Issue 29-30

 

Editorial

The Prospects of Arab-American Relation’s Development

      Many politicians in the Middle East consider the American policies towards the region a violation to the principles of democracy that the American administration advocates in the world. These policies are also considered an obstacle to improving Arab-American relations on the bases of civilization, humanity, and mutual interests. American military intervention, the excessive use of force in Iraq, the imposition of reform on the region and the full alignment with Israel are the most notable of such policies.

The United States’ administration presents such policies as a means to help the Arabs. However, the image and effects of such policies are very negative in the Arab mind, and this does not help much in rebuilding a prospective Arab-American relation. The continuous Israeli violation of Palestinian rights including terror acts by the Israeli Army against Palestinian women and children, in addition to demolishing homes with full American support, all coincide with the grave American violations against the right of the Iraqi people after the occupation of Iraq by US forces. Hence, The United States is considered responsible for both situations from the Arabic perspective.

Therefore, Arab-American relations have been encountering a serious breakdown and prevalence of deep mistrust. It is in the interests of both sides to rebuild mutual relations on new bases that lead to a better future for all. A real opportunity is accessible today to reform such relations through intellectuals and faithful politicians who aim at being involved in a sustained dialogue to draw up the main aspects of strong and lasting relations. The success of such an attempt would be hindered by US policy unless it avoids resorting to threats and sanctions, and stops interfering in internal Arab affairs.


 

Content

Opening Article
 

The Prospects of Arab-American Relation’s Development

Researches & Studies

Withdrawal from Gaza and W.B .. Response or maneuver

Strategic Files

The Future of Palestinian Intifada
Symposium: “Al-Aqsa Intifada Enters its Fifth Year By Developing Resistance Tools”

Repercussions of the Palestinian People’s uprising: politically, economically, socially and Health-wise
Prisoners in Israeli Jails Between Tragic Conditions and Strikes
The Story of the Darfour Crisis
The Darfour Crisis Report and Foreign Interference
An Interview with the Sudanese Ambassador
Reports and Articles
The New U.S. Pattern in Constructing Democracy Al Falloujah Example
Palestinian Elections 2005
The Palestinian Elections, Mechanisms.. Circumstances.. Results
The Palestinian Cause After Arafat

The Arab Strategic Forum Conference on The Arab World in 2020-Dubai

Israeli Political Parties

Reviews



Researches & Studies

Withdrawal from Gaza and W.B .. Response or maneuver

 

      The study examines the main motives behind the Israeli Government’s adoption of its disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip and some areas in the North of the West-Bank. The study also attempts to test the following hypothesis: The main and direct cause among others, that forced the adoption of the Israeli plan is the Palestinian resistance, although it does not exclude the possibility of the plan being a political trap.

The study is divided into three main axes:

1) The idea of disengagement in the Israeli mentality.

2) The main motives or causes behind the adoption of the plan.

3) The impacts of the plan on the Palestinians.

The study reached the following conclusions:

-  The ambiguity of the plan is no less than that of the Oslo Accord.

-  The plan serves Israeli national self-interests.

-  The plan is likely to elevate rather than solve the conflict.

The plan is nothing but a way to perpetuate the occupation and disguise its ugly face.



Strategic Files

The Future of Palestinian Intifada
Symposium: “Al-Aqsa Intifada Enters its Fifth Year By Developing Resistance Tools”

           The magazine held a special symposium entitled: “ Al Aqsa Intifada –Uprising- Enters its Fifth Year By Developing Resistance Tools” on September 25, 2004. Discussions revolved around the following topics:

The Israeli practices towards the uprising and their reflections, the uprising evolution and the achievements of resistance, the political endeavors to contain Al Aqsa uprising, impressions of the uprising and its consequences, investigating the uprising and the future of the resistance and its role in realizing freedom and independence.

It is notable that Israel does not deal with the recent Intifada in a civilized way that aims at discovering the psychological and physical dimensions in operating such a struggle, or estimating its demographic dimensions.

It is also worth noting that Israel is a Zionist tool that is not restricted to a specific area, but extends much farther than Palestine. Israel’s main aim and desire is to eradicate anything that would assist or support the Palestinian uprising and resistance.

In the year 2000, many efforts were exerted to consider the uprising or Intifada and resistance as two separate concepts. In other words, not to mix the Intifada with Resistance and vise-versa, but to keep both as two integral programs, each of which performs its role independently, in order to preserve the momentum in confronting the occupation. The Intifadha, on the one hand, will reveal the real criminal face of the enemy, while resistance, on the other hand, will keep striking until the occupation pays the price of its atrocities and withdraws.

Israel, in all its wars, and as a military strategy, always tried to keep political initiatives as an option before Arabs and Palestinians, as was the case in the 1956 and 1982 wars. This is due to the fact that eliminating all political options would enforce resistance and the military solution, and thus, Israel would make the option of a political solution always available.

The continuation of the Intifada is one the routes towards independence and freedom as well as a tool of pressure on the Zionist entity. However, it cannot, by itself, end the occupation. It is important that Arab and Muslim nations support the Palestinian people until they reach their goals.

We could say that the Intifada has shaken Israel; therefore, the Intifada and resistance will inevitably continue, and settlement treaties will be void and null within due course.



Strategic Files

Repercussions of the Palestinian People’s uprising: politically, economically, socially and Health-wise

           This paper explores the repercussions and effects of the Palestinian uprising or the Intifada and its political, economic, social and health aspects, after it became apparent that the Israelis were behind such an uprising by their provoking attitudes and means.

Politically, the Palestinians imposed their cause through their demonstrations and fierce resistance.

Economically, the Palestinian economy was severely harmed as the pillars of the Palestinian economy’s infrastructure were destroyed, in addition to Palestinian industries, agriculture, commerce, tourism, transportation… etc. The percentage of poverty also increased, while the daily and monthly income per family decreased, as families had to reduce expenditures of the most basic requirements and needs.

Socially, the Palestinians also suffered gravely, as the number of martyrs increased to 4000, in addition to thousands of other causalities (injured or arrested), and the destruction of thousands of homes, hence the increase in poverty, orphans, unemployment and homelessness. Despite all of this, unity and social solidarity increased, as did loyalty to the nation, religion, language and Arabism; the fundamentals on which Palestinians rely.

Health-wise, the Palestinian society was affected, as medical cadres suffered heavy depletion. The blockade obviously obstructed Palestinians who became unable to obtain medical services, as they could not afford them.


Strategic Files

Prisoners in Israeli Jails Between Tragic Conditions and Strikes

     The Palestinian people have and continue to offer sacrifices. The Palestinian uprising or Intifada managed to unify peoples’ views and targets regardless of their social class. The Intifada did not cool down, as the strife and resistance are constant. As for Israeli prisons, the only way for Palestinian prisoners to confront Israeli despotism was by referring to strikes as a method of reiterating their rights and addressing their tragedy.

The first endeavor was in Nablus in 1968, when Palestinian prisoners carried out a food strike. After that, several strikes sequenced whenever Palestinian prisoners had been abused or their conditions deteriorated in Israeli jails amidst the different methods of torture and insult. The last strike held by Palestinian prisoners was under the slogan of: “We Shall Hunger But Shall Not Kneel Down.” Their demands included improving their conditions, improving the visiting program, their right to phone calls, determining a list of possessions that each prisoner could have, developing clinics to better receive emergency cases, ending the numbering policy, returning isolated prisoners to the jail, ending group and financial punishments, and permitting university education in Arabic and foreign universities in addition to a number of other requirements.

Reactions to the prisoners’ strikes were quite strong inside Palestine, but feeble outside (abroad) and in surrounding Arab countries. Sit-in tents were erected in Gaza and other locations in the West Bank and demonstrations patrolled most areas. In the 1948 occupied lands, demonstrations supporting the prisoners in their strike erupted in many places and there was an invitation to fast and refrain from eating.

As for the surrounding Arab countries, sit-in tents were erected in Lebanon and Syria in addition to the occupied Golan Heights. Jordanian associations and parties and the families of Jordanian prisoners executed a sit-in facing the UN site in Amman.



Strategic Files

The Story of the Darfour Crisis

     The Darfour region forms one fifth of the Sudan area, not less than 550 thousand kilometers. Its Population is 6.7 million, all of whom are Sunni Muslims. The tribes are two kinds, the first of which are the “settled tribes”, situated in the countryside areas like: Alfor, Al masalit, Al Zaghawah, Al Dajo, Al Janjer and Al Tamah. Most of them are African, and their mother tongue is the local language in addition to Arabic, while some of them are Arabs. The other kind is the tribes that came into the area such as: Abalah, Zielat, Mahameed, Mahriyah, Bani Husain, Al Rezaiqat and Al Maa’aliya. Most of these are Arabs and their mother tongue is Arabic while some are African.

The Darfour Area is characterized by a large fortune of animal herds, camels, sheep, cows, goats etc…. This fortune suffered a heavy loss when the drought hit the region in the early 70s, which led to the scarcity of natural resources and caused tribal conflicts to arise among the peasants and shepherds.

The region represents a point of demarcation which is known as the Francophone belt (line) including Chad, Niger, Cameron, and Mid Africa. The open boarder played a major role in the outbreak of many conflicts.



Strategic Files

The Darfour Crisis Report and Foreign Interference

The geographical location of Darfour made it a focal source of continuous regional tension, such as the civil war in Chad, the levy in Libya and the civil war in Mid Africa and Congo. All this made Darfour a court for many power struggles, due to tribal interference, the abundance of arms, and the difficult to control vast expansion of boarders.

The structure of the struggle at Darfour and the interpenetration of international powers made it very difficult to eliminate mutiny movements, as well as the extension and the interference of the tribes with neighboring countries. This contributed and still does to the progress of mutiny that neglects the official position of countries, and served the interests of some of those countries and their future plans that found a suitable environment to keep the crisis flaming. This explains the failure of several international official visits, and the struggle of interests made it difficult for western authorities to interfere.

The U.S. Interests to Intervene in the Darfour Crisis

The human dimension: The U.S.A. looks at the crisis as an ethnic struggle between Arabs and Africans which has led to human rights violations and racial group eradications for both struggling parties.

Terrorism: In 1996, President Bill Clinton closed the U.S. embassy in Sudan, imposed commercial sanctions on it and added Sudan to the list of the U.S.A. Foreign Ministry as a supporter of terrorism. The crisis was exacerbated when America shelled the medicine factory (Al Shefa') in August 1998.

Natural resources and fortunes: Sudan is one of the richest Arab countries in regards to potential and future capabilities. Official reports assess the oil reserves in Sudan by one billion two hundred barrels.

The U.S. Elections: The goal of agitating the Darfour crisis is to win the votes of the Blacks in the U.S. presidential elections held in November. It is notable that the percentage of Black votes in the year 2000 did not exceed 5%.

The European Position

The French are concerned with the Darfour crisis because the region represents a contact point of what is known as the Francophone belt, including Chad, Niger, Cameron, and Mid Africa; countries that were colonized by France. The British position is an extension of the U.S’, but did not touch upon the racial group eradication accusation in that region. The German position is to try to find a stepping-stone for itself in African countries.

The African Position

The growing ties between Sudan and its neighbors, and the fear of transferring the crisis over to them or creating similar crises within them are two essential factors that encouraged the Western interference pattern. The African countries tried to solve and contain this crisis within an African framework via its regional institutions.



Strategic Files

An Interview with the Sudanese Ambassador

The Sudanese Ambassador to Amman, Mr. Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Sen, views the crisis as originally ancient and restricted in irrigation and agricultural affairs, but believes that the crisis was converted to a political agenda of some parties that sought to make use of it to serve their own political and economic interests.

He also reiterated his government’s position towards this crisis as an internal Sudanese issue, the solution to which is a Sudanese duty and should be processed by political means. Khartoum held a comprehensive convention, and another one was held in Al Fasher and included a group of Arab and African leaders in addition to some Darfour citizens. This convention aimed at coming out with treaties and agreements to sustain the stability.

Moreover, the government did not arm any party against another, but launched a general call for all citizens to contain this struggle by all means. Many volunteers from Arab and non-Arab tribes responded. Insurgents turned to gangs threatening and killing people. Therefore, the locals felt that they should have self-security and wanted to be able to defend themselves, thus it was normal to respond to the government appeals.

He also pointed out that the ability of the government to produce oil agitated many internal and external enemies, especially that it was something that no other previous government had accomplished. Since 1956, and throughout numerous historical periods, no one could excavate oil despite the description that Sudan was floating over a huge lake of oil.

The Ambassador ended by saying: “what is going on in Sudan is an incurrence of its identity, and the international agenda is incurring Sudan's Islamic and Arabic unity.”


Reports and Articles

The New U.S. Pattern in Constructing Democracy Al Falloujah Example

       Whoever follows the U.S. military and political practices in Iraq will stand on the declared reality and aims of the U.S. existence, which the U.S. administration presented to the world as a protector of freedom, a builder of democracy in Iraq, and a force to end injustice, repression and manslaughter.

This study takes Al Falloujah as a live example to expose the U.S. practices in Iraq after the spread of Abu Ghraib’s scandalous photographs of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. The battles at Falloujah were eradication battles deliberately carried out by the U.S. forces, which killed civilians and destroyed the whole city. These forces were keen on keeping their atrocities far away from the public eye, as they did not allow any kind of media transmission or reporting on the movements of their army.

The U.S. forces entered Al Falloujah in order to subjugate Iraqi resistance once and for all, but the assail failed to accommodate its goals, and the U.S. forces were obliged to stop and retrieve then withdraw. They were also forced to agree to the demands of the resistance, which imposed itself on Al Falloujah as an invincible power. This gave the resistance a symbolic value of many dimensions whether inside Falloujah or on the national, Arab and Islamic levels. Al Falloujah, the City of Mosques, became a symbol of challenge and resistance. Meanwhile, the U.S. tried to regain its prestige in the region and press on Sunni leaders in Iraq to participate in the upcoming elections.

It is quite clear that the Falloujah events exposed the features of the U.S’ political and military practices. The claims of seeking democracy and liberty in Iraq were mixed up with eradication, and destruction, and revealed the U.S.’ real political dimensions, which are aiming to weaken Iraq and divide it politically. The data uncovered how the U.S is looking for an equation to weaken the Iraqi political position, serve U.S. interests and raise regional tensions especially in Iran and Syria. It is as important to realize that the U.S. is also is looking for legal and material grounds to justify its own presence in Iraq, and Israel’s right to exist as an occupying entity.


Reports and Articles

Palestinian Elections, Mechanisms.. Circumstances.. Results

The Palestinian People are presenting the best long strife example that others will take it as a symbol for liberation movements in the World, as will as his notable contribution in building the present Arab civilization. Anyhow, the political model that was excreted by Oslo agreement in 1993 is not at the same foot of the huge self-sacrifices. 

In spite of the performance of presidential and legislative elections in 1999 under the umbrella of such pattern, yet the major Potencies did not participate in the elections. Taking reservation in regard with its political and legal formation after it had been a political merit to roll over to a new stage in the age of the Palestinian cause through the permanent Oslo agreement the fiasco of Camp David negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis in the year 2000. And the political crises followed had restrained that. Meantime the eruption of “Al Aqsa intifadah” in the year 200 which had changaly, the features of the struggle and the equation to impose new facts and new political forces and stands returned the negotiation file back practically, politically and intellectually. The endeavors to perform elections are coming across a complicated political, economical and security circumstances that the Palestinian question is passing right now. As the Occupation forces are the most dangerous and complex factor creating facts on ground. As will as the internal Palestinian conditions are adding additional difficulties to the entire position. Where the Palestinian leadership, which went for settlement, is now unacceptable to the party they signed with them and conferred them recognition and concessions.

 Middle East Studies Center in Amman, thought up that to share in performing a profound dialogue among a selected from Palestinian and Arab elites in regard of this subject. Whereas the Center held an academic workshop to study the subject of the Palestinian elections with its three levels: legislative, presidential, municipal, and its reversals on the Palestinian, international levels. It was held in the place of the Center in Amman on Saturday Oct. 9, 2004. The participants were a group of Arab and Palestinian academicians, and politicians and experts.

The most important questions, which need obvious answers, were the political referential to such an election. The role of the Palestinians on diaspora and P.L.O role were also under question?  The role of the Quaternion was discussed ‘which used to put pressure on the Palestinian part’ if could offer guarantees for free and honest elections and accept its absolute results?  Some of the scholars put forth the possibility of the Palestinian conformity as an internal reference to preserve the international relation intact. As the with hold of the international legitimacy in a conception which goes with the Palestinian understanding. Others questioned the role of Arabs to support the Palestinian position accordingly and to sustain it against the Israeli aggression?  In the same connection, if could these countries help to concord the internal Palestinian conformity on mutual positions to preserve the Palestinian national unity and to end the occupation.

The participants believe that Israel has an essential impact on the elections, as Israel is the party who could allow the election implementation or prevention. This is with the consideration of Sharon's success to approve and implement his plan of the unilateral separation which will affect a new status to the political sight in all the region to lead to stop peace negotiations as well. U.S. also is holding practically with all the process threads as well. As it is the party who is capable to impose pressure on Israel and could prepare better environment for elections.

The participants criticized the formation of the Palestinian Election Committee by a presidential decree, and as they said it is an intervene by the Execution Authority in regards of the election as the president has the right of appointments and dismissing. This might expose the committee member on possible threats of this Execution Authority by carrying on there legal tasks.

The participants also indicated to the positive indicators from the opposition parties in regards of the participation in the election, but there are different obstacles and challenges that are facing the elections in West Bank and Gazza Strip, mainly the continuous Israeli assailments and reoccupation of camps, villages and cities. This will increase the difficulty to conduct general elections as the feeble position of the international well – especially the Quaternion- to rapidly interfere to facilitate the process.

The participants concluded many suggestions and recommendations to facilitate and support a free, transparent and democratic elections including that the elections should be diaphanous and away from the Authority intervenes. Such Policy will help to find a legitimate Authority for the Palestinians and will strengthen their National unity. They called upon to adjust the Election Law of the year 1995 in accordance to the political potency requirements and independence conditions, and to appoint a Centeral Election Committee by the Palestinian Legislative Council, and should subjugate it’s decision to control and legal questioning according.

 They suggested strongly that bases and criterions to allocate the electoral provinces geographically and demographically in a just way.

They believe that it is essential to adopt a political reference that all Palestinian parties agree upon away from “Oslo" and the "Road map” which it is the source of dispute among the Palestinian Parties since 10 years.

The workshop recommended reactivating the Arab Role in accordance to the Palestinian Cause. A number of the Workshop Participants called to encourage the Palestinians Diaspora considering the privacy of each hosting country.

They expressed their belief in the necessity to encourage the European Union to play a role to facilitate the election performance operation. They might help in encouraging Israel to withdraw and to stop its aggression on Palestinian People and areas.



Reports and Articles

The Palestinian Cause After Arafat

     The absence of Arafat as a leader has had its own conditions and repercussions, as his absence came after forming a political group in the authority. In an attempt to answer a group of questions in regards to the future after Arafat, the Middle East Studies Center managed a scientific symposium under the title of “The Palestinian Cause after Arafat” and a number of academic and informatory specialist figures in Palestinian affairs participated in that symposium.

The symposium’s most important dialogues and debates studying the challenges and paradoxes facing this stage were:

    The Loss of Political Schedule

   Dualism in Political and Leadership Settings

   The Retrieval of the Palestinian Political Role Outside Palestine in Decision Making

   The Lacking Presence of an Arab Role in the Palestinian Cause

The following requirements were raised to confront the coming phase:

1.   To determine the democratic process needed to revive the institutions that were left behind in the past years.

2.   To deal with the corruption file strictly.

3.   To avoid internal struggles by all means and under any circumstances or pressures.

4.   To adhere to the fixed Palestinian rights.

5.   To safeguard the national unity.

6.   To be keen on reaching a joint political program.

7.   The powers outside the P.L.O., such as Hamas and Al Jihad, get to present their program for election.

8.   To improve media presentation levels to better expose the Palestinian cause internationally.

The participants concluded a group of scenarios that call on recognizing the existing institutions, rebuilding and reviving the P.L.O. and announcing a higher Palestinian referral to manage and develop all institutions, in addition to strengthening the authority of the P.L.O.



Reports and Articles

The Arab Strategic Forum Conference on The Arab World in 2020-Dubai

     The conference convened between 13-15 December 2004 in Dubai, and lasted for three days. Its program was performed through 12 sessions supported by 6 workshops. Fifty four very distinctive participants presented their themes from different parts of the world in addition to the Arab World. The conference discussed the future within the frame of politics, economics and security aspects, and the speakers presented their views in regard to the status quo of the Arab World.

The conference supported transparency, democracy, openness, and practical and sustained planning as the main keys to a better Arab World in 2020.  Most of the speakers gave very good analyses, in addition to various future perspectives. However, others presented misleading information and shallow analyses and future perspectives such as Fu'ad Agamy.

The conference succeeded in achieving most of its goals and became an example of efforts given to bring the Arab World into the future as a main contributor to international civilization in the coming decades.



Reports and Articles

Israeli Political Parties

The following report briefly introduces five Israeli political parties that vary in their influence on the Israeli political scene: Meretz, Shinui, Yisrael Ba-Aliya, Mafdal (The National Religious Party), and the National Union. The report also focuses on the following elements to introduce each political party under investigation: general tendency, or in other words, the classification within the left or right camp according to Israeli criteria, the actual influence, and the political agenda.