Gaza crisis has become global media war: UAE minister

Al Gergawi called out the double standards and political agendas hindering true resolution of the Palestinian cause

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Wed 3 Jan 2024, 3:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 4 Jan 2024, 11:37 AM

The Gaza war continues to be an "unprecedented human disaster" and people should reflect on how it is a "global media war", a UAE Minister said. Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs spoke at the Arab Strategy Forum that kicked off in Dubai on Wednesday.

Gergawi said, “This war was not only between the Palestinians and Israel. We also witnessed a global diplomatic war, international polarisation, and a global media war. Today, war is not won on the battlefield but rather in the media field, as he who has the strongest narrative shall become the winner.”

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Meanwhile, another speaker at the event, Dr Ghassan Salamé said that the Israel-Hamas war is now at a crossroad and risks spilling over into other countries in the region.

“We are heading towards a longer war, especially towards Lebanon and West Bank,” said Dr Ghassan, former Lebanese minister and Founding Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs. “The assassination of Saleh Al-Arouri in Lebanon is pointing towards more factions entering the war. Lebanon has seen an increased number of Israeli attacks. Hezbollah has lost more than 150 fighters in the last few weeks. This might lead to some sort of self-defence on their part.”

The ASF, an annual platform that provides decision-makers a glimpse into the trends and pressing issues of the region, has been a keenly awaited conference since its inception 23 years ago.

History of conflict

Al Gergawi further stressed how several world leaders including His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai have been calling relentlessly for a solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict.

“In 2004, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum gave a speech at this very forum about the need for finding a just solution for the Palestinian case based on international law,” he recalled. “Today, 20 years later, the case is still the most pressing issue in the region and the world.”

Gergawi also called out the double standards that exist in the world. “Today, 20 years after discussing the positive effects of globalisation and the importance of shaping an international system based on common cultural, moral and economic values, we reach a phase in which basic human values such as the protection of human lives, the protection of children and their right to live in safety and security have become subject to disagreement, division and scepticism."

He added, “The values of human rights have become more relevant for some people more than others, and their standards apply to some people more than others, and according to international agendas."

The two-state solution

While the two-state solution has been widely touted as the most concrete plan to ensure lasting peace in the region, Dr Ghassan accused the US and western powers of not being serious about it.

“All the states that ask for this solution, I want to ask you, what did you do in the last 10 years to have this solution,” he asked of them. “Almost nothing. Since 2014, there has been no communication to solve the issue. If you were silent for ten years, why would you come back to the two-state solution? Just to prove to the world you are doing something?”

He further stated that the US was dragging its feet on the issue. "The US is not willing to have any kind of development in the region," he said. "The US is the one supporting Israel. They send weapons in a week to Israel. They are the ones that veto any decision regarding ceasefire."

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