BICOM Daily Briefing November 27 2003
Last updated: 2003-11-27
International news coverage of
Quotes of the Day:
HRH Queen Elizabeth II (Queens Speech 26/11): This Government will continue to work to achieve a just and lasting peace in the
Tsachi Hanegbi, Israeli Public Security Minister (Jerusalem Post, 27/11): Without the dismantling of the Palestinian terrorist organizations, there will be no political progress with the Palestinians They must comply with the specific requirements of the Road Map.
Behind the News:
Senior Israeli and Palestinian officials meet for talks in
A two day conference that will bring together senior Israeli and Palestinian officials begins today in
Preparations for the conference, which is being sponsored by the Labour Friends of Israel and the Yigal Allon Educational Trust, were kept secret. Discussion topics will include: The role of the international community in promoting stability in the region; The key military threats to the region's security and Confidence building measures to restart progress on the road map.
UN Draft Resolution for protection of Israeli children withdrawn:
The original text included a call for protection to enable Israeli children to live a normal life, free from terrorism, destruction and fear. It went on to mention the names of several Palestinian terror organisations, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and to demand that the Palestinian Authority carry out its commitments to dismantle these groups and end their violence.
Amendments, however, deleted the phrase Israeli Children from the resolution, replacing it with Children of the
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, explained that these hostile amendments
distorted and perverted the focus and intent of the draft resolution." Regrettably, he added,
Following US loan cuts
Israeli officials cautioned against exaggerating the significance of the
Officials also noted that in practical terms, the move has little significance.
Comment and Opinion:
Guy Bechor (Jerusalem Post, 27/11): Where is the Nelson Mandela of the Arab world? Why is there is not one famous dissident among 20-odd autocratic Arab states, no symbol or role model inspiring widespread emulation, as were Andre Sakharov and Ida Nudel in the USSR, despite thousands of political prisoners rotting in regional jails?
In the Arab world, ruler and regime are not mere means of oppression, as the West tends to believe, but primarily an assurance of stability and social order. The ruler enters into a sort of pact with the citizens, whereby they support him and, in return, he ensures lasting social stability. A dissident in this society, then, who speaks out against the regime's oppression, is first and foremost a traitor, threatening not only the ruler but social order itself; a traitor both in the eyes of the ruler and of the masses desirous of preserving the status quo. Self-questioning is rare in the public discourse of the Arab world, since it is regarded as undermining the collective. Writers penning scathing articles in the Arabic press which are published in
Organized rebellion would be pointless - not just on account of pervasive weariness, disappointment, and cynicism towards political alternatives - but because of the might wielded by Arab autocrats.
The Arab world finds itself trapped in a series of vicious circles: As long as the existing rule is regarded as justification of independence, there will not be outspoken dissidents. And without them, there will be no change of power. As long as reform and democracy are frightening and unwanted, they will simply not happen, especially given democracy's image as an American and Israeli stick with which to beat Arabs. How can we adopt our enemy's way, they ask, isn't that a kind of treason? Isn't it surrender? It is not only democracy that is foreign; so, too, is dissent.
It turns out that the only true dissident in the Arab Middle East is
- Washington cuts loan subsidy to Israel in protest over fence (The Guardian);
- A new anti-semitism? (The Guardian);
- Israeli Troops Kill Two Palestinians (The Guardian);
- Unofficial Mideast Accord Gains Momentum (The Guardian);
- Israel Withdraws Draft Resolution on Kids (The Guardian);
- Israel defiant as America trims loan guarantees (Daily Telegraph);
- Jewish leader demands summit on anti-semitism (Daily Telegraph);
- EU race report row (Daily Telegraph);
- Anti-Semitism is not the real danger to Jews today (The Times);
- Helpful terrorist has jail term cut to four years (The Times);
- German museum snubs plea to return painting (The Times);
- EU fraud office investigates aid diversion to bombers (The Independent);
- Iraqi girl undergoes major heart surgery in Israeli hospital (The Independent);
- US sends warning to Israel by cutting loan guarantees (The Independent);
- 'Independent' cartoonist wins award (The Independent);
- WORLD NEWS: Israel unmoved as US signals its displeasure with cuts in loan deal (Financial Times);
- WORLD NEWS: Islamic militant jailed in Germany (Financial Times);
- William Safire: The magical solution (International Herald Tribune);
- U.S. loan guarantees to Israel are scaled back (International Herald Tribune);
- Israel Shrugs Off U.S. Loan Cut Over Barrier (Reuters);
- Israel withdraws U.N. child draft Arabs try to amend (Reuters);
- US Israel Loan Cuts Do Not Match Full Barrier Cost (Reuters);
- Israeli Soldiers Kill Militants in Gaza -Military (Reuters);
- Israel pulls doomed UN resolution (BBC Online);
- US cuts Israeli loan guarantees (BBC Online);
- Viewpoints: Anti-Semitism and Europe (BBC Online);
- Israel seizes Osama, Saddam dolls (BBC Online);
- Iraqi baby gets help in Israel (BBC Online);
- Three Palestinians killed in Gaza (BBC Online);
- Analysis: Pressure on Sharon (BBC Online)
Israel Briefing supplied by BICOM