News Release

* Algeria Bombing * Gaza * Israel * Russia

JOHN ENTELIS
Co-author of The Algerian Civil War and numerous other books on Algeria and North Africa, Entelis said today: “The bombing today [in Algeria] is in effect a continuation of the coup that took place in 1992 when the military overthrew the Islamic government. The resulting civil war left 200,000 dead. The violence has gone down since, but the current killings flow out of that event.” Entelis is professor of political science and director of the Middle East Studies Program at Fordham University.
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AMJAD SHAWA
Shawa is Palestinian NGO Network coordinator for Gaza. He said today: “The conditions here are getting worse and worse. Eight people have been killed by the Israelis so far today, one journalist was injured. People are dying regularly because they can’t leave Gaza to get medical care since all the crossings are basically closed. A few trucks with food have gotten in. The factories and almost the entire productive sector have ground to a halt. The siege affects every part of life — limited electricity and water; there are no clothes for winter coming in, no paper for schools. People in Gaza are not alive and not dead, just in this huge prison and we don’t know when it will end.”
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ROBERT NAIMAN
Over the weekend Pentagon head Robert Gates, questioned at a conference in Bahrain about Israel’s nuclear weapons capacity, said: “Israel is not training terrorists to subvert its neighbors, it has not shipped weapons to a place like Iraq to kill thousands of civilians, it has not threatened to destroy any of its neighbors, it is not trying to destabilize the government of Lebanon.”

National coordinator and senior policy analyst at Just Foreign Policy, Naiman said today: “As Secretary Gates tells Arab countries Iran, but not Israel, is a threat to its neighbors, Israel re-invades Gaza and continues to expand settlements in the West Bank. Last year the U.S. approved an Israeli invasion of Lebanon that killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians.”
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DAVID KOTZ
Kotz is professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and coauthor of Russia’s Path from Gorbachev to Putin: The Demise of the Soviet System and the New Russia. He said today: “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to name Dmitri A. Medvedev as his successor is not surprising, on two counts. First, despite speculation that Putin would find a ruse to remain as president indefinitely, it was safer to leave office on schedule with the usual promise of immunity from future prosecution than to name himself president-for-life. Second, the choice of Medvedev follows the tradition of picking someone whose past positions include sites of major corruption — Medvedev’s first public position was in the St. Petersburg government office in charge of foreign investments in the city. The last thing Russia’s new elite wants is a corruption-free president.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.