Friday, October 07, 2005

Icy Relations Thawing in the Muslim Press?

According to a News Alert from AIPAC, a major development has happened with regards to the treatment of Israel in the Muslim press. Signs of improvement have popped up in Kuwaiti and Indonesian newspapers. Even more incredible, please read this news tidbit I'm about to share.

In the wake of Israel’s historic withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, journalists in Kuwait have suggested that the country stop using the Palestinian conflict as an excuse to isolate Israel.

This is HUGE. Will it last? is it a fake-out? Too soon to tell, but on Monday, a substantial step forward was achieved:

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom became the first Israeli Cabinet member to have an op-ed published in an Indonesian paper. Shalom’s article stated that “history has shown us that Jews and Muslims lived in peace, harmony and friendship for many years in the past. This should be the aim in the future.”

Now let's hope this is only the beginning, rather than an aberration.


At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Esther, I'm with you. I hope this will be some sort of a breakthrough, but what I think is interesting is that it took the Kuwaitis this long because, after the first Gulf War, they kicked out all the Palestinians after they sided with Saddam. In fact, there were even a few high profile Kuwaitis who had the temerity to express some sympathy for the Israelis in the wake of the Scud attacks. The truth is they can't abide the Palestinians, but they had been keeping them in the country as a source of cheap labor and, for the sake of Arab unity, they've expressed solidarity with them. So, perhaps, after all these years of siding with people they really had no use for, they've decided to try a different approach. Also, it's probably in their interest to suck up to the U.S. as the only superpower, now that the Arab states can no longer look to the Soviet Union for help. But, frankly, whatever their motives, if it helps Israel, that's good enough.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

"journalists in Kuwait have suggested that the country stop using the Palestinian conflict as an excuse to isolate Israel."

I will consider this to be a step forward. Just the fact that they are willing to say stuff like this in public is impressive.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Rory, that's pretty much how I saw it. And if it's because they want to suck up... I can live with that. ;)

And Gindy's right -- for them to say this to the public is impressive... and about time.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger rockmother said...

I will not hold my breath waiting for this - or anything like it - to be reported on the BBC.

Much less The Guardian.

Even much less The Independent.

Thank you for sharing this.

I had a close colleague when I was doing my PhD who was an Iraqi Kurd. We always got on pretty well and I eventually learned from him that his family had been close for a long time with a Jewish Iraqi family. Nothing more than they were just two families who quite simply happened to really like each other. Normality itself.

Of course people can get on with each other.

That's what makes all this hate-mongering even more evil.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger rockmother said...

My last sentence didn't quite come out as I meant.

What I meant was the hate-mongering from the anti-Israel coven and all the rest of the smelly rag-bag of ill-disguised anti-Semites.

Strange how things look different when you post them!

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

I'm not at all surprised at what you said about your Iraqi colleague. I was married to an Israeli whose parents were born in Iraq and they retained a lot of the Iraqi culture. They spoke Arabic, they cooked all the Iraqi foods and his grandmother, although she had lived in Israel for most of her adult life, only spoke Arabic, and all the children in the family even had Arabic nicknames. But I went to Israel in 1988, during the "First Intifada." There had been months of unrelenting violence, but I gone there to visit my husband's parents after he died. Then one day I went to see an aunt of his, who I knew quite well because she had lived in the States for many years. We were listening to the radio and when an Arabic song came on, she asked her son to turn it off because she said she could no longer stand to hear Arabic. I was really surprised, but it seemed to auger a change between the Arabs and and a lot of Israelis who originally came from Arab countries.

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

"journalists in Kuwait have suggested that the country stop using the Palestinian conflict as an excuse to isolate Israel."

Very promissing, but I am a pessimist by nature.
Let's hope, I am wrong, and it is not just another PR stunt to please the Yanks.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Itend to think that in any dysfunctional and dangerous society, there are always some "freaks" who are going to see the light of reason and ethics. They will have to employ a lot of doublespeak to maintain employment as well as life and limb, but when they have the chance, they will endeavor to summon others to their beacon. Those people are a large part of the hope of leading humanity to the goodness it can be.

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous seawitch said...

There does seem to be a trend in Muslim countries thawing towards Israel. From reading blogs such as the Big Phaorh, I think it is the people of those countries realizing they are being distracted by their countries accusations about Israel that is leading to this. With the advent of satellite TV, cell phones, and other communication advances, the truth cannot be suppressed. I hope it keeps up and very optimistic thinking here, that the people of those countries start demanding a fairer form of courts than Sharia.

Odder things have happened!

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Bozwell said...

This is good news and I remain cautiously optimistic.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Batya said...

They probably want money. That's what happened with the former USSR. The various "countries" invited Israelis expecting gifts.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

"Will it last?"

Not if the left gets its way, no. But I do have hope.


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