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06ABUDHABI2199 2006-05-29 13:25:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION: OMLMERT VISIT/PALESTINE/ISLAM AND THE

Tags:   OIIP KMDR AE KPAO TC 
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1. SUMMARY: A columnist in "Al-Ittihad" describes the warm
welcome Olmert received from members of Congress as hypocritical.
"Al-Khaleej" advises the Hamas-led government to translate their
words into actions by starting a plan based on the roadmap in
order to give the Palestinian people some hope. A UAE columnist
in "Al-Khaleej" claims American Muslims are unfairly treated in
the U.S. An "Al-Khaleej" editorial asserts that the U.S.
involvement in Iraq has caused a remarkable erosion to its moral
reputation. End Summary.



2. Under headline "All for elections?!", a Kuwaiti
intellectual, Dr. Saad Bin Taflah Al-Agami, wrote 05/27 op-ed in
Abu Dhabi-based Arabic daily "Al-Ittihad" (circulation 65,000):

"There was unprecedented hypocrisy at the U.S. Congress last week
when the speech of the Israeli prime minister was interrupted by
38 rounds of applause and received 18 standing ovations... The
Israeli prime minister came to Washington to dictate to the U.S.
president and Congress his unilateral plan of withdrawal, whether
they agree or not. The U.S. president and Congress support his
plan, while talks about the roadmap and the Palestinian state
promised last year fade away. Any observer can see that the warm
applause... is governed by the upcoming congressional elections
expected to take place this coming November where the Jewish
voice supporting Israel plays a decisive role. It is
understandable that compliments have a niche in politics, but
when there is a complete submission at the expense of everything
else, the American policy crosses the line."



3. Under headline "A statement alone is not enough", Sharjah-
based pan-Arab daily "Al-Khaleej" (circulation 85,000) wrote
05/28 unsigned editorial:

"The national dialogue conference in its latest statement
affirmed a number of fundamentals, most important of which is to
deem the Palestinian blood as sacred and precious and that it is
taboo to shed one drop of blood in the wrong place against their
enemies. He also emphasized the fact that all efforts and
controversial issues should be resolved through a national
democratic dialogue. He called for a national and honorable code
of ethics that would bring all forces together agreeing to ban
internal killings regardless of the reason... If those who
conferred and released their statements were really honest, they
should now start translating their words into actions and set up
a working plan on a Palestinian roadmap to give the Palestinian
people some hope... Palestine is not some form of stocks sold
and bought throughout Arab and international stock markets, nor
is it a tender to bid, nor a piece of property on which any
regime, faction or a group can act upon. Palestine is a land
representing the history, the past, the present, the future and a
sacred symbol which cannot be degraded or divided. It is a
responsibility that all Palestinians should hold, protect and
fight for. All that they should do is simply protect and support
Palestine."



4. Under headline "Islam in the United States", a UAE
columnist, Abu Khaldoun, wrote a 05/29 op-ed in Sharjah-based pan-
Arab daily "Al-Khaleej" (circulation 85,000):

"The image remains unchanged. For a Muslim who is living in the
United States, it is as difficult for him to hold on to his
religion as holding fire in his hands. Though Islam is the
second most widely spread heavenly religion after Christianity,
and though the internet spread different cultures to every house,
only 2 percent of Americans know something about Islam, 10
percent believe Muslims worship the moon, one out of every four
Americans believe Islam encourages violence and that Muslims
teach their children hatred while belittling the value of human
life, half of Americans think Islam supports oppressing women,
and one out of every five Americans feels that Muslims should be
arrested and their civil rights limited because they pose a
source of danger to society and security."



5. Under headline "Erosion in the reputation of U.S. morality",
Sharjah-based pan-Arab daily "Al-Khaleej" (circulation 85,000)
wrote 05/29 unsigned editorial:

"The crime in which U.S. Marines killed 24 Iraqi civilians in Al-
Hadeetha last November, more than half of whom were children and
women, affirms that it is time for the U.S. administration to
learn its lesson. The war which the U.S. wages has incurred many
economic, military, political and moral expenses. If its
economic, military, and political costs were very obvious, its
morality will sustain great losses in the long-term basis... The
likes of these crimes causes the world to rage because these
crimes violate the laws of war... This war has brought a
catastrophe to Iraq, the region, and to the United States itself
and it's time now for Americans to end their occupation."


SISON