Hot off the Arab press

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

al aqsa mosque 370 (photo credit: marc israel sellem)
al aqsa mosque 370
(photo credit: marc israel sellem)
The Israeli Intervention Al Hayat Al Jadeeda, Ramallah, May 7
After the Syrian civil war ends and American and Israeli interests are guaranteed, Syrian blood will be on the hands of the Arabs, foreigners, Jews, Turks, Persians, hypocrites, the Israeli rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Egyptian Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi.
This multinational participation in killing the Syrians paves the way for destroying Syria to divide it up. The current plan is to remove the state system from many Arab countries so that the tribes will fight each other. The change in Syria was planned to be slow so it can reoccur in other countries, because the only two things the US cares about are Israel’s security and securing oil supplies, and not even about the Arab countries which have the oil.
There is no safe Arab country because the intention is to kill the Arab nationalist concept. The Israeli intervention wasn’t strange, and signals that the Syrian regime is beginning to collapse. Israel wanted to demolish Syria’s stocks of unconventional weapons so others won’t get them. No matter what happens, Israel wins whether the regime stays or goes, so any change in the Arab world doesn’t benefit the Arab people or scare their enemies.
Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state Al Quds Al Arabi, London, May 6
Although the Arab countries are on the verge of a devastating war, Israel still has an appetite for more concessions from the Arabs, even before negotiations begin.
Instead of an Israeli compromise to attract the Arabs to return to negotiations after it filled the Palestinian lands with settlers and settlements, the Arab Peace Initiative delegation offered to accept the concept of land swaps.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu didn’t welcome the Arab compromises, however, despite their importance, and asked for the Arabs to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Unfortunately, US Secretary of State John Kerry pressured the Arab delegation to accept the Israeli request, so as not to give Netanyahu any excuses to resume talks.
We had hoped that the Arab delegation would avoid giving in to Israeli demands at this critical time because recognizing Israel as a Jewish state means delegitimizing 1.5 million individuals living in Israel and canceling the right of return of more than six million Palestinians.
This Israeli racism should be resisted, and the Arab Peace Initiative delegation should stop giving up rights because it is not qualified to do so. The delegation’s only task is to revive a dead peace process and an initiative that Israel rejected 11 years ago.
Israel’s continuous attack on religious freedoms Al Quds, Jerusalem, May 7
Israel and its supporters claim that it is the only democracy in the Middle East. A simple element in a democracy, however, includes respecting religious freedom and providing security to those who want to perform their religious rituals. Israel does that, but only for Jews, not Christians nor Muslims.
Recently the denial of religious freedom has increased. Each Friday Israel prevents people of certain ages from entering the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. Last week during the Eastern Orthodox Christians’ celebration of Easter, Israel set up checkpoints and used excessive violence against some of the worshipers, throwing some of them to the ground.
The Israeli police attacked a Christian priest and closed off all access to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for “security” reasons. A number of people clashed with Israeli police as they wanted to perform their religious rituals. Why is there no public condemnation of these actions? Why don’t European representatives who witnessed the suffering issue any statements about it? These acts will only increase tension and extremism and will close the window for any peace or dialogue.
Jerusalem: The Church’s consciousness and the believers’ passion Al Ahram, Cairo, May 7
The public boycott of Israel remained one of the few means of pressure in the face of Israeli injustices, if not the only card left. And it is only normal that people worry when individuals or certain powers break that moral ban they imposed on themselves.
The public’s rejection of normalization stands like a strong wall, denying Israeli dreams and desire to integrate in the region and make people forget the Palestinian cause. It was worrisome to watch footage of the group visits of hundreds of Copts to Israel last month to visit the holy sites during the Easter celebrations.
Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria announced the church’s refusal to support such visits and reiterated the importance of banning Copts’ travel to Jerusalem as long as it is under occupation, which was the position of the late pope Shenouda. His position was nationalistic and historic and rose above the normal human longing to visit these holy sites.
Palestinians support a singer in an Arab contest Al Sharq Al Awsat, London, May 6 A two-day trip and hours of waiting at the border crossing to enter Egypt weren’t the only obstacles to Mohammed Assaf’s reaching stardom. His late arrival to the auditions in Cairo was about to prevent him from participating in the popular singing contest Arab Idol.
Once there, he found out that each contestant had signed up and had been given a number. Assaf, 22, had become famous among Palestinians who have danced to his song “Ali al Kufeyyeh” (Raise your Keffiyeh) for the past few years. Just when he was about to lose hope of getting into the contest, a Palestinian student at the auditions recognized Assaf and donated his number to him.
Assaf has become a source of pride to Palestinians who watch him each Friday night on television and listen to the judges complimenting his voice. In the semifinal episode Assaf sang a song for Palestine as he wore his keffiyeh. Media outlets in Gaza and the West Bank reported the high support for Assaf as many people called in to the show to vote for him. Palestinian TV promos urged people to vote for Assaf.