TEL AVIV – The Saudi London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat recently published a column condemning Arab countries for failing to shoulder responsibility in alleviating the Syria crisis and instead waiting for the West to do the work.
Egyptian intellectual Mamoun Fandy said that the Syrian crisis is a “mark of shame” for the Arab world which prides itself on its morality, and Arabs would do well to learn from Europe which successfully resolved the crisis in Yugoslavia.
Fandy littered his column with references to the Second World War, comparing the Syrian crisis to Hitler’s Nazism and dubbing it “the greatest human tragedy since World War II.”
Following the Srebrenica genocide, the “the Europeans, unlike the Arabs, took responsibility for Bosnia and together made a decision,” Fandy writes, “because they [did] not want another mark of shame in their history, after the Jewish Holocaust. They do not want it said that today they burned the Muslims just as in the past they burned the Jews.”
The Arab nations, however, have either turned their backs on the “absolute violation of human dignity” in Syria, or worse, are actively exploiting the different sides in the conflict for their own ends.
He cites Egypt as an example of an Arab nation that, despite its substantial diplomatic experience, “has not presented a single idea for a framework for a solution” but instead has “adopted the diplomacy of creative silence.”
Fandy concludes by lambasting the UN for being a useless body that does little more than “hold summits and appoint special envoys.”
This is because the UN is a refuge for retired diplomats whose countries pass the burden of their salaries and of supporting them and their families in luxury on to the UN. As far as these functionaries are concerned, solving crises means an end to their livelihood and life of ease, so they see prolonging any problem as a good thing in itself.