Friday, January 23, 2009

Turki Al-Faisal, The Arab World Special Peace Envoy

Turki Al-Faisal, The Arab World Special Peace Envoy.
23 01 2009

I could not think of one single person in the Arab world who is more articulate well qualified with excellent professional, academic credential, qualification, and integrity committed to the Palestinians and Arab rights and cause than HRH Prince Turki Al-Faisal as the Arab world Special Peace Envoy to America and the world.

President Barack Obama took the bold step on his second day of office naming George Mitchell as the US Special Envoy to the Middle East. I think it is time for the Arab world, we the people, to have someone with the stature and professionalism like Prince Turki Al-Faisal to take the lead as the Arabs Special Peace Envoy.

During his short tenure as Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki Al-Faisal distinguished himself with his outreach to all Arab and Muslim communities across the US, an undertaken that I know of no Arab ambassador ever took in my 48 years in the US, a reach that both disturbed the Bush Administration and the Jewish lobby.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal also made sure he reach out to America and America criss crossing the country, articulating and representing the Arab views and position on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict that no Palestinian envoy ever bothered to undertake. He was reaching out, not waiting for invitations to cocktail parties.

No one can have more claims on Arab nationalism than the son of the late King Faisal who dedicated his life and died for Palestine and Jerusalem. Turki Al-Faisal like his late father is an Arab nationalist through and through. He is articulate, sharp, smart, and rich enough with unquestionable integrity putting the Arab and Palestinian interest as focus of his mission.

As a Palestinian in the Diaspora I could not think of a single Palestinian who matches Prince Turki Al-Faisal credentials, integrity, and intellect to represent our best interest in peace discussions with the US, with Israel and with the world. He is the only one well placed to coordinate and lead the discussions with the American administration and the world. I strongly suggest that we the Arabs and Palestinians draft Prince Turki Al-Faisal as the Arab Special Peace Envoy. We the Palestinians and the Arabs badly need someone like Prince Turki Al-Faisal to be our representative to the world.

One only needs to take a close look at those who took the lead to discuss and negotiate peace with Israel. Nothing to write home about and nothing to show for certainly nothing to be proud of. Perhaps the only exception was the team of the late Dr. Haider Abdul-Shafi who lead the Palestinian delegation to Madrid and to Washington only to be undermined by the late Yasser Arafat who was running scared that Dr. Haider, and the late Faisal Al-Hussani represent a real challenge to the leadership of Arafat and his side kicks Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurai and was afraid that his role as the “leader” will be marginalized and challenged by someone like Dr. Haider and Faisal Al-Hussaini.

Arafat was afraid that the Palestinians team of Dr. Haider will be able to achieve a break through that will bring liberation and freedom to the Palestinian people under occupation and find a redress to the all of the Diaspora and more favorable terms that he Arafat was willing to give and planned for. His acceptance of Oslo was no accident.

Concerned only with preserving his leadership and all that comes with it with access to money and power, concerned with Fatah and PLO losing its long held monopoly on the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian Axis of Evil; Arafat, Qurai and Abbas conspired to undermine the more competent and a man of integrity and stature like Dr. Haider and went to Oslo only to come back to Palestine not as liberator but as agents and managers for the Jewish Occupation.

We all know what happened next. Arafat dispatch the not so smart Ahmed Qurai, a man with much questionable integrity and competence to Oslo to lead the negotiations that saved Yasser Arafat, his Fatah and secured for them a lucrative and long term contract as managers for the Jewish Occupation.

For some 18 years we have seen the same faces, incompetent, not so smart, and corrupt with questionable integrity and professionalism leading the negotiations with Israel and the US. No need to mention names but to say the least, there is simply nothing to brag about and nothing to be proud of. A bunch of self serving individuals who are direct beneficiaries of the continued Jewish Occupation who, could never qualify to take the lead and represent the best interest of the Palestinian people both under the Jewish Occupation and the Diaspora.

Certainly the PLO and Fatah do not have a single person with enough integrity and professionalism to sit across George Mitchell, or Barack Obama let alone across the Israeli leadership with its reliance on experts and professionals from around the world. The PLO negotiating team does not have what it takes to lead to a successful negotiation that at best minimize the damage we end up with. If the past is an indication of the future then all of the Palestinians are in deep trouble.

Hamas leadership is no different than Fatah and the PLO, perhaps less corrupt but lacking the sophistication and world view, lacking the deep expertise to qualify to sit across the Israelis and the entire world Jewish community. There understanding of the world view is limited to Gaza and to Damascus and an ideology that takes us to no where as we have seen in Gaza. Yes the war on Gaza was predetermined but for Hamas to claim victory is something else. Israel lost the war because it committed war crimes.

Hence the recommendations that someone like Prince Turki-Al-Faisal be drafted as the Arab world Special Peace Envoy to the US and the world with responsibilities to coordinate all working teams and take the lead in discussions especially when it comes to Jerusalem and the refugees. I do not think the Palestinians and the Arab could afford another Oslo. Time for new bold leadership, Turki Al-Faisal has what it takes.

No comments: