In an op-ed in Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa, the author questions whether Israel should actually be considered an enemy and calls on Arab countries to make “individual decisions” about the Jewish State.
The article, according to an English translation in the Kuwait Times, says Palestinians have the “right” to antagonize Israel because of the territories claimed by Palestinians that Israel has captured and — as is the case in Areas B and C in the West Bank — “occupied” with its military.
According to the piece, those Arab countries that have recognized Israel or made peace with it did so because they “found no alternative.”
But the author, Saleh Al-Shayeji, questions why so many in Kuwait consider Israel an enemy, when the Jewish state has neither invaded nor fought Kuwait. On the other hand, he writes, Kuwait “deals with Iraq, that already invaded and occupied it, as a friend, brother and neighbor.”
The conclusion Al-Shayeji reaches is that Israel is not the enemy of “the Arabs,” and calls on Arab countries to cease acting as a political bloc and start making “individual decisions [about Israel] independently.”
Here is the full op-ed:
I am trying to be realistic, objective and reasonable in what I am writing because I know that it will be shocking as well as contradicting with age-old non-negotiable beliefs and taboos. Is Israel an enemy? Is animosity stable or changeable? Is it controlled by and subject to certain situations, circumstances, attitudes and interests?
Arab hostility to Israel started even before establishing Israel, when powerful resourceful Arab countries at that time fought some Jewish militia gangs in Palestine, and yet those gangs managed to defeat the well-armed armies of seven Arab countries. International intervention was then resorted to in order to resolve the dispute over Palestinian territories between Arabs and the Jews. However, the ‘mighty’ Arabs rejected the division project, and thus granted the Jews a second victory. Consequently, the state of Israel was founded and declared and was recognized by the world except for Arab countries and other ones that later on found no alternative other than recognizing it.
Whose enemy is Israel? Is it the enemy of all Arab states? Well, Palestinians have every right to antagonize Israel because they occupied their lands. We do support and assist them in every possible way we can and that it the maximum, and nothing more, Arab countries are expected to do.
After seven whole decades, as Arabs, who is our real enemy today? Do all Arab states have only one enemy or each country or group of countries have an enemy who might most probably be a dear friend of another? The first step towards reform in the Arab world is to alienate the Arab nationalism concepts because facts deny them and those who believe they still exist are delusional.
Take Kuwait, for an example. Is Israel a real enemy of it? Has it ever invaded it? Has it fought it? Has it killed its citizens? The answer to all the above questions is a big fat NO. Why does Kuwait consider Israel as an enemy while it deals with Iraq, that already invaded and occupied it, as a friend, brother and neighbor? I do not wish that Kuwait antagonizes Iraq. On the contrary, it made the right decision because animosity is constantly changeable, particularly in politics where yesterday’s enemy can be today’s friend and today’s friend might become tomorrow’s enemy. This is a real fact.
The bottom line is that Israel is not Arabs’ enemy and Arab countries have to individually get rid of the Arab nation’s complex and make their own individual decisions independently.
– Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Anbaa
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