"How will the Iranian president's speech contribute to the Palestinian issue or the good of the occupied Arab lands?" wondered Tariq Alhomayed, Editor-in-Chief of Al-sharq al-Awsat Arabic newspaper in an opinion article published on Tuesday.
"We have also promised in the past to dump Israel into the sea, but what does Ahmadinejad have to add? After all, all he did yesterday was push the international community to rally around Israel, to boycott the conference for it, and anyone who didn't boycott it walked out
of the hall in protest."
Alhomayed, the editor of one of the most influential newspapers in the Arab world, that is considered to hold relatively liberal opinions, wrote the harsh editorial following Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's
speech on Monday at the UN's anti-racism conference in Geneva.
"When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke yesterday, attacking Israel
and calling it a racist country at the UN anti-racism conference known as Durban II, he spoke more to us than to the international community," Alhomayed wrote.
"What Ahmadinejad said yesterday about Israel was nothing more than the refined version of things he used to say repeatedly in the past, and the Iranian president did promise to wipe Israel off the map in the past, described it as illegitimate, said it could not exist and said that the Holocaust was nothing more than a legend.
"If we remember all this today, we can see that his speech yesterday was a softer version of his words. It is obvious that this speech was intended mainly for the Arab and Islamic street," he wrote.
"The Arabs fought six wars with Israel, not to mention the other battles that cannot be described as anything short of wars. We lost hundreds of thousands of dead and injured in them, our cities and our lands were occupied and we lost great treasures," he continued.
"Is talk enough for us today? Did Iran lose even one tree for Palestine? Did Tehran sacrifice a single dead man on the front against Israel? Memory of the recent past teaches us that the Iranians refrained from participating in the last war on Gaza,
under the orders of the highest authority in Iran."
"Do we need speeches and threats? Of course not! We need actions. And the actions that we witnessed yesterday faded in the squeals of Ahmadinejad's speech and the western countries' boycotting of his speech. The real actions that Iran committed yesterday was the Iranian court ruling that sent Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi to eight years in prison for spying.
"The second action was Ahmadinejad's meeting with the Swiss president two days ago. Switzerland has been in charge of following American interests in Iran from the time of the hostage crisis at the American Embassy. These two points are far more deserving of attention than Ahmadinejad's speech that was intended for the Arab and Islamic world," he concluded