Bird’s Eye: Robert Fisk, always fascinating and usually insightful, speculates about the future fall out from Palestine’s request for UN recognition. We hear endless amounts about Libya and its relationship to the Arab Spring; here’s a fascinating perspective on how outing Gaddafi changes its relationship to Africa. And an amazing surfing picture that we missed last week
* Why The Middle East Will Never Be The Same Again Robert Fisk The Independent
The Palestinians won’t get a state this week. But they will prove – if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power – that they are worthy of statehood. And they will establish for the Arabs what Israel likes to call – when it is enlarging its colonies on stolen land – “facts on the ground”: never again can the United States and Israel snap their fingers and expect the Arabs to click their heels. The US has lost its purchase on the Middle East. It’s over: the “peace process”, the “road map”, the “Oslo agreement”; the whole fandango is history.
…This vote at the UN – General Assembly or Security Council, in one sense it hardly matters – is going to divide the West – Americans from Europeans and scores of other nations – and it is going to divide the Arabs from the Americans. It is going to crack open the divisions in the European Union; between eastern and western Europeans, between Germany and France (the former supporting Israel for all the usual historical reasons, the latter sickened by the suffering of the Palestinians) and, of course, between Israel and the EU.
* Has Africa lost Libya? Knox Chitiyo The Guardian
For decades, Libya has been an integral part of Africa. Indeed Sirte, the Colonel Gaddafi stronghold where fighting still continues, was the birthplace of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. About a quarter of indigenous Libyans are black, while African migrant workers in Libya exceed one million; and during his 40-year rule Gaddafi championed pan-Africanism and African multiculturalism.
…The revolution has moved Libya into the democratic wave of the Arab spring. There will be continued interactions between Libya and Africa; but culturally, ideologically and financially, Libya has moved towards a greater identification with its north African, Middle Eastern and south Mediterranean neighbours. Libya is embracing its Arab heritage. In a way this should be no surprise: Gaddafi’s embrace of pan-Africanism, while popular south of the Sahara, had little backing from Libyans. But the question of support for Libya’s revolution has divided sub-Saharan Africa.…
* Surfing Camera EyeWitness
- Pro tip: When glueing your camera to a surfboard, it is important to choose your adhesive carefully