Several months ago I posted a page with the headline "Editorials from the Arab press calling for an end to suicide bombings and a recognition of Israel's right to exist". The body of the page says
You're kidding, right? Seriously, though, if you find any, send them to me and I'll post them.
Well I'm pleased to say that I found one. Honest.
Yesterday's edition of the English language Lebanese Daily Star has an unsigned opinion piece with the headline "Time for Arabs to win trust of Israelis". It applauds the Labor Party's selection of Amram Mitzna, and calls on the Palestinians to act responsibly
As this newspaper has said more than once, Mitzna has the potential to break up the logjam that threatens to rob Israelis and Palestinians alike of a better future. But first he has to get elected, and it will take more than asking Israeli voters to be mature and reasonable to have that happen: It will also require Palestinian behavior that offers proof of just how different things can be. That means refraining from the kind of shortsighted tactics that gave such a boost to Sharon in 2001 and to Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.I flatly reject the notion that Sharon and his allies "secretly applaud" cafe bombings, but the editorial does call for an end to suicide bombings and it does implicitly recognize Israel's right to exist and to have a "better future" and a "full and comprehensive peace agreement"
The choice Israeli voters are being asked to make is a clear one, so anything that clouds their judgment is a victory for Sharon and his allies. They need bloodshed to build support for their heavy-handed policies and so will continue to secretly applaud whenever a suicide bomber blows up a cafe. Palestinian militant groups that have fallen for this ruse need to end such attacks, and quickly. What is at stake here is not a debate between right and wrong but one between smart and stupid. Why help someone who hates you?
And despite its imperfections, it is the most encouraging editorial I've seen in the Arab press in recent memory.
I've reposted that page to link to this editorial, and I'm pleased to be able to remove the "You're kidding" line. If anybody finds any other positive editorials from the Arab press, please send them to me and I will link to them too.Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at November 22, 2002 07:25 AM