New Age Islam Edit Bureau
22 August 2017
Is Israel Preparing For A Future
By Hussein Shobokshi
Arab Women Exchanging Ideas and
Finding Voice for Reforms
By Taylor Luck
Sabotaging This Year’s Hajj: Tehran and
‘A Few’ In Doha
By Mashari Althaydi
Why Do We Attack The World?
By Ghassan Charbel
All Has Become Clear Now In the Qatar
By Sawsan Al Shaer
Enhancing Rational Position against
By Hassan Al Mustafa
Talk All You like, Assad, but You’re
By Diana Moukalled
Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau
Is Israel Preparing For A Future Without
21 August 2017
The curtain seems to be coming down on the
era of the controversial Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now Israel
is actually preparing for a political future soon without Netanyahu.
Netanyahu’s end is approaching after his
eight-year rule in which there was no political rival and no effective opposition.
The period also witnessed relative security in the border areas as Arab region
was occupied dealing with terrorist and extremist organizations such as ISIS,
al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.
As the Arab world was reeling from internal
fighting, Israel focused on its economy, registering a significant growth
exceeding 4 percent. The country also broke the psychological barrier in the
development of political and diplomatic relations by forging ties with
countries that were outside the scope of its traditional interest. It struck
important bilateral agreements with India and some important African countries,
which included the security sector, of course, political aspects.
However, Netanyahu did not accomplish
anything at the most important level — the Palestinians and the Arabs. He
followed an expansionist and provocative settlement policy. Of late, he tried
to prevent Muslims to pray in the al-Aqsa mosque by laying down humiliating and
provocative rules for the worshipers.
Since the decision to impose new security
rules has been rolled back I consider it to be a political and moral victory
for the Palestinians and Muslims. Before that, there were huge objections by
Diaspora Jews, specifically Jews in the United States of America, to one of the
decisions of the Israeli government led by Netanyahu.
The decision here is meant not to allow the
mixing of men and women prayer at the Wailing Wall, which the Jewish
communities in the Diaspora considered a victory for the ultra-Orthodox
extremist movement inside the Israel, which is the prominent voice in the
coalition government with Netanyahu, and comes as a blow to the ambitions of
the reformist movement in the Jewish community, which consists of liberal ideas
and constitutes the most prominent orientation of the basis of thought
But since the arrival of the Likud Party
under the leadership of Menachem Begin, Israel is growing in its “religious”
extremism. This anger by the reformist movement of Jews in the Diaspora means
that Netanyahu’s financial support and political connection with the United
States of America has been cut off through the Jewish lobby.
Now it seems that the last nail is being
put in the political coffin of Benjamin Netanyahu with the Israeli
investigation opening up into Netanyahu’s corruption in two well-known cases.
Investigators are looking into whether Netanyahu has done business in return
for gifts from influential friends, including the Hollywood producer Arnon
The second case involves his relationship with
the publisher of a local newspaper in Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth, to agree with
him behind closed doors to stop the publication of the free Israel Hayom
newspaper. The investigators obtained a “recording” documenting the interview
between Netanyahu and the publisher.
He repeated the seriousness of the
investigation that Ari Harrow, who was chief of staff in the Netanyahu
administration in 2015, agreed to cooperate with investigators and gave full
and profound testimony to the charges against Netanyahu in exchange for any
mitigating provisions against him.
The Netanyahu era gave the world the ugly
face of an exploitative politician who has no value to promises or conventions
in his dictionary. The world will be a better place without Netanyahu. The
question remains who will come as a replacement for him and how he will run a
Arab Women Exchanging Ideas and Finding
Voice for Reforms
August 21, 2017
Popular uprisings in 2011 showed that they
could mobilise and reach out to supporters and the public with the most limited
The changes were as radical as they were
swift. On July 26, Tunisia voted to criminalise sexual harassment and
discrimination against women. On August 1, Jordan's Parliament voted to scrap a
law that allowed rapists to escape punishment if they married their victims.
Lebanon and Iraq now look to follow suit
later this year and end their marry-your-rapist laws and criminalise violence
As sudden as these victories for women's
rights may seem, they are not an unanticipated wave of change. Rather, they are
the result of a quiet women's revolution taking part in the Arab world that has
been decades in the making and has drawn on women's increased participation in
politics and a revolution in cross-border communication, especially in social
Now, as other Arab countries look to repeal
similar repressive laws, lawmakers and community leaders are setting their
sights on building on those gains, including equal pay in the workplace.
In Jordan, activists have been working to
repeal Article 308 - the marry-the-rapist clause - for two decades; but the
most recent attempt in 2013 only gathered two dozen signatures in Parliament.
In Tunisia, for years after the 2011 revolution that triggered the Arab spring,
women's rights activists saw the proposed law stall time and again.
Yet both Jordan and Tunisia have
experienced an important development: an increased number of women elected to
Jordan's 2016 elections saw women grab 20
of Parliament's 130 seats, the highest proportion of women ever, in an election
that fielded a record 252 female candidates. In Tunisia's parliamentary
elections in 2014, women were elected to 31 percent of the parliament's seats -
the highest percentage of any Arab country and more than in France.
Activists and experts say many of these
women members of Parliament (MPs) used their positions to lobby their
governments, cajole colleagues, and introduce debates over issues that
lawmakers previously had been unwilling to address.
"Women and the civil society expect us
to take the first steps, to drive these issues forward, and encourage progress
in human rights and women's rights," says Wafa Bani Mustafa, a Jordanian
MP who led the campaigns to scrap article 308 in 2013 and 2017.
"Not all women MPs are on board,"
she says, "but those of us that were willing, answered this call." In
Iraq, 25 per cent of parliamentarians are women, while in Lebanon a mere 3 per
Aiding the cause was the establishment of
dozens of local, national, and nongovernmental organizations advocating for
Arab women throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. These groups gave a channel
and lobbying arm for those who supported advancing Arab women's rights, giving
them a "voice at the table".
In Jordan, the Jordanian Women's Union,
Mizan Law Group for Human Rights, and the Jordanian chapter of Sisterhood is
Global Institute (SIGI) - all worked to change perceptions in towns and
villages by providing statistics on gender-based violence and the personal
cases of women wronged by the law or forced to marry their rapist.
In Tunisia, the revolution allowed for an
explosion of women's rights groups, such as the League of Tunisian Women Voters
and Aswat Nissan, taking up specific causes, including encouraging women
candidates and strategic voting. Some 700 civil society organisations work on
gender issues in Tunisia.
These new groups pushed for changes in laws
and discriminatory practices that left women vulnerable to violence or at the
mercy of their husbands.
"In the mid-90s and early 2000s, we
started raising topics, such as topics of rape, honour crimes, violence against
women, abortion," says Rana Husseini, a veteran journalist and women's
activist who spearheaded campaigns to end so-called honour killings in Jordan.
"Our traditions and culture call for
respect for women, and our religions do not call for killing, for people to
appoint themselves as judge and executioner. We fought for two decades to make
that case to the public," Husseini said.
Regional groups such as the Coalition of
Arab Women MPs Combatting Violence Against Women, Karama, and the Arab Women
Parliamentarians Forum increased cooperation between Arab women activists and
MPs battling to amend or cancel draconian laws in their home countries. For the
first time, Arab women activists coordinated strategies and learned from each
other's successes and failures.
"A woman from Jordan learns from
Morocco, a woman from Iraq learns from Tunisia, and it goes on - the ability
for Arab women to exchange ideas and strategies has been important," says
Hibaaq Osman, the director of Karama and two other regional Arab women's rights
Women's advancements in Arab countries, the
vast majority having inherited similar laws imported by Western colonial powers
and upheld by conservative social forces, have had a "domino effect,"
emboldening each other, activists say.
"We started saying, 'Why can't we end
article 308 in Jordan, when Egypt has done it in 1999, Morocco in 2014, Tunisia
in 2017, and there are motions happening in Lebanon and Iraq?" says Hala
Ahed, a legal consultant at the Jordan Women's Union.
The groundwork laid in the 1990s and early
2000s left women rights activists poised to take advantage of two important
revolutions at the beginning of this decade: the Arab Spring and social media.
Despite proving unable to throw off the yoke of authoritarianism across the
Arab world, the popular uprisings in 2011 - in part organised and driven by
women - showed Arab women that they could mobilise and reach out to supporters
and the public even with the most limited resources.
Now, social media has broken their
monopoly, exposing bastions of support for women's rights in often the most
Bedouin tribesmen, men in rural villages,
devout women, and imams have all come out in support of ending discriminatory
laws and advancing women's rights during the Jordanian and Tunisian campaigns
and even in conservative Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia. The ability of
average citizens to have their say has completely changed the debate - and put
greater pressure on those arguing to maintain such laws out of respect for "culture
"Social media has given a voice to
citizens who were previously blocked out of the debate - and it turns out that
the majority are for an end to these discriminatory laws," says Ahed, the
"Seeing citizens of all walks of life
voice their support, decision-makers are no longer shying away from women's
"Women's rights are human rights,
which affect every family," says Mohammed Suleiman, a 22-year resident of
Irbid, in northern Jordan.
"If we allow rapists to take away the
rights of one woman, they take away the rights of all of us."
In a bright spot in Saudi Arabia, Maryam
Otaibi, an activist leading calls for the end to the guardianship system, was
released from prisons in July after being held for fleeing her family home
without her father's permission. Her release without a male guardian was hailed
by activists as a step toward moving away from the system.
Even in conflict-hit Arab states, the seeds
of women activism - and future change - are being planted. In Syria, where
prior to the revolution there was not a single women's civil society group,
there are now hundreds of organisations working across the country on
In Libya, following the overthrow of
strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, women formed the Libyan Women's Platform for
Peace and pushed for an election law that allowed fair representation of women
In Jordan, activists have their sights set
on legal loopholes that allow for reduced charges in honour crimes and on
women's inability to pass on citizenship to children born to a foreign father.
In Tunisia and Jordan, women activists say they will continue monitoring,
campaigning, and pressuring authorities to make sure their hard-fought gains
are applied in the courts and on the ground.
"Arab women no longer are going to
come to the table where they are expected to act as the table cloth," says
Karama's Osman. "They are going to come because they are a force to reckon
The season of Hajj pilgrimage is about to
commence. Upon its approach, attempts are being made to spread disinformation
and lies. Earlier, such mischief was done by people associated with Khomeini.
The principal method used was by conducting a heretic ceremony they named “The
Repudiation of the Polytheists,” which Khomeini and his cohorts had devised to
launch propaganda campaigns in support of the Iranian regime.
What is new this time is the introduction
of Qatari policies in the mix. Here, I am not suggesting the involvement of the
Qatari state or its people. If attempts to politicize Hajj might be perceived
to benefit Qatar, it might be equally tempting for Iran which has a far larger
population and is more mobilized than before!
The pilgrimage season has been politically
targeted ever since Khomeini came to power in Iran in 1979. Khomeini, the
Brotherhood and Muammar Qaddafi were all upset that the Two Holy Mosques and
the Hajj and Umrah were, as they still continue to be, under the care and
custodianship of Saudi Arabia.
This is why those associated with Khomeini
and those who currently seek to imitate them from among Qatar’s politicians try
to cast doubts about the convening of the Hajj and Umrah in Mecca and Medina.
This is nothing new and is part of a carefully orchestrated plan.
Nabil Khalife, a Christian Lebanese
researcher, has studied these old tricks conceived by Khomeini. In his book
Targeting Sunnis, he provides the following insights into Khomeini’s policy:
“Since it is a geo-demographic minority in the Islamic world, it (Iran under
Khomeini) depended on a cynical strategy and propaganda to consecrate its
existence, efficiency and credibility as a radical Islamic movement confronting
the traditional Sunni persuasion.” According to Khalife, the policy exploited
the Hajj pilgrimage to undermine the Saudi leadership, for instance through the
1987 Mecca incident. It exploited the Palestinian struggle, a purely Islamic
cause, to help Shiites rise up with Hezbollah and raised the slogan of
Jerusalem against Mecca.
Khalife’s views are significant. He has a
PhD from Sorbonne in Arab Islamic civilization, and he has been assistant
editor-in-chief of al-Mostaqbal magazine and was in charge of the Arab Center
for International Studies. He was a broadcaster in Radio Monte Carlo when
Khomeini was exiled to Paris and was living in Neauphle-le-Château. At the
time, he wrote an early study about Khomeini when the revolutionary Shiite
cleric’s charisma was a “global rage.”
The study was entitled: “Imam Khomeini’s
revolution in the light of Iran’s modern history and Islam’s political
philosophy.” It was published in the ‘Future Magazine’ on March 17, 1979. The
study made Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal curious and according
to Doctor Nabil Khoury, he asked Shokri Nasrallah, a journalist from the
‘Future Magazine’ for copies of the edition. It seems however that the study
did not change any of Heikal’s illusions about Khomeini’s republic.
In the end, bidders have come and gone but
Mecca and Medina have remained in the care and custodianship of Saudi Arabia.
Whenever an explosion shakes a city, the
same scene is repeated. I see eyes fastened to the breaking news on the
screens. I hear the whispers of my colleagues: let’s hope the perpetrator is
not an Arab; let’s hope he’s not a Muslim; we don’t need more…
I hear them and share their hopes; but the
events quickly contest our wishes. It is no longer a secret that the attack on
the world is an appalling specialty that we are unique in.
I know quite well that the man who ran over
the tourists here or there does not represent his country or the confession to
which he belongs; that he did not obtain official permission to commit his
crime; that he was wanted in his country before being included in international
lists of wanted individuals; and that the threat he represents to his hometown
is more dangerous than his threat to the distant crime scene.
I know that intolerance is not confined to
a certain people, a sect or a country; and that frenetic persons are sons of
many different springs. But we have to admit unequivocally that we are the
record holders of world aggressions. And we have booked ourselves an invincible
position in the Guinness Book.
I do not exaggerate dear reader. The sight
of tourists bleeding to death as a result of an attack perpetrated by a person
coming from our region hits me in great confusion. I don’t know why I feel the
duty to apologize to a Chinese family, who happened to be in Barcelona, or a
Japanese man who was strolling in Nice, or a German who was on a visit to
Luxor. This is awful.
Who gave us the right to violate maps,
states and cities? Who gave us the right to assassinate young people
celebrating life in Istanbul? Who gave us the right to assassinate the
residents of the twin towers in New York?
Invocation of Injustice
The invocation of injustice here or there
is just a curtain to hide a deep desire to kill the other; a deep desire to
eliminate those whose features and affiliations do not match ours. Let’s
suppose that injustice was done; do we respond to it by inflicting even greater
injustice on innocent people? Talks about the world’s hatred of us are not
One cannot deny limited harming practices
that can occur sometimes in the West in response to our rude performances, but
they certainly do not rise to the level of death banquets that we organize at
different and far-flung theatres.
Those, who know the West, are aware that
the law there has sovereignty and priority that benefits even the advocates of
hatred. Many know that Arab and Muslim communities enjoy freedom in Europe
often lacking in their homeland.
Why do we attack the world? Is it because
it chose to sail towards the future, while we are determined to sail back to
the past? Is it because it invented the plane in which we travel? The car we
ride? And the cancer medicine we use in our hospitals?
Then what is the validity of this hatred
towards the West when we wish to see our children and grandchildren graduate
from its universities?
Why do we attack the world? Is it because
we have failed to build modern states… to achieve development… to provide
employment… to guarantee freedoms and consolidate the rule of law?
Progress of the Other
Do we see in the progress of the other a
defeat to us and a threat to our existence? Does the solution lie in detonating
ourselves or instead coming out of the tunnels in which we have long chosen to
Is it true that we are horrified by the
multiplicity of colours, choices and opportunities and we seek to preserve the
one-colour world that we perceive as the guarantee of our existence and the
continuity of our identity far from any interaction or enrichment?
Is it true that we are alarmed whenever we
hear the bells of the new era ringing? The bells of science, technology,
medicine, ideas, culture, education and music…
Why do we attack the world? From where did
we bring this huge amount of hatred? Why are we tempted to collide with the
world instead of living with and within it?
Why do we favour explosions over dialogue?
Death over interaction and settlement? Rubble over accommodation in common
homes? Ashes over multiplicity? Why do we prefer to retreat instead of
extending our hands to peace? Why do we choose the recipe of murder rather than
dialogue and recognition?
We cannot continue to attack the world.
This policy means destroying our societies before destroying a cafe, museum or
a tower in other people’s world. Roving killers assassinate their homeland
while they have the illusion of attacking other countries.
Those countries, which seem fragile, are
able to live with the danger, because they are states and institutions that
commit mistakes, correct them, reconsider their calculations and promote their
It is time to put the war on extremism as a
first priority in our life. It is imperative to eradicate the extremism
dictionary from homes, neighbourhoods, schools and the different curricula. The
flow of hatred feelings on the screens and social media must be stopped.
We must ask ourselves about the culture
that promotes the rise of this tendency to attack the world. In the absence of
a daring rational confrontation, we will sink even further in mud and blood and
we will produce more roving killers.
20 August 2017
It’s interesting how the pace of exposing
Qatar’s scandals has accelerated. Pandora’s Box was suddenly opened, revealing
all the evils since 1996 and until today. There is “international” synergy to
expose Qatar’s role in conspiring against the entire world. If I were in the
shoes of Qatar’s officials though I’d be worried of my allies’ leaks more than
I’d be worried of my rivals’.
Bahrain recently broadcast a phone call
between former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani
and Ali Salman, the chief of the dissolved Al-Wefaq Party. This revealed
Qatar’s role in conspiring against Bahrain during the coup attempt led by
Al-Wefaq Party against the constitution. The phone call showed how Hamad bin
Jassim provided all forms of support and conveyed an American initiative to
make mediation efforts in support of Al-Wefaq – this was during Obama’s
presidential term. Qatar, Al-Wefaq and part of the former American
administration were thus pressuring against the entrance of Peninsula Shield
troops to Bahrain.
Bahrain also published other evidence that
shows the financial support which Qatar provided to terrorist groups in
Bahrain. Meanwhile the role of Al Jazeera television channel was exposed by the
leaked conversation between Attiyah, an advisor of the former Emir of Qatar,
and a member of Al-Wefaq Party. The latter provided all forms of support to
terrorists so “blood is shed,” and Attiyah voiced Al Jazeera’s willingness to
Qatar Undermining Security
In addition to exposing Qatar’s role in
Bahrain, WikiLeaks recently exposed the role which Qatar played in undermining
Egypt’s security and which led to the death of dozens of Egyptian soldiers,
security forces and civilians. The Guardian and other media outlets published
two leaked cables on the matter. The first one is numbered 432 and dated July
It described a 50-minute meeting between
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim and Al Jazeera channel with the American ambassador.
During the meeting, Bin Jassim discussed Qatar’s foreign policy towards some
affairs including the Palestinian reconciliation and the peace process. He also
launched a fierce attack against Egypt and its policies both directly and
indirectly. The American ambassador analyzed the meeting and noted that Al
Jazeera is a tool in the Qataris’ hand that they use any way they want to serve
The second cable is numbered 677 and dated
November 19, 2009. It included a comprehensive evaluation prepared by different
departments at the American embassy. The evaluation addressed the role of Al
Jazeera channel in Qatar’s policy and analyzed the network’s orientation since
Obama became president. The document said that Al Jazeera’s coverage became
more positive towards the US. At the same time, the evaluation confirmed that
Al Jazeera was still used as a tool in Qatar’s foreign policy.
What must worry Hamad bin Jassim and Hamad
bin Khalifa is not exposing their role in conspiring to topple Arab regimes.
What must worry them is exposing the secrets of Israeli-Qatari relations. Both
men must be haunted by the idea! At some point someone wanted to end these
close relations by exposing them!
Israel began to expose these secrets
through Sammy Revel, the first chief of Israel’s trade bureau in Doha.
According to his book “Qatar – Israel – A file of secret relations,” relations
between Qatar and Israel began after Hamad bin Khalifa assumed power after the
coup he staged against his father. The coup happened in June 1995. Qatar and
Israel signed the gas agreement in October the same year. Few months later, in
1996, Israel opened its trade bureau in Doha while Al Jazeera channel was
launched in November 1996. The role which Hamad bin Khalifa offered to play to
serve Israel thus became clear.
The Daily Telegraph revealed information
that is as dangerous as the information revealed by The Guardian. It reported
that Qatar is involved in helping three terrorists, wanted by the US, escape.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he has seven cables about Qatar and only
five were published while the other two were not after Qatar negotiated with
the website’s administration that requested huge sums of money in order to
publish them as they contained dangerous information about meetings with
Israeli and American officials and incited against Egypt and their people.
Even Pakistan published documents that
convict Hamad bin Jassim in the trial of Nawaz Sharif. Another document exposed
Qatar’s role in funding Sarkozy’s campaign during the French presidential
elections. Who else did not expose Qatar’s roles?
The scandals are being revealed, one after
the other. This drives Qatar’s media crazy as it’s incapable of holding them
off. Everything has become clear now.
Saudi diplomatic activity in Lebanon, based
on dialogue and building bridges with various symbols and sections of society,
continued through the visits of the Charge d’ Affaires of the Saudi Embassy in
Beirut, Walid Bin Abdullah Al-Bukhari, who met with the President of the
Supreme Shiite Islamic Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Qablan.
Bukhari supported the stand of Qablan on
“Arab and Islamic unity, and to strive for all what is good for the people.”
After his visit, Bukhari visited the home of late Hani Fahs, praising his role
as “one of the pillars of moderation, religious tolerance and enlightened
thought in Lebanon and the region, and that his death was a great loss for this
approach which we are in real need of today.”
These activities, based on the promotion of
cultural interrelationship, did not start today, but are part of the diplomacy
of the Saudi Embassy in Beirut through a series of visits and seminars in a
country that represents an important source of thought and writing in the Arab
On April 13, 1975, the Saudi Embassy held a
cultural symposium entitled ‘Imam al-Sadr’s approach and moderation’. The event
highlighted the thoughts and personal positions that believed in equality
between human beings, and that the country should embrace all its people.
Opposition to Civil War
Sadr was opposed to ‘civil war’ and sought
openness for all religions in Lebanon and the Arab world, to establish
political and cultural understandings that would serve as a safety net against
crises and wars, thus creating an environment in which people would live in
dignity and pride.
In 1974, Imam Musa al-Sadr visited Saudi
Arabia and met with the late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz. Moreover, Sadr has had
personal relations since the early 1970s with the late King Abdullah bin Abdul
Aziz, when he was Emir, where they were brought together on many special
occasions and meetings.
Recalling the memory of the relationship
between Sadr and Saudi Arabia at this time, following the visit of Moqtada
al-Sadr to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, is of special importance, as it
strengthens the rational position against the sectarian discourse.
Building on this memory, and the Sadr
family’s religious and philosophical presence in the Gulf, will provide the
momentum for positive relations, with moderate approaches that support the
stability and security of the region.
Diplomacy Based On ‘Soft Power’
Culture, dialogue and communication are
effective and constructive Saudi diplomacy tools. These tools are capable of
building bridges and establishing dialogue as a true solution for the crisis
that prevails in the region today.
Diplomacy has its “soft” tools, which some
may underestimate, despise or consider insignificant, forgetting that the
concept of international relations is basically based on communication,
negotiation, reaching compromises and understandings, and creating common
It is not easy to make a political action
plan that relies on “soft” power as this force needs great skill and deep
cultural and social understanding. It also needs expert implementers, who can
understand the contradictions that prevail in society, and who can face and
overcome the difficult situations with ease.
Talk All You like, Assad, but You’re No
It was impossible to avoid a sarcastic
smile while observing how the official Syrian media approached Bashar Assad’s
recent speech in front of the Syrian parliament.
The speech was labeled as a strategy and
plan of action for the new Syria. It was called “Assad’s Doctrine” in an
attempt to imitate the famous speech by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin,
to the Russian parliament in 1999. That speech, of course, was called “Putin’s
It was an obvious attempt to place the
catastrophe that is Bashar Assad in the context of Vladimir Putin’s strategy
and the current regional polarization. Obviously there is no comparison between
the weak and insubstantial Assad and the dangerous and frightening figure of
Putin, the man who saved Assad from the fall and kept him in power despite all
the massacres he committed.
Disregarding the speech itself and the
Syrian media propaganda that accompanied it, the dilemma lies in one crucial
fact. Despite the deaths of up to 500,000 people, thousands injured and
millions displaced, none of these crimes could trigger a global consensus to
topple this regime.
In his speech, Assad said that the Syrian
society today was more “homogeneous,” a description that he has used repeatedly
in the past few months. That clearly shows that he has decided to permanently
exclude refugees and all those who have been forced to flee Syria during this
sectarian war that he himself created. According to Assad, Syrian society today
is more harmonious, pointing unmistakably to the obvious sectarian demographic
change. He appears to be saying that now a few million people have gone, it
will be much easier for him to seize control over Syria.
When delivering his speech, Assad took into
consideration that the American Nazis see him as a role model, Israel does not
want his departure and the European and American right wings are relying on him
to defend the Christians of the East. He also enjoys the support of the
European and American left wings, who believe that he is standing resolute
against imperialism. Before all this, he took advantage of his opponents’
weakness, and the inability of the international community to draft a single
resolution putting an end to his crimes.
The unanimous agreement of world
governments to give Assad a free pass, when they agree on little or nothing
else, is a paradox: such a dispensation has been granted to no other tyrant. In
a cruel and unfair world, where international trials are failing, we will keep
on witnessing the killings of more Syrians, without being able to take any
We have all followed the Syrian revolution
since its outbreak six years ago. We have seen those who promised to remove
Assad from power, whether through political or military means, and listen to
their silence now. American ambiguity has prevailed after all. The Americans
said Assad “cannot be part of Syria’s future,” but then went back on everything
they said. Moreover, some Arab countries abandoned the Syrians, and not for the
first time. The world agreed on Assad, but disagreed on mercy and justice.
While the Assad regime is “democratic,”
“secular” and “open-minded,” according to its own propaganda and the claims of
the regimes that support it, its media wages lame attacks against the
opposition abroad. The paradox is that Assad has no problem with foreign
countries that are “respectful and have values, like Russia for instance and
not the US, the coal mining country,” as his slavish media put it.
Populism mixed with hostility against the
West have become the trademarks of the new phase of Assad’s propaganda and
diplomacy, in which he appears to be looking east. He points to the victims of
terrorism in Barcelona and Finland, part of what he believes is the vanishing
Western world, and says: “They are paying the price of their stupid Western
Let the international community accept the
fact that they have abandoned the Syrian people and turned a blind eye to
Syria’s biggest crime of all: Bashar Assad.