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Is The Issue Of Palestine Only An Arab Issue? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Perhaps the most dramatic effect of globalization is that every thing has become “theoretically at least” within reach. A depressed Iraqi woman may find a better supporter in a South African activist than she does in a next-door neighbor. The downside effect of globalization is that rumors and misinformation circulate just as fast as ground truths. But nonetheless all people of the world kept their strife till the truth reigned supreme. There is no place that is a victim of misinformation and blockage of information and misuse of information as the Arab world, which is called the “Middle East” for the wrong political reason.

A 12 years Syrian boy asked my 12 years old son what is the Middle East they keep talking about, where are its limits? My son answered any place you find violence, chaos and occupation! The most important aspect of the Middle East region and this political phase in the life of this region is that the enemies and the patriots are confused and the borders are no longer distinct between the attacker and the victim, the occupier and the occupied, the criminal and those who are victims of these crimes. The trend that is fast growing now is that there could be a conspiracy among the locals against their next-door victim and there could be conscientious assessment of the situation by people who live oceans away. That is why the most welcome effect of globalization -despite all the difficulties- is that it is reformulating international movements in support of justice, equality and human dignity. No people on earth are of a more dire need of such movements than the Iraqi and Palestinian people.

Law editor Robert Verkaik defended the dignity of Iraqi prisoners more than any other Arab anywhere. His articles in the British Independent, the latest of which is “Human Rights in Iraq: a case to answer” May 29, 2007, is a noble defense of human dignity against lies, hypocrisy and a culture of abuse against the Arabs in the 21st century. Prof Michael Chossudovsky did a great piece of research on “fundamentalism” that is financed by U.S. for political purposes. His piece “Islamic Terrorists” supported by Uncle Sam, published by Global Research on June 16, 2007 is a must reading for any one who wants a real understanding of what is going on in Lebanon for the last two months or so. A comment by the south African Minister Ronnie Kasrils depicting life under Israeli occupation is worthy of being the best piece ever written on political, human and international issues.

I know of no one who has the courage of the ex-American president -though out of office- to say: “Bush administration’s refusal to accept Hamas’ 2006 election victory was “criminal”” (Washington post, June 20, 2007). Carter adds: “the consensus of the U.S. Israel and the EU to start funneling aid to Abbas’ new government in the West Bank but continue blocking Hamas in the Gaza Strip represented an “effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples””. After the decision of U.K. union of academicians to boycott Israeli academic institutions UK’s largest trade union begins debate on boycotting Histadrut (Jerusalem post, June 18, 2007). Yedioth Ahronoth published a report showing that Jewish personalities were behind campaign to boycott Israel (June 15, 2007) and by so doing directing a blow to those who deliberately confuse “Israel” with Jews. This is a drop in the ocean of what is published every day in international media about the war on Iraq, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the ploys leading Lebanon towards anarchy and chaos. This shows that what is going on in Iraq and Palestine is no longer confined within Arab banks, for Arab people to support or not to support, especially as some Arabs are selling themselves to the devil. Justice, equality and dignity for the Palestinian and Iraqi people fall now within the moral responsibility of the international community. Followers of all religions should take the brave stand of supporting their brothers and sisters in Iraq and Palestine to live a dignified life free of coercion, occupation and apartheid. The issues of Palestine and Iraq today are no longer Arab issues only; they are a challenge to human consciousness to raise the voice in the face of injustice, settlement, occupation and aggression and to stand solid for justice and equal human dignity.

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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