Middle East in the Media April 8 - 14 2013

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  • Al Jazeera: Egypt army denies torture allegations (April 12)
  • "Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi and the military have closed ranks to deny charges that soldiers had killed and tortured protesters, following leaks of an inquiry report implicating officers."


  • BBC: The Iranians who come to Georgia (Damien McGuinness, April 15)
  • "Increasing numbers of Iranians are settling in the former Soviet state of Georgia. Some say they are being forced to move because of Iran's poor economy, hit hard by Western sanctions. Others blame persecution by the authorities in Tehran."


    • BBC: Getting behind Israeli 'frankness' (Raffi Berg, April 12)
    • "Israelis have a reputation for straight-talking, a quality that visitors are not always prepared for. But what lies behind it?"
    • Foreign Policy: Meet Sayed Kashua, Israel's most popular writer, comedian, critic - and Arab (Debra Kamin, April 12)
    • "His strait-laced demeanor is a bit surprising -- after all, Kashua has made a career skewering every element of Israeli society, from the secular to the Orthodox Jews to his fellow Arab Israeli brethren, who must bear the tensions inherent in their Palestinian identity and Israeli passport."


    • Al Monitor: Hamas intensifies Gaza "Islamization" (Hazem Balousha, April 12)
    • "Hamas has recently started an undeclared campaign to combat Western clothing and hairstyles in the Gaza Strip, alongside other campaigns launched by the Ministry of Culture and the Hamas-affiliated student body to raise awareness and combat Western culture and behavior within the Palestinian community in Gaza."

    • Al Jazeera: Palestinian prime minister resigns (April 14)
    • "The international community credits US-educated economist Fayyad for building solid government institutions around the Palestinian Authority...But he is considered by some in the Palestinian leadership to be too close to the US and to Israel, where the liberal Haaretz newspaper once called him "everyone's favourite Palestinian"."


    • BBC: Proxy war heats up as endgame inches closer (Jim Muir, April 12)
    • "The latest example is the attempt by al-Qaeda to put its stamp publicly on the Nusra Front in Syria and encourage it to push for an Islamic state there, while its more moderate or secular partners in the common drive to oust the regime are committed to democracy."
    • The Washington Post: Syrian rebels break with group over Qaeda wing alliance (Hania Mourtada & Rick Gladstone, April 12)
    • "The relentless pursuit of power should not be one of our goals,” said a statement by the coalition, the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front, referring to the alliance between Syria’s Nusra Front and the Qaeda branch. “This is not the right time to declare states, or to unify a state with another state."


    • Al Monitor: Turkey’s Kurdish initiative may affect Syria's Kurds (Cengiz Candar, April 14)
    • "The timing of the process Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has begun with the goal of solving the nearly 100-year-old Kurdish issue that everybody defines as the country’s No. 1 problem is obviously linked to 2014-15 elections calendar. Nobody objects to the view, and there seems to be a consensus on this, that the process is also tied to developments in Syria and their effects on Iraq."


    • The Economist: Southerm grumps (April 12)
    • "Which is worse for the north: southern secession or al-Qaeda? Walking through the streets of Aden, you could be forgiven for thinking that the local people who want South Yemen once again to become a separate country are on the verge of success..."
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