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François-Alexandre Roy T.

François-Alexandre Roy T. has written 48 posts for The Middle-East Observer

Abbas’s Police State

Jonathan Schanzer argues that the West Bank, under President Mahmoud Abbas’s authority, is becoming a police state. His allegations are based primarily on a number of crackdowns on free speech, mainly journalists, newspapers and TV stations that have been critical of president Abbas in the last few years. All evidence seems to tell us that these crackdowns … Continue reading

Understanding Iran’s diplomatic strategy

In this article, Gareth Porter analyses Iran’s strategy for negotiations with the United States, for the past ten years. He explains how uranium enrichment and the subsequent development of nuclear capabilities act as the main bargaining chip in Iran’s negotiation strategy with the United States. He also gives us the aims of the Iranian strategy and what  their demands to … Continue reading

What Israeli hasbara won’t hide

Doron Rosenblum argues that contrarily to Netanyahu’s views, Israel is not getting stronger but in fact weaker or as he puts it “more fragile”. Rosenblum says that Israel “appears enclosed in a bizarre egocentric bubble” and is suffering from “existential anxiety”, because it sees every move or political process to critic the government as a conspiracy against the … Continue reading

Analysis: Syria faces neo-mujahideen struggle

The Assad government will have to face a full scale insurgency – foreign sponsored – , a “neo-mujahideen” struggle that looms over Syria according to Victor Kotsev. He argues that countries with the greatest stakes in Syria, namely: Turkey, United States and Russia and of course Syria itself are all using the failed ceasefire and … Continue reading

Netanyahu, up to his neck in settlements

Shaul Arieli argues that by strengthening the settlements, the Netanyahu government is contributing heavily on the failure of the peace process. He says that this government, like many others before, is making false promises to dismantle Israeli settlements in the West Bank if a peace deal is reached even thought they are fully aware that … Continue reading

Peace Without Partners

Ami Ayalon, Orni Petruschka and Gilead Sher have all come to believe that a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians cannot be achieved now. Citing a major lack of trust from both parties, making negotiations impossible, they argue that Israel needs a “radically new unilateral approach”. Saying it would help the peace process … Continue reading

Palestinian Authority, battling debt crisis, raises taxes

The Palestinian Authority has approuved a plan to rise income tax to 20% in order to tackle its debt problem. The Palestinian Authority depends heavily on foreign aid by the United States, the European Union and other Arab states to pay the salaries of their public sector workers. In response to President Mahmoud Abbas quest … Continue reading

Obama proposes $1.3 billion military aid for Egypt in 2013 despite ongoing NGOs row

U.S. president Barack Obama proposed to renew the $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt for 2013, despite the recent crackdown on illegally funded american NGO’s in the country. However, it has to be accepted by the majority in congress where a few have said the U.S. should completely cut off aid to Egypt if … Continue reading

Analysis: Hamas drifting away from longtime patron Iran

In the wake of the Arab Spring, Hamas seems to be drifting away from the Iran-Syria axis and moving towards the wealthy Gulf states. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas top leader, said the movement needs to be part of the Islamist political rise in the Arab world triggered by popular uprisings and Hamas must therefore distance itself from Iran which is … Continue reading

Calls for strike divide Egypt as Muslim Brotherhood snubs government

Religious authorities in Egypt are calling on unions and youth groups across the country for a boycott of the strike that is planned for Saturday February 11. Egyptian protesters are planning mass walkouts and civil disobedience to demand a quicker transfer of power from the SCAF military rule to a civilian rule. Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayib, Grand Imam of … Continue reading

Egypt PM defends action against NGOs

After recent threats by the United States to cut the annual 1.3bn dollars aid if Egypt doesn’t stop the crackdown on american NGOs, Kamal el-Ganzouri, Egypt’s military-backed prime minister said that they won’t quit over pressure from Western countries. There are currently 19 Americans and 24 others on trial , being accused of illegally using foreign money to support unrest in … Continue reading

Amr Moussa’s vision for Egypt could upset military

Former Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa is a top contender for the presidential seat in Egypt’s new-found democracy. In a recent interview, he said that the military, under his leadership, would be one of the basic institutions in Egypt and not a separate one with its own rules which the military has enjoyed under Mubarak’s regime. He … Continue reading

Opinion: We Need to Talk to Iran, But How?

It is time for the United States to try something different when it comes to Iran; thirty-two years of sanctions and nonexistent diplomatic relations between the two countries have made the current situation dangerous. The risk of miscalculation is not to be underestimated. The situation could get out of hand very quickly if both parties do not renew talks on … Continue reading

Debate: Will Israel attack Iran?

Has the countdown to attack Iran begun already? Would Israel go it alone? And what would the regional implications be? Guests: Yaakov Katz, a defence analyst and author, and Mohammad Marandi, a professor of political science at the University of Tehran. Al Jazeera, Qatar

Opinion: Egypt’s tragedy: This is not just soccer violence

After clashes at a soccer game in Port Said yesterday between the local Marsy team and Cairo’s Ahly team, a lot of questions remain unanswered. For instance, why was there practically no security present at the game? The two teams have a long history of rivalry and there is always a serious potential for violence between them. … Continue reading

Analysis: Is the Syrian revolt turning into insurgency?

Analysts say Syria is heading towards a civil war despite the fact that, at first, the opposition was preaching peaceful demonstration. With the Free Syrian Army (FSA), guerrilla style attacks on the Syrian military positions have been on the rise. The FSA has realized it must force the changes in Syria because of Russia’s opposition to any … Continue reading

If Israel is an ally, press them for peace, Abbas urges Canada

Mahmoud Abbas is looking to Israel’s new best friend; Canada, to pressure Israel into peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Yesterday, Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird were meeting with Mr. Abbas and his adviser Majdi al-Khaldi in Ramallah before moving on to Jerusalem to meet with Benjamin Nethanyahu and … Continue reading

Opinion: How to get Russia on board in Syria? Hint: Think of the sea

Russia is a major obstacle between the Syrian demonstrators and their liberation from the Assad regime. Russia has been the main opponent of UN Security Council resolutions against the regime while even the “timid” Arab League wants Assad to go. The reason for Russia’s opposition is quite simple: it fears that if the Assad regime … Continue reading

Analysis: Media frenzy on Iran contradicts reality

Yaakov Katz, author of this article, discusses the role western and Israeli media play in the confrontation between Israel, the West and Iran. Using for example comments by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that were aired weeks ago, US media are printing reports and articles on Iran at a fast pace, though the situation … Continue reading

Opinion: Mubarak shouldn’t be executed

A report says that deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has sent multiple letters to the leaders of countries that were friendly to his regime including the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. In the letters, Mubarak ask the leaders to save him from the death penalty which was proposed … Continue reading

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Debate: Is there a rift between the Prime Minster and the security establishment, and how might it affect his chances of re-election?

Interview: Dr. Einat Wilf, Israeli MP, Chair of the ‘Independence’ faction

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