Thursday 02 Apr 2020 | 23:53 | SYDNEY
Thursday 02 Apr 2020 | 23:53 | SYDNEY

Summiting while Gaza burns


Rodger Shanahan


16 January 2009 08:58

While Egypt has been at the head of efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the rest of the Arab world has been busy doing what it does best during times of conflict — organising summits. Indeed, organisers are falling over each other, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar competing for the honour of hosting an emergency summit.

As this post about the previous Arab Summit (held in Damascus) shows, organisational integrity is not always a strong point of the Arab League. The Secretary-General of the League, Amr Moussa, acknowledged as much with his observation yesterday that 'The image of Arab countries is very bad. We must overcome [divisions] not aggravate them. There must be a consensus.'
With divisions in the Arab world over support for Hamas, and previously frosty relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar only recently being thawed, it is little wonder that where to host an event and what level of political support should be accorded Hamas are both touchy subjects.