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WHEN the people of the Gulf region were poor and suffered from hardships, they did not demand for the distribution of the apples and olives of Palestine and its agricultural produce among the Arabs or to them because it is their right. We instead endured the harshness of life on all levels in this region.
When the Palestinian issue emerged, our people used to deny their children the morsel in the mouths in order to support the Palestinian war effort. We willingly accepted for our children to participate in the so-called Palestinian resistance at that time.
And when oil was discovered in the Gulf region, our governments allocated millions annually to support the cause under the hope that this would help the Palestinians liberate their country.
Over the course of 72 years, dozens of organizations were born and had died until 20 factions eventually remained; each of them being affiliated with a certain regime or a particular government. Some of them hijacked civilian aircraft, and carried out assassinations and terrorist bombings in various countries of the world. However, they all rejected any initiative for a solution, starting with the partition decision in 1948, and the initiatives of Rogers, Habib Bourguiba, and even Sadat.
In addition, they fought wars far from their land, starting with one in Jordan on the basis that it is the East Bank and they have the right to overthrow King Hussein and establish their state in it, in preparation for the restoration of Palestine, while they were looking to make it an alternative homeland and forget about the occupied territories in 1948 and 1967.
However, when they failed, they moved to Lebanon where they practiced their absurdity until they destroyed it. It was only Israel, which invaded it in 1982, that expelled them to Tunisia where they did not settle and review the mistakes they committed, but instead transferred their struggles over positions and wealth to it, such that the assassination war erupted between them.
Arabs have tried all possible means to solve the issue and provided all kinds of financial support and equipment to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). While the Arabs made Palestine their first cause in international forums, the Palestinians were fighting in hotels and bars, sleeping with women, and having children as well as demanding Arab countries, especially the Gulf countries, to provide education, medicine, money and shelter for them and their children, and also to liberate Palestine.
Yes, this is what the Palestinians seem to want from us in the Gulf countries; otherwise we are accused of betrayal, Zionism and working for America. Curses will be inflicted upon us if we disagree with their opinion, give them advice, or offer any initiative for a solution. That was how they dealt with the initiatives of King Fahad bin Abdul-Aziz, and King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz.
They were betting on popular sentiment, deceit, and arousing popular enthusiasm at that time. However, with the change of times and the development of education and media, the masks fell from the opportunistic faces, and it became apparent who was encouraging everyone for normalization. We saw how Arafat rushed into the bosom of Yitzhak Rabin, while the rest of the parents went out to bless the “Oslo” and security coordination between Ramallah and Tel Aviv.
At that stage, the fortunes they had gathered from their trade in Arab blood began to be revealed, starting with Yasser Arafat and the billions he deposited in European banks, Mahmoud Abbas, Ahmed Jibril, Khaled Meshaal who spent two million dollars for his daughter’s wedding, and Ismail Haniyeh who acquired hundreds of dunams of land in Gaza, among others with hundreds of millions of dollars.
Today, when the Gulf states announce in succession their desire to normalize relations with Israel, this is done in response to the desire of their people, and because peace is the killing of Israel.
As for the Palestinians who open the fronts of curses and betrayal, they must realize that the era of blackmail is over. It is the people of the Gulf Cooperation Council member states that are calling for their governments to reconcile with Israel. They are pushing the reluctant leaders to take this path, so that Gulf oil remains for the Gulf, and their money is not spent on opportunists who are experienced in extortion.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times