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The Other Battle - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It appears that there are two basic choices regarding the current crisis that the Arab region is facing due to the Israeli holocaust against the Gaza Strip and the dozens continuing to be killed and wounded.

The first option is the success of the Iranian political strategy. I am talking about the effective Iranian strategy of using the Palestinian issue as an obvious slogan by means of the suspicious financial support of the Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad, along with other central parties such as Syria and Hezbollah.

The second choice is to protect the foundation of stability and advance resource development, developing and reforming to improve the [Palestinian] situation in general, along with keeping revenue away from the financial drain of unplanned wars and military adventures, while at the same time continuing to press strongly to find a just and serious solution to the important Palestinian cause.

There are the two choices which divide the [Arab] region between emotion and reason, between dreams and reality, between words and actions, and between the impossible and the possible.

The Arab world is “fated” to witness “a hero” that appears from time to time, making promises and threats; this is a “movie” seen by Arabs before. Every one of these heroes was keen on personal glory regardless of the number of dead and injured that resulted [from them], and why not when this hero swears that he himself is prepared to be martyred?

Everybody remembers the immortal leader [Egyptian President Jamal Abdul Nasser] who promised to drive Israel into the sea but actually lost more land [to Israel] than they were currently occupying at the time [1967 Six-Day War, known in the Arab world as Al Neksa or The Setback]. This was as a result of [Nasser’s] “words” which cost nothing, and his indulging of a life-long friend [Abdul Hakim Amer] who he appointed as commander in chief of the army, a position he was unqualified for [and resulted in the Arab defeat]. Finally [Nasser] wanted to destroy and invade his neighbors for the sake of liberating Palestine, and so for decades the region was a backwater, a black hole the scope and depth of which could only be known by the Almighty.

Other heroes came and went, yet every time the Palestinians are the ones who suffer the most, and gain the least, while the tragedy increases, as does the death-toll and the scale of destruction. Oh, how terrible it is to see the homeless, the refugees, and migrants, dispersed all over the world [as a result of this].

All of this “lunacy” results in other battles, battles to provide major humanitarian aid in order to help the Palestinians treat their wounds and maintain their dignity, instead of jeopardizing them by putting them in the middle, and then leaving them without protection to a certain death and a sad and miserable end.

This battle to maintain the dignity of the Palestinians is undertaken by moderate and rational voices in the region aiming to provide them with support and help. This is an important and noble battle, although those that fight it are not accorded the same attention and interest as those who use ringing rhetoric and rousing slogans.

Yes, this is the other battle that can be undertaken to help and support Palestine and the Palestinian people in many areas. There is no limit to the help that is needed, nor can this help be restricted in the face of the despicable Israeli massacre that targets all. It shows no mercy to the young or the old or to women; it does not spare places of worship, hospitals, or even shelters. It is a crime of the times, and is continuous and non-stop.

The Arab world must stand with and actively work towards backing and supporting [the Palestinians] rather than being distracted by taking part in never-ending public self-flagellation and offensive festivals of betrayal which are worse than useless.

This other battle is more important, and needs all to take part in it; its impact is more realistic and important to the Palestinians who are suffering at the hands of those who are exploiting them, and who do not care except that the number of dead and injured [keep increasing], and the impressive destruction continues, so that they can continue to promote their role.

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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