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I Wish My People Would Learn - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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When Israel assassinated Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, it was revealed that intelligence agencies from about fifteen countries collaborated with it in providing Israeli death squads with fake passports and crossing points in their airports. Nevertheless, after the assassination, Western media focused on the information that the passports were fake in order to cover the assassination itself and their intelligence collaboration in committing the crime. The crime was against Arabs and, as usual, its perpetrators will not be brought to account. It was not the first, nor will it be the last. This collaboration has actually encouraged Israel for over sixty years to carry out assassinations and massacres against unarmed civilians in Palestine and Lebanon.

Today, they invented the story of the Scud missiles in order to undermine the region’s stability and give cover to Netanyahu’s intransigence and his utter rejection of peace with the Arabs. When it became clear that the story is ridiculous, Barak met with his allies in Washington to launch a political media campaign saying “Hezbollah is being provided with weapons; and these weapons undermine the region’s stability”. This time, and suddenly, Secretary of State Clinton and Under Secretary Feltman discovered that all the mass destruction weapons possessed by Israel and its air-force supremacy do not threaten “security and stability in our region”; only those alleged weapons do.

Senior US officials hasten to “threaten Syria and Lebanon” based on accusations made in the media and which do not have any credibility. In this case only, clarity of expression becomes a yielding instrument, when the Secretary of State condemns “the transfer of weapons with the strongest possible language”, and considers this imagined act “provocative, threatening to the region’s stability and will not be accepted by the United States or the international community”. She considers it a violation of resolution 1701 which bans “unofficial importation of any kind of weapons to Lebanon”, while all the Israeli violations of the fourth Geneva convention and of all Security Council resolutions, including 242, 338 and also 1701, together with all the weapons imported by Israel go completely unnoticed by Clinton. She does not even notice that successive American administrations have provided Israel secretly with nuclear reactors, phosphoric and cluster bombs in order to kill Gaza’s children and unarmed civilians.

It is the United States which provided Israel with warplanes which destroyed thousands of houses, schools and hospitals in Gaza and South Lebanon. US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, forgets his armies which murdered over a million Iraqis, and which continue to kill tens of Afghan civilians every day. He hastened to repeat the record of “Iran and Syria undermine the stability of the region by arming Hezbollah with Scud missiles. Ehud Barak thought the act “undermines the armed balance of the region”. Is there a more ridiculous thing than Ehud Barak repeating such claims, as if he did not know that his army owns all kinds of lethal and banned weapons, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and all types of warplanes, artillery and banned missiles and bombs. It has committed all kinds of crimes on a daily basis for the past sixty years with impunity; for Israel’s Western allies are always on the alert to cover its crimes against humanity.

In such events, and in many others, the West behaves like one bloc and embraces its ‘creation’, Israel, and repeats its accusations and claims, justifies all its crimes and provides it with financial, military, political and media support. Despite the story of the fake passports, hundreds of Israeli intelligence agents are still roaming Arab countries carrying Western passports in order to recruit agents, collect information, assassinate people or arrange for explosions.

Israel still imposes a land, sea and air blockade, which is against all international laws, legitimacy and human rights, against one and a half million Palestinians because they are Arabs. Europe and the United States keep silence about the blockade simply because the blockaded are Arabs. They do not seem to have abandoned the Crusader mentality; and their racism prevents them from accepting the other. Just imagine the blockade being imposed by the Arabs against the Israelis. What would Clinton’s and Feltman’s position be?

I wish my people would learn from the organizers of the Freedom Fleet which will sail from Turkey on 24 May to break the Israeli blockade. Organizations from Turkey, Malaysia, Sweden and Greece will send ships carrying goods and educational and medical supplies and ships carrying at least 600 people. Where are the Arabs in this effort? What are Arab businessmen doing to support their brethren in Gaza?

Some Arabs have lost their international status and their regional role when they abandoned their people and the dignity and rights of their Arab nation. They should take note because the West, which believes in solidarity does not respect those who deal with their brothers on the basis of division and fragmentation.

Events prove that the West does not consider any Arab a friend no matter how much they serve Israeli interests and regardless of the services provided by their security services and courts to the Israeli occupation of Arab land. The West is right in considering those who act against their people not trustworthy. That is why those who imagine they are the West’s friends live an illusion. The West cares only about itself and about its interests. So, why do not the Arabs befriend themselves and be true to their interests? There is no doubt that the Arab interest lies in acting as one party because, in the eyes of the West, they are all Arabs.

I wish my people would learn how to unify their ranks even from their enemies.

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban is political and media advisor to the Syrian presidency, and the former minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer, and has been a professor at Damascus University since 1985. She received her PhD in English Literature from Warwick University, London. She was the spokesperson for Syria. She was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

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