Hot off the Arab press 350308

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

A PALESTINIAN with dwarfism throws a shot put during a local competition last week in Gaza City that had around 100 participants and was organized by the Athletics Union for the Disabled in Gaza.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
A PALESTINIAN with dwarfism throws a shot put during a local competition last week in Gaza City that had around 100 participants and was organized by the Athletics Union for the Disabled in Gaza.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
There is no problem with normalization Al-Watan, Kuwait, April 20 I’ve met so many Israelis over the course of my life, says Kuwaiti writer Ali Hassan Karam. In 1991, I met the head of the political section at The Jerusalem Post paper. These random meetings taught me that Israelis are just like us.
They love to travel to our countries and want to have peace with us. Sixty-six years after the establishment of the Israeli state, isn’t it about time to normalize with them? Wars with them were followed by peace treaties, the drawing of borders, the exchange of ambassadors and economic relations. Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have normalized with Israel. If so, why are we the only ones who have to remain loyal to a case the Arabs betrayed? In the end, normalization is a necessity, especially as the idea of two states in which a Palestinian state will live next to Israel has proven to be a dream.
The only possible solution is peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews in one land. As Kuwaitis, we know that Israel has been our ally in our war against Iraq because former president of Iraq Saddam Hussein was our mutual enemy. Honestly, we don’t have any political, cultural or economic disputes with Israel, and normalization could open the door for prosperity and mutual benefits.
The boycott movement and the enmity of Israel Maan News Network, Bethlehem, April 22 Writer Haydar Eid criticized a Palestinian official who said that activists for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement were not civic-minded.
“We want friends for the Palestinian people and not enemies for Israel,” the official said, responding to the activists’ attempt to prevent a show by an Indian dance group because the group had presented a show in Tel Aviv before its show in Ramallah.
The BDS charter, approved by most Palestinian NGO institutions, considers comparing oppressors to oppressed a total breach of ethics. Important leaders across the globe took this position, seen as “uncivilized” by the Palestinian official, in the past decades.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both called for boycotting teams that entertained the white oppressors in South Africa and then try to whitewash their acts by entertaining the oppressed black people.
It’s a shame that BDS activists were condemned, arrested by the PA and released on bail awaiting trial. It means that this peaceful form of BDS activity against the occupation has become a crime. Since the launching of the BDS movement in 2005, no BDS activists in the world, even in Israel, have been arrested. At a time when the activists look for international support, here comes the PA to shun the activists.
Does Israel fear a diplomatic intifada against it? Al Jazeera, Doha, April 21 The Palestinian Authority is signaling, more than any time before, its will to launch a diplomatic intifada against Israel. International observers believe the Palestinian remarks are very serious this time, unless the Israeli government changes its positions in regard to negotiations, settlement construction and releasing prisoners.
While the PA’s threat to dismantle itself and become an entity under occupation might give Israel various and multiple responsibilities, Israel doesn’t seem to be interested in changing its positions. The Yediot Aharonot newspaper described the move as dramatic but said that it wasn’t the first time Palestinian officials have mentioned this threat.
Such a move would mean Israel has to handle security and law enforcement in the West Bank, as well as potential lawsuits against Jewish settlements in international courts. The only reason leading the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to change its views is that the occupation’s cost has become very high. While some Israelis fear this move, some support it. A Knesset member from the Jewish Home Party (Bayit Yehudi) says Israel will keep the West Bank secured in a less costly way.
Palestinians will pay a high price A-Sharq al-Awsat, Riyadh, April 21 Palestinian-Israeli peace is an expensive dream, writer Bakir Oweida says. This is why it requires major sacrifices.
Palestinian recognition of the Jewish identity of the Israeli state will not shake the earth. Instead, it will show that the Palestinians do not fear taking any needed steps for peace, as long as these steps guarantee human rights without discrimination.
In less than one month, Israel will celebrate its 66th anniversary. In terms of the age of a state, that is not a long time, but the reality is that what Israel has achieved in the fields of agriculture, industry and technology places it alongside countries that are hundreds of years old. Is it possible then for a country with so much power to fear peace? The logical answer would be no.
However, since the start of the Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts, successive Israeli governments have given the impression that they really do fear taking the final step toward peace with the Palestinians. There can be no solution if there is no will, and I mean from the stronger side, Israel.
As the saying goes: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
A controversial film’s ban in Egypt comes with a cost Al-Ahram, Cairo, April 21 A few days after a film was banned from Egyptian cinemas, the head of Egypt’s censorship board resigned from his post. The actress’s sexually explicit moves and scenes in Halawet Rooh [Beauty of the Soul] triggered outrage when the film was released in cinemas last week. Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab ordered the movie banned until the censorship committee reviews it again. Ahmed Awad, the head of the censorship board, said his decision to quit was to express objection to the banning of the film.
“The state canceled our decision to permit the movie and withdrew it after it was aired,” he said.
Egypt’s cinema news website Elcinema said the film earned more than $140,000 in its first week in the cinemas.
In the movie, the main actress lures a young boy to become obsessed with her, stirring harsh criticism from some Egyptians. However, Egyptian observers believe the ban will give more publicity to the movie and teach the state to be more careful before attacking freedom of expression.