I am copying Angry Arab’s response to my article below, not because I ever want this to become a personal mud-slinging match— I don’t and never will allow what is essentially a political debate to become a personal one—but so I can clarify my position since he has distorted my words. Specifically, he charges me with putting Assad before Palestine when he says “Let me get this absurd notion: so one need not support Palestinian struggle because support for the Asad dictatorship suffices?”
I have no idea how he deduced this extremely insulting conclusion. I made it very clear when I said ”Now the real litmus of Arab intellectuals’ and activists’ commitment to the Palestinian cause is no longer their support for Palestinian rights, but rather, their support for the Assad leadership’s struggle against the imperialist-Zionist-Arab moderate axis’ onslaught against it” that I meant safeguarding Palestine is THE priority and that we should support Assad’s struggle against imperialism/GCC/Israel (which is not the same as supporting his regime per se) in order to prove our commitment to the Palestinian cause, which would suffer a severe blow if the regime were forcibly overthrown.
Some food for thought for Angry Arab and others attacking the position I have articulated in my article and in others to come: do you really think that people from our First Way resistance camp, are defending this regime’s struggle against imperialism and sacrificing our careers and reputations in the process, because we are particularly enamored of it? Do you really believe we are going against the politically fashionable tide and getting ridiculed and attacked for doing so, because we are Bashar Al-Assad groupies? The insinuation that this is the case is ludicrous and I challenge anyone to present me with evidence to the contrary.
We are the same people who sacrificed for Palestine in the small ways we could, way before the war on Syria. To suggest that our support for Assad has superseded our commitment to Palestine is a grave distortion of reality. More than that, it is out-rightly unjust and no different from the logic of those who argue that Hizbullah is Syria’s proxy and is defending the regime on that account. As if Seyyid Hassan Nasrallah sacrificed his son, the martyr Hadi Nasrallah, for Bashar al-Assad rather than Palestine. How quick they are to forget the priorities of the resistance camp.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
"Now the real litmus of Arab intellectuals’ and activists’ commitment to the Palestinian cause is no longer their support for Palestinian rights, but rather, their support for the Assad leadership’s struggle against the imperialist-Zionist-Arab moderate axis’ onslaught against it." Litmus test according to whom? Who sets this litmus test? Rami Makhluf or Dunya TV? Let me get this absurd notion: so one need not support Palestinian struggle because support for the Asad dictatorship suffices? Also, the Asad regime is NOT in any way struggling against "the moderate axis". The regime is merely struggling to stay in power: do you see Bashshar EVER speaking out against Saudi regime and alliances? Do you see him ever even responding to hourly Saudi propaganda attacks on him? He does not dare. No, because he wants to eventually reach a compromise with that Arab ruling order to stay in power. Also, if support for the Asad regime is the litmus test, please register me as failing in that test every minute of my life, ever since the Syrian regime intervened in Lebanon in 1976 to crush progressive Palestinian and Lebanese struggle—real struggle—against "the imperialist-Zionist-Arab moderate axis". The Asad regime was for many years part of that axis until it was kicked out for reasons that have nothing to do with the struggle. The Asad regime failed the Palestinians at every crucial moment of Palestinian struggle but that is a long subject that requires an article: the regime failed the Palestinians when they were being slaughtered in Jordan in 1970, and failed the Palestinians when they were being slaughtered by pro-Israeli militias in Lebanon, and even engineered the war on the camps against the Palestinians in Lebanon. The litmus test for Arab intellectuals should entail opposition to all Arab regimes without exception, unless one wants to pick sides in the regional conflict between Arab dictators and other Arab dictators. (thanks "Ibn Rushd")