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Israeli Minister visits Doha 31, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Qatar.
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The Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor is visiting Doha, Qatar to head up the Israeli delegation to the World Economic Forum. Ynet states that Benjamin Ben-Eliezer will try to “persuade his counterparts in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf to take advantage of Israeli technologies to overcome obstacles and thaw relations between Israel and its neighbors.”

This is somewhat curious given that Qatar tried on at least two occasions this year to persuade Israel to reopen their trade office in Doha.

This will also be the first visit by an Israeli minister since the Hamas assassination debacle in Dubai.

One report but with differing reports of it 22, January 2008

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Western-Muslim Relations.
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The World Economic Forum have just released a major new report on the state of Western-Islamic relations. It was complied by a veritable cornucopia of experts in the field and runs to some 156 well-spaced pages of sensible, articulate, and accurate observations and conclusions on the current state of affairs.

Th BBC covered the release of the report with the headline “Islam-West rift widens, poll says”. Contrast this with the headline ran by the Arab News: “Muslim-West conflict can be avoided: Report”. Both headlines are correct: that is to say that what they suggest is indeed to be found in the report and neither article, in the end, comes across as biased one way or the other. However, the crucial thing is the overall impression that each news agency wants to impress upon its readers: one of pessimism; one of hope.

Why the difference? Neither the BBC nor the Arab News are known for being overly hawkish or dovish. The answer may lie within the report itself. One part of the report deals with what people in the West and the Muslim world think about each other. On the specific question of how they view closer ties and interactions between the two worlds, it is Europeans who are most uneasy with this notion. Contrarily, it is the US, Israel and the Islamic countries polled whom believe that closer ties would more beneficial to both sides.

It seems, therefore, that the BBC and the Arab News are simply conforming to their culture-wide stereotypical beliefs as described by the report. It will be interesting to see more reaction in the coming days from the media to see if they carry on the trend, in many ways, vindicating and confirming the report’s conclusions.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7200514.stm

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=105951&d=22&m=1&y=2008