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[Note: Using editorials as an indicator, this series presents views, understanding and attitude of the Urdu periodicals in India towards various developments concerning the Middle East. The selection of an item does not mean the endorsement or concurrence concur with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND]

The Siasat Daily (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 6 September 2011, Tuesday
1. The International Policy for Libya

For the last four decades, in the world opinion, Libya has been banking on the advantages that come from its wealth of oil resources; nevertheless it is paying the price for the same now. The main motive of the foreign powers in supporting the rebels in overthrowing Muammar Qaddafi from power was their vested interests in seeking their share in the oil reserves of Libya. By flaring up rebellious forces and by forceful intervention, the foreign powers have split many Muslim countries. Now the people’s rebellion in Libya has brought an end to the 42 year old rule of Qaddafi. The foreign states involved in Libya met in Paris and announced an aid of US$15 billion for the rebel forces. In organising and supporting the rebellion in Libya, the neighbouring countries of France and Britain were in the lead. The sanctions that were imposed on Libya during the reign of Qaddafi by the European Union to cripple the regime have been withdrawn. The main purpose of withdrawing sanctions from the oil companies, ports, and national banks is to make the rebellion stronger and bring them at par in the international council. A three hour session in the world leaders’ meeting on Libya that was held in Paris was dedicated on the reconstruction of Libya. The difference in the fate of Libya’s Qaddafi and Iraq’s former President Saddam Hussein is that the latter was condemned to death whereas the former has escaped death sentence. There are considerations not to repeat the same mistakes in Libya as Iraq. It is for this reason that the leader of the rebel forces, Mustafa Abdul Jalil of the National Transition Council, has been given rights in a ceremony that was held in Paris.  At the time when this was being held in Paris, Muammar Qaddafi from his present residence declared a guerrilla war against the new government. After losing everything, a decision to fight back is seen as a desperate last attempt. During his reign in Libya, Qaddafi did not breed any group that was indeed capable of posing challenges to him. Though the International Criminal Court is preparing to begin the trial of Qaddafi, the new rebel groups have decided to arrest and try him in Libya itself. On grounds of principles, even the civilians would want that Qaddafi be punished on the soil of Libya. However, the UN Security Council have considered the offences of Qaddafi as not only being inflicted on Libyans but also a crime against humanity.  So far as crimes against humanity are concerned, there are many leaders who are liable to be dragged to the International Court of Justice. This has been committed by the NATO troops in Iraq. Also, the world has witnessed the violation of human rights that have been committed by the American Presidents. The international community is silent on the violence committed by US in Afghanistan, East Timor, and other Muslim countries in the so called humanitarian interventions. The tragedy, however, is that the western states and international groups are only interested in the vast oil resources of Libya rather than in the plight of the people. The reason why the National Transition Council has been given the right to rule over Benghazi which was their stronghold is because they have promised to package thousands of litres of gasoline after Qaddafi is overthrown from power. Once the restrictions placed on oil exports are removed, the European countries would not find it difficult to express their interest and right to get share in those reserves from the Transition Council. Before bringing in the kind of democratic government that is being envisaged it is important to improve the law and order situation, to stop the killing of the masses by the firings of the troops and to make available the basic needs to people including water, shelter and other daily needs. To check insurgency in the country would also be a major challenge for the new government because Qaddafi has declared guerrilla war in the state. In the conditions of war and uncertainty the Libyans will not get any peace. The Western countries would continue to threat the people by formulating and implementing self- beneficial policies. In that case it would be a major violation of human rights. However, overlooking this drawback of the international system has been the major fault of the Muslim countries, due to which they are being targeted one after the other.


Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Editorial, 10 September 2011, Saturday
2. Freedom Flotilla Investigations

Last year in the month of May, when for the first time the case of Freedom Flotilla occurred, there was hardly any state that did not condemn the incident. Even the United Nations criticized Israel’s military actions on the fleet of ship which was carrying aid for the people. This was because the ships did not go there for any wrongful purpose but in order to help the people who were stranded in the Gaza Strip and to supply them food and other aid. In spite of that Israel targeted Freedom Flotilla as an enemy, and used military force against it so brutally that some crew on board were killed and about 50 were injured. This inhuman and unjustified action of Israel soured its relation with Turkey, to the extent that the Israeli ambassador was told to leave Turkey. It has also broken all regulations and ties with Israel and has decided to take the matter to the International Court of Justice. However, Turkey is not pressurising Israel much. It is only demanding that Israel accepts its mistakes, punish the aggressors, and pay compensation for the losses. But Israel is not ready to concede these demands. From the very beginning, Israel has reiterated that the attack on Freedom Flotilla is justified and whenever it would be essential they would definitely deploy their forces.

The most recent development in the case of Freedom Flotilla is that the Enquiry Committee, which was set up by the United Nations to investigate the matter with former Prime Minister of New Zealand Geoffrey Palmer as its head, has brought out the investigation report. It has been established that by capturing the flotilla, Israel has used unnecessary military force, but it has considered all parties equally responsible for the havoc. This implies that even those countries which have sent the aid ships are as much responsible as Israel for the incident. The climax was reached when the Committee moved away from the earlier proclamation of the United Nations and argued that the blockade on Gaza was important for Israel’s survival and security. Obviously, when the report and the people preparing the report had this sentiment then how could it possibly condemn the military attack on Freedom Flotilla? Therefore no need was felt to condemn the actions in this report. In this way, the formality of presenting the one-sided report favouring Israel was fulfilled. Under these circumstances, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu the Secretary General of OIC has rejected the report saying that it is not based on facts and reality. They have appealed to the international community to pressurize Israel to end the blockade on Gaza, and secondly, to anoint an independent and unbiased Committee for the inquiry of the Freedom Flotilla case so that the truth could be established and the offenders punished.

The investigation report that has been brought out by the United Nations has been manipulated because when the incident was first reported though the United Nations condemned the Israeli attack on the flotilla it did not stress on Turkey’s demand that this matter should have an independent and unbiased investigation; rather it has only agreed to investigate Israel’s actions and punish the offenders if found guilty. After exercising a lot of pressure, United Nations agreed to set up an Inquiry Committee; anyway the decision went in favour of Israel. It is evident that one cannot expect justice and unbiased decision by the international community. It would do what America wants it to do. It would not be surprising if the said report was also prepared under American pressure.


Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 10 September 2011, Saturday
3. American Animosity towards Palestine

Whatever may be President of the US Barack Obama’s harsh statements against Israel on the Palestine question, he continues to stage-show that pressure is exerted on Israel and tries to convince the Arab world as well as the other Muslim countries that the US is in favour of an independent state of Palestine. But the reality remains just the contrary. History is a witness to the US’s animosity towards Palestine, as it has always justified Israeli aggression and the state terrorism on grounds of security, which is clearer than the sunlight.

Almost the same attitude could be seen now when the Palestinian officials have decided to seek the adoption of a resolution for an independent Palestinian state in the General Assembly due to the fear of American veto in the Security Council. If there are 129 votes in its favour then it would be granted the ‘non-member status’ as the Vatican City. However, the extent to which Zionist lobby in the US is opposed to an independent State of Palestine can be realized from the fact that one of the senior Republican leaders Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has appealed to the US President to publicly announce the American intention to veto the Palestinian resolution. The Palestinian Authority would introduce the motion on 19 September and push for its recognition in the UN General Assembly. But the manner in which the US has reacted to this decision and encouraged Israel’s policies is rather embarrassing and like an encouragement for Israel. This attitude of the US is, however, not new. Ever since the establishment of the state of Israel, Europe and the US have always allied with Israel and shown disregard towards formation of an independent Palestinian state. It is evident from the fact that in spite of all documents and agreements in place the international community as well as the United Nations has not been able to take any substantial step towards the formation of the state of Palestine. The announcement of settlement of Jews in the disputed territories by Israel, along with the cold attitude of the US and the international community, and their intentional silence bear testimony to the fact that they are involved in a conspiracy with Israel to make the hitherto illegal occupation a legitimate part of Israel. Rather than recognizing the state of Palestine formally, they are obstructing the path towards implementing these decisions. Why so…? The US President, who, on taking office had promised that he would take steps towards improving relations with the Islamic countries, should be able to give a better reply to that question. With regard to this, he came up with such statements which gave the impression that it would probably tighten its noose over Israel and push for the recognition of the independent state of Israel. However, such statements, from the American side, have remained largely imagined only.

The Palestinian Authority, which has entered negotiations with Israel counting on the support of the US, is also realising that the US is only betraying them and they have no interest in getting Palestine its due rights and recognition. It is for this reason that one Palestinian leader has said that it is shameful for the Arab states to tolerate the US’s attempts to obstruct the independence of the Palestinian state. Although the Palestinian Authority is presenting the US’s attitude as an insult to the Arab world, it is not evident how they would react to this. It could only be wished that they consider it their insult. Nevertheless it is quite evident that even now the US would disregard the proposal for the recognition of an independent state of Palestine and continue to show solidarity with the Zionist terrorists. It remains to be seen whether the Muslim countries would continue to remain a silent audience to this or their conscience is jolted to life.


Roznama Sahafat (Journalism Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 12 September 2011, Monday
4. Israel Getting Surrounded

When the Egyptian people gathered in Tahrir Square to protest against President Hosni Mubarak, the country that was most worried was Israel. Israel considered it a bad omen for it. The reason for this worry was that though Egypt had signed the Camp David Accord and agreed to have peaceful relations with Israel, it was largely against the public opinion. This had been recognized by the Israeli Intelligence. After the defeat of Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon in the 1967 war, the then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (sic) under pressure from the US had signed the Camp David Accord with Israel. For the Egyptian people this tantamounts to surrender by the Egyptian President. They were both disappointed at their defeat in the war as well as angry with the Camp David Accord. But Anwar Sadat was a military ruler and the army which had been defeated by Israel still had the strength to crush their own people and this military might was very often manifested in the force used on the Egyptian people whenever they tried to raise their voice against the Camp David Accord. Hosni Mubarak continued to abide by the Camp David Accord and also continued to suppress the voices of the people. Israel was convinced that so long as dictators such as Sadat and Mubarak are in power in the Arab World, it did not have to face any threat. The real reason was that Egyptian ruling class could not have even whispered against America. During the reign of Gamal Abdul Nasser, Egypt was an ally of Soviet Union. But the situation changed after Nasser, under Anwar Sadat Egypt moved out of the Russian camp and took refuge under the US. After the defeat of 1967 Egypt completely came under the control of the US and Israel knew that so long as this situation exists it need not fear Egypt. This was indeed the truth. It supported all moves of the Egyptian government to suppress the voice of the people. It is for this reason that the US was awestruck when the Egyptian people arose in rebellion against the rulers. Even President Barack Obama, who is considered democratic and moderate, did not speak a single word in favour of the Egyptian people; rather the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton appealed to the Egyptian people that they give up their demand on Hosni Mubarak’s stepping down and that they should resolve the matter through talks. Yet another reason for their worry was that their very efficient intelligence departments of the CIA and Mossad were also clueless about the upcoming rebellion. But when Mubarak was forced to step down then Israel was convinced that their days of security were now over. The demonstrations in front of the Israeli Embassy were so aggressive that the Israeli ambassador was forced to leave his office. It is obviously evident that these protests were against the cruelty meted out to the people of Gaza. Israel must have anticipated this, though not sure of it, because before this at least twice the gas pipelines which supplied gas from Egypt to Israel had been blown up. But this could prove to be the last traces of the Camp David Accord. The closing of the Israeli Embassy in Turkey by Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan has already diluted Israel’s status in the region. Turkey has also been an ally of Israel. Now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is saying that the Muslim countries are determined to wage war against the Jewish state of Israel. They still decline to accept that it is the result of their own policies. They have continued to refuse payment of any compensation to Turkey for the deaths of the crew members on board the Flotilla. Now the only ally left for Israel from the Muslim world is Jordan. But even Jordan is sitting on the brink of a volcano that can erupt any day. And if this happens then Israel would be surrounded with hostility from all sides. This would be the most glorious victory for the Palestinians.


Translated and Compiled by Amna Sunmbul

Amna Sunmbul is a Research Student at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Email 

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy