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Where are you Arabs? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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“Where are you Arabs?” was the scream of a woman who crept among others to release the Palestinian youths detained by Israeli oppression machine. Those women succeeded to release the detained youths before the Israeli troops demolish the mosque. Observing those women, one could not help wondering: how facing such a racist occupation, which is waging a war of genocide against an original people, was left for those women? Ironically, the United States, who wages another war of genocide against Iraqi people, refused to admit that the Israeli actions against Palestinians are acts of genocide, as if US has the moral authority to pass judgments, especially if the criminals were Israeli and the victims were Arabs.

Reproach, criticism and expressing anxiety never restrained Israel from displacing millions of Palestinians from their lands. Would, then, the world continue to feel easy about a claimed good-will gesture here or cover-up of facts in media there until the original Arab inhabitants of Palestine become part of the Israeli folklore like the aborigines in Australia? It seems that only then, when Palestinians stop to be a source of danger to the new settlers, they will be acknowledged as the original owners of the land?!

A woman who was thrown out of her house with her children at 3 am, says: “They dragged some of us out almost naked, and then they decided to destroy our house for no reason. May God help us!” Everyone who watches such a scene would realize that Israel has a calculated plan of displacing Palestinians by targeting all the Palestinian people and destroying their houses, dear belongings and memories. The ultimate goal of this policy is to expel Palestinians from the southern east parts of the West Bank. However, what really surprises is that some Arab media call the Israeli crimes against Palestinian Civilians as “Israeli operations” or as “targeting of Palestinian activists and militants”.

The last Israeli atrocities coincided with the statement of President Bush who admitted that what matters for him in the Middle East is to keep control of the oil resources and to keep siding with Israel and “some other allies”. How could an Arab be an ally of the US who unlimitedly supports Israel in its aggression? How could this Arab ignore the screams of Arab mothers and children in Iraq and Palestine and most recently in Lebanon who were victims of the Israeli and American crimes and schemes which incite sectarian strife and make people of the same country destroy each others by proxy of Israel? Maybe for this reason we find some Lebanese parties play down what was reported in a British study about using the depleted Uranium by Israel in South Lebanon in a total negligence of the dangers threatening the safety of their own citizens. They turn a deaf ear to what human rights organizations said about the war crimes committed by Israel when it attacked civilians in Lebanon, they, instead, blame those who resisted Israel and defeated it.

Most Western Countries are concerned today only with finding a secure outlet for their troops in the Middle East, sustaining the cheap flow of Arab oil to western consumers and, above all, protecting Israel and covering up its murderous behavior against Arabs, a behavior that defies UN resolutions and violate all human laws, norms and morals. In the face of this reality, where are Arab rulers? What are their standards of shame at what is happening to their people? What are their standards of friendship to those who commit all these crimes against their people?

The reply to these questions and to the scream of that woman is that the main concern to some Arabs has become how to pledge allegiance to the forces that unquestionably declared that the priorities of their agenda in the region are the continuous control of Arabs’ oil and the prosperity and dominance of Israel as a superpower in the region. Of course, the standard of keeping those rulers in power is their abidance to the declared agenda. Nonetheless, all other justifications fabricated to cover up the crimes committed against Arabs do not delude any Arab who believes that the life and dignity of civilians in Beit Hanoun, in Iraqi cities and in Beirut and the villages of south Lebanon represents the life and dignity of every Arab.

We have the right to wonder: how the rulers who are responsible to safeguard a nation become allies to those who violate the sanctity of its land and threaten the integrity of its people? Is not this a terrible indicator of how weak those rulers have become? Isn’t it, then, understandable for Palestinian women to scream: “where are you Arabs?” The Israeli crimes in Gaza and West Bank could not be called except a war of genocide that started in Palestine but targets all Arabs and spare none of them. What would those Arabs do then? What would they do?

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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