What a Mess the Arab World is in
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What a Mess the Arab World is in

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 3/25/2002: Such a mess.

"Arab Leaders" who are mostly inept and corrupt and miserably repressive.

An Arab League that is impotent and crippled.

Arab media that can't figure out whom to interview about what.

A Palestinian leader chained in place by the Israelis; while his globe-trotting de facto Prime Minister (Nabil Shaath, the man who actually masterminded the idea of a "Saudi Plan" in close coordination with the CIA and the "Arab Leaders), is the same man whom the Palestinian Legislative assembly a few years ago demanded be dismissed, arrested and tried for corruption.

An Arab Summit at a crucial historial moment with nearly half the heads of state not showing up.

Arab armies representing 22 States and 200+ million no match for that of little Israel.

Arab economies, all together, now but a fraction of that of little Israel.

Arab unity such a joke no-one even discusses it for real.

The list here seems endless....

And then they wonder why so many Saudis have publicly and financially actually expressed support for Osama Bin Laden and the demand that U.S. troops get out of Arabia; while so many others in one way or another support the suicide bomber phenomena; and why now even the foreign observers who have come to try to help are being targeted as rage, hatred, and despair spread like wildfire.


By Sam F. Ghattas

BEIRUT, Lebanon (Associated Press, AP - March 26) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will not attend this week's Arab summit, his government announced Tuesday. Mubarak's decision leaves the gathering without a key moderate voice as it deals with a Saudi overture of peace with Israel.

The cancellation came as Egypt advised Yasser Arafat to stay away as well, angered by conditions Israel has imposed on allowing the Palestinian leader to attend.

Ten heads of state from the 22-member Arab League are not attending the two-day summit, but Mubarak's cancelation is the most significant. It could undermine chances for a strong voice on the Saudi proposals, which had been praised by the United States and which the Arab leaders had been expected to adopt.

Egypt's foreign minister said Mubarak could not attend because of unspecified "domestic commitments."

The Saudi proposal, as floated by Crown Prince Abdullah last month, would offer Israel full normalization of relations with the Arab world in return for a withdrawal from Arab lands occupied in 1967. A proposal of normalization would be the strongest offer made by the Arabs since the peace process began.

But in the past weeks, more hardline Arab states have sought to change to offer to full peace - seen as a lower level than normalization, which would entail more cultural and trade exchanges.

As they left debate of the Saudi initiative for their leaders, who open the summit Wednesday, the Arab foreign ministers drew up a more hardline draft final statement. It demanded complete Israel withdrawal from occupied Arab lands but said little about what sort of peace Israel would receive in return.

Any decision on the Saudi initiative could be worked into the draft, which also dealt with Iraq and other issues, or passed alongside it at the end of the summit.

Meanwhile, summit preparations have been overshadowed by the question of whether Israel will allow Arafat to leave the West Bank town of Ramallah for the first time in months and travel to Beirut.

Despite U.S. pressure to allow Arafat to attend, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon set conditions Tuesday night that made the Palestinian leader's trip extremely unlikely. Sharon insisted he reserved the right to prevent Arafat from returning home if there are terrorist attacks while the Palestinian leader is gone. Israel has also been demanding Arafat agree to a U.S. brokered cease-fire as a condition for leaving.

Egypt said it was better for Arafat to stay home.

"The Israelis have been playing games with this matter of whether Arafat will attend," Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told CNN. "They were trying to impose conditions, unacceptable conditions, and the honorable way is for Arafat to say that he is not coming, because it does not depend on the decisions of Israel."

In an interview earlier with the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, Mubarak warned that if Arafat went to Beirut, Sharon will stir up violence and "destroy the last offices of the Palestinian Authority and force it to remain outside."

Egypt, the most populous Arab state and the first to sign a peace accord with Israel, will be represented at the Beirut summit by Prime Minister Atef Obeid, state television said.

The heads of state of Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan and Mauritania will also not attend the summit. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi rejects peace moves with Israel, while President Saddam Hussein has not left Iraq in more than a decade.

Saudi Arabia will be represented by Abdullah since King Fahd, like a number of aging Gulf monarchs, has health problems.

The draft final statement drawn up by the Arab foreign ministers demanded a "complete withdrawal" by Israel from lands held by Israel since 1967 and it ruled out any new relations with Israel "in light of the relapse of the peace process," according to Lebanon's National News Agency.

The leaders would also step up financial support to Arafat's Palestinian Authority, promising $55 million a month for at least the next 6 months - possibly more if Israeli-Palestinian violence continued. Leaders also would contribute $150 million total to two other funds for the support of Palestinians.

Underlining the animosities, Al-Jazeera television - the Arab world's best-known broadcaster - canceled plans to air a live interview with Sharon. Arab journalists covering the summit had objected to the interview, with more than 100 staging a protest outside Al Jazeera's studio at the press center.

An Al-Jazeera announcer said the interview was canceled because of "technical conditions" imposed on its crew by Israeli authorities.

In Yemen, several hundred thousand people protested Tuesday in the capital, San'a, against any normalization of relations with Israel. In Egypt, thousands of students at four university campuses staged angry protests, calling on Arab leaders to use force - not peace plans - to back the Palestinian uprising.

Mubarak, in the An-Nahar interview, outlined the five points of the Saudi plan. The first three, he said, deal with an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab land, Palestinian statehood and resolving the issue of Palestinian refugees. The other two address peace as a necessary strategy for Arabs and Israel. Details were not provided. In the contention over the level of peace to offer Israel, Mubarak said there was "no difference between normalization and peace."


HEBRON, West Bank (Reuters - 26 March ) - Two members of an international observer group were shot dead as they drove on a West Bank road on Tuesday night, fellow observers and the Israeli army said.

Israeli officials said the attack was carried out by Palestinian gunmen, but Palestinians denied that they were involved.

The observers were the first foreign monitors to be killed since a Palestinian uprising against Israeli military occupation of Arab land erupted in September 2000.

Israeli police said one of the dead was Swiss and the second was from Turkey. Initial reports had said the two were Norwegian nationals.

"Two international observers were killed and a third was lightly wounded when Palestinians opened fire on their car as they drove south of Halhoul," near the West Bank city of Hebron, an Israeli army spokesman told Reuters.

Their car was plying a road frequented by Jewish settlers who have been targeted by Palestinian gunmen in their uprising. But the mayor of Palestinian-ruled Hebron denied Palestinian gunmen were behind the attack.

"The observers were shot by Israeli soldiers who according to doctors fired at them...bullets which are only used by the Israeli army," Mayor Mustafa al-Natsheh told Reuters.

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority said it blamed the shooting on Israeli forces and expressed "its condolences to the families of the victims, to the Turkish government and the Swiss government."

Members of the observer group, which consists of several dozen members from six European Union countries, said initially that they did not know who was behind the shooting.

The observers, an unarmed force known as the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), works in the divided city to monitor tensions between the Palestinian majority there and a tiny enclave of Jewish settlers.


By Khalid Amayreh

Hebron (West Bank) 26 March: Israeli occupation troops on Tuesday shot and killed two international observers while on a routine patrol near Hebron, eyewitnesses said.

The incident took place around 8:00 pm local time (18:00 GMT) west of the village of Halhul, 3 kilometers north of the southern West Bank of Hebron.

An eyewitness testified that he saw Israeli soldiers shoot at the two observers' marked car from two directions.

Earlier the Israeli occupation army accused "Palestinian gunmen," an allusion to Palestinian resistance fighters, of killing the two observers.

Palestinian security sources vehemently rejected the Israeli accusation, describing it as "a cheap lie."

"We are sure 200% that the Israelis did it, they simply don't have the courage to take responsibility for this crime."

Later in the evening, the Israeli army spokesman partially dropped its earlier accusation that the Palestinians were responsible for the killing.

The Israeli state-radio quoted a military spokesman in Hebron as saying that "it was not clear who did the shooting," adding that "we are looking investigating the incident."

The two officers killed are a Turk and Norwegian, both members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).

Comment on these article(s)

March 2002


Saudi Future Unstable; More Money to Secretly flow to Palestinians
(March 29, 2002)
What goes on in public and on CNN/Al-Jazeera is one thing. This is political theatre meant for all to see. But like the proverbial icberg the great bulk of what is going on is beneath the waves and hidden from regular view.

Arafat Surrounded - And A Letter from Bir Zeit University near Ramallah
(March 29, 2002)
"Reports are rampant, breaking news that there is a planned incursion, occupation, total destruction... who knows of Ramallah and so we have to act and act quickly."

Saudis plead, Bin Laden emals, Arafat sits, Jesse offers...US and Israel prepare
(March 28, 2002)
With the #2 summit Saudi suffering a stroke and hospitalized (how appropriately) at the American University in Beirut, the Arab League summit was even more of a circus and disaster than we had predicted.

The "Saudi Peace Plan"...of 20 Years Ago
(March 28, 2002)
In April 1981 Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia unveiled the "Saudi Plan" which then dominated the Arab League summit held in Fez, Morocco, in November.

Saudis Humiliated, Betrayed, and now "Invited"
(March 28, 2002)
Quite literally as Saudi Royal "Crown Prince" Abdullah was following his script in Beirut no matter what, the U.S. Government was announcing in Washington that he had "accepted" to visit the Bush Presidential Ranch in Texas at the end of next month.

"The summit is heading toward total chaos"
(March 27, 2002)
Today's "Arab Leaders" always seem to manage to bumble themselves from one disaster to another. Then the controlled media and commentators they either own or manipulate in one way or another mostly cover up for them, including such subsidized and sponsored English-language publications as "Middle East International" in the UK and "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs" in the U.S.

Arafat Unheard at Summit - Secret Israel Phone Calls to Cairo and Amman
(March 27, 2002)
How much is factual, how much is disinformation from Mossad, how much is twisted and spun....these are all legitimate questions needing consideration, especially these days. But there's no doubt Irish author Gordon Thomas has considerable connections in the murky world of intelligence and especially with the Israeli Mossad, and he's been on target with quite a few things in the past.

They Call This A Summit?
(March 26, 2002)
Readers of MER won't be nearly as surprised as most may be that journalists are already proclaiming the grand Arab summit in ruins and as the BBC correspondent concluded this evening, "they might as well go home now before it starts".

What a Mess the Arab World is in
(March 26, 2002)
Such a mess. "Arab Leaders" who are mostly inept and corrupt and miserably repressive. An Arab League that is impotent and crippled. Arab media that can't figure out whom to interview about what.

Huge Damascus Demo Screams About Sharon and Warns Arab Summiteers
(March 26, 2002)
History is repeating itself after 20 years, but everything is even worse today for the vast Arab world and its fast growing now over 200+ million.

"Grand Plan" For War On the Palestinians
(March 25, 2002)
As the impotent Arab League run by the corrupt and repressive Arab "client regimes" prepares to meet and do nothing real and serious as usual; the Israelis, with an American wink and much under-the-table help, are preparing even bigger assaults against the Palestinians.

Vital History - Origins of Israel's "Arab Problem"
(March 25, 2002)
In 1947, the then representative of the Zionist Organization in Washington, Nahum Goldman, urged David Ben-Gurion not to declare a "Jewish State" but rather to hold out for finding some way of accomodation with the Palestinians that could lead to a unified "bi-national state" ...

Draft Text of Arab Summit Resolution - More of the Same Sweet Nothings
(March 25, 2002)
Much too weak, fractured, and frightened to actually act in any serious and independent manner -- even in the face of such repeated Israeli and American provocations and humiliations -- the grand "Arab world", meeting in summit in Beirut later this week, is poised to essentially do nothing.

Europeans See Americans Far Better Than Americans See Themselves
(March 23, 2002)
Time magazine was wrong a few months ago, but understandably so under the circumstances and few really expect much more from the mass American media .

Cheney Admits US will attack Iraq 'for Israel's sake'
(March 22, 2002)
While the mostly co-opted and cowardly "Arab leaders" -- the Arab "client regimes" -- fly their lavish private jets into Beirut 20 years after the Israelis besieged the city, destroyed the country, and attempted at great cost to bring Lebanon under their and American domination ...

Threatening With Nukes Could Well Lead to Use of Nukes - Part 1
(March 22, 2002)
One dreadful day they will be used. That likelihood seems now to be growing, especially as irresponsible leaders in both the US and UK keep publicly threatening to do just that rather than insisting that such weapons should never ever be used ...

Marching toward an American Police State - Part II
(March 22, 2002)
The above title was used to headline an article published on Wednesday, the same day we now learn the federal government was raiding Muslim homes and organizations in the Washington DC area.

U.S. Shifting to Large once Secret Qatar Military Base for Regional Control
(March 21, 2002)
The Americans have apparently agreed to let the Saudis off the hook when it comes to Prince Sultan Airbase, the largest and most sophisticated in the region, as long as they are on the hook when it comes to controlling the Arab Summit and fronting politically with "the Saudi Plan".

A Plea to US and Europe: Don't Participate in Killing and Torture of our People
(March 21, 2002)
All of the American "client regimes" in the Middle East -- including the main ones in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan -- use censorship, intimidation, torture, and the omnipresent secret police, to control their societies and prevent popular expression against their policies and corruption.

NewsFlash: Some U.S. Forces Beginning to leave Saudi for Qatar
(March 20, 2002)
Just days after Vice-President Richard Cheney visited Saudi Arabia and other countries in the area there are reports coming from the region that U.S. military forces are beginning to move out of Prince Sultan Air Base, a facility the U.S. is said to have spent tens of billions of dollars to make the most modern command base in the region.

Marching toward an American Police State - "Washington Scene"
(March 20, 2002)
A FOX NEWS cameraman was accosted by Pentagon Police outside the building on Tuesday -- as he was shooting pictures of an arrest being carried out by Virginia State Police on a highway that runs alongside the Pentagon but outside Pentagon property!

Squeezing and Smothering Arafat To Death
(March 20, 2002)
The Israelis, and the Americans of course, have Yasser Arafat right where they want him now. He either does as he is told and paid or he's a goner...one way or another.

More Humiliation for the Arabs both in Palestine and at the upcoming Arab Summit
(March 19, 2002)
It's terribly humiliating of course, but the Israelis have now told Arafat, in public, that he can go to the Arab Summit in Beirut if he does as he's told and declares the fighting ended.

(March 18, 2002)
We already know it was a CIA operation back in the late 1980s that resulted in American-created anthrax spors being sent to Iraq and paid for by the U.S. Congress. We've just learned that a secret CIA team has recently gone to Northern Iraq to secretly meet with the Kurds and help prepare the coming war there.

Angry Demonstrators Condemn both Israel and U.S. in Arab world
(March 17, 2002)
For a second straight day, thousands of Arabs took to the streets across the Middle East on Saturday to burn Israeli and American flags and express anger over the rising Palestinian death toll.

Greater CIA Regime Being Thrust on Palestinians
(March 17, 2002)
Now the Israelis ... are proposing to try to save the "Authority" of Yasser Arafat by putting CIA "monitors" in Palestinian cities, offices, and jails; and CIA listening amd "monitoring" devices throughout the Palestinian bantustans and "occupied territories".

Has The U.S. Lost Its Way?
(March 16, 2002)
We comprise slightly less than 5 per cent of the world's population; but we imbibe 27 per cent of the world's annual oil production, create and consume nearly 30 per cent of its Gross World Product and - get this - spend a full 40 per cent of all the world's defence expenditures.

Transfer? Expulsion? Jordan is Palestine? Approaching the End Game
(March 16, 2002)
If the Palestinians are unable to strike further in view of Israel's and the CIA's unprecedented war to crush them into submission Sharon will undoubtedly say his tactics are working.

Massive New Super Bomb Being Built To Kill Saddam and Threaten All
(March 15, 2002)
With its soldiers beginning to even look a bit like the Centurions in the Star Wars saga, the U.S. appears intent on enforcing the new "new world order" through brute force as well as technological marvels and overpowering firepower and information gathering capabilities.

(March 15, 2002)
Like so many words, this one "conspiracy" is overused and misused by many. That makes it all the more important to know whom to trust and rely on, whom to take seriously, whom to discount.

Manger Square has become a wild, blood-drenched place
(March 14, 2002)
After nearly 35 years of increasingly brutal military occupation since the 1967 war, Palestinian society itself has been tortured and disfigured. The Israelis have used informers and all kinds of means to bring the Palestinians to their knees ...

The U.N.'s latest cowardness, impotence, and duplicity
(March 13, 2002)
It should be a Saturday Night Live skit...the U.N. uttering (or is the correct word stuttering) the term "Palestinian State" after the U.S., Europe, Ariel Sharon and nearly everyone else has other than the crazy Israeli racist fundamentalists.

The Latest As Israel's Slaughter of the Palestinians Escalates Still Further
(March 12, 2002)
Israeli forces killed 31 Palestinians on Tuesday in their biggest offensive in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel captured the territories in the 1967 Middle East war.

Journalists Carefully Targeted by Israelis
(March 12, 2002)
Israeli forces fired for 10 to 15 minutes from tank-mounted machine guns on a hotel where journalists were photographing armor targeting the al-Amari refugee camp early Tuesday.

"Nazi Behavior" Charges Arafat As Israelis Crush Palestinians into Submission
(March 12, 2002)
Nothing like this has happened to the Palestinians since the 1967 War. And this time the cowardly "Arab leaders" are simply watching and pretending; while those who claim to be supportive of the Palestinians in the U.S. are, disorganized, inept, impotent, demoralized, and used up.

Two Poems
(March 11, 2002)
These two unpublished poems were written by a 25 year old Israeliwoman at the time of the first Intifada.

Black Friday and Saturday in the once Holy Land
(March 10, 2002)
The war in 1973 was intense and almost lead to a nuclear confrontation -- remember the infamous "Kissinger nuclear alert"? But for most Palestinians alive today there hasn't been such a bloody day in their lives as on Friday at least 44 Palestinians were killed, hundreds injured.

Israelis Kill and Rampage - U.S. Rhetorically Complains but in Reality Helps
(March 9, 2002)
Serious and urgent questions need to be asked: Why have not the governments of Egypt and Jordan at the very least broken political relations with Israel; and why in fact are these governments actually preventing demonstrations against what the Israelis are doing?

The Israeli Spy CoverUp
(March 9, 2002)
In addition to the "spy coverup" there is now a "media coverup". "We stand by the story" said a FOX News spokesman on 20 December. But now "The Story No Longer Exists" and FOX News has covered up the story of what happened, and why.

American Univ in Washington - Second Rate and Third Class
(March 8, 2002)
When it comes to international affairs and matters relating to the Middle East serious and honest people should keep away from American University in Washington, DC.

Now the US Says it was the Iranians and the Palestinians not the Libyans. Right!
(March 8, 2002)
You just gotta love the Americans, no shame at all. All these years they have been repeatedly and loudly insisting it was the Libyans who bombed Pan Am 103 out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland - more than a decade of sanctions ensued in fact.

Israeli Spying on US - Spiked Story from FOX News - Who Done It?
(March 7, 2002)
Just who pressured FOX News? Why did FOX News cave in so easily? What now months later when an expanded story is not just coming back to life in foreign publications but appears to be the greatest spy scandal ever involving the Israelis spying on the Americans?

Israeli Spying On The U.S. - Essential Background
(March 6, 2002)
The world of spying, like the world of "black ops", is full of confusion, disinformation, and false leads. Those in the media, even the biggest establishment news outlets, usually lack the means (as well as the will) to penetrate very far into this world on their own.

LeMonde on the Israeli Spy Ring in U.S.
(March 5, 2002)
Tremendous pressure was brought to bear in a coverup in which the U.S. government is now thought to have participated.

Israeli Spy Rings Rolled Up in U.S.
(March 5, 2002)
Israeli spying on the U.S. has long been going on; but it is usually covered up or glossed over by the major American news media.

Arafat in Dog Kennel, Sharon in Twilight Zone, Hosni Lost in Space
(March 5, 2002)
After some 20 years in power Hosni Mubarak, chatting with George Bush II today at the White House, has helped lead his country to nowhere, the Palestinians to disaster, and the Arab world to impotent feebleness. More on Mubarak and his shameless Egypt to come -- for he as well as Saudi Abdullah are Lost in Space.

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