Hot off the Arab press

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

IDF on Gaza border, March 13, 2014. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
IDF on Gaza border, March 13, 2014.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Al-Hayat, London, March 19
“If the Palestinian president recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, I will withdraw my recognition of him,” said Arabic writer Jihad al-Khazen.
Cited in an article for The Washington Post, deputy chief of the opinion section Jackson Diehl refers back to an interview US President Barack Obama gave to the news site Bloomberg, where he said Israel would face a dark future if it rejects the draft peace treaty. Any negotiations with the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are doomed to fail, Khazen writes.
The Palestinians are negotiating with a fascist government, exercising apartheid and racism against them.
Palestinians can recognize Israel as a Jewish state if Netanyahu announces that Israel was built on the lands of Palestine, because Torah myths can’t be referenced as states’ borders.
Diehl says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas exceeded his term, but forgets to mention the Israeli aggressions against Palestinians and the continued occupation. No elections are possible as long as Israel separates the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, preventing people from moving freely between the two sides. I am one of the most liberal people, Khazen continues, and I can’t accept less than 22 percent of my historic land as a basis for the Palestinian state.
Al-Ayyam, Manama, March 19
Writer Kamal Altheeb cites a news piece from Yediot Aharonot about a new Jewish group calling to free Israel from the Arabs, Druse and Beduin. The same paper, says the writer, published an analysis about psychological health and racism, which showed that more than one-tenth of the Jewish population suffers from deep psychological problems. The emergence of racist movements only proves this.
This is not a new trend. During the heat of the second intifada, 40% of Jewish students said they hate Arabs, despise Palestinians and abhor seeing them. The other 60% don’t hate Palestinians, but only want to transfer them. Israel boasts that it is a democratic state, but does not grant its Arab citizens their full rights – let alone address the systematic killing and harassment they face.
This should be the response to those who want to normalize with Israel, as they are the ones who claim that there are good Israelis – who work against occupation and don’t hate Arabs. However, Arab hatred is not exclusive to settlers and extreme religious men, making coexistence and dialogue impossible.
Al-Sabeel, Amman, March 18
Following Israel’s killing of Jordanian judge Raed Zeiter at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank, Jordan is on the verge of an internal crisis. Sensing the street’s rage, the parliament has asked to expel the Israeli ambassador and ask Israel for an apology. Members of parliament have threatened a “no confidence” vote if the government doesn’t act.
However, the government is not interested in any escalation. Prominent decision-makers/officials said the government enjoys the backing of King Abdullah II; the Israeli ambassador will stay in Amman, and the ex-soldier who killed eight Israeli students in 1997 won’t be released from jail.
This Parliament-government dispute might face a street rage movement. Jordanians don’t think the killing of Zeiter, who was coming to the West Bank to sell his land and treat his sick son, was only a crime. They see it a provocation to Jordan, and ask the government for a strong response.
Filisteen Al-Youm, Gaza, March 15
Political analysts preclude the possibility of a confrontation between Gaza and Israel, and say Israel has no interest in developing the situation into comprehensive confrontation. Israel wants a limited response, just to prove it has deterrence power against the resistance in the Gaza Strip, but is not interested in any invasion or reoccupation of Gaza, like Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman says.
The attack itself wasn’t as strong as the remarks by the political leaders. The statements hinted that there was a massive Israeli aggression, but it’s apparent that Israel has internal factors preventing it from doing anything. The truth is that nothing is going to happen in the near future, because Israel knows the strong capabilities of the resistance in Gaza. Israel is weighed down by its failure to market the Iranian ship story among the international committee.
Al-Sabq, Riyadh, March 19
The elitist Jeddah Economic Forum opened its 14th session on Tuesday with an emphasis on unemployment problems in the Kingdom. Titled “Development through the youth,” the event hopes to find solutions to the unemployment issue. “This is very important, particularly in light of the formal statistics that show the region’s need for 15 million job opportunities in the next 10 years,” an organizer said.
The Labor Ministry’s data showed that unemployment in the Kingdom is qualitative – not quantitative. “There are 1 million unemployed citizens in Saudi Arabia, while there are 10 million expatriates working in the Kingdom. This qualitative unemployment is a result of the social and educational culture in Saudi Arabia,” businessman Mohammed al-Salami explained. “Many parents spoiled their children, didn’t teach them how to be responsible and raised them to believe they should only be managers. Our generation became successful after working hard in vocational careers to reach our current status.”