June 5 is an ominous and sad day in modern Arab history that will continue to be so throughout history. On this day in 1967, Israel with direct and indirect American help, invaded three Arab countries (Egypt, Syria, and Jordan) and defeated three armies that were the pillars of the Arab armies at the time.
The armies from the rest of the Arab countries could have taken action to rescue our brothers in those countries and defeat the invaders. However, at that time our Arab leaders were busy either being malicious, gloating, or accomplices to the attack in one way or another.
Today we see the governments that adopted the idea of Islam as a solution currently fighting this slogan and its supporters. They are working to eliminate the Islamic trend under various pretexts, and calling for the adoption of secularism as a method of governance and life.
From the womb of this miserable defeat emerged Arab leaders who called for uniting the Arab ranks, healing the wound, and casting aside differences between the Arabs. Such leaders included Gamal Abdel Nasser, King Faisal, Houari Boumediene, Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Abdul Rahman Arif, all of whom agreed to work to remove the effects of the attack.
The flame of hope to remove the effects of the attack was extinguished because these great leaders passed away, one after the other, before achieving their national project of removing the effects of the attack, and this defeat will remain in the Arab memory forever.
Another 5 June cast a shadow on us in 2017. It is a day no less ominous for our Arab and Muslim nation in general, and for us in the Gulf in particular.
Last 5 June we, in Qatar, woke up at dawn to find ourselves under a siege imposed on us not by a lurking enemy but our brothers who we share love, affection, and brotherhood with. We want good for them as we want it for ourselves, and they are our partners in the present, future, and they are our destiny.
Since this siege was unjustified, the besieging forces began to tour the capitals of the world in order to justify their siege on Qatar, their fellow members and partners in the GCC. They slandered Qatar amongst the nations and accused them of embracing and harbouring terrorists and terrorism, which threaten the safety, security and stability of the world.
The leaders of the world have cleared Qatar of the accusations directed at it regarding terrorism, funding terrorism, and harbouring terrorists. Therefore, the besieging forces’ justifications were discredited. However, our brothers’ media continued to intensify its hostility towards Qatar and incite public opinion against Qatar’s people and the government.
We are entering the second year of the siege today. The Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Al-Khalifa said in an interview with a Gulf newspaper that he sees no glimmer of hope of the siege on Qatar being lifted.
This means that the animosity, hatred and resentment towards Qatar from its brothers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain has reached the highest level and that they do not want a solution, neither through direct dialogue between the brothers that Qatar has called for or by means of forming a committee of wise men from outside the GCC to bring together perspectives and find fair solutions. All we can say to this is, “Sufficient is Allah for us and He is the best to rely on”.
Earlier this week, news agencies reported that the Saudi leadership had threatened Qatar, saying that it had purchased Russian-made S-400 missiles as well as anti-aircraft missiles. It also said that Saudi Arabia had signed an agreement with Russia last October to supply it with the same weapons it denied Doha.
This poses the question, “Are matters that are permissible for you unacceptable for others?”
According to the text of the royal message, which was published in the prestigious French newspaper Le Monde, “the Kingdom is ready to take all necessary measures to liquidate this defence system, including military action”.
If these reports are true, which imply that Saudi Arabia requested that Russia not sell that type of weapon to Qatar, then there are evil intentions and ill will surrounding Qatar in the days to come. Qatar must take the threat seriously and be cautious in this case.
In the free countries of the West, the leaders have been taking measures that will immortalise them in history. General de Gaulle went down in history when he announced France was withdrawing from Algeria after 130 years of occupation, folding under the pressure of the Algerian popular revolution. He also stepped down as president of France because he did not receive an absolute majority vote from his people for his political project.
We need a Gulf leader in our present time to restore the friendship, love and brotherhood between the people of the Gulf, both amongst the rulers and the citizens. This must be achieved, first, by lifting the siege imposed on Qatar and secondly by reorganising the GCC in a manner that would make it capable of resolving issues and preventing all conflicts that may arise in the future.
I will end by asking, will my wish for the emergence of a Gulf leader who will reunite the Gulf people and restore their brotherhood without violence come true? My eyes are on Riyadh; will King Salman do this?
This article first appeared in Arabic in The New Khalil on 5 June 2018
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.