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”Israel” and despotic Arab regimes shake as revolution sweeps through the Middle East

January 28th, 2011

Salim Nazzal

Either we live in dignity or die in dignity - A young Arab blogger

Palestinian scholar Azmi Bshara recently wrote that the whole Arab region is heading quickly towards “Tunisization;” a new term used by Arabs these days to refer to the folk revolution in Tunis.

From Mauretania in the west to Yemen in the east, demonstrations and sit INS are being seen throughout the Middle East. The kings, princes, presidents, the one-man ruler, the one-party, the one- family, the one-tribe ruling system, and naturally the Zionist state are trembling with fear.

The familiar slogan from the Tunisian revolution of (Bread, Freedom, Dignity) are now heard almost everywhere in the Arab world. That region is suffering from major social, political and economic turmoil due to corruption, lack of freedom and absence of hope among the youth. This is confirmed by the United Nations report about the human development in the Arab region.

The report outlines offers a critique and highlights the source for the problems in the area including: corruption, low investment in human resources, absence of freedom and transparency, increasing poverty, and decreasing of middle class and increasing of dissertation and pollution, which threatening agriculture and water sources.

Israel has been worried that the revolution might spread to other parts which will consolidate the democratic forces which naturally are anti Zionism. This concern was expressed by Sylvan Shalom. Shalom has become even more concerned since the current Egyptian uprising. Egypt is the first country to sign a peace treaty with the Zionist state which it did in 1979. This has, according to Arabs, weakened the Arab struggle against Zionism.

Both Israel and Arab leaders have reasons to be worried about: despotic Arab regimes have turned their countries into private business for themselves and their families, and “Israel” has been occupying Palestine, murdering and humiliating three generations of Arabs since its forceful plantation by the imperial power in Palestine in the black year of 1948.The Us worried too about the situation in Egypt. Obama said that he advised Mubarak to listen to the demands of the people. But now most observers think that the current Egyptian uprising might continue until ending the corrupted regime of Mubarak.

Even before the Tunisian president fled under pressure of the revolution, some Arab countries began to take preventive measures to obstruct the spirit of revolution from spreading their nations. In Jordan, the government tried to bribe the masses by increasing the salaries of the public employees and by allowing the opposition parties to speak up on state TV. The police even distributed water and juice to the demonstrators. In Kuwait, the prince decided to grant each citizen approximately $ 5,000 as a gift. In Syria, Algeria and Yemen, steps were taken to subsidize the cost of food staples. Furthermore, reflecting the increasing concern of the Arab ruling elite, the king of Bahrain called for an emergency meeting for Arab leaders to address grievances of their citizenry. Of course nobody is sure if any serious results would ever come out of such calls because Aspirin cannot cure the old deep wounds, to borrow the words of Jordanian writer Ureib al Rintawi.

The Tunisian revolution has provided Arabs with an example that change is possible, and ordinary people are capable of doing much in this regard.

An elderly Tunisian man addressed a younger Tunisian saying: we have gotten old; it is your time to take responsibility. The events of the revolution proved that Tunisian young men did not fail him. In fact, the Tunisian revolution, as most sources agree was not led by the traditional opposition parties but rather by the young people who were using the net to communicate and to organize their work.

And today as we are following the uprising in Egypt, it is obvious the large role modern communication technology is playing in the uprising. This is why the state cut off the net for several hours, to obstruct the uprising.

While writing this article I looked at one of these sites called (Kuluna Khalid Said) and found out that there are about half million young men communicating on this site. Khalid Said was a young man murdered by the Egyptian police few months ago in Alexandria.

The Egyptian opposition declared today (Friday) as the day of anger and the Egyptian government said that it is ready to face the situation which spread to most Egyptian cities in the last days. Egypt after the 25 of January is not the same after, declared Egyptian opposition politicians.

In the mean time the young Egyptian and Arabs are continuing to express their thoughts on the face book and the twitter preparing themselves to the 28 of January declared as (the day of anger) which many observers believe it might be the decisive day in the conflict between the demonstrators and the government.

“We are tired of being humiliated in our country” a young Arab wrote in his blog. Another young man wrote “either we live in dignity or we die in dignity.”Another blogger refereeing to the young Arab died, drowned in the boats while they trying to come to Europe or Australia by saying “we are dead any way, we have no other choice either to die in the oceans or to die at home in the struggle for change.”

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The writer is a Palestinian Norwegian historian in the Middle East.

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