Monday, May 24, 2010

The impact of Russia's outreach to Syria

Lebanon's Daily Star has published an essay by Syrian minister Bouthaina Shaaban that, besides highlighting the US's huge military support to Israel and hypocrisy in essentially ignoring West Bank settlers' torching and desecration of Palestinian mosques, also spotlights the impact of an emerging development in Middle Eastern geopolitics: Russia's re-entry -
the meeting Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, held with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal angered the Apartheid leaders of Israel who rejected a call from Medvedev and Turkish President Abdullah Gul for Hamas’ participation in the peace process raising the question whether Russia is taking a position “in support of Islam” (see Yedioth Ahronoth, 13 May 2010: “Russia moving closer to Hizbullah too”). This interpretation implies an accusation to anyone who believes in the right of the Palestinian people to freedom of supporting Islam and Hizbullah, i.e. terrorism. This misleading campaign against Islam and Muslims aims at diverting attention from Israel’s crimes in Palestine and the crimes committed against civilians in Iraq and still being committed in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

If a country the size of Russia has taken this courageous decision to stress the importance of the unity of the Palestinian people for achieving just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, this means there is a fundamental change which has started to emerge. It means that the dark epoch of blind Western support to Israeli crimes is almost over and that some sense is returning to the world conscience.

Russia’s offer to provide Syria with peaceful nuclear energy and signing an agreement with Turkey to build nuclear reactors means that intimidation and blackmail are no longer effective. Putting Israel’s nuclear capacity on the agenda of the IAEA meeting next June means that the world is really fed up with the arrogance of a criminal occupying force hostile to peace and a violator of international law. It is an indication that the process towards achieving real international justice and giving a fair deal to the Palestinian people has started slowly but surely.

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