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State-Building and the Israeli Vaccine

State-Building and the Israeli Vaccine

Wednesday, 24 February, 2021 - 07:45
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Several crises have swept through our region and few Arab countries have derived lessons from them. The most important of these lessons is that of state-building and respecting the sovereignty and stability of states and the rights of their citizens. Such a state should be effectives and capable of weathering all storms that have passed through out region.


This is not idle prattle, but a reality in our region that has witnessed and is witnessing the fall of nations, just systems. Such is the case in Libya, Syria and Lebanon, and almost Iraq had its people, including Shiites, not stood against Iran’s meddling.


With the exception of the Gulf, Arab countries have been deteriorating ever since the first Gulf war and the second, which saw the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime, the Iranian expansion in the region and rise of malign groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, ISIS and others.


The state, its project and defense are in disarray, especially in countries that have claimed resistance and deterrence, but which are now part of the Iranian fold and agenda that have destroyed the concept of the state.


Today, amid the anticipation of the American stances in wake of the arrival of a new administration, our region is in dire need of consolidating the concept of the state, regardless of the positions from America or Europe.


This means that regional countries must prioritize interests and rational politics. They must even reconsider the concept of peace to help the Palestinians establish their desired state. This also demands that the Arab League review its role to that end.


Today, we have the Saudi example of internal development and reforms that have covered legislation and systems, even the social system, all with the goal of consolidating the concept of a state that leads and is not swept up by surprises and reactions.


We also have the example of Egypt’s efforts to achieve stability, as well as state-building in the Gulf. Unfortunately, each Arab country striving for a better future, finds itself bordered by another that is floundering in chaos and destruction brought about by Iran and Turkey. Saudi Arabia has Yemen, the Gulf has Iran, Egypt has Libya where Turkey is active, Sudan has Ethiopia, and so on.


Therefore, the solution in our region lies in focusing on state-building instead of slogans that have laid waste to several countries.


Once real Arab agreement is reached on the idea of the state – meaning respecting and refraining from meddling in the affairs of others – then the door will be firmly shut against Iran and Turkey. This in turn, means that the principle of national belonging will be prioritized and sectarianism and extremism are defeated.


All of this will help consolidate the rhetoric of interests and serious cooperation, not the cooperation of slogans. This will help guarantee that we will not fall back to the phase of false resistance and deterrence.


Those who do not believe the state our countries have reached need only observe how the Assad regime, long claiming to champion resistance and deterrence, is receiving coronavirus vaccines from Israel!


It is important to seek the consolidation of the concept of the state on a wider and more serious scale. Our state project should be one of moderation and capabilities. The same applies to the project of the Arab League, which should stop tossing hollow and ineffectual slogans.


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