Home Ed: 30: February/2005
Ed: 30: February/2005
In the January 9 election to succeed Yasser Arafat as Chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) emerged with a majority of 62%. About 75% of registered voters cast ballots.
The month since the election of Mahmoud Abbas as President of the Palestinian Authority has been one of ups and downs as far as Israeli-Palestinian relations are concerned. The accession of Abbas to power in the wake of Yasser Arafat's death is the best chance for Middle East peace in years.
The outlines of the second Bush Administration's approach to the Middle East began emerging from an American-Israel dialogue held in Washington in early December.
The Middle East is on the brink of going nuclear, and the rest of the world is fiddling or looking the other way. The United States is draining its energies in Iraq, the Europeans are fussing over "soft power" diplomacy, and the UN monitoring agencies are dithering.
Tariq Ramadan is a smooth operator. This articulate Swiss-born professor of philosophy is arguably Europe's leading Muslim intellectual.
The Southeast Asian tsunami was a horrific natural tragedy. Or was it? Some of the conspiratorial minded of the Middle East seem reluctant to admit that it was natural.
It would be hard to think of a more auspicious way to begin 2005 than by holding elections in Iraq and the Palestinian Authority. Indeed, it would be difficult to overestimate the potential impact of these two momentous events on the future of the region, and even on regions far removed from the Middle East.