Late October and early November saw a number of well-publicised visits by Israeli ministers to Gulf states, including a surprising trip by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman, where he was hosted in Muscat by Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
That trip was followed by Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev’s attendance at a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-hosted international judo tournament, where she found time in her itinerary to become the first Israeli minister to visit the world’s third largest mosque, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Read more
Even as the British marines were released without charge from Iranian custody to return home to Britain, the media couldn’t help but enjoy one last spasm of outrage over the “hostage crisis”. “Humiliation” sang the newspaper chorus, while the Daily Express helpfully explained the reason for the marines sporting open-necked shirts: in Iran, apparently, ties “are seen as symbols of Western decadence”.
While pundits and politicians have differed in their interpretation of how the incident has affected Britain’s reputation, there has been a remarkable amount of unity in the response of the British government, press and public opinion to the marines’ arrest, a framework characterised by typical imperial arrogance. Read more