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Last Updated: Monday, 11 July 2005, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Mid-East press rejects London link
Number 30 bus at Tavistock Square
At least 49 people died in the bombings

Israeli and Palestinian newspapers take issue with remarks made by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair after the London bombings.

Mr Blair said that security measures alone could not protect Britain from further attacks and that instead the world should address issues such as lack of democracy, deprivation and conflict in the Middle East.

"With all due respect, the British prime minister is wrong," says Israel's most popular daily, Yediot Aharonot.

The ground is being prepared for the next terrorist attack


Yediot Aharanot

Echoing Israel's official stance, it argues that the war on terror is a global phenomenon, with no specific regional causes.

"First, this is Islamic terrorism. Second, this is terrorism by rich, educated Muslims, not of poor and ignorant ones. Third, the jihadists have opened a war against the West because of what it is, and not in order to 'promote' a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Mr Blair's comments represent "an act of self-deception which has emerged in Britain and Europe". This way, the editorial warns, "the ground is being prepared for the next terrorist attack."

A separate commentary in Yediot Aharonot echoes this sentiment.

"[Tony Blair's] assertion that 'it is vital to deal with the causes of terrorism including the ongoing conflict in the Middle East' fits in well in its shallowness and rashness with a series of baseless statements by politicians and commentators all over the world and also here," says pundit Amos Carmel.

'Political correctness'

An article in the Hebrew daily Maariv agrees that the London bombings must be seen in a wider, Islamic context.

Accusing the West of "political correctness" in its approach to Islamist terrorism, it says that "the West must ask itself why many there [in Muslim countries] prefer extremism to moderation and not vice versa".

A commentary in the liberal daily Haaretz warns against the appeal of an "easy" explanation for the bombings which points to a clash between Islam and the West.

"Islam against the West... cultivates a new, distorted, but easy to ingest concept: culture terrorism. In this context, it would be advisable to remember that even al-Qaeda is not a genetic outcome of Islam."

Blind violence will only result in spreading the conviction that the Western nations have about all Arabs and Muslims being terrorists.
Al-Quds

Like its Israeli counterparts, the largest-circulation Palestinian daily al-Quds also connects the London bombings to wider tension between the West and Arab countries.

"There is no question that the West's policies vis-a-vis Arab issues are incompatible with the national aspirations, hopes and expectations of the oppressed people, above all the Palestinian and Iraqi people," it says in an editorial.

The paper goes on to condemn the perpetrators for harming their supposed cause.

"What meaning is there in these attacks other than stirring terror and horror, and triggering animosity and anger against whatever is Arabic and Islamic?" it rails.

"Blind violence will only result in spreading the conviction that the Western nations have about all Arabs and Muslims being terrorists."

The Israeli Arabic al-Ittihad mentions Afghanistan in a similar context, condemning "the imperialist policy and global capitalism of which Britain is a staunch supporter."

The Communist Party paper believes the explosions were "not a response to terrorism but its echo".

"Civilians from Baghdad to London pay the painful price in both cases," the editorial concludes.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.





MIDDLE EAST PRESS PROFILES
 

SEE ALSO:
MidEast press mulls London bombings
09 Jul 05 |  Middle East
London attacks shock world press
08 Jul 05 |  Business


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