Courageous Abdulateef Al-Mulhim writes about the Arab Spring and the Israeli Enemy on Arab News
Thirty-nine years ago, on Oct. 6, 1973, the third major war between the Arabs and Israel broke out. The war lasted only 20 days. The two sides were engaged in two other major wars, in 1948 and 1967.
The 1967 War lasted only six days. But, these three wars were not the only Arab-Israel confrontations. From the period of 1948 and to this day many confrontations have taken place. Some of them were small clashes and many of them were full-scale battles, but there were no major wars apart from the ones mentioned above. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the most complicated conflict the world ever experienced. On the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world are beginning to ask many questions about the past, present and the future with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The questions now are: What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people. And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars? But, the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.
I decided to write this article after I saw photos and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo souk in Syria, the under developed Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East.
The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is that who is the real enemy of the Arab world?
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By Al Arabiya
A group of Egypt’s Christian women voters were banned on Saturday in Cairo’s Nasr City from casting their ballot in a disputed constitutional referendum, an Al Arabiya correspondent and AFP reported.
Nasr City was the scene of mass rallies last night as Islamists who support President Mohammed Mursi took to the streets.
Details of banning Coptic Christians from voting are not immediately available, but earlier the opposition National Salvation Front was quoted by AFP as saying that a judge in Nasr City forbade Christians from casting their vote.
On November 30, the draft constitution was passed by an assembly composed mostly of Islamists, in a marathon session, despite a walkout by secular activists and Christians from the 100-member panel.
If the constitution is approved by a simple majority of voters, the Islamists who gripped powered after Mubarak’s ouster would gain even more clout in the country. The current upper house of parliament, which is dominated by the Islamists, will be given legislative authority until a new parliament is elected.
If the constitution is refuted, elections would be held within three months giving a new panel the right to draft a new constitution. In the meantime, legislative powers would remain with the Egyptian President.
The opposition has called on its supporters for a “no” vote, while Mursi’s supporters say the constitution will help put an end to the political instability currently gripping Egypt. On the other hand, Muslim clerics defend the constitution as a document that champions Islam.
Mursi’s opponents, however, say minority concerns have been ignored and the charter is full of obscurely worded clauses that could allow the ruling Islamists to restrict civil liberties, ignore women’s rights and undermine labor unions.
“At one point in our history, Cleopatra, a woman, ruled Egypt. Now you have a constitution that makes women not even second-class but third-class citizens,” this is that Olivia Ghita a prominent businesswoman declared. Adding, “This constitution is tailored for one specific group (the Muslim Brotherhood). It’s a shame. I am very upset.”