Hot off the Arab press

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

Volunteer and blind manFatah Central Committee member 521 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Volunteer and blind manFatah Central Committee member 521
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WILL ISRAEL PUSH THE PALESTINIANS TO BLOW UP NEGOTIATIONS? Ma’an Network, Bethlehem, August 28 Between the Palestinian statements about canceling a negotiations session that was scheduled Tuesday after the killing of three Palestinians near Ramallah on Tuesday, and the American denial of such news, journalists and media outlets were confused about the usage of terms “canceled,” “postponed” and “suspended.”
The most accurate term is still not clear. Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki said the Palestinian response to the Israeli assaults will be harsh, hinting that Palestinians will turn to the international community. Zaki added that the talks continued between the Palestinians and the US administration over a condemnation of the Israeli attacks on the Palestinians.
Political analysts say that Israel wants the Palestinians to destroy the peace talks to escape from the consequences of these talks. Observers told Ma’an that the international community pressured Israel into going to the negotiations’ table, and now Israel wants the Palestinians to terminate the talks so they can hold the Palestinians responsible for the failure of negotiations.
A part from the general astonishment that Israel chose an area close to Naameh tunnels area where the pro-Syrian Popular Front General Command is located, the latest Israeli strike on Naameh triggered more confusion. The Jewish state first accused what they called the global jihad and acquitted Hezbollah of firing rockets at Israel last week. Then, Israel said it holds the Lebanese government responsible for the rocket fire. In contrast, Hezbollah’s silence raises many embarrassing questions. Although the Israeli hit did not target any of the party’s positions, Hezbollah Secretary- General Hassan Nasrallah stressed two weeks ago that his party will confront any new Israeli violation.
The statement was seen as saying that neither Israel nor Hezbollah want any Israeli confrontation in the south of Lebanon. Observers do not expect any dramatic deterioration on the Lebanese-Israeli border.
“Where is the Palestinian role in Jerusalem?” writer Rasim Obeidat wondered. The occupation municipality is directly supervising the governmental education in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, 42,000 students study in 52 governmental schools, comprising 48 percent of all the city’s students. The municipality also oversees a large number of private schools because it funds these schools, which claim they are facing a financial crunch. The Palestinian side is absent from the education process in Jerusalem. The Education Ministry has a responsibility to confront the Israeli plans to occupy our students’ minds and awareness. New schools and education centers are open and teach the full Israeli curriculum and narrative, and the Palestinian official and popular sides are still absent from the education the students get in these schools. We repeat the same message every year, but it’s easy for everyone to say this is the occupation’s responsibility. The question is: What are we doing to prevent Israel from doing so? We should know that there will never be national sovereignty without sovereignty over education.
The Israeli Relations Committee of the Palestinian leadership invited dozens of MKs to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on September 3. Committee sources said that more than 50 Israeli parliamentarians have accepted the invitation.
The meeting will focus on the effect of ongoing settlement expansion on the chances of a political solution. The source added that MKs who accepted the invitation represent the majority of Israeli parties, including the religious parties, the Center, the Center- Right and the Left. Abbas had to specially form this committee a few months ago in order to communicate with the different circles in Israeli society, to promote the two-state solution and warn of the risk of the collapse of this solution on the strategic interests of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. The committee had a series of meetings with influential parties in Israeli society over the past few months, including a meeting where parliament members from the Likud, Shas and Yesh Atid attended. Many Palestinian officials, including Abbas, see that the last bastion for a two-state solution is Israeli society.
One could not assess the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf without a clear knowledge of the nature of how each Gulf Cooperation Council country historically dealt with the Brotherhood. The Qatari experience with the Brotherhood is unique; the Brotherhood made Qatar their home after they escaped from president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s campaign against them in Egypt. They also maintained a close relationship with the Qatari royal family, which may be one of the reasons that led to the merger of the Brotherhood into a movement within Qatari society.
The Brotherhood’s relationship with Qatar is historically privileged, as Qatar is the only state that defends the party through its Al Jazeera TV station. In Kuwait, the government had to absorb the Brotherhood into the system, because it is well aware of their influence on society. Frankly, most of the Gulf countries, with the exception of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have links with the Brotherhood. All the talks about cracking down on the Brotherhood are just media statements.