Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, January 2012
Global Peace and Conflict Management:
Palestine and Israel Search for Peaceful Co-Existence
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 18, 2012
The current Israeli PM Netanhou talks of peace and con-existence with Palestinians but defies logic when it comes to action in the same spirit. In one sided glorification of the state of Israel another strand can be traced out in Netanhou’s mindset and that is interwoven emotions of hatred and fear of the unknown if an equal State of Palestine will come into being. Palestinians are the victims of perpetuated fear against their culture and freedom. Arguably, when two national entities exist side by side and treat each other with respect, they develop trust and accountability for mutual survival. Leaders lead and leaders talk openly and learn from the complex situations and difficult circumstances stalling the human change and progress.
Those with a picture of the future will survive, others will remain prisoners in the depth of human ignorance and self- imposed failure. Israeli policy makers and leaders with strong institutionalized capacity of thinking and actions do enjoy respect for diversity of opinions and freedom of alternatives. No matter who comes into political power, Israelis have learned to manage their interests and ultimate strategic goals of unity and purpose. Not so with the oil producing Arab elite, they lack intellectual imagination and strength of the will power to tolerate diversity of opinions. They follow one-track box and often without thinking of their own national interests. Their global image in policy making and behaviors carries no weight at all in any global setting.
The oil revenues created illusion of transitory economic prosperity have blindfolded the Arabian elite to see the world as a challenge and to strive for a balanced (mizan) discourse of policy behaviors. Those who strive for change and continuous movement in life are viewed respectfully and are successful. When the Arabs were committed to Islam as a system of life, they were people enriched with originality of thinking and proactive vision of success for the future, not just for the self but for the whole of mankind. But the borrowed oil-based economic prosperity has destroyed the Arab minds, drained out their positive THINKING, Islamically knowledge-based culture and values, not just the originality of things for the good of humanity but transformed them into captives of false illusions without reality.
The Arab rulers are subservient to the policy dictates of the Western masters, not accountable to the interests of the people they govern. If they were intelligent and energetic in new thinking with strong presence in global politics, they could have evolved new institutions and offered help to search for feasible solutions to major political problems such as Palestine, systematic governance and remaking of Muslim Ummah. The on-going recent authoritarian brutalities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other locations in the Arab heartlands signal a stern warning to all concerned. They demand immediate action to stop the killing of the masses simply asking for freedom and human dignity.
Over 60 years since their freedom from the European colonization, Arab
elite failed to develop public institutions, sustainable system of
governance and participation of the new generation in societal change and
development. They are incapable to deal with any major issues of peace and
conflict resolution. Bashar al-Assad, Ghaddafi, Ben Ali, Abdullah Saleh and
Hosni Mubarak were not the leaders but insane people who were put to high
offices to serve their foreign Masters. To the Arab people, bundle up the
dummies, selfish and stupid rulers and ship them out to where they belong -
most likely permanent resting places in Washington or London’s cemeteries -
the ruling imperial forces backing the age of authoritarianism. The
futuristic Arab rulers would NEED an inward eye and right thinking to serve
the people, not the masters in Washington or London.
The US leaders believe that war is the lifeline for the economy and the big political-military-industrial complex controlling the nerve of the US strategic thinking and policies. They need wars, not peace. The Middle East does not long for another war but peace and co-existence for human well being and living together. The US superpower role and influence is redundant. It wants normalization of relationships between the Arabs and Israel without solving the problem of Palestine on its merits. Its foreign policy is overwhelmingly one-sided to push for Israel’s political interest first and not the balanced approach to pursue a “peace process” for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with capital in East Jerusalem.
The recent Wikileaks documents spell out how the Palestinian PLO leadership in negotiations with Israel and the US compromised the right of self-determination and abandoned the goal of Palestinian freedom for personal greed and stupidity. Palestinian people must develop new and educated leadership with vision and integrity for the future. Arabs despite being rich in banking and palaces are weak and need moral and intellectual strength that oil pitched dollar cannot buy. Listening and learning is much part of the leadership trait as it is rational substance for effective leadership. Are the oil producing Arab rulers listening to the voices of REASON?
A decade earlier when this author proposed to one influential Arab
foreign minister to establish a university of global security, peace and
conflict management to help cultivate their institutionalized capacity
building to deal with global issues including Palestine and strengthen their
capability in public institutions and global political interaction.
Strangely enough, his reply was that we have the best experts from USA and
Europe to advise us. Surely, Allah does not guide the ignorant and wicked.
The Al-Qura’an clarifies the truth that “intelligent people always readily
accept advice.” Are there any Arab leaders looking for intelligent advice
and guidance to reconnect themselves with the aspirations of the masses?
Dust is dust, it does not change its originality. They lack public institutions and inward foresight and will to assign priority to the freedom of Palestine. Hardly any Arab leaders can communicate openly to the informed global community. Some Arab rulers are wasting time and opportunities to buy obsolete US weaponry worth of $60 billion or more but it will not change the Arab status-quo in the Middle East strategic construct mainly dominated by Israel.
What Israel and America need is an intellectual and political challenge that the naïve and submissive Arab rulers cannot imagine. There are no Arab armies and no Arab leaders to challenge anybody on any fronts. Under Islam, the Arabs used to claim and enjoin moral and intellectual superiority in dealing with enemies and in situations of conflict. Now the oil pumped prosperity conspiracy (fitna) has made the Arab rulers redundant and irrelevant to the 21st century political games. At a Middle Eastern university campus, while this author was speaking on the current affairs, a mention was made that “Arab prince live in palaces, not with people.” Among the audience some of the ruling elite got allergic and nauseated. Consequently, next time, the Arab embassy refused to issue the visit visa.
The superficial oil-based prosperity has bewildered the Arab rulers to the extent that some have become intolerable to any rational concerns. They THINK of the self, not of the people or of the Muslim Ummah. Would another jolt as was inflicted to Saddam Hussein change the Arab thinking of the politics of the palaces? Have they learned anything from the killing of Ghaddafi and ousting of Hosni Mubarak and other self-made presidents and kings?
There is a culture of pretension across the Western political governance about human rights and liberty. Nobody questioned Ben Ali while he was decreeing anti-Islamic practices and torturing political activists in Tunis. All of sudden, the Western news media opens up its closed circuits to Arabs activists, Mr. Obama speaks out, so does Ban K Moon, the unheard UN Secretary General on human right violations in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and so many others. Were they dormant and deaf in the past prior to the ousting of Mubarak and killing of Ghaddafi?
Palestinian leaders should not wait for anything to happen out of the blue but organize themselves as one people of UNITY striving to achieve national freedom from Israeli occupation. Palestinians do enjoy global consensus and support to declare the independent State of Palestine with capital in East Jerusalem. The Palestinian leadership of all factions should articulate initiatives and political UNITY to make it happen. There is a persistent disequilibrium prevalent in the Middle East and this is what threatens the Israeli existence. The establishment of an independent State of Palestine will logically balance the obvious imbalance between the Arabs and Israel.
In early 1980’s, while student in the US, the author had the honor of
knowing Professor Edward Said - a Palestinian genius - a great thinker for
the good of mankind. Late Professor Edward Said (Peace and its Discontents:
Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process, 1996), was not just a
visionary but enriched with proactive thoughts and a truly passionate
intellectual and committed warrior to the cause of freedom of Palestine:
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