Roee Nahmias 11.30.08 Israel Opinion (Ynet)
The horrific terror offensive in Mumbai caught the Arab World preoccupied with the presidential change in the United States. Editorials were offering advice to the president-elect and analyzing the "lessons" of George W. Bush's term in office, while also dealing with the grave humanitarian state in Gaza, of course – and then came the horror of the Mumbai attacks.
Some Arab columnists believe that the attacks in India constitute a warning to the Administration of US President-elect Barack Obama. The editor of the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat, Tariq Alhomayed, wrote that those expecting a better world in the wake of Bush's departure from office may end up disappointed.
"Over the past few years, it has been easy for most people in most places to attack US President George W. Bush, who is preparing to leave the White House, as they attributed mistakes and crises to him forgetting that the war on terror is still in its early stages," Alhomayed wrote.
Turning his attention to Obama, Alhomayed wrote: "The one to benefit the most from all of this was US President-elect Barack Obama. However, the Mumbai terrorist attacks in India that have left over 130 people dead represent a clear message to Obama, if not the entire world."
"The Mumbai operation is a message to President-elect Barack Obama to say: you have dreams of a better world but this is the real world that you must deal with. In spite of how you have arranged your priorities, terrorism will always be at the top of the list."
India praised for rejecting Israel's aid
Meanwhile, an editorial published by al-Quds al-Arabi addressed the link between Indian democracy and attacks on Muslim.
"India is a deep-rooted democracy…yet this does not mean it does not feature negative trends, such as radical Hindu organizations that try to hurt Muslims and their mosques."
"However, regardless of how barbaric these attacks are, they will not justify what happened in Mumbai," the editorial says. "The fear is that the attacks in Mumbai will lead to escalation of ethnic violence and to disasters that will hurt innocents, both Hindus and Muslims."
Meanwhile the newspaper, not known as a fan of Israel, also chose to praise India for refusing the Jewish State's offer to assist in anti-terror operations in Mumbai.
"The Indian government proved its national pride when it refused to comply with the request of Israeli intelligence agencies to raid the Jewish building, where the attackers were holding hostages…why should these agencies have more experience and better capabilities than their Indian counterparts?" wrote the newspaper.
"And why should India be assisted only by Israelis, and not by the Brits, the Italians, the Germans, and the Australians, whose nationals were also among the victims and hostages? The attacks in Mumbai prove that the circles of violence and terror are only expanding worldwide, and that what is known as the 'war on terrorism' launched by the American Administration…has made the world more dangerous."