Hot off the Arab press 311080

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

Palestinian marathon (photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian marathon
(photo credit: Reuters)
THE NEXT GULF WAR Asharq Al-Awsat, London, April 19
In Tel Aviv, Israeli officials are calculating the expense of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, in case they must act on their own. They say the US pledged $200 million to build the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
Putting aside the cost of such an attack, the IDF’s chief of general staff said that Israel is capable of attacking Iran alone. His remarks were meant for the Iranians as well as the Americans after the failure of the latest US-Iran negotiations. Israel is threatening the Iranians and warning the Americans that negotiations have gone on too long. Israel fears that Iran will use the negotiation period to develop a nuclear weapon which will render Israel’s nuclear deterrence capability obsolete. The question is: Should we be alarmed by the Israeli-Iranian conflict? Of course, because any attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities will lead Iran to respond by attacking US facilities in the Gulf states. Then the Israelilaunched war will go further than foreseen by the Jewish state’s Defense Ministry. A nuclear Iran should also alarm us mainly because Iran will not hesitate to use its force again the Gulf states or even to blackmail them.“PALESTINE INTERNATIONAL MARATHON” IN THE ISRAELI PRESS Ma’an News Agency, Bethlehem, April 22
It seems that the Israeli newspapers and news agencies only look at Palestine, or as they like to call it, “Judea and Samaria” or “the territories” from the angle of demonstrations, incitement and killing. Almost all Hebrew media publish news about stone throwers, or a settler’s injury and on the most prominent pages. However, Israeli papers ignore news that shows the civic, human and cultural character of the Palestinian community. On Sunday, Palestinians held their first marathon with the participation of hundreds of international runners.
Although the landmark event was covered widely in the local Arabic and international press, the Israeli press ignored it. Strangely, the right-wing Ma’ariv paper published a photo and a few lines about the event. Ma’ariv avoided using the term Palestine and changed the name of the event to the “Bethlehem Marathon.” The moderate Haaretz newspaper and the rightwing Yediot Aharonot didn’t mention the marathon at all.
Egyptian security agents warned the defense authorities against postponing the investigation of Israeli claims that Egyptians were involved in the rocket attack on Eilat last week. The experts said that Israel will try to lobby the international public against Egypt and say it harbors terror cells.
They pointed out that the Hamas terrorist groups in Gaza illegally entered Sinai and carried out the attack to avenge Egypt’s demolition of the tunnels linking Gaza to Egypt. The experts believe these groups want to see an escalation of tension between Egypt and Israel by entangling Sinai in the attack. A former Egyptian intelligence official urged Israel to use its cameras to locate the launch point of the rockets instead of blaming Egypt.
An Egyptian former deputy interior minister said that Hamas threatens Egypt more than Israel because Hamas constantly keeps trying to destroy relations between the two countries.
SECURITY COORDINATION Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Ramallah, April 22
Whether the security coordination with Israel is based on a sovereign decision that takes into account internal considerations or the result of pressure on the Palestinian Authority, it remains unpleasant and necessitates caution. This is the position of the vast majority of Palestinians. The PA publicizes its security coordination with Israel based on the agreements signed by both parties. Revolutionary movements that came to power after the Arab Spring practice this same arrangement and are proud of the stability it brings despite all the criticism it raises. Egypt, Libya and Tunisia coordinate with Israel. The new Tunisia is committed to it and prevents the entry of Arab activists into its territory in order not to anger its ally, Israel. Coordinating with Jerusalem might be an internal Arab affair, but the shame is on those “coup” leaders who lied on the platforms of Gaza mosques. Hamas coordinates with Israel and is committed to protecting the security of Israel and its borders while simultaneously criticizing the PA for doing so.
An Arab Emirates TV show featuring Arab poets canceled the participation of Israeli Arab poet Marwan Makhoul because he has an Israeli passport.
Makhoul wrote a lengthy report on his Facebook page criticizing what he called the Arab world’s dilemma in dealing with the Arab minority in Israel. As one of the most prominent Arab poets, Makhoul’s article echoed among Palestinians who shared it on their Facebook pages. Makhoul was told that he was chosen from thousands of participants to come to the United Arab Emirates, only to be surprised last week to find that the show had started without him. He was later told that the show’s producers could not acquire a visa for him. “They want me to forget that I am a part of the Arab nation. They forgot that I was once one of them,” he wrote, noting that the minister of culture offered to grant him a Palestinian passport, which he rejected. “The Arabs should deal with my special case,” he said, adding, “Arabs should understand that we are Palestinians, and that Israel was the one that occupied our lands, not us.”