Former head of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate quits Emirati newspaper column after 25 years

Former head of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate quits Emirati newspaper column after 25 years
Prominent Egyptian journalist Jalal Aref decided to stop writing in Emirati newspaper Al-Bayan after the UAE normalised relations with Israel last month.
2 min read
24 September, 2020
Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate has been the site of pro-Palestine protests [NurPhoto/Getty]
Former head of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate Jalal Aref has quit writing for Emirati newspaper Al-Bayan after 25 years of weekly articles, to protest the normalisation of relations between the UAE and Israel. 

The decision was revealed on Facebook by Yahya Qalash, who held the same position as Aref at the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate.

"I was talking to him several days ago, inquiring as to why he had stopped writing for Emirati newspaper Al-Bayan, for which he had written weekly for nearly 25 years," Qalash posted on social media.

The last article Jalal Aref wrote for Al-Bayan newspaper was on 11 August.

Aref decided to stop writing in the Emirati newspaper after Abu Dhabi normalised relations with Israel last month, The New Arab's Arabic-language outlet learned from sources close to the former head of the Journalists Syndicate.
The Egyptian Journalists Syndicate prohibits its members from normalising relations with Israel in accordance with a decision by its General Assembly.

The Journalists Syndicate previously dismissed two of its members for holding meetings with Israelis, despite Egypt being the first Arab country to establish ties with Israel.

After the UAE announced the normalisation agreement, Egyptian journalists reiterated their position against normalisation.

Jalal Aref is an Egyptian journalist. He was head of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate from 2004 until early 2008, and was then appointed head of the Supreme Press Council after Egypt's 2013 coup d'état.

The UAE and Bahrain signed an agreement to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel earlier this month at the White House.

The Trump administration has made Israel-Arab normalisation a key focus of its Middle East foreign policy, claiming them to be "peace deals".

The two Gulf countries broke decades of consensus among Arab states that there would be no relations with Israel until Palestinian statehood had been assured. 

The so-called "peace deals" have angered Palestinians, who consider the move a betrayal from the Arab nations. Before Bahrain and the UAE, only Egypt and Jordan had diplomatic relations with Israel.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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