.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pigs are flying - Arab Times editorial

H/T Pastorius:
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

PEOPLE of Arab countries, especially the Lebanese and Palestinians, have been held hostage for a long time in the name of “resisting Israel.” Arab governments have been caught between political obligations and public opinion leading to more corruption in politics and economics. Forgetting the interests of their own countries the Hamas Movement and Hezbollah have gone to the extent of representing the interests of Iran and Syrian in their countries. These organizations have become the representatives of Syria and Iran without worrying about the consequences of their action.

Recently Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier and bombed Israeli settlements with locally manufactured missiles. Soon Hezbollah followed suit, kidnapping two Israeli soldiers. Both these organizations claimed they had kidnapped Israeli soldiers to exchange them for Arab prisoners who are being held in Israeli jails. The fact that Hamas and Hezbollah gave the same reason for kidnapping Israeli soldiers gives us a glimpse their agenda, which is similar to the one followed by Syria and Iran in their conflict with the United States.

While the people of Palestine and Lebanon are paying the price of this bloody conflict, the main players, who caused this conflict, are living in peace and asking for more oil from Arab countries to support the facade of resisting Israel. With the Palestinian Authority close to collapse and the Lebanese government beginning to give up responsibility for what is happening in its territory, Saudi Arabia has been forced to come out of its diplomatic routine and indirectly hold Hezbollah responsible for what is happening Lebanon.

Without mentioning Hezbollah by name Saudi Arabia blamed certain “elements” inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel and said “it is necessary to make a distinction between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures adopted by certain elements within Lebanon without the knowledge of legal Lebanese authorities.” While reiterating its support for Palestinian and Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation, Saudi Arabia has clearly said it is against irresponsible adventures undertaken by certain elements in the region without consulting the legal authorities putting all Arab nations at risk. The Kingdom has also said “these elements must take responsibility for their irresponsible actions and they alone should end the crisis created by them.”
This angry response from Saudi Arabia has politically isolated Hezbollah and Hamas besides holding them responsible for their actions.

This attitude of Saudi Arabia, which has been doing all it can to protect the Arab world from Israeli aggression, is enough to unmask the adventurers, who have violated the rights of their own countries and tried put their people under the guardianship of foreign countries like Iran and Syria. A battle between supporters and opponents of these adventurers has begun, starting from Palestine to Tehran passing through Syria and Lebanon. This war was inevitable as the Lebanese government couldn’t bring Hezbollah within its authority and make it work for the interests of Lebanon. Similarly leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been unable to rein in the Hamas Movement.

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of “these irregular phenomena” is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.
While this is hardly pro-Israel, it shows some clear thinking that is sorely lacking in the Arab world. More importantly, it shows that the Arab world does not have to be held hostage to their terrorists - it is all too rare to see any real criticism in the Arab world towards the extremist elements.

One can hope that what an editor says clearly in Kuwait is in fact what many Arabs are thinking in Jordan or Egypt. And one can hope that this would empower them to spit out the terrorists from their midst, and then act as real partners for peace.