Articles > > Same Old Slogans

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2020-07-13
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

Ever since I can remember, I have heard the same old slogans: 'Today Shatt al-Arab [Iraq], tomorrow Palestine', or 'Today Idlib, tomorrow Jerusalem', or 'The road to Jerusalem passes through Amman, and then through Jounieh [Lebanon].
 
However, I have yet to hear the same sentiment in reverse: 'Today, Palestine/Jerusalem, tomorrow, anywhere else in the world.' Palestine is always left and postponed until tomorrow. Its day never comes, and the sun will never rise on that much-heralded 'tomorrow'.
 
In his speech of triumph over Hagia Sophia and the varying tone of his Tweets according to target audience, Erdogan merely did what so many authoritarian Arab leaders have done. They all wink at the left while drifting to the right, and they all promised us a different 'tomorrow' and broke their promises before the ink had dried.
 
It constantly amazes me to see the reactions of our simple, good-hearted public. No sooner does a rousing dictator make fiery statements and false promises than he is welcomed with waves of cheering and applause from all and sundry. These believers are always bitten by the same snake-pit of lies and fabrications, despite having suffered its stings over and over again, not just once or twice.
 
Some of us, including senior members of influential ideological currents, are so naive as to take seriously the whole 'Today Hagia Sophia, tomorrow ['we will liberate'] al-Aqsa' affair, although they only need to spend a few minutes with Uncle Google to discover that this slogan-peddler's commerce with Israel exceeds the gross commerce of all the Arab leaders and rulers they attack for rushing to normalize [relations with Israel]. They would also discover that the occupied port of Haifa, which falls under Waqf territory, owes the lion's share of its traffic and revenues to the neo-Ottoman sultanate, and that photos of the sultan [Erdogan] alongside every Israeli leader and killer are plastered all over the place in Ankara and Jerusalem (not Tel Aviv), as well as in its Holocaust Remembrance Center.
 
These people seem to believe that there is good normalization and abhorrent normalization, or legitimate normalization that is acceptable (or at least may be overlooked), and forbidden, criminal normalization that must never go unchallenged, even if it as modest as importing crates of mangoes or strawberries. Such double standards are dissonant to a shameful degree.
 
Quite unfortunately, the man promising 'al-Aqsa tomorrow' has other priorities, which some of the naive and deluded applaud: Idlib, Libya's Tripoli, and perhaps Taiz in Yemen and Lebanon's Tripoli. Who knows what else may pop up on his list of priorities should his sojourn in the [1000-room Ankara presidential] White Palace last, but we are certain that al-Aqsa does not cross his mind unless the ballot box urgently warrants it.
 
It does not occur to his applauders to ask what impact this move may have on Israel's voracious appetite for al-Aqsa, or how the sultan would find the gall to resist its schemes to Judaize and Israelize the mosque, or what allies he might rally when the time comes for the battle to liberate al-Aqsa – tomorrow, of course- when he has managed to provoke and incite the world with his decision to turn the Hagia Sophia into the headquarters for his next presidential campaign.
 
To my dismay, some of those celebrating 'the Hagia Sophia's liberation' do so out of spite for the harsh and exclusionary secularism of the Ataturk era, or for certain rash Arab [Gulf] normalizers.
 
They think of it as a purely religious affair, although a visitor to Turkish tourist destinations, including the caliphate's capital, would be shocked by the abundance of nightclubs, and a visitor to Northern Cyprus could not help but note that casinos are more numerous and longstanding than schools and hospitals, while the only casino in 'infidel' [Greek Orthodox] Southern Cyprus is still under construction.