Hot off the Arab press 347413

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

Land Day protests in Sakhnin 370 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Land Day protests in Sakhnin 370
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Al Hayat, London, March 31
Palestinians in 1948 lands (Israel) succeeded in establishing a national day with blood and martyrs: Land Day. The occupation’s massacres and catastrophes used to control the Palestinians’ fate and write its history, says writer Elias Khoury. But after the 1965 revolution the Palestinians took part in making their own history and changing their situation. However, the Palestinian Authority’s failure to provide an alternative to the futile negotiations in the post-Oslo period has changed the image of the Palestinian revolutionaries.
Land Day was a result of a popular initiative inside the green line to defend and save what is left of their lands after an Israeli decision to confiscate 21,000 dunams (over 5,000 acres). Land Day reminds us that the issue, 65 years later, remains the same: a Zionist program to Judaize Palestinian lands and finish the Palestinian people politically. All the Israeli talks are a waste of time. We learned that the battle is on the ground and not in any other field. The current Palestinian battle in the Negev area (Beduin areas) implies that Palestinians are yet to face their worst nightmares.
Al Asharq Al Awsat , Riyadh, March 30
Language is more than terminology, says Tunisian writer Amal Moussa. It is a complete system of thinking and a complex network of meanings and symbols. Thus, anyone’s educational level, ideology and world view can be exposed by careful examination of their language.
In light of this approach, how should we read the recent statement by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh? “We are a people who love death for the sake of Allah as much as our enemies love life.” What is the cultural authority that deals with death from the perspective of love? Death is the greatest dilemma in life, and the Koran itself describes it as a calamity. How can death be described as the subject of love? Haniyeh’s statement implies a shocking paradox involving two contradictory meanings – we are facing a dogmatic discourse whose violent ideological background has only helped incite conflict with Israel and enable Tel Aviv to promote damning evidence against the Arab and Islamic culture before the international community.
I believe that the Palestinian people, like any other people in the world, love life. Otherwise, what is the point of struggle and negotiations, or just trying to survive?
Al Arab Al Youm, London, March 28
The White House’s “deep disappointment” at Saudi Arabia’s refusal to issue an entry visa to a Jewish Israeli journalist planning on covering US President Barack Obama’s visit to the kingdom is hypocritical. Since Saudi Arabia has no diplomatic ties with Israel, it’s very logical that it denies an Israeli journalist a visa. However, the US ignores that and the White House insists that it champions freedom of the press and considers the exclusion of (The Jerusalem Post reporter Michael) Wilner as a breach of international norms in this area.
In 2011, when Obama was in the White House, America’s press freedom rating dropped as arrests of journalists soared. Israel, an ally of the US, has the second worst record in the world when it comes to arresting journalists per population. Eritrea is the only country that jails more reporters per capita than Israel.
[Editor’s note: The US based press freedom watchdog, Committee to Protect Journalists, listed data that in 2013 Israel arrested three journalists, Eritrea 22. China and Iran arrested 32 and 35, respectively, and Turkey was the worst offender with 40 arrests. This data does not rank offenders by number of arrests relative to population size.] Where is the US when Israel refuses to grant entry visas to foreign reporters? This is now called a “sovereign right.” The US stays silent as Israel detains American citizens at airports and borders because they are of Arab origin.
Akhbar Al Khaleej , Abu Dhabi, March 31
Just as the recent Arab summit in Kuwait was thought to be in deep conflict amid the inter-Arab tensions and conflicts, the Palestinian cause changed all of that. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech proved the Arabs are united. The 22-member Arab delegation needs to focus their energies to scold Israel for its constant demands and for hindering the peace process.
The delegation, including 13 heads of state, expressed their absolute rejection of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and sent the Palestinians support. Abbas is in need of such support; he is clearly angered with the constant foot-dragging and changing demands made by Israeli policy-makers. The refugee issue, for example, is one of the Palestinians’ old wounds that need to be healed. However, Israel insists that its Jewish identity should be recognized by the Palestinian politicians. That may indeed be the real reason for Israeli foot-dragging and why it now seems certain that next month’s peace process deadline will be missed.
Al Akhbar , Beruit, March 29
Arabic calligraphy is making a strong statement in the global fashion world. This season was inspired by this new trend, especially as the competition in the design industry is getting fierce. Designers are borrowing from the past with an eye to the future to create new designs.
The inclusion of Arabic calligraphy has helped Arab designers become more recognized on an international level. Their designs were seen as different and creative as some designers are merging contemporary flair with traditional Arabic lettering in their clothing and jewelry.
“I felt that our culture is so rich and not so exploited in the fashion sense yet,” said Sarah Beydioun, designer of Sarah’s bags. “The classic calligraphy bag that was created in 2002 stood the test of time and proved to be a piece that defied the seasons and trends because it reflected our culture and heritage,” she added in reference to the defining showpiece of her 2002 collection.
Fusing calligraphy with fashion is an ongoing trend that is going global, even if some don’t understand what the words say.