Not a revolution, but a military coup

By Tim Marshall, February 17, 2011

Optimists peered through the Cairo dawn of February 12 and heralded a people's revolution ushering in a new era of freedom and democracy.

Less enthusiastic observers, looking through the exhaust smoke of the reversing tanks, saw a coup backed by a regime which will spend the year shoring up its power even as it prepares the country for free elections.

Egypt cannot go back to how things were, but this was no revolution. People power delivered the military what it wanted - the chance to get rid of Mubarak and ensure his son Gamal could not accede to the throne.


West should be clear on goals

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, February 17, 2011

It is too early to tell whether Egypt and Tunisia will be the harbinger of an Arab spring of democracy. Both could go the way of Eastern Europe in 1989. But they could also be a rehash of Russia in 1917, Egypt in 1952, Iraq in 1958, or Iran in 1979, when the ousting of a hated rulerin favour of a new regime was exploited by dark forces.

But as Egypt goes, so does the Arab world. Jordan, Yemen, and Bahrain are now convulsed by popular unrest; Algeria, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia could be next.


Post-Caesarian problem

By Naomi Gryn, February 10, 2011

Bill Smith, technical director at Clinical Diagnostics Services (CDS) in London's St John's Wood, conducts thousands of fertility scans each year.

Over the past decade, several hundred Orthodox Jewish women with abnormal uterine bleeding have been referred to Mr Smith for scanning. A significant proportion have given birth by Caesarian section, and a number of them have had problems conceiving again.


Immigration sparks class showdown

By Nathan Jeffay, February 10, 2011

In Israel, concern about illegal immigration has mostly been driven by nationalism. "In the past 100 years, the Jewish people has built here a Jewish state. Within 10 years, infiltrators could cause this to go down the drain," declares Yaakov Katz, a politician with the right-wing National Union party and chairman of the Knesset's Committee on Foreign Workers.


Hague assumption on Egypt so wrong

By Robin Shepherd, February 10, 2011

It has been remarked by more than one observer of events in Egypt and the wider Middle East that whatever else the crowds have been chanting as they call for political reforms, the "Death to Israel" mantra has been notable for its absence.


The good news: Iran may be next

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 10, 2011

Who's next? Which domino will be the next to fall? Which other Arab capital is about to see thousands of young demonstrators battling it out with police and calling for the speedy departure of their autocratic ruler, as we have over the past few weeks in Tunisia and Egypt?

Given that not one expert or analyst foresaw the events in Cairo and Tunis, one wonders how they can tell if and where it will happen again.


Reporting at odds with text

By The Bicom team, February 3, 2011

VIn order to advance their particular story, Al Jazeera and the Guardian have had to misread or misrepresent significant portions of the text, omit other key sections, and demonstrate virtually no appreciation for the history of the negotiations.


Killer who may be partner for peace

By Nathan Jeffay, February 3, 2011

Before becoming president, Shimon Peres said he would pardon him, and many Israelis, from the left to the centre-right, have long seen him as a potential peace partner. But the most famous Palestinian prisoner in Israeli detention says that today peace with Israel is "impossible".

The comments by Marwan Barghouti came in an interview with an Algerian newspaper.


Hamas rushes police to Egyptian border

By Moeen Shamir, February 3, 2011

The news of the imminent demise of Egypt's government has prompted Hamas to rush dozens of policemen to Gaza's southern border.

In the border town of Rafah, tunnel owners said their business had declined since the unrest erupted in Egypt one week ago. "Smuggling is still going on, but it is very slow. Most of the goods are stuck on the Egyptian side of Rafah," said Abu al-Baraa, an owner of one of the tunnels.

Residents in the town said Hamas and Egyptian security forces were manning the border in large numbers to prevent any people - particularly extremists - from crossing over.


One by one, dominoes fall across Middle East

By Nathan Jeffay, February 3, 2011

The Middle East unrest puts paid to the logic that what's bad for your enemy is good for you.

Between Jordan and the Mediterranean there are three governments which all have contempt for each other, but all of which, for different and sometimes contradictory reasons, view the latest developments with discomfort.

When the citizens of Tunisia took to the streets in December, analysts were talking of a possible domino effect across the region. Now there can be little doubt that this is happening.