Tariq Alhomayed
Asharq Alawsat
January 3, 2009 - 1:00am

The brutal killings currently taking place in the Gaza Strip are saddening. It is also saddening that the Gaza Strip is being betrayed on two fronts; on one front by Israeli brutality, and on the other by countries that are exploiting Hamas and the Palestinian cause in order to serve their own interests in our region including a misleading media campaign.

If it is our fate to fight Israel, then there are issues that must first be addressed. What preparations have Hamas made for battle? If we assume that Hamas is strong, and that the Gaza Strip will resist, then what are the expected gains [from this war]? Will Gaza be liberated? We all know that Gaza was not occupied!

So does victory mean the liberation of Jerusalem? You can answer yourselves as to whether the disproportionate difference in strength [between Hamas and Israel] will lead to this result. So how do we define victory and what will Hamas's rocket-attacks achieve?

This is an important question, especially as the [Palestinian] death toll continues to rise. So is it a prerequisite that the Gaza death-toll reach that of the 2006 Lebanon war between Israel and Hezbollah before a ceasefire is called?

These are questions that deserve to be raised, for it is the responsibility of a ruling [party] to protect those it rules, and not to put their security and safety at risk, just as it is the responsibility of anyone who wishes to use rockets to be aware of the price [that will be paid] and not ignore the importance of acting via politics.

Firing rockets from Gaza will mean that the [Israeli] response will be against Gaza, and this means that Hamas should have ensured significant protection for the innocent and unarmed from Israel's brutal [military] operations, before wagging a war.

The Arab betrayal of the Gaza Strip takes place every time such a crisis occurs; the loud Arab demonstrations do not result in a ceasefire or protect the unarmed, rather they allow Hamas to act under cover as the movement delivers itself into the hands of Iran to be used like a puppet.

When we say that we must ask such questions, this isn't to justify Israeli aggression but so as to understand the reality taking place around us. Aboul Gheit [Egyptian Foreign Minister] was right when he said that Israel wants to hand over the Gaza Strip to Egypt, and after this hand over the West Bank to Jordan, thus ending the Palestinian cause.

While Iran wants to transform the Sinai Peninsula into a similar [war-torn] region like Southern Lebanon, and also eliminate the Palestinian legitimacy that represents the final opportunity for establishing a nation-state. How can we not be aware of this?

Those who protest in Egypt and Jordan in support of the Gaza Strip [and against Arab governments] are the same ones who protested against food shortages; so what is truly needed here, a war or a robust economy? How can we say that governments are traitors over the economy, and are trying to avoid a war?

These questions must be answered, and resolutions made on wagging war or establishing peace should be founded upon the basis of logic and readiness. Is the death of all of these innocent [civilians] logical even if it leads to Hamas gaining control of the Rafah Border Crossing? And why does Syria reject the return of the legitimate Palestinian Authority to manage the Rafah Crossing?

Where are the Iranian suicide bombers who said they would join the campaign to support Gaza? Where are the actions and not the words, of Hassan Nasrallah? Moreover, Instead of blaming Egypt, why don't the countries that have not signed peace agreements with Israel force the closure of the Israeli offices in their countries, and cut off contact with Tel Aviv completely?

If we raised such questions at the time we would realize that Saudi Foreign Minster, Prince Saud Al Faisal was right when he said that [miscalculated] adventure "has become the plight of the Arab world with regards to [countries] rushing to enter conflicts that they are not prepared for, this had led to the horror and losses which have weakened our countries."


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