A new year [Archives:2005/816/Opinion]

February 14 2005

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz al-Tarb
For the yemen Times

We may ask ourselves, and we should, at the point separating two years, an old one and a new one, about what we, as Arabs, achieved. We may ponder on the events of the last year in the Middle East: Iraq has been occupied, the US has brandished at Syria, Lebanon, and Iran and is still continuing its bullying act vowing to make their future blackened. Behaving thus, the US is acting as an attorney for Zionism and its incarnation in Israel. Palestine has been reoccupied namely the West Bank and Gaza Strip where the Palestinian statehood is supposed to be achieved with al-Quds as a capital. The issues of refugees and al-Quds are conditioned by Israel's agreement to the Road Map. The Road Map, which is approved by the International Committee, states that the fate of al-Quds as well as the issue of refugees depend on Israel's agreement, which does not appear to be ready to consent.

At the same time, al-Ribat, Morocco, saw the event of Muntada al-Mustaqbal (the Future Forum) on December 10-11, 2004, and the UAE hosted the Cultural Days in the Strategic Meeting. There were also the 15th Gulf Summit held in Doha, and before it, there was Sharm al-Sheikh International Conference in November to study the issue of Iraq. All these conferences were not conducive to results resolving the crises in Iraq and Palestine. In both cases a full-fledged occupational situation is manifested in front of which the whole Arab and Islamic nation loses the initiative. Unlike the past, we are not ready to turn this submissive state into a national liberation through various support means as we knew from the people who never succumbed to oppression or tyranny. They kept always standing by the occupation resistance. But now, the enemy has been able to dry up the springs of finance under the pretext that they “support terrorism”.

If Iraq and Palestine are showing two models of occupation, 2004 witnessed the Arab World being trimmed at its limbs: Sudan developed into an international problem and it its west and south the Islamic and pagan civilizations collided. Actually, the bulk of Africa is suffering from different plagues: poverty, illness, illiteracy, etc.

The Arab regime could withstand the change attempt planned for the area and the new “Road Map.” This resistance was expressed by the Arab Summit in Tunisia in the wake of the Sea Island Summit in the US, which hosted the great industrial countries. The Arab stance was based on the conviction that reforms should come from the inside and not imposed from outside as Sea Island's statement suggested. The Arab regimes rejected that because such an imposition that disregards strategic and historic dimensions of the situation would be disastrous. Add to that the US bias towards Israel. Thus, the year 2005 is considered a reform-expecting year. The reform to the nationalist institution is in its infancy. It is natural for the nationalist regimes to be cautious of their adversaries at home especially after some countries' amendment of the mutual defense agreement.

As the first days of 2005 have shown the symptoms of a transformation in the region (Middle East), hope lies in the efforts of the Palestinian and Iraqi people who fight against occupation. We should not wait for the American or the Israeli peoples because the former have reelected George W. Bush for a second term despite the fact that his forces still occupy Iraq and he obstinately supports the occupation. The Israelis on the other hand have been backing up their PM and urge him to reoccupy and re-colonize Palestinian territories. They did not recognize the Palestinian people with al-Quds as their capital and did not accept repatriating the refugees.

Sharon's Cabinet wishes that the US administration would resolve the problem of the smallness of Israel's land at the expense of the Arab people. Israel is waiting for that on the hope that patience will give it what it hankers for. However, the US may not hazard angering Arabs to please her pampered “changeling”.

With 2005, I am as desperate as the people inflicted by the tsunami in Southeast Asia!