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What the weeklies said 20 May 2018

rfi English, May 20

Power play by Donald Trump and Middle East war-mongers leaves the volatile region on the brink of another bloody war.

Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem which sparked angry Palestinian protests and a bloody crackdown by Israeli forces, dominates comments in this week's French magazines.

The cover page captions are telling. "With Trump and Netanyahu, what you got is a blood bath in Gaza and the Middle East in a mess". That's according to Le Canard Enchaîné.

The satirical weekly says that while Israel claims it exercised "thoughtful restraint" in dealing with the protests by thousands of Palestinians gathered at the border with Gaza, there were 60 deaths, including eight children and 2400 people wounded.

The publication reports that half of them were shot with live ammunition last Monday alone.

According to Le Canard, it smacks cynicism of the highest order, for the Israelis to resort to soft language to try to justify the use of overwhelming force against unarmed demonstrators.

Right-wing l'Express lists twelve so-called “paradoxes” which it claims remain a major cause for concern to Israelis, as they marked the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Jewish State on May 14.

These include questions about the independence of Israel's judiciary, the loyalty of their allies in the Middle East, and the trauma of demographic growth.

L'Express quotes experts as saying that the country's Arab population as well as that of the Palestinians territories will grow by 6 million inhabitants in a decade against a few hundred thousand Jews.

Furthermore as the weekly explains, it may be dawning on many Israelis that colonisation may have rendered any peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict impossible.

Such tribulations may offer an explanation about why the region's war mongers are just as determined as ever to cause chaos. That's the point of view upheld by Marianne.

In this week's special spotlight, it digs into the designs of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, and his American ally Donald Trump, Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh and Iran's supreme spiritual leader Ali Khamenei.

According to the left leaning Marianne, it is clear that the drama taking place in the region was planned by cynical manipulators playing on the despair of their people such as the unmeasured Israeli riposte and the dangerous and incendiary games played by Trump.

And talking about Trump, the New Observer l'Obs says he may not be the so-called grotesque and versatile megalomaniac some experts claim he is.

According to l'Obs, even if his unilateral pull out from the Iran Nuclear accords risks destabilising the Middle East and causing the collapse of the NATO Transatlantic alliance there may be too many things cooking.

The left-leaning weekly says these may include regime change in Iran and a plan to turn Europe into an American vassal.

For its part, Le Point credits Trump of having at least one quality, that of believing in Ronald Reagan's watchword of peace through strength which worked so well for the Californian cowboy against the Soviet Union.

As the magazine explains Trump's threats to wage his own Star Wars against North Korea probably led Pyongyang’s “rocket man” to announce the dismantling of the launch site of his nuclear tests.

Le Point concludes by saying that whether the American President ends up striking new deals with North Korea and Iran or not, his scheming will continue shaping the march of contemporary history, like in William Shakespeare's world where he described life as a "tale told by an idiot , full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".

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