1. News & Issues

Middle East In the Media October 29- November 4 2012

Weekly reading list


US Election

  • Al Monitor: Arab-Americans Set to Play Key Role in US Election (Vivian Salama, November 4)
  • "Arab-Americans are poised to play a critical role in the US presidential election. Numbering about 4 million, they're heavily concentrated in several battleground states — including Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia — where every vote will count in a race that many consider too close to call."


  • The New York Times: Coptic Church Chooses Pope Who Rejects Political Role (David D. Kirkpatrick, November 4)
  • "Coptic activists and intellectuals said the turn away from politics signaled a sweeping transformation in the Christian minority’s relationship to the Egyptian state but also addressed a firm demand by the Christian laity to claim a voice in a more democratic Egypt."


  • The Guardian: Israel "planned Iran attack in 2010" (Harriet Sherwood, November 5)
  • "Since leaving office, both security chiefs have made clear their opposition to premature military action against Iran's nuclear programme. In August, Ashkenazi said "we're still not there", urging more time for sanctions and diplomacy."


  • Foreign Policy: "Troubling" Surveillance Before Benghazi Attack (Harald Doornbos & Jenan Moussa, November 1)
  • "More than six weeks after the shocking assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi -- and nearly a month after an FBI team arrived to collect evidence about the attack - the battle-scarred, fire-damaged compound where Ambassador Chris Stevens and another Foreign Service officer lost their lives on Sept. 11 still holds sensitive documents and other relics of that traumatic final day, including drafts of two letters worrying that the compound was under "troubling" surveillance and complaining that the Libyan government failed to fulfill requests for additional security."


  • Foreign Policy: The reform of the king (James Traub, November2)
  • "Nearly everywhere else in the Arab world since the upheaval began in the last days of 2010, power has been seized after a traumatic convulsion, or the ruler has stood his ground by crushing a popular opposition. Absolute rulers, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere, do not normally surrender their power without a fight. So Morocco's "third path" would constitute a rare, and precious, form of incremental democratization. If it worked. "


  • The New York Times: Palestinian’s Remark, Seen as Concession, Stirs Uproar (Jodi Rudoren, November 4)
  • "The remark set off angry protests across the Gaza Strip, in which demonstrators set Mr. Abbas’s picture aflame. Palestinian rivals and commentators denounced him as a traitor, or worse. In Israel, the response was strong if mixed, and the issue dominated political chatter on Sunday after weeks in which the Palestinian question had been all but absent from the debate ahead of the Jan. 22 elections. "


  • The Guardian: Syria's rebels fear foreign jihadis in their midst (Martin Chulov, November 1)
  • "For the most part, the opposition movement is staying true to the ethos that led many of the country's towns and citizens to mount a challenge to President Bashar al-Assad's absolute state control over their lives. But around the fringes, there are signs that the revolution's original values are starting to fray. The narrative of a defiant street versus a draconian state, so simple in March 2011, is now far more complicated."

  • The Observer: Jihadist killing of captives widens the split among rebel fighters in Syria (Martin Chulov, November 3)
  • "Syrian Islamist groups have been at the vanguard of the fighting in Aleppo for the past three months, but are not able to match the better-armed and funded global jihadist units, who are increasingly taking centre stage in the war for the north of the country."

  • The Economist: President Bashar Assad’s homeland is no longer a safe place to retreat to (November 3)
  • "UM HAYAN, a 48-year-old mother, used to travel the 30 kilometres (19 miles) from her home in the wooded hills of Jebel Turkman to Latakia city to buy clothes. There she gossiped with friends, stopping off for tea in various villages on the way back up. “Now the road has checkpoints and there is no contact between us,” she says. Her friends are members of an esoteric Shia sect known as the Alawites who make up 12% of the Syrian population, including President Bashar Assad."


  • Le Mode Diplomatique: Tunisia's new opposition (Hela Yousfi, November edition)
  • "As the cornerstone of the nationalist movement in the colonial era, the UGTT has always played a key role in Tunisian politics: not so much a trade union as an organisation that has always linked social demands to political and national watchwords. Unlike union organisations in other Arab countries, it has always been more or less independent from the state apparatus."

Go to Current Situation in the Middle East
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. Middle East Issues
  4. Media, Culture and the Arts
  5. Middle East In the Media October 29 - November 4 2012

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.