Syria: Arab Leaders Can't Come Together, Not Even into a Room

As the aggression on Gaza enters its third week, Arab leaders fail to agree on the need of holding an emergency summit for the member countries of the Arab League which Qatar and Syria have called for. Syrian bloggers are outraged at the political ping-pong going on that highlights what could be described as the greatest political divide in recent Arab history.

Sasa, from the Syria News Wire cries out in his latest post titled “Shame, shame, shame on you Arab World”:

The pathetic Arabs can’t even be bothered to attend an emergency Arab League summit to discuss the massacre in Gaza.

You useless, irresponsible, self-serving, collaborating, shameless lame-ducks. Have you given up even pretending to represent us?

He also lists the countries which oppose the summit:

These are the countries which couldn’t be bothered:
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Tunisia and Bahrain.

You pigs.

Syriangavroche agrees [ar] with Saudi Arabia and Egypt on not holding an emergency Arab summit with bitter sarcasm:

أعتقد أنني أتفق مع مصر و السعودية في موقفهما الرافض لانعقاد القمة العربية, و يأتي هذا الاتفاق من حرصي على صحة المواطنين العرب النفسية , يُفضّل أن يكون الذل متفرّقاً في قصور العواصم العربية على أن يجتمع كله في قاعة واحدة “فرد خبطة”, فهذا سيشكّل صدمة قد تكون أكبر من قدرة المواطن العربي على امتصاص الصدمات, رغم أن هذه القدرة متطورة جداً لدينا بحمد الله و فضل أنظمتنا الحكيمة

I think I agree with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in their stand refusing an Arab summit. This agreement stems from my concern on the psychological well being of Arab citizens. It's preferable that the humiliation is divided on the palaces in Arab capitals than to be combined all at once in a single hall. That would cause a trauma beyond the Arab citizen's ability to handle, although this ability is very advanced thanks to god and our wise regimes.

This was happening while news agencies were jumping to report that Bolivia and Venezuela expelled the Israeli ambassadors on grounds of the crimes against humanity that were committed in Gaza, Israeli Ambassdors still enjoy the hospitality of “moderate” Arab countries.

3abdallah [ar] declares the two Latin American countries as “Arab.” He goes on to explain why:

جمهورية بوليفيا العربية

المملكة العربية الشافيزية

نعم بوليفيا عربية، فالعروبة ليست فقط لسانا نتكلم به، العروبة هي مواقف. العربي الأصيل شجاع ولا يرضى بالظلم.

Arab Republic of Bolivia

Chavezian Arab Kingdom

Yes, Bolivia is Arab; Arabhood is more than a language, Arabhood is a stand. A genuine Arab is brave and refuses injustice.

A.H. of the damascene blog expresses his feelings towards the stands of “moderate” Arab countries:

I used to call myself ‘moderate’ but during this wave of crisis, the ‘moderate’ Arab countries have managed to turn moderation into a synonym for cowardice.

Even Al-Gaddafi‘s harsh words at a previous Arab summit “Nothing combines us Arabs, except this room” now render hollow.


  • […] diplomatic fiddling, while Gaza burns, by Arab nations. Anas Qtiesh’s commentary, “Arab Leaders Can’t Come Together, Not Even into a Room”, is well worth a […]

  • LFletcher

    Depressing. It’s sad to say but I think that much of the world has given up on Israel and Palestine ever reaching some kind of settlement. I fear that the conflict is never going to stop, as whole generations have been raised to hate and that’s a hard cycle to end even if a ceasefire can be brokered.

  • BRE

    I’ve just watched the opening speeches at the emergency summit in Doha on Aljazeera English TV news network. If I’m not mistaken, a representatives from the Government of Iraq is in attendance. President Assad of Syria delivered a pretty fiery speech and a call to action, as did the exiled Hamas leader Kahlead Mashall.

    Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade and Sudan’s president Omar al Bashir are also in attendance. President Wade is neither Arab nor does he govern an Arab state (Senegal), and to be frank the same goes for Bashir (re: the ethnicity of the people of southern Sudan). Is the sub-Saharan African country of Senegal a member of the Arab League, or is President Wade there only as an observer and the presiding head of the Organization of Islamic Countries?

  • NY Yankee

    I did not want to intrude on this handwringing comming from the Middle East, but I could not help myself. You people are so upset about Palestinian casualties ostensibly caused by Israel. These casualties are the responsibility of one party, and one party only: HAMAS!!
    You people must stop this insane notion of wiping Israel off the map. Ain’t gonna happen! What will probably happen is for that moron in Iran, good old Acme Baby Sweethart, to launch a nuclear missle at Israel, Israel and the US respond in kind, and nuclear annihilation will then occur. I just hope that before we all die because of Islamic Idiocy, that I can watch as Mecca, and all the other “holy” Islamic cities get what they so richly deserve!

  • […] In other news, I’m now an Author on Global Voices Online. You can grab my first post here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)More good news!Biggest aid convoy to Gaza leaves […]

  • susanne

    Why should arabs go together just becouse they are arabs??
    Israels bombing cant be excused neither the occupations,
    BUT; BUT, Hamas is killing palestinians as well as Israel do!!
    Only an extremist could “excuse”/ defense that!!
    The children and teh civils that are dying; do they want to be “martyrs”??
    And all the others,killed by Hamas?!
    Extremists on both sides.

  • As usual, all Arabs can do is blame other Arab governments and squabble with each other over who is best and who is right etc..

    Speaking on Kuwait’s behalf, there is an Arab Economic Summit in Kuwait Jan. 19-20 which has been planned for a while. It was suggested that the meeting of Arab leaders take place here.

    It is quite odd that suddenly everyone wants to convene: Saudi Arabia suggesting Riyadh as a venue and Qatar pushing for an emergency summit meeting in Doha….where were you all three weeks ago when the Israeli aggression started?

    In addition, I find it odd that Qatar and Mauritania have open relations with the state of Israel; yesterday it was announced that they “froze” those relations: why “froze” and not cut ties completely like the Venezuelans and Bolivians you mention, especially if Qatar is so keen on hosting the summit?

    I think it is up to the people, not the governments, to push for change and to offer assistance. Kuwaiti people have already sent at least 5 shipments of food and aid to the people of Gaza and there have been several protests held at the Israeli aggression on the Gazans.

    It is easy to be aggressive and call people names, like pigs, but it is much harder to actually do something positive and useful. I would suggest you not be so quick to judge others and remember your responsibility as a blogger is to promote a cause and not to breed hate and discrimination.

    Thank you

  • @BRE:
    Senegal isn’t an Arab Country and not even an Observer Member in The Arab League. I have no idea what they were doing there.

    @NY Yankee:
    When a Hamas Leader is at home and “Israel” decides the best way to take him out is to drop a 1 ton bomb leveling the entire neighborhood to the ground, I guess it’s ISRAEL to be blamed, not Hamas.
    Hitler wanted to eradicate Jews and they ended up being “given” a country. Now you/Israelis want to eradicate Muslims/Palestinians, one can only hope they get “Their” country back.

    Yes, there are extremists on both sides. what disturbs me is that the extremists on one side control one of the world’s strongest armies and don’t hesitate prohibited weapons against heavily populated civilian areas.

  • Bre,

    Senegal’s presence is because President Wade presides over the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It doesn’t particularly make sense to me either, but Senegal is generally seen as being a very moderate Muslim country, and therefore in Qatar’s eyes, inviting Senegal makes sense.


  • BRE

    Thanks Jillian for the response to my question about Senegal’s presence at the emergency summit in Doha. I read today your post about the various opinions within Moroccan society over the war and humnitarian crisis in Gaza.

    Thanks also to Anas for clarifying that Senegal does not have an official status within the Arab League. Of course I already knew that Senegal was not an ‘Arab country or state’ but then again many member countries of the Arab League have multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies; Egypt and Sudan being good examples.

    President Wade of Senegal has been making some pretty shaky moves lately re: regional crisis and conflicts (i.e. his support for the coup leaders in Guinea) and now this visit to Doha over the war in Gaza. It was rather interesting to see Sudan’s Bashir and Senegal’s Wade at the Doha roundtable working together on the issue about what to do about Israel’s attack on Gaza. You think they may have discussed on the sidelines the upcoming ICC (the Hague) warrant for Bashir’s arrest for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the people of Darfur? Nah, probably not.

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