The considerable diversity in how the Palestinian cause is perceived and positioned within the framework of Arab interests and issues makes achieving any unity very challenging.
Rather than a source of strength, the notion of Arab unity over the cause has become a liability. Daily, there are articles and television programmes which ask a question that reveals the depths of the lack of understanding – why don't the inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank simply relocate to vast Arab nations and cede their territories to tiny Israel. Call it the "Palestinian Question".
It is easy to ask and deeply simplistic. Meaningful explanations of the complexities of modern Arab history – which might provide proper understanding along with an answer – would take much more time.
All lives are equal
The people who ask the Palestinian Question, which resurfaces periodically, have questions of their own to answer: Do they recognise that we are a diverse people with distinct customs, traditions, histories, interests, orientations, and religions? Do they understand that the distinctions among us are comparable to those between the rest of the countries and peoples of the world?
It seems that some writers and intellectuals of the West simply disregard the right of Palestinians to establish their own state on their own territory and a full political identity to match their cultural characteristics. It is the lack of that status that sets the Palestinians apart from the other populations in the region.
The frequent reappearance of the Palestinian Question does not stem from ignorance of the region's realities. It comes from a troubling trend that is gaining prominence worldwide: a diminishing recognition of the equal worth of every human life.
This trend is revealed when people advocate the bombing of hospitals and then when there is a global silence on the atrocities that follow. It is on show when the elimination of hundreds of terrorists is prioritised over safeguarding thousands and thousands of civilian lives. It can be seen when there is a willingness to allow open-ended, urban warfare in one of the world's most densely populated places if it guarantees Israeli security.
These developments signify a departure from universal values and a preference for power-driven standards that draw deadly distinctions between various groups of people.