jump to navigation

Feb. 27, 2009: Israel’s Lurch to the Right Could Be Far Indeed February 27, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*

EAST JERUSALEM, Feb 27 (IPS) – The continuing efforts by Israel’s presumptive next prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to assemble a rightwing-dominated government have sparked serious concern about the effects such a government might have on peace efforts with the Palestinians.

In addition, the fact that Netanyahu has invited Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the openly anti-Arab Yisrael Beiteinu party, to join the government has sparked fears that this government might take harsh actions against the Palestinian Arabs who form over 20 percent of Israel’s citizenry.

(more…)

Advertisements

Feb. 20, 2009: Peace Talks on Hold Amid Dual Power Struggles February 20, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*

RAMALLAH, Feb 20 (IPS) – Negotiations for the political endgame of the recent Gaza war have proven much more difficult than – presumably – the Israeli cabinet imagined last December, when it took the final decision to start the war.

Now, the negotiations to stabilise the fragile twin ceasefires that went into effect Jan. 18 have become deeply entangled with the succession struggle inside Israel and with internal problems in the Palestinian leadership that also have many aspects of a succession struggle.

(more…)

Feb. 13, 2009: Egypt’s Star Rising in Regional Politics February 14, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*


CAIRO, Feb 13 (IPS) – Back in mid-December, many Middle Easterners were daring to hope that, with the imminent end of George Bush’s presidency, their own deeply U.S.-influenced region might see a new day of peacemaking and inclusiveness in place of the recent years of war, confrontation, discrimination and distrust.

(more…)

Feb. 6, 2009: A Truce Too Big to Fail? February 14, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*

WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (IPS) – The tandem un-negotiated ceasefires that Israel and Hamas announced Jan. 18 across the Gaza-Israel front line remain fragile. Local and international efforts to consolidate the truce have stalled, and officials and analysts around the world warn of a high risk of further escalation.

Further complicating the truce stabilisation effort, Israelis go to the polls Feb. 10 in a general election that Binyamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud Party, now in opposition, and allies further to his right may well end up winning.

(more…)

Jan. 30, 2009: Obama Taking Hands-On Approach to Mideast February 14, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (IPS) – During the three weeks of the Israel-Gaza war, then President-elect Barack Obama vowed he would be ready to engage on the Palestinian question “on Day One” of his presidency.

Now, 10 days into his term, he looks to have made good on that promise. Along the way, he has deftly taken over effective control of the Palestinian file from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, signaling very clearly that he judges this issue to be -along with the economic crisis – one of the two top priorities of his presidency.

(more…)

Jan. 23, 2009: Gaza War Lends Urgency to Obama’s Mideast Agenda February 14, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*


WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (IPS) – On Thursday, his second full day in office, Pres. Barack Obama took some bold steps that could have wide and positive repercussions in the Middle East.

He signed executive orders forbidding torture by any U.S. government agent and mandating the speedy closure of the much-reviled U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

(more…)

Jan. 16, 2009: Syria Makes Its Mark on Regional Politics February 14, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*


DAMASCUS, Jan 16 (IPS) – The main artery of Damascus’s famous covered souk (market) sports a giant red banner expressing – in Arabic and English – the disgust and anguish of a nearby private business for the Israeli military’s attacks on Gaza.

In restaurants and other businesses, large-screen televisions that usually play sports are instead tuned to Al-Jazeera’s 24-hour coverage from Gaza. Syrians of all social groups voice sadness – and considerable anger – about Israel’s war on Gaza and the George W. Bush administration’s refusal to press for a speedy ceasefire.

(more…)

Jan. 9, 2009: Gaza, and Israel’s Wars of Forced Regime Change February 14, 2009

Posted by Helena Cobban in Uncategorized.
comments closed

Analysis by Helena Cobban*

WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (IPS) – The war that Israel launched on Gaza Dec. 27 is the seventh war of choice Israel has launched against its neighbours since 1973, the last year in which it fought a war that was forced upon it.

Of the seven wars one – in Lebanon, 1978 – had the goal of establishing an Israeli-controlled “security zone” running inside Lebanon’s border with Israel. The other six, including the present war on Gaza, all aimed at imposing a “forced regime change” on Arab communities neighbouring Israel through the violent physical dismantlement of politico-military structures then present in, or on occasion dominating, those societies.

(more…)