Arab media battle over Gaza summit(s)

What we saw yesterday on Arab satellite TV screens reflects the chaos which reigns in Arab streets and the controversy who rules all the current relations amongst the Arab countries. Yesterday Doha summit was boycotted  by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two very important players in the Gaza crisis. And not only: two of the top media “owners” of the Arab world. The third is, of course, Qatar, the country who hosted the summit hoping to play the same diplomatic role it played in the Lebanon crisis coming out with the “Doha agreements”. But this time, Qatar was not able to present itself as the mediator. Egypt and Saudi Arabia didn’t go to Doha, and Saudi controlled media -like Dubai based Al Arabiya– were focusing much more on the importance of the Arab foreign ministers meeting to be held in Kuwait next monday. While, of course, Al Jazeera was covering extensively the summit -and often splitting the screen in two, the Doha summit on one side, the Gaza chaos on the other side- focusing on its relevance, as underlined by the BBC monitoring.

And while Al Jazeera was giving lot of relevance to the fact that Qatar has suspended economic and political ties with Israel -being before one of the few Arab countries to have an official Israeli representative  in Doha- , the rival Al Arabiya called this suspension as “temporary”. The relations between Saudi and Qatar, which a while ago seemed to have been restored and improved, now seem to be back to the past. And media are reflecting these divisions once again.


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