Media Summary

Egypt government begins talks with opposition, Muslim Brotherhood

The ongoing unrest in Egypt continues to dominate Middle East related coverage in the UK media today. All papers note the commencement of negotiations between the Egyptian government and representatives of the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The Guardian and the Independent have analyses of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Guardian notes Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman’s fierce opposition to the organisation, as revealed in the leaked Wikileaks cables. Several news sources have pieces on a plea bargain reached between the Israeli authorities and Anat Kamm, who passed on secret information she acquired while serving in the IDF to an Israeli reporter. The Times notes that former US Vice President, Dick Cheney, over the weekend described President Hosni Mubarak as a ‘good friend’ of the US. The Daily Express and Guardian review a new drama set in British Mandate Palestine. The Independent notes controversy over the role of al-Jazeera in the protests in Egypt.

Over the weekend, the continuing unrest in Egypt dominated coverage. All papers and news outlets had reports and analyses of the latest developments. The Guardian, Independent on Sunday and Sky News Online on Saturday noted a suspected terrorist attack on a pipeline bringing gas from Egypt to Israel. The Independent on Sunday noted that former US president George Bush has cancelled a planned visit to Switzerland after human rights groups began legal proceedings against him for allegedly authorising torture. BBC Online and the Financial Times on Saturday noted that the Muslim Brotherhood is set to join talks with the Egyptian government on political reform. The Guardian on Saturday reviewed a new book by an Israeli writer. Several news sources reviewed a new series about British Mandate Palestine. The Sunday Times ran a piece on the growing use of antisemitic insults by some young people in Britain.

In the Israeli media over the weekend, all papers reported on an explosion in a gas terminal in northern Sinai, which temporarily halted the flow of Egyptian gas to Israel and Jordan. All papers also noted the appointment of Major-General Benny Gantz as the twentieth Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces. All papers today report on the opening of negotiations between the Egyptian government and the opposition. Haaretz has additional pieces on plans to approve new Jewish housing development in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and the role of the western-trained Palestinian security forces in suppressing demonstrations in the West Bank in support of Egyptian protestors. The Jerusalem Post notes Israeli opposition to greater deployments of Egyptian troops in Sinai, and reports on the imminent arrival to Israel of the Dutch and Spanish foreign ministers. Ynetnews notes that Israel has postponed its withdrawal from northern Ghajjar in Lebanon, following the arrival to power of a pro-Hezbollah government in Beirut, and has a piece reporting on substantive progress made in indirect talks between Israel and Syria in 2008.