Every Friday 14.00 - 15.00 London time (GMT)
- "The U.S. views Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Yet, to the great surprise of many, Hamas swept to victory in the 2006 Palestinian Authority elections. Hamas is now a democractically elected political party." Khaled Hroub is a Palestinian, born into a refugee camp in Bethlehem, and now part of the diaspora of educated intellectuals. Joins Middle East Panorama to give A Beginner's Guide to Hamas. Hroub is currently director of the Arab Media Project at Cambridge University, hosts a weekly book review programme for Al-Jazeera TV, and has written three previous books. The show was featured in the Independent newspaper (UK), 25 August 2006 ("Another of Nadim Mahjoub's takes on life in the Middle East. Here, he interviews Khaled Hrub about his new book, 'Hamas - A Beginner's Guide'.) >> Listen here
- Lebanon: Omar Nachabe, senior journalist of Beirut newspaper Al-Akhbar and eyewitness to Israeli attack in southern Lebanon. A public meeting at Friends Meeting House, London.
- "As Israelis and Arabs continue their debate over who won and lost in Lebanon, one outcome already seems clear: America lost. Washington’s decision to back Israel’s military campaign unconditionally and refusal actively to seek an early ceasefire may have had some marginal benefits for the US, such as the destruction of some of Hizbollah’s military capability. But in the broader scheme of things, Washington’s support of this war and tolerance for the way it was fought have been a disaster.
America’s stance on the Lebanon war has had a wide range of negative consequences for America. It has driven Sunni and and Shia Arabs together in an anti-US front, at a time when potential US allies among Sunni Muslims were themselves worrying about the rise of Hizbollah and Iran. It has provoked and empowered the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, just as Washington is deploying more troops to Baghdad to try to quell the violence there. It has distracted attention from the Iranian nuclear issue, just as the United Nations Security Council was coming together to threaten sanctions on Tehran. It has destroyed whatever remaining hope there was for the US to be perceived as an honest broker between Israelis and Arabs in the search for peace in the Middle East. It has undermined US allies and democratic reformers in Arab states. It has also created a new crisis of confidence with America’s European allies just when transatlantic relations were starting to improve." (Financial Times, 20 August 2006)