This report is not a well-researched political science study, nor is it based on a particularly extensive survey. Instead, it is based on my scans of the Arab media sources I normally go to most mornings in search of stories that are of interest to the Jewish Press readers – and on Thursday morning it was done while Israel was destroying considerable assets belonging to the terror gangs in Gaza. I was looking for the impression the IAF has left on the Arab masses from Baghdad to Casablanca and from Bahrain to Cairo, because, as we all understand, Israel’s strong hand policy against Hamas could impact PM Netanyahu’s recent peace accords with several Arab nations.
What I found was mostly… crickets.
It turns out most Sunni Arab media, and most Sunni Arab leaders, couldn’t care less.
The pro-Saudi, London-based Asharq Al Awsat had one story on Thursday about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which was headlined: King Salman Says Saudi Arabia Stands by Palestinian People to Obtain their Legitimate Rights. Such a benign, restrained style – nothing about Zionist atrocities, no mention of war crimes against the Arab nation.
Also – no mention of Gaza. Even as the Strip is being battered by Israel’s state-of-the-art, military technology (which the Saudis would love to have one day), the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has merely “affirmed that the Kingdom stands by the Palestinian people so that they obtain their legitimate rights.”
The most aggressive part in the King’s courteous statement goes: “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques stressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the Israeli measures in Jerusalem and the acts of violence carried out by Israel in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, affirming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s stand by the Palestinian people in order to obtain their legitimate rights.” But Hamas and Gaza? They don’t exist.
Closer to home, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas did mention Gaza, but it was so nerf ball, it hardly made a mark. Abbas said that “the continued aggression against the Palestinian people everywhere, including in the Gaza Strip, exceeded all limits in total disregard for all international norms and covenants.” Following which he switched back to the main message, which was: “Jerusalem is a red line. It is the heart and soul of Palestine and its eternal capital. There will be no peace, security, or stability until it is liberated.”
Because, hey, why should Abbas get in the way of a very successful Israeli operation to deliver into Allah’s embrace so many Hamas competitors? Never mind that it was Abbas’s decision to renege on his promise to hold parliamentary elections with Hamas included that started the Hamas incitements in Jerusalem.
The report on Gaza in Arab News Thursday morning (Israel destroys tower block, kills Hamas commander as Gaza civilian death toll mounts) is extensive and detailed, but so clinical in style, so not the Arab reports we were used to in years past. And the news from Gaza takes the back seat to fresh reports about Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. No one is excited about Gaza.
The only Muslim source that still manages to work up some rage about Gaza is Turkey’s official news agency Anadolu. There you’ll find the reports about Arab casualties in Gaza from Israeli attacks that started out of the blue – no Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket barrages in their report (Death toll rises to 67 from Israeli attacks against Palestine).
Anadolu even offers the merch you don’t easily find in the more sober Arab media outside Iran: Zionist genocide. They interview an authority on the subject, the president of the Confederation of Palestinian Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean (‘Israel’s attacks on Palestinians qualify as state terrorism’).
Al Jazeera, too, delivers the more familiar account of events in Gaza (Gaza marks deadly Eid al-Fitr amid Israeli bombardment). The report takes nine paragraphs of descriptions of Araab suffering on their holy day before offering a begrudging few lines on the fact that “Hamas, the group that rules the Gaza Strip, also launched a barrage of rockets into Israel after Israeli missiles destroyed a third tower in the besieged coastal territory. … At least seven Israelis, including one child, have also been killed.”
That’s a twist on the old headline, “It all started after Israel retaliated.”
But one must be encouraged by the fact that while the Arab riots in Jerusalem and the Muslim mobs’ clashes with law enforcement did result in statements of concern from Israel’s new Arab friends, so far those same friends are seemingly happy to let Israel have its way with the Muslim Brothers’ proxy militias in Gaza.
We plugged “Shkoyach” in Google Translate and it came up with the Arabic version which goes “أحسنت” (pronounced Ahsan).