The rejection of the Palestinian draft resolution by the Arab League was not a self-inflicted coup de grâce, but rather the last nail in its coffin; the league has been clinically dead for many years. It is revived whenever ordered by its master in the White House, as happened during the term of US President George Bush Snr after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The Arab countries gathered overnight and agreed, as never before and never since, to do what was asked of them immediately. They didn’t gather when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and 2006, or whenever it has repeatedly attacked the Gaza Strip and bombed it; Israel even bombed Gaza on the night that the League held its shameful recent meeting.
Nor did the Arab League bat an eyelid at the brutal massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinians. It has turned a blind eye to the ongoing construction of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land, as well as Israel’s unjust siege on the Gaza Strip and the deliberate deprivation of its people. Moreover, it has done nothing about the Judaisation of Jerusalem and was unmoved by Israel building tunnels under Al-Aqsa Mosque, which endangered its foundations. It has also sat and watched as Israeli aircraft have penetrated Syrian airspace since 2011 causing death and destruction; flown over Lebanon likewise; and even targeted sites on the Iraqi border.
The Arab League was unable to prevent the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq or even challenge it, and Iraq was lost before its eyes. The League was also absent from Sudan and did not make any serious effort to stop the Sudanese crisis from escalating and the ultimate division of an Arab country into two rival states.
The list of the League’s absenteeism from crisis points affecting its members is long: the brutal massacres by Russian forces in Syria, for example, and Moscow’s scorched earth policy; the coalition invasion of Yemen which is destroying the country and creating the world’s “worst humanitarian catastrophe” is led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE which both drive the Arab League (so no surprise there); and the blockade of Qatar by League member states, again led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
What is happening in Yemen and Qatar makes a mockery of the League’s claim to exist for the purpose of “improving coordination among its members on matters of common interest” and its founders’ renunciation of violence as the means to settle disputes between members. While the Arab League is happy to allow the UAE and Bahrain to normalise relations with Israel without sanction or even condemnation, it ignores the fact that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have invaded one member state and is besieging another.
Indeed, the Arab League has never been known for being effective in any Arab issue. It has never resolved any conflicts between Arab countries, tending instead to aggravate matters; the blockade of Qatar since 2017 is a blatant example. It has adopted the policies of the axis that controls it, notably the counterrevolutionary axis headed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE; they have the wealth to control the organisation and its decision-making process. Standards have changed and the focus has deviated from the Arab League’s historical constants and principles. The term “Zionist enemy” has been removed from its lexicon, so there is no condemnation of Israeli attacks.
Despite such ineffectiveness and inefficiency, theoretically-speaking the League remains a place of unity for the Arab countries and a live expression of the Arab conscience. The Palestinian cause was once its strongest pillar and the reason it remained alive for so many years, before it was assassinated by the Arab Zionists who have seized control. Today, it is a symbol of Arab degradation, and should be renamed the Israeli League.
The Arab League has never been for the Arab people, but the regimes that govern them. It was established a couple of years after British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the House of Commons in February 1943 that the government “shows sympathetic consideration to all action between the Arabs that aims to achieve their economic, cultural and political unity.” An earlier speech had sought to keep the Arab governments on Britain’s side during the Second World War by offering support to strengthen their cultural, economic and political ties.
As has been Britain’s tactic for centuries, divide and rule was applied with an appeal to the ethnic rather than the religious instincts of the Arabs, thus fragmenting the Muslim Ummah. Promises of complete independence and the right to self-determination evaporated once the war was won.
Such “sympathy” from Eden differed to his predecessor Arthur Balfour’s but they served the same goal. Balfour helped to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine, while Eden helped to separate the Arabs from their Muslim identity. Thus, the Palestinian cause was lost almost straight away because it is not just an Arab cause due to the Islamic sanctities in occupied Palestine, mainly Al-Aqsa Mosque with its huge significance for Muslims all over the world.
Underlying all of this, of course, is the fact that Israel was created to serve Western interests. The rancid state was a wedge driven into the body of the Muslim world to be protected by the Arab states ripped from their Muslim background and also created and developed to serve the Crusader West. In exchange, the latter promised to preserve the thrones of the ruling families.
US President Donald Trump is benefitting from the seeds sown by Britain all those years ago. The UAE and Bahrain have been seen following his orders and normalising with the Zionist occupation at the time determined by him, before the presidential election, so that he will get the votes of the right-wing Evangelical Zionists who form the bulk of the pro-Israel lobby in America.
Looking at how the British work, and comparing them with Trump, we see that he is more transparent in what he says and does, and that this exposes the Arab Zionist states for what they are. Britain, meanwhile, continues to operate more insidiously behind diplomatic words so that its agents are not exposed quite so blatantly. Trump lacks such diplomatic skills, which sets him apart from the other US presidents and exposes friends and foes alike. What you see is what you get, and Trump makes sure that we see everything. With their fig leaves removed, these Arab Zionists now realise that protection for their thrones does not come without a price to pay; Trump has told this to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman several times. When Trump told Bahrain’s foreign minister (and getting his name wrong twice in the process) to say hello to the King and royal family without mentioning the people, this was his way of sending a message that the US is protecting them from their people. And that the bill has to be paid.
One thing that the British and American governments have in common, is the deep contempt in which they really hold the Arab rulers. The latter are supported in order to serve a purpose, and will be dropped the minute that they are no longer useful. The shameful regimes that have overseen the last rites of the Arab League will be doing the same to themselves when the West dumps them, and the Arab people regain their revolutionary zeal and liberate themselves from the two occupations which are oppressing them: the tyrannical regimes occupying their governments, and the Zionist occupation stealing Palestinian Arab land.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.