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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Review of Arab Press

AMMAN, Jordan, July 6 (UPI) -- Arab press roundup for July 6:

The Palestinian al-Quds said in its editorial Thursday the Israeli government's decision to establish a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip means the destruction of more buildings and farms. The mainstream daily added it was wrong to believe that destroying the buildings to create the buffer zone and prohibiting anyone to enter it would provide security for Israel's southern towns and cities. It argued that Israel tried this system several times in different places, including southern Lebanon, but the result was the Israeli forces "quickly fled the area and left their agents to face their deserved fate." The Jerusalem-based daily said history has also shown that force alone cannot achieve security, peace and stability, that "the weak does not remain weak and the strong does not remain strong forever." Peace, security and stability are based on justice and understanding, the paper insisted, and mutual acceptance and co-existence, not buffer zones based on force as Israel wants. It said the Israeli leaders' insistence on its "expansion policy," buffer zones and ignoring legitimate Palestinian rights and international laws will not bring a solution to the conflict.

Jordan's al-Rai commented the Israeli decision to set up a buffer zone in the northern Gaza Strip was yet another revelation of the Israeli government's real intentions after it received assurances of support from world powers. The mass-circulation daily added in its editorial the buffer zone will not solve any problems or bring security to the Israelis or the Palestinians, just as such a plan failed in southern Lebanon. It said if the Jewish state wants to get out of the cycle of violence, it should heed to calls by the international community to negotiate a peaceful settlement within the "road map" peace plan. The paper, partially owned by the Jordanian government, said it was time for Israel to realize that resorting to force and power are not guarantees to "wiping out the Palestinian people or pushing them to surrender by abandoning their rights." It insisted that sitting on the negotiating table was much more feasible and will cost less lives, saying that "what is happening in the northern Gaza Strip and around it is nothing more than insolence and an attempt that is doomed to fail and prolong the conflict."

Oman's al-Watan said it was natural for strong countries to plan, but it was dangerous when these plans include colonial expansion that threatens world peace and when they are implemented at the expense of others. The pro-government daily added in a commentary that this is what the United States was doing, but putting Israel at the forefront to carry out its plans. It insisted that Israel "is planning against Iran, seeking something against Syria, wants to contain Hamas, seeks semi-permanent stability in Egypt and Jordan and tries to establish a sectarian federation in Lebanon." In Iraq, the daily said, Israel colludes with the United States in its "hellish plans for more disasters... that prevent Iraq from seeing the light of day." It insisted that "they plan day and night, spending enormous amounts of money, increasing their intelligence budgets, just as Israel's Mossad (secret service) budget was raised to more than $11 billion in the past two years to chase all things great and small in the world for Israel's higher interests." As for the Arabs, it complained, they are preoccupied with protecting their countries' borders and run away from planning for the future as they remain on the receiving end of the American-Israeli plans. It is unfortunate, it opined, that the Arab countries provide space for "their (American-Israeli) plans, and more unfortunate to remain a field for their military and security experiments."

Saudi Arabia's Okaz said in a commentary that the majority are now calling for reforms, saying it was a healthy trend if the demands are within the lines of tradition, religion and social values. The semi-official daily added, however, that real reforms can come only by first reforming the self and by self-reflection. "Why do we raise the slogans of reforms while within our selves we make no effort to change ourselves to enable us to seriously and honestly work in the spirit brotherhood and respect?" it asked. It is important for personal soul searching to take place before analyzing or thinking about the surroundings, the paper argued, adding that "reflecting on self-reform provides the opportunity to deal" with other external matters.

The London-based al-Hayat, distributed in most Arab capitals, published a cartoon depicting the paradox of American civilization. The cartoon in the Saudi-financed daily shows a shocked-looking man reading an Arabic newspaper, while he says, "Civilization." The newspaper highlights two main front-page headlines. The headline at the top of the page reads: "The American Discovery shuttle successfully launched into space." Another headline at the bottom half of the first page reads: "A new crime committed by American troops in Iraq."
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