Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

What Do Netanyahu and Iran Have In Common? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

What do Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Iran have in common? The answer is simple: both Netanyahu and Iran do not want to see an independent Palestinian state. Iran, as stated by its Supreme Guide, rejects the two-state solution. Netanyahu also shares this view and prefers an economic solution to the [Israeli-Palestinian] crisis.

Netanyahu does not want to see an independent Palestinian state. His most recent statements have been full of “ifs” as a result of his extremism. As for Iran’s rejection [of the two-state solution], this stems from its belief in fighting Israel until the last drop of Palestinian blood. When did Iran ever engage in war for Palestine or any Arab cause? We have never heard about the death or martyrdom of an Iranian for the sake of Palestine. Iran sees the Palestinian Cause as a contributing factor, in its own interest, to negotiations with America in the near future. Washington has begun its exit from Iraq and doesn’t consider itself vulnerable to Iran as there are increasing indicators of the Iraqi nation’s growing rejection to Iran. As a result, the Iranians have lost an important playing card in negotiating with Washington, namely Iraq.

Moreover, the Americans announced that they are communicating with Syria, and there has been communication between Syria, and Saudi Arabia and Egypt i.e. the Arabs. Once again, the loser here is Tehran. Therefore, there is nothing odd about the statement that Ahmadinejad made in which he said that the difference between Iran’s conference to collect donations for Gaza and the Sharm el Sheikh International Donors’ Conference for the reconstruction of Gaza is like the difference between “man and the devil”.

What Tehran failed to realize is that its deception has been revealed to the entire world and the Arab world through its desperate attempts to take control of the Palestinian Cause in order to exploit the Arab world especially that Iran has failed to find a common cause between the Arabs and Iran.

In response to a statement made by the Saudi Foreign Minister about [confronting] the Iranian challenge to Arab security, the Iranian Foreign Minister said that he was surprised that “our friends,” i.e. Saudi Arabia, detached themselves from realism in recognizing these challenges and that Iran supports the efforts of Arab and Islamic countries towards unifying the ranks. This is untrue. The question here is: what cause, any cause whatsoever, unites the Arabs and Iran? There is not one. Therefore, Tehran is doing what it can to hijack the Palestinian Cause in order to strengthen its negotiation power vis-à-vis Washington.

Inter-Arab disagreement has reached its peak on all Arab issues in which Iran is interfering, whether it is Lebanon, Iraq, or the Palestinian factions, let alone interference in the Arab Gulf States by issuing negative statements etc.

Iran wants a role for itself in the region without having to pay a price for it. It incites [conflict] between the Arabs whilst our Arab world has paid a heavy price in wars and coups for the Palestinian Cause.

Tehran should bear in mind the title of the film, ‘To Get to Heaven First You Have to Die’; if Iran wants to interfere in our causes, including the Palestinian Cause, it must first pay the real price. Will Iran engage in war to free Palestine? I doubt it very much.