Links for Feb 12-18 2010
OK, a slow blogging week, but watch out for more today and tomorrow on Mohamed ElBaradei's return to Egypt. In the meantime, some recent links:
Fascinating fallout from the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhuh here, here and here. Not only Israel stole the identities of foreigners, notably British and Irish citizens, but also of its own. Haaretz's Amir Oren thinks Mossad chief Meir Dagan should resign. I think the international community needs to take punitive measure against Israel and beef up counter-espionage measures; according to one BBC interview I heard yesterday an expert on the Mossad said there are at least half a million Mossad informants around the world. Listen to that BBC radio piece, it's worth it. I also hope Dubai leverages whatever economic pull it still has to ensure EU countries collaborate with its investigation.
Without stepping into an already heated debate on the Egyptian blogo-twittosphere, I think Joseph Mayton's piece on the Muslim Brothers on CiF is wrong, and the original Fawaz Gerges piece he comments on much more on the money (although I still have problems with it — it takes Habib's claims at face value). The bigger problem is Mayton's idea that somehow the MB youth has real influence; this is preposterous in an organization as gerontocratic and patrician as the Ikhwan. Also, he gets a detail wrong: Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is no longer in the Guidance Bureau — which should be a sign of how much esteem MB leaders have for his reformist ideas.
Finally for Egypt-watchers, the recent replacement of many key figures in the National Council for Human Rights is an important event, which perhaps I'll write more about later. The removal of its deputy chairman, Ahmed Kamal Aboul Magd, is particularly interested as he was not even aware of the new appointments. I loved his reaction, picked up by Zeinobia (those familiar with Egyptian mukhabarat conspiracy theories will understand). And this is a good time to re-read Josh Stacher's 2005 article on the NCHR.
And do read Amira Hass' latest on the impact of the West Bank Wall.
And here's the usual stuff:
- Replace Rahm - The Daily Beast
The shorter Leslie Gelb: Obama's problem is that he needs more Clintonistas. Ridiculous. Obama needs more balls, to unleash his inner Rahm.
- Amin al-Hafez obituary | World news | The Guardian
Fascinating obit of Syria's last Sunni leader, who was spectacularly duped by Mossad.
- Human rights coverage spreads, despite government pushback - Committee to Protect Journalists
I generally think the last decade showed massive improvements in this regard.
- Middle East Report Online: Confronting Settlement Expansion in East Jerusalem by Joel Beinin
Report from Sheikh Jarrah.
- The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب: Interview with Comrade Tarif Khalidi: his new translation of the Qur'an
As'ad AbuKhalil interviews Tarif Khalidi, translator of the Quran.
- A Alger, les commerçants se ruent sur "Chinatown" - LeMonde.fr
- Analysis: Mullah Baradar's capture is a major coup | World news | guardian.co.uk
- The Monkey Cage: Do Fair Elections Signal Weakness?
On the "bad ass theory of dictatorship." A lot of food for thought.
- GRITtv: Joe Sacco: Images Can Transport You
Interview with the cartoonist.
- 2010: Sudan Faces Danger of Secession of the South
Arab Reform Initiative piece by Haydar Ibrahim [PDF]
- New coup graph « The Moor Next Door
Cool charts on Arab coups, which tend to happen in the summer.
- A quiet revolt stops a power plant in Nuweiba | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt
Interesting case of local activism in Egypt — I've been following this for a while.
- In Middle East, Clinton asks for patience with U.S. strategy - washingtonpost.com
What strategy? Just same old stuff.
- Would Sanctions Imposed on Israel Help Palestinians? - TIME
Tony Karon concludes (timidl) that yes, sanctions on Israel would help. Now, America only needs courageous leadership...
- AFP: Row brews over Moroccan alcohol law
Islamists want enforcement of long-ignored law.
- FT.com / UK - Diminishing returns to Morocco
Le Journal's closure described as "the end of one of the most remarkable experiences in publishing in the Arab world."
- 'Donkey Flu' ponders the Egypt of tomorrow | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt
Sci-fi satire of contemporary Egypt.
- The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب: Jeffrey Feltman's knowledge of the Middle East: Lee Smith
More Leesmithery: he was a lobbyist for Israel.
- The Daily Star - Politics - Jordan activists risk jail after calling for end to CIA ties
I don't think a day passes without insulting Jordan and its king in my head.
- YouTube - تغطية المصري اليوم عن تقرير نجع حمادي: شهود على الفتنة
Video of EIPR conference on Naga Hammadi.