320 people have died. 1400 are injured.
The Arab World is often blamed for letting down the Palestinians. But today it became clear. We have not just let them down – we are responsible for every drop of blood in Gaza.
Israel can be expected to kill indiscriminately. Colonial powers, and apartheid regimes need overwhelming force to subdue the natives.
But what about our leaders. Where are they? Our pathetic leaders, right across the Arab World are playing their dirty political games with the lives of imprisoned Gazans.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit went on the BBC to denounce “certain countries in the region – you don’t need me to name them, but if you know anything about this area, you’ll know who I’m talking about”. Iran and Syria, perhaps?
Live on the BBC, he declared the Rafah border open. He said Palestinians could come across into Egypt and get medical treatment.
Not so, say journalists at the border. Egypt has sent reinforcements – riot troops and tanks – to make sure Palestinians don’t cross the border. One Egyptian police officer was shot dead in the chaos.
Instead, benevolent, misunderstood Egypt is blaming Hamas. Hamas is stopping Gazans leaving the territory, it says.
Qatar sent a plane full of aid to the Al-Areesh airport, near the Rafah border. Egypt refused to let it land. At the same time, Egypt says it is sending ‘tons’ of aid into Gaza.
Across the Arab World, we’re seeing a new phenomenon – people are protesting outside the Egyptian embassies. For the first time, they have left the Americans in peace.
Mahmoud Abbas blames Hamas for the killing in Gaza – saying they should’ve extended their truce. Israel admits Hamas did want to extend the truce – Israel didn’t.
Unable to put party politics aside, Abbas rubs his hands with glee in Ramallah, thanking god that his rivals are getting pummled, along with more than 300 people. Yasser Arafat would be turning in his grave.
Syria, on the other hand, says it is suspending peace talks with Israel. Suspending the already-suspended talks. And it helpfully advises us that the Arab people should “work for ending the Israeli aggression and lifting the siege”. Right then, taxi to Gaza please.
Syria has demanded an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Doha. Right away. On Friday. What? Are they walking to Doha?
The protests outside Egyptian embassies across the region are a healthy development. For the first time we are turning the spotlight on ourselves.
We are taking responsibility and realising that Arabs are to blame. Not ‘Zionist aggressors’ – some easy external force our leaders are happy for us to point the finger at.
And if we can blame Egypt, we can blame any and every Arab government. Every leader in the region should be worried.
Meanwhile, the Western NGO workers will put their own lives at risk, caring for injured Gazans and feeding the starving.