HERE we are, history is repeating itself. The miserable Arab scene, which Palestine has been witnessing recurrently for 68 years — the scene where the people of Palestine lost their country, surfaced due to their rejection of any solution presented by a commissioner from the United Nations to end their plight. All they did was reject every means of dialogue and negotiation.
They blocked their ears and closed their eyes to every call of peace. They turned their back on every call for peaceful co-existence and harmony.
This led to the loss of Palestine, followed by the loss of many Arab lands and all that because of stubbornness and wrong political calculations. Today, the Syrian opposition’s negotiating team in Geneva is in a deplorable situation.
The team withdrew from the negotiations, leaving their country to endure misery and drown in blood; let alone they continue to pay a hefty price every hour with the souls of their people and their properties. In view of our love for Syria and our fear of its people’s future, we want to ask the opposition: “Don’t you think of your families? Do you get moved by what transpires in every corner of the Levant, Hauran plateau and Euphrates fields? Don’t you feel this enormous danger which is ‘raiding’ your country? Currently, you (members of the opposition) are not winning.
You do not possess important political cards which you can use. We also know that the other side (Assad’s regime) is not winning, but it is stronger than you. The other side’s army is equipped with modern weapons, including planes, tanks, artilleries and even barrel bombs. Over and above that, they have a huge population on their side, with two strong and stubborn allies — Iran and Russia — backing them up. In your case, you’re committing suicide and sacrificing your people by letting them face death, hunger and blockade from inside and from outside.
They suffer humiliation and displacement of being strangers, whereas their children and youths continue to drown in the sea. Here you are, alone in the field. The enemy is standing before you and the sea of blood is behind you.
Between your hands, you have opportunity to rescue your country, so why don’t you grab this opportunity to return your displaced people back to their country; instead of enduring pain and displacement in Turkey, Germany, Jordan, Lebanon and other parts of the world? Why don’t you invest in this historic opportunity to end the suffering of your people and then end the crazy war? After that, you go on to choose someone who will lead your country.
Haven’t you thought for a while and realized that the United States of America, on which you are pinning your hope, is just looking at what is happening? The US does not need the region and its oil, whereas Russia is eager to achieve its objectives and Iran continues to support its ally — the current ruler of Syria. It is not in a position to back down, given its involvement in this war.
On the ongoing conflict in Syria, a single fact stands above everything else — no one is concerned about the interest of Syria apart from its people. No other heart is hurting due to what is happening in Syria besides its people.
Therefore, it is imperative to return to the negotiation table, for your people to return to their ruined country. O people of Syria, whether you are in Syria or in exile, rescue your country by breaking the glass that your Palestinian brothers drank from before you. “Is there no man of reason amongst you?”
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times