A reader (I presume) named simply “Tara” sent me two fascinating items from the Asharq Alawsat newspaper. To be honest, when I saw Tara’s first email I thought it was spam and almost deleted it. Then I spotted the second email and saw it was slightly different. Being of a curious nature (and having a good anti-virus on my computer) I took the chance and opened the emails. These led me to the two articles of which I speak.
The first item is entitled “The most dangerous problem” by Hussein Shobokshi. He bemoans the way the Arab leaders have mistreated their people over the years, all in the name of “liberating Palestine” and have now been slaughtering their own people while the other Arab nations just sit by and watch, which in turn has brought Western intervention.
With mixed emotions, vacillating between sorrow, grief, and disbelief, I have been monitoring the huge amount of bloodshed that has been taking place on a daily basis in Arab cities and towns; the blood of the people which is brutally shed by their nations’ armies, armies which over the years have been armed and equipped at the expense of education, health and infrastructure. Such priorities were neglected and people were deprived of the means for a decent standard of living, all in the name of security and defending the Palestinian cause. Yet this did not bring security, and did not liberate Palestine! Instead, tyranny was enshrined and Palestine gradually lost out.
Today we see, hear and read about the scenes of intimidation, torture and murder, and the brutal raids being carried out by the security and military forces in Yemen, Syria and Libya, against their own citizens.
These incidents reveal the true contempt and disdain that some Arab leaders have towards their own people, viewing them as personal property that they can treat however they like. They very rarely engage in dialogue with their citizens, whom they are convinced are the happiest people on earth and love their leader, and therefore it is out of the question that they would complain or protest about their situation. Whilst all the promises of reform are only made in order to appease the Western media, with these promises ultimately going unfulfilled.
This is a case of arrogance and domination which breeds contempt, requiring not only a political analysis but also a psychological study.
Of course he slightly defeats his own arguments by mentioning “Israeli crimes” at the end, as if he too has to do his bit for the Palestinians, but altogether I found it refreshing that there is an Arab commentator out there who would so honestly criticise the Arab leaders for their actions and their cynicism towards their own people and the Palestinians. This is what Israel and its friends have been saying for years, but it is disregarded as Israeli hasbara by so many in the West.
The second article I was sent is entitled “The Palestinians: The single currency for crises” by Tariq Alhomayed. This was quite an eye-opener for its outright damning of Arab regimes for their cynical use of the Palestinians as an excuse or cover for their atrocious actions against their own people. He too, like Hussein Shobokshi, gets it wrong as far as we are concerned in that he would like more attention paid to the Palestinians in order to expose Israeli “crimes” etc. But the basic argument of his article is correct, and here too, it is what Israel has always been saying and yet has been ignored.
The reality of the situation in our region is that the Palestinians have become akin to a single currency being used by some Arab regimes – as well as Iran, of course – when facing a crisis. Whenever these regimes find themselves facing crises they settle their internal and external bills, either by sacrificing Palestinians, or by writing a check, or in other words exploiting the Palestinian cause!
The question here is: why did the Syrian regime send Palestinians to the occupied Golan Heights, whether this is to mark the anniversary of the occupation of the Golan Heights, the Naksa [annual Palestinian commemoration for Israel's victory in the 1967 Six Day war], or whatever other reason, without sending any Syrian citizens as well? Indeed, how could Damascus send Palestinians to the occupied Golan Heights when Hamas itself banned Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from taking part [in the commemoration] and traveling to the borders with Israel? Why should it be the Palestinians who are placed under threat and used to settle the bills of some Arab regimes that are trading with the Palestinian cause, most notably Syria? Syria is not alone in this of course, for Saddam Hussein also previously followed this same policy in order to justify the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, as well as to justify his clinging to power and the suppression of his people. This is something that the Iranian regime has also done, and continues to do every day, in order to justify its interference in Arab affairs; and this is this same Iranian regime that has never fired a single bullet in defense of Palestine. Indeed the Palestinians have not forgotten the day that the Iranian Supreme Guide advised the Iranian people not to intervene in Israel’s last war against Gaza!
Therefore, we ask ourselves: is there an honest leader amongst the Palestinian leadership who is sympathetic to the plight of his own people and who can tell the Palestinian people not to allow themselves to be used as firewood for those who want to stoke the crises in our region, whether this is Iran or anyone else? Is there nobody among the Palestinians who can say that it is not permissible to cheapen our blood and our cause in order to settle the internal and external bills of some Arab regimes that trade in the Palestinian cause?
Therefore, what is happening today in the region is that the Palestinians have become the single currency for some regimes in our region, and they use this to settle the bill of their internal and external crises; we need an honest Palestinian leader to come out and say “no more trading on Palestine and the Palestinians.”
If it weren’t for his constant mentions of Israel’s “occupation”, “crimes” etc., I couldn’t have put it better myself.