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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Arab nations snub Palestinian Arab event

From Ma'an:
Palestinians have no answers as to why invited officials from all of the Arab states did not come to the closing ceremony of the Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture 2009 events, organizers said.

Head of the organizing office Varsan Aghabekian told Palestine Radio on Friday that she was particularly perplexed over the absence of Qatar, whose capital Doha is listed as the capital of Arab culture 2010, and to whose official President Mahmoud Abbas was meant to hand over the ceremonial flag.

“I will send it to Doha," Abbas said of the flag and ceremonial flame he was set to hand over to Qatari officials during the televised event.

The only Arab state representatives at the closing ceremony on Thursday were Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture Naser Juda and Nabeeh Shaqam, as well as UAE Minster of Foreign Affairs Abdallah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The closing events were held in Nablus.

Aghabekian said “frustration prevailed" among the organizers of the events because of the weak support and weaker presence of Arab states, particularly around Israel's attempts to quash events held in the city they were meant to honor. She confirmed that invitations had been sent to all of the Arab states, and organizers had attempted to coordinate with Qatar in particular.

In an interview with Al-Filistine TV on Friday, Abbas said "support from the Arab countries to the UN organization [UNRWA] had dropped," noting the hundreds of thousands Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria depended on the agency alongside the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza.

“There are Arab countries who support Palestine," Abbas said, adding " there are many others who could support us but they do not.
It has been evident for quite some time that Arab leaders are sick of Palestinian whining.They have seen the Palestinian Arabs squander opportunity after opportunity; they have seen the utter inability of Palestinian Arabs to maintain any sort of united front; they have seen billions of dollars wasted on the black hole that is the PA budget.

This snub is more direct than any previous one. Previously, Arab nations pledged to help publicly but privately didn't bother to honor those pledges; this was a public humiliation of an event that was meant to highlight the importance of Jerusalem to Palestinian Arabs. To imagine that a televised ceremony meant to show the world how much the Arabs support their Palestinian brethren ended up showing the exact opposite is as obvious an insult as can be imagined.