Blog entries from: MEI Editor's Blog

A Blog by the Editor of the Middle East Journal

1 to 10 of 279

July 22 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Tue Jul 22 2014, 19:46:00

Bigger post aere coming,eanwhile, amid so much bad news, some good news from The Daily Star: "AUB joins NYU to digitize 100,000 Arabic volumes."

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July 21 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Jul 21 2014, 18:25:00

Part II of the Hester Stanhope post is coming later, but I wanted to comment on recent developments in Mosul.

Christianity arrived in Mosul as early as the Second Century AD, from the early Christian center at Edessa, and is said to have been the third-ranking Metropolitanate in the Assyrian Church by about 300. It has remained a major center of both the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church, with other denominations such as Syriac Orthodox also present. Confronted with a declaration by ISIS that Christians must either convert to Islam, pay a jizya tax, or face death (a very strict interpretation of Islamic law), most or all of Mosul's Christian population has reportedly fled to Erbil. Dohuk, or other cities under Kurdish control. The fate of Mosul's ancient churches ...

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July 18 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Fri Jul 18 2014, 20:59:00

The second part of the Hester Stanhope post is taking a while and probably won't go up until Monday. I thought I'd leve you for the weekend with a historical video (though it doesn't count as nostalgic: it's a grim reminder of the present). UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold visits Gaza in 1956 after  flare-up along the border, before the outbreak of the 1956 Suez war. Gaza was then administered by Egypt.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Fri Jul 18 2014, 16:54:00

This McClatchy article in Stars and Stripes leaks the assessment of the Iraqi Army reportedly sent to the Pentagon by the teams of US advisers sent to assess the situation. It isn't pretty:

Four Iraqi army divisions have simply disappeared and won't be easily resurrected.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Fri Jul 18 2014, 16:38:00

Part II of the post on Hester Stanhope is coming later today. But first, this thought.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes," is an aphorism oftn attributed to Mark Twain, though like many attributed to him, no one seems to be able to locate it in his writings. Reflecting on the range of conflicts in the region today, not just the tit-for-tat cycle of retribution we are witnessing in Gaza, a war provoked by individual murders, but the disintegration of Syria and Iraq, I find the timing ironic in this July of 2014.

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July 17 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Jul 17 2014, 20:15:00

The ground operations in Israel's Operation Protective Edge  have begun. The casualty figures are likely to rise proportionately. But how long is the incursion likely to last? Israel isn't saying, but its previous operations in 2008-9, with major round operations as compared to the conflict in 2012, where a ground incursion was forestalled by a ceasefire, may give some indications.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Jul 17 2014, 18:00:00

As usual, The Onion satirically hits a home run: "Everyone In Middle East Given Own Country In 317,000,000-State Solution."

According to U.N. officials, the newly demarcated Middle East now consists of 8,000,000 independent Jewish states, 4,000,000 independent Palestinian states, 112,000,000 Shi'ite Islamic republics, 156,000,000 Sunni Islamic republics, and 19,000,000 Kurdish nations, as well as approximately 18,000,000 territories that include various Christian, Bahá'í, Druze, Zoroastrian, and secular countries.

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July 16 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Jul 16 2014, 21:25:00

From the ongoing tragedies unfolding between Israel and Gaza, through the smoldering wreckage of the Syrian and Iraqi states, and on to Afghanistan where a possible resolution of the electoral dispute has been overshadowed by yesterday's market bombing that produced the highest death toll since 2001, the region seems to be aflame.True, the Iranian nuclear negotiations still offer some grounds for hope, but Egypt seems more authoritarian each day, and violence and kidnapping are continuing in Libya.

So it's nice to report a (somewhat) brighter scene in the only real (and still unfinished) success story of what was once called Arab Spring:  "Tunisians Divided Over Electoral Participation," and "Ask the Experts: Why Have So Few People Registered to Vote?" By comparison with its neighbors, ...

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From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Jul 16 2014, 19:56:00

Worth a read at Forein Policy: Rosa Brooks on Six Lessons America Seems Thoroughly Incapable of Learning.

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