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

Gaza and the Double Standards

Since the outbreak of the Israeli war on Gaza, following the Oct. 7 operation, we have been hearing the expression, “double standards” by all Arab countries and their officials. I do not think there is another term that has been used more frequently throughout this war.

This expression is often used to criticize the West, and the United States in particular, but does this criticism only apply to them? My conviction is no. The truth is that our region also suffers from “double standards,” whether in dealing with Israel or Hamas... How? Here is the answer...

Since the outbreak of the war, we have not heard an Arab voice telling Hamas: Enough of the adventures... solutions must be found to stop the bloodshed of the people of Gaza, and that there is a real danger to Gaza, geographically, and to the security of Jordan and Egypt.

No Arab official, in any hint or statement, has told Ismail Haniyeh following his calls for a ceasefire and the initiation of a two-state solution: If you truly believe in that, then why create unequal or unjustified wars, because that would also be a double standard?

None of them told Hamas: How can you go to war without preparing to protect the innocent, provide the slightest basics they need, and at least take care of the people of Gaza, as you did with the young Israeli woman, Maya, or the other woman who escaped captivity with her dog?

We have not heard from the Arabs anyone saying, or leaking to the media, that some countries in the region that have relations with Israel must stop bidding, and stop their electronic armies’ campaigns through social media to “demonize” some Arab countries!

We have not heard criticism of the sponsors of the Muslim Brotherhood in our region, whether by establishing misleading electronic armies’ websites, as some have the right to communicate with Israel and its leaders, while incitement and provocation are being directed against Arab countries that do what serves their national interests.

Aside from the Gaza story, but within the time frame, we did not hear from the Arabs anyone telling the regime in Syria, in a hint or a statement, to stop killing and targeting civilians, and proceed with a political solution to end the bloodshed.

No one told the Lebanese government that just as you condemn the killing of journalists whose lives Hezbollah risks, stop the party’s targeting of journalists who disagree with it, because that is also a double standard.

We did not hear anyone directing criticism at the combatants in Sudan, and calling things by their names, in order to stop the bloodshed and preserve what is left of the country, if there is anything left of it at all.

Yes, the West, led by Washington, has double standards. Indeed, Washington is the official purveyor of double standards internationally, in a blatant and provocative manner, but we also have our problems.

It is inconceivable that this brutal war in Gaza will continue without Hamas bearing responsibility. Campaigns of treason and moral assassination cannot continue with the support of parties in our region that deliberately practice double standards.

Israel is a criminal, but we should not also criminalize ourselves and the innocent by running forward. No one will fight on behalf of Gaza, neither Iran nor Hezbollah, and therefore we must say enough killing and destruction.

This situation must be defused by saying what needs to be said.