By Daniel Sobelman
Friday, November 24, 2000
A top adviser to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday warned that the American administration "will lose much" if it continues to support Israel. "If the United States agrees to cover for Israel and protect it from international law, American interests could be harmed," Osama Al Baz told Egyptian television.
This was the latest in a series of increasingly strongly-worded declarations made by prominent Arab politicians against the United States. Calls for boycotting the United States for its "bias in favor of Israel" are no longer coming only from the more radical states in the region, but are now also being heard from Egypt and Jordan.
In recent days, Egyptian newspapers have called for a boycott of U.S. goods. "We have to start approaching the political issues in a language of interests, not emotions," wrote the Al Ahram newspaper this week. "The U.S. has huge, vital interests in the Middle East and as soon as Washington realizes that it must avoid true Arab anger in order to protect these interests, it won't hesitate to adopt less biased policy lines."
The Al Akhbar newspaper also attacked U.S. policy in the Middle East this week, charging that while the United States leaves its troops in the Persian Gulf, supposedly to protect the oil-producing countries there, it is doing nothing to protect the Palestinians.
"How can [the United States] explain the events taking place in the occupied territories?" the paper asked. "How does Washington answer the question of who is going to protect the unarmed Palestinian nation from the oppressive Israeli might?"
Yesterday, on its front page, Al Akhbar published an article in which the Israel Defense Forces is accused of neo-Nazi tactics and the United States is deemed responsible for Israel's "terrible crimes" against the Palestinians, because it supplies Israel with arms.
Meanwhile, Jordanian publicist Ibrahim Al Ajlouni called yesterday for a boycott of U.S. goods and universities. "It is our right, in light of the situation, to boycott the Americans," Al Ajlouni wrote. "We mustn't buy their goods, wear their clothes, eat their food with which you are all familiar, or study at their universities and academies. We should reject anything American, out of anger at the Arab-Muslim blood spilled at Al Aqsa."
Calls for a boycott of U.S. goods were also heard in the Palestinian Authority.
copyright 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved