Media Summary

US backs transition process launched by Suleiman

Events in Egypt continue to dominate Middle East related coverage in the UK media today. The Guardian notes that a Hamas terrorist jailed in Egypt managed to escape to Gaza during the unrest. The paper has an article arguing that the Palestinian issue represents the ‘key’ to Arab democracy. The Guardian also carries an article by Syrian dissident Amar Abdul-Hamid, who argues that conditions are not yet ripe for an uprising against the Assad regime. The Guardian and Reuters note a Wikileaks cable which shows Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman’s fierce opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Daily Telegraph notes a Wikileaks cable which suggests that Israeli officials communicated regularly with Suleiman when he was intelligence chief. The paper has an article on President Mubarak’s loss of control of the state media. The Independent runs a piece by its correspondent in Egypt which notes the beginning of consultations between the Egyptian government and protestors. The paper also quotes President Barack Obama’s hopes for ‘progress’ in Egypt. The Times runs a piece on Israel’s Arab citizens. The Financial Times notes that Palestinians are taking heart at the unrest in Egypt. The paper also reports on the cautious strategy being adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood, and has a piece noting the organisation’s anti-Israel stance. The Scotsman calls Mubarak’s decision to raise public sector salaries a ‘plot to stay in power.’ The paper also runs a piece on arrests in Israel over theft from a synagogue in Italy. BBC Online and Reuters note the determination of protestors in Egypt to continue their campaign. BBC Online and the Independent report the Dutch decision to recall their envoy from Iran after the authorities there hanged a Dutch-Iranian woman who had taken part in protests. The Daily Mail runs a comment piece noting that a British student leader was recently subjected to antisemitic abuse. The Daily Telegraph has a piece referring to a Palestinian who was shot dead while carrying out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem as having been subjected to ‘summary execution.’ 

In the Israeli media, all papers note the Wikileaks cable reported in the Daily Telegraph on Israeli contacts with Egyptian Vice President and former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. Haaretz reports a speech given by outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, in which he noted that Hamas and Hezbollah’s tactics and strategy derived from their inability to defeat the IDF in conventional warfare. The paper, along with Ynetnews, also notes a speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he said that Egypt could fall into the hands of radical Islamists. The Jerusalem Post speaks to an unnamed Syrian dissident who notes the difficulties of organising opposition in Syria. The paper also notes the visit of an EU delegation to the Knesset yesterday. Ynetnews, meanwhile, also quoted Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who said that the Egyptian unrest would leave Israel more isolated in the region. Maariv reports on a planned campaign against price rises in Israel.