Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

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

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Regional Voices: Egypt, Syria, Israel, and Palestine

by Robert M. Danin
April 15, 2013

Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral (El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).


“Enough already of formations, committees and groups and whatever else…We want action not words and, let me say this, there are many names and committees but there is no action on the ground.” -Coptic pope Tawadros II’s reaction to Egypt president Mohammed Morsi’s handling of the attack against

“What was taken by force can only be restored by force.” –Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, to the Palestinian National Security Conference

“There are no objective sources of information on either side, neither with the regime nor the rebels…We need to get out of this Facebook phase, where all we do is whine and complain about the regime.” –Absi Smesem, 46, a veteran reporter and editor of Sham, a new weekly Syrian newspaper

“We are the ones that suffer…Whatever I do on the local level, whatever the minister of tourism does, it has a ceiling. We will never get back what was without political stability or security.” –Ezzat Saad, the governor of Luxor on the plummeting rates of tourism in Egypt

“We need them to return and rebuild their towns…We will start with the youth and young men and activists who are needed to run the towns, and then later the kids and families will return.” –Mohammed Qadah, a Dara’a representative of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces

“This just shows to all those who thought the people on the ship were peace and human rights activists that they were hard-core Islamists supportive of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” –an unnamed Israeli official on the news that a survivor of the Mavi Marmara plans to donate his compensation money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad

“On the one hand it complicates the situation for Kerry, on the other hand it says something about the need to intensify American efforts… If things will be left to local and internal dynamics, things might get out of hand.” –Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Birzeit University on violent West Bank clashes following the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody

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