“Peace:” is a complex and challenging phenomenon when it comes to deal with the Palestine problem, and more so, with the Israelis. Palestine was occupied by the Zionist against the wishes of the majority of its Arab inhabitants. With British conspiracy and strategic support, foreign Jews were shipped to Palestine long before the 2nd World War, long before Jews were said to be victimized by the Nazis. Arab leaders did not know then, and do not understand either how to deal with the Palestine problem. The issue was manufactured by the Europeans to transfer the Jewish problem away from the European landscape into Palestine, and to displace its original inhabitants, partition, divide and rule were the famous British colonial political goals to occupy and dominate the Islamic world.
Do Muslims have consensus how to approach the Palestine problem with the Israelis? Or is it an initiative taken loosely by the traditional leadership aligned to the former British Empire? Muslim all over the globe have attachment to Jerusalem, Masjid Al-Aqsa and Palestinians. It is part of the Islamic faith. Have the contemporary leaders consulted with the Muslim Ummah or its legitimate representative to form a rational consensus and workable stance on the Palestine problem? Do the leaders know what “peace” means when it comes to dealing with the Zionists? Do the leaders know how to lead the new information-age cultural aspirations of the Muslim Ummah after faltering for more than fifty years? Israelis of all persuasions are involved in peace and war situations, they are One in solidarity. Muslim societies who are One by virtue of faith, but are not One in Thinking and Behaviors when it comes to peace and conflict management. Are the new peace initiatives going to be between the governments or people of the Middle East region? Israelis have defined their public stance and policy positions on the future relationship. That means, the ruling party-Likud, does not favor an independent state of Palestine, whereas, the Israeli Labor party does. Israelis enjoy systematic freedom to express their opinions and have established public institutions to support their faith and political goals. Israelis survive in institutionalized diversity within the democratic system, many influential leaders and societal activists long for peace with Palestinians on equal terms, others appear to have reservations because of the suicidal bombings on the ground making them fearful of the future. They do have open-mindedness to talk about their affairs and come to some sense of the public concerns, but none of the Arab countries can offer a resemblance of freedom of expression and open-ended communication to the masses to express their pros and cons on this vital conflict. All Arabs have attachment to Palestine. Islam envisioned the individual right to freedom of expression and establishment of public institutions as the foundation of an Islamic state. Ironically, there is no Islamic state with public participation and established institutions to substantiate the Islamic values and system of government. If Arabs do not profess Islam as a foundation of their values, what other values could they claim to be in a fast changing world of opinions and information-age culture. If peace is not discussed by the people, who else can ensure the viability of such a peace, both in short and long terms political implications. Are the Arabs prepared to change and reform their governmental structures from one sided authoritarian controls to open-ended public participation, institutions and legitimacy in waiting. If yes, then, they should be able to move forward for a discussion of “peace” between people to people on both sides of the conflict. If Arabs masses have no participation and role-play in the peace making process, how could such a peace be viewed as feasible and credible by the Western powers. Arabs NEED to change their THINKING and Policy Behaviors in a real world situation. The talks of rulers and palaces are devoid of reason and legitimacy, and nothing positive can or will be achieved when it comes to dealing with the democratic world where people and their opinions make the difference on the divided lines. Israelis would never agree to a “peace” where people and institutions are absent. For a moment, if you ignore Israelis, and just focus what Islam demands from a believing society, it will be understandable to plan and foster a change at all segments of the society within the Arab world. Arab rulers do have wealth and power but they lack logic of power and its relevance to peace and conflict resolution. Their perceptions are outdated and obsolete, educated and enlightened representatives of the masses must be active participant in any move or developmental process for peace with the Israelis. To Arab rulers, a Navigational Change is NEEDED to strike a balancing act, otherwise, they will continue to waste time and resources for nothing else except prolonged humiliation and defeats as has been the case for over half a century.
Who speaks on behalf of the masses? People themselves or the self-centered and authoritarian leaders? This issue of societal change and reformation deserves to be discussed in its proper context and real-world affairs. There should be no basis for window dressing and ignoring the facts and opting for feelings. It is a serious issue with multiple dimensions, and must be considered in all its facets by able and intelligent Muslim scholars and real-world practitioners, otherwise, it will become an after dinner joke that Arabs want peace with Israel.
Arab Mass Media’s Perceptions
The mass media in the Arab world can do an important job in disseminating information, bringing in educated and responsible spokes persons from varied sectors of society and shaping up the consensus for an open and free of coercive dialogue within the establishments and across the spectrums of their societies. Recently, Bahrain seems to indicate such a change through public election exercises and people’s voting and active participation, away from dull and dummy politics of the rulers. Most Arab mass medias rely on foreign ideas and perceptions to project societal concerns and viewpoints. Changing notions of editor’s perceptions, and live media commentators manipulate and misdirect public opinions to lodge complaints to President Bush, son of Bush, as if President Bush is legally and morally responsible for their well being, both mental and physical. This serves twofold purpose: first it shows that the mass media is taking the issues; secondly, they indicate shifting responsibility for the crisis to foreign leaders, away from the Arab leaders facilitating a face saving opportunity. Arab mass media is glued to the palaces, not to the voices of the people. The overwhelming authoritarian cliché in all aspects of Arabian life, is unhealthy, sickening and unproductive. Arab leaders must be scrutinized for their missing sense of responsibilities and practical role-play. Unless leaders are accountable to the masses and responsive to their important concerns, Arab leaders are leading nobody except the self and the palace. Surely, President Bush is a marginal president in desperate need of some public affirmation to undo the marginal presidency and be recognized as an American statesman, if this expression should be used for him. Recently, Bush junior violated the limits to reason when he called Ariel Sharon as a “man of peace.” Nothing unusual, American leaders know how to fill-in the blanks in policy statements, and patch up left over puzzles if they concern the state of Israel or the Washington-based powerful Israeli lobby. Well, he is doing his job because he loves this job and he has worked hard to win a legal battle to occupy the White House against many odds, and most probably, he would like to remain there for another term of office. With rich family connections to the leading oil powerhouses, Bush sees issues in different economic and political perspectives. Security and oil power are at the top of his agenda. He waged war against war-torn Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden to ensure safety and control of future Caspian Sea oil supply and large natural gas reservoirs in Afghanistan. His obligations do not rest with any princely secret profile. His views and priorities are matched by actions and leadership role-play. But what about the office of your Leadership? Your President? Your Rulers? Wherever, you live in the Arab world. Do you have communication with your leader? How often your leader talks to you? Imagine, President Bush is available 24 hours a day, if his citizens are in trouble or in need of his help. Do you have any responsible leaders readily available to listen to your grievances or to console you when you are in dire need of some human touch in an unusual difficult situation? Remember, the September 11 incidents in New York and Washington, President Bush and the whole American political elite were there in person to show their unity in crisis and stand by the victims of the disasters. Would any of your leaders dare to go to Palestine to count the massacred bodies of the innocent people or to see the sub-human living and politically tarnished conditions of the Palestinian people? Would any of your occupants of the palaces show courage to provide sense of moral and political security to the oppressed Arab men, women and children gutted under the Israeli curfews and tanks for months? Israelis killing machines and soldiers are unchallenged and unstoppable. There are No Arab Generals to stand up and No Arab soldiers to fight the Zionists. Remember, for centuries European mothers used to scare their kids when putting them in bed: ” go to bed, Salahudin is coming, go to bed Salahudin is coming.” Do you want to ponder, why Moutasam Billah fought and punished the Romans because they had slapped one Muslim lady in public? Do you want to make the statistical analysis and draw a pattern as to how many of your Arab women are insulted, beaten and killed every day by the Israelis in Palestine? Many mourn loud and cry, but probably you are too busy and have no time to hear their destitute voices and broken soul.
In Search of Political Correctness
Peace will not grow out of desert unless Arabs could produce educated and intelligent leadership to balance the imbalance. Sharon needs a smart and action-oriented Arab leader to match him in thoughts, tactfulness and actions, and strike a balancing act, otherwise, he has proven to be a superman, and so far, untouchable even by President Bush. Only a Muslim leader accountable to the Muslim Ummah, can and will cause uproars in Sharon’s dreams. Your Presidents, your big title holders PM and Your Prince do not make a damn difference in a people-oriented global culture of values and decision making. Your leaders prefer feelings over facts, and are unable to cope with the changing demands of strategic and politically intelligent characteristics of statesman like leadership. Israeli leaders have reason and support of the masses when it comes to defend their interests and values; none of the Arab leaders can claim to have the backing of the masses and functional public institutions to show the legitimacy of their rule. In the shifting political sand of the Arab politics, leaders are viewed as problematic and lacking people’s participation. Islam emphasized advisory “shura” of the people, Arab leaders ignored it, and got defeated in a global village of people’s rights and voices of reason. They do not want to rethink of political correctness. General Sharon has no will power of his own, he relies on public support and American and British political and economic clouts, always available to guard Israeli strategic interests and priorities with NO QUESTION asked. Arabs never thought of any political or strategic plans to encounter the Israelis on the ground. There are NO Arab Armies to stand for Islam, nor to challenge the Zionists occupation of Palestine. Arab armies are meant for palaces, not for the people. Whereas, every able Israeli body is trained and equipped to fight the Arabs. Have you been trained to defend yourself? Your Islam? Your values? If you are not, why not? If you have to defend yourself, what would you fight for? When would you be ready to stand for what you believe in? Your real identity and your values have been swept away by Your OIL riches. Oil is non-stop flowing to the West, and Israelis are busy in unthinkable atrocities against the Palestinians. They want to push and punish all the Palestinians to go somewhereé. somewhere far away, they are unable to return, as Zionist planned and did in 1948 and continue to do so to this day.
Ariel Sharon was elected by the Israelis, and he is doing his best to fulfill his mission and short and long terms goals. He enjoys displacement of Palestinians, and believes in killing the Arabs as he did throughout his life, and doing whatever his mission dictates him to do. No body is standing up to hinder his activities or even to question Sharon, even if he would wipe out all the Palestinians from their homeland. Do you have any leaders who could stand up and speak few words of common sense and wisdom to the besieged Palestinians? Do you have any societal representatives who could dare to say what the masses feel like under the present circumstances? “Jihad” is just an abstract myth, that most Sheiks use in midnight prayers and crying for the oppressed Palestinians, their day time routines are different. Prayers are offered to Allah, and most paid Arab religious Sheiks and imams feel, they are doing the duty and mosques are well attended. Arab elite draw comfort they control the mosques and imams. While Zionists armies were busy in dismantling the public houses, torturing Palestinian school kids and killing any moving objects all over the occupied Palestine, your leaders were too busy not to talk about the oppressed people; they were simply waiting to count the dead bodies for burial and rush back to enjoy horse racing, music and dance. Bush thinks of his constituents first because he is accountable to them. Do you have any responsible leaders to think of you? It looks, they have no time for you or your political interests.
Need for Societal Rethinking
Oil export is a blessed commodity providing lot of comforts to the industrialized world and indifference to the rest of the humanity. You are no longer, what you think you appear to be, even if you are mad, even if you are angry on Israeli atrocities. These are paper graphics, not your feelings or your spirit or your determination. Your body needs good time. Its soul has evaporated with the wind, long time ago when you started identifying yourself as an “Arab Ummah” instead of a “Muslim Ummah.” Allah called you a “Muslim Ummah”, whereas an ” Arab Ummah” turns the history back to Jahiliaya-ignorance. You seem to have dismantled the very foundation of your life and values. You do not see, and you do not hear anything except what adds to your pleasure for living and probably living once. Your leaders are happy, you are busy and productive without any major agitation, and of course, no agony or pain for the men, women, and innocent children being killed cold blooded by Israeli soldiers right in front of your eyes, right on your daily satellite dish screen. For your information, the Israeli weapons come from America, and weapons do kill Palestinians, but stones only hurt the armed Israelis, equipped with destructive weapons. Most Western observers now speak of Israelis soldiers being sick, psychologically abnormal and deserting the army duties, but most do stand on guard all the time, and their tanks do destroy the Palestinian homes, and the guns do kill the living and innocent ones. Israelis have waged ferocious war against the civilians population all over Palestine. Their goal is to destroy human habitat and Palestinian socio-economic infrastructures. Israelis do not long for peace; war to them is a lifeline, a means of survival and progress. They win all the time, Arabs lose all the time, and Arab leaders are accustomed to this status quo. Now, more than half a century later, Arabs want peace but Israelis know, war is the only viable strategy to flourish and occupy more Arab lands, even the oil wells and oil and gas supply pipelines. Their plans are in place and working. Recently in a BBC interview, Mr. Amar Moussa, an Arab League Secretary General, was asked what would you do after the Israelis have reoccupied all the Palestinian towns? He replied, “we will consider the situation as is.” BBC rep asked him again, “what is your reaction after Israelis are alleged to have committed massacred of the civilians in Jenin?” Moussa responded: “we will see the situation.” She pressed him for any military or political response to Israel. Moussa again repeated the same answer that ” we will see the situation.” Zionist book does not have any chapter written with peace. How naéve one could be when Zionists are warmongering, Arab League Ministers are preparing drafts and agendas for peace talks with Israel.
Peace in Waiting, Conflict in Making: Arabs and Israelis
Could peace be sought from a position of political disunity, failures and military defeats? Israelis know well that Arabs are not One, and Islam is being used as a cover-up, and that Arab leaders follow the American dictate. Only Islam and One Muslim Ummah could challenge the Zionists and strike a military and political equilibrium, not the “Arab Ummah”, and certainly not the borrowed weapons. Unless there is a political and strategic balance between the Arabs and Israelis in public perceptions and participation, peace discussion will not be useful. Arabs will lose more than gain anything worthwhile. Undeniably, there is an URGENT NEED for the substantial groundwork to be done before Arabs should attempt to forge any dialogue for peace with the Israelis. This groundwork MUST include a change in the Thinking and Behaviors of the elite and the rulers toward the common citizens and their rights and long overdue dignity and respect that Islam extends to all. There must be organized public participation in these issues and non-elite and non-governmental institutions to substantiate public concerns and priorities and to channel these inputs to the policy-making tables. In all earnest, Islam facilitates a community dialogue and institutions between the rulers and the ruled for effective government. Arab leaders need to be changed to evolve a culture of public confidence building and legitimacy. West and Israelis are glued together by ideas, philosophy and ideals. Israelis of all political persuasions are One; and open to sharing ideas and actions to bring reality, but the irony is, where should the concerned Arab masses go to express their concerns and frustrations? Most Arab intellectuals and societal leaders are prisoners in their homes. Arabs living in Israel are allowed to demonstrate, but Arab leaders forbid their citizens right to public expression and participation. Israelis have systematic democracy and every few years their leaders change and bring in new ideas, talents and determination to strengthen their policies and strategic positions. Could you express your opinions publicly and talk about changing your corrupted Presidents and Rulers? Old dummies are obsolete, the need for a new beginning is URGENT and DESPERATE to have new educated and publicly chosen intelligent leaders, if Arabs want to be effective and successful. Islam and Muslim Ummah are the point of reference, Arab Ummah will take the secular Arabs straight to Jahilaya é age of darkness.
When would you shun hypocrisy and come out crystal clear and see for yourself, what is wrong with your perceptions, your funny madness, and your pastime anger against Israeli intransigence? All Israelis are trained killers, they walk and sleep with machine guns. They have no sense of peace but they do have plans to occupy more Arab lands and America is in full accord with this policy goal. If America and their guns were not in Israelis hands, they will not dare to fight against you. America sharpens their courage and soul to fight for their survival, and long term security and oil management objectives and they do. Your problem is different. You are too fatty, too comfortable, untrained to face the realities of the contemporary world. UN is just a paper joke to the humanity é.humanity that looking for some sense of continued security and safe habitat. UN sanctioned the existence of the State of Israel and denied Palestinians their inborn rights. What good can be expected from a paper body, unless you are powerful enough to influence the outcome. American and European run the UN, not you. You are not allowed to speak your mind even in your own country; do you think, the world will listen to you? Your concerns? Your Peace Plan? You are just a transitory digit, a number to be counted for the paperwork. You are made to THINK that foreigners will come to help you; not a chance except an illusion subject to time and place. American change their tactics fast as they did in Vietnam, Korea and recently in Somalia, leaving behind every thing and saving their own lives and not the UN assigned mission. Over half a century has gone by, Arabs seem to have no plans, and no thinking to extend security or any sense of it, to you any time, sooner or later. All Zionists including Ariel Sharon know their role and obligations and are well disciplined to meet those undertakings? Have you ever thought of asking from your leaders, what have you done for the Arabs? What have you done to protect the interest of Islam? If you do not claim to be Muslim, then there is no problem, have peace and enjoy your life. If you are a Muslim, President Bush thinks, you are a “terrorist” and Sharon believes in it and takes action to do the job é “ethnic cleansing” in Palestine. Zionists are trained to terrorize people, and they love to kill the Arabs because this way, they will control the whole of the Palestine. They are not familiar with “peace”, so how could one talk peace with the Zionists, when they don’t have it and they do not long for it? World observers describe Arab leaders as “defeated” cronies who capitalize on the inflicted miseries of the masses to build palaces and to increase their foreign bank balances. Is it possible that the defeated parties could dictate the victors? Or demand favorable terms and conditions on issues which involve life and death questions? Israelis of all persuasions are ONE and committed strong and aggressive. Allah made you a Muslim “Ummah”, but you insist on becoming an Arab “Ummah”, reverting to the age of ignorance. This phrase is frequently implied by secular Arab leaders to appease the Western masters. Islam bestowed honor and success on the faithful believers. When you discarded Islam, you left behind all its merits and claims. Your leaders believe, you are an economic man and women like the Western economic principles, they work to earn, you consume fatty dinners and enjoy 4 wheels cruiser without working for it. Your enemies are happy that you trust them and you have invested your resources to their economic supremacy, and you are fatty, rich and unworthy to challenge them and you are true believers in progressive economic myths and life styles. You look busy all the time, and you have no time for Islam and Muslims, or to get a sense of the saga that generates anguish.
If peace is the goal, then Islam is the only system and avenue that can facilitate sustainable peace, otherwise, you will be wasting time and energies. Islam is Peace, but it will produce results if you change your thinking and direction towards Islam as a system of human right, dignity, honor and institutions. You will be strengthening your bargaining position when and if it comes to dealing with the Zionists for a negotiated settlement of Palestine. In an information-age culture of ideas sharing and leadership accountability, Arab societies MUST evolve public institutions to be managed by educated and intelligent scholars representing the will and voices of the masses to foster in-house Islamic unity and harmony and to develop a planned strategy in dealing with the Israelis. There are hundreds and thousands of Arab scholars living in denials, who could make the difference in a global arena with superb leadership qualities whereas, the authoritarian rulers are living in the past without a rational sense of the future. If your rulers wish to sign a peace agreement without public participation and consensus, it will have no durability nor legitimacy. It will be a peace in pieces. Arab leaders should call for an URGENT RETHINKING dialogue at the public levels, removing the authoritarian barriers and police surveillance over their fellow citizens, and encourage educated and responsible people of their societies to assume appropriate role and responsibilities in a new culture of information and exchange of ideas for the best of Islam and Muslims. Would the Arab leaders searching for “peace” please tell their fellow citizens, when would you be ready to do the job for “change” and reformation goal? And your role-play as a leader of the Muslim Ummah? Remember, YOU the believers, the masses, YOU can make the difference, the moment you realize your own history, who you wereéand where you are? “Arab Ummah” of the dead past, or a living Muslim Ummah, committed to a promising future.