x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Compromise is the only way out of Libya's latest crisis

Libya's political exclusion law is divisive and unnecessary; compromise is needed, an Arabic editorial says. Other Arabic-press topics: Syria and Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque.

Political exclusion law creates another crisis and Libyans need to reach a compromise on it

It is difficult to understand recent developments in Libya under the new system of rule there, the London-based daily Al Quds Al Arabi said in its editorial yesterday. Political developments have become entangled with military matters and, as a result, chaos prevails.

The defence minister, Mohammed Mahmoud Al Barghathi, called a press conference on Tuesday and announced his resignation, in protest against what he referred to as "an assault on democracy".

He was referring to a crisis that was sparked when a group of militants besieged two ministries for more than a week. They were demanding that anyone who had served in a high position under Muammar Ghadaffi be ruled ineligible for public office now.

Resigning, the minister - himself a Qaddafi-era office-holder - said he swore never to take part in fighting against his countrymen. And he said he couldn't stand the idea of practicing politics under armed coercion.

Less than a day later, however, the government announced that Mr Al Barghathi had heeded pleas by the prime minister, Ali Zaidan, and had withdrawn his resignation.

"Libya's crises are many, from the collapse of public services to the quasi-total absence of security and the ever-aggravating official corruption," the newspaper noted.

The defence minister had only two options: break up the siege forcibly, thus possibly engaging in a bloody confrontation with the gunmen, or resign his post.

He chose the latter and avoided shedding Libyan blood.

"The country didn't need the political isolation law passed," the paper went on.

The law "has caused serious strife and pushed gunmen to surround the ministries of justice and foreign affairs to coerce the parliament to pass it under duress," the paper noted.

The new rebels, the main supporters of the law, are demanding that the country must have a clean start to its new era, headed by officials who had no connection whatsoever to the former regime.

The law's opponents, however, argue that such isolation provisions would deprive the country of substantial administrative and political know-how. Some of these people had had to work in the Qaddafi regime's institutions.

Neither point of view can be dismissed completely, the paper said.

Therefore it is clear that to create common ground between the two positions, a compromise solution of some sort must be reached.

Should the conflict be left to fester, it will surely lead to additional divisions and aggravate the state of general turmoil in Libya, the newspaper concluded.

Israel tries to achieve its long-term goal

From the world's perspective, last week's Israeli raids were an assault on Syria, an independent, sovereign state that had not taken any offensive action against Israel that would have warranted such a reaction, columnist Abdulwahab Badrakhan wrote in the Lebanese daily Annahar.

The Syrian regime, however, sees the strikes mainly as an attack against its efforts in battling terrorism and Al Qaeda. Thus, it promptly sought Russia's help to send a warning to the US and Israel, Badrakhan said.

Bashar Al Assad's regime "didn't care for Israel's claims that the strikes targeted Iran and Hizbollah, perhaps because the volume of losses was too big for it to be convinced," said the writer.

Tehran and Hizbollah saw the attack as an attempt to weaken the so-called axis of resistance.

"It is truly heart-wrenching that the Israeli raids unveiled the reality of Syria's definitive exposure to the enemy as a result of its internal and external exposure. This is what the fierce supporters of the axis of resistance didn't want to see or admit," he said.

"It is as if this was their mission from the beginning: to weaken Syria and take it out of the regional Arab power equation, then move forward to destroy it."

Israel set out to achieve that 40 years ago and through the Lebanese civil war. Now it is using the axis of resistance to realise it from Iraq to Syria, and finally to Lebanon, the writer concluded.


Mosque action aimed to 'Judaise' Jerusalem

More than 40 Israeli settlers, including senior Likud officials, invaded Al Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday. They claimed they were commemorating the unification of Jerusalem.

In an editorial entitled Al Aqsa invasion … a terrorist tactic, the Jordanian daily Addustour said: "The invasion and desecration of Al Aqsa Mosque, at the behest of the Likud, didn't come from nothing. It is part of a malignant Zionist tactic to terrorise worshippers to divide the mosque and build their temple."

The instigation to desecrate Al Aqsa only confirms the Likud-backed terrorist tactics. The party's chief, Benjamin Netanyahu the prime minister, has been vocal about his plans to Judaise Jerusalem and the mosque and to turn Palestinian territories into isolated cantons that would make it impossible to establish a geographically continuous Palestinian state.

"The Zionist aggression on Al Aqsa will not end as long as the enemy insists on Judaising Jerusalem," the newspaper said.

"And all Arab and Palestinian concessions are bound to be fruitless because the Israeli enemy doesn't acknowledge Arab initiatives in the first place and is not inclined to peace as long as it can achieve its objectives by force."

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk