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Summit priorities

“THE Palestinian issue is at the top of the Arab League summit agenda. This is the working phrase for Arab officials. This was also said by the Undersecretary of the Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Khaled Al-Jarallah in his recent statement while speaking about the summit agenda — the summit which will be held next Tuesday in Kuwait. Another most spoken topic of the agenda is ‘The Syrian crisis is one of the priorities’.

Until when will the Arabs continue to laugh at themselves? The first issue which is 66 years old has been battered during Arab summits and meetings and has yet to see light of day. Until now the Arabs have offered nothing but to the contrary have used the issue to shop for personal gains including the Hamas movement which is holding the Gaza Strip for ‘ransom’ by imposed its authority on this ‘piece of land’, and as result more than a million Palestinians are at the mercy of this movement.

The Palestinian issue has now ended up becoming the Israel-Palestine issue, and the Arabs have no effect or influence on it. After the issue was tossed about over the past few decades, the so-called people who called themselves the revolutionaries made it a market place — some of them sold it Israel while others to Iran and yet another group to Egypt. Faisal made it an investment instrument for Syria, at a time when some people sold it to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria and so forth.

What have they done for this issue which they considered ‘most important’, ‘sacred’ and that which cannot be trade in? Hadn’t the late Saudi King Abdulaziz told the Arabs in 1948 not to meddle with the Palestinian issue and instead told them to help their people to fight for its liberation? What have you done? Nothing, but pained the Palestinians instead of helping them with their decisions by turning down a decision to divide it, something which would have prevented Israel from expanding.

The Arabs also refused all other solutions that were put on the table but continued to be defeated in wars, one after another, until Palestine was lost and the Palestinians dispersed in all corners of the world. The Arabs are still putting the ‘Palestine issue’ on top of their priority list as if it is a commercial trademark — not more not less. In the past, the Arabs had one case which they lost and throughout the past decades they have been unsuccessful lawyers unable to handle the most straight-forward and a fair case in human history. Today, they have added another new commercial trademark on the list of their priorities.

It is the case of ‘Syrian crisis’ and they are still not convinced that the more they interfere the worse it gets. Frankly speaking, this is because the Arabs don’t possess the real tools for change, without which, they will never solve the Syrian crisis but the chaos on the Syrian borders will persist if the Arabs continue to act the same way. For a long time, we have been saying that the main tools of change are the military and the security agencies. These are still in the hands of the regime which also enjoy a significant amount of support internally, in addition to support from several major powers, such as Russia, China, India, Brazil, Iraq, Algeria, Iran and Hezbollah.

For the past four years, we have been hearing whispers of victory for this group and that while in reality none of the groups fighting on the Syrian front have achieved a decisive victory be it Assad’s regime or the Syrian Free Army. To the contrary, the situation continues to worsen with every passing day and the number of the dead, the injured and the displaced continue to rise. What have the Arabs done for Syria to put their issue among their priorities?

After contemplating on the statement issued by Khalid Al-Jarallah, we believe such a statement was taken from an Arabs dictionary of inability and is similar to phrases such as “we reserve the right to a suitable time and place to respond”, “sensitive situation”, “uneasy stage”, “historic necessity”, “Arab solidarity” and “strategic choices”. These phrases, which all indirectly mean ‘futile’, have not benefitted the Arabs in anyway. These are among the phrases that Arabs are accustomed to using since the inception of the Arab League, which unfortunately is divided over 22 different ideologies.

What kind of decision can the Arab League take if countries such as Comoro Islands can say ‘No’ to reject it, or if it is discarded after Somalia says ‘No’? It seems the Arabs are living in some kind of a dream. For decades, they have not learnt the way of doing things, which is one of the reasons why they disagree so often. They lost their rights while disputing over the gender of angels. Therefore, we say, “Return to reality. Pay attention to our situation and look at what is left of you in terms of strength; work on preserving it or agree on not wasting it. Pull up your socks before someone else pulls it up for you”.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

By: Ahmed Al-Jarallah

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