Hot off the Arab press

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

a 14-year-old Syrian, uses a walkie-talkie at an observation post to locate the positions of forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar Assad (photo credit: REUTERS)
a 14-year-old Syrian, uses a walkie-talkie at an observation post to locate the positions of forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar Assad
(photo credit: REUTERS)
 The fragile structure of the Palestinian National Movement Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, September 3 For weeks, the Palestinian factions maintained a unified front in their Cairo negotiations, in an attempt to end the Israeli aggression on the people of Gaza.
Last Saturday, however, all of this changed. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas came out in the press and held Hamas responsible for the destruction of the Gaza Strip, due to its rejection of the original Egyptian cease-fire proposal. Abbas, who did not wait too long after the fighting ended, shattered the socalled “Palestinian unity” dream.
Despite the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and the recent war, the fragility of the Palestinian national movement is becoming ever more visible today. Hamas entered the unity government because of its desire to end the Israeli-Egyptian siege on Gaza and pay its employees’ salaries. Abbas came into the agreement after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s brokered negotiations with Israel failed, but most importantly, with a hope to weaken his strongest political opponent, former Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan.
It is clear that the PA, in its patterns of thinking and behavior, has lost the consensus of the Palestinian national movement.
There is no doubt that today, more than ever, the movement should be rearranged to accommodate its many different fractures. The PA clearly succeeded in expanding the Palestinian struggle. But over the course of two decades, it has also become a self-governing authority, which took over the Palestinian reins and refused to let anyone else undermine its position.
An open lett er to President Abbas Al Jazeera, Qatar, September 5 From Rafet Fahad Mara, a senior Hamas official: Mr.
President, I am writing to you following the great victory achieved by the Palestinian people and the resistance – not only in Gaza, but in all of Palestine; not only by Muslims, but by Christians as well. I am writing following the barbaric Zionist attacks, which have reached an unprecedented level of brutality – murdering innocents, deploying thousands of bombs and terrorizing even the dead in their cemeteries. Even the occupation’s strongest international allies, even survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, were not able to cover Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s terrorism this time.
I am writing to you, Mr. President, after defeating “the most powerful army in the region,” and I ask that you publicly recognize this victory. It seems like political disagreements prevent you from admitting this victory, and you are disrespecting the blood and lives of the martyrs, the wounded and the displaced.
I ask, Mr. President, that you work to accelerate the reconstruction of the Strip, compensate those affected, pay salaries and work tirelessly to connect Gaza and the West Bank. I ask that you allow for the consolidation of a new Palestinian leadership and the rebuilding of PA institutions, and stop the persecution of young men and women opposing the occupation, hoisting a Palestinian flag or waving the green banner of Islam.
Mr. President, the eyes of our people are pulsating with joy because this war has showed them that freeing our lands is not a far-fetched dream. They have seen the Zionist settlers fleeing like mice and hiding in sewers and shelters, screaming in horror, and leaving their lands behind.
We are facing a historical point of time, Mr. President, and our victory is becoming ever more possible.
Negotiations have failed, Mr. President. Today, one thing is clear: resistance is the only way.
Is the citizen responsible for the country’s policies? Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, September 3 Academic Najeh Ibrahim writes: The Islamic State had threatened to kill American journalist James Foley if the US did not cease its attacks on the organization.
The journalist’s mother sent a letter of appeal to Islamic State leaders with a request to release her son, giving the example of the Prophet Muhammad. In her letter, she stated: “My son has no control over the American foreign policy.” The Islamic State did not respond to the letter, and Foley was eventually executed. This raises an important question: Is a citizen, in fact, responsible for the policies of his or her country? I attempted to answer this dilemma in one of my books in 1997, when al-Qaida waged a war against every American and every Jew in the world, forgetting that when the early Muslims fought the Romans and Persians, they did not call their men to kill all the Turks.
Islam was already talking about international law back in the day, in its prohibition on killing innocent civilians.
The Prophet, even then, commanded, “Do not kill a child or a mother, nor or a sick person or a priest.”
In response to my claim, al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed Americans pay taxes that fund the US Army, and are thus deemed “responsible for everything the country does.” Yet Zawahiri was wrong: Taxes are as old as time and they must be paid by all citizens, whether they support the country or not.
It is these kinds of Islamic rulings – issued by groups like al-Qaida, the Islamic State, Jabat al-Nusrah, Ansar al-Sharia and others – that pose the biggest threat to modern Islamic jurisprudence. In its nature, Islamic law is wise and compassionate. Let’s not allow such groups to make us forget the Koran’s most fundamental sense of justice: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses, and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is well-acquainted with what you do.”
Confused Obama is Confusing Akhbar Al-Khaleej, Bahrain, September 6 Along with millions of other people, I, too, was hoping that US President Barack Obama would win the presidential election and lead the US, because he gave us the hope of having a new kind of leader, different from his predecessors. But today, we regret this.
Obama has failed in his presidency, brought America’s power down both domestically and internationally, and failed at resolving the biggest issues left to him by predecessor George W. Bush.
The sparkle that once accompanied Obama’s appearances has faded away, and it seems to me today as if no one remembers his once hopeful and inspirational speeches. Obama seems like a leader of a third world country: his policies are confusing, he created a rift between East and West, and he completely failed in the Middle East. His blatant bias was last seen during the Zionist aggression against the Palestinians, when he remained silent about the extermination of the people of Gaza and occasionally spoke about a “truce.”
The American economy has been slowing down, and Washington’s influence overseas has been dwindling.
Obama, from both the perspective of an American as well as that of the external world, has become the US’s point of weakness.