The rift between the two regional political camps was highlighted by the convening of a series of rival summits as the conflict ended. Both sides met this week at yet another summit held in Kuwait, where Saudi Arabia flexed its political and economic muscle to impose a temporary inter-Arab truce. Newspapers aligned with Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been busy downplaying the divisions.
“It is indeed heartening to see the Arab leaders finally close their ranks at the Kuwait summit,” said Abu Dhabi’s Khaleej Times in an editorial.
“Thus a new Arab era dawned on us all. What joke is this?” countered a columnist in Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar, which supports the so-called “rejectionist” front. “The blood of one Palestinian child, killed by the attacks of the occupation to which some of you gave cover, is purer and more noble than you and all your thrones.”
The reality is that Arab leaders remain so divided they couldn’t even agree on to whom the more than $1 billion for Gaza reconstruction should be given, Hamas or the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority.
“Gaza’s curse will haunt many, especially the eminences, the highnesses and the excellencies” who gathered in Kuwait, predicted Adel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi.
But one Gulf paper expressed a sentiment that most journalists in the region can agree on: “The Arabs can never prevent another Gaza if they do not speak in one voice and act as one bloc, if not as one nation.” Judging from the region’s media, that is not likely to happen soon.