Arab man (Saudi) reading a newspaper 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Susan Baaghil )
The Arab world – which is divided on almost any element including Shi’ites and
Sunnis, radical and conservative Muslims, various states and tribes – appear to
unite in their pessimistic outlook of the planned, US-moderated peace talks
between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet some Arab newspapers, instead of
focusing on this issue, have focused their commentary on other conflicts in the
The civil war in Syria and the toppling of former Egyptian
president Mohamed Morsi drew much of the attention, but so did other local and
Regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Arab
world sees the US as an unfair intermediary and President Barack Obama largely
as a disappointment, since it was believed that he would rebalance US policy
towards the conflict. Even though many in Israel perceive Obama as favoring the
Palestinian position, the Arabs do not view Obama this way.
In a piece
last week by Hassan Haidar in the popular London based Arab daily Al-Hayat, he
argues that instead of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama should have been
awarded an Oscar for Best Actor.
“Indeed, he has been able to fool
everyone with his lofty language, which fades away merely by emerging from his
lips, leaving nothing but daydreams and promises… ” He goes on to note that the
Palestinians “thought that a president had finally come to the White House who
would pressure Israel and force it to recognize their state.
they have seen this theoretical state of theirs shrink further and further
during his term, such as to nearly turn into dots that can barely be
distinguished on the map of Greater Israel eaten away at by settlers every day,
while he worries about the security of the Hebrew State… ” In the Jordanian
daily Ad- Dustour, an article on Friday stated that Israel has no plans to
withdraw from occupied territories and the US will not force it to do so. The
only way forward is if Israel is prepared to withdraw back to its pre-1967
territory and if the US is willing to pressure it to do so, the article
Rami Khouri, writing in Saturday’s Lebanese Daily Star states that
the situation is the same as it was 46 years ago, Israel does not want to give
up the “conquered territories” and the Palestinians and the rest of the world
“insist that the territories must revert to their Palestinian owners through a
negotiated agreement” based on the pre-1967 borders.
He says that the
latest move by the EU to forbid dealings with institutions or organizations in
the occupied territories is “highly significant and praiseworthy” but that it is
too early to tell what will happen since “Israel and its attack dogs in Western
capitals” will strike back to thwart any pressure on Israel.