Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

A day in the Middle East: a wall, a killing, a bloody raid and a parliamentary resignation

Posted by worriedlebanese on 24/04/2007

On the same page of a French daily, one could see the scope of inter-communal strife in the Middle East through postings on Iraq, Turkey, Palestine and Israel. For once, Lebanon was missing from the gruesome headlines.
In Iraq, people were protesting against the wall being built by the American forces to seperate a Sunni neighjbourhood from a Shiite one: Another clumsy American step. Couldn’t they forsee that the Bagdad wall they had started to build would be compared to the Israeli seperation wall or to Beirut’s fomer green line seperating the Christian districts from the Muslim ones? As expected, the arab media and political circus couldn’t go beyond the symbolic aspect of this construction and coulnd help themselves from attributing the division that it represents to the Americans.
In Turkey, politicians and the media were still commenting on the brutal slaying of three Protestants in Malatya in the name of Islam and the Homeland (as one of the assailants put it). Orhan Kemal Cengiz, the lawyer who had defended one of the victims when detained for defamation (ie proselytising) said “there is a general atmosphere of fear the country will be dismantled that feeds the hate against Christians and their supposed missionary activities”. What a sad excuse when one considers that until the 1920s Malatya had a large Christian population that was at times majoritary (mostly Armenian but also Assyian) that now represents less than 1% of the population.
In Palestine, the Isaeli army killed 9 Palestinians in less than two days, in a raid (Gaza) and a secret incursion (West Bank). One of the people killed was a 17 y/o kid throwing stones, and another was a 17 y/o girl looking through her window.
In Israel, the Knesset will be receiving Azmi Bishara’s resignation (sent from Egypt). He is accused of treason and corruption (because of meetings he had in Damascus).

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