Hot off the Arab press 368782

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

Hundreds of demonstrators march up Whitehall, in central London, as they protest against Israel’s military action in Gaza on July 19, 2014 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Hundreds of demonstrators march up Whitehall, in central London, as they protest against Israel’s military action in Gaza on July 19, 2014
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In the Arab media this week, from the United Kingdom to the Gulf States, there were dissenting opinions on Israel’s Operation Protective Edge and the plight of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
From Abu Dhabi came a narrative that seems all too familiar: criticism of Israel and its army for spreading propaganda that justifies a slaughter of Palestinian civilians.
On the other side of the coin, in London writer Fawaz al-Akel takes Hamas to task for its “recklessness” in this round of “resistance” and criticizes the organization for using civilian “blood as a way to achieve political gain.”
And looking to a different conflict unfolding in the Middle East, a Dubai newspaper led with the danger of the continued Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) siege in Iraq and its persecution of the Christian minority there. This should serve as a warning for the challenge faced by the larger Arab world, a prominent journalist comments, in the battle against the radicalized, extremist Islamic movement.
Beyond Israel’s lies
Erem, Abu Dhabi, July 21
Israel has launched a media campaign to justify the killing of Palestinian civilians and mislead the international public. The propaganda effort is designed to justify hitting mosques, hospitals, houses and cemeteries.
The Israeli army, the journalists’ main source, tweeted aerial photographs of alleged missile-caches. Israel is employing high numbers of speakers, writers and journalists to defend a war being waged on children and civilians. Terms like “terrorist,” “human shields,” “we don’t target civilians” and “defending Israel’s security” are continuously used to shift the world’s eyes from the misery Gazans suffer under an Israeli-Egyptian siege.
While Israel knows that civilians don’t have a safe zone to take refuge from their attacks, they continue their bombardment. Such realities are hard to excuse in the eyes of the rest of the world, and indeed we see that people around the world don’t believe the excuses and justifications.
Hamas jeopardizes the lives of Palestinians
Al Hayat, London, July 22
The plight of the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza is that Hamas sacrifices their lives in war every few years. Writer Fawaz al-Akel says all Arabs are pro-Palestinian resistance, but not like this.
This recklessness of Hamas, driven by regional powers Turkey and Qatar, could be in response to the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. Hamas is keen on embarrassing the new Egyptian regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in front of Arabs and Egyptians and showing that Egypt is an ally of Israel.
Hamas should not take the decision to resist and fight Israel on its own. It should remember that it’s not the only power in the Palestinian political scene.
As hundreds of civilians are falling, it’s not wise for Hamas to use this blood as a way to achieve political gain. Hamas knows that the Palestinian cause is a sensitive issue for Arabs, and is using the brutality of the Israeli army to gain more credit in the Arab street.
Understanding Israel
Al Riyadh, Riyadh, July 20 The brutal Israeli attack against Gaza and the killing of hundreds of victims in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan can be too much to process, writes Jamal Dumani. All falls in line, however, when one understands Israel’s mindset.
The Hebrew state boasts of beastly behavior and ideology since its establishment. Israel is a country that was born by shedding blood of the indigenous people whose pain has been neglected ever since. Despite some right-wing governments that add to the wounds, brutalities are a part of national policy feeding a system of apartheid. Israelis remain loyal to the idea of a strong leader that could do a once-and-for-all job despite the costs. Gazans continue to sob as they bury the victims of a harsh attack and the Palestinian president asks Hamas the value of their rockets instead of blaming Israel for their destruction.
Israel won’t stop before wiping away the rights of Palestinians. Will we continue to observe while this is happening?
The Christians suffering under Muslim extremists
Al Arabiya, Dubai, July 22
Al-Arabiya TV channel editor-in-chief Abdel al-Rahman al-Rashed criticizes a new chapter of hatred and terrorism in Iraq. Christians fled their city of Mosul after ISIS threatened to kill them if they do not convert to Islam or pay taxes to the Islamic state.
He explains that there are two main factors in this situation: one of them religious and the other political. All religious references and institutions need to condemn and confront this increasing radicalism that jeopardizes the region as a whole.
Politically, these groups need to be intellectually besieged as well as being fought on the ground.
Pursuing ISIS must be combined with solutions to the security vacuum, chaos, war and lack of a central authority which has enabled ISIS to exist.
What Arab Christians are confronting is part of the regional chaos; ISIS’s targeting of them is a challenge to the whole system of the Arab world that is based on different sects, religions and ethnicities.
Pain of Jews and others
Al Sharq Al Awsat, London, July 20
Palestinians have endured harsh situations over the past years, but in most cases they have succeeded in winning the sympathy of the Arabs and most of the international community. Writer Eyad Abu Sharka writes that the same thing applies for the injustice the Jewish people incurred over the centuries.
Unfortunately, today we see two aggrieved peoples, the Palestinians and the Israelis, trapped in an existential conflict with one another. The absence of moderate and reasonable voices left the two sides obsessed with ideas of victory.
I wonder about the Israeli excuse of transforming from “democracy” to “militarization.” As for the Palestinians, they have failed to understand the nature of Zionism, to no fault of the Palestinians alone. As part of the Arab world, the Palestinian resistance was directly influenced by Arab interests to put a glossy veneer on their tribalism and sectarianism.
The two wounded nations should find steps to look each other in the eye and forget the regional interests.