Divining the News (DTN)

Not Mainstream News

From the Egyptian Press:

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So many references to Arab hostility to Egypt. The Egyptian press quoted is not the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood: there are quotes of what Mubarak has been saying, and of the rising star of Iran, and Nasrallah’s call for the overthrow of the Egyptian regime.

Gaza resistant

The Israeli ground attack on Gaza and the anguish of the Palestinian people dominated the headlines, write Gamal Nkrumah and Mohamed El-Sayed

Official papers were not particularly sympathetic to the Hamas administration in Gaza, even though they were especially commiserating as far as the Palestinians suffering the incessant pounding of the Israelis were concerned. The independent papers, however, applauded the heroic efforts of the Hamas fighters in trying to defend the people of Gaza and resist the Israeli onslaught. In other words, there was a clear divide in the analysis of the conflict between pro-government

commentators and the opposition.
Given this, it is inevitable that the dividing line between the government and the public will in the short-term move towards the pro-government. The reason is that the apparent anti-Egyptian sentiment throughout the Arab world has angered a large section of the Egyptian public and many see the overtly belligerent Arab attitude towards Egypt as offensive.

Bashir Abdel-Fattah, writing in the official daily Al-Ahram, looked into the possible reasons behind the Israeli invasion of Gaza. He wrote it was to divide the ranks of the Arab world and sow the seeds of discontent among Arabs.

Abdel-Fattah also implicated Iran in a conspiracy to further advance its influence and power in the region. “The Israeli invasion is designed to throw a desperate Hamas into the bosom of Iran, a country that has long struggled with Egypt and other Arab countries for regional influence and prestige. In the final analysis, Iran collaborates closely with Israel in a sinister two-fold plan: to contain Hamas and expose it militarily and politically, and further exacerbate the cold war between Iran and other Arab states. Israel would thereby kill two birds with one stone: deepen Arab-Arab disagreements on the one hand and Iranian-Arab disputes on the other.”

Writing in the daily liberal leaning Nahdet Masr, Nabil Rashwan argued that “the whole regional scene has become absurd. Arab states are accusing each other of betrayal, and are fragmenting instead of standing united. Demonstrations [against the Israeli aggression] turned to demonstrations against Egypt.”

Also writing in Nahdet Masr, Gamal Abdel-Gawwad argued that the Israeli invasion only hardens the resolve of the Palestinian people. “The rockets fired by Hamas did not destroy Israel, and did not liberate Palestine. However, they remind us that there is still a resistance even if it did not lead to liberating the land or establishing a [Palestinian] state.”

In much the same vein, writing in Al-Ahram, Mohamed Qadri Said argued that “despite the fact that the impact of rockets fired by Hamas was not immense in terms of human and physical casualties, the panic they caused among Israeli civilians and their apparent defiance in the face of Israeli deterrence were the two main reasons behind the launching of the military operation in Gaza.”

State-owned newspapers, of course, adopted the official line regarding the war on Gaza. “Hamas seeks to break into Egyptian borders”, ran the headline of an analysis in Al-Ahram by Ahmed Moussa. “There are fatwas issued by Gaza-based sheikhs permitting the killing of Egyptian soldiers, and the killing of the Egyptian officer Yasser Essawi was a result of such fatwas,” the writer argued. “Hizbullah possesses chemical warheads, so why doesn’t it fire them on Israel?

“The Al-Jazeera, Al-Manar, Al-Aqsa, Al-Alem and Al-Donia satellite channels are part of a chorus aimed at launching a media campaign against Egypt,” Moussa added. “Hamas planned to fire rockets against Israel at this period to obtain an international recognition of its entitlement to take responsibility of the crossing points instead of the Palestinian Authority,” he added.
Official newspapers, like Al-Ahram, spread pages for the statements made by President Hosni Mubarak during this week. “We paid a heave price for the sake of the Palestinian cause,” Mubarak was quoted as saying. “We lost 120,000 martyrs and waged three wars and spent billions of pounds for the sake of the Palestinian cause.”

Writing in the weekly official Akhbar Al-Yom, Salah Eissa argued that “some Arab satellite channels which serve as the mouthpiece of Islamist movements have launched an unprofessional, haphazard media campaign urging the Egyptian people to revolt against their government and force the opening of Rafah. This campaign is also aimed at turning demonstrations against Israel into clashes with Egyptian security forces. These campaigns have also incited other Arab people to demonstrate in front of Egyptian embassies in Arab and Islamic countries.”

The Lebanese Shia leadership came under intense attack. Writing in the daily opposition Al-Wafd, Mohamed Mustafa Sherdi argued that “Hassan Nasrallah lost a lot of Egyptian sympathy when he criticised Egypt and called upon its army to revolt against the government and stage a coup.”

(C) Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved


Written by morris

January 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Posted in Egypt, Gaza, israel

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