Przegląd prasy | 28/07/2014



UN Security Council calls for ceasefire in Gaza


The UN Security Council urged the conflict parties to declare an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Gaza crisis on Monday. The declaration is not legally binding. Previous attempts to mediate failed on the weekend. Commentators point to the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip and a change of thinking among Israelis as the preconditions for a solution to the conflict.

Kurier - Austria

Demilitarise the Gaza Strip

The radical-Islamic Hamas is responsible for the escalation in the Gaza crisis, writes European Jewish Congress Vice President Ariel Muzicant in the daily Kurier, and calls for Hamas's disarmament and permanent demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip: "Hamas hides its weapons under hospitals, schools and mosques and calls on the population to serve as a human shield. So what we see now is Hamas's cynical attempt to increase the number of civilian victims to at least be able to win the propaganda war and accuse the Israelis of war crimes. Many neutral observers demand an end to the violence. But they overlook the fact that the violence from the Gaza Strip represents a break with all the agreements made. If all those who honestly want a long-term ceasefire and peace between the Gaza Strip and Israel were to take care of demilitarising the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian population could finally live in peace and quiet there." (28/07/2014)

La Repubblica - Włochy

New insight for Israelis could be turning point

An end to the Gaza conflict will only be possible if there is a shift in the people of Israel's way of thinking, argues Israeli author David Grossman in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: "And yet the current round between Israel and Gaza is somehow different. ... Something about this war is managing, I think, to direct many Israelis' attention toward the mechanism that lies at the foundation of the vain and deadly repetitive situation. ... There is no military solution to the real anguish of the Palestinian people, and as long as the suffocation felt in Gaza is not alleviated, we in Israel will not be able to breathe freely either. Israelis have known this for decades, and for decades we have refused to truly comprehend it. But perhaps this time we understand a little better; perhaps we have caught a glimpse of the reality of our lives from a slightly different angle. It is a painful understanding, and a threatening one, certainly, but it is an understanding that could be the start of a shift. It might bring home for Israelis how critical and urgent peace with the Palestinians is." (28/07/2014)

Irish Independent - Irlandia

Palestinians need the world's compassion

The thousandth Palestinian victim of the Israeli ground offensive was found on the weekend, according to Palestinian sources. With cool rhetoric and pseudo dismay the world is distancing itself from the many victims in Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians, writes Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk in the conservative daily The Irish Independent: "What's the limit for Palestinian deaths before we have a lasting ceasefire? Eight hundred? 1,000? Or 8,000? Could we have a scorecard? The exchange rate for dead? Or would we just wait until our gorge rises at the blood and say enough - even for Israel's war, enough is enough. ... The truth is that many hundreds of thousands of people around the world - I wish I could say millions - want an end to this impunity, an end to phrases such as 'disproportionate casualties'. Disproportionate to what?" (28/07/2014)

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Niemcy

Conflict can't be controlled from outside

The most recent negotiation attempts under US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Gaza conflict have failed. Israel and Hamas are accusing each other of not respecting ceasefires. With Kerry's failure it is clear that it is now virtually impossible to bring external influence to bear on the war, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung sighs: "The US has lost its influence over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Egypt no longer counts as a moderating force on Hamas. New in the equation are Qatar and Turkey, however with their tirades against Israel they are not part of the solution but part of the problem. So the outcome of the conflict lies in the free interplay of forces. Because a diplomatic solution is not in sight, it can only be ended through a cost-benefit analysis on the part of the adversaries." (28/07/2014)


Le Temps - Szwajcaria

Sanctions corner Putin needlessly

The EU extended its list of sanctions against Russia on Friday night. In reaction Moscow said the measures endanger cooperation on security issues. The liberal daily Le Temps also finds them counter-productive: "Crushing Russia, humiliating its president to punish him for having armed the Ukrainian separatists won't do anything but further encourage those who seek to exacerbate the conflict. The Europeans and Americans must employ a constructive policy vis-à-vis Russia. They must foster a fertile partnership and put the distrust and the arrogance inherited from the Cold War behind them. Instead, they are demonising the Kremlin chief and driving him into a corner economically. Confucius said you should always make it possible for the enemy to retreat. The sanctions passed in Brussels and Washington take things in exactly the opposite direction." (26/07/2014)

De Telegraaf - Holandia

Bitter power struggle over MH17 crash site

Owing to the fighting in eastern Ukraine the Netherlands decided on Sunday evening against sending an armed protection force to the crash site of flight MH17. A wise decision, the conservative daily De Telegraaf writes: "A despicable power struggle is being played out at the expense of the families of flight MH17. It's about controlling the more than 35 square kilometres in eastern Ukraine where the remains of innocent victims still lie. ... Lawless gangs are blocking a military option and the silent backing of the Kremlin plays a decisive role here. ... The government's decision testifies to great self-control. However this must not lead to passivity. The Dutch must be able to continue to rely on their government to do everything possible to find those responsible for shooting down MH17 and put them on trial." (28/07/2014)

Sme - Słowacja

Orbán discredits Western democracy model

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described the attempts of the post-communist countries to copy the model of Western democracies as detrimental at a conference of his Fidesz party in Romania on Saturday. Orbán noted that the Hungarians expect the model to result in the construction of a "new political system". The liberal daily Sme is outraged: "Orbán surpassed himself with his openness on Saturday. He basically said that Hungary is finished with Western-style liberal democracy. And just as openly he named new role models: in his words successful strong authoritarian nation states like Russia, China or Turkey. We can only anticipate how those Western conservatives will react who have so far defended him against all criticism from the EU. ... Orbán sees liberalism as all that which prevents him from 'governing effectively' and foils the implementation of his ideas about distributing public assets among his fellow citizens. Unlike in the past this time he has openly admitted it." (28/07/2014)

Rzeczpospolita - Polska

Poland's strong right must offer solutions

Together with its right-wing alliance partners the national-conservative opposition party PiS would obtain 40 percent of the vote if elections were held now in Poland, a poll by the opinion research institute Homo Homini shows. For its part the ruling Christian democratic PO party would just receive 24 percent. But the right still needs a programme, the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita warns: "This result is also tied up with the responsibility the PiS's leaders now have. They must finally realise that the amalgamation of the right represents a major broadening of the options for conservative voters. It's not just a PR gag that entails the usual bickering, disputes and friction and ends in a split. If the now united right really wants to be an alternative to the PO it must offer a plan for solving Poland's problems. All it is doing now is saying that [Prime Minister] Tusk must go. That's not enough." (28/07/2014)


15min - Litwa

Lithuania's euro hysteria exasperating

On the first of January 2015 Lithuania will become the 19th country to introduce the euro. Rimvydas Valatka, chief editor of the portal 15min, is annoyed at all the rejoicing: "Lithuania will go down in history as the country that reached the highest level of hysteria on introducing the euro. Think of all we've heard: that afterwards Lithuania will finally belong to Europe (poor Brits, Danes, Swedes and Norwegians) and will be flooded with investors (interesting, but why?) or that the euro will counter Lithuanian populism. ... Even if money really can buy happiness, that doesn't depend on which currency you deal in. Since time immemorial what counts is how much you've got, be it in gold coins, rubels or litas." (28/07/2014)


The Observer - Wielka Brytania

Booker Prize reserved for white men

The longlist for the most prestigious British literature award, the Man Booker Prize, was published last week. In the left-liberal Sunday paper The Observer author Irenosen Okojie describes the fact that it includes only three women and one non-white author as a major shortcoming: "It's disheartening that the Booker has once again chosen to ignore the talents of writers of colour, who look to these lists for inspiration, to see themselves reflected and to unearth their literary icons. Once again, it feels like if you're not white and male, your talents don't matter. ... If the panel was more diverse, then perhaps the list would be more inclusive. Here's a radical idea - next time, perhaps the panel could be made up of an equal number of men and women as well as a few non-white people. … The power of books is their ability to cut across all of the societal barriers, and authors from varied backgrounds should be given the opportunity to do so." (27/07/2014)


Hürriyet - Turcja

No Sugar Feast for children in the Middle East

The Islamic world celebrates the end of its month of fasting, Ramadan, with the Sugar Feast starting this Monday. But the children in the Middle East won't enjoy the celebrations, columnist Nilgün Tekfidan Gümüş laments in the conservative daily Hürriyet: "Normally they would be donning their best outfits and visiting relatives. ... But in the Gaza Strip their neighbourhoods lie in ruins. No children are to be seen or merry laughter to be heard on its streets. Some have been buried in shrouds. The luckier ones are waiting to recover in the hospitals. ... Thousands of Iraqi Christians have been driven out of Mosul by Isil; thousands of Turkmens from Kirkuk and Tal Afar have had to leave their homes. There is no protection for their lives. ... Naturally I would like to be hopeful, to celebrate this festival. But all the reports and the hundreds of terrible photos I see daily in the newspapers don't let me. All I can manage is a bitter festival greeting." (28/07/2014)

Le Monde - Francja

Expulsion of Christians truncates Arab world

The Christian minority has been forced to flee the Iraqi city of Mosul after the ultimatum issued by the terrorist group Isil. The expulsion is not just a drama for the Christians, the left-liberal daily Le Monde writes: "A part of history has been erased, swept away by the torments of this century in a Middle East caught up in an acute political and religious regression. ... With the exception of Lebanon, the entire region is being emptied of its Christian minorities, victims of the rise of political Islam, forced into exile by economic difficulties and a political climate marked by intolerance and fanaticism. The Christian Arabs are not the only victims of this religious purification: the entire Arab world is performing a self-amputation." (25/07/2014)

De Morgen - Belgia

Gaza war must not divide Belgium

In Belgium too, the protests against the war in Gaza have been marked by anti-Semitic acts. The left-liberal daily De Morgen warns of increasing polarisation in the country: "The silent exodus of Jews from Belgium is gaining momentum. Because they're afraid in their own country. Just weeks after four people were murdered in the Jewish Museum in Brussels, we must not ignore this warning signal. At the same time it was not very heartening to see pro-Israeli demonstrators reinforce the us-them mentality yesterday when they lit candles only for 'their' dead. The growing gap between the two sides increasingly underscores the duty our politicians and society have to do more to foster dialogue between Muslims and Jews in the battle against all forms of extremism. Before there are more victims." (28/07/2014)

Népszabadság - Węgry

Occupation memorial prompts reflection

The protests against the monument commemorating the Nazi occupation of Hungary on March 19, 1944, continue unabated. The left-liberal daily Népszabadság points out that right in front of the controversial monument symbolic objects of protest are piling up which lend it a new significance: "Passersby don't look at the monument itself, but what's lying in front of it. A huge mirror: a place for self-contemplation. Shoes that bring to mind the Shoes on the Danube Bank [in remembrance of the many Jews murdered on the banks of the Danube]. Leather jackets, photos, names, stones. One of the stones bears two names: Gyuri and Valika. ... The monument is alive. Not through any dynamic of its own, but through politics. People come and lie objects in front of it. And we know that even today someone is still mourning for a Gyuri and a Valika." (26/07/2014)


Novi List - Chorwacja

Ban on swearing tames even Putin

Public swearing has been banned in Russia since July 1, and is punishable with a fine. News of this great civilising step has been overlooked with the start of the conflict in Ukraine and the downing of MH17, the left-liberal daily Novi List laments: "The practical implications are clear. Formerly Putin would have cursed the idiot who confused a passenger jet with a Ukrainian transport plane to high heaven before sending him to Siberia, where he'd never be seen - let alone interrogated - again. But in view of the swearing ban Putin simply stated grumpily that 'everything must be done to guarantee the safety of the international investigators at the site of the tragedy.' ... Because swearing can cost you a pretty penny. Individuals must fork over the equivalent of 60 to 80 dollars, companies 1,300 to 1,700. That's right, in Russia even companies and institutes swear." (28/07/2014)