• Saudi Arabia’s ‘normalisation’ baffles global business

    https://www.ft.com/content/b1458710-0672-11e8-9650-9c0ad2d7c5b5

    For many at Davos, Saudi Arabia was baffling rather than normalising. While they were fascinated by the boldness of the economic change and social transformation — the ban on women driving is being lifted and young people can now listen to music and go to the cinema — participants were also alarmed by a crackdown that is damaging the business environment and concentrating political and economic power in the hands of a 32-year-old.

    As the WEF was wrapping up in the Swiss Alps, the crown prince was also winding down his anti-corruption operation, following the confiscation of prisoners’ cash, real estate and assets in return for their release. At the weekend, the highest profile detainee, Prince Alwaleed, walked out of the Ritz. To lessen his embarrassment, he gave an interview before he was freed, claiming his detention was a misunderstanding. “Everything’s fine. It’s like home,” he told Reuters, an attitude that did nothing to quell speculation that he parted with a chunk of his wealth to win his freedom.

    *

    The disconnect between Saudi Arabia’s perception of its actions and the global impact of the purge was evident when I spoke to Khalid al-Falih, the technocrat in charge of the oil ministry and a close aide to MbS. I asked him whether he appreciated the nervousness of global business. “People look at what happened in China, in the anti-corruption campaign of Xi Jinping, and it was unique to China,” he told me. “And they look at what was done in Saudi Arabia given Saudi Arabia’s unique status. I call it something of a hygiene issue. We cleaned it up our way.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/665331 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Egypt After 2 years of investigations: Regeni and clues about his killers | MadaMasr
    https://www-madamasr-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.madamasr.com/en/2018/02/01/opinion/u/after-2-years-of-investigations-regeni-and-clues-about-his-killers/amp/?platform=hootsuite

    Editorial Note: On January 25, 2018, the second anniversary of the disappearance of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, the Italian newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica published a letter addressed to their editors in chief that was written by Giuseppe Pignatone, Rome’s chief prosecutor. In the letter, Pignatone summarizes the results of the Italian-Egyptian joint investigation into Regeni’s death. While Mada Masr published a story on the letter on January 26 titled “Italian General Prosecutor: Egyptian secret services complicit in Regeni case,” we have decided to translate Pignatone’s letter into English, preserving Corriere della Sera’s editorial framing, to give the full context of the prosecutor’s address.

    Dear editor in chief,

    Two years after Giulio Regeni was abducted in Cairo, here is a brief reflection on some aspects of the inquiry.

    The Cooperation

    The fact that the tragic events took place in Egypt naturally entailed that the Egyptian authorities had, first and foremost, the right, but also the duty, to carry out the investigations. As for us, Italian judicial magistrates and police, we can only cooperate and support the investigations of the Egyptian team by making suggestions and requests. We cannot possibly imagine gathering evidence that would allow us to identify those responsible for the crime from outside Egypt.

    This cooperation with our Egyptian colleagues is the first of its kind in the history of judicial cooperation. For the first time, I believe, a public prosecutor of another country came to Italy, in the absence of treaties, to share the results of his own investigations. We also traveled to Cairo for the same reasons: there have been seven meetings in total. For this, I must publicly thank Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek.

    In the absence of international agreements or conventions, as in this case, such complex and demanding judicial cooperation can be made possible only if the governments of both countries simultaneously initiate real cooperation. Undoubtedly, the pressure of public opinion – also at an international scale –played a major role in this.

    The Inquiry

    As magistrates, our activities have to comply with specific standards and methods, as well as with our established legal culture. It was not always easy to penetrate the mentality of the Arab world and measure ourselves against a judicial system with completely different investigative procedures and practices.

    To give an example of this: in order not to break the thread of cooperation, we had to acknowledge the legal impossibility of being present during witness hearings held before our Egyptian colleagues in Cairo.

    Sometimes, hurdles were overcome. At least in part. Another example: we had immediately asked that data from the mobile network in certain areas of Cairo, concerning the crucial dates of January 25 and February 3, 2016 (the disappearance of Giulio and the date the body was discovered), be delivered to us, but Egyptian law wouldn’t allow it. The problem was partly solved because we had access to the reports of Egyptian experts. However, accessing the crude data and analyzing it directly obviously would have made a huge difference.

    Despite all these obstacles, we continued with our work, and I think I can say we reached some tangible results. First, we wanted to avoid the investigations heading down the wrong track. Focusing on non-existent espionage activity by Giulio or the involvement of a group of common criminals, for example. Secondly, we wanted to establish some red lines within the framework for further investigations into the murder. First and foremost, the motive can be easily traced to his research activities during his months in Cairo. Light was shed on the role played by some of the people who Giulio met in the course of his research and who betrayed him. It has also become clear that Giulio attracted the attention of Egypt’s state apparatus for several months, attention which increased in intensity leading up to January 25.

    These are crucial elements in pursuing the investigation, and above all, in finding common ground with our Egyptian colleagues. Two years ago, no one would have expected that we could obtain such results.

    We do not intend to stop here, even though we remain extremely aware of the significant complexity of the investigation. Here is another example, to illustrate the hurdles we have already overcome and those we still have to face. During our last meeting in Cairo, in December, we wanted to share the meticulous reconstruction of all the evidence collected until now with our Egyptian colleagues. This information was compiled by the Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale and the Servizio Centrale Operativo, who did, one must say, an outstanding job these past two years. For this, they deserve our gratitude. In an ordinary investigation, the public prosecutor’s office would have been able to draw some conclusion, although incomplete, on the basis of the information filed. In this case, the cooperation between both offices imposes a slow and laborious process: sharing the information, waiting until our colleagues examine it, and then together assessing the next steps to take. This is a complex process based on a reciprocal sense of collaboration, and while it cannot be as quick as we all wish, it is the only possible one. The slightest rush on our part would boomerang and nullify all the evidence that has been painfully reconstructed until now.

    Cambridge

    Since the murderer’s motive is linked exclusively to Giulio’s research, one has to highlight how important it is to comprehend what led him to travel to Cairo and to identify all those he had contact with, both academics and Egyptian labor union members.

    This is why the obvious inconsistencies between the statements by university staff and what we uncovered from Giulio’s correspondence (recovered in Italy through his personal computer) required further investigations in the United Kingdom. These investigations were made possible thanks to the effective cooperation of the British authorities. The results of this cooperation – including the search and seizure of material – seem fruitful after an initial examination. They are currently being studied by our investigators.

    The family

    We met Giulio’s parents numerous times over the past 24 months. We were impressed by their dignity in the face of tragedy, and by their incessant efforts to pursue truth and justice. We can assure them, on our part, that we will continue deploying sustained efforts, doing everything necessary and useful to bring those responsible for the abduction, torture and the murder of Giulio to justice.

    Rome’s chief prosecutor

    https://seenthis.net/messages/665254 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Ziad Doueiri, réalisateur de “L’Insulte”, en lutte contre les tabous du Liban - Cinéma - Télérama.fr
    http://www.telerama.fr/cinema/ziad-doueiri,-realisateur-de-linsulte,-en-lutte-contre-les-tabous-du-liban,
    http://www.telerama.fr/sites/tr_master/files/styles/simplecrop1000/public/zaiad_doueiri36.jpg?itok=o-cr_xsx

    A côté de cet article "mesuré", publié à la date du 31 janvier, on trouve dans la version papier et sous la même signature ("propos recueillis par Jacques Morice") des propos répugnants, à commencer par le surf (assez maladroit) entre antisionisme et antisémitisme. Comme cela ne figure pas sur internet, je cite in extenso ce qui mérite le détour :

    LE LIBAN EST-IL MINE PAR L’ANTISEMITISME ?

    Un vent de censure semble souffler sur la création au Liban. De plus en plus d’artistes ont du mal à y montrer leurs oeuvres pour la seule raison qu’ils ont travaillé avec des Israéliens. Le réalisateur de L’Insulte fait même face à la justice militaire.

    A mon retour de la Mostra de Venise, où l’Insulte a été primé, j’ai été arrêté à Beyrouth. J’ai dû comparaître devant un tributnal militaire, après la plainte dune personne liée au BDS (Boycott, désinvestissements et sanctions). Le BDS, soutenu par Roger Waters et Ken Loach, c’est ce groupe de pression issu de la société civile palestinienne qui veille à interdire tous ceux qui se sont rendus en Israël. Leur méthode est fasciste. L’écrivain Amin Maalouf et le metteur en scène Wajdi Mouawwad ont du mal à revenir à Beyrouth parce qu’ils ont parlé ou travaillé avec des Israéliens. Pentagon Papers vient d’être retiré de l’affiche parce que Sielberg est juif ! Que se passe-t-il ? Le Liban n’a jamais été un pays antisémite... Heureusement, L’Insulte est sori au Liban, où il a très bien marché, mais il est interdit en Palestine et en Jordanie. C’est d’autant plus triste que l’acteur palestinien Kamel el-Basha a remporté le prix d’interprétation à Venise. Une première dans l’histoire de la Palestine.! Mes parents sont des musulmans laïcs qui ont toujours été propalestiniens. Pour L’Attentat, l’ai voulu donner une voix aux deux parties, arabe et israélienne. J’ai fait pareil sur L’Insulte, avec un réfugié palestinien et un chrétien libanais ? En levant un coin du voile sur un autre tabou. Si tout le monde connaît le massacre de civils palestiniens dans le camp de Sabra et Chatila en 1982, beaucoup ignorent celui de Damour, où plus de cinq cents civils chrétiens ont été assassinés en 1976. Je me souviens très bien que, dans ma famille, on l’avait presque célébré. Avec le recul, cela fait froid dans le dos.

    #antisémitisme #antisionisme #BDS #palestine #fakenews

    https://seenthis.net/messages/665228 via gonzo


  • Israel, Lebanon clash over offshore energy, raising tensions
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-natgas-lebanon-israel/israeli-minister-says-lebanese-claim-on-gas-field-provocative-idUSKBN1FK1J0

    Depuis le temps que cette affaire traîne…

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EZqxsJLhVFQ/WR_pUMbNrgI/AAAAAAAAHTY/Vae3BbGAFs8WIl-j4TDaeowuyVyXKVzEQCLcB/s1600/EasternMediterranean_ExecutiveMagazine_OG-REG-3_TEKMOR.jpg
    (carte avec la position libanaise, la revendication israélienne est en pointillés - ce qui n’est pas si fréquent…)

    Israel described as “very provocative” on Wednesday a Lebanese offshore oil and gas exploration tender in disputed territory on the countries’ maritime border, and said it was a mistake for international firms to participate.

    Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, whose country considers Israel an enemy state, said the comments were one of several “threatening messages” from Israel in recent days.

    Lebanese political and military movement Hezbollah vowed to defend the country’s “oil and gas rights” against Israeli threats.

    Lebanon is on the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean where a number of big sub-sea gas fields have been discovered since 2009, including the Leviathan and Tamar fields located in Israeli waters near the disputed marine border with Lebanon.

    Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “When they issue a tender on a gas field, including Block 9, which by any standard is ours ... this is very, very challenging and provocative conduct here.

    Respectable firms” bidding on the tender “are, to my mind, making a grave error - because this is contrary to all of the rules and all protocol in cases like this,” he told an international security conference hosted by Tel Aviv University’s INSS think-tank.

    Lebanon in December approved a bid by a consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek for two of the five blocks put up for tender in the country’s much-delayed first oil and gas offshore licensing round.

    One of the awarded blocks, Block 9, borders Israeli waters. Lebanon has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Israel over a triangular area of sea of around 860 sq km (330 square miles) that extends along the edge of three of the blocks.

    Israel has not issued its own tenders for Block 9, with its officials saying they were focused on blocks that would not be disputed.

    Lieberman’s words about Block 9 are a threat to Lebanon and its right to sovereignty over its territorial waters,” Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on his official Twitter account.

    Hariri said the country would take up the comments with the “relevant international bodies to affirm its right to act in its territorial waters”. In a statement from his press office, the premier said Lieberman’s words were “blatant provocation”.

    Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said he had sent a letter to the United Nations two weeks ago affirming Lebanon’s right to defend itself and its economic interests.

    Hezbollah described the comments as “a new aggression” and said it would “decisively confront any assault on our oil and gas rights.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/665104 via Simplicissimus


  • French fear losing control of Louvre in Middle East

    The Times & The Sunday Times
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/french-fear-losing-control-of-louvre-in-middle-east-097n8nvxl

    When the Louvre opened its first outpost in November, President Macron declared that the £3 billion museum in Abu Dhabi would be the repository of “creation, reason, intelligence and fraternity”.

    Less than two months later, the custodians of one of the world’s most famous art collections are accused of losing control of the Louvre of the Sands, as it has been nicknamed, and becoming a tool in the hands of Abu Dhabi’s ruling Al Nahyan family, which also owns Manchester City football club. Far from bringing Renaissance values to the Gulf, the new museum is enveloping the Louvre in Middle Eastern culture, critics have argued. Didier Rykner, founder of La Tribune de l’Art, an art news website, said: “The Louvre has been kidnapped by diplomatic issues in the Middle East. It’s scandalous.”

    The criticism came after the Abu Dhabi gallery omitted Qatar from a map next to an exhibit. Officials claimed it had been an oversight, but detractors said it was a deliberate slight borne of the diplomatic row between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital.

    h
    Inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi
    “It’s like publishing a map of France and leaving off Brittany,” Mr Rykner said. “No one seriously believes it was a mistake.” The omission showed that the Louvre had little control over the Arab museum to which it has lent its name, he said. His concerns are shared by Jean Lebrun, a historian and radio presenter, who said Mr Macron had fallen into a trap laid by Abu Dhabi’s “ruling clan”. He said: “At the precise moment that it is extending its absolute monarchy, Paris has declared it to be the guarantor of tolerance and progress.”

    Concerns first arose when the Louvre Abu Dhabi said that it was due to exhibit Salvator Mundi, the painting by Leonardo da Vinci which sold for a record $450.3 million in November.

    The buyer was reported to be Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince who is close to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Prince Bader is thought to have acquired the work for Abu Dhabi, although there has been no official confirmation.

    Alexandre Kazerouni, a researcher at the Institute of Political Studies, Paris, said France was “not informed about this purchase, about which we know nothing of the details. This is a sign that the UAE authorities have politically appropriated the museum.”

    The Arab world’s first universal museum was borne of a treaty between Paris and the UAE in 2007. France lent 300 artworks, including Monet’s La Gare Saint-Lazare, Leonardo’s La Belle Ferronnière and Edouard Manet’s The Fife Player, along with cultural expertise and the Louvre’s brand, for 30 years.

    In return, Abu Dhabi agreed to pay €400 million for the right to use the name, along with other fees that could push the total sum up to €1.3 billion. The treaty says the museum will “work towards a dialogue between the East and the West, with each party respecting the cultural values of the other”.

    Mr Rykner said: “Jean-Luc Martinez [the Louvre’s president] is very afraid of upsetting the authorities in Abu Dhabi, so he lets them do what they like.”

    The Louvre declined to comment.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/664250 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Algeria prohibits ‘immigration’ of doctors – Middle East Monitor
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180129-algeria-prohibits-immigration-of-doctors

    The National Council of the Deanship of Algerian Doctors issued instructions prohibiting all hospitals and health institutions from issuing work and good conduct certificates it immigrants.

    These instructions coincided with the new facilities announced by France to Algerian doctors and the recognition of their certificates that will enable them to work abroad.

     Doctors were surprised by the instructions of the National Council of the Deanship, which requires the suspension of the granting of work and good conduct certificates for doctors and freezing the submission of files until the issuance of other instructions, without specifying the reasons behind this or the period of suspension.

    Al-Shorouq reported that the number of Algerian doctors in France amounted to more than 15,000 which is equivalent to 25 per cent of the competent medical staff, in addition to doctors in various countries of the European Union.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/664150 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Yemen How the Houthis Became “Shi‘a” | Middle East Research and Information Project

    http://www.merip.org/mero/mero012718

    by Anna Gordon , Sarah E. Parkinson | published January 27, 2018
    On December 4, 2017, Houthi rebels in Yemen killed ‘Ali ‘Abdallah Salih, their erstwhile ally and the country’s former president. It was a dramatic reversal: Parts of the national army loyal to Salih had fought alongside the Houthis for nearly three years in Yemen’s ongoing civil war. But shortly before his death Salih turned against the Houthis, making overtures to their opponents, the Yemeni administration-in-exile led by President ‘Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and its backers in the wealthy Gulf Arab monarchies, primarily Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In remarks broadcast on Saudi-funded satellite channels on December 3, Salih accused the Houthis of intolerable “recklessness.” If the Saudis and Emiratis were to lift their blockade on Yemen, he continued, then “we will turn the page.” The next day, Salih was killed.

    The Houthis’ history with Salih is far more complex than this concluding episode would imply. Until Salih’s ouster from the presidency in late 2011, it was his regime that had confronted Houthi rebellions, in six rounds of combat beginning in 2004. But another legacy of the wars of the 2000s is particularly salient for its influence upon global understanding of the current, catastrophic Yemen conflict—the Salih regime’s invention of the claim that the Houthis are “Iranian-backed Shi‘a.”

    False Coding
    The first problem with calling the Houthis “Shi‘a” is that, technically, they are not Shi‘a, at least not in the way that most people understand contemporary Shi‘ism. Shi‘ism is distinguished from Sunnism, the other main branch of Islam, primarily by the Shi‘i belief that Muhammad’s rightful heirs as religio-political leaders, or Imams, of the Muslim community are the Prophet’s son-in-law ‘Ali and his progeny. Most Houthis are Zaydis, that is, members of a Shi‘i denomination that split off from the main body in the eighth century because of a dispute over recognition of the Fifth Imam. Zaydis do not believe, as most Shi‘a do, that the imamate must be handed down through a particular line of ‘Ali’s descendants. Today about 85 percent of Shi‘a worldwide, including the vast majority of Iranian and Iraqi Shi‘a, and the Shi‘a of Lebanon, follow what is called Twelver Shi‘ism: They believe that the Twelfth Imam was the last legitimate successor to Muhammad and ‘Ali, and that one day he will return from occultation, or hiding, to restore just rule and battle evil. Erasing the distinction between Zaydis and Twelvers—something akin to calling the Copts Roman Catholics—may not seem terribly consequential. But it has profound political consequences for the war in Yemen, given evolving alliance structures and the ambitions of regional powers, particularly the Saudis.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/664140 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Egypte, dernier épisode de la pantalonnade de l’élection présidentielle de mars en Egypte. Le pouvoir ayant éliminé tous les candidats sérieux n’arrive même pas à trouver un candidat « présentable ». La dernière tentative, celle d’avoir un candidat du parti Wafd (un parti qui soutient officiellement Sissi) s’est heurté à l’opposition des militants de ce parti.

    Wafd Party rejects party leader’s nomination for presidency | MadaMasr

    https://www-madamasr-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.madamasr.com/en/2018/01/27/news/u/wafd-party-rejects-party-leaders-nomination-for-presidency/amp

    Egypt’s Wafd Party announced on Saturday its official refusal of party head Al-Sayed al-Badawy’s nomination in the upcoming presidential election, which could see Badawy become the only contender to current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

    Badawy had begun processing the necessary paperwork for his medical examination, which is a requisite part of the candidacy process, a party member told Mada Masr on Friday.

    As party leaders met on Saturday, a number of Wafd Party youth staged a demonstration at the group’s headquarters in Cairo, carrying banners saying “President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is the Wafd’s candidate” and “the Wafd Party leads public opinion and is not led.”

    The party’s deputy, Hussein Mansour, collected signatures from members in the party’s higher committee in a petition rejecting Badawy’s nomination, saying the state has various options at hand to deal with the lack of candidates in the race, including the postponement of elections altogether, adding that most members refuse the involvement the Wafd Party in these matters.

    Without official party endorsement, Badawy cannot be fielded as the party’s candidate in the presidential elections. However, “Badawy is a prominent political personality, and it is possible that he decides to run independently if he likes,” Wafd Party member and MP Suleiman Wahdan told Mada Masr.

    Before the party’s committee issued its decision, Wafd Party assistant head of parliamentary matters, Yasser Koura, told Mada Masr that the party has no issue with collecting the 20 endorsements from MPs required for nomination. “Some of our parliamentarians have endorsed Sisi, but these endorsement forms can be withdrawn if the endorsing MP goes to the National Elections Authority and asks for a new endorsement form for another candidate,” he explained.

    Prior to Badawy’s sudden decision to run in the upcoming presidential elections, the Wafd Party’s official stance had been to support President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s bid for a second term. Most of the Wafd Party’s members of Parliament have already endorsed Sisi.

    Koura, who was touted to be Badawy’s presidential campaign chief, added that “withdrawing Sisi’s endorsements and replacing them with Badawy’s is not wrong because the Wafd Party did not have a nominee before.”

    A parliamentary source, who requested to remain anonymous, previously told Mada Masr that Badawy was pushed for nomination so Sisi does not run for a second term through a referendum. “The president’s image abroad must be considered above all else, so that elections in the form of a referendum are not used against the Egyptian government,” he said.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/663939 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • #Gaza, au bord du précipice
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280118/gaza-au-bord-du-precipice

    Gaza est trop souvent décrite comme une « prison à ciel ouvert ». Il s’agit plus d’un exercice de punition collective massive. © Thomas Cantaloube Des responsables militaires israéliens ont récemment tiré la sonnette d’alarme en avertissant que la bande de Gaza était « au bord d’un effondrement complet » en raison de la détérioration des conditions sanitaires, sociales et économiques. Après dix ans de blocus, c’est en effet le désespoir qui domine. « Nous souffrons de ne jamais pouvoir envisager le futur », dit une habitante. Reportage dans la bande de Gaza.

    #International #guerre #Hamas #Israël #Mahmoud_Abbas #Palestine

    https://seenthis.net/messages/663858 via Mediapart



  • Par un vote écrasant, le Danemark exclut les colonies des accords avec Israël
    27 janvier | Noa Landau pour Haaretz |Traduction CG pour l’AURDIP
    http://www.aurdip.fr/par-un-vote-ecrasant-le-danemark.html

    Par un vote écrasant, le Danemark a renforcé les directives gouvernementales s’opposant à l’investissement dans des projets au-delà de la Ligne verte, entérinant ainsi une résolution des Nations Unies qui définit les colonies en Cisjordanie comme une violation du droit international

    Haaretz — 26 janvier 2018 Le Parlement danois a voté cette semaine afin d’exclure des accords bilatéraux avec Israël les colonies juives de Cisjordanie. De plus, il a été décidé que les directives gouvernementales s’opposant aux investissements dans des projets au-delà de la Ligne verte, par des organismes tant publics que privés, seraient renforcées.

    La résolution a été votée à une majorité de 81 à 22, tous les partis du Parlement danois l’approuvant à l’exception du Parti du Peuple, parti danois d’extrême-droite. Par cette action, le Danemark adopte la Résolution 2334 des Nations-Unies dans laquelle les colonies sont définies comme une violation du droit international, et fait une distinction entre Israël à l’intérieur de la Ligne verte et les colonies israéliennes en Cisjordanie occupée et à Jérusalem-Est. Cette position est celle de l’Union européenne dans tous les accords multilatéraux avec Israël. (...)

    #BDS

    https://seenthis.net/messages/663869 via Loutre


  • Egypt’s SCAF and the Curious Case Against Konsowa - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/75353?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkRNMk5tRmxNMlkxWVdJNSIsInQiOiI0TXVEdzY5ekl

    The Egyptian military is exploiting legal loopholes and bureaucratic mechanisms to control which military personnel can exercise their constitutional right to political participation.
    January 25, 2018
    عربيComments (+)
    On December 3, a few days after Colonel Ahmed Konsowa announced in a YouTube video that he intended to run against Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the upcoming Egyptian presidential election, he was detained and put on a military trial for announcing his bid while still serving in the military. In an uncharacteristically prompt trial on December 19, he was sentenced to six years in prison and is now awaiting an appeal before a military court.

    Konsowa, who had previously tried to resign from the military to run in the 2015 parliamentary elections, is not the only presidential hopeful to face dire consequences for his intentions. After declaring his decision to run, Ahmed Shafik—Egypt’s former prime minister and air force pilot who ran in the 2012 presidential election—was deported from the UAE and held incommunicado for 24 hours upon his return to Egypt. Following this episode, he indicated he no longer wishes to participate. Sami Anan, the former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, was detained on January 23 after announcing his intention to run for president, and is now accused of incitement against the military and of violating military code. Khaled Ali, a prominent lawyer, withdrew on January 24, citing the absence of a democratic process or any possibilities for competition. Sisi currently stands unchallenged.

    Military officers, though not banned from political participation, have to resign from the military before running for any office. In May 2013, the Supreme Constitutional Court upheld the constitutional right of Egyptian military and police personnel to political participation—thereby rejecting a draft law by the then Islamist-dominated Shura Council that would have denied military and police personnel their right to vote. The court’s decision made clear the difference between denying the right to vote based on “temporary and objective” conditions (such as age or mental disability) and depriving an entire group of people (such as military personnel) of a right. The law was thus rejected on basis of preventing discrimination. In addition, the court explained that exempting citizens based on the nature of their employment further impinges on the right to work, which is also protected by the Egyptian constitution.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/663218 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • L’humoriste Hicham Haddad poursuivi en justice pour avoir critiqué MBS - L’Orient-Le Jour
    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1096261/lhumoriste-hicham-haddad-poursuivi-en-justice-pour-avoir-critique-mbs
    https://s.olj.me/storage/attachments/1097/22424299_1704753142892188_8945443543378341800_o_546028_large.jpg

    Le procureur général a demandé que des poursuites soient engagées contre l’humoriste libanais Hicham Haddad qui s’en était pris lors de son émission « Lahon W Bass » au puissant prince héritier saoudien Mohammad ben Salmane, a rapporté jeudi la LBCI qui diffuse l’émission tous les mardis soir. Le procureur général du Mont-Liban, Ghada Aoun, a transféré la plainte devant le tribunal des imprimés.

    Lors de l’émission, M. Haddad tournait en dérision les prévisions pour 2018 du voyant Michel Hayek, lui faisant dire qu’il conseillait au prince de « manger moins de fast food » avant de commenter : « Avec tout ce qui passe dans la région, il lui conseille de manger moins de hamburgers ? Je lui conseille de mettre un terme aux campagnes, aux arrestations, aux frappes militaires.... »

    « Cette séquence avait pour objectif de tourner en dérision les prévisions de Michel Hayek (diffusées par la MTV la veille du Nouvel An)... », a écrit M. Haddad sur son compte twitter promettant de commenter plus longuement ces poursuites lors de sa prochaine émission. M. Haddad a republié la séquence qui fait polémique.

    L’ancien ministre Wi’am Wahhab (druze, prosyrien) a été le premier responsable à réagir.
    « Je conseille au procureur général de ne pas s’aventurer en engageant des poursuites contre Hicham Haddad s’il ne peut pas faire de même à l’encontre de ceux qui insultent la Syrie et les autres pays frères », a-t-il écrit sur son compte Twitter, appelant à appliquer la loi à tous.

    Je ne suis pas un fan mais il faut reconnaître que seul le #liban peut s’offrir ce genre de débat public dans la région (à part l’inévitable « seule démocratie de la région » justement).

    https://seenthis.net/messages/663187 via gonzo


  • #Palestine. Un peuple, une colonisation, par Akram Belkaïd & Olivier Pironet (« Manière de voir » 157, février - mars 2018)
    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/mav/157
    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/local/couv/mav157-o.jpg

    Comprendre tous les aspects de la situation en #Palestine : historique, social, économique, politique et humain. De la déclaration Balfour à l’échec du « processus de paix », ce numéro fait le point sur un conflit colonial qui dure. Inclus, une carte-affiche « Pour un Palestinien, 50 km en 5 h de route », « checkpoints » militaires compris.


  • Egyptian pro-government media downplay January revolution
    BY BBC MONITORING

    Egyptian pro-government traditional media are observed to have downplayed the seventh anniversary of the 25 January 2011 revolution that forced long-standing President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

    State-owned Nile News and Channel 1 TV stations focused on the Police Day, which coincides with that of the January revolution, dedicating considerable airtime to this occasion.

    Both channels carried a logo for the 66th Police Day anniversary at the upper left-hand corner of the screen and aired parts of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s speech for this occasion a day earlier.

    Privately-owned, pro-government TV channels, such as Al-Asimah (the capital) TV, also dedicated its main evening talk show “Al-Asimah” to criticising key youth activists who played a prominent role in the January revolution, accusing them of “collaborating” with foreign powers to the detriment of the Egyptian state.

    On the other hand, Istanbul-based pro-Muslim Brotherhood Mekameleen TV marked the seventh anniversary of the January revolution, dedicating its evening chat show “Egypt Today” to discussing the revolution and the media role.

    The channel made special coverage under the title “the revolution continues”, airing footage of the revolution demonstrations, the use of force by the police against protesters and the “martyrs” of the revolution.


    Revolution vs Police Day

    The state-owned newspapers are also observed to have downplayed the event, focusing on the Police Day instead. The main headlines reflect parts of Sisi’s speech.

    Editor-in-Chief of state-owned Al-Gomhouria daily wrote a full-page article under a big headline reading: “25 January an anniversary for whom? For those who made sacrifices and defended the nation or those who sabotaged, destroyed, burned and threatened the existence of the homeland?” Two pictures for Sisi during the Police Day celebration appeared with the article.

    State-owned flagship Al-Ahram daily also published a report saying that 25 January revolution “was abducted by the Muslim Brotherhood in collaboration with foreign elements”. The paper added that the “30 June revolution”, in reference to the mass protests that preceded the removal from office of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military in 2013, “restored Egypt”.

    Some pro-Sisi editors in privately-owned newspapers also criticised the January revolution.

    Managing Editor of privately-owned Al-Youm al-Sabi newspaper, Dandrawy al-Hawary, criticised the January revolution, saying: “How to celebrate two occasions on one day?”

    “The 25 January is the Police Day only. If you want, under the pressure of fear, to mark it a day for the January revolution, let it be on 28 January at least to make people remember the size of damage and destruction as well as the state of panic that filled the hearts of the Egyptians and the killings and systematic looting of public and private property,” al-Hawary said.

    SOURCE: BBC MONITORING IN ARABIC 1100 GMT 25 JAN 18

    https://seenthis.net/messages/663104 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Il faut « exiger la fin des pratiques de détentions qui constituent une violation des droits des enfants » en Israël
    Etienne Balibar, professeur émérite de philosophie, université de Paris- Ouest ; Pierre Barbancey, journaliste ; Michel Benassayag, psychanaliste et philosophe ; Rony Brauman, médecin et essayiste ; Alain Brossat, professeur de philosophie ; Marie Buisson, FERC CGT ; Cybèle David, animatrice de la fédération SUD éducation ; Alain Gresh, directeur du journal en ligne Orient XXI. info ; Bernadette Groison, secrétaire générale de la FSU ; Nacira Guénif, sociologue, université Paris-8 ; Kaddour Hadadi, artiste (HK) ; Geneviève Jacques, présidente de la Cimade ; Nicole Lapierre, socio-anthropologue ; Jean Etienne de Linarès,délégué général de l’ACAT ; Gilles Manceron, historien ; Malik Salembour, président de la LDH ; Sylvie Tissot, sociologue ; Dominique Vidal, collaborateur du Monde diplomatique, Le Monde, le 23 janvier 2018
    http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/01/23/il-faut-exiger-la-fin-des-pratiques-de-detentions-qui-constituent-une-violat

    Tribune. Nous sollicitons le soutien du président de la République et son intervention pour l’arrêt de la détention d’enfants palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes. Nous voulons en particulier attirer son attention sur le cas de Ahed Tamimi poursuivie par le gouvernement israélien : le 15 décembre dernier Mohamed Tamimi 15 ans est atteint à la tête par une balle de métal recouverte de caoutchouc tirée à courte de distance par des soldats de l’armée d’occupation israélienne. Le jeune garçon était dans un état critique et sa cousine Ahed Tamimi, âgée de 16 ans, était visiblement bouleversée par l’annonce de son état et la gravité de ses blessures.

    Ces mêmes soldats ont approché une heure plus tard la maison familiale, et Ahed les a frappés en leur criant de partir. Ce moment filmé par sa mère et diffusé sur les réseaux sociaux montre le courage d’une adolescente affrontant à mains nues deux soldats lourdement armés.

    Le 19 décembre 2017, Ahed Tamimi est enlevée chez elle en pleine nuit par l’armée puis traduite devant un tribunal militaire. Les douze motifs d’inculpation retenus contre elle lui font courir le risque de 12 ans de prison. Les tribunaux militaires israéliens ne traitent que des cas de prisonniers palestiniens avec un taux de condamnation de 99,74 %. Ainsi, l’avenir de Ahed Tamimi paraît sombre sans notre intervention.

    Nous lui demandons d’apporter urgemment son soutien à la libération immédiate de Ahed Tamimi et à la levée de toutes les charges retenues contre elle.

    Le cas de Ahed Tamimi n’est pas isolé. Selon l’association Defense of Children International-Palestine, Israël poursuit chaque année de 500 à 700 enfants devant des tribunaux militaires, certains âgés de 12 ans, et détient en prison une moyenne de 200 enfants en toute période.

    Selon les enquêtes des agences des Nations unies, dont l’Unicef, Human Right Watch, B’tselem, Amnesty International, and Defense for Children International – Palestine, trois enfants arrêtés sur quatre subissent des violences lors de leur arrestation ou des interrogatoires. Ils sont fréquemment arrêtés lors de descentes nocturnes dans leur foyer ; 85 % des enfants palestiniens arrêtés ont les yeux bandés et 95 % sont menottés.

    Ils sont privés d’accès à un avocat, de visite de leurs parents durant les interrogatoires et sont forcés de signer des aveux. Ils sont souvent placés en « détention administrative », pouvant ainsi être détenus plusieurs mois sans inculpation ni procès. Leurs centres de détention souvent situés hors des territoires occupés en Israël, rendent les visites de leurs familles difficiles. L’usage des cellules d’isolement pour les interrogatoires d’enfant est une pratique assimilée à la torture par la loi internationale.

    Le rapport de l’Unicef de 2013 « Enfants en détention militaire israélienne » conclut : « la maltraitance des enfants au contact du système militaire de détention semble être généralisée, systémique et institutionnalisée tout au long du processus, depuis le moment de leur arrestation jusqu’à la poursuite en justice de l’enfant, son éventuelle condamnation et l’application de la peine ».

    Nous demandons au président Emmanuel Macron de prendre contact d’urgence avec les autorités israéliennes pour exiger que cessent enfin des pratiques de détentions qui constituent une violation des droits des enfants, des droits humains et du droit international.

    Nous lui rappelons qu’à ce jour, notre compatriote Salah Hamouri demeure lui aussi dans les geôles israéliennes, victime de la même procédure inique de « détention administrative ».

    La France doit agir pour que Ahed Tamimi et tous les autres enfants palestiniens prisonniers retrouvent leur foyer dans les plus brefs délais. On ne saurait regarder ailleurs alors que des enfants et l’un de nos compatriotes sont détenus illégalement loin de leurs familles.

    #Palestine #Ahed_Tamimi #enfants #prisons #Salah_Hamouri

    https://seenthis.net/messages/662809 via Dror@sinehebdo


  • L’usine à trolls et à fake news dont tu ne dois pas t’inquiéter : Meet the spies injecting Israeli propaganda into your news feed
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/meet-spies-injecting-israeli-propaganda-your-news-feed

    “I want to create a community of fighters,” Vaknin-Gil said soon after her appointment to the strategic affairs ministry.

    She said she planned to “flood the internet” with Israeli propaganda that would be publicly distanced from the government.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/662798 via A very stable genius


  • Egypt Sami Anan’s whereabouts unknown: Son | MadaMasr

    https://www-madamasr-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.madamasr.com/en/2018/01/24/news/u/sami-anans-whereabouts-unknown-son/amp/?platform=hootsuite

    The whereabouts of former Chief of Staff Sami Anan, who was arrested and brought before the military prosecution after announcing his presidential bid, remain unknown, his son Samir Anan told Mada Masr on Wednesday.

    After attending a six-hour interrogation with Anan on Tuesday, his lawyer from the Dina Hussein Law Firm was told that he would be released and sent home. However, Anan’s family has been unable to reach him since, according to Samir.

    The former chief of staff was arrested from his car and brought before the military prosecution early on Tuesday, right before the Armed Forces’ statement on Anan’s “violations and crimes” was broadcast, Mostafa al-Shal, the head of his personal office, previously told Mada Masr.

    Samir’s comments follow Tuesday evening media reports that the National Elections Authority (NEA) removed Anan’s name from the national electoral register due to his contested military status, citing an NEA statement, rendering the former chief of staff ineligible to participate in the 2018 electoral process as a candidate or as a voter. The NEA spokesperson confirmed in statements to the media that Anan’s name had been removed from the register, adding that copes of the statement in question were not available to the press.

    In its televised statement broadcast on Tuesday afternoon, the Armed Forces accused the presidential candidate of announcing his bid for office without first acquiring a permit from the military, aiming to incite a rift between the Armed Forces and the public, as well as forging his end of service documents. A few hours after the statement was aired, Anan’s official campaign Facebook page announced that the campaign was suspended until further notice. 

    The Cairo Court of Urgent Matters ruled on Tuesday in favor of lawsuit filed by lawyer Samir Sabry requesting the release of documents proving that Anan is enlisted as a military reserve officer, according to the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper.

    Anan formally announced his intent to run for presidency via an online video on Friday night, released on the heels of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s announcement that he intends to seek a second term in office. In the video, Anan demanded that civilian and military state institutions refrain from showing an “unconstitutional bias toward a president who might leave his chair in a few months.”

    Ousted President Mohamed Morsi forcibly retired Anan from his position as chief of staff of the Armed Forces in August 2012, using the same decree which saw Sisi replace former Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi.

    Presidential candidates have until 2 pm on January 29 to submit the necessary paperwork to be officially recognized as candidates by the NEA. To be eligible to run in the 2018 presidential election, Egypt’s Constitution and presidential elections law stipulate that candidates must collect endorsements from at least 20 members of Parliament, or from 25,000 eligible voters from 15 different governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.

    Tags: 2018 presidential electionsArmed Forces statements

    https://seenthis.net/messages/662855 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel secretly probed whether family members of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi are non-related ’light-skinned’ actors

    Deputy minister Michael Oren says the probe never reached a definitive conclusion, but calls the family ’actors,’ and ’what’s known as Pallywood’

    Yotam Berger and Jonathan Lis Jan 24, 2018

    The Tamimi family, whose imprisoned teenage daughter Ahed has become a Palestinian cause celebre, was the subject two years ago of a classified investigation that included checking whether they were “a real family,” Michael Oren, an Israeli deputy minister and former ambassador to the United States, said Tuesday.
    The inquiry by a Knesset subcommittee “didn’t reach unequivocal conclusions,” and was prompted by suspicions that the family from the West Bank village of Nebi Saleh was “not genuine, and was specially put together for propaganda” purposes by the Palestinians, a statement issued by Oren’s office said. In wake of the Haaretz report, Arab lawmakers demanded Wednesday that the subcommittee’s minutes be made public.
    skip - fb

    Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested last month together with her mother and cousin and charged with assaulting soldiers over an incident in which she and her cousin repeatedly slapped soldiers while her mother filmed it. The video of the incident outraged many Israelis, leading to her arrest, but was also seen as a symbol of hope and resistance by Palestinians. As the teen remains in custody while awaiting trial, her cause has been taken up by international rights groups and pro-Palestinians activists, who have been clamoring for her release.
    The statement said that Oren, now the deputy minister responsible for diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s Office, headed the “classified subcommittee” of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that investigated the Tamimis two years ago. The subcommittee heard testimony from the Shin Bet security service, the National Security Council and nongovernmental organizations, and one issue discussed was “the genuineness of the family and whether it was really a real family.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/662852 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Egyptians online angry over arrest of presidential hopeful Anan

    BY BBC MONITORING

    Egyptians online have expressed their anger at the army’s arrest of former military Chief of Staff and presidential hopeful Sami Anan.

    Several Twitter users said the arrest was a sign that the regime of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was “panicked” by Anan’s candidature, describing the arrest as an act of “thuggery”. Users also urged another hopeful to withdraw from the race.

    Earlier on 23 January, the army announced in a statement that Anan will be referred to investigation for “clearly violating” army laws and codes.

    The army said that Anan “committed the crime of forgery in official documents” and announced his presidential bid without receiving prior approval from the armed forces.


    “Freedom for Sami Anan”

    Shortly after the arrest of Anan, the Arabic hashtags #Sami_Anan, #Khaled_ Ali, #the_presidential_polls and #the_armed_forces have become trending in Egypt, garnering about 20,000 comments over the past couple of hours.

    User @mnjjdddopp said that the arrest of Sami Anan “condemns Sisi in front of the world”. (http://bit.ly/2DCdOfW)

    “Freedom for Sami Anan, Sisi and his gang do not want [fair] elections. This is unprecedented thuggery,” Pro-Muslim Brotherhood rights activist Haytham Abokhalil tweeted to his 218k followers. (http://bit.ly/2DyGlTR)

    “It seems plausible now to believe that the regime was panicked by Sami Anan’s candidacy,” User @karimeltaki said in English. (http://bit.ly/2DtSoyr)


    “Withdrawal is not weakness”

    Meanwhile, thousands others called on the leftist rights lawyer Khaled Ali to withdraw from the presidential race.

    “I hope that Khaled Ali will withdraw from the presidential polls after the arrest of Sami Anan,” User @a_aboufaddan tweeted. (http://bit.ly/2DumrWE)

    “At present, withdrawal is not weakness, it is [a sort of] objection and rejection of the farce taking place. Khaled Ali must withdraw,” user @bassuma_tarek tweeted. (http://bit.ly/2n594VJ)

    “I’m certainly with the withdrawal of Khaled Ali,” User @Dokansalah tweeted. (http://bit.ly/2Dz396A)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/662485 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Why you should be skeptical of Israeli government’s anti-Semitism reports -

    It’s important to monitor hate crimes, but the reports illustrate the difficulty of measuring incidents on social media and the findings seem to reflect interests, not reality

    Ofer Aderet Jan 22, 2018

    Yaakov Haguel, acting director of the World Zionist Organization, offered cabinet members Sunday a harsh and emotive assesment as he presented them what he called “an important and comprehensive survey on anti-Semitism”
    That it was a report thin on methodology and data, did not stop him from declaring, according to a press release: “The Jewish people and the state of Israel will lose contact with millions of Jews around the world if something isn’t done with regard to European governments and the world.”
    “Jews are afraid; they are assimilating and taking cover,” he said “Anti-Semitism is on the rise and European governments and the world is ignoring this. Israel’s government is also responsible for world Jewry.”
    And then came the presentation of antother report on anti—Semitism to the Cabinet: this time presented by Naftali Bennet, speaking in his capacity as Minister for Diaspora Affairs. The report is entitled “Report on anti-Semitic Trends and Incidents for 2017.”
    According to Bennett’s report, 2017 was a record year in terms of the number of anti—semitic incidents in Great Britain, with Germany also seeing a number of “serious incidents.” His ministry’s official website, which posted the report, sends readers to a more extensive write-up on the topic on the website of the Arutz Sheva (also known as Israel National News), a network associated with religious Zionism.
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    The post there claimed, citing unnamed surveys, “more than 50 percent of refugees in Western Europe hold anti-Semitic views.”
    There are now numerous reports of “spiking anti-Semitism in Europe”, “a record number of incidents” and “a new rise in anti-Semitism.” However, an even cursory review of the “data” on which these reports are based and their comparison to other reports in order to raise some questions or the suspicion that the two documents - which were presented ahead of Saturday’s commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day – are less scientific reports but are appear to be more public relations tools meant to justify agencies whose existence is arguably questionable – the ministry for Diaspora affairs and the World Zionist Organization.

    Consider the statements attached to their pubilcation. Two of Haguel’s statements are particularly noteworthy. “Israel is responsible for world Jewry”. Is it? Shouldn’t Jews around the world be asked if they agree with this statement? He then said that “Jews are assimilating.” One only need ask if this is a result of anti-Semitism, which he warns against, or a natural corollary of life outside Israel, where the majority populations are not Jewish.
    Even the most significant words of the acting director of the WZO, according to which anti-Semitism is on the rise, can be disputed. To do this one should look at another report, the one published on the last Holocaust Remembrance Day by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University. This report showed a 12 percent decline in the number of violent attacks committed in Europe with an anti-Semitic basis. The report notes that this decline reflects a continuing trend, mainly in the decline in violent incidents which were registered in key countries, in terms of the size of their Jewish populations and their international standing.
    On the other hand, the Kantor Center’s report notes a “continuing rise, often dramatic, in visual and verbal expressions [of anti-Semitism], mainly on social networks and at demonstrations.” It notes that this cannot be quantified, concluding that “even though the number of incidents has declined, the prevailing sense among Jews is that things are bad, and that’s the most worrisome feature.”
    Indeed, it’s hard to argue with feelings, but the professional integrity of the Kantor Center prevented it from providing the media with dramatic headlines indicating a “sharp rise” in anti-Semitism. One doesn’t need to look far in order to find contradictions in the current furor. While Haguel’s report showed one thing, Bennett’s presented the opposite. His report states that in France the government is taking determined steps to prevent expressions of anti-Semitism, including a government-sanctioned program to combat racism and anti-Semitism. This has borne fruit, with a drop last year in the number of incidents.
    So what’s going on here? A drop? A rise? Are governments ignoring the phenomenon or combating it? It depends how you count an “anti-Semitic incident”, who’s counting, who is presenting it and what his interests are.
    Looking again at the WZO report, the data raises the suspicion that someone was looking hard for ways to present the numbers in a manner that migtht sound alarm bells, as is worthy of a week ending in Holocaust Remembrance Day. Eighty percent of people surveyed around the world “were exposed to incitement against Jews in the media or on social networks”; 70 percent were affected by anti-Semitic events last year” and “78 percent experienced anti-Semitism in recent years.”
    It’s hard to argue with such superficial, general and unscientific statements.
    But it’s surprising that only 80 percent were exposed to incitement – anyone with access to Facebook could be considered someone exposed to incitement, not only of the anti-Semitic kind.
    Secondly, one could ask if every anti-Semitic response by some wooly-headed ultra-nationalist is necessarily an anti-Semitic “incident” and every exposure to it an anti-Semitic “experience”. If so, then the more hours one spends in front of a computer screen, particularly reading anonymous talkbacks, the more one can be considered someone deeply affected by anti-Semitic content. How should one relate to the data indicating that 59 percent of respondents across the world thought that politicians in their countries were somewhat anti-Semitic?
    This is certainly not scientific research.
    “The situation is deteriorating daily, spreading to new countries,” Haguel wrote in his dramatic summarizaton of the report’s findings. “We see the WZO playing a key role in preserving Jews and their identity around the world and in helping welcome and acclimitize [immigrants] to this country.”
    Herein lies the not so covert vested interest lurking behind the current round of cries bemoaning anti-Semitism. The WZO needs to show that it is still needed in 2018. Who if not this organization will work to preserve Jewish identity and settle Jews from around the world in Israel?
    It’s regrettable that state agencies belittle the public’s intelligence. It’s also lamentable that they contribute to producing fake news, confusion and deceptions such as these.
    The topic is too important to be left in the hands of politicians and public relations officers.
    It’s certainly important to follow with concern data that is not based on telephone interviews or social media. It’s preferable to rely on police reports, public security or internal affairs departments in different countries, as well as interviews with local Jewish community leaders and people who are more connected to events on the ground.
    But still, let there be no doubt. Even without these surveys there is no room for optimism. Anyone visiting Jewish communities in Europe knows that in 2018 there are places where it’s uncomfortable for Jews to wear a kippah. Traditional hatred of Jews has been joined in recent years by threats coming from extremist elements among Arab migrants, whose hatred towards Israel because of conflict in the Middle East is morphing into anti-Semitism.
    One shouldn’t take an extreme stance and shut one’s eyes to these reports. But the worrisome situation requires serious analysis, thorough and based in accurately collected data. It should be done by independent researchers using scientific tools and accepted methodology.

    Ofer Aderet
    Haaretz Correspondent

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    https://seenthis.net/messages/662036 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Scoop : Macron sent aide to lobby Palestinians over Trump peace plan - Axios

    https://www.axios.com/macron-sent-1516306027-f098dbc8-5227-411b-b8c7-0110c0b9d0b5.html?source=sideb

    French President Emanuel Macron sent his deputy national security adviser Aurélien Lechevallier for a secret visit in Ramallah earlier this week to convey reassuring messages to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, French and Palestinian officials told me.

    Their main message was that the Palestinians must give a chance to the Trump peace plan, which could be unveiled in the coming months.

    Lechevallier met in Ramallah with the head of the Palestinian general intelligence service Majed Faraj, PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat and several other senior officials. According to French and Palestinian officials, Lechevallier emphasized that President Macron expects the Palestinian leadership to stay committed to non-violence and to the two state solution. But the main message, they said, had to do with the Trump peace plan.

    According to the officials, Lechevallier told his Palestinian counterparts, “You might be right and the plan might turn out to be bad but don’t blow it up right now. The plan might have things you don’t like but maybe it will also contain interesting and positive things for you. It will be a shame if you throw the plan to the trash even before you received it. Read it first and then decide if you want to say no”.
    The bigger picture

    Lechevallier’s visit to Ramallah was part of a broader move by the French which started on December 22nd when Abbas visited the Elysee palace to see Macron — two weeks after Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. French officials said Macron found Abbas frustrated and angry over Trump’s announcement and over his upcoming peace plan.

    According to French officials, Abbas told Macron in the December 22nd meeting that the leaders of the Arab world are totally consumed in their own domestic crisis and are not interested anymore in the Palestinian issue or in Jerusalem. Abbas added that for this reason Israel can do whatever it wants and create facts on the ground.

    “I don’t want violence but it is hard for me to control the situation inside Fatah (Abbas’s party) and the PLO”, Abbas told Macron.
    The French President tried to calm Abbas down, promised him to give him international support but demanded he avoid radical moves.

    On January 5th, in another attempt to calm down the Palestinians, Macron invited a senior delegation of the Fatah party to the Elysee. French officials said that during one of the meetings Macron popped-in and told the members of the Palestinian delegation that he requests two things — commitments to prevent violent escalation in the West Bank and to keep the two state solution as the Fatah policy.

    French diplomats told me Macron and his advisers coordinated their moves with Trump and the White House. They said that during the last few weeks Macron and Trump had frequent phone calls which among other foreign policy issue also dealt with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The White House declined comment.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/661590 via Nouvelles d’Orient



  • Assassinat d’Henri Curiel : la « piste algérienne » sera-t-elle confirmée ? – JeuneAfrique.com

    http://www.jeuneafrique.com/514906/politique/assassinat-dhenri-curiel-la-piste-algerienne-sera-t-elle-confirmee

    Alors que l’enquête sur le meurtre du militant franco-égyptien, tué à Paris le 4 mai 1978, a été rouverte en France. Ses proches continuent de considérer que c’est au soutien du FLN algérien que le commando d’assassins s’en est pris.

    Henri Curiel, juif franco-égyptien, né au Caire en 1914, un temps proche du Parti communiste, a animé un réseau de « porteurs de valises » en soutien au Front de libération national algérien (FLN) et fondé Solidarité, un réseau d’appui aux luttes de libération nationale, notamment à l’ANC sud-africaine, possiblement financé en partie par Alger. Le militant tiers-mondiste a été tué à Paris le 4 mai 1978, dans des circonstances encore non élucidées.
    PUBLICITÉ

    inRead invented by Teads

    L’affaire avait été classée en 1992, puis le dossier rouvert et refermé en 2000 et en 2008 à la suite de nouvelles révélations. Le 9 janvier, l’enquête a été rouverte. La juge d’instruction Laurence Lazerges a été désigné pour rouvrir ce « dossier non résolu », comme le révélait Médiapart le 16 janvier. Fils du militant assassiné, Alain Gresh, directeur du journal en ligne OrientXXI, espère que l’annonce permettra de relancer l’intérêt de l’opinion publique pour une affaire dont il dit qu’elle est « avant tout politique ».

    Des zones d’ombres sur les commanditaires

    La famille de Curiel a saisi la justice en octobre 2015, forte de nouveaux éléments : les aveux posthumes du militant d’extrême-droite René Resciniti de Says, contenus dans un livre paru en avril de la même année, Le roman vrai d’un fasciste français (La Manufacture) de Christian Rol.

    L’auteur, qui a recueilli les propos de Resciniti de Says, assure que ce dernier a abattu Curiel de trois balles à bout portant en compagnie d’un complice, alors que le militant franco-égyptien sortait tout juste de l’immeuble où il vivait, rue Rollin, à Paris.

    « Les discussions avec le parquet ont duré un certain temps », concède Me William Bourdon, avocat de la famille Curiel depuis plusieurs années et qui préfère rester discret pour le moment, comme il l’explique à Jeune Afrique, à propos d’une affaire « très sensible ».

    L’avocat reste confiant, persuadé que cette nouvelle enquête « permettra de faire avancer la vérité sur les circonstances de l’assassinat ainsi que les donneurs d’ordre. »

    Car la zone d’ombre de l’affaire Curiel est bien le commanditaire de son assassinat. Dans le livre de Rol, Resciniti de Says confesse aussi sa proximité avec Pierre Debizet, dirigeant du Service d’action civique (SAC), organisation et service d’ordre gaulliste qui entretenait des accointances avec le pouvoir.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/661559 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Maroc et corruption médiatique : deux absents obsédants au tribunal de Paris
    Par Daniel Schneidermann

    | Arrêt sur images

    https://beta.arretsurimages.net/chroniques/maroc-et-corruption-mediatique-deux-absents-absents-au-tribunal

    Ni la journaliste Mireille Duteil, ni le directeur du Point Etienne Gernelle, ne sont venus assister au procès en diffamation à propos du Maroc, intenté à Arrêt sur images et Orient XXI.
    Pourquoi ? Mais pourquoi diable Mireille Duteil, journaliste retraitée du Point, et son ex-journal, ont-ils décidé de nous poursuivre pour diffamation ? C’est la question qui m’a poursuivi, toute l’après-midi d’hier, sur le banc inconfortable de la 17e chambre du tribunal correctionnel de Paris, où je comparaissais, en compagnie de mes confrères Alain Gresh et Olivier Quarante, poursuivis par la même Mireille Duteil, et le même Le Point, pour la même affaire de corruption présumée de journalistes français par le Maroc.

    Et si Mireille Duteil et Le Point se sont sentis diffamés, pourquoi eux seuls ? Pourquoi pas les trois autres journalistes français également cités dans cette affaire dite des #marocleaks, Dominique Lagarde (L’Express), José Garçon (Libération) et Vincent Hervouët (LCI) ? Mireille Duteil s’est-elle sentie davantage diffamée que ses confrères ? Le Point est-il un journal particulièrement sensible ? Il est vrai que Etienne Gernelle, directeur du Point, semble avoir un désir irrépressible de trainer en Justice notre petite équipe. Je vous avais raconté l’an dernier le procès ahurissant qu’il nous avait fait à propos d’une chronique d’Alain Korkos, affaire dans laquelle, bien entendu, nous avons été relaxés, et Gernelle débouté.

    Toutes ces questions torturantes se doublaient d’une autre. Si Mireille Duteil et Etienne Gernelle se sont sentis à ce point diffamés par ma chronique, titrée « Maroc : le retour de l’abominable vénalité de la presse française ? », pourquoi aucun des deux n’a-t-il eu le courage de venir affronter à la barre les odieux diffamateurs que nous sommes ? Pourquoi Mireille Duteil n’est-elle pas venue clarifier le statut de sa collaboration avec L’Observateur du Maroc , publication confidentielle dont le directeur, Ahmed Charai, est un proche du pouvoir marocain ? Pourquoi n’est-elle pas simplement venue dire si elle était payée pour cette abondante collaboration, et si oui, combien ? Pourquoi Gernelle (ou son prédecesseur Franz-Olivier Giesbert) ne sont-ils pas venus dire s’ils connaissaient l’existence de cette pige, et si cela ne constituait pas, à leurs yeux, un conflit d’intérêt dans sa couverture du Maghreb pour un grand hebdomadaire indépendant comme Le Point ? Pourquoi ne sont-ils pas venus expliquer les raisons du black out, dans Le Point, hebdomadaire indépendant, sur le conflit du Sahara occidental, à enjeu stratégique pour le pouvoir marocain ?

    https://seenthis.net/messages/661363 via Nouvelles d’Orient