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A shameful silence and an shameful role - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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I know beforehand that this article will be welcomed by the rabid Zionist right-wing, and that it will be translated, published and widely circulated. But I must say what has to be said.

Perhaps what has been most damaging to the true, noble Palestinian cause is the outrageous discrepancy between the discourse of political and ethical struggle, and the deviant actions committed by some on the ground. Within this context comes the statement given by Chairman of the National Transitional Council in Libya, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who leads a national liberation movement intent on removing a dictator who has savagely tortured his own people, and transformed his country into a laughing stock before the entire world. This national liberation movement has been globally endorsed, with the exception of some countries and individuals that could only be described as mercenaries.

In his statement, Abdul Jalil mentioned that a Palestinian figure [Ahmed Jibril], known for his previous “support” for the Resistance, had dispatched one thousand mercenaries from his militia to fight side by side with Gaddafi’s troops, against the revolutionaries in Libya. In other words, those militia troops are performing a task they can’t undertake against Israel, their real enemy.

In fact, this is not the first time Gaddafi’s regime has solicited the services of this particular individual. In 1989, he and his militia were implicated following investigations into the infamous case of Pan Am Flight 103, which was blown up over the town of Lockerbie in Scotland. The fact that this type of personality is shamefully credited as being a member of Palestinian resistance clearly shows a weakness in resistance discourse. All of a sudden, the Palestinian resistance has transformed from a noble act and a case of self-defense against a despicable and racist enemy, into an instrument of murder and a “gun for hire”. This individual and those like him have extensively harmed the noble cause of their country, and have transformed themselves into a cheap and vile tool in the hands of Western and Arab intelligence apparatuses, first and foremost Muammar Gaddafi’s. The Libyan dictator once hired one of these militias to kidnap the Arab oil ministers from Vienna, under the command of Venezuela’s Carlos the jackal, the most notorious terrorist in the world.

However, the most shocking and disgraceful part of this story is the collective silence from the Palestinian leadership (incorporating Fatah, Hamas, and other factions affiliated to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the PLO) regarding this unacceptable behavior. The PLO has failed to freeze memberships, or expel such elements from its organization. Its dubious silence on the matter means that the PLO has given its implicit approval, or even blessing, for what has happened. This is reminiscent of the late Yasser Arafat and PLO’s position towards Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, and their unbelievable endorsement of such an act. Their stance did a great deal of harm to Arab and international popular support for the Palestinian cause, and a strong sense of legitimate suspicion began to arise regarding the intentions and stances of the Palestinian leadership.

Today, inter-Palestinian discord is tearing the political scene apart, and eating into its bones. This latest ethical atrocity committed by a Palestinian individual and his militia seems like a new addition to a series of atrocities in the history of politicizing the honorable Palestinian resistance. I think it is high time that the resistance distanced itself from the likes of those people.

There are generations that won’t forgive what once happened in the name of the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Tunisia. Today it looks like Libya will be joining this mounting list, and this is likely to be very costly. However, the most dangerous and deplorable thing about the whole issue is the collective Palestinian silence, regarding the cooperation of Palestinian figures with Muammar Gaddafi’s bloody regime. Such silence cannot be accepted. It is incumbent upon the Palestinian leadership to declare that this individual and those like him do not represent the Cause in any manner. This declaration has to be clear, unambiguous and direct.

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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