Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Gaza and Two Big Lies

With the Israeli orgy in Gaza, two facts have emerged. The first is that the human rights discourse of Western regimes is a lie. The other lie that has been exposed is that of the so-called resistance in our region. Western regimes would not stop talking about human rights.  

The West translated this narrative even in the actions of athletes, commercial deals, and other domains. Now, when Gaza is crumbling under the weight of a brutal Israeli machine, which shows no mercy or concern for defenseless children and women who had no say in this war, the hypocrisy of international pretenses stands out.   

On the night of the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, the first statement issued by the US administration was that there were no red lines for Israel. Meanwhile, the Russians said Israeli bombardment violated international law, as though their bombardment of Syria and Ukraine complied with international law!   

Thus, both Western support of Israel and Russia’s opposition are riddled with lies and hypocrisy. International law is irrelevant to both. They merely seek to score points and achieve their objective. The first victims are so-called human rights and human life, which is more crucial than anything else.

As for our region, the big lie is that of resistance, which has been pushed by Iran and the militias affiliated with it and funded by it. The mission of these forces in Iran’s orbit is to destroy our homelands and "statehood" as a concept. Theirs is a sectarian project, and its first victims are minorities and the people of the region as a whole. The worst of those implicated in this plot have repeatedly been told this resistance lie and justify it by claiming that "no voice and be raised above the battle."   

The Iranian Foreign Minister, who has been making threats since October 7, now says, after the ground invasion of Gaza, that Iran does not want to expand the scope of the conflict in the region, and that "the resistance forces in the region have their own considerations and they make their own decisions."  

He says just a week after having claimed that "fingers are on the trigger" in the region, Houthis targeted Egypt with two drones, and skirmishes by Hezbollah sought to "save face," launching their attacks from Christian and Sunni areas in Lebanon so that the Israeli response would hit the party’s opponents!   

Thus, the lesson to be learned in this region, today and every day, is that Iran and all of its militias are not concerned with our causes. Palestine is merely a pretext for promoting and facilitating their plot to undercut Arab states. We all have a duty to safeguard our countries and reject these militias.

We are obliged to pursue this approach regardless of the dire situation of the Arab states in question. When Qurans were hoisted on the tips of spears, in a declaration that sovereignty belongs solely to God, Ali bin Abi Talib (may God be pleased with him) replied that there must be a "righteous or immoral leader" — in other words, that a government is needed, be it virtuous or corrupt, to prevent society from spiraling into chaos and ruin.   

When anyone asks how we can criticize Hamas now, as Israel ravages Gaza, we must remember the saying of Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan. "He was killed by those who led him astray." Hamas, time and time again, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, launched battles whose consequences they failed to anticipate and brought hell upon their people.   

Therefore, we must safeguard the state-building project and reject Iran and its militias everywhere. We must also remind the West that they are the ones who affirmed that human rights is a lie, now in Gaza, and before that in Syria and Iraq.