The extensive coverage the Arab media have devoted to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's battle for survival has reflected his key role in the Arab-Israeli conflict over the past 50 years. [....] Palestinian loathing of Mr Sharon has also been widely expressed, with some of those interviewed in Palestinian towns or refugee camps regretting not that Mr Sharon appears close to death but that his fate has not been more painful and extreme. The London-based al-Quds al-Arabi, an independent newspaper with a fiercely anti-American and anti-Israeli line, has room in its headline for the detail that Palestinians are distributing sweets as they rejoice over Mr Sharon's illness. [....] "It is not surprising that some frustrated Palestinians celebrate Sharon's stroke... the man was a horrible and bloody nightmare for them, inside and outside the Occupied Territories," the paper's editorial reads.
On the other hand:
One Palestinian listed what he described as Mr Sharon's crimes and then said he wished the Arab world had a leader like him. Several Arab papers sound a similar note. "Courage and objectivity require us to admit that Ariel Sharon has lived all his life for his people's benefit," a commentary in Jordan's al-Dustur reads. "If he were an Arab leader and behaved as he has done in Israel, he would have been the idol of the masses from the Atlantic to the Gulf."
Jeff Weintraub is a social & political theorist, political sociologist, and democratic socialist who has been teaching most recently at the University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University in 2015-2016 and is currently a Research Associate at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College.
(Also an Affiliated Professor with the University of Haifa in Israel & an opponent of academic blacklists.)