x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Arab identity is at stake in many conflicts

Who are the terrorists that are trying to portray the massacres against Iraq¿s Christians as part of a Muslim-Christian conflict? asked the columnist Saad Mehio in an article for the Emirati daily Al Khaleej.

Who are the terrorists that are trying to portray the massacres against Iraq's Christians as part of a Muslim-Christian conflict? asked the columnist Saad Mehio in an article for the Emirati daily Al Khaleej.

To get to the cause, one must determine the goal. When the goal is as large as the present conspiracy against Arab Christians, the cause cannot be a small time terrorist. The main target in this case is to culminate the campaign to destroy the Arab identity, which started in 1967 and is still unfolding until the present as witnessed in the region.

Iraq, once a great Arab power, was transformed after the US invasion into an aimless state that barely recognises itself. Egypt, after 1979, went through a similar period, as Arabism in it isn't an ideology as much as it is a strategy, which had to be sacrificed at the altar of foreign policy. This sacrifice is continued now through Islamic-Christian conflict.

As for the Christians of Lebanon and Syria, special scenarios of a more serious nature are being drawn up for them in view of the big role they played historically in forging the modern Arab national identity.

"This is all part of the 'New Middle East project' aimed at stripping the regional system of its Arab identity."

The war on the Arab Christians isn't an isolated project; it is part of a general strategic orientation and this war is merely one of its chapters.

 

Other solutions pose a challenge for Palestine

All of the world's states, including states with permanent membership at the UN Security Council, support the two-state solution, observed the columnist Abdallah Iskandar in an opinion article for pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

However, this solution that Israel also approved is still frozen, despite all efforts and guarantees from the American sponsor and the Quartet member states. Obviously, Israel has been obstructing negotiations. Talks are at a standstill. Nothing indicates any breakthrough in the negotiations crisis.

Following the US mid-term elections, observers agree that the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now more powerful and confident in confronting Washington's intentions to encourage the two-state solution, while the Palestinian Authority finds itself in a weaker position.

Under increasing pressure, the PA is trying to promote options other than direct negotiations with Israel - a suggestion that is gaining in momentum and support. These options vary between resorting to the Security Council and the UN General Assembly and a unilateral declaration of the state. But all these endeavours would eventually lead to the same predicament.

The UN General Assembly resolutions cannot compel Israel to withdraw from occupied Palestinian territories, nor can the Palestinian Authority seek resolutions from the Security Council under US-Israeli opposition.

 

Tension in Lebanon is rising to explosion

Tension is at its highest in Lebanon, observed the columnist Ali Hamade in an article for the Lebanese daily Annahar. The speech of Hizbollah's general secretary for "Martyrs' Day", which was filled with threats and false propaganda, is an indication of the strain that is driving the country to the verge of an explosion.

Although Mr Nasrallah spoke in hopeful terms about the Saudi-Syrian attempt to come to a settlement on the issue of the special tribunal, any agreement remains hopeless as long as each of the parties is expecting a different outcome.

The Saudis are expecting that the Syrians would stop Hizbollah from resorting to bloodshed to solve their internal problems. The Syrians, for their part, are anticipating that Saudi would push the prime minister Saad Hariri into a soft surrender about the special tribunal and the impending indictments, which would comfort both Hizbollah and Damascus.

But the issue is that none of the parties can halt the indictment or the Special Tribunal. In addition to that, it is unrealistic to ask Mr Hariri to issue a statement in advance against the indictment before availing himself of the details.

Hizbollah has lost the comprehensive sympathy it once enjoyed from the Lebanese people. It is now in a state of strong animosity with various Lebanese factions. Its only solution at present is to uphold the spirit of national responsibility and ethics.

 

An Iraqi settlement is still uncertain

We are not certain that the Iraqi leaders are capable of reaching a final agreement on power sharing that could decrease the powers of the prime minister Nouri al Maliki, commented the columnist Mazen Hammad in an article for Qatari daily Al Watan. This would benefit a national council for strategic policies that Mr Iyad Allawi is reportedly going to chair.

Leaked information about this council reveals that it would act as a monitor of the government. It would be able to veto the government's resolutions in case of a majority vote.

As the president, the head of parliament and the prime minister have been determined, it could be said that the problem has been solved and Iraq is on the right track. However, such a conviction isn't strong enough since Mr Allawi, the biggest loser in this vague deal, hesitates to accept the offers extended to him.

In all honesty, Mr Allwai, the Shiite supported by Arab Sunni states and Turkey, didn't manage his battle well against Mr Maliki, who excelled in strengthening his foreign and domestic alliances in the past eight months.

Talk of a solution in Iraq is still premature in this precarious political situation, especially since Mr Allawi isn't satisfied with the deal that was imposed upon him.

 

* Digest compiled by Racha Makarem

rmakarem@thenational.ae