Press Review 16th – 23rd January
The January 13th French Prime Minister’s solemn tribute to the victims of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and a kosher shop on January 7th and 9th upstaged his second speech at national assembly. This latter was dedicated to France’s military engagement in Iraq which bode ill for the future. A long conflict is in place instead, with an uncertain outcome. It adds to other theatre of operations in Sahel, Centrafrique, and tomorrow around Lake Chad and in Libya. France consequently sets into a logic of war.
The Israeli press widely covered the Paris’ attacks ‒ especially the one that struck a Kosher shop where three French and one Tunisian, all Jewish, were shot dead. On the one hand, some of these articles pledge their support to Benyamin Netanyahou, who’s taken advantage of the events to invite French Jews to come to Israel, while feeding the spreading conspiracy theory on the so called worrying occupation of Europe by Muslims. On the other hand some articles, as those from the centre left paper Haaretz denounced Netanyahou’s brutality, his political line and his opportunism in the prospect of the upcoming legislative elections next March.
The most significant political news from Saudi Arabia this week was not the death of King Abdullah, at the age of ninety, or the ascension of his half-brother Salman to the throne. For the first time in modern Saudi Arabian history, a grandson of the kingdom’s first ruler, rather than a son, has a place in the order of succession.
Released in March 2014, L’Arabe du futur, a Riad Sattouf comic has known for several months a huge success: dithyrambic criticisms, avalanche of prizes, word of mouth and outstanding prints. The success of this willingly caustic autobiographic book isn’t without posing some questions. A stereotyped speech ‒ often simply fitting French society widespread prejudices against “Arabs”‒ lies behind a theme seducing readers who understand themselves as progressive, and claim their eagerness to know the Middle-East better.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has lost only a tiny fraction of captured territory in Iraq after five months of US-led airstrikes, the Pentagon said on Friday. Kurdish peshmerga forces and Iraqi government troops have retaken 700 square kilometers of ground mostly in northern Iraq, but ISIS still holds 55,000 square kilometers, spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters. That amounts to roughly one percent of ISIS-held territory changing hands since the US launched air raids in Iraq on August 8.
In a three day period, Israel destroyed homes of 77 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and West Bank, according to the UN which noted a record number of displaced Palestinians due to these demolitions in 2014.