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Mar-16-2012 18:20printcomments

'Arab Governments Remain Silent on Palestine'

"Since Israel is their main ally in the Middle East, then the Americans are trying to topple Assad regime..." - Issam Naman, former Lebanese minister

Issam Naman, former Lebanese minister
Issam Naman, former Lebanese minister

(TEHRAN) - The focus of several Arab leaders including Saudi Arabia and Qatar has strongly been shifted in the last few months on the events taking place in Syria.

It seems that the latest Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza have been ignored by the Arab world.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Issam Naman, former Lebanese minister, to share his opinion on this issue.

The following is a transcript of the interview:

Press TV: How do you think Israel, these attacks that took place, do you think that they were reaction to something or that they were of course starting a kind of military attack, a new war perhaps on Gaza?

Noman: I think it was making a test. It wanted to know what would be the reaction of Hamas after their ally or their ideological reference, the Muslim Brotherhood has took over in Egypt in fact. They have the majority in both chambers of the parliament. They wanted to know how Hamas would react.

On the other hand they want to know how Jihad Islamic would react because as you know Hamas leadership has chosen to leave Damascus- the leadership has chosen to leave Damascus and Israel wanted to see whether Jihad Islamic has replaced Hamas as the main ally to Iran in Gaza Strip.

On the other hand I think Israel wanted to examine the Egyptian situation. How Egypt would react? And last but not least they wanted to test their newly weapon as the iron cap- what we call it- Iron Dome, yes they wanted to test this particular weapon.

Yes, Israel wanted to test all these things at the same time.

Press TV: Do you think that Israel wants to try to stop any kind of unity government among the Palestinians? Like you said Hamas is getting perhaps closer to Fatah, you have all the past unions planning on, working together on a unity government. Do you think that this is one way to create this rift or let this rift between past unions continue?

Noman: Yes it could be one of the goals of Israel in this period but I think there are other more effective ways. For example, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel, Lieberman said that as far as Hamas is controlling Gaza Strip then we will not allow the Palestinians to have any corridor between Gaza Strip and West Bank.

There are so many ways to express their opposition for Palestinian unity. One of them could be this.

Press TV: Let me ask Mr. Noman about the Arab reaction. It seems that of course a lot of people in the Arab world believe that this is an attack that should be condemned against the people in Gaza, the Israeli attack should be condemned but at the same time the Arab leaders did not show strong reaction. Instead they are showing strong reaction to Syrian government and so on. What do you think that is?

Noman: Well except for those who are pro-resistance in the Arab world, no Arab government, most of Arab governments in fact, are not interested now in the Palestinian question and what is going on in Gaza and West Bank.

Most of them are concerned now and interested in the Syrian situation. And they are associated with the United States and in fact with Israel in opposing the Assad regime.

Even Israel would not like the world attention to be diverted from the Syrian situation to the Palestinian one because America will not allow that.

So I think the main goal of Israel was to test the Hamas, the Jihad Islamic and Egypt at this time, what would they react to an Israeli aggression? What would be their behavior in this particular time?

Press TV: The issue I want you to assess for us, what you think of the Arab stance? Do you think that they should call for military assistance for Palestinians as they are doing for Syrians?

Noman: Unlike professor Abu Saada [the other guest of the program] I do not think that the Palestinian cause is an Arab issue, an Arab cause nowadays. It is not.

Unfortunately, before the so-called Arab Spring it used partly to be sort of a central issue, an Arab issue but after the so-called Arab Spring and specially after the political troubles that took place in Syria, I think the Arab conservative states and most of the Arab states are conservative, they have shifted their attention to the Syrian scene and they are concentrating their efforts there against the Assad regime.

Were they to consider the Palestinian cause as their cause, as an Arab cause, they would not have considered the threat of Iran as the threat facing the Arab conservative states. They would have said that no, Israel is the threat not Iran.

So the fact that Iran to them is the main threat, it means that the Palestinian issue, the Palestinian cause is no more their cause, no more an Arab cause in their eyes.

Press TV: Do you think what is happening in Syria is what the West wants everyone to focus on? This is the interest that actually lies in what is happening in Syria.

Noman: Yes the West in general, the United States in particular, are against the Syrian regime for the simple reason that Syria is an ally to Iran. That in the United States eyes is sort of a threat to Israel.

Since Israel is their main ally in the Middle East, then the Americans are trying to topple Assad regime or at least to fight it so as to become so weak and unable to support Iran if Iran is to be attacked by United States or Israel.


Press TV does not include video embed codes so we are unable to bring the interview to you, you can visit their page to see the video

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