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Middle East In the Media November 12 - 18 2012

Weekly reading list

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Iran/US

  • Al Monitor: US Considers Offering "More for More" to Iran (November 14)
  • "Al Monitor has confirmed that, with the US elections now over, the US administration is looking for a solid bilateral channel that will augment multilateral talks and enable the two sides to bargain without five other parties in the room."

Israel/Gaza

  • Foreign Policy: A pillar of problems (Jonathan Schanzer, November 16)
  • "Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense, after three days of air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza, could be entering into a new phase of a larger ground invasion. While the war has been dissected six ways to Sunday, there are still gaping holes in our understanding of it, and several questions remain unanswered. Here are eight of them."

  • Foreign Policy: Emergency routine (Neri Zilber, November 16)
  • "Israel is once again at war, yet civilian life continues -- more anxious, more subdued, but unpanicked and resolute. At this point, 23 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed in the violence, and Israel is taking the first steps toward a ground invasion. Holding a basketball game in the midst of a war might seem flippant -- if not insane -- elsewhere, but not in Israel. The message on the young boy's sign could be considered a national ethos, and a point of stubborn pride."

  • Reuters: Hamas finds cause to smile under Israeli assault (Nidal al-Mughrabi, November 18)
  • "This time is different. The Arab Spring has changed the Middle East, and Hamas has more powerful weapons.Many Facebook pages express undisguised glee at Israelis scuttling for cover...praising Hamas and others for firing rockets that can threaten Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time. Hamas also scored a diplomatic hit, with solidarity visits last week by the foreign ministers of Egypt and Tunisia while its positions were under attack."

  • The Guardian: Fajr-5 missile gives Palestinians rare if short-lived advantage (Ian Black, November 16)
  • "But in the latest round of the conflict the Palestinians have used a weapon which gives them a rare if short-lived advantage – a rocket which can strike at Israel's civilian heartland. This is the Fajr-5, developed by Iran and also supplied to Hezbollah, Tehran's Lebanese ally. It has a range of up to 46.6 miles (75km), which means it can hit Tel Aviv..."

  • BBC: Gaza rocket arsenal problem for Israel (Jonathan Marcus, November 15)
  • "Israeli towns or cities in a broad arc south of Tel Aviv are all potentially within range of these rockets. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in their shadow and this is a situation that successive Israeli governments have struggled to deal with."

    Jordan

    • BBC: Political and economic problems fuel Jordan protests (Dale Gavlak, November 16)
    • "Jordan's King Abdullah II may be facing the most serious challenge to his 13-year reign, with this week's protests rocking every corner of the country with some of the worst-ever violence after the government announced the removal of fuel subsidies."

    Libya

    • The Economist: Bordering on madness (November 15)
    • "Your correspondent recently journeyed from Libya to Egypt, crossing near the town of Salloum. If Tom Wolfe and Franz Kafka had collaborated, they'd have come up with something like the Egyptian side of the border, a bonfire of knotty bureaucracies."

    Syria

    • WINEP: Syria's Internal War Turns Against the Regime (Jeffrey White, November 13)
    • "The conflict is evolving from a war of attrition (with the two sides primarily exchanging casualties) to a war of positions, with rebel forces seizing checkpoints, reducing the regime presence in the provinces, interdicting roads, and pressuring key regime strongholds and facilities. Barring a major change in Bashar al-Assad's approach or massive intervention by Hizballah and Iran, the regime's military situation will likely continue to deteriorate, perhaps dramatically, in the weeks ahead."

    Turkey

    • Al Monitor: Turkey's Failed PKK Policy (Tulin Daloglu, November 13)
    • "Since Turkey jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999, the state has been using him as a kind of interlocutor to combat Kurdish separatists and terrorists. Despite his imprisonment, Ocalan has oddly remained in the headlines, commenting on how to address the PKK and the broader subject of Kurdish nationalism."

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