Since the end of March, the Wall Street Journal's
new Middle East Real Time
blog has written about Turkey's "unstoppable" export boom in soap operas
, Saudi Arabia's "life after jihad" rehab program
, the persistence of obviously fraudulent bomb detectors across Iraq
, YouTube branding discussions among Syrian rebel factions
, a rising media star Sunni cleric in Lebanon
, a post-revolutionary Cairo arts festival
, and attempts to overcome conservative objections and change the Saudi Thursday-Friday weekend to match the rest of the business world
. Previous non-paywalled WSJ
Real Time blogs include Korea
, Emerging Europe
posted by mediareport
on May 9, 2013 -
In June 2010 a news story
briefly appeared on the Yediot website about Prisoner X in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail. His jailers did not know who he was, did not share a word with him, no one came to visit him. No one seemed to know he was there. They didn’t even know what crime he had committed or how he came to be in the prison. His prison cell was completely isolated from other prisoners and he couldn’t communicate in any way with them
. ABC News Australia has broken the News that Prisoner X
was an Australian citizen suspected of Mossad links and who commited suicide two years ago in an Israeli jail. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco
on Feb 13, 2013 -
"The Ideology of Hatred": An interview with Niza Yanay
- "Once we understand how hatred operates as an apparatus of power relations, and particularly how the discourse of hatred is motivated and mobilised in national conflicts, serious questions about misrecognition, veiled desires and symptomatic expressions arise. These questions have, to a large extent, been left unaddressed in studies of hatred between groups in conflict." [more inside]
posted by flex
on Nov 15, 2012 -
The Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem houses the Aleppo Codex
, considered the oldest and most authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible. Written in the 10th century AD and annotated by Maimonides himself, it was safeguarded by the Jewish diaspora and revered for its linguistic precision and its beauty. "The story of how some 200 pages of the codex went missing — and to this day remain the object of searches carried out around the globe by biblical scholars, private investigators, shadowy businessmen and the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency — is one of the great mysteries in Jewish history
." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 25, 2012 -
An essay which looks inside the conflicted mind of an Israeli soldier, stationed at a West Bank checkpoint. By Oded Na'aman, currently a student in the Philosophy PhD program at Harvard University, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces from November 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Na'aman is also a member of Breaking the Silence
, a website that gathers and publishes anonymous testimonials
from IDF soldiers -- combat veterans -- about their experiences and the realities of life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
posted by zarq
on Jul 24, 2012 -
is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster
features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster
was prepared, one which removes all trace of...
You guessed it: Women.
The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside]
posted by Silky Slim
on Jul 22, 2012 -
", which won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (previously
), is a #1 in several countries, including Ireland
, and Switzerland
Of course, it's not the only song charting internationally that you might never hear on US radio. It should come as no surprise that one can readily find international hits online.
For instance -
Sweden, #4: Panetoz - Dansa Pausa
Sweden, #9: Mange Makers - Drick Den
This doesn't purport to be an exhaustive list, but rather a jumping-off point. [more inside]
posted by LSK
on Jun 13, 2012 -
Larry Cohler-Esses from the Jewish Daily Forward interviews Abu Marzook
, Hamas' deputy political director. The interview captures Hamas in a state of transition and includes a segment (with audio) of Cohler-Esses explaining to the confused Hamas leader that the 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is a Russian hoax.
posted by the mad poster!
on Apr 21, 2012 -
"I get up every morning at 5, go for a half-hour walk in the desert, come home and have a cup of coffee, sit down at the desk and ask myself what I would say if I were him, and what I would do if I were her. I think curiosity is actually a moral virtue. I think a person who is curious is slightly more moral than one who is not curious, because sometimes he enters into the skin of another. I think a curious person is even a better lover than one who is not curious. Even my political approach to the Palestinian question, for example, sprang from curiosity. I am not a Middle East expert or a historian or a strategist. I simply asked myself, at a very young age, what it would be like if I were one of them. So, that’s what I do − get up in the morning and ask myself: What if?"
- Israeli writer Amos Oz reflects on his life, on Israel, on writing, and discusses his newest work [more inside]
posted by beisny
on Mar 29, 2012 -
is reporting that Israeli intelligence agents posed as CIA officers to recruit members of Jundallah, a designated terrorist group, in its covert fight against the Iranian effort to acquire nuclear capability.
posted by RedShrek
on Jan 13, 2012 -
Yesterday, 1500 protesters denounced the Netanyahu government, carrying signs reading "Zionism is racism" and wearing yellow stars to emphasize comparison between the Israel and the Nazi state. “What’s happening is exactly like what happened in Germany,” said one man wearing a yellow star. “It started with incitement and continued to different types of oppression. Is it insulting that we wear these stars? Absolutely, and it hurts people to see this, but this is how we feel at the moment, we feel we are being prevented from observing the Torah in the manner in which we wish.”
Yep -- the protesters aren't Arabs or latte-sipping Berkeley radicals, but ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem, angry about recent TV news coverage of incidents in which haredim threw rocks at handicapped Modern Orthodox children in Beit Shemesh who were using their wheelchairs on Shabbat.
The angry crowd was also protesting the jailing of Shmuel Weisfish, a member of the "Modesty Squad" who recently started a 2-year prison sentence for beating and threatening employees of a computer store for selling MP4 players which might expose customers to inappropriate content.
As always, Failed Messiah
is your (admittedly one-sided) source for bad behavior among the frum. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Jan 1, 2012 -
In February of 2011
, eleven students that attended UC Irvine
and UC Riverside
went to a fundraising speech featuring Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren
, at the UC Irvine campus. During Oren's speech, students would stand up, shout an objection to Oren's speech, and then would allow themselves to be escorted by security
, essentially causing a "heckler's veto
." They were arrested, charged, and today found guilty
of disrupting Oren's speech
. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw
on Sep 23, 2011 -
Tomorrow, Friday the 23rd of September 2011, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas
will go before the UN and set out his request for formal recognition of the state of Palestine.
There are many problems with this, and not just for the Palestinians... [more inside]
posted by dougrayrankin
on Sep 22, 2011 -