Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
Asharq Alawsat
July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

In the Arab world, you must be annoying or a source of troubles to get care and attention. But if you respected the rules, did not cause clamor, or caused deaths and explosions, then no one would care about you. Therefore it is not surprising when the Somalis seek to host Al-Qaeda organization and hijack ships in their search for attention and support.

The Palestinian Authority's [PA] government has been there for more than three years. It is a respected institution which is implementing everything asked of it by building the government's establishments and complying with its municipal, services, and financial obligations towards its citizens. It succeeded in eliminating the widespread corruption, reduced cronyism, balanced its small budget, did not issue a statement crying over its bad financial situation, and waited at the door hoping that the donors would fulfill their financial promises. But the majority let it down. The reason is that the PA today is not like the old one. Now, it does not curse the others, does not send terrorists, does not annoy the Arab governments, and does not turn a blind eye to the extremists carrying out their operations in the region. The result is that no one is helping Abu-Mazin's Government because they do not fear him or wish him well too.

The image becomes clearer when we see the billions of dollars being showered on Lebanon because of the Fatah al-Islam's crimes, Hezbollah's adventures, and the verbal clashes between the communities' leaders while the fate of the West Bank, which has been suffering for years, does not have its own revenues, and is sitting waiting for peace or a return to war, is one of neglect. Had the PA opened its mouth, shouted and cursed, or had unleashed its security organs in battles with its adversaries and the blood run in Ramallah, then we would have seen the Arab delegations flock to Cairo for urgent meetings and exceptional generosity calling for calm and promising to pay the costs of the destruction and support the budget, as they did with Gaza.

It is disgraceful when the Arabs talk with false anguish about Palestine, shed crocodile over the Palestinians' tragedy, and denounce Israel day and night while the almost only parties that are paying the price of the bread and quilt for the West Bank people today are the Americans and Europeans. The PA is required to manage the affairs of more than 4 million Palestinians every day, including those living in Gaza. It is required to maintain peace inside its territories, persuade its citizens to wait for a happy ending, and forget bad examples like Abu-Nidal. It is required to comply with its stands and statements but no one among the Arabs is sharing with it the responsibility. Washington paid this week $200 million while nothing was paid by the Arab governments despite the many conferences and promises.

I am not a supporter of assisting but the PA's situation today is exceptional. It is in the stage of establishing a civilian state that paves the way for an independent one which stands on its feet economically and not just politically. It is required not to make a mistake and fabricate battles and not allow the factions to fight.

Be confident that the Palestinian state is not anymore a false mirage but within reach despite the Israeli forces that are trying to disrupt it. It therefore needs full support so that it can stand fast until it crosses the decisive few coming days. If we cannot blame the Israelis for their constant efforts to sabotage the new state before it is born by closing the road, extending the wall, expelling the villagers from their villages, depriving the farmers of their farms, and placing obstacles in the way of imports and trade, it is our duty to blame the Arab side that acts only when it sees the fires or blood or is embarrassed before public opinion.


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