Hot off the Arab press 339131

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East

Arab League headquarters in Cairo 521 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Arab League headquarters in Cairo 521
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The Arab press this week is awash with news that Israel and US relations are at an all-time low, taking as an example comments made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon blasting US Secretary of State John Kerry for his role in the negotiations – for which he later apologized – and using it to strengthen arguments that Israel is an aggressive force.

Other allegations include that Israel’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is part of a plan to “replace Israel’s Arabs... with another batch of Jews from around the world.” Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, five women began work as forensic doctors, particularly in the field of crimes against women. While the reason for their addition to the team is to remove the burden for men who “find it difficult to deal with female corpses,” it is nonetheless a positive step for women’s rights in the notoriously gender-segregated country. – L.K.
The outcome of negotiations

Al Ayyam, Ramallah, January 20 2014

The Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are entering a dark alley, says writer Sameeh Shabib. The Israeli policies on the ground make any progress impossible. The question remains: Will international determination prevent a deadlock? There’s a political crisis in Israel coupled with fear that the serious American role will transform into real pressure against Israel, especially when it comes to settlement construction and land confiscation. It’s clear now that Israeli aggression has been exposed to the world, in a way that is not acceptable by the Americans or the Europeans.

The Israeli positions are far from the American and European ones which might help Palestinians work out a position paper with them in regards to the conflict. Palestinians won’t be blamed now if they used their natural and legal right to head to the United Nations. The Israeli policy relies on military power, rejecting the Palestinians’ rights. Despite what happens, the peace talks’ political outcome is in favor of the Palestinians.
The Jewish State, why?

Dar Al-Khaleej, Al Sharqa, January 21 2014

Why does Israel need the Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish state as a condition for reaching a settlement when the Palestinian Authority has already acknowledged Israel in the Oslo Accords? Recognizing Israel is not enough for the Israelis because they need proof that the Palestinian lands have become the sole right of the Jews only, as a racist-based entity. Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state means that all Palestinian people’s historic rights will be diminished – let alone the rights of Palestinians who currently live in Israel.

This recognition will allow Israel to expel all Palestinians from their lands in Israel. Israel wants to get rid of the demographic burden the Palestinians in Israel cause and gives it an excuse to replace Israel’s Arabs, the landowners, with another batch of Jews from around the world. This recognition means abandoning the Palestinian right of return that the UN guaranteed in resolution 194. Then, Jerusalem will be the Jewish people’s eternal capital leaving the Palestinians to live as refugees.
Israeli personal insults to the US Gulf Media, Dubai, January 20 2014 This week the relationship between the US and Israel is not in its best shape, says writer Salim Nazzal.
The US took offense at the words of the Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, in regards to Senator [sic] Kerry’s peace proposals. Ya’alon was quoted describing Kerry’s diplomatic efforts as “misplaced obsession and Messianic fervor!” However, Ya’alon has forgotten the simple historical fact that without the US’s support for Israel, it could not have managed to challenge international law for 65 years. Ya’alon is attacking a country that went to war on behalf of Israel, paid millions of dollars and used two thirds of its vetoes at the UN for Israel’s sake. It seems that the Zionist state’s demands from the US have gone beyond limitations. In the meantime, Kerry hopes that he will, by April, achieve progress on the main issues such as borders, Jerusalem, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees. It’s very unlikely that he will able to do so. The problem remains Israel’s inability to live with other nations in peace. However, they can’t expect to break all international rules and remain backed by the US forever.
A post-colonial one state

Al Safeer, Beirut, January 16 2014

Among Palestinian intellectuals, the motive behind discussing a bi-national state (one state that includes Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip), is that an independent Palestinian state as the PLO planned in 1974 is impossible, says writer Muhannad Abed Al Hamid. The bi-national state or the one state idea is not a viable political solution nowadays. The call is more an invitation to frame the Palestinian-Israeli cause in the language of citizen and human rights. i.e. the language of this generation. It’s a tempting and a risky idea at the same time. Palestinians’ choice of the one state solution, whether a democratic one or a bi-national one, means a clear legalization of the Jews’ rights as a nation in Palestine. Such recognition means that the Israelis can choose to split and create a state for the Jews at any time. The bi-national state idea, in its current shape, is not carried out by two independent nations, but it’s a call for Israel to stop considering the two state solution, and to annex all of the land and people to Israel. This means an establishment of an apartheid state similar to South Africa. Then, the Palestinian struggle will transform into a struggle for equal rights.

Saudi women work in forensics

Al Sabq, Riyadh, January 21 2014

Five Saudi women started working as forensic doctors in Jeddah, to assist in solving crimes, particularly those involving female victims of sexual assault. Dr. Manar Al Harthi is the first woman doctor to have a Saudi and Jordanian fellowship in forensics in the western area of the Kingdom.

She said many potential husbands asked her to change her field of work but she refused, “I am comfortable and there is a need for female forensic doctors to deal with sensitive cases involving women,” she said. Her colleague Dr. Aamnah Al-Fadl said she worked for 12 years in laboratories but had never been inside a forensics laboratory until now. However, when she moved to the laboratory, she noticed many women were reluctant to work with her and didn’t adapt well with the idea. Doctors told Al Sabaq they are comfortable in their jobs but find it difficult to deal with female corpses who have undergone rape and molestation.