A Look Back at Middle East Stories - News Hunt Results
Last week the NewsTrust community searched for good journalism on the Middle East, in partnership with the Council of Foreign Relations, Global Voices, and Link TV. Here are some of the highlights of our News Hunt:
Top Rated Stories
Since we began our News Hunt, our search yielded 79 new submissions on this topic, from a variety of mainstream and independent sources. Here are the top rated stories for this week's news hunt:
Mainstream News Sources
- Negotiating isn't appeasement - Los Angeles Times
- Bounties a Bust in Hunt for Al-Qaeda - Washington Post
- Palestinian-American Reflects on Israel - National Public Radio
- Hasty truce with Moqtada al-Sadr tests his sway in Baghdad stronghold - Christian Science Monitor
- Low hopes for Bush Mideast trip - Christian Science Monitor
- Jerusalem Diary: Monday 12 May - BBC News
Independent News Sources
- The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Council on Foreign Relations
- Losing Lebanon - American Prospect
- Your Independence Is Our Nakba - LinkTV
- Israel at 60: Zionism's Fatal Flaw - Religion Dispatches
- Baghdad's Other Power Struggle - TruthDig
- Palestine: Sixty Years of Al Nakba - Global Voices
Journalism on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
We began our news hunt looking at CFR.org's Israeli-Palestinian Crisis Guide. This multimedia presentation provides historical context for the conflict across several axes- territorial, diplomatic, and international. The guide a highly informative and balanced resource to better understanding the news coming out of the region today.
Our focus on the Middle East coincided with the 60th Anniversary of Israel's founding, a time celebrated inside Israel but mourned by many Palestinian Arabs as Al Nakba, 'The Catastrophe'. Many of the top rated stories, especially from internationally focused sources, focused on this counter-narrative. Reviewer and Global Voices editor Jillian York explains about one highly rated Global Voices post on the anniversary "gives the Palestinian Arabic-language perspective on Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. Several bloggers with different viewpoints are sourced, making the article fairly balanced." Long time NewsTrust reviewer Jim Lang found value in the BBC's Jerusalem Diary series, commenting that the Monday, May 12th entry was "a moving story reflecting the human side of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is similar to stories that I have heard directly from both Israelis and Palestinians who in spite of their differences eschew further violence and long for peace." NPR presented an interesting reflection on the Palestinian story in a radio interview with a Christian, Palestinian-American woman whose family was driven out of their home in 1948.
To commemorate the anniversary, President Bush kicked off his Middle East tour with a visit to Israel. Addressing the Knesset in Tel Aviv, he indirectly commented on Presidential candidate Barack Obama's calls for greater diplomacy with Iran. Bush drew a historical parallel with Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazi's in the 1930's, a comparison that Peter Scoblic rebuffs in an LA Times opinion that was the highest rated mainstream story on this topic. NewsTrust reviewer Chris Finnie distills Scoblic's argument, commenting "there's nothing like historical fact to show philosophical inconsistencies and what works or doesn't. True appeasement has a poor record. However, as this article ably argues, negotiation on the basis of enlightened self-interest for both parties can and does work. Heated rhetoric aside, it doesn't indicate weakness, but reasonableness."
The Middle East constitutes a large and diverse area, and the NewsTrust community reviewed stories on other issues such as the complex conflict in Lebanon, media censorship in Egypt, and the continued strife in Iraq. Check out more good journalism on the Middle East coverage on our Middle East Topic Page.Thanks to Our Partners!
We would like to thank our partners for their outstanding contributions to the Middle East news hunt. From the Council of Foreign Relations, Eben Kaplan helped the NewsTrust community gain a better understanding of the news from the region with his excellent reviews and story submissions. Thanks Eben. The contributors, editors, and readers at Global Voices brought an international perspective that we hope to see much more of. Thanks to Solana Larson and Amira Al Hussaini for organizing the collaboration and taking the time to inform the Global Voices community. Finally, a big thank you to our Middle East topic host, Mark Monday. Mark has been a long time reviewer on NewsTrust, and we're privileged that he volunteers his time and expertise on this and related subjects on NewsTrust. If you would like to find out about hosting a topic on NewsTrust, email us! Hope to you see you all back on the site soon -- be sure to join our upcoming news hunts!