Dec 16,2017 – JORDAN TIMES – Kamel Abu Jaber
The Trump declaration should have come as no more than a disappointment to us Arabs, as it was no more than a confirmation of Western efforts to dominate the heart of the Arab world; the Fertile Crescent straddling as it does the land, waterways and airways between the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.
Such domination is a dream the leaders of the West entertained from ancient times, at least as far back as the Greek (Western) Wars with Persia (the East) in the fifth century BC.
From the dawn of Islam, peace reigned for a very brief period which was broken feverishly and brutally by over two centuries of a terribly cruel and destructive new campaign, the Crusades…. followed by another scourage, this one inflicted by Eastern hordes, worst of whom were the merciless armies of Genghis Khan and his descendants. After them came the Ottomans who were excellent warriors and administrators, interested mainly in security, stability and social peace who maintained static and underdeveloped societies even in the land of Turkey.
Meanwhile, the West witnessed the rise of a young, vibrant and aggressive Western society “inner directed” and governed by the human and rational approach to life that continued to set the pace for the march of all humanity. This, while Ottoman, Arab and other Middle East societies continued to slumber.
That slumber continued, occasionally disrupted by yet another Western invader. The first in modern times was Napoleon Bonaparte whose landing on the shores of Egypt on July l, l798, was like dropping a huge rock in a tranquil pond whose ripples continue to reverberate till this day. Upon his return, defeated, at the Citadel of Acre, he issued what is known as the Montpelier Declaration, inviting the Jews to return to Palestine.
It was only a century later, in l907, when British Prime Minister H.C. Bannerman, after consulting with a high commission of social and political scientists, historians and other intellectuals, on how to maintain the hegemony of Western civilisation, globally, adopted the policy of implanting an alien entity in the heart of the Arab World whose task was to keep the Arabs, identified by the “learned“ committee as “the major obstacle”, in a permanent condition of ignorance, poverty and discord.
Within 10 years, in 1917, both the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes-Picot Agreement were concluded: The first, implanting the alien entity and the second, dividing the Arab world.
The Trump Declaration is merely a continuation of that course of history. And while it is right and just for our peoples to demonstrate, denounce and condemn, that is not enough. It is the duty of Arabs, intellectuals, political and religious leaders who have failed over the last two centuries to protect Arab lands and honour, to adopt a new approach to this struggle.
We cannot claim ignorance for we have known for the past two centuries what was planned in order to control not only the resources but the very soul of our region. Neither the West nor the Zionists have kept secret their intentions. It is high time for our governments to stop the policy of passing the problem from generation to generation and start consulting seriously with their people on how to prepare future generations for what is to come.
The suffering of Arabs demand more responsible governments that are up to the task.
We have to remember that, after all, it is the West that lays down and dictates the form and content of international law and institutions. What Trump did, was simply to prove that it is in their power to break them at will. What does it matter if he gives what does not belong to him to those who have no right to it, even Jerusalem and even against all previous promises to Arabs and Muslims by the entire Western world.
For him, such an act was simply another Western betrayal in line with the earlier betrayal by the West at the conclusion of World War I.
Arab loss is nothing more than collateral damage which the Arabs have to accept since major political, military and even financial decisions are not in our hands.
The writer is director of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies and former foreign minister of Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.