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Saudi Arabia: Who is to blame for Gaza?

As in the rest of the Arab world, Saudi Arabia's blogs have been full of commentary on the events in Gaza. However, there is no consensus as to who is politically responsible.

Saudiwoman is pleased to see what her country is doing:

It makes my heart swell with pride to know that my country is trying to do something for the Palestinians in Gaza. A friend who works in the military hospital here in Riyadh told me that for the past two days the hospital has been discharging people left and right to accommodate the wounded from Gaza and today the first airlift arrived. Everyone here in Saudi feels helpless and frustrated when we see the photos of the Israeli air raids aftermath. The photos of bleeding children and leveled buildings are driving us crazy. We need to have something to do. It’s so bad that many people went to government hospitals wanting to donate blood to the Palestinians. So many that the Health minister had to issue a statement saying that the Palestinians need supplies not blood.

But Ahmed Ba-Aboud has a different perspective:

كل شخبطاتنا لن تغير من الواقع شيئا لكنني لا أملك إلا أن أضحك أمام محاولات الترقيع التي نراها، فهناك من يريد فتح الحدود لسيارات الإسعاف و هنا من يعلن علاج الجرحى، يعنى نحن لا علاقة لنا بالأصحاء من أهل غزه المحاصرين، بل ننتظرهم مصابين و قتلى لكي نقدم لهم يد المساعدة.
All our scribblings will not change any anything, but I can only laugh at the piecemeal efforts I see. There are those who want to open the borders to ambulances, and those who announce treatment of the injured. That means we have no connection to the healthy amongst the besieged people of Gaza, just wait for the injured and dead to offer them a helping hand.

Blogger and journalist Yaser Al-Ghaslan is also frustrated:

يا ناس هل يعقل أننا وصلنا لهذا المستوى من الشلل و العجز بكل المقاييس، فنجد مثلا رئيسا عربيا يصرح بأنه سيعمل على تسهيل إجراءات تمرير المعونات الإنسانية
و آخر يتكلم عن جهوده في صياغة مشروع قرار عربي لشجب ما يجري بينما مجموعه منهم يخططون لتناول الموضوع ضمن أجندة إجتماعهم المقرر أصلا سابقا، (كلام كلام كلام كلام(.
[…] أحبتي نحن امه لم يبقى منها شئ سوى إسمها، فالشعب لا يعدو من كونه (صوت) يهلل بجميع الإتجاهات حتى اصبح نشازاً و مثيراً للأعصاب لدرجة القرف
My people, is it possible that we have reached this level of paralysis and impotence, by any measure? We find, for example, an Arab president declaring that he will work to facilitate the procedures for the passage of humanitarian aid. And another speaks of his efforts in formulating a draft Arab resolution to condemn what is going on, while a group of them plans to address the issue in the agenda of their meeting originally scheduled earlier. Talk, talk, talk, talk. […] My friends, we [Arabs] are a nation of which nothing remains but its name, and the people are no more than a voice shouting in every direction, until it has become a cacophony and gets on one’s nerves to the point of disgust.

Abdul Rahman Allahem thinks Egypt has been unfairly blamed:

للأسف أن مثل هذه الأحداث الدامية فرصة ذهبية للمتاجرين بالدماء والأشلاء للاستفادة من هذه المجزرة لتحقيق مكتسبات سياسية على أشلاء جثث الشهداء في غزة وهذا يتضح بشكل جلي عندما نرى ونسمع هذا الضغط غير المبرر على (مصر ) ومحاولة تحميلها كل ما يحدث في غزة في محاولة من (البعض) للتهرب من المسئولية
Unfortunately, bloody events such as these are a golden opportunity for merchants of blood and body parts to take advantage of the massacre, to achieve political gains from the remains of the martyrs’ corpses in Gaza. This is very evident if we see and hear the unjustified pressure on Egypt and the attempt to charge it with everything that has happened in Gaza, in an attempt for others to abdicate responsibility.

Mohammed Abdullah Al-Shahri thinks there's no point blaming any Arab nation:

لا مزيد من اللوم للعالم العربي … أرجوكم .. صدقوني هو أيضاً يعاني … ومن المحرج أن تطلب من المريض علاج مريض !
No more blame for the Arab world…I beg you…Believe me it is also suffering…and it’s embarrassing to ask one sick person to treat another one!

Writing in another post, Yaser Al-Ghaslan has a very clear idea of who is to blame:

لست من المؤيدين لحركة حماس و في ذات الوقت أرى بأن عباس و حركته ارتكبوا إهمالا لا يغتفر تجاه أهل غزة. […] لا ألوم إسرائيل بما فعلت اليوم فهي في تركيبتها الإجتماعية و السياسية دولة وحشية و همجية و ساعية لقتل كل ما هو عربي و فلسطيني و هو أمر نعرفه جميعا، و لكني ألوم أشد اللوم هؤلاء السياسيين الفلسطينيين و الذين أود أن أصفهم هنا بأوصاف لا تليق بالمحترمين و لكني احتراما لمسامعكم و عيونكم لن أتجاوز حدود الأدب […]دماء أبناء غزة هي عار عليك أيها الفتحاوي و أيها الحمساوي و أيها السياسي النكرة الذي لا تملك دولة و قد نصّبت نفسك قائدا همام ( خسئ عبد السلطة،،، خسئ عبد الدولار،، خسئ إبن…………..).
I am not a supporter of Hamas, and at the same time, I believe that Abbas and his [Fatah] movement are guilty of unforgivable negligence towards the people of Gaza. […] Do not blame Israel for what it did today, for that is part of the social and political structure of a brutal and barbaric state that is seeking to kill all Arabs and Palestinians, we all know that. The strongest blame should be for those Palestinian politicians, and those whom I want to describe with words not worthy of respectable people, so out of respect for your ears and eyes I won't cross the limits of good manners. […] The blood of the children of Gaza is a shame on you, supporters of Fatah and Hamas and other nameless politicians, who do not even have a state and have appointed yourselves as heroic commanders. (Shame on the slaves of authority, shame on the slaves of the dollar, shame on the sons of ….)

Hala, who currently lives in the USA, asks:

Would wars and weapons be the only means – as ever – to reach resolutions and peace?

Sabria Jawhar says:

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was on an Arabic news show last week in which he basically bragged that Israel is the biggest, baddest and most powerful country in the region and it won’t hesitate to use its might to protect itself. Well, my question is if Israel is indeed the biggest and most powerful country in the Middle East, why doesn’t it take the high road and expend a lot of that negative energy into something positive, like sparing the lives of innocents and demanding the resumption of peace talks with Hamas. The sad fact is the Gaza Strip’s civilians are simply pawns in a power struggle that should have ended long ago. And the price will be more blood.

And Ahmed Al-Omran reports on some demonstrations that have taken place:

On the 19th of December, a few hundred people demonstrated in Qatif, a predominantly Shiite area east of Saudi Arabia, to protest the Israeli siege on Gaza. The protesters lifted posters of Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasarallah and chanted anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans. According to the website Rasid, the demonstration ended peacefully under the eyes of security forces who watched closely. However, tens of young men who demonstrated were arrested in the following week. After Israel started their barbarian attack on Gaza last Saturday, thousands of angry demonstrators took to the streets in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and other countries. In Saudi Arabia, where the law does not give people the right to demonstrate publicly, more than 60 political and human rights activists signed a letter to the Ministry of Interior asking for permission to hold a peaceful demonstration in Riyadh. While activists in Riyadh were waiting for a reply from MOI, protesters in Qatif demonstrated again on Monday, but this time they were faced by the security forces and riot police who fired rubber bullets to break up the protest. Mansour al-Turki, spokesman of MOI, denied that such protest took place. “Street protests are banned in the Kingdom and that the security forces will intervene to enforce the ban,” he added. His denial is not surprising, but everyone knows that people of Qatif have a long history in street protests with major demonstrations held in 1979, 2002 and 2006. […] People should be allowed to protest, but it seems that the government is afraid that people will realize the power of public demonstration and later use it not just to protest against Israel but also to demand their rights. Giving permission to these demonstrations would set a precedent that the government clearly doesn’t want to deal with its results and consequences. 2009 will be interesting.

  • Andy Norwich

    I have little or no pity for either side. They both break any peace accord then blame the other. This fight over territory and recognition began 60 years ago and I believe it will never be resolved until they are made to sit down face to face and locked in a room. They should sit there until an agreement is reached with no food or water. 48 hours later there will be an agreement I bet. Then both groups must abide by it. If either break it then they both sides should be turned into a parking lot.

    Only when an agreement is reached that as dire consequences for both will peace be reached

    Varies groups in the middle east have been at each others throat for hundreds of years. Almost every country in the middle east have Religious/Ethnic fights. Resolve this issue then pick another. Iran, Iraq, Afganizstan, Lebanon etc.

    The only things that have changed in the 60 years is the technology that allows for more death, and the use of teenagers and children to be the mouth pieces and do the suicide work of the radicals (cowards)

  • alison george

    i will not talk about who is right or wrong in this conflict.But i will strongly condemn the Hamas leaders for not desisting from firing rockets at a by far stronger opponent.Afterall it is really the palestinian people that are dying and they clearly do not hold the ace in this matter.In the history of wars the poor masses always have to suffer the consequences of the actions of their leaders which most times is motivated by greed and selfimportance!Hamas stop firing rockets and accept a ceasefire for the sake of children and women dying daily!

  • Imran

    Great post–very informative for those of us who don’t read Arabic or know the Arab bloggers!!!

    Thanks!

  • http://sa shabeer

    There are many reasons:

    US, Isreal and West are responsible. The have illegally occupired Paelestanian lands. Ask an sane person would u allow any one to take over a house own by you? No will be answer

    Isreal has put seige on Gaza, they have tried all means and have failed.

    Did the Saudi people know that there Government donated 46 million dollars to the Clinton.

    Do the Saudi know that Halliary Clinton openly support Isreal.

    Do a google under donating to Clinton you will see all Arab Government that donated.(qutar, brunei, etc)

    It is so ironic when the King visits the Palestenian Injured in the hospital

    I pray and Almighty Unite the Muslims

    Egypt and Mehmood Abbas who lost election are also to be blamed.

    Egypt met with Isreal 3 day before attacked and Hosni Mubaruk has openly stated he supports Abbas (2 x Dictators) and closed of border, He is not honest brokersame like US and the West

    Mehmood Abbas turn end on 9 Jan 2009 and Hamas has told him that it would not allow him to carry on.

    Shame on All Arab nations.

  • husni

    What arab leader can do for helping Palestinian and Moslem??
    The answer is nothing….
    Because the arab leader are womanish and girlish. Them just server for them master America (usa) and israell
    Where the Moslem now????
    Just watching………
    Save palestina and save the moslem

  • http://sa shabeer

    The Saudi and all the arab nations are frighteted for there Master US, but they have not learned from Saddam hanging?

    Its easy break diplomatic ties with both Satan Isreal (Egypt, Jordan) and Saudi’s with Satan USA by not giving them Oil and doing bussines and all sales in Euro’s that what Saddam did.

    The US has fallen and they are going to fall with next 10 years. They dont have money because they do not have honest people.

    Can annyone answer me what happen to Sharon, I am sure he is comma and dreaming of all the palestenains he massacared and he hope he suffers.

    We should start by boycotting US and Isreal products especially those Companies that openly support Isreal. ordinary people can do it

  • yahudkatil

    I believe that Hamas and other pro islamic movements are acting upon and making the rights decisions and actions. Israel have clearly breached all rules of war and humanity. This is evident through their selfish and barbaric one sided attack towards palestinians in gaza and the peacefull muslims throughout the world. This behaviour explains the expansion in so called terrorist activities around the world. These people are merely protecting their land and dignity. Israel has not taken into consideration the after effects of the majority of people around the world (excluding muslims) about the religion the Jews preach and believe. These people are the real terrorists and deserve to be exploited, not innocent muslims who are fighting for their lives and the lives of their families. Israeli politicians and leaders higher in the hierarchy are inhumane and heartless. A country full of cowards with no real men!!!

  • peace not war

    shabeera is rated. you are the real man. knock one on me

  • ameerah rani

    how can some of the most powerful islamic contries in the world stand back and do nothing its all about power and money where is there imaan.If hammas have been smuggling wapons through the tunnels where are they hammas are using rockets “homemade” that were used in world war 2.The israelies have been starving the people of gaza for months there are illegal weapons being used by the isrealies and i wonder why usa are backing them money,power,respect we will all see what obama has to say and do!NOTHING i suspect.

  • Ismail, Indonesia

    I almost can’t say anything. Yes someone there should or could be blamed about gaza, but just that?. O arabs you and me are the same, watching life news from gaza, the different is I’m thousand km’s from Gaza and you arab’s gaza is just milimeter’s from you

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