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Spring of Our DespairJafar M. Ramini for Salem-News.com
“My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell you the truth, there is hardly any difference.”
(LONDON) - Today is April 1st when traditionally, if you tell a white lie or fabricate a harmless tale you will be forgiven and simply called ‘an April Fool’.
What is not funny, acceptable or forgivable is the continuation and perpetuation of the myth of an Arab Spring.
I am sure that if we detach our emotions (I know it’s not easy for us Arabs) and look at what has transpired in the last three years in our blighted land we would all be justified in sinking into the depths of despair. We were promised a spring of hope and what we got was a winter of deep freeze.
How can I properly translate an old adage my late mother, Hajji Safiyah Al-Qaisi used to say? I can only try and say: “nothing that comes from the west can warm an eastern heart.” Such a sage old lady. How right and appropriate those words were then and still are today. For the spring of our despair was designed and orchestrated in the west by the likes of M. Bernard Levy, aided and abetted by local tribal traditions and ambitions. The tragic results are there for all to see. From Tunisia, where it all started, to Egypt, to Libya, to Iraq, to Yemen, to Bahrain and the most horrendous harvest of blood and despair of all that is still unfolding in Syria.
As if that wasn’t enough, the visit of Mr. Obama to Palestine last month confirmed our worst fears and put an end to any hope of any spring ever blossoming in our land. Particularly in Palestine. Let me emphasise this point by quoting precisely what Mr. Obama said when he was addressing Israeli university students in Jerusalem.
“As long as there is a USA you are not alone”.
Then, as if to emphasise his leanings and bias, he reiterated his promise in Hebrew (atem lo-lavad). He equated the rights of Israel to establish a JEWISH State on the historic land of Palestine with the creation of the United States of America.
America’s history is strikingly similar to the current Zionist project. The first Americans were escaping European persecution and having landed in a country inhabited by indigenous people took it over. Violently, brutally, determinedly, they practiced ethnic cleansing before the label existed, stole the land and established themselves in the name of righteous morality. Israel, two hundred years later, has done much the same with even greater brute force.
If you thought that was the end of it, sorry to disappoint you. Mr. Obama flew to Ramallah in his helicopter, despite the fact that it is a mere 15 minutes drive from Jerusalem. His Israeli hosts, it seems, were concerned that if he was to drive to Ramallah he might have glimpsed some of the hardships, degradation, humiliation and abuse that the Palestinians experience every time they leave their homes to go about their daily lives. Not to mention the ugly, apartheid separation wall and the many illegal Jewish settlements and Israeli checkpoints that clutter a once serene and beautiful landscape. Perhaps, those Israeli hosts were worried that these ugly scenes might have pricked the conscience of the leader of ‘the free world’?
Instead, Mr. Obama spent all of his allocated two hours lecturing the Palestinians on how to conduct peace talks and how to best accommodate the wishes of their occupiers. Would it be harsh to describe Mr. Obama’s words as similar to asking the abused to give their abusers more time to continue the abuse?
To most true Arabs, the question is Palestine and the answer is Palestine. To the leaders of the Arab nation both the question and the answer lie in their own self preservation, the narrow interests of the tribe and the blind loyalty to a foreign power that will insure the survival of those selfish, shallow interests over any other possible loyalty to the Arab Ummah.
No matter what the cost.
There is now a new dimension to this tragedy. That is Turkey; a Moslem country that has ruled over us, the Arabs, for over 400 years. When they finished on the losing side of the First World War, and because of Arab tribes siding with the Allies, they turned their back on their Moslem brothers and instead looked towards Europe.
Attaturk, the founder of modern Turkey went even further by changing the Turkish language from Arabic lettering to Latin lettering. When Israel was created they were the first to forge close ties with it on every level: diplomatic, military, intelligence, commercial and tourism.
Strange, isn’t it, that those modern Turks ignored their own history. Back in the late nineteenth century the last Sultan, Abdul Hamid II, of the Ottoman Empire was offered, by Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, 150,000,000 gold sovereigns in exchange for Palestine. This was his response:
They did not only take it for no price, they took it when the price was measured in our blood and the loss of Arab dignity and honour.
Ever since those days Turkey has spared no effort to endear itself to the west and become part of the European Union. They joined NATO, an alliance of western nations, intent on controlling and directing the world as part of a colonial project. However, despite these efforts Turkey has become painfully aware that it is not welcome in the European family. It has decided, therefore, to turn its attention towards the east. And what better place to start than to appear to champion the cause of Palestine?
I once asked, “Is the Turkish interest in the Arab/Moslem world a genuine one or is it because they are peeved with Europe’s rejection?”
All the indications point to the latter. The hurried rapprochement and the resumption of relations at full throttle with Israel after the cooling down of those relations following the massacre of Turkish civilians on board the aid ship to Gaza, MV Mavi Marmara. Israel offered the apology that was required by Turkey and also offered to pay compensation to the families of the victims. But they both conveniently ignored the most important request by Turkey from Israel, which was to end the siege on Gaza. It’s getting worse.
A wily old British politician once said, “ A week is a long time in politics”. How right you were, Mr. Wilson.
This rapprochement was demanded by Mr. Obama. If he can make this kind of demand from Israel why doesn’t he demand that Israel complies with the international rule of law and end the occupation of Palestine and implement the agreed-upon two-state solution?
Instead, all we see is the tightening of the noose around Syria’s neck. America, the most powerful nation on earth, and Israel, the conductor of its foreign policy and our discredited, dishonourable leaders at the Doha gathering of the hyenas are all conspiring to cause more mayhem, destruction and spilling of Arab blood.
Let me finish on a lighter note. And this is for you, Mr. Obama. One of your predecessors, President Harry S Truman once said:
To you, our leaders, start playing.
Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer, commentator and analyst on Middle Eastern affairs living in London.
He was born in Jenin, northern Palestine, was educated in England and spent the early years of his working life in the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. He has traveled far and wide, searching for the answer to a question that still eludes him.
Why does the United States of America support the Zionist line in such a blind folded way while ignoring the legitimate rights of the indigenous Palestinian people? Particularly as the Palestinian people harbour no ill feelings towards America and its people nor has ever caused them any harm. It is, Jafar says, a conundrum.
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