Middle-east

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Russian diplomat refuses luggage inspection and causes airport crisis

A Russian diplomat caused a crisis at Cairo International Airport when he refused to have his luggage inspected ahead of flying to Moscow, Moheet.com reported on Friday. The embassy official would not let Egyptian security officers conduct normal security checks on a paper box that he was carrying. The diplomat was intending to board a Royal Jordanian flight when he was asked to put the box through an X-ray machine. He claimed that it contained diplomatic material. Sources said that airport officials called the foreign ministry, which in turn contacted the Russian embassy. It was agreed for the inspection to proceed, after which the diplomat in question boarded the flight to Amman from where he flew to Moscow. Egypt introduced […]


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Someone tell Trump that Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem will sow seeds of perennial conflict

Donald Trump’s imminent arrival in the White House has become a source of anxiety and panic. For certain, there are many things to be worried about including his pledge to create a Muslim database and to ban Muslims from entering the US. Though his pledges alone are of grave concern, they are far from being the most disconcerting. Trump will in all likelihood push America towards dangerous levels of illiberalism and intolerance. Not only will he make life for minorities in the United States extremely difficult, he will also embolden reactionary forces within the US that will continue to play a prominent role in US politics years after he has gone. However, the gravest threat posed by Trump is not […]


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Someone tell Trump that Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem will sow seeds of perennial conflict

Donald Trump’s imminent arrival in the White House has become a source of anxiety and panic. For certain, there are many things to be worried about including his pledge to create a Muslim database and to ban Muslims from entering the US. Though his pledges alone are of grave concern, they are far from being the most disconcerting. Trump will in all likelihood push America towards dangerous levels of illiberalism and intolerance. Not only will he make life for minorities in the United States extremely difficult, he will also embolden reactionary forces within the US that will continue to play a prominent role in US politics years after he has gone. However, the gravest threat posed by Trump is not […]


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Israeli rabbis launch war on Christmas tree

As tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims converge on the Holy Land this week to celebrate the birth of Jesus, senior Israeli rabbis have announced a war on the Christmas tree. In Jerusalem, the rabbinate has issued a letter warning dozens of hotels in the city that it is “forbidden” by Jewish religious law to erect a tree or stage new year’s parties. Many hotel owners have taken the warning to heart, fearful that the rabbis may carry out previous threats to damage their businesses by denying them certificates declaring their premises to be “kosher”. In the coastal city of Haifa, in northern Israel, the rabbi of Israel’s premier technology university has taken a similarly strict line. Elad Dokow, the […]


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Israeli rabbis launch war on Christmas tree

As tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims converge on the Holy Land this week to celebrate the birth of Jesus, senior Israeli rabbis have announced a war on the Christmas tree. In Jerusalem, the rabbinate has issued a letter warning dozens of hotels in the city that it is “forbidden” by Jewish religious law to erect a tree or stage new year’s parties. Many hotel owners have taken the warning to heart, fearful that the rabbis may carry out previous threats to damage their businesses by denying them certificates declaring their premises to be “kosher”. In the coastal city of Haifa, in northern Israel, the rabbi of Israel’s premier technology university has taken a similarly strict line. Elad Dokow, the […]


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Saudi-Iran rivalry will see their fortunes fluctuate in a changing world order

The death of King Abdullah in January 2015 gave way to the undeniable rise in power and authority of Saudi Arabia throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region under his successor, King Salman. Those uncomfortable with Iran’s mission to become a hegemonic regional power heaved a sigh of relief when he took the throne. The Saudi monarch has made it clear that the kingdom will no longer play a minimal role in standing up to Tehran’s mission to dominate the region. Within weeks of the start of Salman’s reign, Riyadh launched its first ever independent military operation. On 26 March, the kingdom surprised the world, including London and Washington, with a Saudi-led coalition operation to remove the Iranian-backed […]


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Saudi-Iran rivalry will see their fortunes fluctuate in a changing world order

The death of King Abdullah in January 2015 gave way to the undeniable rise in power and authority of Saudi Arabia throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region under his successor, King Salman. Those uncomfortable with Iran’s mission to become a hegemonic regional power heaved a sigh of relief when he took the throne. The Saudi monarch has made it clear that the kingdom will no longer play a minimal role in standing up to Tehran’s mission to dominate the region. Within weeks of the start of Salman’s reign, Riyadh launched its first ever independent military operation. On 26 March, the kingdom surprised the world, including London and Washington, with a Saudi-led coalition operation to remove the Iranian-backed […]


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The UN must not let Resolution 2334 be squandered

If UN Security Council Resolution 2334 regarding Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is to be worth the paper it’s written on, certain tangible steps must be taken. Failure to act will make it worthless. First and foremost, there must be a serious review of Israel’s membership of the world body. Ever since it was carved out of the land of Palestine, Israel’s leaders have projected their country as something exceptional and thus entitled to special treatment. Israel is indeed unique; it is the only state in the world that owes its very existence to a UN resolution – 181 (II). Its membership was, however, conditional, and remains so. Upon admission to the world body, the new entity […]


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The UN must not let Resolution 2334 be squandered

If UN Security Council Resolution 2334 regarding Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is to be worth the paper it’s written on, certain tangible steps must be taken. Failure to act will make it worthless. First and foremost, there must be a serious review of Israel’s membership of the world body. Ever since it was carved out of the land of Palestine, Israel’s leaders have projected their country as something exceptional and thus entitled to special treatment. Israel is indeed unique; it is the only state in the world that owes its very existence to a UN resolution – 181 (II). Its membership was, however, conditional, and remains so. Upon admission to the world body, the new entity […]


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Putin orders expansion of Russia’s naval base in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday approving the expansion of the Russian naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus, Russian news agency Sputnik reported yesterday. The news about the new decree was further announced on the Kremlin’s website. According to Sputnik, the statement on the Kremlin’s website reads: “Vladimir Putin signed a decree on signing the agreement between the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic on expanding the territory of the Russian logistics centre in the port of Tartus and on the arriving of Russian ships at the territorial sea, national waters and ports of the Syrian Arab Republic.” The Russian Defence Ministry announced plans in October to establish a permanent naval base in the western Syrian port city of Tartus where it has been keeping a small naval maintenance and […]