Links for February 28th

Links from my del.icio.us account for February 28th:



  • Can Israel make peace with Syria without leaving Golan? - Haaretz - Israel News - In which the various previous tries and likely future attempts at achieving this are explained.

  • Top Syria-based Hamas leader secretly visits Gaza - Did Egypt let Moussa Abu Marzouk into Gaza and back?

  • Those two months made all the difference - Marc Lynch reminds us that not too long ago many were boo-hissing Obama's pullout of Iraq plan: "The process has really been amazing to watch. Obama consulted widely, commissioned a whole range of strategic reviews, and listened carefully to the commanders on the ground. And the result was that he built a wide internal and public consensus for essentially the same policy which not too terribly long ago was viewed in polite circles as irresponsible, naive, and reckless. The SOFA certainly helped in this regard, since it had already committed Bush and the U.S. military to the principle of withdrawal. But still, watching Republicans and the Washington Post editorial page falling over themselves to associate themselves with what is essentially the same Iraq withdrawal plan they used to savage is a sight to behold -- if it was just two months that made the difference, think of all the trouble we could have saved ourselves."

  • Think like an Egyptian - Haaretz - Israel News - Akiva Eldar, on a visit to Cairo, looks at Egyptian annoyance with Israel's weathervane government on the 'Giladayn' affair.

  • Just like us they are born and die - The National Newspaper - Lalila Lalami on al-Tayyib Salih.


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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.