TEL AVIV – The Arab media accused the newly appointed Secretary-General of the Arab League of being too “conciliatory” toward Israel, Ynet news reported.
Ahmed Aboul-Gheit was nicknamed “Tzipi’s boyfriend” due to meetings the former Egyptian foreign minister held with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni.
“Tzipi’s boyfriend and foreign minister under Mubarak will be the new Secretary-General to the Arab League,” wrote Hossam Yehiye of Al-Jazeera Egypt.
He continued, “let us remind the foreign ministers of the Arab League that when the former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced the war in Gaza at a press conference in 2008, Aboul-Gheit was in attendance.”
Qatar had the fiercest objections to Aboul-Gheit’s appointment, accusing him of siding with Israel over Hamas.
During Operation Cast Lead in late 2008, Aboul-Gheit said that responsibility for the strife in Gaza lay with Hamas. He also described the terror group’s rocket attacks against Israelis as “ridiculous.”
Former Balad MK Azmi Bashara, who fled to Qatar after being accused of spying for Hezbollah during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, tweeted, “Today a Secretary-General of the Arab League was chosen who publicly supported Israeli aggression against Gaza in 2008!”
However, Aboul-Gheit has made his feelings about the Jewish state clear, for example, in a statement he made in 2010 that “Israel is an enemy state.”
Arab cartoonists criticized the Arab League’s choice, portraying Aboul-Gheit as an Israeli “emissary” and “puppet.” One of the cartoons shows Aboul-Gheit with Tzipi Livni saying that in every war with Gaza, “Aboul-Gheit stands behind you.”
Meanwhile, Lebanese broadcaster Alisar Kobeisi stated, “Livni and Aboul-Gheit walk hand in hand regarding the issues of great nations. Congratulations Arabs on the new Secretary-General of the League.”
Aboul-Gheit responded to the accusations in an interview with an Egyptian news site, saying, “These are rumors with no basis in reality. They don’t even deserve a response. My positions are known and my history is as clear as the sun.”