Post-election, Arab media critical and pessimistic

Arab media predicts no progress in peace talks with Israel dominated by Right, pessimistic about Palestinian reconciliation.

January 25, 2013 02:27
3 minute read.
Al-Quds al-Arabi chief editor ABDEL BARI ATWAN

Al-Quds al-Arabi chief editor ABDEL BARI ATWAN 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The Arab media maintain harsh criticism of Israel despite their satisfaction with the drop in popularity of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s party, Likud Beytenu. They predict no progress in peace talks with an Israel dominated by the Right, and are pessimistic regarding Palestinian reconciliation.

“The roots of Netanyahu’s current troubles can be found in his extreme arrogance, overconfidence, ‘me against the world’ approach, warmongering against Iran and neo-colonial racist policies,” wrote Abdel Bari Atwan, the chief editor of the London-based Arab daily Al-Quds al-Arabi in an editorial on Thursday.

He went on to say that these results mean the likely end of Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, as PA President Mahmoud Abbas will move away “from Hamas, waiting to know the real intention of the United States and Europe regarding the peace process, which he still fails to recognize has decayed long ago.”

A day earlier the same paper ran another editorial saying that Israel’s voters were not swayed by support of the peace process, “but by insisting on accelerating settlement activities, confiscating Palestinian land, storming the Aksa Mosque and the Buraq Wall [the Wailing Wall] to provoke and terrorize the Palestinians, and by insisting on controlling occupied Jerusalem and refusing to make any concessions.

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“These elections and their results, as well as the climate of incitement against the Arabs that accompanied them, will be a major turning point in the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict. They will kill off the two-state solution and the peace process that will lead to it, and annex the West Bank or major parts of it in the best of cases.”

On Thursday, Ahmad Jamil Azem in the Jordanian Al- Ghad, argued that the new government will lead to an unstable coalition that will not last long.

The Daily Star of Lebanon writes, “The new Israeli government that eventually emerges will have little to offer the Palestinians, who shouldn’t be discouraged, but rather motivated to break with their decades-long legacy of turning in a disappointing performance when it comes to confronting the Jewish state.”

Mohamad Bdeir wrote an article in the Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar titled, “Apartheid Democracy: Israel Elects Itself,” on Tuesday. It says that peace talks were not mentioned during the campaign which is a sign of “the growing clout of the Israeli right-wing.”

It argues that only Meretz categorizes itself as left-wing and the rise of Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi religious nationalist party demonstrates “an extremely important social transformation in Israel.”

Bdeir adds that the next Israeli government will likely confront a “new intifada.”

The Teheran daily, Javan states that Netanyahu’s decline seems to be due to the victory of Hamas in its last war with Israel.

The Iranian Hemayat says that “Netanyahu’s re-election shows that Zionist policies have not changed and they still pursue extremism. In other words, it means continuation of occupation. Negotiations are meaningless for Zionist extremism.”

On Wednesday, Muhannad Abdel Hamid wrote in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam that Israel is a “rogue state that appears to be beyond international law,” and the elections only demonstrate “the country’s drift to the right.”

An article by Barcin Yinanc in the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News writes that Israel is “sliding more toward the far right” and that the shift may be permanent, because of the higher birthrate of Orthodox Jews.

She goes on to say that Turkey will oppose a strike on Iran even though they have strained relations with the country.

And an article in The National of UAE states that Israeli politicians sell their people “the lie that a political solution is not possible, much less necessary.”

“Now, Israeli governments are all about managing the status quo, pretending the occupation can carry on indefinitely.”

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