Turkey does not need Israel, says editorial

The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been under intensified pressure lately from Washington in an effort to ease the growing tension between Turkey and Israel, said the pan-Arab Al Quds Al Arabi.

The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been under intensified pressure lately from Washington in an effort to ease the growing tension between Turkey and Israel, said the pan-Arab Al Quds Al Arabi in its editorial. Following the last meeting between Mr Obama and Mr Netanyahu in Washington earlier last week, it seems that the US administration realized that Turkey is Israel's only strategic ally in the Middle East and a continued strain in that relationship might overturn of all American equations in the region.

Mr Erdogan directed a series of demands to Israel, namely an explicit apology for the murder of nine Turkish citizens that were aboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship. In addition to that, Israel is required to indemnify the victims' families, accept the establishment of a neutral international investigation committee and lift the blockade imposed on Gaza. Of course, Tel Aviv didn't comply and Mr Netanyahu merely expressed his regret for the incident.

"It is unfortunate that the US administration would revert back to its old habit of pressuring the righteous and the oppressed to retract their positions and opt for compromise in support of the Israeli choice". The reality is that Mr Erdogan does not need to settle, as Israel needs Turkey, and not vice versa. Israel has nothing to offer Turkey that other western countries cannot offer.

"Recent experiences indicate that the remedy to any big financial or economic crisis is to throw money at it", said Dr Fahd Al Fanek in an article for the Jordanian daily Al Rai. The US government remedied the 2008 global financial crisis by issuing billions of dollars, thus averting a catastrophe. The EU managed the euro crisis by creating a ?750 billion fund ready to extinguish any financial fires that may erupt anywhere within the union. The G20, after studying the current and future crises, has decided to allocate billions of dollars as a safety fund.

The crisis that began in the US was generated by the state of laxity and absence of control over Wall Street. Greece's recent calamity was due to budget deficit and accumulation of debts in a bankrupt country. In all cases, the problem wasn't a matter of cash flow; rather, it was a matter of structural failure that was momentarily frozen by the availability of cash. Additional cash flow in America cannot be the alternative for strict market control, as is the case in Greece, where cash flow cannot solve the budget deficit, nor cover the national debt.

"Money doesn't solve the essential problem but it does buy time and postpones the crisis. However, is that a pertinent solution?" asks the writer. The answer depends on what these states do now. If nothing is done to modify unhealthy economic practices, the crisis will be back and with a vengeance.

The ongoing demonstrations calling for the secession of southern Sudan indicate that separation is a matter of time and is likely to be voted for, noted the UAE newspaper Al Khaleej in its editorial. Whether such protests are spontaneous or planned for, we expect to see more of them in the few coming months before January 2011, the referendum date. All parties take it for granted that separation is on the way. They have even started thinking of a post-independence phase, and strategies on how to deal with Khartoum, including a plan of federal union between the North and the South. As the division of Sudan is inevitable, the danger now could come from other provinces within the country, which, for their part, might seek independence. This is possible with the presence of an "international community" that could support such initiatives on various grounds.

Of course, the Sudanese are also to blame for reaching this stage of disunity, which is fed also by international interferences. This has denied Sudanese political and social forces to come to terms with each other and think positively for effective solutions to the long-lasting Sudanese crisis. The Sudan case represents an example of similar problems in the Arab world. In these tragic moments of political distress, calls for independence and disintegration speak louder than the voice of reason and unity, concludes the paper.

In its editorial, the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram wrote that the US president Barack Obama phoned Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, to assure him that Washington is committed to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The newspaper characterises this statement as baseless, and the only reason for Mr Obama saying this was to absorb the rising anger and resentment among Arabs following his comments during the last visit of the Israeli prime minister to the white House.

President Obama has acknowledged the Israel's right to own a unique means of defence in reference to its nuclear arsenal. This is not new. The US, in fact, has always strived to keep this issue off the agenda at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), while it has mobilised the international community to impose tough sanctions on other countries that are not yet proven to possess means of producing a single atomic bomb.

Obama's announcement that Israel needs deterrent arms echoes former US administrations, which have empowered Israel to the detriment of the countries of the region. This time, there is a fear the new American biased stance towards Israel will be stalling the indirect negotiations that have been launched recently. * Digest compiled by Racha Makarem rmakarem@thenational.ae