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Israel and Italy

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 29 August 2011

Alan Johnston introduces personal insights and analysis from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition, Jeremy Bowen reflects on how Israel's politics could be reshaped by the Arab Spring, while Emma Thomas journeys through the Istrian peninsula, still echoing with uneasy memories of the Cold War period.

Change all over the map

Over recent decades in the Middle East, there have very often been tensions, but very little that was really fundamental ever seemed to change. For decades, dictators slept easily in their palaces. But not any more, in this year of revolutions, the entire region's been transformed. The balance of power between, and within, many states has completely shifted.

It might seem that the main focus has moved away from Israel and the Palestinian territories. But Jeremy Bowen says that that might be about to change too.

Long shadow of the Iron Curtain

This summer Berliners have been marking the start of the building of the Berlin Wall - that symbolic cementing of the Cold War division of Europe. Now all that's long gone. Communism's collapse brought down the Iron Curtain which once divided East from West, and Europeans live in a very different - far more united - continent.

But the old days are still within living memory, and etched into the landscape itself. Emma Thomas has been spending time in an Italian city where memories of that era haven't completely faded.

  • Arab Spring spells uncertainty for Israel

    Arab Spring spells uncertainty for Israel

    Jeremy Bowen says Israel - traditionally uncomfortable with change in the Middle East - could be about to face some challenges closer to home

    Read more on the BBC News website


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