2009 News

October 11, 2009 In Saudi Arabia, a Campus Built as a 'Beacon of Tolerance'

At King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, men and women take classes together. Women are not required to wear abayas or veil their faces -- and they can Drive.

September 2, 2009 Al-Maliki Turns His Back on Iran, Embraces Iraqi Nationalism

Nouri Al-Maliki, who became prime minister of Iraq in 2006, was a compromise candidate. He was seen as the weakest of the available candidates - an unknown representative of the Islamic Al-Da'wa Party.

August 24, 2009 Iraq and Syria begin to rebuild old ties

Iraqi Prime Minister paid an important visit to Damascus this week. The visit was regarded by both sides as a milestone in the relationship between Syria and Iraq.

August 24, 2009 The Rise (and Fall?) of the Islamic Emirate in Gaza

On August 14, 2009, the radical Sheikh Musa denounced Hamas from the pulpit of a Mosque and declared the formation of an Islamic Emirate in Palestine.

August 24, 2009 Hamas Official: We Should Learn Lessons - Not Delude Ourselves That We Won the War

Senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad, who in the past has not been reticent in criticizing his movement, wrote in a July 1, 2009 article on paltoday.com that the Arabs and Palestinians must stop depicting their defeats as victories.

August 17, 2009 Can Jordan build on its relative success?

Inside Amman: Peace and freedom make Abdullah's kingdom good for business. Now, the country has ambitious plans to take it to the next level.

August 17, 2009 New "Palestinian Areas Only" Visa Enrages Visitors

Israel has clamped new restrictions on visitors to the Palestinian Authority, stamping their passports with a visa that bars them from entering Israel.

August 14, 2009 A Fateh facelift?

If nothing else, it allowed over 2,000 members of the Palestinian Liberation Movement, or Fateh, to assemble in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and begin the process of rejuvenating....

July 30, 2009 Obama Begins Pressuring Arab Leaders on Deal with Israel

Freezing the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank was once seen as a unilateral Israeli obligation. But the Obama administration is now treating this as part of a package that will require concessions from Arab states as well.

July 30, 2009 US to set framework for resolving Palestinian-Israeli conflict

The US will set a framework governing the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and will call on all parties involved to launch negotiations based on this, said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit.

June 28, 2009 Saudi preacher praises U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world

Saudi preacher praises U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world and calls on the Muslims to respond to Obama's speech in kind.

June 18, 2009 Lebanese Shi'ite Politician Ahmad Al-Assad Attacks Iran, States: We Should Invest in Our Interests with The West

"Today, Among Shi'ite Circles, If You Do Not Toe the Line Marked By the Brothers in Hizbullah - Not Only Do They Label You a 'Traitor' and 'Collaborator,' But Also An 'Apostate'"

June 18, 2009 A New Vision for God's Holy Mountain

As the Obama Administration pursues the latest peace initiative in the Mideast amid renewed world hopes, it will ultimately face once again the seemingly intractable issue of the future status of the Temple Mount (Al Haram Al Sharif in Arabic).

June 7, 2009 Anti-Hizbullah Shi'ite Lebanese Movement

Activists from the Shi'ite anti-Hizbullah movement 'Lebanese Identity Union'(1) are reporting recently increasing violent interference with their activities by Hizbullah and Amal activists.

June 7, 2009 Reactions in the Arab World to Obama's Cairo Speech

The day after the June 4, 2009 address to the Muslim world by U.S. President Barack Obama, at Cairo University in Egypt, reactions in the government Saudi, Egyptian and Palestinian press reactions were diverse.

June 4, 2009 Text of Obama's speech in Cairo

Good afternoon. I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has had stood as a beacon of Islamic learning. And for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt's advancement. Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress.

April 30, 2009 America: a superpower no more

Two American icons, General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway, lost their triple-A credit ratings. Then China, America's largest creditor, called for a new global currency to replace the dollar just weeks after it demanded Washington guarantee the safety of Beijing's nearly $1 trillion debt holdings. And that was just in March.

April 8, 2009 The Doha Summit - A Defeat for the Saudi-Egyptian Camp

The Saudi-Egyptian pressure did prevent an invitation from being extended to Iran's president and to Hamas representatives, who had been invited to the previous Doha summit in January 2009.

April 2, 2009 Netanyahu Offers Conciliation, but Not Concessions

Taking over as Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu struck a somewhat conciliatory tone toward the Palestinians in an address Tuesday to Parliament, promising negotiations toward a permanent accord.

April 1, 2009 This Time, Israel should Listen to the Arabs

Unfortunately, the initiative offered by the Arabs does not seem to have any means of practical implementation on the ground, because of Israel

April 1, 2009 Arabs, Israelis, and Underdogs

"Who, a century back, would have imagined Jews making the better soldiers and Arabs the better publicists?"

April 1, 2009 UN: 70% of Palestinian youth oppose violence

Nearly 70 percent of Palestinian young adults believe the use of violence to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not very helpful, according to a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) study.

March 29, 2009 Syrian Reactions to Initial Contacts with Obama

According to the press, the U.S. has presented Syria with a list of preconditions for improving relations. At a press conference he held in Beirut, Kerry said that Syria must respect Lebanon's independence, advance a solution to the inter-Palestinian conflicts and the conflicts between Hizbullah and the other Lebanese factions, promote the implementation of U.N. Resolution 1701, and change its behavior towards Iraq.

March 26, 2009 Obama: Pro-Israel talk, anti-Israel walk

Barely a month into the presidency of Barack Obama, a profound realization is spreading among the pro-Israel community: we do not have an ally in the White House. The growing threat that Israel and the Jewish People now face demands decisive action to prevent the frightening reality that he may play a leading role in creating.

March 26, 2009 Reactions in the Arab Press to Arrest Warrant Against Sudanese President

The decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir was widely condemned by Arab officials. However, reactions in the Arab press were mixed.

March 26, 2009 Iran Supreme Leader's Reaction to President Obama's Message

Referring to President Obama's New Year's greeting, Khamenei said that it was not sincere, since even while greeting Iran Obama still accused it of sponsoring terrorism and of seeking to obtain nuclear weapons.

March 26, 2009 Palestinians Who Helped Create Israel

Along with the development of a military force (the Haganah), a modern economic infrastructure, and a democratic polity, this infiltration of Palestinian life ranks as one of Zionism's signal achievements. It meant that while the Zionists could unify and go on the offensive, "Palestinian society was preoccupied with internal battles and was unable to mobilize and unify behind a leadership."

March 11, 2009 The Pope Is Not Welcome in Jerusalem

"Pope Benedict is not welcome in the Holy Land in the present circumstances", - said Archbishop Theodosius of Sebaste, the highest ranking native Palestinian Christian clergyman in Jerusalem, after it was announced in Israel that the head of the Church of Rome will begin his May pilgrimage to the Holy City with obeisance to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial 'Yad Vashem'.

March 9, 2009 Rising Criticism of Child Bride Marriages in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi press has lately been discussing the custom of child bride marriage, especially cases of middle-aged or elderly men taking prepubescent girls for their wives.

March 8, 2009 British MP George Galloway in Gaza Defies International Sanctions against Hamas

"Maybe the American government, the British, and the Israelis don't recognize Ismail Haniya as prime minister of Palestine, but we recognize Ismail Haniya as the prime minister of Palestine.

March 6, 2009 Talking to Syria

What are the risks and opportunities of resuming high-level talks with the Syrians? And what effect might this diplomacy have on Israel, Iran and others in the region?

March 6, 2009 United States of Jordan is best solution to Palestinian issue??????

Senior Israeli defense expert: "U.S. should reassess two-state solution because it won't work and everyone knows it!"

March 5, 2009 For Saudi Liberals, a Ripple of Hope in a Sea of Tradition

The radicals’ popularity began to wane in 2003, when a series of brutal terrorist attacks here killed Saudis as well as foreigners. At the same time, public anger at the intolerance of the cane-wielding religious police has grown, fueled by a younger generation that is more exposed to the outside world.

March 4, 2009 From the start, Bridges TV amounted to a lie.

On the occasion of its launch the television channel "Bridges TV" won the enthusiastic support of Secretary of State Colin Powell. On the ideological level, Bridges TV was a fraud, pretending to be moderate.

March 4, 2009 "Berbers, Where Do You Stand on Palestine?"

Throughout the recent fighting in Gaza, the mainstream North African press was nearly unanimous in its support for the Palestinians and its condemnation of Israel. Some Berber groups, though, made a point of distancing themselves from this mainstream view - for which they were attacked by the Islamist press.

March 4, 2009 The Hamas Charter Is Not Sacred - It Can Be Amended

The London daily Al-Hayat published an article by Palestinian academic and journalist Dr. Khaled Al-Hroub, director of the Cambridge University Arab Media Project, in which he calls on Hamas to amend its charter. Al-Hroub argues that the charter, which is replete with hostility towards the Jews, harms Hamas' image and the Palestinian cause as a whole.

February 16, 2009 "Only Nations Living in the Past Produce Martyrs"

Following are excerpts from interviews with Iraqi MP Iyad Jamal Al-Din. The interviews aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 30 and February 2, 2009.

February 16, 2009 Keep Our Children from Embracing Terrorist Ideology

In a February 6, 2009 article in the Saudi Al-Riyadh daily, liberal columnist Mamdouh Al-Muhaini wrote that in order to keep their children from growing up to be terrorists, Saudi parents must inculcate in them a culture of tolerance and respect for people of all religions and cultures.

January 26, 2009 One-State is the Only Solution

Israelis and Palestinians can put an end to their ongoing conflict by trying to coexist in a unified state, says the leader of Libya.

January 26, 2009 Saudi Arabia's patience is running out

After Israel launched its bloody attack on Gaza, these pleas for optimism and co-operation now seem a distant memory. Unless the new US administration takes forceful steps to prevent any further suffering and slaughter of Palestinians, the peace process, the US-Saudi relationship and the stability of the region are at risk.

January 23, 2009 Divisions in the Arab World Regarding Palestine and Israel

During the recent conflict in Gaza, the divisions between the two camps in the Arab world were reflected in the terminology used by the Arab satellite news channels. Al-Jazeera, which is sponsored by Qatar and is identified with the Hamas-Iran-Syria axis, used the term "martyr" ("shahid") for those killed in Gaza; in contrast, Al-Arabiya TV, which is Saudi-owned, refrained from using this term.

January 11, 2009 U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site

President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran's main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran's suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.

January 10, 2009 Israel/Palestine Conflict May Lead to Nuclear War

In the latest fighting, Israel has bombed the HAMAS controlled city of Gaza for the stated reason of neutralizing HAMAS and stopping them from firing rockets into Southern Israel. As of the date of this article, approximately 800 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed.

January 9, 2009 An Unnecessary War

Palestinian leaders from Gaza were noncommittal on all issues, claiming that rockets were the only way to respond to their imprisonment and to dramatize their humanitarian plight. The top Hamas leaders in Damascus, however, agreed to consider a cease-fire in Gaza only, provided Israel would not attack Gaza and would permit normal humanitarian supplies to be delivered to Palestinian citizens.

January 9, 2009 Gandhi on Jews & Middle-East

My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their age-long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christianity. The parallel between their treatment by Christians and the treatment of untouchables by Hindus is very close. Religious sanction has been invoked in both cases for the justification of the inhuman treatment meted out to them. Apart from the friendships, therefore, there is the more common universal reason for my sympathy for the Jews.

January 9, 2009 Israel/Palestine Conflict May Lead to Regional War

Surprise, surprise, once again the Palestinian/Israeli conflict spirals out of control. However, this particular battle has produced circumstantial evidence that the conflict has become more dangerous than ever before. Unless a permanent solution is found soon, the violence may increase in severity until the conflict ends tragically.