Where are the Arab promises to Palestinians? [Archives:2006/944/Opinion]

May 8 2006

By: Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh
Since the conclusion of the last summit, the summit's fans are boasting of the achievements of this summit. On top of these achievements is the decision to stand by the side of the elected Palestinian government and support it materially and morally, following the Israeli declaration of confiscating of the restrained Palestinian people's assets. The American administration and European Union followed suit, in restraining aids, which the former Palestinian government used to receive.

Some of those who are antagonistic to Arab summits are saying that, if the conference is earnest in supporting the Palestinian government, this will be the only privilege for the summit, and justifies the Arab leaders meeting for which they endured the travel and dialogues.

However, days pass by and the Palestinian's sufferings are aggravating with the increased demand for flour, rice, sugar and tea. Yet, supporting the resolution remained ink on paper, as it is the case with the other summits' resolutions. Help to the Palestinians came from the Iranian brothers, who did not attend the summit and did not commit themselves to promises the credibility of which is questioned. The Palestinians are still looking forward to other aids from other Islamic countries as they grew despaired of their Arab brothers who are the ones to rescue what is left of the remaining Palestinian institutions, which are now on the verge of collapse. It is now clear that the international aids, on which the Palestinians were depending, were given for the sake of the Israelis and not for the Palestinians.

One hopes that the Arab brothers would live to their commitments in the last summit, by providing the Palestinians with their needs to lift them from their worst ever conditions during their history. We only hope that what is believed by the public is untrue; that is, what Arab leaders see in the summits is contradictory to what they see after their departure. In fact, it should be the way around as things looks different on the ground and among the people, who often remind leaders about the suffering of their brothers in Palestine undergoing starvation and murder.

On light of the above, and out of the confidence on the Arab leaders whether those attended the Khartoum conference or not, I tend not to believe that these leaders, especially those who have the economic abilities, abstain to help their brothers and their starving children for fear of the White House. I suppose, though suppositions are sometimes wrong, that the White House knows the generous nature of an Arab and his history in relieving needy people. This happened even when this Arab was merely a Bedouin. I think the wise consultants of the American administration have read the story of the indigent Bedouin Arab who intended to slaughter one of his sons to feed a guest after he failed to find anything to offer to this guest, the guest whom he did not know even where he came from or the direction he was going to.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh is Yemen's prominent poet and intellectual. He is the director of the Yemeni Center for Studies.