'Netanyahu's election - a return to extreme right'
Photo: AP
'A government without Livni means trouble'
Photo: Reuters

Arab world warns of 'government of war'

Major Arab newspapers follow Israeli coalition talks with concern, predicting series of clashes, small battles ahead of primary war against Iran. Senior Palestinian officials tells Ynet government without Kadima will be 'a sure recipe for trouble'

The Palestinians and Arab countries fear the establishment of an Israeli government which will not include the Kadima party, senior Palestinian Authority officials told Ynet on Sunday after discussing the matter with many sources in the Arab world.


Arab newspapers are also warning of Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu's "government of war", which will not put the peace process at the top of its priorities.


According to the source, the Arab world understands that a right-wing government means diplomatic paralysis, and this may bring an end to the Arab peace initiative and increase the chances for another wave of violence in the region.


The sources said that the Jordanians' main fear is that an escalation in the diplomatic and security-related situation will increase the flow of Palestinians to the kingdom.


The Jordanian palace has recently toughened its policy in regards to the passage of Palestinians into Jordan, and in light of a right-wing government which may lead to a diplomatic deadlock and destabilize the situation in the West Bank – Amman fears that the Palestinians will increase their pressure to raise the quota of entry permits.


Tensions are also high on Israel's southern border. According to Palestinian sources, Egypt understands that a government which would only include Kadima will not be able to do much, while a rightist government will not do a thing on the diplomatic level and will only complicate the situation. Therefore, the desired formula is a government in which Kadima will play a key role.


"The Egyptians don’t want to think about a government which Kadima or the Labor Party will not take part in. They view a government without Kadima and Labor as a sure recipe for trouble. (Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi) Livni must be in there," one of the Palestinian sources said.


Series of wars and clashes

In any event, the region is closely following the coalition negotiations in Israel. Shortly after President Shimon Peres tasked the Likud chairman with forming the new government, the Arab world has already begun voicing its well known opinion about such a government.


One of the prominent opinions voices was the editorial of the London-based Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, which is not one of the supporters of Zionism.


Doves of peace hide Israeli tank (al-Quds al-Arabi)


"The Israeli president's decision to task the Likud leader with forming the new Israeli government means a return of the extreme Right to the decision making arena and taking a new road which may lead to a series of wars and clashes in the region," the newspaper wrote under the title, "The Netanyahu government – a warning bell to the Arabs."


"The peace process in its previous form, which took place for the past five years at least, may be the first victim of this appointment, as Netanyahu strongly objected to the Oslo Accords and to the second round of negotiations in Camp David, and still opposes a two-state solution. In addition, his party's platform, based on which he received 27 Knesset seats, includes no sign of a withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights."


The editorial referred to a Likud-led government as a "government of war".


"Netanyahu sought to form a national unity government which would include the Kadima and Labor parties alongside the bloc he heads in favor of the interest of Israel and its people, and has defined Iran and its nuclear plan as the main danger threatening the country. This means a government of war rather than a government of peace."


Netanyahu's drums

The paper went on to warn against Netanyahu's promises "to crush the Hamas movement, destroy Iran's nuclear program and Hizbullah," plans which are supported by the right-wing parties.


"The drumming on the drums of war against Iran may be the main problem at the top of the next Netanyahu government's list of priorities, and therefore we should expect 'small wars' which may precede this primary war, such as a the launching of a new aggression against the Gaza Strip with the hopes of achieving what the latest war failed to accomplish. In other words, destroying Hamas and the other Palestinian resistance factions."


Which party will charge the Israeli rifle – Labor, Kadima, Likud or Yisrael Beiteinu? (London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat, February 21)


The London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper also informed its readers on Saturday that the peace process was not at the top of Netanyahu's list of priorities.


"Netanyahu's plan: The Iranian threat, the financial crisis, and only later – the peace process," the article's title said.


Egypt's state-run al-Ahram daily declared that "Israel is leaning to the extreme right. It chose to turn to the most radical form of the Right, after Israeli President Shimon Peres officially stated that he has tasked Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the rightist Likud party, with forming the new government, which would include his radical ally at least, Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman.


"Simultaneously, Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, who won the February 10 elections, chose to remain in the opposition with Labor Party leader Ehud Barak, after the two rejected the possibility of working under Netanyahu and Lieberman."


Roee Nahmias contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 02.22.09, 13:15
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