Wednesday , January 23 2019

Human rights on Europe’s streets

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

WHEN the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ uprising broke out in 2011, the European countries like France started warning the Arab countries against repression of human rights and urged them to respect the will of the people.
In fact, these countries helped establish armed groups in Libya, Syria and others which soaked themselves with the blood of their people due to civil wars that have been continuing up to this day. This is in addition to the aggravation campaigns waged by major countries and supply of weapons to those groups.


While all this was happening, the major countries forgot that the livelihood crisis can happen in any country. Therefore, demonstrations and chaos are expected to ensue. Nonetheless, interference in the affairs of other nations means exercising control over the afflicted countries; while the reality suggests that the one in control needs to be free from problems.


When Western aggravation clashed with Arab countries in 2014, the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz advised the Western countries; but the advice eluded them at the time. The late king told Arab and foreign ambassadors: “It is imperative to fight against this terrorism rationally, forcefully and rapidly. I am certain that it will reach Europe within a month and then America the following month; hence, I advise brothers and friends of your leaders to start fighting terrorism without wasting time.”
The Western countries did not take this warning seriously as they continued supporting terrorist groups and countries which support terrorism like Iran and others. Some of them even transformed into shelters for instigators until terrorism hit several European and Western countries. They realized the extent of danger only when this happened.


Today, it seems the events did not change the European position. Talks about human rights in the Arab world continue; while dark clouds have started to appear in France, Belgium and Holland. These clouds will definitely hover over the remaining European countries, especially after the rise of far-right factions, similar to what transpired in Tunisia in 2010 in the wake of what was known as ‘Arab Spring.’


Furthermore, Western newspapers have started talking about Russia and other countries interfering in the internal affairs of nations experiencing unrest. Iran got in line through talks on flooding Europe with narcotics and refugees if it is not given the opportunity to sell its oil after the international sanctions on it took effect.


Whatever happened in Paris, other French towns and Belgium is a clear indication that the Western talk about human rights in the Arab world is for blackmailing purposes, given that the one who has nothing cannot give anything.
The oppression and blood shed on the streets of Paris in combating demonstrators is not different from what transpired in Arab capitals which felt victimized in the implementation of demonic plans as known countries and groups conspired to achieve their objectives.


After all this, we believe the European and Western countries look at some issues in the Arab world in a biased manner, such as the price of oil or the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – an issue that can happen in any country, even in the West.
If what happened in Paris and Brussels among other places happened in Cairo or Riyadh, those countries would have rallied forcefully to ensure the Arab countries get punished.
It is up to those designing European-Arab relations to review their positions towards the stable Arab world, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. They must deal with their issues wisely and responsibly, such as their position on the Gulf crisis as those countries sided with one party at the expense of the other and downplayed the situation instead of dealing with it seriously and wisely.
For that, we ask: Will those countries learn from the European crisis and we will not say ‘European Spring’?

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

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