Arab Columnist: Let's Accept the Truth of Our Own Defeats

The following article by Khairi Abaza appeared in the Lebanese English-language daily The Daily Star on July 4, 2007

"Some claim that while the June 1967 war was a military loss, the spirit of armed resistance endured. They believe that resistance is still the strategic choice of Arabs. We have seen the results of the strategic choice of violent resistance by Hamas: an ugly Israeli barrier depriving Palestinians of ever more land that has made their lives even grimmer. The slogans of resistance may incite support, but the consequences of these very slogans cannot be accepted by the Arab public. No one in the Arab world today would accept that Hamas' actions were a large part responsible for the Israeli barrier. There has not been and nor will there be independent assessment of Hamas' strategy. Slogans continue to trump the actual results of actions.

"The same strategic manipulation of public opinion can be seen in Hizbullah's 'victory' against Israel in summer 2006. But what was this victory? A victory that left around 1,200 Lebanese dead, led to billions of dollars in damages and losses in tourism income, and the entry of
United Nations troops in Southern Lebanon? With such a balance sheet, how could Hizbullah and its Arab supporters mislead the Arab public and claim victory?

Was any inquiry made? Where is the independent commission that studied Hizbullah's actions? Yes, the party's secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, was left standing, just as Abdel-Nasser was. But is that enough when their nations and people were left battered?

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