x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sanctuary of Abraham now, Al Aqsa next

Over the past few days, bloody clashes have continued between angry Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces in different areas in the West Bank, the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds al Arabi stated in its editorial.

Over the past few days, bloody clashes have continued between angry Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces in different areas in the West Bank, especially in Hebron, as a result of the Israeli decision to list the Sanctuary of Abraham and the area surrounding Bilal bin Rabah mosque as Israeli historical sites, the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds al Arabi stated in its editorial.

"The Israelis have stolen the land and the water. They Judaised occupied Jerusalem, their excavation works have undermined the foundations of the Alqsa Mosque and now they are appropriating the Palestinian heritage." It is, indeed, a "cultural cleansing" process and "patrimonial genocide". The Israelis, under the world's very nose, are disfiguring holy sites that spiritually belong to more than one and a half billion Muslims scattered around the globe.

"Because it is racially prejudiced and thinks along purely racist lines, the Israeli government wants to turn the Arab-Israeli conflict into a Muslim-Jewish clash." Judaising the Sanctuary of Abraham was nothing but a "rehearsal" ushering in the Judaisation of Al Aqsa Mosque, beneath which, Israel keeps claiming, lies Solomon's Temple. Now, since the appropriation of the former has gone down this quietly, the second one must certainly be imminent.

"The ghost of the global recession is wandering across Europe these days; the downturn's third wave had stricken home," commented Abdul Jalil al Noaimi, a Bahraini writer, in the UAE newspaper Al Bayan. "This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the European Union appears to be a ship on the verge of sinking and each member on-board is trying to get off scot-free."

In 2010, the budget deficit in Ireland is estimated at 11.7 per cent, 8.3 per cent in Portugal, about 10 per cent in Spain and, topping the list, Greece with 12.7 per cent. European economists have started isolating these unlucky countries under one cluster. Many fear that if the deficit wave becomes a pan-European trend, the result will be a major disruption to the world economy, a disruption that is projected to be far stronger than the Lehman Brothers' crisis and its aftermath. This has got many people thinking about the late American economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, who predicted the collapse of the euro and the break-up of the EU at the beginning of this century. "The EU's desertion of Greece not only carries harbingers of major political troubles, but also portends a Eurozone shake-up and a destabilisation of the European Union as an organism."

Turkish military generals, since the establishment of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's republic, have not been used to humiliation or court charges, wrote Zouhir Qassibati in London-based newspaper Al Hayat. They see themselves as the protectors of secularism, the defenders of Turkish unity and the guardians of the constitution.

"But some of them also consider that the Gul-Erdo [the Turkish president and premier respectively] Islamic rule has led them up the garden path by offering them the promise of joining Europe with all its industrial prowess, markets and globalisation." Now that 49 military officers, among them four generals, are facing charges of plotting a putsch against the ruling AKP, the Justice and Development party, Turkey is going through one of its worst crises in decades. And signs of imminent tension between the government and the judiciary is not helping the situation.

"The confrontation between the Gül-Erdo government and the military has lasted for too long, and nationalists are accusing the army of going easy with the Gul-Erdo government and their party." It may not be too far off the mark to hypothesise a US interest in Turkey's internal conflict too. The White House may well push for an escalation between the executive power and the military institution because Washington sees that the duo Gul-Erdo have gone too far in their efforts to get close to Iran.

Gabi Sheffer, a professor of political science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, thinks that the Israeli government does not heed the US president Barack Obama because of the latter's ethnic origins, according to Mazen Hammad, a columnist with the Qatari newspaper Al Watan. In an article published by the Israeli press, Mr Sheffer mentions previous US democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who have succeeded in brokering peace deals between Israel and its neighbouring countries Egypt and Jordan, even when they did not enjoy US public support and despite the numerous political problems they had to juggle.

Though he trusts that Mr Obama is still capable of doing something about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr Sheffer concedes that most Israelis, including the Israeli prime minister and foreign minister, are convinced of the contrary. The professor denies the claim that Mr Obama has stopped being interested in conflicts involving Israel. He attributes the lack of respect given to the US president and his administration to the colour of Mr Obama's skin, but he asserts that, nevertheless, no world power has the influence that the US has.

* Digest compiled by Achraf A El Bahi aelbahi@thenational.ae