A lot had been written about last week’s Israeli election. Unfortunately, most of these writings lack real substance and discuss only results, political parties, personality profiles, anticipated future coalition partners, and unrealistic delusional predicted effects on peace process and on the Palestinians. All these writings gave the illusion that Israel is democratic rather than extreme racist theocratic colonial state.
The institutionalization of tyranny is the achievement of the Bush/Obama regimes of the 21st century. This, and not the Great Society, is the decisive break from the American tradition. The Bush Republicans demolished almost all of the constitutional protections of liberty erected by the Founding Fathers. The Obama Democrats codified Bush’s dismantling of the Constitution and removed the protection afforded to citizens from being murdered by the government without due process.
The lines are drawn. Morsi and the Brotherhood have been exposed as the heirs of the old dictatorship in new garb. The struggle for an open society is being waged by the betrayed on the streets of Egyptian cities. It will be a fight to the death. Brotherhood posters put up throughout Egypt in support of the pending constitution urge people to vote yes to “Supporting Legitimacy and Shariah [Islamic law].” Those who oppose legitimacy and Islamic law, it goes without saying, are heretics.
Just in the past few weeks the Knesset has spat out a number of bills aimed at restricting the voices of Jewish opponents and to make it more difficult for them to secure appointed offices. Part of a continuing line of similar legislation, these new potential laws represent scenes in the final act of this tragedy.
The collapses of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, on September 11, 2001, were the most frightening images that I have ever seen, up until May 24th, 2011, when Binyamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of the United States Congress and received 29 standing ovations, along with many other outbursts of sycophantic applause.
Both Bush and Obama are terrified of the Arab spring. And there is a very sensible reason for that. They don’t want democracies in the Arab world. If Arab public opinion had any influence on policy, the US and Britain had been tossed out of the Middle East. That’s why they are terrified of democracies in the region.
Fayyad cannot be held primarily responsible for this collective self-delusion; at most, he facilitated it. And in the process he provided all actors with a breathing space that is now disappearing. Ultimately, the ones who convinced themselves he was capable of completely transforming Palestine are most responsible for squandering the brief respite his premiership offered.
Stuart Littlewood highlights the incredible, blatant hypocrisy of the British government, foremost Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague, who are applying one standard to the criminal Libyan regime of Mu’ammar Gaddafi while going out of their way to protect and justify the crimes of another criminal regime, that of Israel.
Street-based movements lack the organization and leadership to project, let alone impose a new political or social order. Their power is found in their ability to pressure existing elites and institutions, not to replace the state and economy. Hence the surprising ease with which the US, Israeli and EU backed Egyptian military were able to seize power and protect the entire rentier state and economic structure while sustaining their ties with their imperial mentors.
When imperial America wants war, peace advocates are shut out by official rhetoric and hawkish media reports supporting militarism, not diplomatic efforts to achieve peace. Those for it aren’t heard. Hugo Chavez’s government is one. On February 28, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro, warned against belligerence.
Far too long we Arabs have been silent while our tyrants, our faith, our trillions, our oil, our land, our people, and our Palestine have long been subjected to the political, economic, and military brutal occupation, genocide, theft, racism, Islamophobia, and domination by the Israeli-American axis; but we Arabs will be silent no more.
The revolution in Egypt provides evidence of a public well-informed by 30 years of mostly silent submission to the dictates of a self-serving regime. Finally, when the silence yielded to a voice that said “Enough”, the latest technology and social networking brought that voice to millions ready to protest and bring down the regime.
The Egyptian people deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. To be more accurate, the Nobel Peace Prize is not good enough for the Egyptian people, but still it would be a great gesture and would make lots of Arab regimes even more uneasy than they are now. Fortunately for them, most likely rich white men will not want to bestow it upon that incredible people, but you can sign the petition.