Links for March 2nd

Links from my del.icio.us account for March 2nd:



  • Steven J. Rosen Joins MEF as Visiting Fellow - Middle East Forum - MEF gets new fellow, absolutely no mention of the fact that he is on trial for espionage on behalf of Israel.

  • All Roads Lead to Damascus - WSJ.com - Michael Oren, the famous IDF information officer, writes a bizarre article on Syria's history (worthy of extensive fact-checking, like his implication that all Syrian Baathists are Alawis or wrong assertion that Syria is "resisting inter-Arab efforts to formulate united platforms on regional issues" - why did it sign on to the Beirut initiative, then?). In his spare time Oren teaches history at Georgetown, which is rather distressing when you think of the number of Foreign Service Officers that school produces.

  • The despicable smear campaign against Charles Freeman | Stephen M. Walt - Walt points out how the usual suspects are witch-hunting against Chas Freeman.

  • Almasry Alyoum - The Press Industry Between Al-Ahram's Prestige And Al-Masry Al-Youm's Dream - Al-Masri al-Youm gets its own printing press, becoming the first major independent newspaper to be printed outside of the government-owned al-Ahram printer. Now we'll see about independent distribution networks...

  • The Oxonian Review » Traffic in Tel Aviv - A photo gallery on human traffic in Israel: "Neve Sha’anan neighbourhood – In recent years, thousands of foreign women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into sexual slavery. The women work shifts as long as 18 hours under conditions of virtual slavery. They are sold at auctions for $8,000 to $10,000 and say they are forced to have sex with up to 30 men per day. The women say they receive, on average, $5 for every $80 to $120 paid to pimps for their services." Many of these women are smuggled across the Egypt-Israel border.

  • Alive In Baghdad - Iraq Video - Site providing weekly video reports by Iraqi journalists. This week, an interesting interview with a publisher.

  • FT.com / Iran - US urged to take tough Iran sanctions - That the FT puts so much importance in a WINEP report but does not tell you that's it's from WINEP until paragraph eight, or indicate WINEP's well-known Israeli bias is pretty bullshit. But at least it's a reminder that the three authors of the report - Dennis Ross, Gary Samore and Robert Einhorn - all got jobs in the Obama administration either working on the Persian Gulf (Ross) or nuclear proliferation (the others).


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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.