Qaadafi presses his accusations home

A round-up of the region's press from Arabic newspapers

"From now on, the only meaningful attitude that can refute Col Muammar Qaddafi's argument towards al Qae'da being the mastermind of the Libyan uprising is a public statement of denial by Osama bin Laden, himself," observed Satea Noureddine in an opinion piece for the Lebanese newspaper Assafir.

Then and only then, the picture will be clearer. The world will witness an important debate between two men who embody the Arab world's major conflicting political trends: the nationalist ideal, which has produced a vacuum and chaos, and the Islamic movement, which would like to replace the former and cause further harm.

It is an interesting idea if bin Laden should send a recorded tape responding to the accusations directed to him by Col Qaddafi. It is not unlikely that bin Laden would disappoint him and thwart his plan. He may say that al Qa'eda has no presence in Libya and is not involved at all in the unrest there. He may also deny any responsibility for the protests, saying that Libya is by no means on the agenda of his organisation.

In his last speech, Col Qaddafi did not apparently aim to draw a response from bin Laden. Rather, he was reiterating a series of warnings against Islamists in general, desperately hoping for winning a safe ticket, as the western arsenal is building up in the Mediterranean Sea.

Wind of change blows on Palestinian issue

"Where is the Palestinian issue amid the Arab uprisings?" Husam Kanafani posed this question in a commentary for the UAE newspaper Al Khaleej.

As news about the Palestinian situation have degraded in importance in the media, Palestinians have become more attentive to what is going on elsewhere around them, instead of being the regular focal point of the media spotlight in the region.

The official attitude, either in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip, was neutral, at least during the Egyptian revolution. Both parties waited until the ouster of Hosni Mubarak to declare their support for the revolution.

But does the wave of revolutions have any effect on the Palestinian situation? So far, there is no obvious impact in terms of national reconciliation. Yet, in terms of negotiations, it appears that the Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has felt a change in the international position following the Arab uprisings. This came during this week in a meeting with his party's bloc in the Knesset, when he clearly said that Israel could no longer ignore the international pressure concerning settlement policies in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli goverment's  change of attitude underlies a  determination by the US to exercise pressure on Israel as long as Mahmoud Abbas has maintained his position regarding the settlement freeze.

Correct measures to remedy many crises

People depend on the state for most aspects of their daily lives today; this is the nature of modern life, observed the columnist Abdulrahman Al Rashed in an article for the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.

It is a dependency that gives the system of rule immense authority, but also imposes upon it immense obligations in a compound relationship between the two parties that requires trust on the part of the citizens and credibility on the part of the authority. Unrest and turmoil are expressions of a deteriorating trust.

"When some call for the closing of stock markets to prevent outlaws from smuggling their assets out, they are jeopardising the most important link between the people and the state: the system."

The Saudi stock market is suffering from a haemorrhage due to panic caused by turmoil in the region. It is a natural and expected reaction. When the government bans activities that were allowed during times of "stability", it is in fact a deadly strike to the system-citizens relationship. A ban on exchange transactions reflects a weakness in the system's confidence. Future damage would be huge and irreparable.

Such actions are adding to the fear. We don't pretend that everything is normal. The region is facing an unprecedented situation, but the best way to deal with the situation is to listen, modify, change and retract. This is the art of politics.

Secretary general to leave Arab League

Now that Arab regimes are facing popular uprisings calling for change and an end to oppressive and corrupt dictatorships, one expects dire days for the institution representing them, that is, the Arab League, declared the pan-Arab daily Al Quds al Arabi in its editorial.

Amro Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League is nearing the end of his term at the end of this month. His departure at this time in the absence of clear a alternative will put the future of the League at risk. The need for the group is rapidly decreasing and the waves of change across the Arab world are expected to reach its gates.

The Arab Summit institution in itself is decaying; every new summit is weaker than the one before it, not only in view of the meagre participation but also in view of their weak resolutions.

Mr Moussa leaves behind a fatigued Arab League that is in sharp disconnection with its name and past. He may have chosen the ideal time to jump off a sinking ship in hope of running for the Egyptian presidency, His experience at the helm of the Arab League was far from rosy. His achievements were few and he must breathe a sigh of relief when he leaves the League's headquarters for the last time in the upcoming days.

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk