Oriente Próximo

Mahmoud Illean/AP Photo

Moad Rayan, a twenty-five-year-old Arab citizen of Israel, had planned to study engineering in England—but it was not to be. On February 1, 2009, he drove with a friend to his local supermarket in Kafr Bara, a town about fifteen miles east of Tel Aviv, and as he waited in the car outside, another car pulled up and two masked men got out, drawing their guns. They sprayed him with bullets and drove off. “Until today, no one knows why,” his father, Kamel, told me recently. Since Moad’s murder, the police have not found any suspects. “It’s not just my son,” said Kamel.…  Seguir leyendo »

Patrick Baz/AFP via Getty Images

In mid-November, when protests against Lebanon’s venal, incompetent, and bankrupt government had already been taking place for three weeks, President Michel Aoun dismissed the demonstrators: if they weren’t satisfied with the country’s political leadership, they should “emigrate.” But young Lebanese have been doing just that, by the thousands, for decades. The country runs, to a large extent, on the money they send home. In 2018, the remittances of the huge Lebanese diaspora accounted for about 13 percent of the country’s GDP.

Until recently, there were three options for young people in Lebanon, a friend told me when I visited the country last month: you could join one of the country’s sectarian factions, trading loyalty for patronage; “go into internal exile, smoking pot with your ten friends”; or get out.…  Seguir leyendo »

Turkey’s October invasion of Syria forced the United States to withdraw from territory it de-facto controlled along the border and prompted the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to reach a narrow, security-focused arrangement with the Syrian regime to return to a series of towns and territory in the northeast. The Turkish armed forces have separately reached an agreement with the United States and Russia for a safe-zone, spanning the territory between Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn and extending down to the M4 highway. This Turkish zone fall far short of Ankara’s original plan to take control over the entirety of the northeast, but prompted the Syrian Kurds to invite the regime and the Russian Federation back to territory Damascus had abandoned in 2012.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cómo un tribunal arbitral

Fondos especulativos y abogados de Wall Street han convertido un arcano mecanismo procesal de los tratados internacionales en una máquina de hacer dinero, a costa de la gente más pobre del mundo. El último botín es un fallo por 5900 millones de dólares contra el gobierno de Pakistán y a favor de dos empresas mineras internacionales (la chilena Antofagasta PLC y la canadiense Barrick Gold Corporation) por un proyecto que Pakistán nunca aprobó y que nunca se ejecutó.

He aquí los hechos.

En 1993, una corporación minera estadounidense, BHP, firmó un acuerdo con la Autoridad de Desarrollo del Baluchistán (BDA, por la sigla en inglés), una corporación pública en la empobrecida provincia pakistaní del Baluchistán, para una operación conjunta de prospección en busca de oro y cobre; de hallarse yacimientos prometedores, el acuerdo también preveía el pedido de una licencia de explotación.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dilbar Ali Ravu, 10, is kissed by his aunt, Dalal Ravu, as Yazidi children are reunited with their families in Iraq after five years of captivity with the Islamic State group, March 2, 2019. AP Photo/Philip Issa, File

It’s been five years since the Islamic State killed 3,100 Yazidi people in Iraq – mostly men and the elderly – forced 6,800 women and children into sexual slavery, marriage or religious conversion and sent hundreds of thousands fleeing.

The Islamic State saw the Yazidis as infidels with no right to exist under the extremist group’s rule. The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking Mideast minority whose monotheistic religion differs from Islam, Judaism and Christianity. They have a distinct historical lineage and no systematic requirement of fasting or prayer for the faithful. The Yazidis have lived in northern Iraq since at least the 12th century.…  Seguir leyendo »

Estos días se ha reportado en la prensa española la decisión del Departamento de Estado norteamericano de «dejar de considerar como ilegales los asentamientos judíos en Territorios Palestinos». Una postura que se ha presentado como otra excentricidad extemporánea favorable a Israel de la Administración Trump. Y como una decisión que estaría revirtiendo una política aceptada durante décadas por el Gobierno norteamericano. Nada más lejos de la realidad.

En 1978, siendo Jimmy Carter presidente de los Estados Unidos, su Departamento de Estado emitió el memorando Hansell, documento referido así por el entonces asesor legal del ministerio, Hebert J. Hansell. Dicha declaración consideraba como «inconsistentes con el derecho internacional» los asentamientos civiles israelíes en los territorios en disputa.…  Seguir leyendo »

Muhammed Nur /Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Members of the Syrian National Army participating in Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring, Ras al-Ayn district, northern Syria, October 13, 2019

A small Turkish flag was standing on the desk of the offices of the Turkish-backed faction in a residential area of Şanlıurfa, in southern Turkey. The men in the room, most of them veteran fighters from eastern Syria, were expecting me and did their best to locate a Syrian revolutionary flag in time for our meeting in the summer of 2019. They could not find one. Everything about the meeting, its location, décor, and content, indicated to me that the men in the room were not the ones in charge. They hoped soon to launch an offensive on northeastern Syria, but had no idea when the real decision-makers, Turkish officials, would give them their marching orders.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2014, Lamya Haji Bashar was a 15-year-old woman in Kocho, a sleepy Yazidi farming village in northern Iraq. On Sunday, August 3, 2014, her life changed forever when ISIS swept through the region.

ISIS fighters killed her neighbors and friends, entire families, women and children. Thousands of Yazidis fell victim to mass executions and disappeared into mass graves. And thousands of Yazidi women and girls were sold into slavery. The UN would later recognize ISIS as the perpetrator of a genocide against the Yazidi community.

Bashar herself was sold as a modern-day slave to ISIS. She escaped and is now sharing the brutal truth of violence against women.…  Seguir leyendo »

Estados Unidos puede haber aniquilado cualquier esperanza que quedara de una solución de dos estados para el conflicto palestino-israelí. La declaración del secretario de Estado norteamericano, Mike Pompeo, de que los asentamientos israelíes en Cisjordania no violan el derecho internacional desafía un consenso global de larga data. El resto del mundo debe oponerse.

No cabe duda alguna de que la política de asentamientos de Israel en los territorios palestinos ocupados viola el derecho internacional. Luego de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, la Cuarta Convención de Ginebra estableció que una potencia ocupadora “no debe deportar o transferir partes de su propia población civil al territorio que ocupa”.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Israeli politics, the old saw goes you can be dead—or dead and buried. Thursday’s statement by the Israeli attorney general that Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu will be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust is likely going to put Netanyahu’s political career in the latter box. It’s almost certainly the beginning of the end of his political career.

However Bibi’s story plays out — and it will take time — you can take this to the bank: Netanyahu will make this fight (and likely) exit as painful, prolonged and destructive as possible.

Here are some key takeaways:

Netanyahu will go down fighting

If anyone thought that Netanyahu would use his speech to the nation following news of the indictments to put country over party and go quietly into the night, they don’t know Netanyahu.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘If there is no reaction to Shady Zalat’s arrest, they will come for someone else, then another, and another.’ Mada Masr editor Zalat has been arrested by the Egyptian regime and his whereabouts are unknown. Photograph: AP

Editor’s note: as this piece was published, news broke of a raid on Mada Masr’s offices. Security forces left after over three hours, having detained at least three staff members including the editor-in-chief, Lina Attalah. Shady Zalat, the subject of this article, was released from detention on an outlying Cairo road an hour after the raid ended.

In the early hours of Saturday morning there was a loud banging on Shady Zalat’s door. He will have known they had come for him.

Zalat is an editor at Mada Masr, the last independent news outlet operating under the military regime that came to power with General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s coup d’etat in 2013.…  Seguir leyendo »

Une équipe du Croissant-Rouge à Dhamar, le 1er septembre. Photo Mohamed al-Sayaghi. Reuters

 

En tant que Yéménite et humanitaire, je constate chaque jour l’impact de cette guerre sur la santé des Yéménites, sur l’accès à la nourriture, à l’eau potable, aux médicaments et aux structures de soins. Je vois la mise à mal de l’avenir de nos enfants, privés d’école, affamés et traumatisés psychologiquement. Comment accepter que des enfants puissent être pris pour cible ? Comment accepter qu’une femme enceinte ne puisse être suivie pendant sa grossesse ? Comment accepter que nos grands-parents ne puissent bénéficier des soins adéquats ? Il ne s’agit pas de politique, mais de la vie de 30 millions de Yéménites.…  Seguir leyendo »

El colapso de la Unión Soviética hace tres décadas significó que su presencia alguna vez temible en Oriente Medio también colapsó. Hoy, sin embargo, frente a la retirada de Estados Unidos de la región, Rusia se ha apresurado para recuperar la posición de la Unión Soviética allí, a través de una combinación de fuerza militar, acuerdos de armas, asociaciones estratégicas y el despliegue de poder blando. Pero su éxito está siendo sobreestimando de manera importante.

Sin duda, la estrategia de poder blando de Rusia ha sido impresionante. Ya en 2012, el presidente Vladimir Putin enfatizó la necesidad de expandir la “presencia educativa y cultural de Rusia en el mundo, especialmente en aquellos países donde una parte sustancial de la población habla o entiende ruso”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pour la première fois depuis la fin de la guerre civile, en 1990, les Libanais sont unis dans une révolte, indépendamment de leurs origines sociales, géographiques ou religieuses. Les manifestants réclament la fin d’un régime politique corrompu, maintenu par une élite qui leur a trop longtemps nié la possibilité de vivre de manière décente.

Les revendications des manifestants ne sont pas surprenantes lorsqu’on regarde les chiffres. Le Liban fait partie des pays les plus inégalitaires du monde, à côté du Chili, du Brésil ou encore de l’Afrique du Sud. Dans une étude publiée par le Laboratoire sur les inégalités mondiales, j’ai pu estimer la répartition du revenu national libanais entre 2005 et 2014.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cows are are fed at a dairy factory at Baladna farm in al-Khor, Qatar. Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images.

Earlier this month, Sheikh Tamim – the emir of Qatar – hailed the country’s success in overcoming the impacts of the embargo levied by the so-called Arab Quartet – Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Qatar will post a budget surplus for the first time in three years, and the country’s long-term plan for economic diversification has taken great strides, according to the emir. Key among the achievements cited was the advancement of Qatar’s domestic food industry.

When the blockade was introduced in June 2017, it threw the vulnerability of Qatar’s domestic food supply to outside interruption into sharp relief.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters in Pakistan continue demonstrating into their third week, first demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and then calling for new elections. What began as a large-scale caravan into Karachi and led to a 13-day sit-in in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, is now moving to other parts of the country, where the protesters plan to block major roads and highways.

The opposition protest is led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who heads the political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F). Leaders of Pakistan’s major opposition parties have pledged their support, although they did not join the Islamabad sit-in.

This protest is the first significant political challenge Khan has faced a little more than a year after his election.…  Seguir leyendo »

« Ces quelques mots devenus depuis graffiti sur plus d’un mur. » Ghassan Salhab

Et l’on se réveille comme dans ces quelques mots d’Alice : « Je me demande si on m’a changée pendant la nuit ? ».

Plus d’un compte, Jour 1, Jour 2, Jour 3, Jour 4, Jour 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11…, d’enthousiasme ou d’appréhension, des deux à la fois peut-être. Je ne veux, je n’ose compter.

Comment rendre compte de ce qui se vit ici, de ce que nous vivons ici, de ce que je vis ici ? Comment rendre compte d’une telle intensité ? Un journal de bord, journal de bord du soulèvement ? Comment dire l’étendue et la diversité des sentiments éprouvés face à autant de disparités soudainement rassemblées ?…  Seguir leyendo »

Manifestation à Beyrouth, au Liban, le 18 octobre. Photo Stéphane Lagoutte. Myop

C’est une femme corpulente d’une cinquantaine d’années coiffée d’un bob aux couleurs du drapeau libanais qui se lève soudain dans ce restaurant huppé et entonne, au milieu de son déjeuner, l’hymne national. Je n’en reviens pas, les clients de toutes les tables se lèvent à leur tour, tous sans exception, et l’accompagnent à pleine voix. Nous sommes tous pour la patrie ! A peine ont-ils fini qu’ils lèvent le poing pour hurler le cri de ralliement du soulèvement libanais : «Killone yaani killone !» «Tous, ça veut dire tous !» – c’est la classe politique tout entière qui est sommée de dégager.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema

Las principales consecuencias de la retirada de EEUU del norte de Siria han sido la consolidación del papel de mediador de Rusia en el conflicto local, el fortalecimiento de la relación bilateral entre Turquía y Rusia, y la oportunidad que se brinda a la UE de convertirse en un actor estratégico en Oriente Medio.

Resumen

La retirada de EEUU del norte de Siria para facilitar la intervención de Turquía contra las milicias kurdas supone la cuarta traición estadounidense a los kurdos en el último medio siglo. Pero la decisión del presidente Donald Trump no es un episodio más en la desafortunada historia de las relaciones entre los kurdos y Occidente, que arranca de la desintegración del Imperio Otomano.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Hassan Rouhani visits the exhibition of nuclear technology on April 9, 2019. Office of the Iranian President.

Iran announced on 5 November that it is moving ahead with incremental breaches of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to President Hassan Rouhani, as of 6 November, Tehran will start “injecting [uranium hexafluoride] gas into the centrifuges in Fordow”, a bunkered enrichment facility that under the deal is meant to be converted “into a nuclear, physics and technology centre”.

This move is the latest in a series of staggered steps toward downgrading Tehran’s adherence to the nuclear agreement. The process began in May 2019, when the Rouhani administration set a 60-day rolling ultimatum for the agreement’s remaining parties (France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China) to deliver the deal’s expected economic dividends in the face of unilateral U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »