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

Gaza… Queues and Queues

Following the ceasefire in Gaza, the screaming has intensified. There are two types: screams of suffering and mendacious screams. The former are the screams of the people we are seeing and hearing in Gaza, children, women, and men. The latter are screams that seek to distort the picture and muddle the facts, those of what I call online “keyboard Jihadists.”

While the people of Gaza - as our newspaper reported yesterday - queue for seven hours to buy gas for their homes, the “keyboard Jihadists” and digital armies spread misinformation and promote the narrative of a victory 24 hours a day.

While Ayman Hamdan from Khan Yunis stands in line for about 10 hours to get 30 liters of fuel to fill his tank - as the report tells us - the hypocrites spend all day behind their screens distorting reality.

This is the scene during the ceasefire, which the people of Gaza hope will last. We heard them on real news broadcasters that do not mislead their audience. The people of Gaza are praying for the ceasefire to become permanent instead of ending in a few days or years.

No one in Gaza wants their life to become hell. As Ayman Hamdan told our newspaper, life in Gaza has become “queues and queues.” Someone might ask: is the problem the stories told by the “keyboard Jihadists” from the Muslim Brotherhood or other militias?

No, the problem with them is bigger. It is that they trade in people's suffering twice, first when they are alive, and then again after their death. Now, they want to mislead the Arab public opinion and rile up their audience, to ensure that resentment and anger grow, without a goal or a plan.

They want to mislead the Arab public opinion to avoid scrutiny of their misadventures, which have destroyed Gaza and are also putting Lebanon, what remains of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen at risk of destruction. They use noble Quranic verses and insults at the same time, in a blatant state of decline.

They do all of this so that the Arab public does not listen to the screams of pain and suffering in Gaza, and to prevent the most important question from being asked: Why go on these adventures? Why repeat actions that have been tried, and why this fifth or sixth war in Gaza? And why hasn't Hezbollah, which is concerned with Iran's security, entered the war?

They also do this so that the public does not become aware of Arab and Islamic efforts to stop the brutal Israeli war machine. Indeed, officials have been traveling around the world to rally support for the peace process and a two-state solution, as well as to put an end to the crimes committed against the Palestinians.

The adventure merchants, along with the “keyboard Jihadists,” are behind this deception. They fear that Hamas will lose power in Gaza, not for Gazan civilians’ lives. Their entire goal is to distract from the screams of suffering.

They do so by throwing accusations of treachery around and pursuing moral assassination, using many tools to do so, from religious discourse or foul language. They are the same people who had misled the region in previous crises, from the rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIS to even the time when Mohamed Morsi addressed the Israeli president with a letter that began with: “My dear and great friend.”

This is their game, their religion. Thus, the media must stand firmly against them and prevent them from muffling the cries of suffering in Gaza. The media must remind audiences of their previous positions and their clear objectives, which are to destroy our countries and realize their miserable dream of attaining power.