Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The phenomenon of the “frenemy” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Any group of Arab people should not pay the bill for the situations or conditions of any other group of people. The Lebanese should not suffer from the expansion of Syrian intelligence influence for more than 40 years. Kuwait’s land, people and resources should not pay the price for the madness of a ruler in neighboring Iraq. The Saudi border should not be exposed to the constant risk of arms and explosives smuggling through neighboring Yemen.

Egypt should not suffer the disaster of tons of discarded and readily available weapons following the looting of Libyan weapons stores after the civil war and the fall of Gaddafi. Jordan should not have to pay the price for the mass displacement that has occurred as a result of the wars in Iraq, Lebanon and now Syria.

Here some might say to me: This is the fate of those countries with adjacent borders, they suffer due to the geographical landscape imposed upon them.

The logical answer is yes, but within certain limits, for what we can glean from the results and lessons of World War II is that geographic proximity is no justification for the exportation of crises, war and destruction, and the violation of borders and the sovereignty of others.

Mexico is the neighbor of the United States, but restrictions, limits and deterrent measures are put in place so that the American people do not pay the price of the entry of illegal immigrants, or the smuggling of goods, weapons and drugs. Switzerland and France share a land border and citizens can move freely between the two without a visa, but a thorough and rigorous security system is also in place to prevent the transfer of criminals, contraband goods, or illegal immigrants who do not belong to either of the two countries.

As much as history and geography is to be appreciated and as much as it plays a part in political and humanitarian transactions, it is not acceptable for a sovereign state to pay a heavy price for the mistakes and sins of another political system.

I write this after the Egyptian media reported on a horrific and insane act, whereby an armed terrorist force crossed the Palestinian border from Gaza into Egypt and committed a massacre against soldiers and officers who were exchanging food during the Iftar hour of Ramadan. It was said that some of them (the martyrs) died with a tablespoon or glass of water in their hand.

It brought tears to the eye yesterday to see the amount of martyred bodies in Sinai, and the thousands of Egyptians mourning in anguish and grief, finding solace in the decree of God.

One was shouting “retribution…retribution”, but the question is retribution against whom?

Here one may respond: “retribution against the killers of course”.

But I would say: “Unfortunately, the killers are our neighbors and brothers”.