Lebanese Skeptical Deal for New Gov. Will Fly

Nicholas Blanford writing in the CSM explains that many in Lebanon are skeptical the Lebanon deal announced in Cairo can gain backing from Hizbullah and General Aoun. he writes:

Although the Lebanese opposition, spearheaded by the militant Shiite Hizbullah, has cautiously welcomed the Arab plan, analysts suggest that it could founder as rivals discuss the finer points in the days ahead.

"The devil is in the details and there are plenty of opportunities to derail the plan in the future," says Michael Young, opinion editor of the English-language Daily Star newspaper.

The March 14 coalition, which holds a slim parliamentary majority, gave a more positive reception to the Arab League proposal than did the opposition. Saad Hariri, a top March 14 leader, hailed it as "historic and noble."

The proposal calls for the immediate election of General Suleiman, whose nomination as head of state is supported by both sides; the formation of a national unity government in which Suleiman would hold the balance of power through ministers close to him; and the adoption of a new electoral law.

Under the Lebanese Constitution, a new government is formed after the election of a president. The opposition has blocked Suleiman's election since November, demanding a prior arrangement on the composition of the next government as well as key civil service appointments.

Hizbullah demands enough of a share of the next government to allow it to block any legislation that it deems a threat, such as moves to force the organization to disband its formidable military wing.

Mohammed Raad, who heads Hizbullah's parliamentary bloc, says a final decision on the Arab League proposal would depend on subsequent developments. "We don't want to be pessimistic or block the route to any productive decision, especially in a complicated matter like the Lebanese issue."

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Hizbullah expert at the Carnegie Endowment's Middle East Center in Beirut, says the Arab League proposal appeared to be an attempt to "weaken the opposition and corner it. It seems that Hizbullah is not too thrilled about it and I think that the end result will be that the opposition will not agree."

Michel Aoun, Hizbullah's main Christian ally in the opposition who harbors presidential ambitions himself, is also likely to object to the proposal, analysts say. Granting the balance of power in the next cabinet to Suleiman, a Maronite Christian, as all Lebanese heads of state traditionally must be, will significantly weaken Mr. Aoun's political influence.

So why would Syria sign onto a plan that might weaken its Lebanese allies? One reason, analysts say, is the threat of a boycott of the Arab League summit scheduled to be hosted by Damascus in March. The summit is a prestigious annual event attended by Arab heads of state and will boost Syria's credentials in the region.

According to Lebanon's An Nahar newspaper, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was warned on the sidelines of Sunday's Arab League meeting that Saudi King Abdullah would refuse to attend the March summit if Damascus failed to endorse the Arab League proposal.

"The Syrians want the summit to be a success," says Sami Moubayed, a Syrian political analyst, adding that although the Arab League proposal is "not perfect [for Syria] … it's the closest thing to perfect at this stage."

Still, Mr. Muallem, in Cairo, said that while Syria and Saudi Arabia have agreed to cooperate on Lebanon, Damascus "cannot put pressure on anyone in Lebanon because the solution [to the presidential crisis] should be Lebanese."

Some Lebanese analysts interpret Muallem's comment as an attempt to absolve Damascus of blame should the Lebanese opposition eventually reject the Arab League proposal and continue holding out for a better deal.

Alistair Lyon of Reuters conveys similar skepticism from the Lebanese he interviews:  

Regional antagonists Syria and Saudi Arabia, which support rival Lebanese parties, both said they backed the plan agreed in Cairo, but politicians and analysts said this was only a start.

"I'm not holding my breath," said Oussama Safa, director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, citing previous broken promises. "The problems are much more complicated than the Syrians just saying 'ok, we let the Arab declaration pass'."

Syria did not want to be seen to be putting spokes in the wheels ahead of an Arab summit in Damascus in March, but would not push its allies in Lebanon towards compromise, he argued.

Hezbollah, the armed Shi'ite political party backed by Iran as well as Syria, has reacted cautiously to the Arab plan and has not dropped its demand for opposition veto power in cabinet.

"I don't think the opposition can backtrack on that," said Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, visiting scholar at Beirut's Carnegie Middle East Center, noting that Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had said the veto was vital to thwart U.S. designs on Lebanon.

STRATEGIC CONTEST

"We're not really talking about numbers for a political sharing, but about strategic issues that have become even more important for Hezbollah, Syria and Iran," she said.

"It's a question of Lebanon's political orientation, its identity, and of Hezbollah's weapons above all else."

Lebanon's fate often seems linked to a wider conflict that pits Syria and Iran against Washington and its Arab allies. Each side accuses the other of blocking a deal among the Lebanese.

Saad-Ghorayeb said Syria had limited leverage over Hezbollah and none over Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun. It would not risk an opposition split by pushing hard for the Arab plan.

Aoun, a former army chief who once fought Syrian troops in Lebanon, is now allied with Hezbollah and Amal, a pro-Syrian Shi'ite party whose leader Nabih Berri is parliament speaker.

Aoun says he still opposes Syrian influence in Lebanon, but shares the determination of his Shi'ite partners to prevent the U.S.- and Saudi-backed Sunni, Druze and Christian bloc led by wealthy businessman Saad al-Hariri from monopolising power.

Berri has called an assembly session for Saturday for its 12th attempt to elect a president, but another postponement is inevitable unless a surprise political deal emerges beforehand.

Lebanon's political stalemate has lasted more than a year. The presidency barely functioned even before pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud left office on Nov. 23. The government limps on although its foes say it is illegitimate. Parliament has not met.

"This crisis has had devastating consequences on Lebanon," said Ghassan Moukheiber, a moderate member of Aoun's group in parliament. "We must have a president and a cabinet quickly. The country cannot continue at a standstill."

He said the Arab plan was balanced and took account of the concerns of the both sides, but was far from a done deal.

"It's a potential breakthrough because it seems to have taken care of the regional elements affecting or hindering the presidential election," Moukheiber told Reuters. "But it still needs to be ironed out by local actors, particularly Aoun, who would not be subject to direct influence from Syria or Iran."

Ghassan Tueni, publisher of the an-Nahar newspaper and an MP in the anti-Syrian majority, also voiced optimism that the Arab plan would eventually work because it had regional support, with Iran and Qatar encouraging the Syrians to accept it.

"But there are some difficulties," he cautioned. "Hezbollah was not party to the agreement and they are reluctant to admit that Syria can commit them to it, so they are trying to restate their exigencies, which I don't think will be acceptable."

Comments (123)


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101. Friend in America said:

Norman – I also do not understand why the officials from America advising on the constitution concurred on the European style. It clearly did not attain desired objectives – it did not pull the country together. It created a climate in which citizens were encouraged to seek their religious/ethnic group identities. Hence it encouraged differences instead of uplifting common interests and needs. It was a disaster for the Iraqi citizens who were nationalists.
I am aware there was an impasse for months over whether the new organization should be centralized or federalized. Then this form of organization for the central government surfaced and the previous disagreement was sublimated.
It did not settle well with the Iraqi delegates to the consitutional convention. But the nationalists had a weak voice. That convention took months to come to a conclusion. I would enjoy participating in a study on how all this came about. Regards.

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January 10th, 2008, 4:00 pm

 

102. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sami D,

Part of the peace negotiations is determining how to deal with conflicting rights. You think that the Palestinian rights are more fundamental, I disagree. I think you would have had a stronger point had the Arabs and Palestinians accepted the UN partition resolution. Since the right of return will lead in my opinion to a brutal civil war and the trashing of Israel (see Iraq and Lebanon) or to a dictatorship (see other Arab countries), it is against the human rights of both Jews and Palestinians.

Governments elected to 4 year terms cannot have a 100 year perspective. The West allied with the parties that were helping its interests at any point in time. At this point in time, the US is a stabilizing force in the mid-east.

You can have only one consistent view of the Arab regimes. Either you are for change in all of them or you are against change in all of them. Some posters here are for a revolution in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi but they want stability in Syria (which is just jargon that they are ok with a dictator in Syria).

So what do the Arabs want? Can you formulate a reasonable internal plan for reform or not? Or is each Arab going to maintain that the other Arab countries have to democratize but not their own? And isn’t this playing into the hands of the US and Israel?

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January 10th, 2008, 4:43 pm

 

103. Alex said:

Bush urges Israeli occupation end
BBC breaking news graphic

US President George W Bush has said Israel must end occupation of Arab land taken in 1967 so that a viable Palestinian state can be created.

He also urged a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue which would involve paying compensation.

This is thought to be the first time Mr Bush has publicly pressed the Israelis to give up occupied land.

And he called on Arab states to reach out to Israel – a step he said was “long overdue”.

Earlier, Mr Bush said he believed the two sides would be able to sign a peace deal before he leaves office in January 2009.

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January 10th, 2008, 4:47 pm

 

104. Shual said:

Dear Alex, AFPs headline should be: “Funky clown makes jokes about victims of IDF-terror at checkpoints”

“Yes. He’s asking me about the checkpoints I drove through and my impression about what it was like to drive through checkpoints. I can understand why the Palestinians are frustrated driving through checkpoints. I can also understand that until confidence is gained on both sides, why the Israelis would want there to be a sense of security. In other words, they don’t want a state on their border from which attacks would be launched. I can understand that. Any reasonable person can understand that.” … “And so checkpoints create frustrations for people. They create a sense of security for Israel; they create massive frustrations for the Palestinians. You’ll be happy to hear that my motorcade of a mere 45 cars was able to make it through without being stopped. (Laughter.)”

“But I’m not so exactly sure that’s what happens to the average person.”

http://cbs5.com/worldwire/22.0.html?type=national&serviceLevel=a&category=i&filename=Bush-Mideast-Text.xml

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January 10th, 2008, 4:50 pm

 

105. norman said:

French parliamentary delegation affirms good relations with Syria despite spat over Lebanon
A French parliamentary delegation visiting Syria said Thursday that cooperation between Damascus and Paris was ongoing, despite both countries having announced they had suspended talks over the situation in Lebanon. “Political and diplomatic relations witness ups and downs, but French-Syrian friendship is historical,” Jean Luc Reitzer, a member of the three-man delegation, told reporters in Damascus. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem announced last week that his country was suspending talks with France on Lebanon’s political crisis, retaliating for a similar move made earlier by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy had said that France wouldn’t talk with Syria, which wields considerable influence over Lebanon’s Hezbollah-led opposition, until Damascus showed a willingness to let Lebanon elect a new president.

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January 10th, 2008, 4:54 pm

 

106. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Bush says it outright: Compensation yes, right of return no.

This makes sense.

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January 10th, 2008, 4:54 pm

 

107. Alex said:

AIG said:

“Some posters here are for a revolution in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi but they want stability in Syria (which is just jargon that they are ok with a dictator in Syria”

Again you are twisting our statements in a way that makes us sound stupid and inconsistent.

Read what I wrote in the comments section of Mona Eltahawy’s blog few weeks ago (replying to an American blogger who wanted to reform Saudi Arabia quickly, his way:

But if Wahabis enjoy the support of a significant portion of Saudi society (50%?) … then can you really “exterminate their clerics like rats”?

I prefer a long-term approach… over ten to twenty years perhaps. Gradually limiting Wahabi power .. starting with stopping them from sending money outside the Kingdom to export their ideas.

Carefully sequenced Educational reforms … introduced in a way that does not threaten their existing beliefs and values.

Exactly what I say about Syria … I do not wish chaos to Saudi Arabia no matter how much I criticize them.

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January 10th, 2008, 4:58 pm

 

108. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,

Yes, you personally are consistent that you prefer stability over democracy but most other posters are not. They want revolution in the mid-east but not in their counntry. Your glaring incosistency is that you are saying waht you say from within a liberal democratic society. Let the Syrians decide if they want Bashar or not. If they really want stability they will freely vote for him. If not, you have invented this whole theory about what Syrians want which is incorrect. But Asad unlike you knows that the majority of Syrians would not freely vote for him. That is why he opresses them and denies them freedom of speech.

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January 10th, 2008, 5:11 pm

 

109. norman said:

Bush is the new Saul ,( Paul) ,He should come to Syria next.

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January 10th, 2008, 5:33 pm

 

110. Alex said:

AIG,

There is no “glaring inconsistency” if you look at the consistency in my opinion:

I am against dramatic, rapid and forced changes to the political system of any country.

Look … even in Israel, I do not agree with many other Syrians here in my uncertainty about giving the Palestinians the right of return.

On the one hand, logically speaking, I absolutely think that Israelis and Palestinians should live in one country with no difficult-to-define- border between them… no need to find a way to split Jerusalem …

On the other hand, I know that we can not force this solution on the Jews in Israel who are overwhelmingly against such an arrangement… they want Israel to remain a Jewish country.

So … again, I prefer for now a solution that avoids the issue and allow the two people to relax for a decade from the hostilities and to hopefully realize that it is much easier for both of them to trade and live if they leave religion out of it.

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January 10th, 2008, 5:36 pm

 

111. Alex said:

Shual,

He can joke for now, but I hope this trip will really give him an idea of what is really happening in the West Bank.

Until he goes back to Washington where Mr. Cheney will make sure he puts things in their right perspective for him.

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January 10th, 2008, 5:43 pm

 

112. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
You really don’t understand the relation between the West Bank and Israel. From 67 to 87, till the first intifada, there was a completely open border and trade which was great for everybody. The West Bank and Gaza for the matter grow economically much faster than Syria and the people living there had a quality of life higher than that of Syrians and just as much freedom as the Syrians if not more. Alas, economic growth and violence do not go together.

It is not at all an issue of religion, it is a question of conflicting national interests.

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January 10th, 2008, 5:55 pm

 

113. Sami D said:

AnotherIsaeliGuy

Thanks for your response. You write:

“Part of the peace negotiations is determining how to deal with conflicting rights. You think that the Palestinian rights are more fundamental, I disagree. I think you would have had a stronger point had the Arabs and Palestinians accepted the UN partition resolution. Since the right of return will lead in my opinion to a brutal civil war and the trashing of Israel (see Iraq and Lebanon) or to a dictatorship (see other Arab countries), it is against the human rights of both Jews and Palestinians.”

Please point to where I said/implied that Palestinian rights are more fundamental than Israelis’. What I said was that human rights are more fundamental than national rights, regardless of who’s in question. The human rights of both Israelis and Palestinians are equal, as human beings. Nor does the rejection of partition give Israel a carte blanche to ethnically cleanse and/or deny the return and oppress the remaining Palestinians. What would that reasoning imply should happen to Israel being a leading rejectionist of UN resolutions after all?

Saying/implying that the Palestinians have a tendency to trash other countries, not only ignores the circumstances of what happened to them (by Israel or their hosts), but also implies that Palestinians are by nature hostile and chaotic people that can’t be trusted with having their basic rights. If Palestinians are allowed to return, (many of them might choose not to actually), why would they “trash” Israel, assuming they are given full and equal rights, and not second-class rights of non-Jews?

…. cnt’d

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January 10th, 2008, 6:19 pm

 

114. Sami D said:

… cont’d

AIG wrote

Governments elected to 4 year terms cannot have a 100 year perspective. The West allied with the parties that were helping its interests at any point in time. At this point in time, the US is a stabilizing force in the mid-east.

Not having a 100 year perspective is not the same as okaying the support of regressive and irrational forces on other people’s land, whether the “US/Israel interest” demands it or not. And how about some regard to the interest of those poor countries where the powerful decided to support the backward movements? Nor does the lack of such a long perspective mean that the countries of those leaders who created the Frankenstein beasts bear no responsibility to make reparations and try to genuinely fix the situation (rather than use it to justify further conquest). And certainly bombardment and cluster bombs on countries are not the way to eliminate irrational forces or bring stability; on the contrary, these could only help to strengthen them as we’ve seen. If anything, US violent policies today (not just the past non-100-year-perspective ones), the support for dictators who bring stability (pax Americana is more accurate description) against the will of its people, the ramming down of economic “reforms” (in favor of US/western businesses) the Israeli oppression of Palestinians, are anything but stabilizing.

You can have only one consistent view of the Arab regimes. Either you are for change in all of them or you are against change in all of them. Some posters here are for a revolution in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi but they want stability in Syria (which is just jargon that they are ok with a dictator in Syria). So what do the Arabs want? Can you formulate a reasonable internal plan for reform or not?

I am not sure how this fits as a response with what I wrote. I can’t help but detect on your part a support-for-stability-at-the-expense-of-democracy when the US does it, but not when Syria does it? For what it’s worth I do see that all Arab regimes need to change. Their torture dungeons are an abomination to humanity. But I do see that while all these regimes are dictatorial, some like Syria’s have the support of their people on foreign policy matters. In other words, democratically, a majority of Syrians agree with Syrian government’s foreign policy. The same is not true of other US/Israeli backed Arab dictators, from Abbas to Mubarak, who subordinate their foreign policy to US’s and Israel’s and hence do not support their leaders’ foreign policies.

And while on the topic of regime-change, and for consistency’s sake, I also see the regimes in Israel and the US needing change as well; these are bringing instability and reviving irrational Islamist forces across the region, let alone training torturers and “renditioning” others to be tortured, curtailing of rights at home, all in the name of –what else—security, and of course spreading democracy and freedom abroad.

But I won’t advocate an inhumane bombardment of the US/Israel –which is their method– as a way to change their regime, or the starvation like the US did in Iraq and “the only democracy in the Middle East” is doing in Gaza, just as I don’t for the Arab world. That’s when the complex issue of what’s the best strategy to achieve true democracy, freedom and security in the given circumstances comes into play which is another discussion altogether.

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January 10th, 2008, 6:22 pm

 

115. Alex said:

AIG,

I thought I just said that we need to give both Israelis and Palestinians (in their new country) ten years of no violence and no conflict so that they rediscover how it is possible to have open borders.

But you came back telling me that I don’t understand, then repeated my point more or less.

Maybe I should ask my programmer to setup one of these to help you understand my weird English .

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January 10th, 2008, 6:26 pm

 

116. Seeking the Truth said:

Not having democracy in any state for whatever reason, makes it inferior, unable to reach its maximum potential.
AIG, I think you meant to say Alas, economic growth and nonviolence do not go together., didn’t you.

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January 10th, 2008, 6:40 pm

 

117. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sami D,
What I meant was that all examples in the world and Arab countries show that two nations find it impossible sharing a country. It is not a Palestinian issue. Iraq and Lebanon are examples of sectarian hate in the middle east. Syria is an example in that many people believe that democratization would lead to civil war. Even in Europe Yugoslavia could not stay intact. Even Checoslovakia was broken up and now this is even happening in Belgium where the Wallons and Felmish cannot find a way to live together.

Now imagine the Jews and Palestinians who not only hate each other but the Jews are about 10-20 times richer on average than the Palestinians. There is no chance that such a country can survive. It will quickly descend to civil war and Israel will be trashed. All you need is a small percent of crazies and there are more than enough Jews and Arabs that fit the bill. History has given us tons of examples. Even 50% of the Quebecois want to break from Canada!

I really have no interest in looking back and assigning blame. I think it is a useless effort. If you have any ideas how to democratize the Arab countries, I would be happy to hear that. What would you do with Mubarak and Asad for example? (One “western” dictator and one “free” dictator)

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January 10th, 2008, 7:13 pm

 

118. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
What you don’t understand is that the conflict is not religious. It is a national conflict. Jews have no problems trading with people of any religion. It is the conflict over the land of Israel that is the problem.

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January 10th, 2008, 7:15 pm

 

119. Seeking the Truth said:

AIG,

You say: I am for example an atheist Jew.

Can a Jew, Christian or Moslem call himself so and not believe in God!? What does make you a Jew? Do you practice any of the rituals in Judaism?

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January 10th, 2008, 9:12 pm

 

120. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

What makes me a Jew is that I am part of the Jewish nation and I have tied my future to that of the Jewish people. Zionism at its core is a secular movement. I practice some of the rituals out of respect to my fellow Jews.

I was inclined to do the above because my parents are Jewish but I made the personal decision to continue being part of the Jewish nation.

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January 10th, 2008, 9:24 pm

 

121. Shual said:

“I hope this trip will really give him an idea of what is really happening in the West Bank.”

Dear Alex,
I can only see a repetition of the performance of Rice at the meetings of the Saban-Forum and Annapolis [Same Ghost writer]. Since then we have two levels of “I have an idea what the WestBank looks like”.
1st: Do not “consider every bump in the road to be a barrier” [Rice in Paris] = to downplay the suffering of palestinians by not naming it and replacing it with stuuuuupid jokes like today from Bush. [You’ll be happy to hear that my motorcade of a mere 45 cars was able to make it through without being stopped. (Laughter.)” “But I’m not so exactly sure that’s what happens to the average person.” (no laughter)]
2nd: “I know what its like to hear that you can’t use a certain road or pass through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian. I know what it is like to feel discriminated against and powerless.” [Rice, Annapolis] + “My impression about what it was like to drive through checkpoints? I can understand why the Palestinians are frustrated driving through checkpoints.” [Bush today]

Why: “Israel-PA conflict must be resolved outside regional context” [Rice, 09.12.07] This quite important change of view to prepare the world for a [potential] war with Iran does not need the former strong messages at Arafat. The importance of the conflict should be downplayed. It needs warm words about those poor “frustrated” Palestinians without naming the reasons for the frustration -Bush is trying to avoid making waves in Israel-. And it needs some kind of “Pull yourselve together now, Pals! We have more important things to do!” = The show was staged for the american people. “Everything is on the rigth track in Palestine.”

80% of the German press: “Bush buries the dream of a Palestinian State” – “Bush deepened the rift between Israel and Palestine” – “Bush comprmises Abbas” – “Bush’s advice to his host Abbas — that he should present the people of Gaza with a vision — was practically grotesque.” – “By pointing out Abbas’ shortcomings in public, Bush has made him even weaker.” – “Bush has managed to bury the Palestinian state before it was even born.”

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January 10th, 2008, 10:51 pm

 

122. norman said:

AIG consider himself Jewish because he is from the Hebrew tribe not because he believes in Judaism , I agree , the Hebrews are the tribe that at one time believed in Judaism , That is not the case after Christianity and Islam and many Hebrews like AIG converted to believe in Christianity and Islam or became atheist , AIG , The Hebrews who converted to Christianity and Islam ( Jesus’ followers where Jewish or Hebrews ) you call them Palestinians Arabs ,They should not be forced out of Holy land which is exactly what you and other Israelis are doing .

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January 11th, 2008, 2:37 am

 

123. T said:

Shual- Thank you for the humor. I agree w/ Orwell- “4 Legs: GOOD! 2 Legs: BAD!” Condi should read it on the kibbutz. Thank you AIG for reining in your manic?????. Now we need to get Fares in line. He went berserk tonite w/ his excessive !!!!!!!
I record the following as some in this discussion mentioned NH elections.
I was in NH for the primary. There seemed to be widespread dislike for Hillary. Her prepoll stats veered wildly from the actual votes. According to some, she bused in supporters from surrounding states, esp NY. MSM said her tears rewon her a defecting women’s vote and clinched the primary due to backlash from being persecuted as a woman. But MSM missed a suspicious incident that was covered all over the media at the state level: some guys came into one of her events holding up an iron with the message-‘stay home, you’re just a housewife.’ Some locals claimed THAT event had a bigger impact. (the woman whose question provoked Hillary’s tears actually voted for Obama).
We attended the private party afterward for Obama. I asked one of his advisors about ME- the Syria/Iran/Lebanon issue, esp the recent standoff between Iran vs US Navy in the Gulf and the London Times NPT article. She didnt know about either, tho she claimed Obama’s specialty was nuke proliferation. They seemed a bit clueless, vague…
I told one advisor of a talk I’d had w/ a NH local about Obama— Race was in play- race in the Jewish sense, not biological (the local’s son was half black)but religious, the “Islamic nation” if you will. This otherwise rational citizen went into a tirade that Obama was “an Islamic infiltrator, he’d spent his childhood in madrassas and his father was a Muslim. He would destroy America, he was very dangerous, it was in Nostradamus etc.” It was quite shocking. But after a lifetime of US media indoctrination on “evil Muslims”, not surprising. (One leader of Giuliani’s NH campaign ranted about “the rise of Muslims” and his Muslim Final solution? “..chase them back to their caves or in other words get rid of them.”) Now who set that example??????????
This religious/madrassa smear against Obama was a big hit in American media several months ago. Despite this, Obama today described his supporters as “the insurgent campaign”!? Pres Bush himself wouldnt dare apply a loaded word like ‘insurgent’ to himself. Like I said-Campaign Clueless. Vote fraud was alleged regarding Ron Paul, when Sutton, NH and other towns were found not to have counted any of his votes. Online voters are agitating for a recount and petitions etc.
In general, candidates opposing Israel and zionist policies in the ME are marginalized or condescended to as much as possible in MSM.
But back to the Syria democracy question-
For those truly interested in Democracy in Syria- like AIG-why not work to have true representation in Leb and Syria beginning w/ democracy’s foundation- a census. From there-one man- one vote. Its the one option I have never seen seriously considered.

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January 11th, 2008, 5:30 am

 

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