in Jerusalem. You can of course love Jerusalem, which was a lovely city until its last occupation, with an amazing history and holy places. You can pray toward it a dozen times a day, to a city that Jews lived in for generations and also longed for. It is truly an exciting and recommended tourist destination, just check out TripAdvisor.
    But a country that wakes up in terror because some American official avoided saying that the Kotel is part of Israel, proves not only that its discourse is delusional, but that it isn’t at all sure that the Kotel really belongs to it, and how uncertain it is about its borders, sovereignty and justness. When it comes to talking about Jerusalem, it loses its moorings; when it comes to the Kotel, it loses consciousness. In both instances we’re talking about detachment from reality.

    #Israël #Jérusalem

    https://seenthis.net/messages/599355 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Actualisation de la situation des prisonniers politique palestiniens au 17 Mai 2017 | Agence Media Palestine
    17 Mai 2017, 31 ème jour de grève des prisonniers palestiniens.

    L’avocat d’Addameer (association des Droits de l’Homme et de défense des prisonniers palestiniens) Farah Bayadsi, a rencontré Ahmad Sa’adat, gréviste et secrétaire général du Front Populaire pour la Libération de la Palestine (PFLP). L’avocat d’Addameer s’est déjà vu refusé le droit de visite, mais a reçu l’approbation suite à une requête de la Haute Cour présentée le 10 mai 2017.

    Sada’at a informé l’avocat d’Addameer que les prisonniers sont soumis à deux raids de recherche violents tous les jours, au cours desquels les prisonniers sont forcés de quitter leur chambre, ce qui est épuisant physiquement pour les prisonniers en raison de leur état de santé. Il a également ajouté que 10 prisonniers sont détenus dans une cellule exiguë avec un évier et un toilette, pas de ventilateur ni de climatisation et chaque prisonniers reçoit 3 couvertures. Il a précisé par ailleurs que les examens médicaux effectués par l’IPS (Israel Prison Service) ne sont pas suffisants, car seule la pression sanguine et le poids des grévistes de la faim sont examinés.

    L’IPS impose des restrictions aux prisonniers grévistes, y compris une amende disciplinaire de 200 NIS (équivalent à 50 euros environ), l’interdiction de visite familiale pendant deux mois, l’interdiction d’accès à la « cantine » (boutique où les prisonniers peuvent acheter des produits de la vie courante, tel que des cigarettes) et la saisie de sel ainsi que de tous les vêtements, uniquement un seul vêtement par prisonnier est autorisé.

    Plus inquiétant encore : l’IPS a rendu extrêmement difficile pour les médecins indépendants de rendre visite aux prisonniers grévistes et a fourni aux prisonniers des tasses en plastique afin de boire du robinet plutôt que de l’eau potable, habituellement fournie.

    35 autres prisonniers politiques palestiniens se sont joint à la grève dimanche 14 mai, a rapporté le média « Asra Voice ».

    https://seenthis.net/messages/599327 via Loutre

  • Secousses islamistes en #Indonésie, par Marie Beyer & Martine @Bulard (Les blogs du Diplo, 17 mai 2017)
    https://blog.mondediplo.net/2017-05-17-Secousses-islamiques-en-Indonesie #st

    Djakarta, 9 mai 2017. « Coupable de blasphème ». Le gouverneur de Djakarta, M. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, couramment appelé Ahok, a été condamné à deux ans de prison ferme pour ce délit, bien inscrit à la Constitution mais très contesté au sein d’une Indonésie qui se veut séculaire. Pas de tergiversations, le gouverneur est emmené vers la prison de Cipinang, à l’est de la capitale, dès sa sortie du tribunal. Les images d’#Ahok en chemise batik bleue (de tradition indonésienne) montant dans le fourgon de police le bras levé, affichant de ses doigts le signe de paix, renforcent la sidération des progressistes indonésiens. Nul ne s’attendait à un tel dénouement. Le procureur lui-même n’avait requis qu’un an de prison avec sursis. La veille, plusieurs de nos interlocuteurs nous mettaient en garde contre les fondamentalistes religieux, réunis devant la Cour de Djakarta nord pour réaffirmer leurs menaces de « chaos » si le tribunal se montrait trop clément. Il faut dire qu’ils ont déjà montré un certain savoir-faire en la matière… Mais à l’annonce du verdict, ce mardi, ils laissent éclater leur joie, même si quelques-uns auraient souhaité une condamnation plus longue — la loi prévoit jusqu’à cinq ans d’emprisonnement.

  • Tillerson: Trump considering impact of U.S. embassy move on peace process -

    In first, the U.S. secretary of state publicly admits that the embassy move is being weighed as part of the larger effort to reach an Israeli-Palestinian agreement

    Amir Tibon and Barak Ravid May 14, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.789140

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday that while President Donald Trump still hasn’t made a decision on whether or not he will move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an important part of his deliberations is how such a move would impact the Trump administration’s efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
    Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Tillerson explained that “the president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have.”
    This is the first time that a senior figure in the Trump administration has admitted publicly that the embassy move, a promise Trump made during the election campaign, is being weighed as part of the larger effort to reach a peace agreement. Tillerson added further that Trump was “being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process.” In recent weeks, press reports in Israel indicated that the Trump administration was not planning to move the embassy.
    Tillerson also said that the president wants to understand “whether Israel views it as being helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps as a distraction,” hinting at possible disagreements on the issue within the Israeli government. The Israeli security establishment and the army have warned in the past that moving the embassy could lead to increased violence on the ground in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

    #Israël #Jérusalem #Etats-Unis

    https://seenthis.net/messages/598293 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Let FIFA bring peace
    The powerful and impartial world soccer association might be just the right body to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Too bad its president balked

    Assaf Gavron May 14, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.788937

    It’s a pity FIFA backtracked on its intent to vote on the suspension of Israel for violating a clause in the constitution of the world soccer association. The succumbing of FIFA president Gianni Infantino to pressure exerted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a half-hour phone conversation last Friday, as reported by Netanyahu’s bureau, was both cowardly and embarrassing.
    Israel is violating a clear-cut clause, which is simple and logical. Article 72.2 in FIFA’s statutes prohibits a member state from establishing a soccer team in the territory of another state which is a FIFA member. It cannot include such a team in its soccer leagues without the consent of the other state. The lower Israeli leagues have six teams from settlements in the West Bank. The West Bank is not recognized as part of Israel, not even by Israel itself. However, Palestine has been a FIFA member since 1998.
    According to some reports, Netanyahu told Infantino that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been around for a long time and that FIFA would not be the one to resolve it. But, actually, why not? Or at least, why can’t it try to? If Netanyahu and his predecessors haven’t managed to do so in all their attempts over the years – Netanyahu still claims that he’s trying — why can’t someone else be given the chance to try something different?
    FIFA is an international organization with immense power. Its power stems from soccer’s great popularity, which is translated into big moneyand widespread influence. Understandably, an organization such as FIFA can get mired in internal power struggles and corruption, which has set in over the years. But in the Israeli-Palestinian context the advantage of FIFA is that it is impartial with regard to inter-state politics. Israel cannot accuse it of political bias or anti-Semitism. This is an organization that deals with soccer tournaments.

    #Israël #FIFA @Football

    https://seenthis.net/messages/598160 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • The People vs. Haaretz - The New York Times

    Un violent article contre Haaretz, qui s’inscrit dans la campagne du gouvernement israélien de museler les médias, comme il le fait avec la première chaîne de télévision

    TEL AVIV — Haaretz is an Israeli newspaper. Admired by many foreigners and few Israelis, loathed by many, mostly Israelis. Read by few, denounced by many, it is a highly ideological, high-quality paper. It has a history of excellence. It has a history of independence. It has a history of counting Israel’s mistakes and misbehavior. It has a history of getting on Israel’s nerves.

    Still, it is just a newspaper. The story of the people vs. Haaretz — that is, of a great number of Israelis’ growing dislike for the paper — is worth telling only because it tells us something about Israel itself: that the country’s far left is evolving from a political position into a mental state and that the right-wing majority has not yet evolved into being a mature, self-confident public.

    Consider an incident from mid-April. Haaretz published an op-ed by one of its columnists. It made a less-than-convincing argument that religious Zionist Israelis are more dangerous to Israel than Hezbollah terrorists. And yet, the response was overwhelming. The prime minister, defense minister, education minister and justice minister all denounced the article and the newspaper. The president condemned the article, too. The leader of the centrist party Yesh Atid called the op-ed “anti-Semitic.” Leaders of the left-of-center Labor Party called it hateful. The country was almost unified in condemnation.

    Of course, not completely unified. On the far left, a few voices supported the article and the newspaper. Some argued that the article was substantively valid. Others argued that whether the article was substantive or not, the onslaught on Haaretz is a cynical ploy to shake another pillar of the left — maybe its most visible remaining pillar.

    If there is such ploy, it doesn’t seem to be working. Last week, on the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day, a day of somber reflection, Haaretz was at it again. One article by a leading columnist explained that he could no longer fly the Israeli flag. Another seemed to be calling for a civil war. These are not exceptions; they are the rule for a newspaper that in recent years has come to rely on provocation.

    #Israël #libertés #médias

    https://seenthis.net/messages/598038 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • What’s keeping Syria’s Palestinian refugees from returning to camps?

    Khaled Abdul-Majid, secretary of the Palestinian Revolution Factions Alliance in Syria, told Al-Monitor no one has returned yet because militants remaining in southern Damascus and nearby areas could infiltrate the camp again.

    Abdul-Majid said negotiations are underway to remedy the situation. Meanwhile, the residents remain in the nearby town of Sahnaya on the outskirts of Damascus in shelters provided by the Syrian government and the UNRWA.

    “We have established contact with the concerned state authorities to accelerate the process and have people immediately return,” he added.

    However, Ayman Abu Hashim, general coordinator of the Free Palestinian Syrian Assembly, told Al-Monitor, “The regime forces controlling the Sabina refugee camp are the ones obstructing the return of refugees.”

    “Families might return to the camp, but the regime forces are failing to take any serious steps in this regard,” Abu Hashim added.

    As the Sabina camp awaits the return of its residents, Palestinian families have started to move in and out of the Khan al-Shih refugee camp southwest of Damascus, which had a population estimated at more than 19,000 in 2011, per the latest UNRWA statistics.

    Ahmed al-Majdalani, envoy to Syria for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, told Al-Monitor that Khan al-Shih, unlike the Sabina camp, had not been fully deserted. The Syrian government reached an agreement back in November with the gunmen, who gradually left the camp heading toward Idlib and Daraa. Majdalani said forces of the PLO-affiliated Palestine Liberation Army and Syrian army are working on logistic arrangements aimed at restoring normal life there.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/syria-palestinian-refugee-camps-return-clashes.html#ixzz4gwziLt00

    https://seenthis.net/messages/598032 via assalam12

  • Le retrait des combattants du Hezbollah, « un signe de confiance » - Scarlett HADDAD - L’Orient-Le Jour

    Le second point qui a été repris dans le discours de Hassan Nasrallah, c’est son annonce de la fin de la mission de « la résistance » le long de la frontière avec la Syrie et la décision de retirer ses combattants de cette zone et de remettre les positions du Hezb à l’armée libanaise. Pour les alliés du Hezbollah, cette annonce spectaculaire est une initiative positive. Elle exprime d’une part la « confiance » du parti dans l’armée libanaise, « qui est en mesure d’assumer la responsabilité du contrôle de la frontière avec la Syrie », et d’autre part, elle vise à retirer aux détracteurs du Hezbollah un sujet de polémique, à savoir la présence du parti aux côtés de l’armée, dans cette zone particulièrement à hauts risques.

    Dans son discours, Hassan Nasrallah a déclaré que ses hommes « ont accompli la mission qui leur était confiée, puisque la frontière est devenue sûre dans sa plus grande partie et leur présence n’a plus de raison d’être. Aujourd’hui, la protection de cette frontière relève de la responsabilité de l’État que nous ne voulons pas remplacer ». M. Nasrallah cherche ainsi à démentir toutes les allégations sur la volonté de son parti de prendre la place de l’État dans ses fiefs populaires, tout en balayant les accusations qui lui ont été lancées de vouloir provoquer un changement démographique dans la Békaa-Nord, en cherchant à provoquer le départ des chrétiens et des sunnites pour les remplacer par des chiites. Au passage, il a rappelé que lorsque les hommes du Hezbollah se sont déployés le long de la frontière pour la protéger d’éventuelles incursions des combattants de Daech et de Nosra, ils n’ont pas fait une sélection confessionnelle des villages à défendre, se déployant « là où ils devaient le faire pour protéger le pays dans son ensemble ».

    https://seenthis.net/messages/598033 via assalam12

  • A l’initiative des communistes, du bloc de gauche et des verts, le parlement portugais vote une motion de soutien aux prisonniers palestiniens en grève de la faim.

    A quelques exceptions près,les médias français pensent à autre chose.

    البرلمان البرتغالي يصوّت على قرار يدعم إضراب الأسرى الفلسطينيين - RT Arabic

    البرلمان البرتغالي يصوّت على قرار يدعم إضراب الأسرى الفلسطينيين

    https://seenthis.net/messages/597957 via gonzo

  • Israël-Palestine, une histoire française (1967-2017)
    Alain Gresh > Hélène Aldeguer > 10 mai 2017

    C’est une histoire dessinée des relations entre la France, Israël et la Palestine depuis la guerre de juin 1967 que nous offrent Alain Gresh et Hélène Aldeguer. Les principaux protagonistes en sont Charles de Gaulle, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maxime Rodinson, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Serge Gainsbourg, Georges Pompidou, François Mitterrand, Alain Finkielkraut, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande... Leur propos, fidèlement rapportés, permettent de mesurer la violence de cette « passion française » que constitue le conflit israélo-palestinien. Extraits.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/597874 via Loutre

  • Saudi Media: Muslim Leaders Invited to Summit with Trump — Naharnet


    King Abdullah II of Jordan, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou are among leaders invited by Saudi King Salman for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

    The Arab-Islamic-American Summit will be among a series of talks expected to be held in Riyadh on May 20-21, Saudi officials said.

    Trump has frequently been accused of fueling Islamophobia but aides described his decision to visit Saudi Arabia as an effort to reset relations with the Muslim world.

    There will also be a separate meeting between monarchs of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and Trump, as well as bilateral talks between the Saudi and U.S. leaders, Riyadh’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said.

    In addition to heads of state from Jordan, Algeria and Niger, the official Saudi Press Agency reported that Salman asked Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to attend.

    The leaders of Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq and Tunisia have also received invitations, the Arab News daily reported on Wednesday.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/597233 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Alain Gresh & Hélène Aldeguer : Un chant d’amour. Israël-Palestine, une histoire française, La Découverte, 2017

    Antiopées | notes de lectures

    « La sécurité d’Israël est pour nous un principe intangible, de même que la légitimité de l’État palestinien. Nous devrons rechercher les conditions d’une paix juste et durable, qui permette aux deux États de coexister en sécurité. » Ceci est extrait du programme du candidat à la présidence de la république Emmanuel Macron, rubrique « International[1] ». On voit que dans ce domaine comme ailleurs, il n’innovait pas vraiment. Maintenant qu’il est élu, on peut donc prédire sans trop se hasarder qu’il va poursuivre la politique de son prédécesseur François Hollande, auquel nous devons le titre de cet essai en bande dessinée : Un chant d’amour, expression qui détonne dans la bouche d’un dirigeant que nous avons connu moins lyrique – plutôt prosaïque, voire « normal ». C’est pourtant bien lui qui déclara, le 17 novembre 2013 à Jérusalem, portant un toast au terme d’un dîner chez Benyamin Netanyaou, Premier ministre d’Israël : « Pour l’amitié entre Benyamin et moi-même, pour Israël et pour la France, même en chantant aussi mal que je chante [il venait de refuser de pousser la chansonnette après qu’une artiste locale avait interprété la chanson de Mike Brant « Laisse moi t‘aimer »] – car je chante mal –, j’aurais toujours trouvé un chant d’amour – d’amour pour Israël et ses dirigeants. »

    Ce livre s’intéresse donc à l’« histoire française » qui a conduit à cette scène touchante, c’est-à-dire à un demi-siècle de relations franco-israéliennes, soit depuis la guerre israélo-arabe de juin 1967. Les textes sont d’Alain Gresh, qui a suivi le sujet pour Le Monde diplomatique pendant une trentaine d’années, et dont on peut aujourd’hui retrouver les analyses toujours acérées sur les sites Orient XXI[2] et Contre-attaque(s)[3]. Ils sont accompagnés par les dessins plutôt percutants et sans fioritures inutiles d’Hélène Aldeguer. Disons-le tout de suite : la principale qualité du livre, à nos yeux, est d’exposer clairement et précisément une histoire réputée complexe et difficile à comprendre. Pour autant, il ne prend pas ses lecteurs pour des béotiens et n’ennuiera pas les personnes déjà bien au fait du sujet. Précisons aussi que tous les dialogues et personnages représentés sont authentiques – il ne s’agit pas d’une réinterprétation sous forme de fiction. Par ailleurs, le titre ne ment pas quant au contenu de l’ouvrage : si vous cherchez un brûlot propalestinien ou, à l’inverse, une histoire édifiante d’Israël, il vous faudra trouver d’autres sources. Le propos, ici, est de retracer le plus sobrement possible les actes et paroles des dirigeants français vis-à-vis de l’État d’Israël. Rien de très spectaculaire, en somme. La palette des couleurs – noirs, rouges, bleus, sauf sur la première de couverture où apparaît aussi la bande verte du drapeau palestinien – concourt elle aussi à cette sobriété du récit. Sobriété ne signifie pas neutralité. La simple recension des dires et des faits est accablante pour l’État israélien, dont on voit bien se dessiner au fil des années la stratégie d’anéantissement de toute capacité politique palestinienne, mais elle ne flatte guère non plus les dirigeants français qui n’ont jamais vraiment pu, su ou voulu, selon les cas, imposer quoi que ce soit à leurs homologues israéliens. Il y eut bien sûr des désaccords, et même un certain froid lorsque De Gaulle haussa le ton contre ce « peuple sûr de lui et dominateur » mais, dans l’ensemble, jamais la France n’a représenté un obstacle sérieux au rouleau compresseur de la colonisation israélienne.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/597055 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • A cornerstone
 of apartheid -
    Israel’s ’nation-state’ law must be stopped - the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among all its citizens in law

    Haaretz Editorial May 08, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.787870


    The nation-state bill, which the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved unanimously on Sunday, is a bad bill. Nobody denies that Israel, as the bill says, “is the national home of the Jewish people,” or that “the right to the realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
    The Jewish people’s right to national revival in the Land of Israel was recognized back in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and approved by the League of Nations Mandate in 1922. On November 29, 1947, this right was reaffirmed and recognized by the UN General Assembly as well.
    “We ... hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” reads the Declaration of Independence. Similarly, the state’s Basic Laws define Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. And aside from all this, just last week, Israel celebrated the 69th anniversary of its independence.
    >> Israeli ministers greenlight nation-state bill: Arabic isn’t an official state language <<
    Nevertheless, this bill is bad, because the only legitimate way to ensure the state’s Jewishness is for Israel to be a democracy that grants full equality to all its citizens, but which also has a Jewish majority. Any situation in which Jews were a minority in Israel, and the state’s Jewishness was maintained solely via discriminatory laws and a regime that enforced them against the majority’s will, would be undemocratic, and in any event would certainly not be viable over the long run.
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    The only explanation for why Israel is advancing this bill is the millions of Palestinians whom it keeps under its control in territories that it fantasizes about annexing. Because Israel is interested in applying its sovereignty to the land but isn’t interested in annexing the Palestinians who live there as equal citizens in a single state, it is forced to create the legal infrastructure for segregating Jews from Arabs and preserving the Jews’ legal supremacy. The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid in the entire Land of Israel.

    The nation-state law is fundamentally antithetical to democracy, as it seeks to enshrine the rule of a Jewish minority over an imagined Arab majority. This is a fearful and aggressive move by a people that sees itself as a minority and is preparing to maintain control over an apartheid state that contains a Palestinian majority living under its rule. Yet even before that point is reached, the law discriminates against members of Israel’s Arab minority and legally labels them as second-class citizens.
    The nation-state bill must not be allowed to pass. The only way to preserve the national home of the Jewish people is to separate peacefully from the occupied territories and liberate the Palestinian people. And the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among its citizens in law, in line with the promise of the Declaration of Independence: “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
    The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/596465 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Exclusive : Saudi Arabia, U.S. in talks on billions in arms sales - U.S. sources | Reuters


    By Mike Stone | WASHINGTON
    Washington is working to push through contracts for tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, some new, others in the pipeline, ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s trip to the kingdom this month, people familiar with the talks told Reuters this week.

    Saudi Arabia is Trump’s first stop on his maiden international trip, a sign of his intent to reinforce ties with a top regional ally.

    The United States has been the main supplier for most Saudi military needs, from F-15 fighter jets to command and control systems worth tens of billions of dollars in recent years. Trump has vowed to stimulate the U.S. economy by boosting manufacturing jobs.

    Washington and Riyadh are eager to improve relations strained under President Barack Obama in part because of his championing of a nuclear deal with Saudi foe Iran.

    #Etats-Unis #Arabiesaoudite

    https://seenthis.net/messages/596134 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Abbas’ meeting with Trump proves the PA is strong - even when it’s weak - Palestinians - Haaretz

    The Palestinian leadership knows Trump won’t reach a peace agreement, but it allows itself to hope he will end the economic despair

    Amira Hass May 05, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-1.787477

    The most important thing about U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the meeting itself. It shows that Trump’s White House considers the Palestinian Authority as an important international factor and a stabilizing regional element. That justifies the smiles on the faces of the Palestinian entourage at the luncheon with the two leaders. As Nasser Laham, editor-in-chief of the news website Ma’an, wrote, criticizing the PA leader’s opponents: “Mahmoud Abbas is among the first 10 leaders received at the White House (since Trump took office) – and this is after he restored ties with Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and might be on the way to restoring ties with the Gulf states.”
    Officially, the Palestinian Authority is perceived as an essential corridor to the establishment of the Palestinian state. In fact, it is a project that the world supports for the sake of regional stability. And “stability” has become a synonym for the continuation of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank without any serious diplomatic or military implications for Israel, and without major shocks to the positions of Western countries. This is the source of the PA’s strength, even if it is very weak, and Trump apparently understands this.
    Trump found it proper to devote many words to the PA security apparatus and security coordination with Israel. At Wednesday’s press conference, Trump said:
    We must continue to build our partnership with the Palestinian security forces to counter and defeat terrorism. I also applaud the Palestinian Authority’s continued security coordination with Israel. They get along unbelievably well. I had meetings, and at these meetings I was actually very impressed and somewhat surprised at how well they get along. They work together beautifully.
    The pro-Israel lobby repeatedly urged Trump to talk about payments to Palestinian prisoners and incitement, which he did, according to the White House spokesman. But the lobby forgot to tell him that public praise for security coordination spoils things for Abbas and embarrasses his associates in Fatah. The security coordination – or as some call it, the security services that the PA provides to Israel – is something that is done, not talked about. And indeed, a Hamas leader, Sami Abu Zuhri, already tweeted that such talk proves that the PA is getting economic aid in exchange for fighting the Palestinian opposition.
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    The new Palestinian ambassador in Washington, Husam Zomlat, a brilliant and well-spoken man who was recently chosen as a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, will have to add one more task to his heavy list – to explain to the White House that security cooperation is part of a package deal full of internal contradictions. The PLO Central Committee decided two years ago to cancel security cooperation with Israel, and if the decision has not been implemented it is because the real decider is man who pays the salaries and is responsible for funding – Abbas. There is a price to pay for the widely unpopular security cooperation. That price is to not stretch things too much with the Fatah rank-and-file, in prison and out, and perhaps Trump’s people have already been told this. Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj, who accompanied Abbas’ entourage, is also a former prisoner, like many of the heads of the Palestinian security forces and district governors who are loyal to Abbas. It will be very hard for them to explain shirking responsibility for the comrades and their families. For the sake of the PA’s stability they can’t allow themselves to cross the line in terms of image that separates “cooperation” from treason.

    While Trump and Abbas were meeting, a large rally was taking place for the hunger-striking prisoners in Ramallah’s Nelson Mandela Square. The yellow Fatah flag was prominent, and Fadwa Barghouti read out a letter from her husband, Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader and a prisoner serving five life sentences in Israel. “The Palestinian prisoners have faith that their people will not let them down and will meet loyalty with loyalty and will support the prisoners and their families who have endured sacrifice and hardship and suffering,” the letter read. 
    Even if at the beginning there were some who interpreted the hunger strike as solely a Fatah enterprise or as a tool of Barghouti against Abbas, and even if the Israel Prison Service tries to downplay its importance in reports in the Israeli media, on its 18th day, the strike continues to rule headlines. It spurs young Palestinian men to clash with the Israeli army and enables pro-Palestinian activists abroad to hold activities in its support. On Thursday, it was reported that 50 leaders of various Palestinian factions joined the strike. They did not do so before for their own reasons and now they can no longer stand idly by.
    In Gaza, Fatah activists sought to link support for the prisoners to support for Abbas on the day of the latter’s meeting with Trump, and as a counterweight to the Hamas-run campaign, “Abbas doesn’t support me.” One day after the publication of a document of principles in which Hamas commits itself to democracy and pluralism, its internal security apparatus quickly arrested the Fatah activists and held up a bus that was taking people to the demonstration. From prison, Barghouti was indeed able to make it clear that Fatah is relevant and even led activists from Gaza, who was usually paralyzed by fear, to dare to act – even for Abbas. 
    In the end, Fatah is the backbone of the PA. Abbas maneuvers it well, but is also dependent on it. Zomlat will have that too in Washington, if Israel’s repetitive claims with regard to money to prisoners moves ahead to the stage of demanding the blocking of these payments.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/596098 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Israël envisagerait de faire venir des médecins étrangers pour forcer les détenus grévistes à s’alimenter | The Times of Israël
    Alors que les prisonniers palestiniens refusent de s’alimenter pour la 18e journée consécutive, certains prisonniers du Hamas auraient rejoint la grève de la faim initiée par Barghouthi
    Times of Israel Staff 5 mai 2017

    Les Services chargés des prisons israéliennes envisagent de faire venir des médecins de l’étranger pour alimenter de force les détenus palestiniens qui sont en grève de la faim, a rapporté jeudi la Deuxième chaîne.

    Ce plan – qui devrait générer une opposition féroce aux niveaux juridique et éthique – est actuellement étudié par le ministère de la Santé, a établi le reportage.

    Cette discussion survient alors que, selon des informations, des prisonniers membres du Hamas ont également rejoint le mouvement de protestation qui, jusqu’à présent, a réuni majoritairement des membres du Fatah.

    Même si la législation israélienne autorise l’alimentation forcée des détenus, l’Association médicale israélienne a interdit à ses membres de participer à une telle initiative.

    Israël craint que si cette grève de la faim continue – elle entre dorénavant dans son 18e jour consécutif – les tribunaux ne forcent l’Autorité chargée des prisons à libérer les grévistes en raison de préoccupations liées à leur santé, comme cela est déjà arrivé.

    #grève_de_la_faim #Palestine

    https://seenthis.net/messages/595993 via Loutre

  • Trump taps Kris Bauman, expert on peace process with Palestinians, as new Israel adviser -

    Bauman’s presence at the National Security Council may mean the White House will focus on security related questions as part of Trump’s attempt to reach a peace deal

    Amir Tibon (Washington) May 04, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.787191

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has chosen Kris Bauman, an Air Force colonel and expert on the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, to replace Yael Lempert as the National Security Council’s point man for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
    Bauman was involved in the last round of peace negotiations, which took place under former U.S. President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2014, and has been researching the subject for years, most recently at the National Defense University in Washington. Bauman’s presence at the NSC could indicate that the administration will soon turn its attention to security related questions as part of Trump’s attempt to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Bauman now works under the Defense Department and his formal move to the White House is being finalized these days.
    During the 2013 to 2014 peace talks, Bauman was the chief-of-staff for General John Allen, who was appointed by the Obama administration to devise a comprehensive security plan for the day after a peace agreement is signed. Allen led a team of dozens of security and intelligence experts and built a plan that won praise from some senior officials in the Israeli security establishment, but was eventually rejected by former Defense Miniser Moshe Yaalon, who ridiculed it in briefings to the press and said it was not worth the paper its written on.
    As Haaretz reported two weeks ago, Lempert, who held the Israeli-Palestinian file in Obama’s National Security Council, will leave the White House after an extention of three-and-a-half months, which was requested by senior officials in the Trump administration. She participated in Trump’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, making it her last event before returning to the State Department in the coming days.
    Bauman will join a National Security Council in which military officers – on active duty and retired – are holding a number of senior positions, led by U.S. National Security Adviser General H.R McMaster. From 2011 to 2012, Bauman served as an intelligence officer in Iraq. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College. Bauman holds a PhD from the University of Denver, where his dissertation focused on “multiparty mediation in the Israeli Palestinian peace process.” He began his military career as a pilot flying C-27 and C-5 aircraft.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/595867 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Ex-PM Hoss goes on hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners | News , Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR

    BEIRUT: Lebanon’s former Prime Minister #Salim_Hoss, 88, Tuesday joined a hunger strike with more than 800 Palestinian prisoners to express solidarity with their cause.

    A source close to the ex-PM told The Daily Star that the decision was made to “stimulate” people and officials to acknowledge the sufferings of the Palestinian people and to “press for” Arab rights.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/595672 via Kassem

  • Révolution dans la révolution au Hamas


    Président du bureau politique du Hamas depuis 1995, Khaled Mechaal quitte la direction du mouvement. Si, depuis 2009, les procédures internes limitent la présidence à deux mandats successifs et ne lui permettent pas d’être de nouveau candidat, il affirme à Orient XXI (17 avril) que cette restriction coïncide avec sa décision personnelle de se désengager de la direction de l’organisation. C’était d’ailleurs ce même choix qu’il avait formulé dès 2013, affirmant clairement à l’époque : « Lors des dernières élections je ne souhaitais pas me représenter à la direction du bureau politique (maktab al-siyassi), mais mes frères m’ont encouragé dans le sens inverse et ont fini par me convaincre ».

    #Hamas #Palestine #OLP

    https://seenthis.net/messages/594779 via Nouvelles d’Orient