From The Economist:
‘Since 2007 the Palestinian territories have been divided between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah, the Palestinians’ oldest nationalist movement, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank. Too busy vying with each other to confront Israel, which occupies most of their land, they have sought to consolidate their holds on their respective domains by scrapping parliament and ruling by decree.
Not everyone has taken kindly to this new authoritarian yoke. Inspired by protests against other despots, Palestinians in both territories have been crying for “revolution until we end the division”. In Gaza and the West Bank protesters champ for an interim government of the young, aligned to no party, to be followed by elections in both bits of Palestine.
Under the watchful eye of his Western patrons, Mr Abbas’s security forces have generally stopped beating up protesters and have let them erect tents in the West Bank’s main towns. Hamas has shown less tolerance, fearful lest a turnout of thousands, including many women and a few rappers, posed a secular challenge. “Hamas is worse than Mubarak, because it governs in the name of God, not the people,” says Ayman Shaheen, a professor at Azhar University, Gaza’s last remaining college outside the movement’s control.’
No luck yet with the Iranians, but the Syrians came through for me. Trusty Syrians.
NPT agreement includes 2012 conference on nuclear-free Middle East
Assad’s interview with Charlie Rose – read read read it’s really interesting
Explosion in smuggling tunnel in Gaza kills six
New chairman of the Wafd party in Egypt
Family of murdered singer drops lawsuit
A tougher America won’t necessarily get results
Unsurprisingly, divisions persist within the American Jewish political community
Israel refuses to take part in nuclear proliferation conference
UAE considers tighter anti-smoking legislation
Gaza gets ready to welcome freedom fleet
Britain’s new, frightening far right
War ‘would grow US economy’, according to one GWB
Pakistan’s culture of conspiracy
Afghanistan’s grassroots movement isn’t so grassroots
Hillary Clinton and Nasrallah in shocking mind meld
Israel: two wins make a loss as Mesha’al concedes, Netanyahu ignores it
Interview with a Palestinian collaborator
Al-Aswany and Asfour in rather polite feud over Yacoubian Building etc.
Iranian opposition and police ready themselves for election anniversary protests
Charges dropped in horrific rape case in UAE
The shadowy world of drone attacks
Turkey is acting in a Middle Eastern ‘leadership vacuum’
Obama’s National Security Strategy a total snoozefest
Iraq is in the middle of a delicate transition
The Grand Mufti, the Holocaust, and Palestine today
Very funny and very cutting review of the racist/sexist/orientalist/anti-feminist turd that is SATC 2. (Just because I can’t possibly see how I will ever be able to link to this again in relation to Middle Eastern news, while you’re on the Stranger you should absolutely check out Dan Savage’s sex blog, I cannot recommend this highly enough.)
HA! ‘Ibn Battuta’ visits his eponymous mall, with amusing results
Aaaaand…the language of the power ballad truly is universal…