Various news items on the Middle East

a selection of articles that have been published in the current state of affairs in the Middle East. None come even close to neither Salman Rushdie’s comments on same topic, nor that of Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair as can be listened to on BBC Radio 4 today program. As usual, the Brits are much clearer their defense of free speech (even with all their reserved nature) than any of our state sponsored pundits.

 Aftenposten, editorial 2012 09 20

ESCAPING SYRIA

The neighboring countries are receiving an ever growing current of refugees from Syria. Most likely, the situation in Lebanon is the most critical. Ten thousands of Syrians are however also crossing the borders to Turkey and Jordan. To a small country like Lebanon, tripled influx in the matter a very brief time is dramatic.         So far, many refugees have managed on their own, with saved money and aid from relatives, ever more are however in need of organized aid. Many organizations, including the Norwegian Refugee Council, makes extensive efforts, however, much more is needed. The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees fears for the coming months to be the most demanding. The background lies in Lebanon, already a vulnerable and divided country, having had its capacity to help reduced in the last year. Uncertainty and pessimism is spreading as a side effect of the Syrian war. The need over more aid from abroad is also on the rise in Turkey; where criticism of the government’s active support of the rebellion against President Assad is growing. Arguments exist over the Syrian refugees being both an economic hazards and a potential security risk. In the meantime, nearly one and a half million Syrians are escaping the fighting in their own country. Many of those being displaced will without any doubt seek refuge outside the borders of Syria. The humanitarian challenge is so great it is wishful thinking to believe it can be mastered without massive international aid.

 

JEWS AGAINST HARASSMENT OF MUSLIMS

Dagen 2912 09 20 p 4, No stated author

Summary.

Ervin Kohn of the Mosaic Congregation attacks “The innocence of Muslims”, supporting the stand of the Islamic Council in Norway. However, Mr. Kohn states the movie should not legitimize violence.

THE MIDDLE EAST REBELLION

Hamar Arbeiderblad 2012 09 17

Editorial

Summary.

This editorial puts the blame on the recent unrest in the Middle East squarely on the shoulders of “Extremist Copt Christians”, pondering restrictions on free speech.

THE KEYS TO THE CHURCH OF NATIVITY

Aftenposten 2012 09 17, Trond Bakkevig

Summary.

Interesting article on the stance of the Christian Orthodox Church in the Syrian conflict, putting this into a wider historic perspective, even mentioning the Crimean war in this context.

 

Iran/Israel confrontation

ISRAELI THREATS BEING COUNTERPRODUCTIVE

Dagsavisen 2012 09 20 p 2, Åshild Langved

Summary.

Op-ed on the confrontation between Iran and Israel; claiming PM Netanyahu’s “Red line” comments may make things worse, and stimulate Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Also, an attack on Iran may cause retaliation by Hezbollah and Hamas, and also release aggression within the PA areas. The author seems to harbor the opinion Hezbollah has a credible conventional warfare capability.

As for the Americans, this Op-ed states Iran has the power to induce the Afghanis into an even wider rebellion against US influence in the region.

 

Syria/Lebanon

LEBANON EXPLODES DUE TO INVASION OF REFUGEES

Aftenposten 2012 09 19 p 16, 17, Jørgen Lohne

Summary.

Jørgen Lohne visits projects run by the Norwegian Refugee Council in Lebanon; most of these are situated in the Beka’a valley, under the control of the Hezbollah.       Never the less, most refugees state feeling of security compared to their homeland. Officially, 53 000 refugees from Syria are living in Syria, real figures are likely to be much higher.

 

Pal –Activism

PAL-ACTIVIST MUST GO TO COURT

Asker og Bærum budstikke 2012 09 14, Erik Tangen

Summary.

Pal-activist affiliated to “Ship to Gaza” indicted over criminal damage, after putting stickers on Israeli made goods in shop; in this case the “Nectar” cosmetics shop in Oslo. The man was arrested over this, but refused to pay damages; hence this case goes to court.