Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Arab article moans Turkish and Iranian co-opting of Arab causes

Abdel Bari Atwan, writing in Al Quds al-Arabi, says that the recent events on the flotilla as well as out of Iran show that the Arab world is impotent to do anything on its own, and that the Turks and Iranians are acting as more effective leaders of Arabs than the Arab countries themselves.

To be sure, he knows that these moves are political, as using the Arab street to accomplish your goals is an old and well-known tactic. Nevertheless, he notices - as do ordinary Arabs - that the people who are in the forefront of the Arab cause are non-Arabs.

And, by Arab cause, he means - the fight against Israel.

He compares the Arab world today to the Ottoman empire in its dying days during World War I, when it was divided and making deals with the West. Their desire to work with the US and Europe are an insult to Arabs who are brought up to hate the West and it leaves them vulnerable to these other Muslim nations to take the mantle of anti-Israelism from the Arabs.

Erdogan's apparent standing up to Israel is striking a chord in the Arab world, even though his country still has relations with Israel. Arabs, after decades of feeling impotent, are attracted to a leader who appears to hold to his convictions.

And, while the author doesn't say this, the only example he can find of a pan-Arab ideal is the pure hatred of a Jewish state.