The Big Mideast News Story that Isn’t “Fit to Print”

The Big Mideast News Story that Isn’t “Fit to Print” | Stephen M. Walt.


Did you know that the Gaza Freedom March — a group of over 1300 peace activists from 43 countries — is protesting the continued siege of Gaza, on the anniversary of the brutal Israeli assault that killed over a thousand people last year?

Did you know that one of the participants in the convoy is an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor (Hedy Epstein), and that she recently began a hunger strike to protest the refusal to let the convoy go to Gaza?

You probably didn’t know about any of this, but it’s not really your fault. You probably get your news from mainstream outlets like the New York Times or Washington Post, and neither of these illustrious newspapers has bothered to cover this story.

The story is being covered extensively in the Arab world, and if you follow it there,

… then you might have a better idea why the Mubarak government isn’t very popular, why Israel faces growing censure for its conduct, why the United States continues to be despised in much of the Arab and Islamic world, and why the blogosphere is so important.

UPDATE: from the NYT

The Egyptian government agreed to let 100 activists into Gaza on Wednesday, according to one of the organizers of the march.

The crossing, at Rafah, Egypt, has been closed for most purposes since the summer of 2007, when the militant group Hamas seized control of Gaza from the rival Western-backed forces of Fatah. Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza, and the Egyptian government, citing its own security needs, closed the crossing, drawing criticism from within Egypt and across the Arab world.

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