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Persuade the Stupid or Alert the Intelligent? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said “unfortunately some of us always view everything that we undertake with suspicion, and this has brought us to defeatism in our thinking and [believing] we are not capable of doing something positive.” He added “if the Jews acted in this manner they would not have a State.”

This statement is accurate, and is something that is confirmed by everything that we see with regards to the Palestinian Cause, the manner that this is being managed, as well as the management of the negotiations and the Arab involvement in this, and above all else the inter-Palestinian division and the administration of the Gaza Strip. Someone might say that there’s nothing new in this, and that this has been the state of the Palestinian Cause for decades, and that is the real problem.

As Fayyad said, this defeatism has intensified, and the real and genuine hard work to establish a State of Palestine has been reduced to false slogans that are being used merely to gain power, rather than create a Palestinian State. This can also be seen in the case of Hamas, and this defeatism has intensified among some Arabs who facilitate the investment in Hamas’s adventures, rather than genuinely helping to build a State on the ground, and turn this into a reality, and work politically to provide international momentum.

The simplest example here is what was put forward at the most recent Arab Summit, where there was talk about the possibility of withdrawing from the two-state solution project, and returning to one state that includes both the Israelis and Palestinians. In other words, throwing decades of conflict, bloodshed, and financing, into the sea, and starting once more from anew. This is less a political vision and more evidence of frustration, however politics, and particularly negotiations, does not recognize frustration, and instead is based upon the principles of “give and take.”

At the same time that Salem Fayyad is talking about building institutions and organs for the Palestinian State, and imposing this as a reality through political work and peaceful public [action], we see that what is happening in Gaza is the complete opposite of this. It becomes clear day after day that there is division and confusion in the Hams ranks, and this comes at the same time that the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated movement is trying to extend its influence at the expense of the other Palestinian factions that want to launch rocket attacks on Israel. Israel Haniyeh said that his government is contacting the [Palestinian] factions in order to reach an internal consensus on the cessation of rocket fire and that this is in order to “protect our people and strengthen our unity” which is the same position announced by Khaled Mishal following his telephone conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister. However at the same time, there is another position, and Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said that Hamas is not backing away from the resistance, and he said that he considers the Fatah position that favors popular [peaceful] civil action to be a type of collusion with Israel. All of this comes at a time that Gaza is witnessing a media battle between Hamas and the other [Palestinian] factions in an attempt to implement what has been called the “Persuade the Stupid” operation that targets Israeli soldiers.

Away from the stupid, the question here is; are the intelligent paying attention to our region and the Palestinians? Are they aware that what is happening in Gaza will overturn the Palestinian boat, and that the best thing to do today is to establish the Palestinian State as a reality on the ground, and take a decisive stand towards what is taking place in Gaza, rather than appeasing Hamas and remaining silent over what is happening?

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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