Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
A portrait of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was hung at the Rafah border crossing on November 1, 2017.

If ever there was a clear example of the old headline, “It all started when Israel retaliated,” it emanated from this weekend’s Cairo Summit for Peace, where one Arab leader after another delivered the message that, sure, Hamas terrorists left Gaza to murder and violate 1,400 Israelis in an unprovoked attack on October 7 but look at what the Israelis have been doing to the poor people in Gaza afterward.

It very much reminded me of this cartoon that ran in Charlie Hebdo less than a week after the vicious attack.


Jordan’s King Abdullah II, whose water and personal security are provided by Israel and the US, denounced the global silence in the face of the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip. “The message that was heard loud and clear in the Arab world is that the lives of Palestinians are considered less important than the lives of Israelis,” the Jordanian king told the summit.

The Egyptian Presidency said the ongoing war has disclosed a “shortcoming” in the values of the international community in addressing crises. “While we see a rush and competition to promptly condemn the killing of innocent people in a place, we find incomprehensible hesitation in denouncing the same act in another place.”

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said on Friday that the Israeli bombing of Gaza “goes beyond the right to self-defense,” and, “We must all take action to contain developments that may become uncontrollable regionally.”

Of course, el-Sisi insisted that Egypt would not allow civilians from Gaza to be relocated to safety across the Rafah crossing in Egypt’s northern Sinai. Neither would Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud extend his country’s welcome to the poor Gazans.

The emergency summit involved pro-Western countries that have so far failed to find a permanent solution to the “Palestinian problem,’ even though many of them have reached peace and normalization with Israel. Over the past two weeks, some of them tried to leverage the agreements with Israel to pressure Jerusalem to stop the war but those efforts didn’t get anywhere.

Israel is still retaliating.

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