Ned Temko, who is based in London, writes The Christian Science Monitor’s Patterns column. It was launched in 2019 in the tradition of the Patterns of Diplomacy column of Joseph C. Harsch, whose insights in the decades following World War II made him one of American journalism’s most respected and influential commentators on world events.
After wire-service postings in Lisbon and Brussels, Ned began writing for the Monitor in Beirut as Middle East correspondent in the late 1970s.
In 1981, he became the newspaper’s Moscow correspondent. In 1984, he returned to the Middle East, based in Jerusalem, and in late 1985, he moved to Johannesburg as Southern Africa correspondent.
Two years after that, he relocated to London to become Middle East, Europe, and Africa bureau chief for Monitor television, which launched in 1988 and closed down in 1992.
Along the way, he witnessed and reported on the some of the last century’s most consequential events: the aftermath of the Portuguese revolution; the Egypt-Israel peace process; the U.S. embassy hostage crisis in Iran; the final years of the Soviet Union and the passing of Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow; and the final, violent stages of apartheid in South Africa.
He also covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, and returned to South Africa from London for the release of Nelson Mandela.
From 1990 until rejoining the Monitor as columnist, he worked as editor-in-chief of London’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper, and then as Chief Political Correspondent, covering British domestic politics, for London’s Observer weekly. He also ghost-wrote/co-authored several memoirs by leading political figures.
Ned has a degree in political science, magna cum laude, from Williams College. He speaks fluent French and Portuguese, as well as (now rusty) Russian, Japanese, Hebrew and Arabic, as well as (even rustier) Hindustani.