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Friday 16. September 2011

EU sanctions on Syria oil and gas industry come with loopholes

The European Union, which buys 90% of Syria's oil exports, has slapped sanctions on the nation's oil and gas industry, but loopholes allow European energy companies to pull back only gradually from buying heavy crude or doing lucrative work in Syrian oil fields.

Category: Press
Thursday 08. September 2011

Turkey is no great power

Despite its 80 million citizens, its rapidly growing economy and its large military, Turkey has failed to position itself as an influential regional element. The Islamist government’s new policy, which is premised on Neo-Ottomanism (a return to the Ottoman Empire’s glory days,) registered a series of stinging diplomatic failures in recent years.

Category: Press
Monday 29. August 2011

The End of the myth of "resistance" for Hezbollah, Iran and Syria

Hezbollah is preparing itself to face the greatest challenge in its history, when the Special Tribunal for Lebanon [STL] reveals the truth behind the assassination of [former Lebanese Prime Minister] Rafik Hariri live on air all across the world. Following this, the image that Hezbollah has created for itself – as a representative of the resistance which defends Lebanon against Israeli aggression – will collapse. Rather than defending the people of Lebanon from others, the STL evidence may reveal that Hezbollah collaborated with a foreign state to kill the greatest Lebanese statesman, in order – ultimately – to seize power and control the country.

Category: Press
Wednesday 17. August 2011

Iraqi Leader Backs Syria, With a Nudge From Iran

As leaders in the Arab world and other countries condemn President Bashar al-Assad’s violent crackdown on demonstrators in Syria, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has struck a far friendlier tone, urging the protesters not to “sabotage” the state and hosting an official Syrian delegation. Mr. Maliki’s support for Mr. Assad has illustrated how much Iraq’s position in the Middle East has shifted toward an axis led by Iran. And it has also aggravated the fault line between Iraq’s Shiite majority, whose leaders have accepted Mr. Assad’s account that Al Qaeda is behind the uprising, and the Sunni minority, whose leaders have condemned the Syrian crackdown.

Category: Press
Monday 08. August 2011

Analysis: Mubarak’s trial is about the future of Egypt

The big question is what “new Egypt” is going to emerge from the events of the January 25 Revolution. Will it be a country willing to go to the roots of the problem and to tackle the main obstacles to its progress? This would be a painful process, lengthy and convoluted, fraught with controversies and perhaps difficult conflicts. A process that may seem impossible in the foreseeable future, though it is the only one that can save this great and important country. If, on the other hand, as all the politicians said, the trial of Hosni Mubarak – the image of an old and ailing leader on a stretcher in a cage – becomes the defining event setting Egypt on a new path, then there is nothing to hope for.

Category: Press
Tuesday 19. July 2011

Syria’s Struggle

Washington and Europe have talked for weeks about expanding existing sanctions that include travel bans and asset freezes for certain regime members. They need to act. Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands — the top consumers of Syrian oil — should stop buying it. The exports are small enough that a suspension would have little effect on world prices but a big impact on Damascus.

Category: Press
Monday 11. July 2011

Syria: Secret journey around a nation in revolt finds protesters are not flagging

Using pseudonyms, booking diversionary journeys, slipping quietly into blockaded towns and hiding with protesters, The Sunday Telegraph criss-crossed the nation and witnessed a Syria of "freed" towns, vast anti-regime demonstrations, violent melees and angry gunfights. It is the Syria that President Assad wants no one see, and it is the reason why he has sought to arrest, censor or ban foreign journalists.

Category: Press
Monday 27. June 2011

Egypt's New Political Alliance Could Boost the Islamists

June 21 saw the second meeting of the National Democratic Alliance for Egypt, with fourteen smaller parties agreeing to join the coalition's founders, the MB's newly formed Freedom and Justice Party and the liberal Wafd Party. Although the alliance is unsustainable in its current form, its mere existence points to two disturbing trends in Egyptian politics: first, parties are negotiating over the distribution of candidates to predetermine electoral outcomes and, second, anti-Western foreign policy views are uniting parties with wildly divergent views on domestic issues.

Category: Press
Tuesday 07. June 2011

The Syrian opposition: Political analysis with testimony from key figures

An in-depth look at 12 weeks of Syrian protest and repression by the Ba'athist dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, the report includes original interviews with six oppositionists in the major cities and towns caught up in the Syrian revolution. It also draws on exclusive interviews with Ammar Abdulhamid, a leading US-based spokesperson for the opposition, and with Radwan Ziadeh, author of the National Initiative for Change statement of principles, which provides the a sophisticated "roadmap" for for a post-Assad transitional government.

Category: Press
Friday 03. June 2011

We’ve Never Seen Such Horror: Crimes against Humanity by Syrian Security Forces

Since the beginning of anti-government protests in March 2011, Syrian security forces have killed hundreds of protesters and arbitrarily arrested thousands, subjecting many of them to brutal torture in detention. The security forces routinely prevented the wounded from getting medical assistance, and imposed a siege on several towns, depriving the population of basic services. Some of the worst abuses took place in Daraa governorate in southwestern Syria. The nature and scale of abuses, which Human Rights Watch research indicates were not only systematic, but implemented as part of a state policy, strongly suggest these abuses qualify as crimes against humanity.

Category: Press
Tuesday 31. May 2011

IHH propaganda campaign to prepare the ground for the flotilla

In recent weeks the Turkish IHH has been conducting a propaganda campaign to prepare the ground for the flotilla expected to sail at the end of June 2011. The campaign themes are the glorification of the flotilla and IHH, which plays a central role in its organization. Other – occasionally contradictory – themes are aimed at deterring Israel from stopping the flotilla while allaying the fears of the international community regarding the possible repetition of the violence evinced aboard the Mavi Marmara.

Category: Press
Monday 23. May 2011

Shlomo Avineri: The future of the Arab uprisings is looking grim

This is not an Arab version of the revolutions in eastern Europe in 1989. What has happened to date is that only relatively moderate regimes, like those of Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, fell, while Arab regimes lacking any moral or political qualms about murdering their own people, are holding on. Tahrir Square may have become a symbol, but to a great extent it is a hollow symbol. In the words of the poet, the sun rose and the butcher kept on killing.

Category: Press
Monday 16. May 2011

Panel discussion on May 26,2011: "Gaza, the coming Flottilla and International Law"

7:00 pm, Centrum Judaicum, Oranienburger Straße 28-30, Berlin. One year after the first Gaza-Flotilla, this panel will look back at the events surrounding the boarding of the Mavi Marvara. The questions raised back then are still highly relevant, because a second and far bigger flotilla is already announced and will try to reach Gaza in a few weeks. The panel will discuss questions of International Law of the Seas, the organizers and supporters of the Gaza Flotilla as well as the political, humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

Category: News