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A Sad State - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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I am confident that the following words will enrage Palestinians and that the writer will be subjected to curses. However, I believe that this must be said immediately. Perhaps many people still remember the stories about Palestinians “selling” their land to the Jews in the 1940s and how this contributed to the rapid vacating of the land by its owners and allowed new settlers to occupy the land. There are sad and horrid stories that have resurfaced and repeated over and over to the extent that they now have their own supporters and opponents.

Today there is a new and depressing scene in which all Palestinians are involved that features barbaric fighting and bloodbaths in the street. For far too many years, the Palestinian cause was circulated and marketed in the Arab world as the most important cause and the symbolic struggle. Exploiting this idea, groups of mercenaries quickly emerged onto the Palestinian scene and profited from the cause. The Palestinian resistance, which was formed as a united front, was later divided into subdivisions, some of which came to resemble the mafia. Other mercenaries surfaced carrying out terrorist activity against their own people and participated in tearing apart the original cause. In many cases, such action was taken for the sake of repressive Arab governments. Today, with the spread of Palestinian infighting witnessed by many, it is inevitable that old wounds will re-open and that the situation will worsen. This is the outcome that those who seek to fuel the situation hope to achieve and maintain. The truth is that what is happening in the Palestinian arena today is nothing more than fighting between youths and street battles, where rationality has no place. Such absurdity and irresponsible and disgraceful acts that cannot be forgiven or forgotten must be brought to an end. Nowadays, Palestinian factions are writing their own bleak history. If the “rumors” had once circulated about some people selling land for the benefit of the Jews, then the “real” events now confirm that Palestinian infighting will contribute to the end of the rights of a nation and the hopes of generations, and will provide the occupying enemy with the chance of a lifetime.

There is an important opportunity that the international community is currently discussing, namely, a new deal for establishing a Palestinian state in view of the American administration’s desire to end Bush’s era with an achievement at the expense of the tremendous failure of Iraq. The person being nominated as the hero of this opportunity would be Mahmoud Barghouti after being released. However, releasing Barghouti amongst such convulsive circumstances would be tantamount to adding fuel to the fire. Have the “mature seniors” disappeared from the Palestinian scene since the death of the Yasser Arafat? This seems to be the case. As the old saying goes, “He who has no leader is in search for one.”

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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