Arabs Root for Gazans, Fear Repercussions of Attacks

The Israeli assault on Gaza, which has so far resulted in the death of at least 350 Palestinians, is a "massacre" that has "the Arab world boiling," according to Arab journalists, who say the eventual cost to Israel could be great.

The reverberations of the assault, seen not only in the Arab streets and media, were today also felt in Arab royal palaces as well.

In a rare display of emotion, Jordan's Queen Rania, who is of Palestinian origin, wrote in the Alrai daily Jordanian newspaper: "There is nothing to be said ... and words cannot help any of us here. This is how I felt in the recent days. We are human beings. Today stones and trees are crying and the silence. How can we all not cry! After the silence comes the anger. Anger against oneself for its defeat, because we all can do more in unleashing our voice and opinions and hands to help the infants, the mothers and the elderly, the nation [the Palestinians] whose will is a source of inspiration for all of us. A nation struggling for its right to live its life."

She continued: "To limit oneself to expressing solidarity with the people of Gaza is a disgrace, because they do not need our sympathy. We have to prove to Gaza and its people that we are their brethren and that we are with them."

The Israeli offensive in Gaza and its disastrous aftermath have provoked harsh reactions in the media throughout the Arab world.

Ghassan Chirbel, a veteran Lebanese journalist wrote in Al Hayat newspaper: "As this year of sad collapses nears its end, Israel has offered the world a massacre in Gaza. An unusual one of the type that opens the doors of hell and portends further spates of violence. A crime that stirs up the feelings of anger, hatred, and revenge stemming from the legitimate right of self-defense. A massacre that pumps unusual tension into the veins of the Arab and Islamic world."

The Jordan Times' main editorial today tackled the effects the Israeli assaults on Gaza could have on the future of the peace talks between the Arabs and Israel.

"Having inflamed the spirits in the Arab and Muslim worlds, especially of Palestinians in the West Bank, the latter's opinion, which is crucial for the development of peace talks, is pushed to shift toward Hamas, which, therefore, is bound to emerge as the principal beneficiary of the recent escalation," the paper's editorial said.

"Israeli strategic planners should have calculated better the consequences of their state's actions against Gaza. The cost of the Israeli attacks is great for all parties, but it will not spare Israel," the editorial said. "Through its aggression on the impoverished strip, Israel is going to reap much more than it bargained for."

Abdel Bari Atwan of Al Quds Al Arabi wrote about the massive Arab street demonstrations against Israel.

"[Israeli Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni promised to change the situation on the ground in Gaza in a dramatic way, but four days after these massacres the change that will happen will not be in Gaza but in the whole Arab region," he wrote. "The Arab region is boiling and the awakening has been spreading from Mauritania to the Arab Gulf. The steadfastness of Gaza has unified all Arabs and Muslims. The Arab people forgot their domestic concerns and daily suffering under corrupt regimes. They have taken to the streets to express their anger. Neither Livni nor her Arab allies have planned for this."

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