Saturday, February 19

The Aftermath of Mubarak

a map of the Arab WorldImage via Wikipedia
The Egyptian people have achieved their objective - the overthrow of the autocratic Mubarak regime. We should be supporting the Egyptian people in this achievement. It is important to achieve peace with the Egyptian people's democratically elected leadership, when that occurs and the Egyptian Military does not remain in power beyond the transition period after elections, rather than a dictatorship that does not have the support of the people. Israel must come to terms with this. It is not contrary to peace and stability.

Now the massive task begins in rebuilding Egypt, which means that a constitution has to be drawn up to ensure that the Egyptian people's human rights are maintained and that the democracy for which they fought will be carried out.

The Egyptian Military may be able to bring a semblance of order for a limited period but this is not the answer for building a democracy where it had never existed. As I mentioned in my previous post, military rule can never be democratic rule. Whenever military rule was prevalent in many countries, the people protested and transition to civil, democratic rule was hard and bloody. It is hoped that the Mubarak regime will not be replaced by a military dictatorship.

Meanwhile the repercussions of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings with their successes in overthrowing their autocratic dictatorships are sending rumblings all over the Arab world, including non-Arab Iran.

The hypocritic Iranian regime praised the Egyptian uprising for human rights which is non-existent in Iran. They soon blamed Israel when young Iranians demonstrated in their thousands in their demand for human rights and democracy. The Ahmadinajad revolutionary guards were quick in acting against the opposition’s demonstrations with a heavy hand resulting in scores of injuries and even deaths. This says much for Ahmadinajad's "democracy" and its despotic Ayatollahs.

Demonstrations were held in Bahrain as well. The domino effect of all these demonstrations will be pounding the despotic rulers of the Middle East. No Arab country is immune from these protests. The people of Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Libya have now joined the bandwagon of demonstrations in the Middle East. It is still too early to predict whether they will be successful in achieving their goals.

These uprisings have the same message for all the despots of the Middle East - the fight for human rights, democracy, freedom of speech and employment. There are no religious slogans for support of a theocratic Islamic state having sharia (Muslim Law) as its basis. The people of the Arab world have had enough! Their contemporaries in the democratic world enjoy freedom, democracy and the right to choose.The youth of the Arab peoples wishes the same.

Today's computer technology, with Face book and Twitter so readily available, has exposed everybody to modernity and awareness of an uncensored, progressive human spirit that crosses all boundaries making the world a global village. The Arab youth have had enough of repressive religious dogmas, lack of vision and the extreme wealth of the ruling autocratic dictatorships that have denied them a share in their countries of birth. Poverty, unemployment, severe unequal distribution of wealth has been their lot for generations.

Israel's leadership is watching these developments with suspicion. The right wing government fears these changes and views them as a sign of danger towards "the only true democracy" in the Middle East. The Arab people are fighting for civil rights and a new secular democracy. Israel is still in denial and is mourning the loss of an ally, Hosni Mubarak. We must move on and accept the change in a positive light. After all the Egyptian and Tunisian people are struggling for values in which we believe. All the hostilities against Israel in the past have been initiated by Arab despotic regimes with no history of democracy. The silent majority of the Middle East wants peace and Israel must reach them.

It is uncertain at this stage as to which Middle Eastern country is next online. There are still a number of despotic Arab regimes indulging in Israel-bashing as a diversion. They do this as a diversion to unite their oppressed people and keep them from revolting against their autocratic leadership.

The uprisings are having a snow ball effect and no Arab country is immune from it. It is all about empowerment and thanks to Twitter, Face book and mobile phones, the youth are engaged in a struggle for human rights, democracy and education as well as the right for a decent future. It is not about Israel's destruction or Islamic extremism to conquer the world.
Despite the fears and risks, Israel must cease to pine for their ally, Hosni Mubarak. They must adapt to the new situation and cease the stereotypic paranoid statements. The Hamas regime in Gaza is also under threat as the people want democracy. The anti-Israel rhetoric from the Hamas leadership will not last indefinitely. The Palestinian people will rise up against their autocratic despotic leadership whether it is Hamas in Gaza or Fatah in the West Bank. It is a matter of time before they rise above the mantra of self pity against the occupation and fight for democracy, transparency, better economic conditions and human rights. Many have Face book and Twitter and are aware of the uprisings in the Arab countries surrounding them. Meanwhile the Israeli occupation will go on the backburner until the situation in the neighboring Arab states stabilizes one way or the other. This does not mean that Israel must be complacent. Israel must change its policies towards the Palestinian people and take concrete steps to end the occupation. The autocratic dictatorships of the Palestinian people are playing their part in uniting the Palestinian people against Israel thus maintaining the occupation. Now more than ever it is important to maintain dialogue with the opposition groups in Palestine to make way for the dramatic changes that will soon be on their doorstep.

We must also remember that much of the anti-Israel rhetoric comes from despotic regimes in the Arab world including Iran. Israel has an excellent opportunity to make peace with the Arab peoples engaged in their uprisings against their dictatorships which are technically at war with Israel.

Unfortunately, Israel still adheres to its old mantras and the right wing government with Netanyahu-Lieberman at the helm is unimaginative and carries on as usual as if there are no winds of change with its domino effect.
There are signs of rumblings in Syria and the next Arab country in line could be anybody's guess. Nobody can predict what the future will be. One thing for sure - the Middle East will never be the same and Israel must heed the wake up call. Here is an opportunity to make peace with the Arab people and take steps to solve Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and end the occupation. The time is more than ripe.

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