Those who are angry by the low interest and lack of reactions with Washington's decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem must understand how and why.
Events in our region are moving faster than the Japanese bullet train, at a pace of 320 kilometers per hour. As soon as the former Yemeni president announced his dissent from his former Houthi ally on Yemeni television, Ahmed Shafiq, the former Egyptian prime minister announced on Al Jazeera, his decision to return to Egypt and run for elections. The Houthi rebels then kill Yemeni President Saleh while Shafiq changed his mind about running for office.
The American president surprises the world, with Trump announcing the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and signs the decision in a ceremony that angers millions of Arabs. All of this coincided with Israel bombing Iranian and Syrian military centers near Damascus, the United States threatening Qassim Soleimani, the Iranian commander in Iraq. At the same time, Russia declares that it has destroyed ISIS in Syria. All of this while the Gulf region is experiencing the most serious internal crisis, as the summit of the Cooperation Council in Kuwait was the lowest point in its history.
The sky is raining so many events, what used to take us a month to process now happens in a day's time. So it is not strange that most of us are no longer capable of absorbing this amount of information that we have developed a memory capacity more akin to the fish to remember.
It is no longer easy for many to distinguish between propaganda and truth, and some governments are adopting contradictory positions that make people confused.
The problem gets worse especially since the virtual world which informs people about what’s going on around them is in chaos. The media arena has changed a lot as a result of two main factors: the multiplicity of platforms and media, as well as the fragmentation of political axes that have become very divided.
Past and the present
In the past, there were high-level voices preaching on the Palestinian cause, such as Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, Saddam, and Hafez al-Assad. Today, we have Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, Ayatollah in Tehran, Hamad in Qatar, and the Muslim Brotherhood leaders abroad.
Everyone is using Palestine and Jerusalem to serve their agendas, as a bargaining chip. The Iranians invented Hezbollah to put pressure on Israel and the West to enable their presence. Saddam sought to pull a bet against Kuwait and failed while Assad used the issue as an excuse to seize Lebanon. But there is no single case to prove that any of them was serious about his claims.
Given the intensity of events and the multiplicity of dangers, perhaps there is not one Arab country that does not live in fear for its security and existence. How can the Palestinian cause preserve its old weapon based on the strategy that is the cause of everyone, giving it a weight that balances the Israeli threats? If we examine the reasons for striking this strategy, we find that the biggest enemy of the Palestinian cause, after Israel, is Iran. I do not say this as a result of our dispute with Tehran, but because we see how the region has been turned into states under Iranian domination or preoccupied with defending itself from the threats of Tehran and its proxies.
At the same time, it also dominates the policy of disinformation by adopting a violent fake propaganda stance against Israel and its actions.
Everyone is using Palestine and Jerusalem to serve their agendas, as a bargaining chip. The Iranians invented Hezbollah to put pressure on Israel and the West to enable their presence. Saddam sought to pull a bet against Kuwait and failed while Assad used the issue as an excuse to seize Lebanon. But there is no single case to prove that any of them was serious about his claims.Abdulrahman al-Rashed
The only positive development is that the Arabs who used to believe the Iranian claims are now fed up with it. Iran is now trying to restore its image based on Qatari propaganda, and on Sunni religious groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The loser in these multiple conflicts is the Palestinians; they are the losers against the continuation of extremist forces, such as Iran, because the latter is in fact using their pain as a pressure point. Whenever a front is opened, it is at the expense of the Palestinian cause, because no one is able to put political pressure without endangering its existence in the related conflict.
The Iranian project is bigger than Palestine and Jerusalem, Iran wants to recognize Israel's right to expansion and hegemony, and it is prepared to do what is required of it by the West and Israel. This is what it did with the administration of the former US president when it sold its nuclear project in exchange for a free hand in the region.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.