Thursday, December 30, 2004

London Arab paper praises Sri Lanka for refusing Israeli aid

The London-based al-Quds al-Arabi commented on Sri Lanka's refusal to receive an Israeli relief delegation to provide medical and financial assistance in the aftermath of the tsunami that killed thousands on the island in its editorial titled 'A lesson for the Arabs from Sri Lanka.' The independent Palestinian-owned daily said 'the paradox is that the Sri Lankan government insists on being more Arab than the Arabs and turns its back to normalizing with the Jewish state.' It said in the meantime, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was touring the Gulf, including Bahrain and Kuwait, to persuade them to establish diplomatic ties with Israel after signing agreements to establish joint industrial zones 'to open a big gap in the Egyptian economy with Israeli capital.' The daily, with pan-Arab nationalist trends, said that while Sri Lanka refused to deal with Israel, the 'future president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas declared yesterday that the Palestinian people should abandon armed resistance, that the Palestinians cannot defeat Israel militarily, and to return to the negotiations table because it was the only way to retrieve their rights and independent state.' The paper thanked the government and people of Sri Lanka, saying they 'reminded us there are countries that still possess the genes of dignity and humanity after most of our Arab governments forgot them, including most of those in our new Palestinian leadership.'