Arab League or Arab Nonsense? [Archives:2001/14/Focus]

April 2 2001

Silver Lining
by: Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi
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When the Arab League was established 50 years ago it was meant to be a means of strengthening Arab solidarity, politically and economically. It was established to fulfill aspirations of the Arab people dreaming of unity. However, the league , on its last leg now, could never do anything for attaining peoples’ aspirations or bring together the fragmentary Arab political regimes. It could never even settle problems of these countries over border disputes and because of this, some of them resorted to the international arbitration to sort out their differences. The league could not even lessen the impact of such disputes. Therefore, Arab people lost hope that it could one day play an instrumental role in their life. More farcical, the Arab leaders, or stuffed effigies, admit that their people have lost hope that the league could never make decisive and satisfying decisions for their people and their interests. So, who is responsible of disappointment and loss of trust in this institution? Isn’t it these scare-crow leaders who have always been expanding the differences among their countries and acting like trouble makers to each other? A silly argument they put into discussion!
I believe as many others that the recent Arab summit in Amman was a pantomime play and that Arab people dreaming of fruitful results were waiting like the characters in the play Waiting for Godot. The leaders gave the same speech, repeated the same phrases with the same preludes and conclusions. They were all competing with each other for the phrases of thanks and gratitude to the king of Jordan for his hospitality. These leaders were zealously insisting on the importance of establishing an Arab Free Market, highlighting its role in Arab solidarity. They have failed to attain this goal several times at a moment when the European countries are having one market and one currency. Time is passing and we are lagging behind.
The Arab leaders have done nothing for the Palestinian people except for condemning the Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories, something which they have been repeating since 1948. They kept on arguing whether the money they pledged to hand over to the Palestinian authority would reach the intifada people or not. It is nonsensical. They themselves do not have trust in the PLO, accusing it implicitly of not being honest to its people. Or it may be because they do not want to chip in in alleviating the plight of Palestinian people, while taking this issue as a pretext.
It is something confusing. But, if any of the arguments are true, it means that the Arab leaders or Palestinian authorities are not honest to the Palestinian issue and the fight against Israel. If so, how irrational is their argument and blame on the USA for being biased to Israel and not being fair about the Palestinian issue. The USA considers Israel its main ally in the Middle East for being democratic and the technology producer while, Arab leaders are despotic, totalitarian, running their countries on the basis of tribal, family, regional and sectarian affiliations. The USA uses its mind to power interests in its dealings with countries, not like Arabs who are guided blindly by their sentiments. In other words, if Arabs themselves are not fair to the Palestinian issue, how can the States be more loyal to this issue than Arab leaders themselves who are not fair to their own people in their own countries? I think this sounds realistic, don’t you?