Hot off the Arab press

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

syrian rebel fighter on roof 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
syrian rebel fighter on roof 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An Israeli Reading To The Arab Revolutions Filasteen, Gaza, July 14
Since the beginning, Israel considered the Arab revolutions a group of popular uprisings sprung in a rapid sequence due to the social and political epidemics in these countries.
The revolutions proved that the Arab world is educated politically, proving that the autocratic regime failed to make people ignorant during past decades. Each Arab Spring country has a different reason to revolt and its results were different. However, they all shared a mutual result: the obstacles they face on the way to a stable democracy in the near future, particularly that the previous regimes made alliances with Israel to maintain their tyranny and to be stronger regionally.
One of the effects of the Arab Spring on Israel’s security is the weakening of the Arab countries allied with Israel, which affected the balance of power in the area against its favor.
There are many threats against Israel’s national security in light of the rapid change and the strategic surprises, and the increase of Israel’s regional isolation.
Israel needs to empower its army, establish defensible borders, form new regional alliances and maintain its special relationship with the US.The Death of Ilan Halevi : A 100% Palestinian Jew
Al Safeer, Beirut, July 13
He didn’t hesitate in breaking the imaginary borders that the Israelis tried to install in Palestine, so he shifted from being an Israeli to being a Palestinian Jew, and an activist for the Palestinian cause.
Ilan Halevi described himself as “a 100% Jew and a 100% Palestinian.” He fought with the PLO since the 1970s, delivering its message to Europe, and fought for the freedom of the Palestinian people. Halevi died after a long struggle with illness but he left a mark in the history of the Palestinian cause as an Arabic Jew before anything else.
He was born in Lyon, France, in 1943, and decided to move to Israel after the 1967 war because he said he “learned in Algeria the importance of the Palestinian cause.” In 1968, Halevi joined an anti-Zionist movement calling for the freedom of the Palestinians, but he then he joined the Palestinian resistance.
The 1973 war dramatically changed Halevi’s life, as he became a member of the Fatah movement and the PLO. He was a consultant for the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and a member of the Palestinian delegations to peace negotiations in Madrid and Washington.Palestinians Can’t Divorce During Ramadan
Al Quds al Arabi, London, July 15
The Palestinian Supreme Council for the Islamic Courts decided to ban divorce during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The council chief, Sheikh Yusuf Adeis, issued a decision to prevent all West Bank judges from approving of divorces during Ramadan.
The decision came after a recommendation from the Department of Guidance that noted an increase in divorce rates. The head of the guidance department, Ahlam Sawalha, said that some people practice Ramadan fully by being patient and relaxed while others start fights as they use the lack of food and smoking as a reason to cause troubles.
Fasting can increase problems between couples.
However, the council said it might grant special permission for some couples to divorce if they felt a real necessity. As Palestinians don ’t have civil marriages, all couples who want to marry have to do it in their respective religious courts.
Israeli Dictations Fail Peace Talks
Al Bayan, Abu Dhabi, July 14
Unlike the official stories, there is American pressure for serious talks between Palestinians and Israelis. The previous Palestinian minister Ashraf al-Ajrami talked about Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that took place in the Israeli prime minister’s house. However, the head of the negotiation team, Tzipi Livni, denied that any meeting has taken place between the two parties after the formation of the current government.
A Palestinian official told Al Bayan that this meeting took place two years ago, but these talks will collide with the Israeli stubbornness, as Israel knows it’s the stronger party, which will cause the whole process to fail.
It seems al-Ajrami’s remarks annoyed the Israelis or it was embarrassing for them since there might be a mutual agreement not to announce what is going on behind the scenes. While US Secretary of State John Kerry tries to create a breakthrough in the political process, the Israeli government is increasing settlement building and other assaults, a move that Palestinians see as an Israeli attempt to drag them into violence.
Israel Doesn’t Oppose Arming Syrian Rebels
Arabi Press, Beirut, July 15
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israel’s opposition to Western countries arming rebels fighting against the regime in Syria has declined in recent weeks.
The newspaper said that this position stems from fears the continuation of the current situation could lead to more victories for Hezbollah and other militias backed by Iran. Until recently, Israel feared that the weapons of the jihadi groups could be pointed against it in the future.
Israeli analysts expect that the civil war in Syria is far from over. The paper said that Israel has reached the conclusion that Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was considered a stability factor for Israel, has changed his position and might support armed attacks against Israeli targets in the Golan Heights.
However, according to the newspaper, the Israeli delegates warned against supplying the rebels with sophisticated weapons, especially shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles.