Welcome to Fry'd Daze - What is it.... Well, it is a long running series dedicated to dialogue in the Middle East. Anyhow, this is week 3.05. This isn't intended to be a flame forum, but rather something we can exchange ideas about I/P and/or issues about the Middle East.
What Fry'd Daze is, is a way to get people to talk about whatever comes into their heads regarding this subject... an open forum where people can meet and talk.
BTW... hopefully people will actually read the stories, they are relevant. However, this is an Open Thread so speak on what you like.
Before our first story I go to Shalom Achshav for this important message regarding the Knesset investigations of NGO's and how democracy needs to be maintained.
We can still prevent this decree as next week this decision comes to a final vote in the Knesset Plenum!
Together all the Peace and Human Rights groups are now cooperating for one purpose – to create massive public pressure on Knesset members.
It is time for those who believe in freedom and democracy to pressure and demand that the MKs from Kadima, Labour and Meretz oppose the inquiry and vote against it. And to pressure those Likud MK’s that are wavering in their support.
Please see the list of people involved and let them know that Americans are concerned for democracy as well. Help support freedom!
Ok, now on to our first story...
Here is an interesting take on the Egyptian Revolution from Gershon Baskin talking about the challenges of the political situation in Egypt. Ifound this a fascinating read particularly given the discussions we have here on Daily Kos. Please take a read on this.
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network reported Friday that a mass protest was being held near Gaza, on the Egyptian side of Rafah. According to reports, at least 50,000 people have gathered at the border city.....
Related to that: Gazans fear unrest threatens vital supply line
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – The ongoing unrest in Egypt affected prices in the blockaded Gaza Strip, where most of the commodities have been flooding to the coastal enclave through smuggling tunnels.
Locals say items like cigarettes and basic food went up by almost a third. Gas stations have closed because owners are worried they could fail to get enough fuel due to the deteriorating situation in Egypt, namely in the Sinai.
Onlookers noticed that owners of grocery stores and supermarkets were trying their best to stock up on as many goods as they could fearing supply through smuggling tunnels might stop at any moment.
One side note to this story... The Hamas government is trying to calm fears by telling people that food and fuel are abundant in Gaza. Interesting.
Also related: Gaza feeds hungry Egyptian troops in role reversal
Egyptian soldiers isolated on the Gaza border by 10 days of internal upheaval are getting bread, canned goods and other food supplies from the enclave, which is usually on the receiving end of food aid.
A source in the border town of Rafah said security forces of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, had been providing the troops with supplies for the past three days.
Israel has blockaded Gaza for over three years with the assistance of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government, and half the population depends on handouts of staples from the United Nations.
With the rise of democratic and reform demands the Quartet has stepped up it's efforts to try to stabilize the Israeli Palestinian question. As a result Haaretz is reporting: Netanyahu commits to promoting Arab construction in East Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the international community's Middle East envoy, Tony Blair, announced Friday a series of gestures that Israel will make to the Palestinians, including a promise to support Arab construction in East Jerusalem.
"In respect of East Jerusalem, the Government of Israel has agreed to encourage the implementation of all projects that abide by municipal regulations that will improve infrastructure there for Palestinians, including in particular housing, starting with two projects in East Jerusalem," Blair announced.
The E.U. is expected to make a harsh statement regarding perceived Israeli intransigence over this issue and the Prime Minister seems to be trying to mitigate that. The U.S. has indicated support for this statement particularly with European backing. As Tony Blair said:
"I am pleased at the package of measures agreed today with the Government of Israel," Blair said in response to Netanyahu's offer, but later added, "Obviously, agreement to all this is not the same as implementation." (vb1 emphasis)
For our next story: Of course in these harsh times... Iran is talking and taking credit for the Egyptian revolution: Riots sign of Islamic awakening
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says recent anti-government riots in Tunisia and Egypt are "a sign of the awakening of Islam inspired by the Islamic Revolution's victory in Iran."
In a sermon delivered Friday morning at a Tehran mosque, Khamenei said that "the Americans and Zionists are more concerned than anyone else about the situation in Egypt, but they are helpless and will not succeed in finding a remedy for the situation."
However in contradiction to Khamenei's claims... the Muslim Brotherhood is saying:
Despite Khamenei's remarks, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Mohammed al-Beltagi, told Al-Jazeera on Friday that the group had no ambitions to run for the Egyptian presidency after the end of President Hosni Mubarak's term.
In another area related to Egypt and the Palestinians: Rights group: PA banning freedom of expression
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian rights group on Thursday warned of deteriorating freedom of expression in the West Bank, as the PA banned "unlicensed assembly" in response to rallies in solidarity with Egyptians.
In a statement, the Palestinian Commission for Human Rights condemned the PA's closure of the demonstrations.
On Wednesday, PA security forces shut down a rally in Ramallah, using batons to push demonstrators back and detaining at least two protesters.
This goes along with Hamas has also restricted demonstrations in support of the Protestors claiming that they are "unapproved demonstrations".
There is a lot of news going on now so please comment, add, and enjoy this installment of this long running diary series.