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Love, bankruptcy and buffoonery in our region - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Iranian President told his Palestinian counterpart that he loves the Palestinians, prompting Abbas to reply: “For God’s sake, love us all”, i.e. not just Hamas. But it is hard for Ahmadinejad to do that, for Iran and its adherers will not be satisfied with the Palestinians until they are a game in their hands, like Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Assad.

It’s a shame that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has declared bankruptcy while Hamas – a party that does not suffer from financial hardship due to the Iranian support it receives – is preparing to create a new generation of diplomats from Gaza. This will only consecrate the Palestinian division that originally resulted from the Hamas coup. It is shameful that Abbas has announced the PA’s inability to provide salaries in the West Bank, while in Egypt it has been reported that Islamic terrorist groups in the Sinai have drone aircraft and advanced weaponry in order to carry out strikes on the Egyptian army. So how can terrorists be financed to strike Egyptian security, while we cannot find anyone to fund the PA, which is searching for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian cause! Likewise it is shameful that Abbas is begging for money while al-Assad gets all he wants from Iran and its adherers, in order to kill the Syrian people! Yes it is shameful that Abbas is declaring bankruptcy at a time when the symbols of destruction and division in our region are enjoying the funding and facilities of Tehran. As for some Arab regimes – and the Gaza government is one of these – who claim to be fighting Iran’s agent in Syria, they only want to destroy the authorities there to reinforce the power of the Muslim Brotherhood in our region. This is a contradiction that could only happen in our region, which is full of inconsistencies and political buffoonery.

While we are on the subject of political buffoonery, let us consider the call from the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to his European counterparts, urging the need to hold a conference to counter the danger of populists, demagogues or deceivers – call them what you will, i.e. those who seek to mislead the public. Monti claimed that these figures are threatening the future of Europe and its unity by taking advantage of the current financial crisis. The Italian Prime Minister called on the Europeans to address these populist currents by saying that: “It is paradoxical and sad that in a phase in which one was hoping to complete the integration, instead there is forming a dangerous counter-phenomenon that aims at the disintegration”. This is the case with our own region today, unfortunately, where there is no louder voice than the populists and deceivers. How else can we explain Abbas’ cry that the PA is bankrupt, while Hamas and Hezbollah are not suffering from financial hardship with the support of Iran and some of the revolutionaries in our region? How else can we understand Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, defending al-Assad by saying that the alternatives to the tyrant of Damascus would be mere reactionists? Has Aoun forgotten that he was an ally of Saddam Hussein before al-Assad? Is there anything more reactionary than that?

This is both puzzling and depressing; what future do we want for our children and our region? Do we want Hamas, Hezbollah and others of their ilk, or do we want to consolidate the concept of the state that upholds human values, encourages knowledge and respects laws, all according to the principles of God’s religion and a homeland for all?

This is what we must always remember, but for the Palestinians to implore Ahmadinejad, saying “For God’s sake, love us all”, this is a pipe dream!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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