Hot off the Arab press

A short roundup of what citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

hilary and morsi 521 (photo credit: REUTERS)
hilary and morsi 521
(photo credit: REUTERS)
ISRAEL ESCAPES JUSTICE Al Hayat daily, London, February 10
What does a criminal do on his way to court? Run away if he can. That’s exactly what Israel did at the end of last month as it was being led to the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva for a review of its human rights record.
Since its establishment in 2006, half of the Human Rights Council’s decisions have been about Israel, and the Jewish state was accused of persecuting Palestinians in one of the sessions it did attend in 2008.
Amnesty International condemned Israel’s avoidance of the session, which might encourage other countries abusing rights to do the same. The only thing left is for Interpol to publish a photo of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying he’s wanted for murdering women and children and demolishing houses.
Under the rule of the Nazi Right, Israel is a disgrace and an enemy of the Jews of the world because its crimes are leading to renewed spreading of anti-Semitism around the world. Oddly, Jews in the United States and elsewhere around the world are liberals and moderate and are not connected to Israel’s crimes, but a large number of Jews still defend Israel, maybe out of fear of its fate or out of their ignorance of its crimes.
ISRAEL STEALS PALESTINIAN REVENUES Al Quds daily, Jerusalem, February 8
A report by the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN), a Palestinian group that examines principles of transparency and systems of accountability in various Palestinian sectors, shows that Israel failed to transfer money collected at the border crossings to the Palestinian Authority.
The report explained that Israel failed to turn over some NIS 160 million in the past four years, collected as fees at the crossings. The report concluded that the Palestinian-Israeli agreements state that the $26 tax fees paid by Palestinian travelers at the crossings should be divided equally between the two sides, despite the fact that Israel raised the fee to about $39.
The report pointed out that Israel also canceled the Palestinian presence at the crossings, although agreements allow for a “symbolic” presence of Palestinian policemen there.
MAKING SHORT WORK OF AN ISRAELI SOLDIER Al Arabiya website, Dubai, February 8
Social media websites had a field day with a photo of an extremely short Israeli soldier engaged in a military campaign on the West Bank, sparking hundreds of sarcastic jokes. The 1.5-meter-tall soldier was a hot topic for comments after his photo was published on the Palestinian news websites.
A Facebook page shared a photo of the soldier and added the comment: “Currently we have new available sizes of the Israeli occupation soldiers: a little bigger than the size of a car’s wheel. Easy to kidnap and consumes a small amount of food.”
A commentator nicknamed “Return to Palestine” objected to the sarcasm, however, noting that such cynicism is against Islam, and wrote: “We should not make fun of God’s creation. We are against their beliefs, not the way they look.” Another comment read: “Don’t underestimate short people, they are not weak.”
BE ASHAMED FOR BUYING ISRAELI GOODS Palestine News Network, Bethlehem, February 9
Dozens of Palestinian activists from the leftist People’s Party launched a “Be Ashamed” campaign calling upon people to boycott Israeli goods. Activists in Nablus chanted slogans against Israel’s killing and imprisoning Palestinians and what they called the Judaizing of Arab land, and held banners with slogans against buying Israeli products. They said that Palestinians provide Israel with $4 billion annually; money they said is used against the Palestinian people.
At the end of the demonstration the activists burned a large photo of Israeli businessman Rami Levy, who owns a chain of supermarkets in Israel and the West Bank, calling upon Palestinians not to go to these shops because they are located in communities on Palestinian land captured by Israel in the 1967 war. They noted that shopping in these areas only serves Israeli interests and contributes to extending the life of the “occupation.”
While Muslim Brotherhood websites and social media pages said that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s English is good enough, Facebook and Twitter were filled with comments and videos mocking his English remarks during his latest visit to Germany, where he met Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On Friday night, the popular Egyptian satirical show The Show mocked Morsi’s speech in Germany in which he mixed English with Arabic, triggering a wave of social media comments. The most noted sentence of the speech was Morsi’s remark that “Gas and alcohol don’t mix.”
Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated web pages explained that the remark is known English slang meaning that drunk drivers face jail time. Under that title was the line: “The foreigners understood and the Egyptians didn’t.” A pro-Morsi Facebook page said that foreigners admire those who speak English in their own dialects and don’t criticize them the way Egyptians did.