The words of Kuwait's National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem against the Israeli delegation at the 137th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the Russian city of St Petersburg, which lead to the Israelis leaving the meeting hall, provoked different reactions from supporters, conservatives and opponents. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has many visions, differences and interests on the Arab and international levels. I am not here to repeat the words of Ghanem as they are already on the Internet, but to talk about the Arab position on this issue today.
It is unfortunate to say that we are no longer in the 1950s and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is no longer the only Arab issue. The Arab world is facing a long list of suffocating issues, and this does not mean that the Palestinian cause is not important, but the Arabs are preoccupied with several local, regional and international issues in their homelands, such as sectarian strife, geopolitical changes and extremism. Moreover, the entry of the Arab world in a new phase in which they confront poverty, recurrent oil crises and internal conflicts among its leaders since the last 30 years has forced them to stop thinking about the Palestinian issue and focus on their own troubles.
The most important question is: Have Arabs really forgotten the Palestine case, or are they wavering on the issue? I believe to answer this query, we need to be aware of two main elements. First, the Western world is good at prioritizing and pressing the issues of its own interest, but the Arab world is not. For example, when global warming is the issue of the hour, you will find Western leaders and media easily come together in harmony to discuss, decide and draw up action plans for implementation.
On the other hand, look at the Arab world. When a call for a general meeting of the Arab League or a Gulf summit is sent, whether it is an urgent gathering or not, it will be swinging between approval and denial. Because there are countries that do not want to meet another or a subject that some do not want to discuss publicly because it causes embarrassment. This contradiction continues and exists during all the meetings to pollute the atmosphere and they often end with no agreement, no difference, no plans and no decision.
This keeps all Arab issues on hold, including the Palestinian decision. We should not blame the Arab people for being frustrated, as they live amid extremism, unemployment and poverty, because all their issues have no end with no decisions. What makes it worse in the Arab world is that most Arab countries are engaged in military disputes and are safeguarding their internal security and borders due to threats from various powers and terror groups. This is sad but true.
When we were young, the Palestine-Israeli dispute was an important subject, and it was compulsory for every student to write about this matter as the only issue of the Arabs. Today, the world is facing many complex issues. The bloody terrorism that is taking place everywhere without any sign so far of a final solution to be eradicated forever even by the countries that are affected by it is proof that there is no quick ending for this case. We cannot blame the world for forgetting the Palestinian cause. It is becoming a file that is kept within other files.
Globalization has overlapped the Arab and Western world in a wide technological space, which has caused the Arabs cultural, social, political and intellectual shocks and they forgot that scrutiny and prioritization are important for the future. The Arabs have not forgotten the issue of Palestine, but the issue has become a complex one with no decision and no imminent end.
By Muna Al-Fuzai