Sunday, January 4, 2009

Palestine crisis shows widening chasm between Arab rulers and their subjects

THE chasm between many Arab rulers and their subjects has been exposed and further widened by Israel's attack on Gaza, writes Michael Jansen for the Irish Times. He focuses on Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority; they have have become targets of popular criticism for blaming Hamas for not extending a six-month ceasefire, thus giving Israel the pretext to launch its assault. Mass rallies have taken place across the Arab world, from Rabat to the Gulf, with protesters castigating the "cowardice" of Arab leaders.

At a demonstration in Beirut, Egypt's octogenarian president Hosni Mubarak was singled out as the main culprit. "Oh, great people of Egypt," protesters cried, "replace Mubarak with a donkey". Egyptian wags referred to their president as the "mummy". Read more in the Irish Times.

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