Kaddafi waarschuwt voor inmenging in Libië

TRIPOLI – De Libische leider Muammar Kaddafi heeft dinsdag gedreigd dat buitenlandse inmenging in Libië grimmige consequenties zal hebben voor de veiligheid in Noord-Amerika, Europa en het Middellandse Zeegebied. Hij zei dit tijdens een telefoongesprek met de Griekse premier George Papandreou, meldde het Libische staatspersbureau Jana.

”Griekenland is een vriend van Libië en kan deze informatie doorspelen aan de Europese Unie”, aldus Kaddafi, die Papandreou had opgebeld.

De internationale gemeenschap is druk bezig met overleg over de situatie in Libië en hoe Kaddafi moet worden aangepakt. De Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Hillary Clinton, riep de VN-lidstaten op een vliegverbod boven Libië te steunen. Een Amerikaanse delegatie sprak in het Egyptische Caïro met de Libische oppositie. (ANP/AFP)

(www.parool.nl / 08.03.2011)

Essam Sharaf: Egypt new cabinet sworn in

Egypt (CAIRO) – Egypt’s Prime Minister Dr. Essam Sharaf and members of his cabinet have been sworn in in-front-of President of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi here on Monday, one day after Dr. Sharaf announced the set-up of the cabinet.

The line-up is as follows:
Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Yahya Al-Jamal,

Minister of State for Military Production Dr. Sayyed Meshaal,

Minister of Electricity and Energy Dr. Hassan Younes,

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abulnaja,

Minister of State for Environment Affairs Majed George,

Minister of Local Development Mohsen Al-No’mani,

Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Dr. Mohammad Fatehi El-Barad’ei,

Minister of Awqaf Dr. Abdullah Al-Husseini,

Minister of Finance Dr. Samir Radhwan,

Minister of Civil Aviation Ibrahim Manna’,

Minister of Transport Atef Abdulhamid Mustafa,

Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Dr. Hussein Al-Atfi,

Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Dr. Ayman Farid Abu Hadid,

Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama,

Minister of Education Dr. Ahmad Jamal-Eddin Moussa,

Minister of Communication and Information Technology Dr. Majed Othman,

Minister of Health and Population Dr. Ashraf Hatem,

Minister of Solidarity and Social Justice Dr. Joudah Abdulkhaleq,

Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Dr. Samir Al-Sayyad,

Minister of Tourism Munir Fakhri Abdulnour,

Minister of Justice, Justice Mohammad Abdulaziz Al-Jendi,

Minister of Interior Maj.-Gen Mansour Al-Issawy,

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nabil Al-Araby,

Minister of Manpower and Immigration Dr. Ahmad Hassan Al-Bora’ei,

Minister of Culture Emad Abu Ghazi,

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Mohammad Abdullah Ghorab.

Global Arab Network

Former Dutch PM tells Haaretz: European leaders can’t trust Netanyahu

Dries van Agt wants the EU to make Israel pay for its policies, but says his own country is one of the main obstacles to recognition for Palestine

By Akiva Eldar

The red carpet was not rolled out to greet 80-year-old Dries van Agt upon his arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport. The man who was prime minister of Holland from 1977 to 1982 is known here as one of the leading delegitimizers of Israel.

This visit, like ones before, is aimed at expressing his support for the Palestinians under the occupation and to give a boost to the Israeli peace camp. Van Agt is one of 26 European personages who called upon the European Union in December to declare that a Palestinian state will spread over an area equal to 100 percent of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 and that its capital will be East Jerusalem.

The signatories include the previous European foreign affairs and defense policy coordinator Javier Solana, and former leaders of Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland, among others.

The retired leaders urged EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to take an active role in thawing the negotiations and freezing settlement construction.

They noted key American figures have hinted to them that the best way to help U.S. President Barack Obama advance the peace process is to make Israel pay a “price tag” for policy contradicting the United States’ wishes.

That price would be EU recognition of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, as several South American countries have done.

Last Thursday, shortly before talking to an audience of Palestinians in Bethlehem and before taking off to fly back to Amsterdam, van Agt presented to me a despairing picture of the EU policy regarding the conflict.

True, he says, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows the EU has woken up from the delusion that the Israeli leader has changed.

Van Agt recounts with relish British Prime Minister David Cameron’s reply to a member of Parliament who inquired whether Netanyahu had also phoned London in order to chastise the prime minister for Britain’s’ vote in the United Nations condemning the settlements.

Cameron said he had not been granted that honor but had Netanyahu complained to him, he would have received a “robust” reply similar to the one he received from Berlin (“How dare you?” ).

“Most of the European leaders, headed by those of the major countries – France, Britain and Germany – are partners to the feeling that it’s impossible to trust Netanyahu,” van Agt said. “He squandered the credit he received from Europe in the wake of his Bar-Ilan speech and turned it into empty words.”

However, van Agt expects the first European country to join the South American states will be Norway, which is not a member of the EU. He says he has reasons to believe Spain will be the first EU country to follow in Oslo’s footsteps.

But he doesn’t hold out much hope for a domino effect. The retired Dutch statesman, who believes Europe owes a special debt to the Palestinians because they are the victims of victims of the Holocaust, does not believe their salvation will come from the continent.

“The EU is everything but a union,” he says.

He calls the members from Central Europe “slaves of the United States” and assesses they will carry out its orders to thwart a consensus – a necessary condition for a resolution by the EU to recognize a Palestinian state in the vote expected at the UN this coming September.

The highest hurdle, says van Agt, is to be found in his home country of Holland. The combination of guilty feelings and Islamophobia has, he says, made Dutch politicians the bastion of the Israeli right in Europe.

As evidence, he pulls out a copy of a resolution passed with a sweeping majority (including their Labor Party ) in the Dutch Parliament on the eve of the vote against the settlements in the UN, which won the support of all the European ambassadors in the Security Council.

The Dutch Parliament called upon the EU to oppose recognition of a Palestinian state. It also demanded of the Palestinians that they return to the negotiating table in order to bring about a just resolution of the conflict and “explicitly” recognize a democratic and Jewish state. Not a word about the settlements.

It is small wonder, then, that no less than 20 Israeli diplomats have vied of late for the position of ambassador to The Hague. The tulips are blooming and the herring – lip-smacking good.

Livni-style democracy

Opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni of Kadima has a new project. She is proposing to the Arab world that it adopt the codes of its democratic sister. In an article published last week in The Washington Post, Livni wrote that the leaders of the free world must exert their influence in order to protect the young democracies in the Middle East from groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to her, Israel fears the democratic revolution in Egypt will bring about the replacement of Hosni Mubarak with a leader who has an extremist worldview and an anti-democratic bent (no doubt she is referring to the Muslim Brotherhood ).

In a letter she appended to the article, Livni explained to me that the role of the leaders of the free world, and especially in Israel, is to harness the world to the future shaping of the region in accordance with those interests shared by Israel and the free world.

Livni claims her initiative “correctly translates the values of democracy in a way that will be acceptable to all the pragmatic and moderate elements in our region.”

She proposes banning all parties that uphold violence and/or racism and/or do not respect international agreements. If Netanyahu were to propose “translating” his democratic codes for the Arabs, we would say he is arrogant, colonialist and insensitive.

It is worth remembering that Livni has conducted (and quite probably will conduct ) intense coalition negotiations with an Israeli political party that wants to transfer Arabs out of Israel and incites against minorities.

In fact, she too proposed in the past transferring to a Palestinian state the Israeli inhabitants of divided villages.


UNESCO to Assist Reforming Journalism Education in Egypt

20 January 2011 the UNESCO Cairo Office and the Cairo University launched a project to strengthen journalism education and communication research in Egypt. The aim of this project is to reform curriculum of Cairo University Faculty of Communication, the leading university in Egypt, as well as to provide recommendations for the other journalism schools of the country in line with the standards provided by the UNESCO Model Curricula on Journalism Education.

The UNESCO Cairo Office is to support needs assessment study as well as two workshops and International Conference aimed to develop recommendations to facilitate restructuring of journalism curricula.

The two workshops will analyze the current status and carry out the needs assessment of journalism education in Egypt and selected Arab States. More than twenty research groups will be created to implement the task with about fifty researches involved in developing a report on the status of journalism education and communication research, which will be published in English and Arabic in mid 2011 and serve as a basis for further action.

The findings of the needs assessment report will be discussed at the international conference to be held in October 2011. The conference will serve as a forum of exchange and discussion for developing modern curricula for journalism education and will commission recommendations and guidelines aimed to put in place and new plan in reforming journalism education based on the UNESCO Model Curricula on Journalism Education.

The recommendations and guidelines of the conference will be followed up by the Cairo University Faculty of Communication in reforming university curricula of 2012 and beyond. They will also be made available to other institution of higher education through the local body responsible for the university accreditation process in Egypt.

Source: UNESCO Office in Cairo

Egypt humanitarian delegation enters Gaza

Their aim is to enter the beseiged Palestinian terrirtory with as many Egyptian volunteers as possible. This in order to highlight that Egypt’s economic blockade of Gaza continues and must end following the fall of the Mubarak regime.

The activists make it to the town of Al Arish, 50 km from the Gaza border, where they’re greeted by local leaders who promise they’ll supply hundreds of volunteers to show solidarity with the suffering of Gazans. The leaders call for Egypt to revoke its peace treaty with Israel and for former President Husni Mubarak to be prosecuted.

We’ve arrived in Al Arish to a good welcome. But we did have to pass through about 12 checkpoints and the army tried to persuade us not to come. But now the people here are promising to accompany the convoy to Gaza.

The morning of the planned march to the Gaza border starts with much optimism. But things soon turn nasty. A small group of suspected pro-Mubarak agitators accuse the activists of being spies and even Israelis. They say Egyptians should sort their own problems out before they worry about anybody else. Our crew is forced to stop filming, but soon afterwards we are attacked with shovels and forced to beat a hasty retreat.

Eventually the activists make it to the Gaza border but with severely depleted numbers. Most of the Egyptians have been scared off from joining their protest march to the Rafah border crossing. After 5 hours they are allowed through with one bag of cement. They are the first peace delegation to enter Gaza since the Egyptian revolution.

But their breakthrough is only symbolic. It will take a mass mobilization from the Egyptian people themselves to effect real change.


Libyan warplanes strike rebels at oil port

By PAUL SCHEMM and MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press Paul Schemm And Maggie Michael, Associated Press 29 mins ago

RAS LANOUF, Libya – Libyan warplanes launched at least five new airstrikes Tuesday near rebel positions in the oil port of Ras Lanouf, keeping up a counteroffensive to prevent the opposition from advancing toward leader Moammar Gadhafi’s stronghold in the capital Tripoli.

There was no immediate word on casualties, and an Associated Press reporter who witnessed the strikes said they did not appear to hit any fighters. The latest airstrike hit a two-story house in a residential area, causing some damage but not hurting anyone.

Representatives of the opposition, which controls the eastern half of Libya, said they have received an offer to negotiate the terms of Gadhafi’s departure. However, they could not confirm whether the envoy who made the offer was authorized by the regime to do so and said in any case, they would not negotiate with the government.

Gadhafi’s regime has been using its air power advantage more each day to check a rebel advance west toward Tripoli on the main highway leading out of the opposition-controlled eastern half of the country. The increasing use of air power underlines the vulnerability of the rebel forces as they attempt to march in open terrain along the Mediterranean coast and could prompt world powers to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to deny Gadhafi that edge.

The United States and its NATO allies edged closer Monday to formulating a military response to the escalating violence in Libya as the alliance boosted surveillance flights over the country and the Obama administration signaled it might be willing to help arm Gadhafi’s opponents. Europe, meanwhile, kick-started international efforts to impose a no-fly zone.

It still appeared unlikely that U.S. warplanes or missiles soon would deploy in Libya, which has been sliding toward civil war, but the continuing violence increased pressure on Washington to do something or at least spell out its plan.

The rebels are fighting to oust Gadhafi from power after more than 41 years, a goal in common with the protesters who managed to topple authoritarian rulers in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. However, the Libyan uprising has already proved much more violent, and could be much more drawn out.

On a separate front, a witness said Gadhafi loyalists have recaptured Zawiya, the city closest to Tripoli that had fallen into opposition hands after heavy shelling by tank artillery and mortars. The witness, speaking to The Associated Press by phone, said Gadhafi’s tanks and fighting vehicles were roaming the city 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli and firing randomly at homes.

The witness spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisal.

He said electricity, phone and Internet services have all been cut. The witness spoke to the AP after he managed to escape the city through surrounding farmlands and reach a point outside Zawiya where mobile phone coverage was available.

“The city is in ruins,” he said. “Some buildings have been entirely destroyed and everyone on the street is shot on sight. There are many wounded but the hospitals are running out of supplies,” he said, describing conditions in the city after the regime’s counteroffensive on Monday. The offensive on Zawiya is thought to be spearheaded by an elite unit led and named after one of Gadhafi’s sons, Khamis.

In Benghazi, the main city in the rebel-held east of the country, a spokesman for the newly created Interim Governing Council said a man who claimed to represent Gadhafi has made contact with the council to discuss terms for Gadhafi to step down. Mustafa Gheriani told the AP the council could not be certain whether the man was acting on his own initiative or did in fact represent the Libyan leader.

“But our position is clear: No negotiations with the Gadhafi regime,” said Gheriani, who declined to say when contact was made or reveal the identity of the purported envoy.

As the fighting continues, Gadhafi’s regime is also coming under mounting pressure from some Arab nations.

Gulf Arab countries joined the calls for a no-fly zone, with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates saying during a conference of his country’s neighbors that the U.N. Security Council should “shoulder its historical responsibility for protecting the Libyan people.”

Still, Western military intervention does not seem imminent — and the warnings may be an attempt to intimidate Gadhafi with words before deeds.

British and French officials said the no-fly resolution was being drawn up as a contingency and it has not been decided whether to put it before the U.N. Security Council, where Russia holds veto power and has rejected such a move.

Western officials have said a no-fly zone does not require a U.N. mandate, but they would prefer to have one.


New Interior Minister Revives a Debate: Can Muslims Be True Germans?


BERLIN — Germany’s new interior minister, appointed just last week, has already managed to upset politicians, church leaders and representatives of the Muslim community by saying that Islam is not a part of the German way of life.

“Islam in Germany is not something substantiated by history at any point,” the interior minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, said at his first news conference in his new job, adding that Islam did not play a major role in German culture.

The Lutheran bishop of Berlin, Markus Dröge, responded on Sunday by saying he was surprised that Muslims were being singled out by some politicians in discussions of how to integrate Germany’s diverse communities.

“We have a way of life — it is democratic, open and based on dialogue and human rights,” Bishop Dröge told his congregation.

Mr. Friedrich reiterated his views about Islam over the weekend, but he also called for a dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Successful integration “requires two things: knowledge of the social reality in Germany and a clear awareness of the Western Christian origin of our culture,” he said in a statement.

Lamya Kaddor, chairwoman of the Liberal-Islamic Union in Germany, said that Mr. Friedrich’s remarks were a “slap in the face of Muslims.”

“Such statements are not only politically and historically wrong, I think they are dangerous,” Ms. Kaddor said. She added that Mr. Friedrich’s position would undermine progress between Muslims and Christians that previous interior ministers had encouraged.

Germany has been grappling with how best to integrate its four million Muslims into the society at large. The government is pushing for the children of non-German-speaking parents to develop better German language skills.

But in a recent visit to Germany, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urged Turkish parents who are living in Germany to teach their children the Turkish language before German.

Mr. Erdogan told a crowd of more than 11,000 people in Düsseldorf that the Turks in Germany should not assimilate, but integrate.

“I say yes to integration,” Mr. Erdogan said. “You should definitely integrate with the German society, but we are against assimilation. No one should be able to rip us away from our culture and civilization. Our children must learn German, but first they must learn Turkish.”

The controversy over Mr. Friedrich’s remarks coincided with the shooting deaths last week of two United States servicemen at the Frankfurt airport. A 21-year-old man from Kosovo was arrested in the terminal after fleeing from the shooting, and German prosecutors said they were trying to determine whether Islamic radicalism had played a role in the shootings.

The German Police Federation said the shootings were the first case of homegrown terrorism inspired by radical Islamic propaganda disseminated over the Internet.

Mr. Friedrich was appointed interior minister when Chancellor Angela Merkel reshuffled her cabinet in the wake of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s resignation as defense minister.

(The New York Times / 06.03.11)

Palestinians try to create ‘Facebook revolution’

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The mass demonstrations sweeping the Middle East are touching the Palestinian territories, where West Bank and Gaza Strip activists are trying to organize their own “Facebook revolutions.”

The Palestinian activists are inspired by the calls for democracy that toppled autocratic leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and threaten longtime rulers in Libya and Bahrain.

In recent weeks, activists using Facebook have brought hundreds of people onto streets of the West Bank, waving Palestinian flags and calling for change. Smaller gatherings have taken place in Gaza. The protesters hope to stage a massive demonstration in both areas on March 15.

Whether they can succeed is far from certain because of the unique situation of the Palestinians. In contrast to countries where crowds have rallied against a single, despised leader, the Palestinians face a series of intertwined problems, making it harder to rally around a common cause.

Palestinians seek an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, areas wedged on different sides of Israel and ruled by rival governments. The Western-backed Palestinian Authority governs in the West Bank, where Israel’s military still retains overall control. The militant Islamic group Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007.

The Palestinian split has crippled efforts to negotiate an independent state from Israel. Repeated efforts to reconcile, including a Palestinian Authority proposal to hold new elections, have foundered.

The Facebook activists have divisions of their own. Some want the rival Palestinian governments to reconcile. Others demand they resign. Still others want to demonstrate against Israel’s occupation.

Activist Hasan Farahat, 22, said there was enough common ground. “Everybody is sick of the situation. We want work, we want the right to speak freely. We want freedom,” he said.

The governments see even the smallest demonstrations as a challenge to their rule.

On Monday, Hamas moved swiftly to break up a small demonstration in Gaza City where people called for Palestinian reconciliation. Hamas police arrested a protest organizer, seizing a tape from a German TV crew showing a security official slapping the man.

In previous protest attempts, Hamas security arrested activists and seized their phones and computers, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The West Bank has seen about a dozen demonstrations, including two in Ramallah, where some 2,000 Palestinians demanded reconciliation. Others urged leaders to revoke interim peace agreements with Israel.

Palestinian Authority security forces initially broke up protests by beating participants. Now, organizers are threatened and sometimes arrested, they said.


Salam Alaikoum

Salam Alaikoum and a good day to you all. Welcome on the new site of Al Tahrir. This is a site of KhamakarPress and we will follow all news and articles of the Arab countries and their Revolution.

In the mean time we will write and look for articles on Islam and special on Islam in our modern world.

Be welcome to write your comments. If you have articles, please let us know.

These site will be in more languages, special in English and Dutch.

Fi aman Allah

The team of KhamakarPress