For example, Soueif described Israel as 'a stone thrown into the heart of the Arab world, the ripples from which, far from fading away, are building into a tidal wave.' This peculiar metaphor seems to suggest that Jews are an alien intrusion in the Middle East (ignoring their continuous presence in Palestine and other 'Arab' lands for more than two thousand years), while there is a distinct note of Ahmadinejadian menace in the analogy of the 'tidal wave' (sweeping away what, or whom, exactly?).
The Egyptian-born novelist also argues that 'for Arabs today there is...the overwhelming sense of being the targets of a new western imperialism.' But where is this 'imperialism' to be found, exactly? Whatever your opinion of recent conflicts, can a campaign to liberate a country from a brutal dictator, or UN-backed support for a democratic government against an extremist sect that harbours mass murderers be described as 'imperialist'? Doesn't 'imperialism' imply a desire to stick around and hold on to territory: whereas western governments are currently agonising about how to effect a speedy withdrawal from the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan.
In short, rather than confronting the real causes of the many obstacles facing Arabs (including writers) - not least the flourishing of reactionary homegrown ideologies such as Ba'athism and Islamism - Soueif prefers to indulge in the easy cop-out of blaming the Arab world's problems on those familiar demons, Israel and the West.