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The Middle East List for 2009

It seems to have almost become a tradition for newspapers, journals and the media generally to run lists at the end of a calendar year of this or that.

FP [Foreign Policy] is no exception. It has published its Middle East List for 2009. "Interesting" people have made it - but most not surprisingly. They have certainly been instrumental in framing the "news" in the region.

Read the full article, here, but some examples:

"Fan Favorite: Neda Soltan and the Iranian Green Revolutionaries. They may not have won (at least not yet), but the courageous protests which swept Tehran after the fraudulent "victory" of Mahmoud Ahmedenejad captured the world's attention. Neda Soltan became the international symbol of the protests, a focal point for the brave and resourceful -- and seemingly largely uncoordinated -- efforts of thousands upon thousands of ordinary Iranians. It's too early to know whether they will become the Chicago Cubs of the Middle East (lovable losers who bring deep pain every year to their fans after raising their hopes) or the Boston Red Sox (who threw off a similar curse to finally win). But the game will never be the same."

And:

"Defensive Player of the Year: Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister's ability to stand up to the United States on the issue of settlements threw American Middle East policy into the trash bin, harmed Obama's credibility across the Middle East and throughout the world, and may have squandered Israel's last chance to achieve a lasting peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world. But he successfully defended his positions, won considerable support from the Israeli public, and for whatever reason paid little to no costs of any kind with the United States."

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