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The Saudi statement on the current events in Lebanon and Palestine is in no way bold or harsh but it is honest, clear, and direct; it clears matters up.

Who decides what the state of the nation should be, governments or individuals? Is it reasonable that an Arab state is transformed into a country with two or three heads? Can the Lebanese state and its government be the last to know that it will be dragged into war? Does freeing prisoners, no matter the number; justify pushing an entire country to war?

Is Lebanon the only country under occupation? Alternatively, is Lebanon the only country whose citizens are detained in Israeli jails for it to confront it solely, bearing in mind that there are also Syrian prisoners in Israeli jails?

These questions deserve to be answered, just as Lebanon deserves a better life. It is sad that it remains center stage in this conflict; it is sad that Lebanon and its people are exposed to such killings and destruction, whenever a certain individual decides to ignite a battle with Israel.

Crying on the state of the nation and the use of phony slogans has left a bitter aftertaste, throughout the years. All our crises have been caused by unaccounted for adventures and frivolous hyperboles from countries and groups. This is why the Saudi statement is a defining moment in solving the Arab situation and an important turning point.

If leaders said what they say behind closed doors with clarity and firmness, just as Saudi Arabia did in its statement yesterday, our circumstances would have been much better. We would not be in the predicament we are in today. There is no room for outbidding, and it is irrational that our abilities and resources are exposed to death and destruction, because one group decided to enflame the region, in the service of different agendas.

Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah says he did not consult anyone regarding the kidnapping of the two soldiers. He warned everyone including the media against making any statement that show a lack of solidarity towards him, or his party, so that in effect, there is no voice louder than that of “the battle”. This kind of talk has had its heyday and we have seen its harmful aspects and witnessed its bitterness.

However, this is not just the case of Hezbollah, as the Egyptian President brokered a solution between Hamas and Israel to end the crises created by the kidnapped soldier, but another party, and I wish the Egyptian President had named them, intervened to scupper the mediation!

Are the events taking place today really about freeing prisoners? I doubt so; in fact, I am absolutely certain that this is not the case. The Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners were not detained yesterday or the day before that.

Those who want to manage the conflict with Israel should be responsible for it, especially as Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah’s statement portray him as the only Arab leader, since he says he is not asking anyone for help. This also applies to Khaled Meshaal! Be responsible for your actions. Just as you have created the problem, solve it!

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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