The “Roadmap to Peace” has been presented to the Israelis and the Palestinians. This noble plan for something so elusive hinges on many factors, but there is one factor most prevalent in the big picture that will make or break the upcoming peace process.
The factor here is the Arab community’s lack of ability to stand behind a real winner within their culture, and this has been seen in many cases. Then there is also their propensity to topple true heroes.
The last true realm of power for the Arab world was in World War I with the Ottoman Empire. This empire stretched all the way to the Brandenburg Gate. But soon enough, the Ottoman Empire was diminished as a result of the war’s outcome.
When the state of Israel was established, the Arabs decided that a Jewish state could not be allowed to exist and wars were waged, all ending in failure for the Arabs. The most memorable of these were the Six Day War in 1967, led by Egypt’s President Nasser, and the Yom Kippur War, led by Egypt’s President Sadat. Two attempts, two more losses to the list.
However, President Anwar al-Sadat had the presence of mind to make peace with his Israeli neighbors, but in the end this would cost him his life when he was assassinated by radicals within his own military.
A dastardly move praised by many in the Arab world. Not only was President Sadat one of their own, but a man of peace.
You don’t hear much from Moammar Khadaffi these days, but in his heyday of backing terrorist groups the Arab world was in full support of his actions. Then a cluster bomb was placed in his front pocket, compliments of the U.S. airstrike in 1987.
And then comes Saddam Hussein. In the Persian Gulf War of 1991 Hussein enjoyed the support of the Palestinians and many other Arabs. In a couple of weeks the “Mother of All Wars” that Hussein announced became the Mother of All Surrenders. Another humiliating loss to the Arab world based on the backing of a despotic dictator with an anti-Jewish agenda. One would think that a lesson would be learned, but that was not to be.
When the 9/11 hijackers slammed jet liners in to the twin towers and the Pentagon many Arabs praised Osama bin Laden for his “effective strike” against the U.S. The sleeping giant awoke.
And so we come to the present day. Arab support for Hussein was again visible during the recent crisis in Iraq. Again, Hussein promised that he would emerge victorious against the infidel mercenaries. Again, Hussein said he would destroy Israel. And again, Hussein was beaten by the world’s mightiest military machine.
Yet, even as the tales of Hussein’s terror emerge from Iraq, support for this deposed tyrant among the Arab world remains. At the same time, there is a major feeling among Arabs of disappointment that only comes with the high expectations that were placed upon the only Arab leader that would stand up to the U.S.
The mass surrenders, the retreats, the lies spewed by the Iraqi high command, the fall of Baghdad and the eventual toppling of Hussein have all contributed to the feeling of loss within the Arab countries.
And so now we have a legitimate chance for peace in the Middle East between the Palestinians and Israel. My only hope is that the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world accept this resolution so that all in the region can finally live in peace and no more lives will be lost.
But in order to do this a message of peace will have to replace the one of hate taught in many madrassas. Aid to terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah will have to cease. And finally, support for any cause will have to be analyzed.
It is time for the Arab world to accept the fact that backing the wrong team will only create more problems for them in the future than not.
Everybody loves a winner. It is time for the Arab world to win one and the opportunity for such lies in the Roadmap to Peace. I only wish the Arab world would choose the right road for once.
Henry Sarria is a longtime Isla Vista resident.