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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Al-Arabiya Arabic news roundup

Al-Arabiya in Arabic covers completely different stories than its English counterpart.

Some publicity-seeker named Jacob Bender led a "Jewish prayer service" at Al Azhar University for Palestinian Arab victims of the war, calling israeli actions a "crime against humanity." Somehow, I don't think he had a minyan.

Analysts are theorizing that Iran may be behind Hamas' decision to escalate, as a way of showing relevance as a regional superpower or of diverting attention from its nuclear program.

Gazans are supposedly getting constant automated phone calls from Israel saying that Hamas has been defeated, as part of psychological warfare. The article mentions that they are fearful when they get these calls.

Jordanian officials are getting more fearful that one result of this war would be that Jordan will be forced to take responsibility for the West Bank rather than there ever being a two-state solution. They do not want to rule another 3 million Palestinian Arabs.

An Egyptian court refused to grant a divorce to a Christian woman whose husband converted to Islam. Her argument was that since her marriage was done in a church and was predicated on Christian principles, her husband had effectively annuled the marriage by changing his religion. The Egyptian courts said that since, under sharia, a Muslim man can marry a Christian woman and since she was not being mistreated, they cannot force him to divorce her.