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Their Fate Lies in Their Hands - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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“The Palestinian national interest requires the unity of a Palestinian decision and keeping it in Palestinian hands”. This is what Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet, chaired by King Abdullah, said on Monday, and this is the crux of the matter! Certainly, the Palestinians are in dire need of frank stances and support, but how? Through protests or slogans? Certainly not!

The Palestinians are in urgent need of someone to address them clearly, even if they do not like what they hear. Candor does not have a preferred time; even during crises, one should be frank. Your friend is the one who speaks the truth, not the one who believes anything you say.

In most cases, the problem of the Palestinian crisis is from the outside. By that, I mean those outside the Palestinian Authority, those outside the Palestinian territories, and those who are not even Palestinian. Those who are not part of the PA find it easy to exaggerate and complicate every political move that the Palestinian leadership makes; this took place even during the days of Yasser Arafat.

Those outside the Palestinian territories have mastered the art of giving extremist speeches, in order to obstruct the road of political discourse, whenever it is moderate. The question here is where is Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister, at a time in which we only hear Khalid Meshaal? As for those who are not even Palestinian, they have acted without any embarrassment.

The issue is being complicated politically, militarily and in the media in order to score points or strengthen a negotiating position at the expense of the crisis itself. Who is complicating matters whilst the solution to the Palestinian crisis is on the negotiation table? Sometimes, the matter reaches the extent that those far from the solution and the negotiations are hurriedly seeking to obstruct talks.

The best way to assist the Palestinians is to be clear with them. The Palestinian solution ought to remain an exclusive Palestinian choice. It has to defer to the suffering of the people and the justice of their cause. The Palestinian leadership also has to be aware that its duty, as any leadership, is to stop citizens from being harmed and to guarantee them a good life. The alert politician is aware that his ability rests in the knowledge of his aptitude and capacity of judging matters through the logic of winning and losing.

Today, everyone in the Arab world is asking why is Hamas being treated this way when it has come to power by way of democratic elections? This is being said in front of the general public! The same words were used regarding Fatah, as a desperate defense of its members. After they lost the elections, the Arabs claimed that Fatah’s corruption is the one that brought Hamas to power! I have heard this from several high-ranking Arab officials!

This is why today; I say to Hamas that your friends are those who are frank with you. Hamas, therefore, needs to decide if it is to be an elected government that takes into consideration its people’s interests; operates according to the conditions and the limits set, with the Prime Minister and no one else as its spokesman, or whether it will act as an organization in exile managing a militia war. When Hamas falls, the Arabs that are currently defending it will say; Hamas was never a government!

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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