A joint Arab force to fight the Arab Spring

A joint Arab force to fight the Arab Spring
4 min read
31 Mar, 2015
Comment: The Palestinian resistance, which used to be seen as a key issue worthy of Arab support, has now become the enemy.
Not if Sisi can help it [Getty]

When Abdul Fattah al-Sisi launched air strikes on Libya, his media came out to say: "Finish what you have started: Strike Hamas and pound Gaza."

With the announcement of Operation Decisive Storm and Sisi "jumping on the bandwagon", his media repeated: "Let us strike Gaza and liberate it from the Palestinian resistance." This time the appeal was not addressed to the Egyptian military only, but was an appeal for an Arab war against Palestine, simultaneously with the insistence on the 'joint Arab force' plan".

In reaction, Tawfik Okasha, a controversial Egyptian TV commentator who does not say anything they don't like, said "God willing, Hamas will be defeated and toppled, and the armed forces will strike the outposts of terrorism and Hamas in Gaza."

The true enemy

This was an appeal for an Arab war against Palestine.

In one of the media units in the coup government's arsenal, Major General Ahmed Rajaei Atiyah, who was presented on 27 March by Al-Qahirah wal-Naas (Cairo and People) TV as "founder of the armed forces' 777th Division", spoke. What did he say? He literally said, according to al-Shurouk newspaper, that it was time to identify the true enemy threatening the security and safety of the Arab region.

He noted that those with regional ambitions are the true enemies of the Arabs, chiefly Turkey, Iran, and some Western countries. Without the slightest equivocation, the Zionist enemy, according to Egyptian military categorisation, gets off the enemies' list, while Turkey and Iran are added to it, in just one sentence.

If you take into consideration that the cycle of coups and counterrevolutions in the Arab region stemmed from a systematic link between "terrorism" and the "Arab Spring revolutions", the direct outcome in this case would be that the concept of 'war against terror' means a war on whatever is left of the manifestations of life in the Spring revolutions. Therefore, the goal behind the joint Arab force would be to combat the Arab Spring, not to confront the Israeli occupation.

You migh be surprised by this audacious attack on established values. The attack has shifted from the platforms of the states that witnessed revolutions and counterrevolutions to that of the "Palestinian Authority's beys", who bask in the warmth of the counter-revolutions.

Mahmoud al-Habbash, advisor to the Palestinian Authority president for religious and Islamic affairs, took up the platform of animosity towards the resistance. He underlined the need for Operation Decisive Storm to target anyone who stages a coup against legitimacy in any Arab country, starting from Palestine. He, of course, was referring to Hamas.

In a Friday sermon at al-Darih Mosque at the Palestinian Authority's headquarters in Ramallah, al-Habbash went further, performing the role of promoter for Sisi's plan for a joint Arab force.

"Protecting legitimacy in any Arab country is the responsibility of all Arab leaders [the Arab League], who should take the reins of the initiative and strike with an iron fist at those rebelling against legitimacy - regardless of the time, place, and situation - starting from Palestine."

He based his argument on the assumption that "what happened in Gaza is a coup, not division, and it should be dealt with firmly, for there should be no dialogue with the coupists, who should be struck with an iron fist."

Shortly before that, Palestinian media outlets carried a translation of a report posted on the Israeli online newspaper Inyan Merkazi. The report said Egypt received pledges of significant funding from some Gulf states, which it did not identify, to topple Hamas and hand over the Gaza Strip to the men of Mohammed Dahlan, a former Fatah leader the movement dismissed.

An earth-shattering shift

It is a new doctrine that aims at protecting Israel's strategic interests by redirecting the cannons of the Arabs toward Ankara and Tehran.

So you are before an earth-shattering shift in the doctrine of Arab countries. It is a new doctrine that obviously aims at protecting Israel's strategic interests by redirecting the cannons of the Arabs toward Ankara and Tehran and taking advantage of the dust of the storm against the Iran-backed Houthists' coup to promote new concepts and equations in the Arabs' relations with the region.

Yes, Iran made a mistake when it worked to empower a sectarian coup in Yemen, and it was incumbent on the Arab regime to stand up to this belligerency. All this, however, should not be used as a tunnel through which new evil concepts are smuggled - new concepts that drop Israel off the enemies' list and encourage a war against Iran and Turkey with the ultimate goal of burning the Arab Spring and ending the dream of change.

The most important thing is to avoid a recycling of coups to be used in confronting other coups. This is against logic and science, not to mention the fact that it gives a kiss of life to all those who plan coups and those who, like Habbash, are little more than street vendors in the alleys of the Zionist project.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.