“All the NewsrnUnfit to Print” ignsJ of tlje tItmesJrnVol. 2 No. 11 November 2000rnIn light of the vital importance of thernMiddle East to American interests, it is curiousrnthat our media have chosen not to reportrnArab reactions, which have beenrnuniformly negative, to Sen. Joseph Lieberman’srnvice-presidential candidacy. FromrnAmerica’s friends in the Persian Gulf andrnEgypt to its foes in the Levant and NorthrnAfrica, commentators have stressed thatrneven the pretense of U.S. impartiality inrnMiddle Eastern affairs would be impossiblernshould Gore win. The Syrian government-rnowned daily Al-Thawra expressedrnthe general sentiment in an op-ed columnrn(August 13):rnAl Gore’s choice of Liebermanrn. . . cannot be reconciled withrnAmerica’s role as an honest,rnobjective and neutral mediatorrnin the peace process . . . U . S .rnpolicy . . . is submissivernto I s r a e l i p o l i c i e s . Thererni s no pure American policy.rnThere is only I s r a e l ‘ s policyrnas carried out by the UnitedrnStates.rnSuch views prevail even among America’srnMiddle Eastern allies. GalalrnDowidar, editor-in-chief of the pro-governmentrnCairo daily Al Akhbar, did notrnmince his words (August 9):rnAlthough the control of thernJewish lobby over U.S. affairsrnhas reached its peak, nobodyrncould imagine that mattersrnwould reach this level . . .rn[Gore’s] decision reveals hisrnugly face and completes the seriesrnof surrenders that Clintonrnstarted when he appointedrnJewish Americans to strategicrnpositions. With this decision,rnhe declared that he hasrnsold himself to Israel and thernJewish lobby.rnSyria’s state-owned Al-Ba ‘th (Augustrn10) even suggested that Gore’s life couldrnbe in danger because of Lieberman’s appointment:rnIf Gore dies, Lieberman becomesrnthe f i r s t Jewish p r e s i ­dentrnin U.S. history. . . .rnThis makes Gore the target ofrnJewish extremists who willrnnot h e s i t a t e to do anythingrnto put a Jew in the WhiternHouse.rnIn Kuwait, the independent Al-Qabasrnwarned on August 15 that Liebermanrnwould inevitably have dual loyalties andrnthat a Gore administration would forfeitrnthe role of an honest broker in the MiddlernEast. But the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbalrn(August 11) stated that Gore’s decisionrnto choose Lieberman was not surprisingrnsince the current secretary of state,rnsecretary of defense, and the head of thernNational Security Council are all Jewish.rn”What is sti-ange is this Arab amazement,”rnthe paper concludes. The Beirut daily As-rn5(3^r agreed (August 10):rnWhatever the result of thernAmerican presidential electionrn. . . American positionsrnon Arab issues will not berndifferent. . . . The issuerni s the United States i t s e l frnand i t s policies towards thernregion and the Arabs. Thernissue i s not Clinton, Gore,rnor even Lieberman himself.rnThe same point was made in Al-Ba ‘thrn(August 9):rnThere will be no difference betweenrnthe Democrat, Al Gore,rnwho chose an extreme Zionist asrnhis running mate, and the Republican,rnGeorge Bush, whorndoes not hide his bias towardrnI s r a e l and his blind commitmentrnto i t s demands.rnOn this point, informed Israelis agreernwith their Arab neighbors. The JerusalemrnPost (August 14) smugly noted thatrnLieberman’s Jewishness is not importantrnsince the Middle Eastern policies of therntwo major parties are indistinguishable:rnNowadays, Israel does not havernto be concerned about damagernfrom good US-Arab or even USPalestinianrnr e l a t i o n s . Suchrnlinks can aid the peace processrnand give Washington leveragerntoward lowering antagonism towardrnI s r a e l . Of course, thernfact that Israel has so l i t t l ernto worry about is perhaps thernmost important point in viewingrnt h i s American electionrnfrom Jerusalem. Even withoutrnthe presence of Lieberman onrnthe t i c k e t , this would probablyrns t i l l be true.rnSticking to the Middle East, it seemsrnthat sanctions will remain in place againstrnIraq regardless of who wins the WhiternHouse. An editorial in the Jordan Timesrn(September 1) warned of the Arab “sensernof outrage at the suifering being inflictedrnon the Iraqi people”:rnThe sanctions on Iraq are imposedrnnotably by the US, thernmain broker in peace negotiationsrnbetween Israelis andrnPalestinians, and the US, forrni t s own unfathomable reasons,rnwishes to prolong the sufferingrnof the Iraqi people. Woernbetide anyone who dares torncross i t .rnIn Europe, however, there is growingrnopposition to the embargo, and the tenthrnanniversary of the Iraqi invasion ofrnKuwait has renewed the debate on maintainingrnsanctions. Le Monde Diplomatique,rna respected French monthly, pubhshedrnan article entitled “The Endless Warrnon Iraq.” An editorialist in the Irish Timesrn(August 4) stressed that the sanctions onlyrnundermine the Iraqi people’s desire to topplernSaddam from power:rnA broken people is unable tornr e s i s t the regime . . . If thernIraqi people are to confrontrnthe regime they must be givenrnthe chance to do so through re-rn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn