|Fadlullah: The United States is changing and trying to weave a plan of action that would reproduce its project for the region|
His Eminence, the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah delivered a statement in which he talked about a settlement in the near future. The following is the text of the statement:
Nowadays, there is increasing talk about a US plan for a solution and an international conference reminiscent of the Madrid conference. The Arab world, more than anyone else, is preoccupied with what some considers to be a dramatic change in the US policy, while others shed some tears on the enemy's government thinking that it is now facing a difficult test, because the US pressure on it places it before a narrow and difficult time and political margin.
Amid the atmosphere of the Arab and perhaps the Islamic clapping, which has not ceased since US President Barack Obama delivered his speech at Cairo University, and in light of the shuttle activity of his envoy to the region, we urge the Arabs and the Muslims not to indulge in optimism, and to remain very vigilant so as not to be bitten from the same US hole again. The new US Administration has not offered our people, the Palestinian people in particular, anything other than the speeches in which the US President appeared as a shining star in the Arab and the Islamic world, just as he was a star when he delivered his internal US speeches before and after the US presidential elections.
We believe that the United States is still experiencing a great dilemma in the region, because it believes that the road to its imperialistic aspirations has been blocked. Therefore, at a time when it is trying to appeal to the hearts of the Arabs and the Muslims, it is searching for what would restore its reputation, role, and activity after George W. Bush's policies and ideas have exhausted its activity and role, and have shrunk them on the political and economic levels both inside and outside [the United States].
The most that the US administration aspires for is to gain more time so that its internal economic activity would become more cohesive, and subsequently reinstate its global political role that needs a fresh launch from the heart of the Arab and the Islamic world. Then, there will be no need for much effort on the European level because the EU countries - even at the peak of the economic crisis that almost brought down the US system and many of its foundations - appeared as though they were still searching for themselves and running behind the United States wherever it went, thus not having a role that is independent of the US policy, particularly with regard to the major issues that concern the causes of the people of the world, foremost of which is the cause of the Palestinian people and the Middle East problem with its accumulations that include the peaceful Iranian nuclear programme and other issues.
We want the Arabs and the Muslims to benefit from their previous experiences and from the experiences of others, particularly the US Administration that had dangled the possibility of suspending aid to the enemy's entity and suspended such aid during the administration of President Bush Sr. However, it did not take long for the United States to return to Israel. It released the aid and even increased it.
Moreover, it endorsed the enemy's opinion and fresh conditions, and made the form and content of the settlement process contingent upon the conditions of the enemy, who knew how to take the advantage of time to contain the Palestinian Intifadah inside, and escalate the settlement activity in a manner that severed the West Bank and turned the lives of the Palestinians into an unbearable hell. These days, when we hear talk about freezing the settlement activity, we urge the Palestinians, the Arabs, and the Muslims to recall all that has happened to them in the past 20 years, particularly since the US envoy to the region has firmly said that the disagreements between his Administration and the enemy's entity are disagreements between allies.
We caution that the US Administration has distributed tasks to some Arab countries so that some of them would embark on a new mission, one that begins with taming the Palestinians under the pretext that avoiding the new settlement would make them pay redoubled prices, and so that the wheel will start rolling to reach internal understandings under a barrage of pressure that has begun to draw the ceiling of the Palestinian situation, and the ceiling of the expectations that they could achieve. It is obvious that some want the Palestinians to unite within the context of becoming ready to reconcile with the enemy, not to restore their strength and cohesion and build an integrated political project.
We must realize that the US Administration does not feel any pity towards the Palestinians, and does not feel their tragic, difficult, and complicated situation. In fact, it is searching for a way to appeal to the Arab sentiments and the Muslim conscience so as to weave a political action that would reproduce its project in the region and enable it to regain its luster in the world. Hence, nothing profound has changed on the political level in the United States with regard to Arab and Muslim issues. With regard to the approach and form, the current US Administration has managed to dispel the former abhorrent image of the United States in the region. What our Arab and Muslim people want from Obama surpasses changing the form or changing the image and mask with another image and mask because we do not feel that there are prospects for changes and transformations in the US policy for the region. It remains committed to Israel at a time when it recites more diplomatic poems to the listening Arab ears and before the clapping hands and chanting mounts.
We must monitor the size and extent of the US activity with regard to the pressure on Israel they are talking about, because we fear that Obama's job is to polish the US image, not to change or transform the US foreign policy with regard to our issues and our people.