January 20/2007

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3,13-19. He went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: (he appointed the twelve:) Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him

Latest News Reports The Daily Star For 20/01/07
Moussa: Lebanon Crisis Likely to Be Settled before Arab League Summit-Naharnet
Nasrallah to Make Fresh TV Appearance-Naharnet
Lebanon to Donors: Aiding us Would Stabilize the Region-Naharnet
Lebanon opposition to call general strike-

Managing The Crisis in Lebanon-Dar Al-Hayat
Saniora Urges Hizbullah to Engage in Dialogue-Naharnet
Olmert and Peretz Resist Resignation-Naharnet

Report: Iran offered to cut off Hezbollah in overture to US-Middle East Online
Hezbollah protests & Saddam hanging causing Muslim disunity-Ya Libnan
Iran's loyalty to Lebanon's Hezbollah questionable-Ya Libnan
Hezbollah celebrates with firework display-Ha'aretz
Un: Lebanon Has Not Approved Tribunal-Guardian Unlimited
Lebanon refuses to die-Ya Libnan
Diplomat Says that Israel Rejected Talks with Syria-Arutz Sheva
UN chief appoints new heads of UN peacekeepers in Lebanon, Golan ...People's Daily Online
Lebanon needs massive global aid says FM Azour-Ya Libnan

Intensifying War of Words between Tehran and Washington-Naharnet
EU Prepares to Implement U.N. Sanctions on Iran-Naharnet
Gates Visits Southern Iraq-Naharnet

Moussa: Lebanon Crisis Likely to Be Settled before Arab League Summit
Arab League chief Amr Moussa has said a settlement to the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon is likely to be achieved ahead of an Arab League summit to be held in Riyadh in March. Moussa told the daily As Safir in remarks published Friday that he is likely to return to Beirut at the end of the Paris III donors' conference for Lebanon scheduled in Paris Jan. 25. The Arab League summit will be held in Riyadh on March 28 and 29 in a bid to heal divisions in the region.
Moussa, in a statement issued in Cairo on Thursday, urged rival Lebanese political parties against "escalation" to give the donors' conference a chance to succeed.
He called on government supporters and opponents "to put your political differences aside … so the (Paris III) conference could succeed in providing economic and monetary support needed for all factions in Lebanon." Riyadh had originally declined to hold the next annual Arab League summit following a 2006 meeting in Khartoum, resulting in an announcement the 2007 gathering of Arab heads of state would be held in Egypt's resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the Arab league Ahmed al-Qatan had said on the reason of the change in position that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia "understands well that the region is passing through a critical and delicate period". The king "hopes to unify the ranks" because the "Arab world is witnessing many problems in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Somalia," Qatan said. "If these issues are not addressed, the situation will get worse and King Abdullah believes that healing the rifts is the prime incentive to hold the Arab summit in Riyadh," he added. Beirut, 19 Jan 07, 08:48

Nasrallah to Make Fresh TV Appearance
Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah will give an interview to Al Manar television at 9:00 p.m. (0700 GMT) Friday.
Hizbullah said on its online "Promise" website that Nasrallah will discuss during the "Hadeeth As-Saa" talk show on Al Manar the political situation in Lebanon and escalation of protests against Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government. 'Promise' said Nasrallah would also touch upon the "new strategy" of U.S. President George Bush as well as the Palestinian and Iraqi conflicts. Beirut, 19 Jan 07, 09:33

Lebanon to Donors: Aiding us Would Stabilize the Region
Lebanon said Thursday it needs massive aid at next week's donors' conference in Paris to help the country become a "stabilizing" element in the troubled Middle East. "If we want to help Lebanon on a structural basis, or on the long-term ... to become a stabilizer in the region ... the international community has to hand massive assistance and support to Lebanon," Finance Minister Jihad Azour said. Azour was addressing diplomats from over 30 countries as well as representatives of international institutions that will take part in the Paris III donors' conference on January 25.
"The G8 countries ... have an opportunity to solve the problem at very low cost because solving the Lebanese problem today may cost a few billions ... but in the future it could cost more," he said. "We urge you not only to participate in the conference... we urge you to contribute substantially ... we need massive support ... and this support has to come on time, otherwise it would be too late," he said. Azour said "the assistance has to be global because the problem of Lebanon goes beyond the Lebanese society: most of it is currently related to regional issues."  "The war waged on Lebanon is not an internal problem, it is a regional and international problem," he said, referring to last summer's 34-day war between Israel and Hizbullah. "The Lebanese problem is also a global problem."
By helping Lebanon donor countries would be preventing a crisis," he added. (AFP) Beirut, 18 Jan 07, 19:25

Managing The Crisis in Lebanon
Walid Choucair Al-Hayat - 19/01/07//
There are many paradoxes that have emerged in light of two noteworthy events that occurred over the past few days that deserve to be covered. The first is the resignation of the Israeli Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dan Halutz, as a consequence of the side effects of the failures of Israel and its army in the war on Lebanon. The second is the declaration made by Dr. Ali Larijani, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary, at a meeting with a group of Lebanese journalists in Tehran that his country agreed with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to confront the Sunni-Shiite strife in Iraq, Lebanon and the region. He also talked about Lebanon's need for a national unity government in order to confront certain 'contradictions' (obstacles) in UN Security Council Resolution 1701. He said this after he made note of the actions of the current government (during the Israeli war on Lebanon), which are a 'cause for pride'.
Halutz's resignation caused a political earthquake in Israel that is symptomatic of the crisis the Hebrew State has been experiencing since it decided to throw the principles of the peace negotiations to the dogs with their assault on the Palestinian territories in 2002. It did this by relying on its military prowess and the absolute support of Washington, where the White House is populated by a cabal that also sees the use of the overwhelming force of the American empire as a solution to every problem. While it did not succeed in achieving the desired result from this use of force, that is, imposing the solution they want on the Palestinians, the real disaster came in Lebanon when its military leaders thought that they could eliminate Hezbollah by force, despite the terrible damage inflicted on Lebanon and the huge sacrifices made by the Lebanese people and the party.
However, as much as this resignation is a lesson about the Israeli society's ability to absorb shocks, crises and failures by changing the leadership, the earthquake in the Israeli military establishment also re-launches an internal Israeli antagonism, the title of which is the need to change the Israeli political caste when it comes to the implemented policy of force. This is in marked contrast to what happens in the neighborhood of the Hebrew State, where officials steadfastly refuse to take the responsibility for their failures in dealing with nationalist and internal issues, relying instead on more force and oppression of their societies.
This antagonism presumed resistance against Israel in Lebanon and Palestine, while the rest of the Arabs should build their strategies on it in the coming period, if the outcome of this antagonism is prolonged. Hezbollah is instead relying on its media to employ this Israeli antagonism in the internal struggle, using the resignation of Halutz to intensify the campaign against the government and to twist arm of the forces of the majority.
This logic, which transfers the Israeli event to the internal scene, is part of the internal crisis in a way that is not different from Israel's own betting on fomenting a crisis and forcing rationales for escalation. The decisions to end the war, by virtue of Resolution 1701, consisted of a settlement between the demands of the international community and the demands of Lebanon, and turning what Israel wants out of Lebanon into a political process that requests Tel Aviv to implement its side of the obligations stipulated in the Resolution. However, despite the fact that the Resolution was the cumulative result of Israeli failure, the latter wagered on the regression of the problem from inside Lebanese. Moreover, we can say that what it hoped for has taken place; and this in itself calls for the opposition, including the party, to be mindful of the matter, instead of jumping to false conclusions.
At the same time, the declaration by the Iranian official about the agreement between his country and the Saudi leadership to confront the Sunni-Shiite strife, and his support for resolving the internal Lebanese crisis, skips the magnified role played by the political and media mobilization against the Lebanese government, whose consequences are unpredictable, while also expanding the fear of sectarian strife. This is despite the evident contradiction between Ali Larijani's positive comments about the practices of the Lebanese government and his call for some of the factions in Lebanon to 'apologize for mistakes' they have made, accusing them of coordinating with the US to weaken Hezbollah and escape to the fore.
Iran's need to improve its Arab relations to help confront international pressures and the sanctions set out in Resolution 1737 against it over its nuclear file, as well as Saudi's keenness to avoid an international confrontation with Iran, mindful as it is of the deleterious consequences of this on the region; are two major drives for the two countries agreeing on facing the threat of sectarian strife. The opposition forces in Lebanon must realize the importance of these two driving forces, and stop pressuring their main ally, who is leading the protest movement against the government. That is to say, Hezbollah, because this pressure will not help the efforts aimed at reducing the level of sectarian tension at all. If Tehran is engaged in 'managing time' to fend off the US pressures, as Stated by Dr. Ali Larijani, then Hezbollah's relentless mobilization under Iranian-backed slogans will not serve this mission. Hence, the party is in a dire need to manage the internal crisis differently, especially since it is playing a critical role in this internal crisis

MacKay asked to push for hostage’s release, oversight of Canadian aid
TORONTO, January 18, 2007 - B’nai Brith has asked Foreign Minister Peter MacKay to use his upcoming meeting with Mahmoud Abbas to press for the release of Israeli hostage, Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by the terrorist group Hamas last June. The human rights group says pressing this issue is a natural extension of the Canadian Government’s commitment to counter terrorism, wherever it may strike.Following reports that new aid has been approved for humanitarian projects to assist Palestinians in need, B’nai Brith is also calling on the Government  to review and strengthen mechanisms to ensure that funding earmarked for such purposes is not siphoned off to support terrorist groups. This funding will enter the Temporary International Mechanism administered by the European Commission and the World Bank since its establishment last year.“ Canada must ensure the money reaches the people who need it most and not terrorist groups bent on killing the innocent,” said Frank Dimant , Executive Vice-President of B'nai Brith Canada . “It is important that Canada still retain oversight over the funds it directs through the Temporary International Mechanism. We would not want to see a situation similar to the UNWRA arrangement, where Canada hands over funds and receives no detailed reporting of how that money is spent. “Through its strong stance in the international arena, Canada has positioned itself well to demand such measures,” Dimant concluded.
B’nai Brith has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community’s  foremost human rights organization

Amanpour: Brit radicals shock me
January 19, 2007
More on CNN TV: CNN explores terror's new breeding ground. Watch the premiere of "CNN: Special Investigations Unit," Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
By Christiane Amanpour
CNN Chief International Correspondent
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Editor's note: In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents share their experiences covering the news and analyze the stories behind events. Christiane Amanpour describes the people she met while making "The War Within."
LONDON, England (CNN) -- When we reported the unprecedented suicide bombings of the London underground trains and buses in 2005, we were shocked beyond words that young British Muslims, born and bred here, would go to that extreme.
We could not understand what would drive them to kill themselves and their fellow citizens.
And so we started to investigate what we call "The War Within."
What struck us most was how deeply the Iraq war has radicalized today's generation of young Muslims in Britain. Whether extreme or mainstream, they are angry about the war, angry that their country so devotedly follows U.S. foreign policy, angry at what they see as a worldwide war against Muslims and Islam.
A man who runs a youth center in a London neighborhood with a large Muslim population said the message of extremism preys on many kids who see no way out of their ethnic ghettos. Those youth, he said, have always had vices -- street crime, drugs, car thefts. "But then now you've got another threat," Hanif Qadir told me.
"The new threat is radicalism. It's a cause. Every young man wants a cause."
We knew much of the Islamic world feels like this, but we were surprised at the extent of these feelings in Britain. (Audio slide show: Preying on young British Muslims) The UK was rocked by the attacks of July 7, 2005 and the attempted attacks that failed two weeks later. Since then, Britons have many questions about the role of the Muslim community here. In our investigation, we found shocking evidence of the bigotry, intolerance and hatred preached by some Muslim fundamentalists in the UK. We met men like Anjem Choudary of the now-banned Al-Mahajiroon extremist group, who denounces democracy and predicts Britain will be ruled by Sharia, Islamic law. He publicly distances himself from suicide bombings here in the UK, mindful of Britain's tough new anti-terrorism laws, yet we filmed him openly condoning violent Jihad abroad.
"I happen to be in an ideological and political war," Choudary said. "My brothers in al Qaeda and other Mujahedeen are involved in a military campaign." (Watch a call for Islamic law in Britain ) And this week, a report in the London Sunday Times says Choudary has been using a false name on a password-protected Web site to incite Muslims to go to Somalia to wage holy war. Some mosques in Britain, while publicly agreeing to cross-cultural tolerance, in fact sometimes host preachers from both Britain and abroad who rail with hatred against "kafirs" (infidels), against homosexuals, against democracy and even against women. This hate-speech and the attempt by extremists to recruit young disaffected Muslims on London's deprived streets and even on university campuses is beginning to motivate the "other voices of Islam" to try to seize back their religion, which they say has been hijacked. (Watch moderate Muslims fight back )
Extremists and radicals are very adept at playing the media's game. Even though they are a minority, a small number of them can gather on a corner, hold a protest or demonstration and get a massive amount of media attention and air time. That's because today's mostly tabloid media culture in the UK has sensationalized the "Muslim issue" and focuses only on the extremists, rarely finding the facts, context and texture beneath the surface.
We found a deep sense of Islamophobia on the rise here in Britain and across Europe. The European Monitoring Center, which tracks religious and ethnic bias, says Muslims regularly face abuse, threats, attacks and misunderstanding.
And as we discovered talking to a cross section of Muslims around Britain, many of Europe's 13 million Muslims said that since 9/11 they have been made to feel like terrorists. More than ever they feel like second-class citizens in their own countries. There are incredibly brave Muslims who've been forced to become unofficial activists for tolerance and integration. In Walthamstow -- where two dozen young Muslim men were arrested last summer for allegedly plotting to blow up U.S.-bound planes with liquid explosives -- Qadir, the youth worker, has reached out to teenagers. His youth center now tries to lead the disaffected and alienated along a different path, urging them to watch out for extremist preachers in their mosques and arranging pool tournaments with the beat cops as one way to forge a closer community bond. In Birmingham, home to Britain's second-largest Muslim community, a Muslim artist nicknamed "Aerosol Arabic" is trying to be a role model to students and the angry young people in his community. Along with a priest he is doing cross-cultural art projects that build a sense of acceptance and togetherness. While some Muslim women in the UK are feeling the intense pressure of a chorus of ministerial calls to remove their niqabs, a veil that covers most of the face, we meet one Muslim woman, a comedian, who is trying to promote tolerance through a unique brand of comedy-club humor.
As a small band of Muslim extremists try to promote their agenda at a campus debate at prestigious Trinity College, we traveled to Ireland to hear mainstream Muslims try to win back the public podium. One young Muslim calls the violence and intolerance some extremists promote a mental illness, not an ideology.
While Britain's Scotland Yard and MI5 intelligence service regularly warn of Islamist cells plotting violence -- some 30 potential plots have been identified -- some Muslim preachers, activists and ordinary people are beginning to see that they have to take the responsibility of seizing back their religion from the small band of extremists who have hijacked it. Increasingly we found mainstream Muslims are realizing that they can no longer be quiet, but they have to stand up to have any hope of winning back the debate from the extremists who dominate it now. The question is whether they can form a critical mass of voices to finally drown out the growing ranks of extremists.

U.N. chief concerned that Lebanon has not approved international tribunal on Hariri case
The Associated Press -January 17, 2007
UNITED NATIONS: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern that Lebanon has not given final approval to an international tribunal to prosecute the suspected killers of its former prime minister, Rafik Hariri. The new U.N. chief, who took over from Kofi Annan on Jan. 1, said he planned to discuss the holdup with Lebanese leaders at an international donors conference in Paris on Jan. 25 to raise money for reconstruction in Lebanon following last summer's 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. He told reporters Wednesday after returning from a two-day trip to Washington that he discussed the situation in Lebanon with U.S. President George W. Bush. A draft agreement between the Lebanese government and the United Nations calls for the creation of a tribunal with a majority of international judges and an international prosecutor in a location outside Lebanon to try those charged in Hariri's assassination.
Hariri was killed with 22 others in a suicide truck bombing in Beirut in February 2005. The assassination sparked huge protests against Syria, which was widely seen as culpable. Syria denied involvement, but was forced to withdraw its troops from Lebanon, ending a 29-year presence. Green energy investors entering China marketA U.N. investigation into the assassination is still under way. The first U.N. chief investigator, Germany's Detlev Mehlis, said the killing's complexity suggested the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services played a role in Hariri's assassination. Four Lebanese generals, top pro-Syrian security chiefs, have been under arrest for 16 months, accused of involvement in Hariri's murder.
The current political crisis erupted in November when pro-Syrian Hezbollah, emboldened by its survival of the Israeli bombardment, sought to strengthen its political standing in the Cabinet led by anti-Syrian Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. Hezbollah demanded a national unity government that would give its supporters veto power on major decisions — including a tribunal — but Saniora's Cabinet, dominated by anti-Syrian ministers, refused to hand over power.
That prompted the resignation of six pro-Syrian Cabinet members, which touched off massive protests and ongoing sit-ins in downtown Beirut by Hezbollah supporters demanding that Saniora resign, which he has refused to do. Meanwhile, Saniora's Cabinet and the U.N. Security Council approved the agreement to establish a tribunal in November. But Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud, a staunch ally of Syria, rejected it in early December, saying the Cabinet had lost its constitutional legitimacy because of the Cabinet resignations.
Lahoud's endorsement is not crucial, but the agreement requires final approval from Lebanon's Parliament. Its speaker, Nabih Berri, a Hezbollah ally, has said he will not convene parliament until the current crisis in Lebanon is resolved. Asked by reporters whether he would convey the U.N.'s commitment to establish an international tribunal when he meets Saniora in Paris, Ban said, "It is important the Security Council has decided to establish a special tribunal."
"The United Nations has concluded agreement with the Lebanese government. It is a source of concern for me as secretary-general that we are not being able to conclude this and establish a special tribunal, as was mandated by the Security Council," he said. "At the same time, I was encouraged by the willingness of the Lebanese government to work together for the establishment of a special tribunal, including President Lahoud and speaker of the parliament Berri," Ban said.
"I will discuss again this matter with the Lebanese leaders when I meet them in Paris," he said. The secretary-general expressed hope that many donor countries will be "participating for the reconstruction and political and social stabilization of Lebanon."