Hot off the Arab press

A short round-up of the latest Middle East news.

Arabic Newspaper Afghan (R300) (photo credit: reuters)
Arabic Newspaper Afghan (R300)
(photo credit: reuters)
WEST GLOSSES OVER ISRAELI RACISM Al Quds Al Arabi daily editorial, London, January 27 It is difficult to understand why Western and particularly European countries gloss over Israeli racism and discrimination, not only against Arabs but against Israeli Jews of African descent. Yesterday, a senior Israeli official admitted that Israeli authorities injected many Ethiopian women with Depo-Provera, a highly effective contraceptive method with side effects that could threaten the women’s lives. The ethnic and religious racism reached a climax when fans of an Israeli soccer team (Beitar Jerusalem) demanded the team not sign a Bosnian Muslim player, in order that the team remain “pure.” Discrimination exists among athletes, contradicting the spirit of sport that focuses on tolerance and the acceptance of others. Arabs are not surprised by the racism of the Israeli people, who have supposedly suffered more than any other people on earth. Racial discrimination is practiced against one and a half million Arabs living in Israel. They are treated in their own country, the land of which they are the rightful owners, as 10th-class citizens.
Democratic principles totally contradict with racism, whether against black Jews or Arabs. However, in this time of racial fascist control by the Right in Israel, we expect more of these racist practices in the coming years, as long as the hypocritical silence of the West continues.PALESTINIANS BETWEEN DECLARING THE DEATH OF THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION AND THE NONCONTIGUOUS CANTONS Al Hayat daily, London, January 28 The new aerial photos of the Palestinian lands acquired by Israel in 1967 show that the scattered Jewish cities in the West Bank left cantons of inhabited noncontiguous Palestinian territory that can’t be formed into a state. The Palestinian Authority controls 40% of the West Bank, while Israel controls the rest, including east Jerusalem. Successive Israeli governments have followed a building policy in the West Bank since 1967 in order to prevent the possibility of establishing a connected Palestinian state. In the last four years, the Netanyahu government accelerated “settlement” building in an unprecedented way, raising assumptions that a new Netanyahu government will only continue doing so. A settlement expert said that the Netanyahu government built 14,000 new Jewish housing units in the West Bank in 2012 and brought in 120,000 new “settlers” in the past four years. Palestinians are waiting for the new Israeli government to revive the peace process or declare it dead. A Palestinian negotiator said if the situation persists, the apartheid state will take the place of the two-state solution.
ISRAEL THREATENS TO BOMB “FRAGILE” SYRIA AL Sharq Al Awsat daily, London, January 28 A number of Israeli officials publicized what they called “the upcoming Syrian danger” and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu equated the Syrian and Iranian threats. Amid Israeli remarks that Israel will bomb Syria if the chemical weapons escaped the hands of the Syrian regime, it’s important to note that Netanyahu called his high security officials to an urgent meeting about Syria on Wednesday, which is the day after the election, meaning that the timing expresses the danger of the situation. In his speech on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu said that the most important thing is not to repeat what happened – a matter that is connected to the will of the Jewish state to defend itself. Israel is expected to bomb Syria.THE GAZA WAR CURSES ISRAEL Al Isteklal bi-weekly newspaper, Gaza, January 25 The Israeli defeat in the Gaza war in 2012, which made the Israelis sign a truce deal with the Palestinians, is still haunting Israeli army leaders. Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to leave political life and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman resigned, while the commander of the IDF Southern Command, Tal Russo, surprisingly resigned from the army after 35 years in service. Russo is the third general to resign from the army recently, and he wants to avoid being prosecuted by international courts for war crimes for his roles in the 2008 and 2012 wars with Gaza. The resignation reveals that Israeli leaders are planning a military operation against Gaza to enhance the image of the Israeli army in the future. A Palestinian political analyst told the paper that the Gaza war will continue to haunt a number of Israeli leaders who failed to reach the targets announced in Operation Pillar of Defense.FIRST SUBWAY FASHION SHOW IN DUBAI El Emirat El Youm daily, Dubai, January 25 The latest fashion trends were displayed in Dubai’s subway trains, where models came all the way from Dubai Mall to the Jabl Ali station in a remarkable opening of Fashion Week, which is part of the Dubai Shopping Festival. The festival was a pioneer in presenting unusual ideas, and this show was the first of its kind in the Middle East. The show presented daily clothing for women and men, and musicians played live music on the violin and guitar. The show lasted half an hour, with models walking down the aisles of the trains as photographers stood by, recording the event.