Media Summary

Israel marks 63rd Independence Day

The main item of Middle East related coverage in the UK media today is the on-going unrest in Syria. The Times, Independent, Evening Standard, Financial Times and BBC Online have coverage of the latest events. Sky News Online and the Daily Express note a EU announcement of an arms embargo on Syria. The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mirror note rumours that Asma Assad, wife of the Syrian dictator, has fled to the UK. In other items, the Guardian notes the restoration by City University of New York of an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner, who is critical of Israel. The Guardian also has a piece on a new film about a Palestinian campaign against the Security Barrier. The Independent notes Israel’s refusal to transfer tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority following the Palestinian reconciliation deal. The Daily Telegraph and Reuters have pieces on growing fears among Egyptian Christians of attacks on them by Muslim extremists. The Daily Telegraph also notes an apology by an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper for editing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out of a photograph. BBC Online has an article profiling the Hamas movement.

In the Israeli media, all papers focus on today’s Independence Day celebrations. All papers alo note Yoel Shalit’s call for the freedom of his brother, at an Independence Day event in Jerusalem. Ynetnews interviews President Shimon Peres, who suggests that agreement between Israelis and Palestinians might be reached ‘quietly’. The Jerusalem Post notes the EU arms embargo on Syria.