Egypt: Compromises and blame games
Arabic media review

Egypt: Compromises and blame games

Cairo brushes off arbitration proposals, Kuwaitis go to the polls, and a new American peace mediator takes office

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi pray at Nasr City, where protesters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, July 28, 2013 (photo credit: AP/Hassan Ammar)
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi pray at Nasr City, where protesters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, July 28, 2013 (photo credit: AP/Hassan Ammar)

Egypt continues to occupy the top slot of Arab dailies on Monday, followed closely by the results of the Kuwaiti parliamentary elections and the renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Egypt: Fear of a bloodbath during sit-in dispersal,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, warning of “dramatic developments” following the “massacre” of Sunday evening.

London-based Al-Hayat begins its coverage of Egypt with the European efforts to contain the crisis, as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton arrives in Cairo Sunday.

“This is Ashton’s second visit within less than two weeks, meaning that the EU has thrown its weight behind trying to solve the Egyptian crisis. But it also seems that Ashton’s efforts will be met with defiance on the part of the sides to the conflict,” writes the daily.

Focusing on Egypt’s faltering security situation, the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reads “Killing and arrests in Sinai, a promise of escalation in Rabiah Al-Adawiya.”

According to the daily Egyptian forces killed 10 “terrorists” and arrested at least 20 during a military campaign centered on the area between Rafah and el-Arish in northern Sinai. According to a military source who spoke to the daily, the government’s priority at the moment is restoring security across Egypt, not negotiating with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Morsi supporters call for a new mass protest,” reads the headline of pro-Brotherhood Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera, reporting on the government’s insensitivity towards the death of unnamed Morsi supporters in Cairo.

Egypt’s interior minister did not even mention the dead during a speech at the graduation ceremony of new police recruits, the channel reports.

“The unawareness on the part of the presidency and the government was not limited to the humanitarian aspect of the events. A new proposal for a solution proposed by public figures won no interest from the new authorities,” claims the channel in a TV report.

But Al-Hayat columnist Mohammed Salah voices skepticism towards public initiatives that include the return — under any configuration — of Mohammed Morsi to power.

“Such an initiative would never succeed, not only because it usually emanates from personalities associated with the Islamists, but also because the reality in Egypt indicates that time cannot be brought backward. The most that can be sought is the foundations of reconciliation that does not excuse the perpetrators of the crimes,” writes Salah.

While admitting that the pro-Morsi demonstrators are no saints, the lead editorial of Al-Quds Al-Arabi lambastes the military leadership for opening fire at helpless civilians.

“The interior ministry blaming Morsi supporters for opening fire at the security forces does not exempt these forces from responsibility of this dangerous act,” argues the daily.

Meanwhile, in Kuwait, Shiites are the losers

Sunday’s Elections in Kuwait, the only county with an effective parliament in the Arab Gulf, occupies Arab media front pages.

“Kuwait: A big change in the seats of the people’s assembly,” reads the headline in Al-Hayat, reporting that some two-thirds of parliament members were replaced, with the biggest losers being the Shiites, whose number of representatives diminished from 17 to eight. Liberals increased their representation in parliament from three to six members.

“Tribalists and independents prevail in Kuwait’s elections,” reads the headline of A-Sharq Al-Awsat, featuring a photo of a judge during the vote tally. Only 52% of the electorate actually voted, according to the daily.

“The Shiite minority loses a third of its seats in the Kuwaiti parliament,” reads the headline in the website of Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya, reporting that a number of liberal and religious groups boycotted the elections following an amendment of the election law.

A new Middle East peace envoy

Saudi-owned news website Elaph dedicates an article Monday to Martin Indyk, the new US representative to the Middle East peace process, expected to be appointed officially on Monday.

The site dubs Indyk “a skilled diplomat and researcher,” but recalls a scandal he was involved in while serving as US ambassador to Israeli in 2000, ending his term as ambassador.

The daily calls the accusations leveled against Indyk of leaking sensitive information to Israeli officials “a scandal that shook American national security.”

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