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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 12:41 UK

Bush speech angers Arab press

Bush, Peres and Parliament speaker Dalia Itzik at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament
Some newspapers have accused Bush of ignoring the plight of Palestinians

US President George Bush's speech to the Israeli parliament to coincide with the country's 60th anniversary has angered and disappointed commentators in Middle Eastern Arabic newspapers.

Commentators said he emphasised his bias towards Israel, demonstrated religious bigotry and backtracked on promises to help establish a Palestinian state.

Israeli commentaries welcomed expressions of solidarity from such a powerful friend, but warned against complacency in the face of dangers that lurked in the neighbourhood.

EDITORIAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS:

At a time when the Israeli and international media outlets are full of reports about the celebrations of Israel's 60 anniversary celebrations, the Palestinian Nakba [catastrophe] is ignored. The US position would have looked balanced had President [George] Bush made a symbolic gesture to the feelings of the Palestinians who marked the Nakba anniversary.

RAJAB ABU-SURAYYAH IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

US President George Bush should have looked at the historic injustice that the Nakba has caused to seven million Palestinian refugees. The presidential visit did not push forward Bush's announced two-state policy.

MUSTAFA AL-SAWWAF IN PALESTINIAN FILASTIN

Bush, where is your promise to the Palestinians to establish a state for them? We will not forget Palestine. Israel will not last another 60 years. Your presence at this celebration is a proof of the fragility and end of the occupation. Terrorism is what Israel and its supporters practice. They and you stand at the head of international terrorism.

MIHRIZ AL-ALI IN SYRIA'S TISHRIN

Bush is backtracking on promises he made during the Annapolis conference on the declaration of the Palestinian state before the end of this year.

RAKAN AL-MAJALI IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

It was really miserable to hear the American president avoiding a solution that would end the occupation.

SAMIH SHUBAYB IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM:

The behaviour of the US towards Israel carries with it the seeds of hostility and deepening hatred to the United States.

MUHAMMAD BARAKAT IN EGYPT'S AL-AKHBAR

US President George Bush was keen to stress his complete bias as well as his complete and lasting loyalty toward Israel. This president did not think that his role as the leader of the most powerful country demands neutrality, or at least objectivity.

EDITORIAL IN EGYPT'S AL-JUMHURIYAH

In the Knesset, Bush really twisted facts.

SAMIH AL-MA'AYTAH IN JORDAN'S AL-GHAD

Bush came not to repeat his promise of a Palestinian state, but to celebrate with his Zionist friends the anniversary of the state based on occupation and rape.

TAHIR AL-ADWAN IN JORDAN'S AL ARAB AL YAWM

The US president addressed the Knesset with a speech full of religious bigotry consistent with Zionist and Likud-style thought.

EDITORIAL IN ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

Bush said: 'Masada shall never fall again.' It is possible to interpret this statement on two levels: determination to prevent Iran from obtaining the capacity to destroy Israel, and understanding of Israel's position should it be pushed to the wall and take action to deter its enemies.

YOEL MARCUS IN ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

The Bush visit is not just a display of profound admiration for Israel, but an act of handing over the torch to the next president in the strategic confrontation with the Iranians and their threat to eradicate Israel. We should not allow this show of solidarity to go to our heads. Grave dangers lie ahead and no-one can do the job in our stead.

SHMUEL ROSNER IN ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

Bush did not waiver yesterday from the policies that have guided his administration since September 11, 2001. His position on Iran is longstanding. But US foreign policy under his leadership has failed time after time on the Iranian issue. International sanctions are too weak to mount any real pressure against Iran's uranium enrichment programme, and Tehran is gaining ground.

HERB KEINON IN ISRAEL'S JERUSALEM POST

Bush didn't have to utter these thoughts: his political career is over, he no longer needs the Jewish vote or campaign support - further proof he actually meant what he said.

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 bureaux abroad.




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