The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Links March 21st to March 26th

Links from my account for March 21st through March 26th:

  • The Big Takeover : Rolling Stone - Matt Taibbi does his expletive-filled best on the financial crisis.

  • The former Mossad analyst Clinton couldn't avoid | The Cable - Franklin affair spy is notetaker for Netanyahu. HRClinton tries to get him out of meeting, Bibi keeps him and kicks out his ambassador, who resigned. So why can't HRClinton just come out and say, as SecState I'd rather not talk in front of a person currently involved in an espionage scandal against the US?

  • What has Israel done for Jonathan Pollard lately? - Haaretz - Israel News - Israeli report laments that their spy has not been returned.

  • / Middle East - Riyadh confronts growing Shia anger - I am starting to look forward to the Dhahran uprising.

  • / Comment & analysis / Editorial - A Labour fig-leaf for Netanyahu - "When Ehud Barak defeated an ultra-nationalist coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s 1999 general election, there were whoops of joy, a collective sigh of relief and dancing in the streets. Ten years on, as Mr Barak tries to bolt his Labour party on to an even more rightwing coalition led by Mr Netanyahu, there is little more than a collective sneer. What happened in between was the slow-motion suicide of Labour, the party of Israel’s founding fathers, which now has so little influence on Israel’s future."

  • Palestinian children sing for Holocaust survivors - But when will more Holocaust survivors, and their descendants, stop Israel from exploiting their tragedy?

  • Who Is Really Closing Rafah Crossing? - Reportby Israeli human rights groups say that Egypt has a responsibility to open Rafah to alleviate Israel's blockade. [PDF]

  • Rain of Fire | Human Rights Watch - HRW's report on the use of white phosphorus during Israel's bombing of Gaza: "The unlawful use of white phosphorus was neither incidental nor accidental. It was repeated over time and in different locations, with the IDF "air-bursting" the munition in populated areas up to the last days of its military operation. Even if intended as an obscurant rather than as a weapon, the IDF's repeated firing of air-burst white phosphorus shells from 155mm artillery into densely populated areas was indiscriminate and indicates the commission of war crimes."

  • The mother of all media leaks - Wikileaks - Disgruntled employee leaks salaries of The National staff - I would not want to be in that newsroom when you find out the guy next to you who does the same job has a different salary than you.

  • Armando Iannucci on the making of In the Loop | Film | The Observer - Iannucci is the comic genius behind many of the best British comedy shows in recent years: "I went into meetings with financiers and distributors carrying nothing but a pitch in my head. "I want to make a comedy about what happens when the US president and the British PM are very keen on a course of military action in the Middle East that no one else thinks is a good idea. We watch everyone under them wonder what to do." That was it, basically."

  • Tunisian pilot who prayed as his plane went down jailed in Italy | World news | The Guardian - "A pilot accused of praying when he should have been taking emergency measures to avoid a crash in which 16 people died has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court." Reminiscent of the conspiracy theory about the EgyptAir flight that went down on the US Atlantic coast in the 1990s. Still this story is relating the normal response to an emergency, he may have panicked, but invoking God (in any religion) does not make it worse.

  • Zionism is the problem - Los Angeles Times - "Yet it is no longer possible to believe with an honest conscience that the deplorable conditions in which Palestinians live and die in Gaza and the West Bank come as the result of specific policies, leaders or parties on either side of the impasse. The problem is fundamental: Founding a modern state on a single ethnic or religious identity in a territory that is ethnically and religiously diverse leads inexorably either to politics of exclusion (think of the 139-square-mile prison camp that Gaza has become) or to wholesale ethnic cleansing. Put simply, the problem is Zionism."

  • Islam's Soft Revolution - Photo Essays - TIME - There really is something offensive about the TIME mag photo gallery that is all impressed that a woman wearing the hijab is a political activist. It's 2009, TIME, where have you been?

  • Daily News Egypt - IN FOCUS: CAN OBAMA TALK TO THE BROTHERHOOD? - Khalil al-Anani: "I believe that the real motive for the non-existence of American dialogue with the Brotherhood is the American administration’s fear of upsetting the Egyptian regime, and the desire to maintain the historical alliance between the two sides on one hand, and the fear of upsetting Israel and maintaining its interests on the other."

  • Netanyahu, Labor Set Coalition in Israel - - Coalition could face challenge from Labor rebels that would bring it right down the middle of the Knesset.

  • / Middle East / Politics & Society - Dubai’s art fair defies gloomiest forecasts - Budding Dubai art world does well despite downturn.

  • Season of Migration to the North - NYRB Classics - Page for the forthcoming new edition of the al-Tayib Salih's classic novel, with a new intro by Laila Lalami.