Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The View from Qatar: Arab Unity Dead After Gaza

The Peninsula (Qatar), February 16, 2009 -After Gaza, Arab unity is dead and buried. This is the view expressed by the majority at Qatar Foundation’s Doha Debates yesterday. The motion supporting this argument was resoundingly carried with 77% of the participants voting in favour. Those who opposed the motion argued that there was more emotional unity in the Arab streets during the Israeli attacks on Gaza, while the other side maintained that unity is not “how people feel but how the leaders act.”

Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, former Qatari ambassador to the US, who spoke for the motion, opened the debate by saying, “Never there was Arab unity, whenever Israel attacked the Palestinians. The Arabs were divided when Kuwait was conquered by a neighbouring Arab country. During the attacks on Gaza, the Arab leaders couldn’t even agree to have one conference to discuss the issue.”....

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