Hizbollah officials recently gave their political opponents a period of a few days to take the final decision to reject any resolutions or findings by the Special International Tribunal. Otherwise the party would "resolve its position", wrote the columnist Daoud al Sharyan in an article for pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.
The ultimatum was simultaneous with the announcement that the tribunal's proceedings had moved from the investigation phase to implementation. What is strange in this affair is Hizbollah's continued use of threats of violence against their Lebanese partners in a way that doesn't distinguish between friend and foe.
"Hizbollah are undoubtedly moving towards marginalising their role and position in Lebanon and the region. They are somehow seeking to repeat Hamas's experience in Gaza." Staging a coup might prove difficult for them, but they might resort to creating favourable political and security circumstances that would lead to the formation of a supporting cabinet, which in turn, would issue an official statement rejecting the tribunal's resolutions.
Surely, Hizbollah's adamant refusal to morph into a political party emanates from an escalating ignorance of politics. The party is playing its last card today. What would Hizbollah do in case their opponents refuse to acquiesce to threats? Would they take over Lebanon and hold its entire population hostage?
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, shouldn't be given all the credit for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret correspondence related to US relationships with the rest of the world, observed columnist Mazen Hammad in an article for the Qatari daily Al Watan.
Pope Benedict XVI's role in hindering Turkey's membership in the European Union was exposed in the WikiLeaks documents. Messages between the US Embassy in Rome and Washington reveal that the current Pope said before his election that no Islamic state should be allowed to join the EU. His statement at the time conflicted with the Vatican's official neutrality towards Ankara's efforts in this respect.
Vatican officials notified the US charge d'affaires in 2006 that Ankara had to abide by certain criteria in order to be accepted into the EU, adding they didn't expect that the Turks would implement these criteria.
"We must thank the Vatican and the Pope, for if it weren't for their efforts, Ankara would have been a full-fledged member in the EU today, which means that it wouldn't have been able to fill part of the political void in the Arab and Islamic world."
By objecting to Turkey's membership within the EU, the Vatican was seeking to preserve the Christian identity of Europe. This pushed Turkey to regain its lost Islamic identity and created a new balance of power in the region.
Doubtful Kurdish call for self-determination
In its editorial, the Emirati daily Al Bayan declared: "It is bizarre that while the president of Iraq is Kurdish, the head of Kurdistan Province, Massaoud al Barazani, is claiming the Kurdish people's right to self-determination, claiming that the coming political phase allows for it."
The peculiarity of the situation is compounded by the many statements calling for the unity of Iraq during the Irbil and Baghdad conferences last month, which were held upon al Barazani's initiative and gave way to an agreement on a solution to the cabinet formation crisis.
"We understand the grave wounds that the Kurds have sustained in Iraq and elsewhere for years and we realise that safeguarding their cultural and linguistic individuality must always be a priority. However, we believe that Iraq's Kurds do enjoy the political and cultural space that they deserve in their country."
Mr al Barazani's statement can only be qualified as a divisive and inadequate for the present or the upcoming phases in Iraq. The Kurds, who have long been partners in the course of Arab and Islamic civilisation, are capable of leading Iraq's return to its pioneering role and central presence in the region.
Claims of self-determination are usually invitations to division and separation, which would have negative repercussions on the Kurds themselves before anyone else in Iraq.
Football violence only mirrors social divisions
A match between the Jordanian Al Wahadat and Al Faysali football clubs earlier this week culminated in a bloody confrontation between fans of both clubs that left 250 wounded.
In comment, the columnist Abdallah Iskandar wrote in an article in pan-Arab daily Al Hayat that this isn't the first altercation of its kind between the Palestinian-Jordanian fans of Al Wahadat and the East Jordanian public of Al Faysali.
Such conflicts go beyond sports to confirm a deep social division that uses sports as a way to release frustrations. The case isn't limited to Jordan; it applies to every country according to its social divisions, such as Lebanon where every sect has it own club and fans.
Sports in every society become a security valve to release tensions among fans through challenge and competition. In many instances, competition turns to violence even in the most socially coherent communities.
But the problem in our Arab countries is doubled by the fact that sports have become correlated with political affiliations and are used as a medium of expression. The problem threatens to remain without a solution as long as free political expression remains stifled in our societies.
* Digest compiled by Racha Makarem