Thursday, July 24, 2008

Today's PalArab press roundup

Al-Hayat al-Jadida has an op-ed celebrating the anniversary of Egypt's 1952 revolution that brought Nasser to power. The writer believes - even today - that Nasser was the best thing for the Arab world. This typifies the mentality that Arab pride - which usually involves militarism and harsh rhetoric - is more important than peace and cooperation with the West. This is a mainstream attitude; I have yet to see any Egyptian celebrating the anniversary of Camp David.

Ma'an (English) says that Obama rejected the idea of East Jerusalem as the capital of any Palestinian Arab state. Of course he didn't say that at all, but Ma'an put together his statements of "Jerusalem must not be divided" and "Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel" as implying this. Accuracy has never been the strong suit in the Arab press.

Firas reports on an Israeli Internet "sting" operation where Shin Bet members recruit Palestinian Arab youths in chat rooms and fake Islamist Internet sites to perform terror attacks and then arrest them. It is more likely that they just observe Palestinian Arab youths going to these sites on their own; the recent arrest of a suspected Al Qaeda cell in Israel seems to be related.

One writer is upset that while Saudi Arabia's shops will routinely close for prayer, electronics stores will keep their TVs on and some non-Muslims as well as Muslims will watch sports through the windows instead of go to mosques.

Tensions are increasing between Hamas and Islamic Jihad over the "calm" (even as one rocket was launched today, that fell short of Israel). Islamic Jihad is accusing Hamas of collaboration with Israel and it is upset over Hamas arrests of PIJ rocketteers; Hamas accuses it of being counterproductive.

Samir Kuntar still enjoys daily interviews with a fawning Arab press, today daring Israel to assassinate him and saying that Hezbollah can only win through military means.