The Palestinian cause is a central issue for Arab and Islamic states encompassing long-standing Palestinian grievances. It has been torn between options of war and peace throughout its modern history and lost all the stakes of war one by one regardless of the different slogans being bandied about, whether nationalist, leftist or religious. Palestinians have chosen the peace option supported by all the Arab countries. These are historical facts that must be evoked before commenting on the events that keep occurring over and over. Yet, I will express my opinion on what is happening now.
Who stoked the flames of the political fire in Palestine? Who launched rockets at Israel? Why did they choose this timing at the end of the holy month of Ramadan? In whose interest is this warfare waged? Will it serve the Palestinian people and state or another party? These are not absurd questions but rather crucial ones to come up with a realistic and rational response to the absurdity of these recurring events.
Whoever stoked the flames is well aware that their actions would leave dozens of dead and wounded, cause towers to be demolished and properties destroyed, in service of Iranian regime’s agenda and its steady approach since the “Khomeini revolution”: exploiting Palestine to achieve the goals of that fundamentalist theocratic regime. Today, the Iranian regime needs to stoke the flames in Palestine and shout the slogan of “Jerusalem” and to revive the concept of “resistance” that was revealed to the Arab people and whose goals and objectives were known and clearly manifested in multiple crises in the recent past.
The Iranian orders were clear. They consisted of launching a large number of locally manufactured missiles at Israel in order to improve the negotiations conditions for Iran in Vienna and to use Palestine as a bargaining chip for any future negotiations in the region. Indeed, the orders were executed, but at the expense of the Palestinian people, their security and their lives.
Targeting Israel with rockets was part of the Iranian regime’s strategy in the region not to fight Israel, but to fight Arab countries and to kill and destroy Arab people in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. This is a tried and true strategy for some servants and soldiers of the Iranian project in the region, where the orders of another country having its own agenda are executed on the Palestinian territory. This country is only concerned with the Palestinian people or the Palestinian cause to the extent that it serves its interests and imperial ambitions to project power and impose hegemony, and to display pictures of some leaders kissing the hands of the “turbaned emperor” everywhere.
In such a fraught atmosphere, blind ideologies flourish, empty slogans spread and hollow bids increase, which is precisely what Iran and the political Islam groups want. But when Palestinian interests are put first, those actors shall cease to exist, and be related to the sidelines of history. That said, they are keen to maintain this political ideology mixed with religion at the expense of the life of the last Palestinian child and family. On the ideological altar, people are cheaply sacrificed for the interests of the movement, the party, and “political Islam.”
As a usual reaction by those working behind the scenes in Palestine against the Palestinian people, and in whose name we get the “market of Arab elitist hypocrisy” in which some intellectuals and writers draw heavily on their imagination to describe the tragedies in Palestine and the oppressed Palestinian people and insult the oppressive Israel, thereby increasing their followers on social media and taking heroic stances, only to return to their normal lives that their countries provide them with while leaving Palestinians to suffer bombs and destruction.
The “Iranian regime” is more hostile to Arab countries than to Israel, and it is an occupying and colonial regime larger and more dangerous than Israel. Some terrorist movements inside Palestine are allied with this regime, serve it and work for it, holding Palestine and its people hostage to its ambitions and extended strategies in the region. This is a fact that should be always present in the mind of every person dealing with this recurring scene in Palestine, which will be repeated over the coming years, unless these movements are forced to yield to the will of the Palestinian people, the interests of the Palestinian state and of other Arab states.
Some of those selling out the Palestinian people hold Israeli citizenship, work for the Israeli government, receive their monthly salaries from the Jewish state and sign construction and reconstruction contracts with it. Some of them represent official political parties in the Israeli state and then insult Arab states and people on the pretense that they “sold” the cause and “betrayed” Palestine, then afterwards collect their other monthly salaries from these Arab countries and the generous donations from the same people they insult.
In history, this is called “fooling around” and has nothing to do with realism or rationality. The continuity of this “fooling around” approach has begun to agitate young Arab generations against Palestine and the Palestinian cause, not because it is a lost or unworthy cause, but because some of its people have transformed it into a deliberate, planned and systematic “absurdity” to harm their Arab brothers - be they states and people. Exaggerated exploitation of a just cause turns it into the opposite, and the loss, then, will be heavy and irreparable.
I will list here some quick examples of issues that some Arab people suffer from, and I will ask about the position of some Palestinian factions that have mastered overbidding, because this will put things in their proper context and the slogans and overbidding on stakes. What do they have to say about sectarian killing of Iraqi people by Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces? What do they say about the mourning of the bereaved mothers and the wailing of orphans in Syria killed by Iranian militias? What do they say about the war crimes committed by the Houthi militia against the Yemeni people? Where do they stand on the Hezbollah militia humiliating the Lebanese people, destroying their economy, and turning their country into a failed state? While observers may try hard to turn up any statement or sympathy expressed by those actors towards all these urgent humanitarian and political issues, they will come up empty-handed.
Every Palestinian or Arab overbidder must pay attention to the major geopolitical changes taking place in the region, to see where he stands, and to be aware that some of his political positions, even if covered with alleged human sympathy, truth and conscience, are leveraged politically for the interest of Arab countries’ enemies and their hostile strategies and agendas. He should know, more than anyone, that he is harming his country, people and interests.
Finally, Arab countries are breaking out of the shell of the past, its slogans and falsehood that caused Arabs to lose wars, deepen wounds and entrench tragedies. They have big plans to develop Arab countries and their people and are firmly challenging any hostile project in the region. They shall not in any way be victims of terrorist groups, regardless how much they claim to have pure and humanitarian intentions.
This article was originally published in, and translated from, pan-Arab outlet Asharq Al Awsat.