Israel: For an awful 11 days in May, the world saw the hellish fire raining down on the world’s largest open-air prison camp, also known as Gaza. The dazed, bleeding survivors who had crawled out of the rubble of collapsed buildings had experienced it before.
Everyone knows that this tragedy will repeat itself. In remote Arab cities, as well as here in Pakistan, people watched the unrestrained television bombing by Israeli jets uncomfortably. But the most they could do was a few toothless resolutions and a few powerless slogans trampling on the Israeli flag.
Israel vs. Arabs
What makes Israel, with 90 lakh people – between half and a third of Karachi’s population – a Goliath of biblical proportions? Nevertheless, despite their fantastic oil wealth, why are 42.7 crore Arabs the pygmies of international politics? Arabs of the Gulf Cooperation Council can certainly control what happens in some misunderstood (poor) countries like Pakistan; their leaders can be summoned to Riyadh with a moment’s notice and sent back with baggy rice as a reward of obedience. But before Israel – which has almost no natural resources – Arab kings and sheikhs must bow their heads.
Accuse the West if you will, and especially America. Indeed, from 2000-2019, armaments by the Western powers (United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany) were documented to Israel at a solid $ 9.6 billion. But within that 20-year period, the same document shows that this amount is dwarfed by weapons supplied by the same suppliers to Saudi Arabia ($ 29.3 billion), United Arab Emirates ($ 20.1 billion), Egypt ($ 17.5 billion) billion), Iraq ($ 9.1 billion). and Qatar ($ 6 billion).
And yet, these expensive weapons will offer little protection if Israel ever again chooses to attack Arab countries. While the nine-nation Saudi-led coalition has created a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, it has unfortunately failed against the Iraq-backed Houthi forces.
Okay, so let’s blame Palestine’s misfortune on Arab division. There is truth in this: Arabs are indeed bitterly divided. But when was it not? From about 634 AD to 750 AD is the only period in history when they stood together. When Nasser won the Suez War against Britain, Arabs reunited for a brief, euphoric moment. But this unit did nothing to prevent their crushing defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which changed the borders forever. And while friends and activists for Palestine – including myself – would like to see Fatah and Hamas adjust their differences, it will not fundamentally change things.