Friday, June 15, 2007

What is happening in Palestine?..

One of my colleagues, an enlightened, well-read, open-minded, inquisitive Englishman, asked me today: "What is happening in Palestine?..".. I paused, and thought to myself: "Yeah.. What the f*** is happening in Palestine?!!..."

What possible explanation can I give him?.. How can I tell him that they seem to have taken complete leave of their senses in Palestine?.. How can I justify the killings?.. The cruelty that Palestinian is inflicting on Palestinian?.. The destruction to everything resembling an infrastructure, not by the hands of the Israelis, but by the hands of Palestinians?..

How can I say to my enlightened, well-read, open-minded, inquisitive colleague that this is the curse of the Middle East?.. that back there, if your enemy does not succeed in killing you, then your brother will... That Palestinians, and Arabs in general, do not need Israel to persecute, kill, torture and humiliate them.. we can do it to each other far more effectively than any one else can!..

How can I insult his intelligence and say: 'It is all the fault of interference by the Zionists, and meddling by the Western governments?...'

Or should I tell him what today seems to be the painful truth?.. that, perhaps, we, the mighty Arabs, are not fit to govern ourselves?... that we are not capable of talking to each other?.. that the word 'discussion' in our deranged lingo has come to mean 'beating the living daylight out of your opponent'?.. that 'victory' means killing everyone who does not share your narrow views of the World?.. including your own mother, if necessary?..

Call me defeatist, but on this occasion, I simply looked at him and said: 'My friend.. it is complete meltdown..'.. I then walked away, trying to hide a small tear in the corner of my eye...
(Photo: Chaos in Gaza. Source:


Yazan said...

I could never believe that a cause like the Palestinian's could actually end up eating itself up.

I wonder when they chant that "Islam is the solution" are they referring to this?

I cant fathom whats going on there. How can a stateless people go into civil war. And how can the palestinians do Israel any bigger favor?

Philip I said...

SB, we are witnessing high emotions boiling over rather than rational behaviour. How can we expect rational behaviour from injured, humiliated and caged young people who have absolutely no hope of a normal life?

So they look for answers in fundamentalist Islam. Is that surprising?

Should we blame Zionists and Western governments? I ask who has been trying to bring down the legitimately-elected Hamas government by depriving it of financial resources if it was not them?

Everyone is responsible for this madness but the Palestinian people come low down on my list.

Jedi Warrior said...

Democracy is only 'right' in Arab countries when the 'right party' and the 'right man' wins.

The Palestinians voted in a Hamas government in Gaza & the West Bank, ending decades of domination by Fatah whose leaders and officials had grown rich and corrupt living lavish lifestyles.

The Hamas goverment was immediately boycotted by the usual suspects the self-styled 'international community' but ALSO by 'brotherly' Arab and Muslim countries!!!!

The Algerian analogy is also relevant, the 'wrong party' won in 1992 so the corrupt and pro-western Army decided to cancel the elctions which led to a violent & bloody civil war.

The 'international community' is happy to support the 'Fir'aun of Cairo' , the 'Tyrant of Tripoli', the 2 King Abdallahs of Jordan and Saudi, Zain Al Abidin of Tunisia etc. who are absolute dictators operating police states. It is also happy to do business with them, selling them arms and torture equipment.

Since the assassination of Sayyidna Uthman ibn Affan (R.A.) the Arab and Muslim world has been riven with assassinations, coups, political violence, dyanstic rule and other things. The Arabs and Muslims can never come out of this, I think!

Even Turkey, hailed as a 'success' for its 'moderate, democratic & secular' credentials since the founding of the modern Republic has had 3-4 coups in its short history. Pakistan and Indonesia have also had a few as well.

It is now the Palestinians turn to follow their brothers and sisters in Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq etc. and have their own Thawra!!!

Abu Turath said...

One of the major problems with the Arab but also wider Muslim mentality is the strong shahwa for power. There is a selfish, egotistic pursuit (hirs) of power and political authority, rather than the selfless seeking of power for the sake of establishment of justice for others!

Once they get the power they do NOT want to give it up at any cost. The only way to get rid of the Haakim Mutlaq is by assassination/coup/revolution/civilwar or a combination!

As the Prophetic (saw) hadith warns us:

'Do not seek political power, for if you obtain it by seeking it, it will be given power over you.' (Bukhari in Kitab al-Ahkam, Muslim in Kitab al-Imara)

What do others think?

Omar said...

I think that the problem is the surgical substitution of a brain with a bag of potatoes that everyone else has undergone.. we just don't think before we act.. and if any of these maniacs who are fighting in the streets are thinking how much they're weakening their position among everyone else.. they wouldn't ave done it at all.

the Palestinian cause has many defenders all over the world.. and with these irresponsible acts, they are losing their credibility.
ok, so if Abbas and co are US sponsoerd and the US doesn't want Hamas... then what's wrong with people.. are they really that supid to follow a leader's sign and go and kill their neighbors?

DigitalOasis said...

Palestine is an example of how when Arabs, given the chance to live briefly in a pseudo-democracy and election-state, still fail to take away from democracy anything more than the act of casting a ballot correctly (in the best case). Monkey's can be taught to cast a ballot, does that make them democratic citizens?

It is amazing to me how Arabs, outside of the Middle East, can succeed and become outstanding citizens, yet when you put them together in one place, they turn on each other like vampires, for the most ridiculous reasons.

Why does the Arab continue to be a traitor to his own kind? True that foreign powers have a vested interest in keeping the area in chaos, I'll go along with that. However, it takes two to make a handshake, and the Arabs are on the other side of that handshake.

It goes without saying that though I'm writing in general terms, there are exceptions of course. However, the acts of a few murderous mobs, paraded on international media, have long lasting effects on the rest of us, peaceful clan!

The Syrian Brit said...

Regrettably, as much as what is happening hurts me, it, somehow, does not surprise me.. Nothing much does anymore!...

Philip I, and Jedi Worrior
I agree entirely with your analysis. I do not blame the Palestinian people.. How can one blame the ultimate victin in the whoe messy affair?..
And while I do not clear Zionism and Western Governments from all culpability, I believe that a lot of the blame falls on our shoulders.. as a race.. as People.. as a culture.. as a mentality.. Fatah have been as culpable as the Israelis in trying to bring down Hamas.. not for fear of Katyushas, but for fear for their positions.. Hamas have been equally culpable for fomenting tension and deepening the crisis..

Abu Turath,
You are absolutely right.. This is why there are no ex-Presidents in the Arab World.. they are either in prison, or, more likely, dead!..

Good to see you around, mate!.. Your analogy assumes the existence of a brain in the first place.. well.. I often wonder!..

Digital Oasis,
Thanks for dropping by.. You are right.. it will take a monumental effort to erase those ugly images from people's memory..

Abu Kareem said...


As you saw from my post, I fully sympathize and agree with all of the comments. One of the problems with the Palestinian Authority from the beginning was that Arafat could not transition from being a leader of a resistance movement to the leader of a state (a very much castrated state at that). How can you have the rule of law when you have a dozen different security organizations each answering to the whims of its own boss. And how could other organizations (like Hamas) have their own armed militias. This was a recipe for disaster. There should have always been ONE armed force that served and PROTECTED the Palestinian people and that took orders from from the Palestinian authority.

KJ said...

You hit it spot on when you said, what are they to do, after being caged for so long, and have no hope in living a normal life?

Take any convict, who has been imprisoned for so long. How would the convict behave?

Wouldn't you worry to release the convict into public?

Bad analogy, but I hope I passed on the message

abufares said...

Of all the readings I've missed while I was away, yours certainly comes on top. Your present article explains the reason why.
I really can't add anything to your eloquent yet very sad words.
Inshallah, someday, somewhere, something good comes out and console us that all the dying and suffering did not go in vain.

Jedi Warrior said...

Wicked analysis by John Pilger:

Anonymous said...


I think we take borders too seriously. "Palestine" does not contain a homogenious group of "Palestinians".

Hamas/Fatah's confrontation should remind us that there are many ways to split the Middle East

Arab / Israeli

"Arab Moderate" (American allies) /

Syria + Iran + Hizbollah + Hamas

Religious / secular

Sunni / Shia

Rich / poor

Arab / Persian / Turkish / Kurdish

Each of the above is contributing to the on-going conflicts.THe conflict between Hamas and Fatah was also a conflict between the secular and religious factions, between America's allies and the independents, a conflict between the rich and poor ...


The Syrian Brit said...

I agree with your statement.. It underlines my view that it is easier for us to identify our differences than to recognise what brings us together.. Other societies too have different factions with conflicting interests.. but you don't (usually) see them resorting to civil war to settle their differences.. and that is the painful notion behind my post..

Anonymous said...


I guess the difference is that the Middle East is a region in transition. Outsiders play a complicating role in the internal affairs of the smaller countries .. Lebanon and Palestine, plus one larger country .. Iraq, plus they tried to do the same in Syria.

This complicates everything .. too many hands.