Arab News, a Jeddah-based newspaper, contains a remarkably constructive, self-critical editorial, "It's All Israel's Fault!" that takes on the obsessive anti-Israel nature of the Arabic-language press:
For decades it has been difficult to find anything in the opinion pages of the Arabic language press that did not concern Israel. Every problem faced by Arab societies was blamed, in however obscure or far-fetched a way, on Israel's occupation of Palestinian land."
Might something be learned from the Iraqi nakba? (April 26, 2003)
June 28, 2005 update: John Bradley writes on p. 188 of his new book, Saudi Arabia Exposed:
At the Jeddah-based Arab News, the newspaper I worked for, sub editors were often amused to see columns of Middle East "experts"—Thomas Friedman, Daniel Pipes, and the like—quoting the newspaper's anonymous editorials because they seemingly reflected "a change in the Arab mindset." In fact, they were written by me, a British chap who lives in the south of France, and—when we were not available—by another British chap, who lives in the north of England.
Presumably Bradley's cute observation refers to this weblog entry. But Bradley should have read another of my weblogs, where I explained why his editorials interested me:
As in other quasi-totalitarian dictatorships, the press in Saudi Arabia must express views approved by the government. Additionally, items appearing in English media generally are vetted to make sure they portray the kingdom in a positive light.
In other words, who writes the editorials and where they live is less important than the fact that the Saudi government let them appear.
Related Topics: Media, Saudi Arabia
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