As the Assad regime continues to gain ground in Syria, and Egypt prepares to release a draft of its new constitution, Arab editorials seem preoccupied with Israel and its ostensibly mistaken sense of self-confidence regarding the dwindling threats it faces in the Middle East.
In an editorial Friday titled “So that Israeli intelligence is not too optimistic,” London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi deals with the upbeat Israeli intelligence assessment of 2014 as a year of diminished security threats.
Israel, opines the article, may be justified in feeling more confident amid a supportive Egyptian regime and reduced offensive threats emanating from conventional Arab armies. But Arab failures could be a good opportunity for some serious soul-searching.
“The optimism of Israel’s intelligence need not necessarily be reason for our pessimism. It must however be an opportunity to analyze our strategic mistakes, we the residents of this disaster-stricken area… we must stand calmly and examine ourselves,” writes the editor.
“It pains us, of course, to see our people dragged from a fight to regain their stolen freedom and dignity to devastating nihilistic struggles; our autocratic regimes turning against their citizens. The Nakba of Palestine is being multiplied by the Nakbas of Iraq and Syria and our elites are losing their moral compass, favoring dictatorial regimes over their people and organizations opposed to democracy and human rights.”
Referring to the new Egyptian regime led by General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the editor laments the hypocrisy surrounding Egypt’s new law banning public protests.
“It pains us that the defense minister of the largest Arab country asks his people to protest in order to empower him to depose an elected leader and then use this power to prevent demonstrations and protests.
‘The situation has become more dangerous for Israel than it was during the past four decades, contrary to what the Israelis say’
“It pains us that the priority of the Egyptian government is to fight its own people and crack down on Hamas, coordinating with Israel under the pretext of fighting terror. It pains us that the Syrian army replaces its enmity for Israel with enmity for its own people, destroying its cities and bombing its people with weapons of mass destruction… weapons it has never used against Israel.”
The Palestinian issue, concludes the editorial, has become “a political game to bury the issue and tamper with the fate of Palestinians.
“Despite all of this, we advise Israel not to be too optimistic. Revolutions are long processes which take many years. Arab nations have grabbed the torch of freedom which they will never drop.”
Meanwhile, A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Abdul Rahman Rashed writes about the opinion of those surrounding the Israeli prime minister, whereby Israel is able to capture Damascus in a matter of hours.
The Assad regime was effectively in alliance in Israel. The civil war raging in Syria, claims Rashed, makes the capture of Damascus by Israel “more costly today than it was yesterday.
“This regime, which handled the Israeli-Syrian triangle with Hezbollah, is gradually collapsing before our eyes. The situation has become more dangerous for Israel than it was during the past four decades, contrary to what the Israelis say.
“What will prevent Israeli tanks from occupying Damascus are not rebel forces or the militias allied with the Syrian regime, but the chaos causing Israel to think long and hard before venturing into the Syrian swamp. [Israel] will certainly not risk its forces by crossing the borders of the Golan eastward.”