By Dr. Buthayna Shaaban
Following Israel's assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai, it was suggested that the intelligence agencies of fifteen or so Western countries had cooperated with Israel by providing Mossad's death squad with passports. The Western media focused on the fake passports to cover up the assassination itself and the intelligence agencies' complicity in the crime. The victim was an Arab and so it is unlikely that much effort will ever be expended on trying to find the culprits. This is not the first such crime of this nature committed by Israel and it is unlikely to be the last. Such collaboration over the decades has encouraged Israel to commit crimes and massacres in occupied Palestine and Lebanon and beyond.
The story of the Scud missiles was spread in order to destabilize the Middle East, and provided cover for the intransigence of Netanyahu and his rejection of peace with the Arabs. When it became clear that this story was ridiculous on both a technical and practical level, ex-Israeli premier Ehud Barak met with his allies in Washington to promote the story that "there is a weapon supplied to Hezbollah, and that weapon destabilizes the region". Hillary Clinton and Jeffrey Feltman swallowed this scare story wholesale but couldn't bring themselves to say that Israel's weapons of mass destruction and air supremacy also threaten the security and stability of the region.
Senior officials in the United States and Europe continue to launch verbal threats against Syria and Lebanon based on media-sourced charges which lack credibility. Hence, the US Secretary of State feels able to condemn "the transfer of arms in the strongest possible language" and considers this imaginary – transfer to be "provocative and a threat to the stability of the region, which will not be accepted by the United States or the international community"; and regards it to be a violation of UN resolution 1701, which prevents the "informal import of any type of weapons to Lebanon". Conversely, Mrs. Clinton is silent about Israeli many and bloody violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention; Israel's complete contempt for all UN resolutions, including resolutions 242 and 338, as well as 1701 and all arms imported by the Zionist state. Were these not picked up by the all-seeing, all-hearing US State Department and its intelligence services? Hillary Clinton also, apparently, failed to notice that her country's government has supplied Israel with all kinds of munitions and weapons, including helicopter gunships and jets, which are used to kill innocent Palestinian women and children (in defiance America's own arms export laws), and continues to stockpile weapons in Israel for Israeli use "in case of emergency". She could see the effects of her country's deadly largesse if she would only have the courage to take the time to visit Gaza and the West Bank, occupied illegally by that same state of Israel.
As for U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates, he forgets that his army has killed one million Iraqi civilians and continues to kill dozens of Afghan civilians with its not-so-smart bombs. Instead, he rushes to declare that "by arming Hezbollah, Iran and Syria undermine the stability of the region". The afore-mentioned Ehud Barak says that this "upsets the balance of arms in the region". He is making a mockery of reality and treating us all as fools by making such statements when his country has weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, chemical and biological – and the latest aircraft, artillery, rockets and missiles; and his army commits war crimes and has been responsible for numerous massacres over the past 62 years with apparent impunity. Israel, right or wrong, is the Western mantra, even when it's all wrong.
What have the Arabs learnt from their enemies through these long and bloody decades? Are they facing the enemy united? Have they learnt from past mistakes or are they repeating them? Do they believe what they say about "Arab brotherhood and unity"? Are they ready to break the blockade imposed on a civilian population by Israel and its allies? Or are they turning their backs as if it doesn't affect them? These are important questions.
The unjust siege of Gaza is contrary to all international laws and conventions and is being imposed on a million and a half Palestinians for no other reason than that they are Arabs. Europe and the US help the blockade by their inaction, because the Palestinians are Arabs. They have yet to rid their societies of the Crusader mentality. But imagine if the boot was on the other foot, and an Arab state was besieging Israelis; what would Clinton and Feltman say then?
If only my people could learn from the organizers of the "freedom fleet" due to sail to Gaza and break the siege, with participants from Turkey, Malaysia and across Europe taking medical and educational supplies and building materials along with 600 volunteers. The Western media has already started to support the Israelis' brutal blockade by warning about "threats to Israel". Threats? From boats loaded with food, medicine and cement? And where is the Arab participation in this relief effort?
If only my people, especially their leaders, their armies, their intelligence services and their media, would learn from their enemies how to be united and how to stand with one another and then show solidarity with those who are oppressed. Some Arabs lost their international respect and regional role when they gave up the dignity and rights of the Arab nation, because the West itself which believes in solidarity does not respect or trust the friendship of one who deals with his brothers on the basis of division and notions of superiority.
These events, and many others, prove that the West does not really consider any Arab country to be a friend, no matter how much it benefits Israel or supports through its intelligence services the Israeli occupation of Arab land. The West regards those Arab countries with distrust precisely because they are prepared to cooperate with the enemies of their people. Those Arabs who imagine that they are friends of the West are mistaken; the West is a friend to itself and its own interests, no more, no less. So why can't the Arabs be friends with themselves and put their own interests first? Is it because this would require them to act in unison and support their brothers' struggle for freedom and dignity?
Such a shift in attitude is essential not only for the liberation of the people of Palestine but also for the dignity and survival of all Arabs in all countries. Apologising to the enemy, trying to appease it and relying on its humanity and democracy only weakens the Arabs; history tells us as much and we can see it with our own eyes every day. If only my people would learn unity, even from their enemies; if only…
Source: Qatari Sharq newspaper
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.