Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Voices From the Region: Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, UAE

by Robert M. Danin
January 14, 2013

Syrian rebels talk as they carry their weapons before heading to the front line in Aleppo on January 9, 2013 (Karam/Courtesy Reuters).


“It’s a very big victory for the Islamic groups…They are the strongest in Syria now because the Western countries won’t help.” – The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights using the pseudonym Rami Abdulrahman, speaking about the rebel capture of a key military air base last week

“I was once asked: If I came to power, would I let Christian women remain unveiled? And I said: If they want to get raped on the streets, then they can.” – Hesham al-Ashry, an Egyptian preacher in an interview with Al-Nahar TV last week

“My reading is that they’re waiting till the election, till they get everything. And when they’re done taking over all the seats of power, then they can focus on us.” – Nahed Adly, a Coptic Egyptian on the Islamists’ rise to power

“I see a confluence of several factors that altogether can contribute towards a strong push to solve this 65-year-long conflict.” – Jordanian king Abdullah yesterday speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

“So we rejected that and said it’s better they die in Syria than give up their right of return.” – Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas in response to Israel’s reported agreement to allow Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria to return to the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for signing a statement giving up their right of return to Israel

“Whoever wants me as a strong prime minister cannot have a strong prime minister while weakening me…I think there is only one way to guarantee that the right continues to govern Israel, and that is to vote for me.” – Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“They both want to export the revolution…What the Muslim Brothers are aiming for at the moment is to shred and denigrate the reputation of the Gulf rulers.” – Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan on the similar threats from the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran

“Our purpose is to prevent revenge killings…The best way to do that is to arrest the responsible persons, put them in prison and have them answer to the law.” – Ali al-Azir, one of about three hundred attorneys in the Free Syrian Lawyers Committee working to collect war crimes testimonies

“It sounded more like gloating than making promises.” – Alia, a loyalist resident of southern Damascus on Syrian president Bashar’s recent speech


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