Turkey’s “Zero Crescents, Zero Axises, and Zero problems” Foreign Policy is Catching on.

Not only is there talk of Hizbullah chief  Nasrallah visiting Saudi Arabia after Hariri visits Damascus, but everyone is wooing Turkey. Mubarak is headed to Ankara for the second time this year. Amr Mousa, the Arab League head, was just there. Middle Eastern reconciliation is breaking out all over the place, as regional states seem to be tearing pages from Turkey’s “Zero Crescents, Zero Axises, and Zero problems with neighbors” foreign policy handbook. Turkey has designed the perfect anti-Bush foreign policy. Shiites are embracing Sunnis; moderates are making doe eyes at extremists, and the Lebanese are just getting along!! What is wrong with the Middle East? Will Iraqis soon be having pajama parties in parliament?

Syria’s future can draw on its past
BY SAMI KHIYAMI (Syrian Ambassador in London)
Le Monde Diplomatique, 24 NOVEMBER,

… The paralysis among Arab states during the Bush era, and the continuing dissension among Arab ranks, have prompted Syria to widen its regional outreach, strengthening its ties with the major regional players, Turkey and Iran. Syria has started to contemplate the possibility of creating a new regional understanding which would have a major economic and political impact on all the parties involved, and which would ultimately transform the Middle East into a recognised player in world politics….

Nasrallah Visits Saudi Arabia after Hariri Visits Syria
Naharnet

The visitors of former president Emile Lahoud, who visited Damascus lately, said that a closed meeting gathered Lahoud to Syrian President Bashar Assad, for 45 minutes, in which they discussed Lebanese and regional situations.

The Central News Agency quoted Lahoud’s visitors as saying that the media circulated reports, about Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah visiting Saudi Arabia, were correct and confirmed, and that his visit will occur after that of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Damascus.

Lahoud’s visitors stressed that the atmospheres between Saudi Arabia and Syria are going fine, especially that “they are based on good intentions between the two countries.”

Feltman: U.S. has Normal Relations with Syria, Disagrees with Damascus on Hizbullah, Iran
By Naharnet
Dec 15, 2009 – 5:48:58 AM

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said Washington has “normal” relations with Syria.
“The long time spent to form the new Lebanese Cabinet may have left a positive impact on the Lebanese because it may mean that the Lebanese are beginning to understand each other,” Feltman said in remarks published Tuesday by pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.

“This is what I observed through my reading of the policy statement, which means that time has come for the Lebanese to rally behind an internal, national agenda,” he added. His remarks were translated into English by Naharnet.

Feltman said he hoped the Lebanese would start a new phase by attending to domestic affairs and “stop thinking about what Americans or the Saudis or the Syrians or any external element believe, but think of what Lebanese need.”

He described America’s relationship with Syria as “more normal than before and on more than one level.”

“Several dialogue channels are now open, meaning that today dialogue is multi-sided,” Feltman said, adding that the two countries continue to exchange formal visits.

“This is a positive and useful aspect. The important thing today is that that we are talking with each other, and not at each other. And that’s better for us and for Syria, as well as for the Lebanese,” he believed.

He pointed to the “deep differences” with the Syrians in views regarding Hizbullah and Iran.

MI chief: Syria is not natural member of ‘radical axis’
By Anshel Pfeffer, 16/12/2009, Turkishpress.com

Syria is a potential peace partner for Israel because it is a secular country that is not completely entrenched in the “radical axis” of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, despite increased cooperation among all four entities, Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said Tuesday.

“Syria is a secular country and, unlike Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, it does not rule out the chance of reaching a peace agreement with Israel,” he said in an address to the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, he said, “is not naturally entrenched in the radical axis.”
Therefore, “a peace agreement, if achieved, has the potential [to effect] a positive change in Israel’s strategic environment.”

“Removing Syria from the circle of hostility, severing the link that, both geographically and in other ways, connects the radical axis, and ending Syrian support for terror would reduce the potential threat against the State of Israel,” Yadlin said.

His speech surveyed the strategic challenges facing Israel in the coming decade, with particular emphasis on Syria’s place in the radical axis comprising Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah…….

But on the positive side, he said, southern Israel has been calm since Operation Cast Lead and the north has been quiet since the Second Lebanon War, thus refuting fears that the country has lost its deterrence capability.

Why non-state actors thrive
Editorial By The Daily Star
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

President Michel Sleiman’s trip to Washington is provoking unease in certain circles, which usually get jumpy when there are signs that the Lebanese state might actually become stronger. At the White House, Sleiman’s actual requests for military aid and assistance were quite modest, but any step in this direction sends alarm bells ringing.

Israeli officials and supporters of Israel in the US have never missed an opportunity to weaken the Lebanese state. It’s a long story, dating back decades. The Israelis have dealt with right-wing elements in Lebanon, in a policy of divide and rule. They’ve even dealt with Hizbullah, through German mediators, as the Lebanese state stands by and watches.

In 2000, the Israelis withdrew from the majority of Lebanese territory occupied since 1978. While an overt peace deal between the Israeli and Lebanese states wasn’t in the cards, our state wasn’t the beneficiary of this move. Instead, it was saddled with reclaiming the formerly occupied territories – strewn with land mines, naturally – and receiving no reparations for the decades of destruction.

Whether before or after 2000, Israeli air strikes, shelling and other aggression have forced the Lebanese state to pay the price in the form of shattered lives, and infrastructure. These Israeli actions are the opposite of “state-building,” since they generate the reasons why non-state actors thrive.

Sleiman’s host, President Barack Obama, must evaluate this history of Israeli-American dealings and decide what should be done to truly build strong states here. In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Obama talked about this region’s importance, as a source of instability. He should ask why non-state actors exist in the first place: Hamas and Hizbullah represent the reaction to unresolved issues, such as a fair and durable regional peace.

It’s not a time for treading water, since maintaining the current course of affairs – putting Israel’s security first and everyone else’s grievances last – will lead to further deterioration of the state system in the Middle East. Perhaps the Israelis want such a scenario, but at what cost? We’ve seen the danger to everyone, including the US, from the chaos in Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The White House must free itself of its sordid dealings with its ally Israel and realize that the usual platitudes and expressions of mild support for a country like Lebanon won’t get the job done.

Only then will we have a chance to prosper, and more importantly become an example of democratic growth and the inclusion of non-state actors, rather than seeing them run the show.

Warmer Relations With Turkey Kindle Hopes in Syria
2009-12-15 (New York Times) By ROBERT F. WORTH

ALEPPO, Syria — Ever since Syria and Turkey lifted their visa restrictions in September, Turkish visitors have poured into this picturesque northern city. Hawkers in Aleppo’s ancient souk now call out to shoppers in Turkish, and cross-border commerce has soared. The two countries have embarked on a very public honeymoon, with their leaders talking about each other like long-lost friends…..

Arab-Turkish Forum approved future work plan in all fields
Published: 12/15/2009

DAMASCUS – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu and the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa underlined during a joint press conference Tuesday that the 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Arab-Turkish Forum came out with a future work plan to boost bilateral cooperation among the Arab countries and Turkey.

They added that this forum clearly expresses the two sides desire to enhance relations and push them forwards to a strategic level.

Turk Leader To Pay Key Visit to Syria
BY BURAK EGE BEKDIL and UMIT ENGINSOY, 15 Dec 2009

ANKARA – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay an official visit to Syria on Dec. 22-23 at the invitation of President Bashar al-Assad at a time when Turkey’s ties with Israel have hit rock bottom.

A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Erdogan would participate in the first meeting of prime ministers of the Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation in Damascus.

Officials said Turkish and Syrian authorities will sign a series of agreements, protocols and memorandums of understanding during Erdogan’s visit. These agreements are expected to include military and defense industry cooperation accords. Erdogan’s visit comes shortly after Turkey and neighboring Syria agreed to hold their first major joint military exercises.

Egypt Forces Copts to Hide as Muslims Hit Swiss Minaret Ban
2009-12-14 22:03:59.799 GMT

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — On a side street in the far northeast Cairo suburb of Ain Shams, the door of a five-story former underwear factory is padlocked.

This is, or was supposed to be, the St. Mary and Anba Abraam Coptic Christian Church. Police closed it Nov. 24, 2008, when Muslims rioted against its consecration. Since then local Copts have had to commute to distant churches or worship in hiding at each other’s homes.

While Muslim leaders criticized the Nov. 29 vote in Switzerland that banned construction of minarets, they don’t support Christians who want to build churches in some Islamic countries. Restrictions in Egypt have exacerbated sectarian violence and discrimination, say Copts, a 2,000-year-old denomination that comprises about 10 percent of the population.

The day after the Swiss vote, Ali Gomaa, one of Egypt’s top Muslim clerics, called the decision “an attempt to insult the feelings of the Muslim community in and outside of Switzerland.”

Copts quickly said that neither Gomaa nor any other Islamic leader mentioned the Christian situation in Egypt.

“Without the merest attempt to put our house in order, are we in any position to taunt others to put theirs?” Youssef Sidhom, editor-in-chief of the Cairo-based Egyptian Coptic weekly newspaper El-Watani, said in a telephone interview. “They should be ashamed.”

The contrast between criticism of the Swiss and silence about local parallels isn’t limited to Egypt. Censure of Switzerland, where about 5 percent of the population is Muslim, was widespread in Islamic countries where Christians face restrictions on practicing their faith.

‘Xenophobic, Prejudiced’

“The decision of the Swiss people stood to be interpreted as xenophobic, prejudiced, discriminative and against the universal human-rights values,” said the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which represents 57 Muslim-majority nations.

Members include Saudi Arabia, where non-Muslims are arrested for worshipping privately; Maldives, the Indian Ocean atoll where citizenship is reserved for Muslims; Libya, which limits churches to one per denomination in cities; and Iran, where conversion from Islam is punished by death, according to a 2009 U.S. State Department report on religious freedom.

“The Copts are a minority. Why do they need more churches?” Ain Shams café owner Harbi Muhammed Ali said in an interview. “There are other churches around. If you have one car, do you need two?”….

Poverty fuels child labour among Iraqi refugees in Syria

Aseel Ali*, aged 16, and her mother – both refugees from Iraq – earn just enough (US$174 per month between them) in a Damascus handicraft workshop to pay their rent and buy food.

Syrian women the smartest” SANA … The reason is a diet rich in olive oil and walnuts. Food for thought.

To the Arab world, Obama’s Nobel leaves something to be desired
The president appears to be following a well-worn and feckless American diplomatic path that discounts the Palestinian point of view.
By Scott MacLeod

16/12/2009
MI chief: Syria is not natural member of ‘radical axis’
By Anshel Pfeffer
Tags: Israel News
Syria is a potential peace partner for Israel because it is a secular country that is not completely entrenched in the “radical axis” of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, despite increased cooperation among all four entities, Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said Tuesday.

“Syria is a secular country and, unlike Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, it does not rule out the chance of reaching a peace agreement with Israel,” he said in an address to the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, he said, “is not naturally entrenched in the radical axis.”

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Therefore, “a peace agreement, if achieved, has the potential [to effect] a positive change in Israel’s strategic environment.”

“Removing Syria from the circle of hostility, severing the link that, both geographically and in other ways, connects the radical axis, and ending Syrian support for terror would reduce the potential threat against the State of Israel,” Yadlin said.

His speech surveyed the strategic challenges facing Israel in the coming decade, with particular emphasis on Syria’s place in the radical axis comprising Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Cooperation among members of this axis, he said, has now reached “a level we’ve never seen before.” For instance, Syria and Iran have conducted joint weapons tests with representatives of Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad in attendance.

The division of labor, Yadlin said, is that “ideology, financing, technology, doctrine and training [come] from Iran, production is preferably [done] in Syria, and the products reach every member of the axis.”

Smuggling networks bringing weapons from Iran and Syria to Hamas and Hezbollah have “abandoned all restraint,” he said. As a result, the Israel Defense Forces’ working assumption is that any weapons system possessed by Syria or Iran is likely to find its way to Hamas or Hezbollah.

He said members of the radical axis even cooperated in gathering intelligence and analyzing the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip a year ago.

Nevertheless, Yadlin said, despite the fact that “the more time passes, the greater Syria’s negative role becomes and the more entrenched Assad becomes in the radical axis,” this is not where he naturally belongs.

With regard to the Iranian nuclear threat, Yadlin warned, “the technological clock has almost run out. In 2008, the Iranians fully mastered uranium enrichment technology, and in 2009, the Natanz facility produced a quantity of material that would suffice for a first bomb.”

Nevertheless, he said, this uranium has not yet reached the 93-percent enrichment level needed for a bomb.

Yadlin said he did not think Iran actually wanted to make a bomb right now. Rather, what it wants is to become a “threshold state” – one with the capability of producing a bomb quickly when it deems the time right.

“The moment Iran succeeds in definitely establishing its status and image as a threshold state,” he added, this “will enable its allies to do things they currently dare not do.”

But on the positive side, he said, southern Israel has been calm since Operation Cast Lead and the north has been quiet since the Second Lebanon War, thus refuting fears that the country has lost its deterrence capability.

Credit Suisse Likely To Pay $536M In US Settlement
2009-12-15 20, DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Credit Suisse expects to pay a $536 million (£329 million) settlement for violating US economic sanctions, the Swiss bank revealed in a surprise statement last night.

The bank said that it was in advanced discussions with American authorities to settle claims that it had transacted “certain US dollar payments involving countries, persons or entities that may be subject to US economic sanctions”.

Credit Suisse had previously disclosed that it was subject to the investigations, which covered transactions made between 2002 and 2007.

Yesterday it said that the settlement was likely to come to $536 million, hitting the bank with a pre-tax charge of SwFr445 million (£263 million) in the fourth quarter of 2009. The after-tax charge will be about SwFr360 million.

The company did not indicate when the settlement would be finalised. The New York County District Attorney, the Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) are involved in the negotiations with the bank.

Robert Morgenthau, the New York County District Attorney, said in October that he was investigating a large, international bank for facilitating transactions with Iran. He did not name the bank.

Credit Suisse said yesterday that it had terminated in 2006 all business it did with countries under US sanction, which include Iran, Sudan, Syria and North Korea. It also closed its office in Tehran, the capital of Iran.

The bank appointed a global sanctions compliance officer and improved the filters it used to screen transactions for sanctions issues.

“Credit Suisse is committed to the highest standards of integrity and regulatory compliance in all its businesses and takes this matter extremely seriously,” the bank said in a statement.

Credit Suisse depository receipts closed down 3.4 per cent at $48.23 each in the US.

In January Lloyds Banking Group paid a $350 million penalty for hiding $300 million worth of Sudanese, Libyan and Iranian transactions from the US authorities between 1995 and 2007.

The British bank admitted that it had altered identifying information on wire transfers by customers in sanctioned countries in order to dupe US regulators.

Authorities suspect that the money was used in Iran to fund an illegal weapons programme — something that Iran denies exists.

Credit Suisse’s settlement caps a bad year for Swiss banks operating in the US.

In February UBS paid a $780 million fine after admitting that it helped American customers to evade tax by using offshore bank accounts. In August the bank agreed to give up the identities of 4,450 clients suspected by the US of tax evasion.

Comments (12)


1. idaf said:

Hillary Clinton sends condolences message to Asad:
http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=106210

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December 16th, 2009, 10:45 am

 

2. idaf said:

Lebanese citizens: We were terrorized to participate in accusing Syria of Hariri murder

Al-Akhbar, Lebanon

مواطنون يكسرون حاجز الخوف: تعرّضنا لترهيب كي نتّهم سوريا
ابراهيم الأمين
http://www.al-akhbar.com/ar/node/169648

من دون أن يدروا، حوّل كثير من المسؤولين والكوادر والنشطاء في قوى 14 آذار أنفسهم إلى نادي «أعضاء النظام الأمني ـــــ السياسي ـــــ القضائي ـــــ الإعلامي للقاضي ديتليف ميليس». بات هؤلاء اليوم في قفص الاتهام. وبانتظار أن تبتّ جهة قضائية ما، في بيروت أو دمشق أو في باريس أو لندن أو برلين، مصير الأدوار التي قاموا بها خلال الحقبة الماضية، فإن كل حملتهم لن تفيد في إخراجهم من قفص الاتهام. أما الحديث عن الحصانات الشعبية أو النيابية أو المعنوية، فلا تفيد في شيء، وهم الأساتذة في تعطيل مفعول أي نوع من الحصانات، بما فيها الحصانة الأخلاقية، عندما بادروا خلال السنوات الماضية إلى برنامج اعتداء منظّم على فريق من اللبنانيين بحجة أنه لم ينضو تحت رايتهم.
ما فعله جميل السيّد إلى الآن، يمكن وضعه في إطار الحد الأدنى من ردة الفعل المرتقبة من أشخاص وجهات تعرضوا للاضطهاد والأذية على يد جهة منظمة في أكثر من إطار سياسي وأمني وقضائي وإعلامي. بل أكثر من ذلك، فإن ما تم حتى اليوم إجرائياً لا يطابق نهائياً حجم الاتهامات التي كالها السيد وآخرون لهؤلاء من داخل معتقل رومية أو من خارجه. لكن حقيقة الأمر أن مشكلة هذا الفريق الحالية مع كلام السيد، هي أنه أتى بمفعول له بعده الأخلاقي والمعنوي قبل أن تظهر نتائجه القانونية والقضائية، وخصوصاً أن كمّ المعلومات الهائلة عن عمليات التزوير باتت في مراحلها الأخيرة من التوضيب، وهي تشمل كل شيء، بعدما خرج من أهل الفريق نفسه من يقول الأشياء التي ظلت مكتومة لسنوات. ومفعول كلام السيد يتصل بكسر حاجز الخوف عند عشرات المواطنين، والموظفين في مؤسسات رسمية، أمنية وسياسية، ممن خضعوا لترهيب هذا الفريق ودفعهم الى الإدلاء بإفادات وشهادات تصب في خدمة الهدف المركزي لحملة ميليس السياسية القاضية باتهام سوريا بالوقوف خلف جريمة اغتيال رفيق الحريري وآخرين.
الآن، ثمة شهادات يجمعها مواطنون عاديون، بعضهم كان يملك مكاناً قيل إنه استخدم للاجتماعات، وآخر يملك محلاً يمكن منه مراقبة المجتمعين، وثالث كان يتاح له سماع هذا الضابط أو ذاك من الذين يجب أن يكونوا ضمن دائرة الاتهام، ورابع من الموظفين المفترض أن يكون على علم بمصاريف سرية راحت من هنا أو هناك، وخامس أمني، كان عليه أن يعرف كيفية أعمال المراقبة والتنصت، وسادس سياسي كان يمكن أن يكون في فرقة التحريض الشعبي.. الخ الخ، بالإضافة الى عدد من المواطنين السوريين الذين أوقفوا في لبنان بتهم مخالفة القوانين، أو لأسباب جنائية، وخُيّروا بين السجن أو الاضطهاد أو ما هو أكثر، وبين أن يقدموا إفادات تخدم الهدف ذاته.
أما آلية التجنيد فكانت بدائية الى حدود أن كشفها سوف يأتي بمفاجآت حول المستوى المتدهور لكفاءة من كان يقوم بهذه المهمة، أو يعكس اطمئنانه الى أنه سوف ينجح في تحقيق الأمر سريعاً. وهي آلية اعتمدت منطق الاستدعاء على مراحل بين التحقيق، اللبناني أو الدولي، وما بينهما على الطريق، بالإضافة الى مغريات مالية ومعنوية. وهو الأمر الذي أنتج إفادات أبطلت لضعفها الشديد في أول فحص من قبل فريق سيرج براميرتس، أو على شكل شهود أخفي قسم منهم وظهر من بيّن ميليس وفريقه اللبناني، كما الدولي، في أتفه درجات الحرفة المهنية الأمنية والسياسية.

«فريق ميليس الأمني والسياسي والقضائي» يخوض معركة مصيرية لمنع خضوعه لتحقيق رسمي في التّهم المنسوبة إليه هل يتذكر اللبنانيون حفلة الجنون التي قامت على مجرد إعلان فريق التحقيق اللبناني الذي عمل تحت إشراف القاضي عدنان عضوم واللواء علي الحاج والوزير سليمان فرنجية بأن التفجدير تم من خلال سيارة مفخخة قادها انتحاري؟ هل من يستطيع اليوم شرح سبب إصرار هذا الفريق الأمني والسياسي والقضائي والإعلامي يومها على جعل التفجير قائماً من تحت الأرض، وكيف تبيّن أن الحقيقة مخالفة؟
هل يتذكر اللبنانيون قصة شقة معوّض، وكيف أن أركان القوى الأمنية اللبنانية والسورية عقدوا اجتماعاً موحداً وأوقف اللبنانيين منهم، ولم يجر توقيف سائق أو مرافق أو مدير مكتب أو سكرتير أو صديق أو معاون؟
غير أن الأمر لا يقف عند هذا الحد، بحسب الظاهر من المعلومات، الأمر الذي يفسر الحملة غير العادية والمصحوبة بقدر عال من التوتر من جانب أعضاء الفريق الأمني ـــــ السياسي ـــــ القضائي لديتليف ميليس في تعامله مع الاستنابات القضائية السورية. وفي هذا السياق، ثمة رغبة عند البعض في الحديث عن الحصانات، من دون أن يلتفت هذا البعض الى أن ما يقوم به القضاء الفرنسي الآن لا يقف عند أي صفة وظيفية حالية أو سابقة لهذا الشخص أو ذاك، وأن مصير سلسلة من الدعاوى لن يعلّق على حصانة هذا وصراخ ذاك.
ثم، هل يستطيع هذا الفريق أن يشرح كيف يمكن قاضياً بريطانياً أن يطلب توقيفاً فورياً لشخصية إسرائيلية مثل تسيبي ليفني من دون أن يسأل عن أي حصانة تتمتع بها في دولتها أو في أي وسط آخر؟
وأخيراً، وبحسب مصدر قريب من قوى 14 آذار، فإن الجهد المركزي محصور الآن في كيفية صدور موقف أو اجتهاد قضائي ـــــ قانوني يمكن وزير العدل إبراهيم نجار الاعتماد عليه في توجيه رسالة يعلّق فيها على الاستنابات القضائية السورية. وبانتظار هذا الموقف، سيكون من الصعب على أحد سحب الملف من التفاعل سياسياً و… قضائياً.

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December 16th, 2009, 10:49 am

 

3. ho79 said:

The news about Syrian women’s ‘intelligence’ seems Syrian-made. Anyone knows a reliable source for it from the alleged sources?

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December 16th, 2009, 10:59 am

 

4. Hariri’s Visit to Damascus « Qifa Nabki | A Lebanese Political Blog said:

[…] Landis’s commentary on the sudden outbreak of diplomatic tourism in the Middle […]

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December 16th, 2009, 3:29 pm

 

5. jad said:

“The Copts are a minority. Why do they need more churches?” Ain Shams café owner Harbi Muhammed Ali said in an interview. “There are other churches around. If you have one car, do you need two?”

How is that different than this:

“The Muslims are a minority. Why do they need more Mosques?” Starbucks café owner John Smith said in an interview. “There are other Mosques around. If you have one car, do you need two?”

What reaction in the media would be if someone in the states or Europe says that as a reflection of the majorities opinion!

Or even a better scenario, what if the Pope/Rabbi/Dali Lama as Mr. Quaradawi told Christians, Jews and Buddhists not to greet Muslims in their Eid? Is that accepted?

The United States and Europe still insist that Egyptians and Saudis represent the balance side of Islam and Syria is the Radical, man those western political leaders are so dumb!

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December 16th, 2009, 6:57 pm

 
 

7. Turkey: From EU membership to heart of the Middle East « بنسبة لنا said:

[…] President Mubarak of Egypt will be visiting Ankara for the second time this year while Amr Mousa – head of the Arab League – just returned from the Turkish capital. […]

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December 16th, 2009, 9:18 pm

 

8. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

What about a policy of ‘Zero Problems With Own Citizens’ (Kurds),
and ‘Zero Oppression on Political Parties’ (Kurdish). Hhhaa ??
.

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December 16th, 2009, 10:25 pm

 

9. jad said:

Dear Qunfuz
Thank you for the excellent summary of Hanna Batatu’a book.
What I find very interesting is the way he explained about the changes our Syria went through, and more specifically for me is the way land has been distributed and how we with purely Syrian ideas did, without even noticing our important creation, what the developed world did exactly the same before us in its way to equally distribute the wealth, while they continue doing that and we got lost in our own creations and how we might loose more of it if we don’t remember how we did it the first time. I’m talking about ‘property’ here and how important it is to keep an open eye on the value of this important step to move forward, I think we have to educate our people about this step and not let it go.
Again, Thanks for this attribute, I think you are doing great work.

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December 16th, 2009, 10:29 pm

 

10. jad said:

Amir, you are an idiot, you preach us without noticing your own Palestinian misery…
Please, tell us the story of the Kurds and what do you know about the Syrian Kurds’ history and backgrounds? their political views? their issues with the government? the main problem they are having right now? the conflict history? their culture? their suffering? how many of them died in Syria? what solutions do you have for the specific problem kurds talk about?
IF YOU CAN’T ANSWER ANY OF THOSE QUESTIONS, all what you wrote (2 lines) since last week are nothing but BS and a person in your position had no case whatsoever to talk about other people suffering. I’m almost sure that you already know how FAKE your valuable preach sounds.
Hhhaa ??!!!!
…!

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December 16th, 2009, 10:42 pm

 

11. SimoHurtta said:

Tel Aviv Amir since 2005 Syria has have repressed at least 14 Kurdish political and cultural public gatherings. Well that makes about 3.5 yearly (source Human Rights Watch). In West Bank hundreds yearly.

Human Rights Watch also documented the arrests and trials of at least 15 prominent Syrian Kurdish political leaders since 2005. Well with Palestinians you get that figure in a couple days. Syria has probably some hundred of Kurds in prison for political reasons. You have several thousands and gather daily more.
Do Amir they in Syria have crazy religious settlements, walls, road blocks every one kilometre, constant land theft, house demolitions etc? No they do not have.

Surely the Kurds’situation is far from pecfect, but I suppose not a single of them would like to be a Palestinian under Israeli religious boots.

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December 16th, 2009, 11:17 pm

 

12. The Importance of Being Turkey « بنسبة لنا said:

[…] lifted visa restrictions with Syria, received (or planned to receive) high-ranking officials from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and visited US President Obama in […]

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December 28th, 2009, 4:03 pm

 

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