x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Urgent intervention in Libya needed now

A round-up of news from the Arabic press.

Upon reading a report in the International Herald Tribune, I am convinced that the Libyan revolution is headed for victory, even if the international community is late in intervening in support of the rebels, observed the columnist Mazen Hammad in the Qatari daily Al Watan.

The report stated that young teenagers across the country were spontaneously lending their efforts to the rebels. Although the rebels have lost two fronts last week, teenagers are still streaming in offering to assist older militants.

In contrast to this scene, on the political and military fronts, the world's silence has become too loud while events in Libya are rapidly evolving into a full-fledged civil war.

"We call upon Arab and international governments to deny Muammar Qaddafi as the legitimate ruler and acknowledge the transitory council in Benghazi. Statements and condemnations don't stop the bloodshed. Practical procedures are needed, especially enforcing the no-fly zone option over Libya, which would deny the colonel's aircraft the ability to wage bloody raids on residential areas and oil stations.

"The revolution also needs weapons, food and drugs for the militants. For this reason, we call upon the Arabs to give the international community the required justifications for urgent intervention now."


Fighting back against Egypt's anti-revolution

The common denominator in the discussions of Egyptians in Egypt and abroad is the fear that their revolution will be aborted by gangs of the former regime, declared the London-based daily Al Quds al Arabi in its editorial.

Most discussions revolve around the "anti-revolution" and the desperate attempts by the deposed system's henchmen to create religious or sectarian sedition to tear apart national unity. It is the responsibility of all the Egyptian people to confront this anti-revolution through a number of avenues.

Besides legal pursuit of the former regime's figureheads, early presidential and parliamentary elections must be held to uphold constitutional reform and engage the people in the decision-making process. In addition to that, official media institutions must be purged of all the symbols of the former regime. Independence of the judiciary must also be given prime attention since it was the judges' uprising against the corrupt system that was the cornerstone for the revolution that changed the face of Egypt. Finally, security systems must be cleansed of figures from the Mubarak era, especially those who played a role in suppressing demonstrations in previous years.

"The Egyptian revolution is still in its infancy; the jubilation of victory must not distract the country's new leaders away from the dangers of forces that want to sabotage this new victory."


Japan needs serious relief measures

Japan's earthquake and tsunami are no less than a historic catastrophe that prompted many countries to offer all kinds of assistance, observed the Emirati daily Al Bayan in its editorial.

In a cohesive stand stemming from the calamity, Russian search teams readily joined their counterparts among 30 search teams to offer relief efforts and assistance despite tense relationships between Japan and Russia.

"History has provided us with many examples for ways to improve and strengthen state relationships in such conditions. In fact, the earthquake that hit Turkey at the end of the last century was the reason for improved Turkish-Greek relations. Similarly, the Haiti earthquake was the main driver for the improvement of US-Haitian relationships as Washington was prompt to offer assistance."

It has become necessary that the international community convene not only to discuss international conflicts, but also to look into forming an international relief authority that would take over in situations such as this one.

In parallel, an international committee, under the umbrella of the United Nations, should be established to overlook the implementation of the Kyoto protocol about climate change. These efforts must be more serious and effective and should allow for the equal participation of all world countries.


Wrong reaction to illegal settlements

"Israeli authorities shouldn't see the murders that took the lives of five members of an Israeli family in the occupied West Bank as an abnormality in the absence of justice in a land where the Israelis have violated vast territories to build settlements on the properties of Palestinian families who were wrongfully displaced," observed the Emirati daily Akhbar al Arab in its editorial.

An Israeli newspaper said the motive for the crime was revenge for the olive trees that the Israeli authorities removed to build the Jewish settlements, which implies that such actions will continue as a reaction to the unjust occupation.

The killing of civilians is clearly condemned, but authorities in Israel should look into the real motives behind such actions that defy all security measures and the barbed wire that protects the settlers.

Artificial protection will not succeed in keeping the Palestinians from trying to regain their rights. The more lands the Israelis occupy, the more violent reactions will be witnessed.

Vengeance is part of the revolution, but the Palestinian revolution should operate within a collective framework. The fight shouldn't be individual or personal.



* Digest compiled by Racha Makarem