Friday, May 29, 2009


Listening and talking to Syria
Syria's press laws and the Kurds « Kurdistan Commentary
Debka Abbas will find Obama puts Syrian peace track ahead of the Palestinians
Syrian, Iranian and Turkish Energy Ministers arrive to Baghdad today
Syrian President Holds Talks With Visiting US Lawmakers

Analysis: Lebanon's elections crucial (UPI) -- The Lebanese will go to the polls next month to vote in a crucial parliamentary election, the outcome of which will decide not only the country's immediate political future, but how much economic and military aid Lebanon will receive – if any -- from the United States and from the European
Lebanon's election Will the shaky equilibrium hold? Despite its history of turbulence and the continuing rise of the Shias, Lebanon’s fragile peace may persist—at least for a while
Financial Times Obama must respect the choice of Lebanon’s votersAt a time when Obama is on a mission to improve America’s battered image in the Muslim world it would be a mistake to punish voters for their choice. Indeed, if Hizbollah wins it will be forced to confront its own contradictions, writes Roula Khalaf
Lebanon Elections a Mideast Barometer - Frida Ghitis, World Politics Review
Lebanese leaders quiet on Spiegel's bombshell report Two weeks before crucial June elections, rival camps have refused to react to allegations that Hezbollah was behind the polarizing Hariri assassination in 2005.
'Spiegel report won't tip elections'
Experts: Allegations of Hizbullah link to Hariri killing unlikely to majorly affect Lebanese elections.
Saad Hariri, the leader of Lebanon's Western-backed "March 14" political coalition, told al-Jazeera that he would refuse to join any Hezbollah-led coalition government in the wake of Lebanon's June 7 parliamentary elections. The Hezbollah party, which the United States and some other countries deem a terrorist organization, seems likely to gain seats in the vote.
Hizbollah in power Giving Hizbollah shared responsibility instead of a spoiler’s role is more likely to make them choose whether to become part of the solution in Lebanon or continue to be part of the region’s problem
Biden's concerns
How would the US see a Lebanon opposition poll win?
Hezbollah…and the Lebanese Earthquake : Tariq Alhomayed
Finger-pointing riles Hezbollah A recent report that claims Hezbollah is to blame for the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri is filled with unlikely claims - and no evidence to back them up. That Hezbollah was linked to the case two weeks ahead of parliamentary elections sets off alarm bells. - Sami Moubayed
Lebanon bloc warns of economic stakes A senior figure in the ruling pro-western bloc suggests support from key financial allies could dry up if the opposition, dominated by Hizbollah, wins parliamentary elections
Hariri: We are not against Iran or Syria
Only election deadlock can save Lebanon from itself Michael Young: With Lebanon just over a week away from parliamentary elections, making predictions about the outcome is a fool’s errand
MESH Who will command Lebanon’s arms?
"The Swastika and the Cedar," Vanity Fair. In his own words, Christopher Hitchens details his experience in Lebanon
NYT In Lebanon’s Patchwork, a Focus on Armenians’ Political Might
Did Hezbollah kill Lebanon's prime minister?
Israel fears Hezbollah anti-aircraft missiles could spark war Israel has made it clear that deployment of advanced missiles might necessitate preventative steps
'Hezbollah has more rockets than before Lebanon war'

Monday, May 25, 2009


CFR Syria Looking for Improved Relations with Obama Administration
Syria to Welcome Foreign Investors Syrian President Bashar Assad's government is pushing ahead with steps to open up its economy to investment.
Yedioth Ahronoth 'No signals from Damascus' As focus shifts to Netanyahu's trip to Washington this weekend, prime minister's office negates Arab media report that Jordanian king relayed message from Syria signaling willingness to renew peace negotiations with Israel
Syria moves from pariah to power broker Region sees it as a bulwark against Iran; US sees it as key to any peace deal
Listening and talking to Syria When hopes for moving toward a regional peace are fanned, that primarily refers not just to the Palestinian track, but also to the attainment of an agreement with the two countries bordering Israel to the north, Syria and Lebanon.
'Syria willing to resume talks as soon as Israel is ready'
Al Hayat Umayyads and Ottomans Syrian-Turkish relations are developing in a very ambitious strategic direction
Gül praises relations with neighbor Syria
Assad: Syria has total confidence in Turkish mediation
Turkey hails resumption of Syrian-European-US talks
Peres: If Assad wants Israel-Syria peace, why is he shy? President urges Syrian counterpart to agree to direct talks, says time is ripe to advance Mideast peace
Don't expect public diplomacy from Syria, top analyst says
Why Syria fuels the Iraqi insurgency By Raymond Tanter
The Missed Opportunity of the Iraq-Syria Oil Pipeline: Syria ...
Turkish arms sales to Lebanon worries Israel; US backs Syria ties
Syria: MiG-31 deal still on
Damascus says report that Russia wants to halt sale of fighter jets 'attempt to damage relations'
Syria denies deal with Russia over advanced aircraft fell through

Alliance Could Swing Lebanon Election BY: Brooke Anderson The Washington Times U.S. relations with Lebanon could hinge on whether a Hezbollah-led coalition wins June 7 parliamentary elections.
Moves in the Lebanese political landscape? (UPI) -- The June 7 parliamentary election in Lebanon will bring a new government to power in a close race where the emergence of independents may be telling.
Daily Star The frenzy to secure votes shows what's wrong with Lebanon's political system
Hezbollah expands beyond Lebanon (UPI) -- Hezbollah officials said their opposition against Israel had extended beyond the Lebanese border to include support for Palestinian militants.
Independent Robert Fisk’s World: The West awaits the return of friendly 'democrats' to Lebanon
Daily Star EditorialErdogan is under fire for policies, while Lebanese leaders simply fan fires
Albright group lauds Lebanese election (UPI) -- Lebanon has improved its electoral system substantially as it prepares for June parliamentary elections, though security issues remain, observers said.
Biden in Lebanon 'support' visit
Vice-President Joe Biden is to visit Beirut to voice Washington's support for an "independent" Lebanon, the US says.
Robert Fisk: Biden's real mission is to stop Hizbollah
Lebanon DM: Biden Promised Aid, Regardless of Election Results
Hezbollah wrestles with Lebanon government in bid to grab power
'Win or lose, Hizbullah will remain dominant'
New Evidence Points to Hezbollah in Hariri Murder The United Nations special tribunal investigating the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri has reached surprising new conclusions -- and it is keeping them secret. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, investigators now believe Hezbollah was behind the Hariri murder.
Hizbollah denies report it plotted Hariri slay
The group brands as ‘fabrication’ a magazine report that it was behind the 2005 assassination of Rafiq Hariri, saying the accusations are designed to influence the parliamentary election
ANALYSIS / How will 'revelation' on Hariri impact Lebanon vote?
Hizbullah's Growing Regional Role Piques Arabs
Lebanon's intelligence war Mohanad Hage Ali: The arrests of alleged Israeli spies in Lebanon and a Hezbollah cell in Egypt suggests hostilities have given way to espionage
Israel: Arrest Hezbollah chief over Hariri assassination Lieberman calls for international arrest warrant to be issued; Hezbollah: We didn't assassinate Lebanon PM
Lebanon and The Best Schemes Of Mice And Men : Amir Taheri
Debka Lebanon's election at center of US-Russian tug of war
MESH ‘The Lebanese Army’
Christian confusion is Lebanon's loss By Michael Young
What Will Syria-Israeli Talks Mean for Lebanon? - Daily Star
Lebanon's trade minister remarks on rapid development in Kurdistan ...
Israeli ministers use Der Spiegel's Hariri story to knock Hizballah

The Obama-Netanyahu Meeting and Arab-Israeli Peacemaking - Robert Satloff (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
'One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict' By BENNY MORRISReviewed by JEFFREY GOLDBERG There are two oft-envisioned futures for Israelis and Palestinians, and Benny Morris thinks neither has a chance. First Chapter
Netanyahu: We'll build only in existing settlements In reference to outposts, premier says his government committed to preserving law in territories
Dore Gold Israel's forgotten rights in Jerusalem
Gideon Levy: Only settlers are taking Obama seriously in Israel
Arabs like Obama but are still suspicious of U.S. New poll shows that 45 percent of Arabs in six different countries view Obama positively
U.S. arms firms jockey to sell advanced fighter jets to Israel
Obama won't unveil peace initiative during Cairo speech
After U.S. requests, Israel to decide on opening Gaza crossings
Netanyahu finds himself forced to choose between defying Obama, or freezing all construction
Netanyahu's peace plan
Will Israelis leave the country because of Iran?
'Cairo still not comfortable with FM'
US: J'lem's status open to discussion
Washington responds to PM's announcement that Israeli capital "will never be divided or partitioned."
Poll: Arab world mixed on Obama Findings of new survey indicates many Arabs hopeful new administration will offer real ME policy change
Yedioth Ahronoth Poll: 51% back strike on Iran
PM: No new settlements Netanyahu says government will accommodate natural population growth in West Bank communities but will not build new settlements. Commenting on outpost evacuation he says: We must uphold rule of law
Palestinians Aren't Ready for Statehood – Editorial
Obama wants to reset the Middle East agenda; Israel must listen By Ellen Laipson
DEBKAfile lifts fog from the Obama-Netanyahu balance sheet
Israeli settlements 'can expand'
Israel's prime minister says settlements in the occupied West Bank will be allowed to expand despite US objections.
Israel Air Force Completes Drill to Combat Iran Strike (AFP)
Some Questions about a Palestinian State - Daniel Doron
How Mossad helped Hamas A botched assassination attempt by seven Israeli agents and the rise to power of Khalid Mishal
May 22 IA# 516 - Hamas Challenges PLO's Legitimacy as Sole Representative of Palestinian People
Israeli Companies Seek Global Profile
Israel's Arab Citizens - Khaled Abu Toameh
Are Islamists Really Motivated by the Palestinian Issue? - Melanie Phillips
Obama-Netanyahu summit: Yes to six-month limit for Iran dialogue, no to Palestinian state now
Washington Post: U.S. Presses Israel to End Expansion of Settlements; Bush Pact Complicates Issue
Iran Has Changed the Middle East Security Agenda - IDF Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog (Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Aluf Benn / Haaretz:
Obama warns Netanyahu: Don't surprise me with Iran strike

USIP Won’t You Be My Neighbor: Syria, Iraq and the Changing Strategic Context in the Middle East April 2009 Steven Simon 593KB

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Syria and Turkey Deepen Bilateral Relations Brookings Institution
Turkey Is Syria's "window To Europe and U.s."
Turkish-Syrian Security Cooperation Testing Turkish Foreign PolicyJamestown Foundation
Turkish-Syrian ties no strategic shift Middle East Times
Gül to urge Syria to contribute to Palestinian unity in visit
An assured Assad Syria: As Barack Obama’s new Middle East policy offers the country a way out of isolation, Damascus is in danger of a miscalculation that could cost it political influence
R.I.P. “Syria First,”2007-2009 by Eric Trager
MARC LYNCH How Syria sees the world
Syria takes cold comfort from crisis The nation is not immune to the global downturn but its isolation from the west and the nascent state of its economy have proved a shield from the worst effects
Hamas: We won't oppose Israel-Syria talks Gaza officials tell A-Sharq al-Awsat peace negotiations won't affect group's own relations with Damascus
Hamas Officials Supportive of Syrian-Israeli Talks
Hamas Feels Heat from Syria - Speical Correspondent, Asia Times
Syria: No Need to Amend Arab Peace Initiative
Syria and Washington, the Likely Path Ahead
Senior US diplomats set to return to Syria soon
US envoys make second trip to Syria since March
Alongside talks, Obama renews sanctions against Syria
Report: Syria criticizes renewal of U.S. sanctions Syrian state-run paper calls on U.S. to 'get rid of foolish policies and replace them with openness.'
Syrian state-run paper criticizes renewal of US sanctions
Front-page 'Tishrin' editorial urges Obama to abandon "foolish policies," says Damascus hopeful US will not cave in to Israeli pressures.
Why Obama Renewed Sanctions on Syria
Sanctions renewed, but Syria understands The renewal of United States sanctions on Syria comes as no surprise to Damascus, which realizes that undoing former president George W Bush's handiwork is no easy feat. Syria is instead setting its sights on the Middle East peace process, though it stresses the return of the Golan Heights by Israel remains non-negotiable. - Sami Moubayed
Syrian offhand about US sanctions, policy reversal
Obama is Not a Frenchman in Syria : Tariq Alhomayed
US supports Syria-Israel pact
Washington will back peace talks between the two countries as part of its broader solution to the Middle East’s problems amid the Obama administration’s accelerated efforts to engage its traditional foes
U.S.: We are committed to Syrian-Israeli peace deal
Despite US Outreach, Syria Affirms Iran Ties
Washington committed to seeking Syria-Israel deal
US: Syria mustn't support terror
Report: Syria, Iran Set Conditions For Support Of Hamas, Islamic Jihad
US Pursuing Cautious Engagement with Syria in Wake of Lebanese Elections Joyce Karam
Syria ready to resume Turkish-mediated talks with Israel: diplomat
Leaders of Iran and Syria Vow to Back ‘Palestinian Resistance’
Assad: Syria-Iran ties serve stability and strength of Mideast Ahmadinejad: Syria, Iran united behind Palestinians; Iran president plans to meet Hamas, Jihad leaders
U.S. Rejects Syria's Call for Dialogue with Hamas, Hizbullah
Saudis, Egypt snatch Syrian-Israel peace track from Turkey. Assad ...DEBKA file
Iraq Militant Group's Pipeline Through Syria Revives After Long Gap Pipeline to Iraq Back In Business After Lull

Pollsters Predict Lebanese Election Results « Qifa Nabki
What happens if Lebanon elects Hezbollah? BY ELIAS MUHANNA
Lebanon in Advance of Elections
INSS An Israeli article assessing the issues and parties in the forthcoming Lebanese parliamentary elections
U.S.-Iran Cold War Unfolds in Lebanon - David Samuels, The New Republic
Hale: No Syria deal at Lebanon's expense
Daily Star US talk of Lebanon's sovereignty sounds like a remix of an old song
Putting Lebanon's elections in context By Rami G. Khouri
Israel, Lebanon: Indications of Possible Conflict A reduction in the U.N. force monitoring southern Lebanon hints at possible Israeli preparations for a rematch with Hezbollah.
A Syrian Comeback in Lebanon – Stratfor
U.S. links Syrian ties to Lebanese vote
(UPI) -- A visit by top U.S. officials to Damascus is expected to couple the Lebanese parliamentary elections with Syrian efforts at engagement, analysts said.
The end of Lebanon's Cedar Revolution
Nicholas Noe: The west must recognise that a Hezbollah victory in elections could force it into responsibility and disarmament
Lebanon-Syria Tension Eases
BY: Tina Wolfe The Washington Times Syria has taken the first steps toward recognizing its longtime client, Lebanon, as a separate sovereign country, but the relationship could take new turns depending on the results of the June 7 Lebanese elections and the prospect for Syria-Israel peace.
Lebanon: Court Decision Reverberates BY: Dominic Moran ISN Security Watch
A UN tribunal's decision not to prosecute Lebanese generals in connection with a political assassination bodes ill for the court and anti-Syrian movements.
Did U.S. Help Lebanon Crack Alleged Israeli Spy Rings?
A shot in the arm for Hezbollah Fireworks and celebratory gunfire crackled through Beirut's streets after the release this week of four Lebanese generals arrested in 2005 over former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri's assassination, with Hezbollah expected to benefit from the dramatic turn of events at June's elections. - Sami Moubayed
Syria looks to Lebanon War for tips on arming Hezbollah Sources: Syria intent on maintaining military strategy based on air defense and anti-tank weapons
Stumbling blocs - The National Newspaper Lebanese elections
Hizbullah's Struggle to Change the Lebanese Regime - Brig. Gen. (res.) Dr. Shimon Shapira and Yair Minzili
Lebanese spy arrests blow to Mossad
BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 11 (UPI) -- Lebanese security officials said the arrest of spies working for the Israeli intelligence agency was a major victory as claims of Hezbollah involvement surface.
Lebanon: More Israeli Spies to be Arrested Soon
Time Hizballah's Bust of Israeli 'Spies' Shows Its Growing Power in Lebanon
Hizbollah confirms broad aid for Hamas Hizbollah has been providing the Palestinians in Gaza with ‘every type of support’ possible for some time, the deputy leader of the powerful Lebanese Shia movement admitted in an FT interview Transcript: FT interview with deputy chief of Hizbollah
Israel set to quit divided Lebanon border town

Breakdown of Mideast coordination with U.S. worries J'lemJerusalem officials say new administration no longer sees Israel as a 'special' state in the Mideast
Newsweek Hirsh: The Increasingly Uneasy U.S.-Israel Relationship
The Long-Delayed Hope for Fatah’s Rebirth CEIP
An article assessing the prospects for a Fatah revival
Analysis: Israel sees no reason to sign 'ineffective' NPT By YAAKOV KATZDefense expert: After failure with Syria, Iran, it's ridiculous for US to make demands on Israel.
Taking stock [ YAAKOV KATZ ] New Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon assesses Israel's possible courses of action in the face of threats from Iran and Syria.
Israel Will Accept Palestinian State, Rejects Syria Talks
Israel: Syria Arms Hizbullah While Courting U.S.

Beyond the First 100 Days: Prospects for Obama Administration Middle East Strategy Nicholas Blanford, John Hannah, and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's 2009 Soref Symposium to analyze the Obama administration's initial policies in the Middle East and how they affect critical issues such as Iran's nuclear program, Lebanon's upcoming elections, and U.S. relations with Israel. Listen online.