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Sultan Qaboos, architect of wise roadmaps

WHILE the Palestinians are fighting in the corridors of Mieh Mieh refugee camp in the south of Lebanon, someone has been opening doors to save the devastated people from their miseries caused by the Arab leaders who rendered the Palestinian case as their path to rule in the Arab world, and the Palestinians who used it as a profitable commodity for investment.

Throughout the last 70 years, the Arabs did not listen to the voice of wisdom. They did not realize that they will never liberate Palestine, throw the Jews into the sea, or use zeal, poetry and slogans to return to where they came from.

They also could not achieve anything through terrorism, and alienated the world, which understands the language of interests more than the language of emotions. That is why all of the attempts went with the wind because the sword of mistrust was brandished on the necks of intellectuals at that time.

Today, as the Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Saeed receives the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after meeting with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, he is setting in place a solution that was talked about for a very long time, but never witnessed any actual steps for implementation.

Instead, objectionable attempts were made in the path towards investing more in the blood of the Palestinians, resulting in more blockades and humanitarian disasters that the Palestinians residing in that area and those displaced had to face on a daily basis.

In the 1960s after the former Egyptian president the late Jamal Abdul Nasser tried via all means to mobilize and render the Palestinian cause as his gateway to lead the Arab world and transmit the coup infection to the remaining Arab countries, he reached the conclusion that the actual reality lies in the search for a peaceful solution to end the conflict. This solution also would preserve the least of the Palestinian land so that a state can be established on it. On this basis, he embraced the 1969 Rogers Plan, but the Arab orchestra of mistrust did what it does best.

The three losing wars of Egypt against Israel did not convince the Arabs about the inability to impose a solution through military strength, eventually forcing them to yield and submit to its position.

Prior to that, former Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba sustained a fierce campaign of mistrust due to his statement at the West Bank when he said the way forward is through a peaceful solution.

Instead of seeking peaceful means, movements and organizations resorted to terrorism as the means to pressure the international community. Instead of attracting international sympathy, the Palestinians were seen as terrorists after they hijacked civilian planes, bombed entertainment parks and kidnapped people.

After the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat broke the ice of fear and foiled mistrust campaigns, the Arab world started inclining towards new dimensions which were more realistic because they were based on the principle of peace and its initiations. As a result, the Wadi Araba Treaty (Israel–Jordan peace treaty) came.

Former Amir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani used to communicate openly with Tel Aviv. He went on to open an office which represented the Qatari interests in Israel, and it opened a commercial office in Doha. Sheikh Hamad defended his opinion and stance, and did not succumb to mistrust campaign pertaining to this issue.

Amid this grim picture, it was necessary to seek a long-term vision. This was what the late Anwar Sadat did during the 1973 war, which came as a move to deal with the stagnant water that ended with a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel for establishing a self-governing Palestinian region.

This move pushed Israel to a corner where it portrayed itself to be striving for peace but the Arabs appeared not to want that.

The late Anwar Sadat was ahead of his time, realizing that it is impossible to turn back the clock. Nonetheless, the boycott of Arabs of  Egypt and its portrayal as sellout of the case made it return to square one; in fact, it made the international community give up on the Palestinians. At the same time, some of the Arab regimes made this issue the hanger to tighten their grip on power and accumulate wealth under the pretext of war and liberation efforts.

Many initiatives were launched throughout the past 70 years by intellectual minds. The most prominent among them was that of the late King Fahad of Saudi Arabia after he met the then US president Ronald Reagan in Cancún, Mexico.

During that meeting, the late Reagan explained to the late King Fahad that the USA is dealing with a single and unified Israeli position, which is their strive towards peace, while there were 22 opinions in the Arab world, and that all of them would not lead towards the path of solution. If the Arabs want to prove that Israel does not want peace, then they should present a unified opinion.

As a result, King Fahad presented the initiative which was endorsed at that time during the Arab League Summit in Fas, Morocco. However, it wasn’t embraced as some Arab countries that endorsed the initiative resorted to wage a fierce campaign against King Fahad to the point of disassociating Saudi Arabia from pan-Arabism and Islam.

In 2002, another initiative was presented by the late King Abdullah. It became the Arab initiative during the Beirut Summit, but the bearers of mistrust waged a fierce campaign against Saudi Arabia. In fact, these countries were among those that had endorsed the initiative earlier.

This came especially after some organizations sought to speak in Persian accent under the influence of Iranian money, with the existence of a Palestinian organization that regarded Khomeini’s Iran as the new destination for investment. Hence, the case was sold to Iran.

In fact, the case was used on Arabs to the point where the Iranians were able to plan sectarian and creedal sedition in the core of the Palestinian case. They were investing in it to impose on Arabs during the last four decades without the Palestinians realizing the kind of misery that Iran was dragging them into.

It is the same kind of misery that the people are facing today while sitting on the debris of destroyed houses in the Gaza Strip and clapping for the Palestinian blood that is being wasted in conflicts on the corridors of refugee camps.

This image was the first motivator for the wise Arab and the architect of the roadmaps towards realistic solutions, Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Saeed, to work behind the curtains away from the clamors of slogans and rhetoric in order to put the Palestinian case on the path of solution as well as to end the era of devastation in the Arab world caused by ongoing operations in the forefront and hiding behind slogans.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times



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