Protesters rejected the League of Arab States' complicity in building the Wall of Shame during a lecture yesterday by the Secretary-General, Amre Moussa. Two banners, reading "Freedom for Gaza... Freedom for Palestine" and "Down with the Wall of Shame and the Collaborationist Regimes" were unfurled for several minutes before security seized the banners, as the demonstration drew applause and shouts from the audience.
The League of Arab States, a coalition of 22 Arab countries, has not condemned the Wall of Shame's construction. Along with most Arab governments, the League is complying with the Israeli Occupation and inhumane persecution of the Gaza Strip's 1.5 million inhabitants.
The protesters, most of whom are AUB students, initiated a walk-out after proclaiming freedom for Palestine.
Amre Moussa appeared unmoved. "They are right - Gaza should not be abandoned. But there are a lot of confusion (sic)." This confusion may be his own. During the question-and-answer period, the Secretary-General alleged that the Wall's construction is merely a matter of business. "Ninety-nine percent [of Arab businesses] reject, refuse to deal with Israel," Moussa said. Of the one percent, "those cases are just exceptions... The rule is no normalization with Israel."
This is a false assertion. While the Arab Contractors are building the Wall, the Egyptian government facilitates the project, according the AC legal rights and heavy security in attempt to maintain the Wall's secrecy. If it was in Mubarak's interest, a 10-kilometer wall is easily forbidden by a regime that in the past has jailed college-age bloggers for insulting the Egyptian President. The Wall is the cherry on top of the years of assistance Egypt has provided Israel in the isolation, and then blockade, of the Gaza Strip. It is an unmitigated, unquestionable act of collaboration with the Zionist state.
As frequently as politicians such as Amre Moussa affirm their commitment to Palestine's freedom, their actions exhibit a disdain for the rights and humanity of the Palestinian people. By attempting to pass off the Wall of Shame as a regrettable business relationship, the Secretary-General absolves the League of Arab States from any responsibility - where the League could object to the project and work for its termination.
As his lecture concluded, Moussa informed the audience of his newly-acquired souvenirs. "I understand that the banners that were calling for the rights of the Palestinians are still here, and will be presented to me as a gift - which I accept."