Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad.

What Drains on The Palestinian Cause?

Those angered by diminishing concern to Washington’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem must understand the why and the how. Developments in the Middle East unfold faster than Japan’s bullet train, which runs at a dashing speed of 320 km/hr.

As soon as the former Yemeni president announced his dissent from his ally in insurgency- Houthis - on Yemeni television, Ahmed Shafiq, the former Egyptian prime minister appeared on Al Jazeera, and announced returning to Egypt and running in upcoming elections.

Houthis then kill Yemen’s ex-president Saleh and while Shafiq, after arriving in Egypt, announce withdrawing his bid for candidacy.

The American president later takes the world by shock when announcing plans to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and signs the decision in a ceremony which enraged millions of Arabs.
Albeit eventful enough, the previous short period of time also witnessed Israeli bombing Iranian and Syrian military outposts near Damascus, and the United States threatening Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian Quds Force commander based in Iraq.

More so, Russia indifferently claimed triumph over ISIS in Syria. Not to mention that the Gulf region is experiencing one of the most serious internal crises, as the Gulf Cooperation Council summit convened in Kuwait at the lowest momentum in the group’s history.

The downpour of events has not spared the region in the least bit. A small window of 24 hours exists between, what would normally take a month or so to process, and the next episode.

It goes without saying that persistent shockwaves have ultimately inhibited the public’s ability to soak in and analyze what is happening around them. Ultimately, public memory shifted gears to a short-term log. More or less, like a fish’s memory.

It is no longer easy for many to distinguish between propaganda and truth-- some governments are forced to play out contradictory policies that, in short, confuse people.

It is also double the trouble when virtual platforms also get involved.

Both media and propaganda have changed a lot as a result of two main factors: the multiplicity of platforms and media forms available, as well as the ever factorizing of political axes that resulted in unprecedented divisions.

In the past, there were notable voices preaching on the Palestinian cause, such as Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, Saddam, and Hafez al-Assad.

Today, those voices changed to those of Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, Ayatollah in Tehran, Hamad in Qatar, and the Muslim Brotherhood leaders abroad. The Palestinian cause and Jerusalem are being used to serve personal agendas—exploited as a bargaining chip.

The Iranians introduced Hezbollah into being as to place pressure on Israel and the West, in a bid to bolster their regional game. Saddam sought to pull a bet against Kuwait and failed while Assad on similar grounds seized Lebanon.

But there was no proof that any of them was serious about his claims.

Given intense events and divergent dangers, perhaps there is not one Arab country that does not live in fear for its security and existence.

In that case, how could the Palestinian cause possibly preserve its old momentum driven by it being the cause of everyone—a strategy which brought some balance against Israeli threats?

If we look a little closer, we realize with striking that the weakening Palestine’s first line of defense is a result of Iran’s regional policy.

Ranking just right under Israel, Iran emerges as the biggest enemy of the Palestinian cause.

Such an analysis is not as a result of dispute with Tehran, but because it is evident that the region’s states have either been shackled by Iranian domination or are preoccupied with defending themselves from a similar fate being advanced by Tehran and its proxies.

Saving face against its deeds, Tehran actively engages in disinformation through adopting a violent but fake anti-Israel propaganda.

The only positive development is that Arabs who used to believe in Iranian claims are now fed up. Iran is now trying to rebrand its image through Qatari propaganda, and through Sunni religious groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

But it remains to be said that Palestinians stand the biggest loss in the face of these conflicts—their cause loses a bit more as extremist forces continue and as Iran employs Palestinian suffering as a vantage point.

Whenever a battlefront is started, it is at the expense of Palestinian cause, because no one is able to put political pressure without imposing related physical damage or danger.

The Iranian project is bigger than Palestine and Jerusalem, Iran wants to recognize Israel's right to expansion and hegemony, and it is prepared to do what is required of it by the West and Israel.

This is what it did with the administration of the former US president when it sold its nuclear project in exchange for a free hand in the region.