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Bashar Throws the Ball to the People's Court - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Many statements and analyses are being made regarding the Syrian president Bashar al Assad’s recent speech that came after the military operations by Israel in Lebanon ended after a UN resolution. It was quite remarkable that in President Bashar’s speech, he stated that governments should pay more attention to nationalist movements and allow them to establish resistance and that these movements do not need guidance or advice. It is clear that the president here was implying Hezbollah. However, it goes without saying that the logical commentary on this proposition is that the Lebanese Shebaa Farms are not the only “Arab” lands occupied by Israel. Furthermore, Samir Qantar and his friends are not the only “Arabs” who are imprisoned in Israeli jails. Accordingly, what is permitted to Hezbollah in Lebanon should be permitted for other movements in other states, which suffer from the same challenges and hold the same “reasons.” Isn’t this completely logical?

Why was the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria prevented from opening an internal bloc to liberate the occupied Golan Heights for almost forty years especially that the Supreme Guide from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt stated that he was ready to recruit and send 10,000 fighters to Israel. If there had been any “reservations” on allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to resume its activities once again, then there is a new movement that has recently introduced itself after a number of operations as ‘Junood Asham’ (the Soldiers of Greater Syria). The movement raised slogans to call for resistance against the occupier and its forces and asserted that it has the required number of fighters and weapons. There is no issue more pressing than that of the liberation of the Golan Heights, the region that is so dear to Arab hearts (it is strange that this land was the only territory that Israel occupied after the 1967 war and officially joined to the Israeli state).

Opening the door to popular movements to be the voice, tool and spirit of resistance in the Golan Heights might be a brilliant and attractive idea.

The real challenge lies with the Arab governments, namely Syria, of which much of its territory is occupied and many of its citizens imprisoned in Israeli jails

The political proposition that tackles the culture of resistance and the approach that they take forces us to name things by what they are and distances us from resounding slogans of empty rhetoric. Arabs are waiting for their governments to open the door to “popular resistance,” to liberate the Golan Heights, and in turn, they will not listen to their governments that warn against the consequences of such a decision especially as parties may exploit such a right at a later stage.

Furthermore, provoking popular liberation movements should not be confined to the Golan Heights. There is also the Liwa Al Iskandiroun area that needs to be retrieved for its people.

A message to the young people: head for the Golan Heights and do not wait for permission from your governments as President Bashar has thrown the ball into your court.

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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