It's not worth so much humiliation
The Palestinain conflict
July 6, 2006
I was just watching CNN when I saw a report, Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, who was supposed to be fearful of his life, though courageous enough not to be hiding, attending the Friday prayers in a mosque in the occupied territories.
I was thinking, God, it's so humiliating to be a Palestinian, living in a land like that. It's probably even more humiliating to be the prime minister in Palestine, to fear for your life, being supposed to be ruling some sort of a nation.
And then, it came to me, it seems also very humiliating to be an Arab actually, to see your Arab brothers being humiliated by about 5 million Jews (they actually have more than 10% of the population Arabs living as Israeli citizens). It seems to be humiliating for all the Arabs because they are about 200 million, almost all anti-Israel, though, the realities on the ground are very clear. Israelis are able to cause the humiliation of the Palestinian prime minister, the whole Palestinian population, and the whole Arab world. That's 5 to 200. These populations do not include Jews or Arabs living in other countries than Jewish or Arabic ones.
What I described above is as simple and as true as it is cynical. It really is the fact. However there are some things about this issue that are not often observed by the Arab people. The power of the Jewish state is incontestable by the neighbouring or farther Arab countries. It has been checked a few times. And that was before Israel became a nuclear power. So, why is it that a not-so-rich country (e.g. citizens of the United Arab Emirates are much richer than Israelis) with a 5 million population is able to humiliate a 200-million nation, the Arab nation?
When one does something wrong, and the outcome is unsatisfactory, there are two options: do it again, or find out what you did wrong and change the way you did it. Here comes the unanimous flaw of the Arabs: They're continuing to do the same thing all over again, being humiliated again and again. They are persistent though. Some day they're probably going to make it, either annihilate Israel, or find some other formula to take the long-awaited revenge. How long it may take? Well, as long as there are Arabs out there, there will definitely be Jews. But maybe there can be a smart way.
Sit back Arabs, relax, calm down, and analyze the situation with the facts on the table! How many Palestinians are out there? Not that many actually. Not more than 3 or 4 million. Maybe a bit more if we count all the descendants spread all around the Middle East. Compared to the Arab population of the world there are few Palestinians.
The suggestion is this. Arab leaders, hold a conference, sit in a round table (or any sort of a table or even a video-conference) and take all the Palestinian refugees in to your countries, and not just the refugees, but also the trouble-maker ones in the occupied territories. Leave the quiet Palestinians to stay in Palestine, so they can actually get the country they want too! Give some decent lives and possibilities to all the Palestinians and just get over this issue. It's not worth so much humiliation.
When a person realises his past mistakes, accepts and learns to live with the losses and damages, and finds out how to go on, the good feeling of being smart that comes along is really nice and enjoyable. Arabs doing what I suggested above would definitely have this good feeling too.
But it's clear this is not going to happen soon. You cannot possibly bring together more than two or three Arab leaders who would not go to quarrel after just a few minutes of verbal exchanges. Why is that? Well, just imagine you were in Bashar al Assad's or Gadhafi's place! As being a warlord type of person, a bully, a trouble-shooter Middle-Eastern strongman who has risen to absolute control due to rather unorthodox (probably even un-Islamic) circumstances, all you actually care about is to stay in power. Let's see whether if you were one of these Arab strongmen, would you fix the Palestinian issue in order to stay in power, or you would rather not?
It's quite simple, this type of warlord, strongman, Feudalistic patron, is never inclined to do good for others. Doing real good to the Palestinians would have one terrible plausible consequence at home. It would open up the mere possibility of normally agonised and dissatisfied citizens to demand some good for them as well. Good, in a ruthless world of Middle-Eastern political jungle would only come at the cost of having done bad to some other party.
This mentality is so strong that conspiracy theories are all over the place in the Middle-East. Even if one catches cold it is a conspiracy. And a Middle-Eastern ruler would never be inclined to lose his grip on his absolute control, doing himself wrong by doing some sort of right to his own people. Let's not forget, Middle-Eastern dictators are what they are because they are tough and ruthless and they don't let anybody else take their place.
What about Israel! Why is Israel so good at what it does and so successful? There is no bully in Israel. We should not compare 200 million Arabs to 5 million Jews. We should compare 20 to 30 Arab individual thugs (rulers) to millions of Jews. And Israelis have many more leaders than Arabs, because when an Arab strongman dies, today's Iraq, Palestine, or Lebanon is the outcome, but when an Israeli leader dies, there are so many to fill in his shoes even the stock market doesn't bother the death.
All we can do is to watch for now, when the first big step will be taken in the Arab world.