The Arab and Iranian press have increasingly discussed the upcoming American presidential election. Most journalists are pulling for a Kerry victory. Other commentators have said that the choice between the two is like "choosing between cholera and the plague."
The Iranian press has been particularly active in monitoring the elections. The editor of the Egyptian Al-Gil newspaper, Nagi Al Shihabi, was interviewed by the Iranian Al-Alam TV on June 13, and said: "The U.S. wants to eradicate our religious and Islamic identity. Bush declared a Crusader war following the events of 9/11â€¦The U.S. established its country over the body parts of 120 million Indians. We must first define the enemy. The no. 1 enemy of the Arab and Islamic peoples is the U.S. and not only Israelâ€¦Bush, Allah willing, will go to hell in this coming November."
During his Friday sermon in the city of Qom, broadcast by Channel 2 of Iranian TV on June 19, preacher Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli called on Americans to vote against Mr. Bush: "We advise the people of America not to continue to tolerate this oppressing, ignorant, pillaging, criminal, and discriminating administration. In the future, do not vote for Bush and his ilk."
Writing in the Tehran Times on June 17, Kian Nader Mokhtari praised Senator Kerry, and hoped that he would triumph over the "neo-Nazis" of the Bush administration: "It has long been a tradition in U.S. politics for irresponsible gun-toting Republican presidents to pass on unresolved dilemmas to their Democratic replacements, and Bush will be no exceptionâ€¦Kerry is exactly what the U.S. needsâ€¦ Kerry's sensible and methodical approach will no doubt go some distance in solving the stinking heap of a mess left over by Bush and his neo-conservatives â€” for a minute there I was going to type neo-Nazis!...He [Kerry] may be remembered as the president whose decisions saved the U.S..."
The Lebanese minister of information, Michael Samaha, also discussed the election on Syrian TV on March 30: "The most important thing that could happen in the coming American elections if Kerry wins is that the neo-conservatives leave. They have a complete ideology regarding their treatment of the world and specifically the Middle East and the Near East to which we belong. If they leave, the real American America will return."
In an article in Al-Ahram weekly on April 18, an Arab-Israeli member of Knesset, Azmi Bishara, called on Arab-Americans to "rethink their alliance with Bush" and "shift their votes from Bush to Kerry."
By Steven Stalinsky
Isralert@aol.com source: http://www.jewishworldreview.com