The voice of reason goes unheard

Wars can be started much more easily than making peace. Peace is sought by those with future visions of development and construction. Op-ed.

Dr.Salem AlKetbi ,

'SodaStream' factory workers form peace sign
'SodaStream' factory workers form peace sign
Photo: CopterPix - Aerial photography

The absence of the voice of reason on most issues in the Arab region is a problem as old as time.

Seething and instigating voices of organizations and regimes feed on unrest in this region. They emerge when things boil over, as they did between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel recently.

Extremist organizations and radical powers, which are a major cause of regional insecurity and stability, have cashed in on this turmoil. Incitement has been practiced in its most heinous form in the media and political arena.

They exploited the escalation in Gaza to settle political scores with the great powers, as Turkey did with the US, or to use the turmoil to prove influence and a long arm in every hotbed of tension in the Middle East. The absence of the voice of reason is not limited to the environment of regional and international relations.

But it extends to the media. The social media have turned overnight into arenas where extremist organizations roam unbridled. These have exploited the unrest in a move to undermine the positions and policies of Arab and Islamic countries.

In this difficult and complex atmosphere, authors and analysts find it extremely difficult to express their views of the events objectively and seek to provide useful insights and proposals to both sides of the conflict rather than engaging in this whirlwind of media hype and finger-pointing.

The absence of the voice of reason on most issues in the Arab region is a problem as old as time.
The Palestinian Arab issue is a regional and international issue that requires rational thinking in order to build a workable approach. We have seen the failure of all formulas, initiatives and efforts to politically resolve this crisis since the first steps towards Arab-Israeli peace through the signing of the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel in 1978.

Some regimes and states have maintained their radical positions opposed to any political settlement with Israel. These have maintained their positions despite the fact that they have failed to achieve a breakthrough or a solution to the issue except for inciting violence and bloodshed. The main objective behind these positions is not to defend the Palestinian Arabs and their cause.

Rather, it is to exploit this issue to play political games, blackmail the world and extract gains without the slightest scruple. We know that war is a means to peace. Wars can be started much more easily than making peace.

Peace is sought by those who have future visions of development and construction. But the regimes that strive to get out of their internal troubles by shifting their people’s attention to external conflicts, are the ones that do not have development plans in the first place. Their people’s resources are directed toward achieving fantasy goals that are not in their best interests.

These regimes always work according to their own agenda. They are well aware that the responsibility for any escalation that could lead to the bloodshed of Palestinian Arabs is close to zero.

A review of the events of the recent Gaza unrest highlights several important points.

The first is that the Palestinian Arab issue remains at the forefront of the concerns of Arab countries and peoples. All the claims by extremist and terrorist organizations that interest is waning are nothing but sensationalist propaganda that only serves these organizations.

The crisis has revealed, for example, the centrality of the Egyptian role and its importance in all issues related to the Palestinian Arab question. All efforts to hijack this role have failed. Egypt continues to play a central part in regional security and stability, even though some parties are trying to change the rules of the game.

It is also true that writing objectively and rationally on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, especially in times of escalation and tension, is not easy. It feels like walking through a minefield. If social media lacks the rules that discourage name-calling, expressing opinions in times of unrest in an objective and rational manner costs an arm and a leg.

There are those who attempt to silence the voice of reason and confuse any approach to thinking rationally in times of unrest.

It is important that the Palestinian Arabs listen to the voice of rationality rather than the voice of fanaticism that uses their cause as a cat’s-paw against Israel and to blackmail great powers for political gain.

Dr. Salem AlKetbi is a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate