The Arab English Language Press: What They Are Saying

map-Arab-CountriesGaza’s Hamas A Monster Regime

It is but natural for the monster government in Gaza to protest the arrest of Mohammed Morsi. They are partners in crime — the crime of betraying the homeland in collusion with the United States of America or helping him escape from prison along with other top officials of his movement. They are also responsible for killing and kidnapping several Egyptian soldiers. Can anyone expect something different from Hamas? Hamas has done everything to destroy the economy of Egypt by digging a series of tunnels to smuggle weapons and other commodities. It is Hamas which facilitated the infiltration of Hezbollah men and other extremist groups into Sinai and took part in several terrorist operations. One notable incident was the destruction of a gas pipeline between Egypt and Jordan. Hamas has never shown any true intention to establish a good rule in Gaza. What we have seen until now are gangsters at work. Over the years, their deeds have put a dent in the Palestinian cause… – Ahmed Al-Jarallah, Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times, Kuwait.

Arab youth feel excluded in post-revolution roles

A majority of the Arab youth feels that the parliamentary bodies and councils, formed after the recent revolutions in their countries, do not represent them. They consider unemployment, deteriorating law and order situation and weak economy as some of the major challenges faced by these countries. These are some of the major findings of an opinion poll conducted by Al Jazeera Centre for Studies recently. Giving the details of the opinion poll at a press conference at the Al Jazeera Centre yesterday, Salah El Zein, the director of the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, said :”Respondents unanimously agreed that the high rate of unemployment is the most prominent risk that the Arab Spring countries are facing. The deteriorating security situation and the weak economic scenario are at the forefront of the challenges facing the Arab revolutions.” Dr Ezzeddine Abdelmoula, head of Research, Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, explained the findings of the opinion poll. The opinion poll was conducted among youth in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen where the Arab Spring resulted in regime change. The poll was divided into four general themes of the reality of the revolutions, its achievements and failures, the challenges that it faces, and the risks that surround it. The poll also tried to understand the youths’ expectations of the Arab Spring, and their aspirations for future. According to the poll, a majority of the Arab youth rejects the idea of military role in politics and wants the military establishment to stay away from politics. Similarly, more than 90% of youngsters rejected party affiliation and did not want to belong to any political party in future. The poll pointed out that corruption and the deterioration of the economic situation were the most important causes of the revolution, and the youth, the main contributing factor of its success.  Another finding of the poll is that majority of the youngsters prefer Islam as their primary identity with their national identity coming second, except in Egypt where 62% of the respondents rooted for their national identity. Gulf Times, Qatar. 

Bomb parts in Bulgaria attack smuggled from Poland: report

The detonator and remote control used in a Bulgarian bomb attack that killed five Israelis last year were smuggled in from Poland, a newspaper reported Monday. The still unidentified bomber and two accomplices smuggled in the components on a train from Warsaw on June 28, the Trud daily said, citing investigators. The July 2012 bombing on an airport bus in the Black Sea resort of Burgas killed five Israeli tourists as well the Bulgarian driver, in an attack blamed on Hezbollah. The bomber, whose device appeared to have been triggered from afar, was also killed.  One of his suspected accomplices, Lebanese-born Australian national Meliad Farah, 32, was the man who assembled the bomb once in Bulgaria, Trud said. The interior ministry named last week Farah — also known as Hussein Hussein — and a Lebanese-born Canadian identified as Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 25, as two of the bomber’s accomplices. The ministry also released pictures of the two, who are believed to be living in Lebanon, and asked for assistance in tracking them down. According to Trud, Hassan is suspected of triggering the bomb, while investigators believe Farah might have left Bulgaria before the attack.  Last week, the 24 Hours newspaper said Hezbollah’s armed wing wired almost $100,000 (75,000 euros) to Farah and Hassan for the attack. – The Daily Star, Lebanon.

Scuffles as Nazi war criminal marks 100th birthday

Scuffles erupted outside the Rome home of Erich Priebke on Monday as one of the last living Nazi war criminals celebrated his 100th birthday. Police had reinforced security at the address where Priebke is under house arrest, but the measure failed to prevent minor clashes.  Several dozen demonstrators from the Jewish organization Project Dreyfus were at the protest, confronting a family member of the former SS captain, identified as Priebke’s grandson, when he arrived with a bottle of champagne. Insults and a scuffle followed and the man was eventually led to safety in a police car to avoid the angry protesters. Priebke was sentenced to life in prison in 1998 for his role in the massacre at Rome’s Ardeatine caves in March 1944, which left 335 people dead, including 75 Jews. They were executed with a bullet to the neck, killed by the Nazis in retaliation for an attack by the resistance movement on SS soldiers. The former officer had been arrested in 1994 after fleeing to Argentina at the end of World War II. He had lived there for more than 40 years before being extradited to Italy in 1995. In 1998, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the massacre. A year later he was allowed to serve out his sentence at home because of his advanced age and ill-health. In April 2011, the Italian magazine Oggi sparked a scandal with photographs showing the former Nazi officer dining at a restaurant with friends, riding a motorbike and shopping at a supermarket. – Arab News, Saudi Arabia.

In death the Gazans finding their respite

All of a sudden in Gaza everyone wants to die. On an average five people, men and women, between the age of 15 and 50 are attempting suicide every day. Of them three are dying. Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, receives 30 patients every month since past three or four months. They are those who have attempted to commit suicide. With every passing day, more and more Palestinians in Gaza are now attempting suicide to escape a tightening noose around their necks. Yet, the global conscience hasn’t stirred. Fall of Mohamed Mursi has sealed the fates of the Gazans. Suicide rates have gone up all of a sudden since the first ever elected president of Egypt fell to a military coup. The present political dispensation in Egypt has launched a collective punishment on the Palestinians living in Gaza. Living conditions of these hapless people, victims of harsh punitive measures of Israel for long, have deteriorated dramatically since the beginning of July. Basic essentials in Gaza are now in terrible short supply. Motor fuel and also for cooking is now either not available or is absolutely unaffordable. Gaza sinks into primeval darkness as the sun sets — there is no power supply. Healthcare in Gaza has collapsed as hospitals have no fuel even to run their generators. Lives of at least a hundred patients in need of dialysis are in jeopardy. A massive humanitarian crisis is fast unfolding in that strip of land as Egypt sealed the Rafah tunnels. – Debasish Mitra, Opinion Editor of Times of Oman.

Saving the Arab Levant

Anyone who cares about the Arab world has to be profoundly shaken by the unravelling taking place across the Levant. Events unfolding from Iraq in the East to Lebanon in the West can give the distinct feeling that the region is on a path to self-destruction. Syria is committing suicide, tearing itself asunder in a civil war that – with the support and prodding of outside forces – has increasingly become an exercise in sectarian bloodletting. American troops may have left Iraq, but the country has not found a way to make peace with itself and daily terrorist bombings are killing scores of civilians, while a dysfunctional sectarian government appears to be focused more on prosecuting and persecuting its opponents than providing for the needs of its people. Lebanon, reeling from the pressure emanating from Syria next door, is once again teetering on the brink of civil conflict. Meanwhile, conflicts raging around Jordan are having a destabilising impact with that country receiving yet another massive influx of refugees – its fourth in the past six decades. Poor dismembered Palestine and its dispersed people are suffering from new and old tragedies, with Palestinian refugees from Syria flooding into Lebanon’s already congested and impoverished camps creating new tensions… It makes no sense that Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood should be driving the Levant’s agenda when the region’s people, despite their religious diversity, express an attachment to their common bonds born of history, culture and blood ties. Egyptians have demonstrated their rejection of religious sect-based government. Syrians are now waging an anti-sectarian rebellion within their rebellion against the regime. Polls show that Palestinians in Gaza, despite having voted for Hamas in 2006, are now rejecting this movement’s divisive rule. What the Levant needs today is a unified revolt against sectarian division and recognition of the futility of its self-destructive path–  Dr James J Zogby President, Arab American Institute,  Gulf Daily News, Bahrain.

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