Rolling out the red carpet

Arab states are colluding in the US/Israeli war on Palestinian resistance

It was a disgrace for Arab leaders to attend the Cop28 conference in Dubai alongside Israel’s president Isaac Herzog while it wages a genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip that has claimed the lives of at least 15,000 innocent civilians so far.

I appreciate that the event is an annual UN event to discuss environmental issues and climate change. But the rolling out of the red carpet for Herzog, and his meetings with Arab rulers including those of the UAE and Qatar, was an insult to the victims and the two million people who have been forcibly displaced and denied the very basics of life.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi boycotted the conference, and the Iranian delegation withdrew, in protest at the Israeli president’s presence. The Arab participants should have done the same at the very least, or gone further by severing all ties with Israel and closing down its embassies as several non-Arab and non-Muslim countries such as Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, and South Africa have done.

The Palestinian groups that are bravely resisting the onslaught, after having dealt a historic defeat to the occupation with their attack on the military outposts and settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip, were fiercely critical of the hosting of Herzog at this time. Hamas contained its outrage in a politely worded statement saying it “had hoped the UAE would not have invited him.”

The US has been directly involved in the genocidal war, airlifting ammunition and missiles to Israel, despatching 2,000 troops to support the assault, and providing $14 billion to cover its costs. It is now planning a parallel political war against the resistance groups, especially Hamas, aimed at closing the doors of most Arab capitals in their faces, especially Doha (which, by the admission of one of its own officials, opened a Hamas office at the request of the US itself and with Israel’s approval).

According to a Reuters report, later confirmed by other outlets, Qatar has now told the US it is prepared to reconsider the presence of Hamas leaders on its soil once the current crisis over the captives and hostages held by the group is over. An understanding in this regard this was reportedly reached by the Emir of Qatari Sheikh Tamim bin-Hamad and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This Israeli-instigated campaign against the resistance movements is liable to backfire against the US and its interests in the region. It will fuel extremism and strengthen the appeal of the ascendant Sino-Russian axis. Qatar, which hosted Hamas as a means of distinguishing itself politically and in public perceptions from the other Gulf states, the ‘normalisers’ in particular, stands to be one of the biggest losers if it yields to US dictates.

History is busy these days recording the stands taken by Arab governments, most of which starkly contradict the Islamic values and principles of Arab solidarity they claim to espouse, as they conspire against the movements resisting ethnic cleansing and genocide and defending the holy sites in Jerusalem on behalf of the Arab and Muslim peoples.

However the Gaza war ends — and I believe it will result in a strategic defeat for Israel — it could overturn all the submissive policies that preceded it in deference to the directives of the US and its appendages in the region. It may set in motion the collapse of the colluding regimes, much as the period that followed the 1948 Nakba did. The colluders ought to start worrying.

Rolling out the red carpet

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