Blog entries from: MEI Editor's Blog

A Blog by the Editor of the Middle East Journal

1 to 10 of 290

July 31 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Jul 31 2014, 18:57:00

. . . we could relax until 2086. Sadly, the ceasefire is for 72 hours, not 72 years.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Jul 31 2014, 18:08:00

As Greece joins other Western countries in pulling its nationals out of Tripoli in Libya, in Greece's case by sea (The US and UK evacuated overland to Tunisia), the damage to Tripoli International Airport from weeks of militias battling to control the airport is apparent. Yesterday a ceasefire was announced to allow firefighters to fight the huge oil tank fire that has been raging since earlier this week.  But that ceasefire collapsed today, and heavy fighting is reported again. This afternoon, there are reports of large protests in Tripoli's main squares, suggesting popular outrage t how the militia fighting has cut Tripoli off from the rest of the world may be reaching a boil.

Some photos from the Internet give a sense of the extensive damage to the airport. But the loss of passenger ...

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From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Jul 31 2014, 08:45:00

The New York Times has taken note of a phenomenon I had been planning to talk about soon anyway, so I'll use their piece as a takeoff point for my own comments: "Arab Leaders Silent, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel."

As Israel's current operation in Gaza grows into something much longer and deadlier than Cast Lead six years ago, there has been much international condemnation, from Europe, the UN, and human rights groups. The US is less critical and the US Congress openly supportive (and the US is resupplying Israel with munitions in the midst of the operation), but there has been considerable criticism in the media and academia.

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July 30 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Jul 30 2014, 17:58:00

The deteriorating situation in Libya continues in the wake of Western evacuations of nationals from Tripoli. now Benghazi has erupted again, with Ansar al-Shari'a seizing a Special Forces base and an important hospital,

The situation seems fluid however; Twitter posts are claiming the hospital an other sites have been taken back by popular demonstrations, bringing down the Ansar al-Shari'a flags.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Jul 30 2014, 16:30:00

Following last week's destruction of the Tomb of Jonah, ISIS is continuing its destruction of ancient and medieval shrines in Mosul and the surrounding region.the tombs of Prophet Jirjis and of Seth, and the Mashhad al-Imam 'Awn al-Din appear to be confirmed, while some reports of other sites are not. Conflict Antiquities has details and images; other reports from RFE/RL and elsewhere were collected at Juan Cole's blog.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Jul 30 2014, 08:20:00

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs are reporting that Israel is ordering Gazans to evacuate a three-kilometer buffer zone all along the border. The map is taken from the linked report. This appears to be intended to eliminate tunnel networks near the Israeli border and isolate Gaza further.

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July 29 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Tue Jul 29 2014, 22:25:00

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc has provoked a bit of a storm over remarks made at a Bayram event yesterday in which he said women should be chaste and modest and -- the remark that set off an Internet storm --should not laugh out loud in public.

Quoting the (anti-AKP) Hurriyet Daily News:

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From MEI Editor's Blog Tue Jul 29 2014, 20:09:00

 A few select things worth reading:

Gregory R. Gause via Brooking Doha: "Beyond Sectarianism: "The New Middle East Cold War," Simmary at the link; full document in PDF here.

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July 28 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Jul 28 2014, 09:37:00

One hundred years ago today, Austria declared war on Serbia, lighting the fuse that within a week would transform what Bismarck had called the Balkan powder keg into a Europe-wide explosion. It was one month exactly since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

On the same day, July 28, two men on opposite sides of Europe would take actions that would lead to the Ottoman Empire joining the German side. In London, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill initiated the idea of confiscating two Turkish battleships being built in  British shipyards, one already complete and the other nearing completion, and adding them to the Royal Navy. Meanwhile on the same day in Constantinople, the most pro-German member of the Ottoman Cabinet, War Minister Enver Pasha, was ...

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July 27 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Sun Jul 27 2014, 18:00:00

Though the usual astronomical issues mean the end of Ramadan will vary from country to country, most Muslims in the United States and the Middle East consider Monday to be the first day of Shawwal, which means the Ramadan fast ends at sundown today.'Id al-Fitr greetings to my Muslim readers.

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