Newsletter Archive

Below are all the Arab Digest newsletters going back to 17 June 2013

Afro Palestinian solidarity poster at the Past Disquiet exhibition in Cape Town [photo credit: Alastair Newton]

South Africa/Palestine: present disquiet

Summary: in taking Israel to the ICJ, the South African government was acting principally in a manner entirely consistent with the ANC’s historically close ties with the Palestinian cause and not with an eye to the now imminent general election.

Oil and the US-Saudi shift

Summary: a leading energy analyst argues that shifts in how the developed world uses oil will determine the extent to which US and Saudi relations will drift apart.

A Crisis for a Generation

Summary: as Egypt’s President Sisi continues to pile up massive debt pursuing giga projects, international funders seem happy to go along for a ride that will further enrich the military elite and impoverish the vast majority of Egyptians for generations to come.

Multiple people were injured after a car bombing by the Israeli occupation took place in Rafah [photo: Times of Gaza]

“A symbolic vote”

Summary: a chaotic scene that saw party politics and personal ambition bury a motion for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, abandons Palestinians, dismisses international law and debases our humanity.

In a statement on Tuesday Huthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said the group had used drones to target a number of United States warships in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea as well as sites in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat

Yemen feels the heat from Gaza

Summary: the war in Gaza is casting a long shadow in Yemen where urgently needed humanitarian aid is falling far short of requirements and efforts to achieve a peace deal are being stymied in part by the US designation of the Huthis as a terrorist group.

Qatar’s Prime Minister, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, emphasising the humanitarian crisis in Rafah [photo credit: Qatar Gov]

Arab states and the Gaza war

Summary: questions are being asked about why the leaders of powerful Arab states have been reluctant to use their considerable diplomatic and economic clout to end the slaughter in Gaza and secure the rights of Palestinians to a free and independent country.

On 30 January, Riyadh announced that it was scrapping a plan to increase output capacity by one million barrels per day (mbpd) by 2027

Oil: a reality check in Riyadh?

Summary: Saudi Arabia’s scrapping of plans to increase potential oil output to 13mbpd may be driven as much by belatedly revised long-term supply/demand considerations as it is by shorter-term budgetary pressure.

Kataeb Hezbollah “missile force” chief Abu Baqer al-Saidi, taken out by a U.S. hellfire missile in Baghdad today, Feb 7, 2024. Right: Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, taken out by a U.S. hellfire missile in Baghdad on Jan 4, 2020.

Danger signs in Kurdistan

Summary: the situation in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region remains unsettled almost a month after a deadly ballistic missile attack on Erbil that killed four people.

The Hamas response in full

Summary: Hamas provides a detailed response to the original Paris ceasefire proposal and offers a clear pathway to ending the war.

Tensions in the Horn of Africa

Summary: the Horn of Africa is an overlooked but crucial region riven by factionalism, tribal animosity, a bitter colonial legacy and the intervention of powerful regional players including the UAE. 

Türkiye and the Gulf states in the Gaza war

Summary: the war in Gaza has produced markedly different responses and reactions from key regional players with Qatar standing out as the only state seriously committed to a ceasefire and a meaningful security solution for Palestine and the region.

MbS has allowed Israelis to “return to their homes” in the Kingdom’s holy sites for the first time in Saudi history [photo credit: X]

Normalisation and the two state solution 

Summary: the true aim of discreet discussions about the normalisation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel amidst Saudi claims about pursuing a two state solution is to block accountability for Israel’s ongoing Gaza genocide and to funnel the Palestinians deeper into apartheid. 

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