Humiliation in daylight [Archives:2004/730/Viewpoint]

April 19 2004

The speech of George W. Bush in support of Sharon's plans on issues concerning the impossibility of the return of Palestinian refugees, the Israeli so-called security fence, the 1967 territorial borders, and other things, is indeed a disgrace in the history of the region.
Bush, departing from the longstanding American policy in the Middle East, declared that Israel could keep at least some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and that Palestinian refugees had no right to return to their native hometowns and villages in Israel.
This statement issued for the plan of the 'man of peace' Ariel Sharon, as named by G.W.
Bush, showed the level of weakness we have come to witness in ourselves as Arabs. The fact that Bush never consulted or even gave a damn about the opinion of the Arab world is indeed another indication that we are heading towards collapse.
Our Arab regimes felt the shock of the words uttered by Bush in a remarkable fashion. They first couldn't believe what they heard, but then, they couldn't but swallow their defeat in public relations. What is there for them to say but denounce and condemn the action of Bush in deciding on behalf of the Palestinians?
It is a pity that not even one single state came out with a strong-worded message asking the US administration how it could act like this on behalf of Palestine and the Arab and Muslim world. In fact, the Bush-Sharon meeting presented last week was indeed a strong message to the Arab world, saying that they cannot care less about the Arab regimes or nations. In some sense, they have the right not to care about the region because its leaders were stripped of their power a long time ago. All they have is local might to oppress their own people, but when it comes to the moment of truth, they cannot even hold a regular summit on time.
It is indeed humiliation with the bitter meaning of the word. I cannot imagine the feeling inside each and every Arab leader, who does know deep inside that his opinion is as nothing for the USA and Israel, and whether he approves or disapproves a move in the White House simply makes no difference.
That is why we must come to the concrete conclusion that the Arab regimes have no other choice but to use their means against the State of Israel and the USA to bring an end to this pathetic situation. What we must do as citizens is to pressurize our governments to act to get some recognition and respect and to prevent the implementation of a “new Balfour Declaration” that could only do more damage to the Palestinian cause in establishing their own state and gaining freedom.
If Arab citizens cannot stop this mockery going on, then they will also have their turn, after their leaders, to be humiliated in broad daylight.