Blog Archive

Blog Archive – April, 2011

Progress-- the Palestinian struggle is sidelined for the wider Arab revolutions

April 16, 2011

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Some may not want to hear this. But it may be that Arab revolutions now underway are in part due to the failure of the Palestinian rebellion.

For decades Palestinian sovereignty has been the focus of all Arab nations. Citizens of 21 Arab states and the diaspora followed and supported their Palestinian brothers and sisters with admiration and fervor. If Palestinians could overthrow the Zionist oppressor, peace would spread across the region.

Arab leaders, one after another embraced the cause, and often paid severely for this policy. (Aiding Palestinians won these men severe criticisms and sanctions from the U.S.) “More Palestinian than the Palestinians” is a phrase I have heard throughout the region, often uttered with disapproval and dismay by Algerians, Syrians, Egyptians, for example.

Treaties with Israel by Jordan and Egypt were followed by growing exchanges between the Zionist state and some Gulf countries; ties between Israel and Morocco and Tunisia deepened. Those states were abandoning the Palestinian cause. And, as these overtures were ‘rewarded’ by the USA, these developments  further divided Arab peoples from their leadership.  (Egypt’s treaty with Israel has been a ‘cold’ peace.)

 Washington criticism and censure of states that continue to champion the Palestinian cause is a well oiled machine. Syria pays heavily for its support of the Palestinian movement. This is turn offers its government a cover for extensive surveillance and a beefy security apparatus. The US and Israel have both made it clear that Damascus’ backing of resistance against Zionism and Israeli aggression constitutes support for terrorism, for example. This makes Damascus an explicit target of western powers; at the same time it serves to weaken any chance for internal democratic reforms. (This is not to say the threat of Zionist expansion at all levels is not real. It is.)

By the end of 2010, the Palestinian struggle had reached a new low. The positions of the Gaza leadership and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank now seems irresolvable. Palestinians on both sides have made many mistakes. Daily, more land is lost, more homes crushed. Palestinian leadership is weak, unable to negotiate, unable to unite. The so called “peace process” is inarguably a farce; the sooner this ruse is exposed, the better.

One result: Palestinians no longer provide a beacon of hope. Nor are they an example of honesty, courage and wisdom.

Lebanese knew this much earlier. But it took Tunisians, Syrians, Egyptians, Yemenis and Jordanians until late November of last year to face this reality. Maybe it was the impotency of Barak Obama with his unrealistic, flawed and failed attempt to revive a ‘peace process’ last September.

At a conscious or unconscious level, Arabs across the region realized it was time to focus on themselves and their own liberation. No longer would they accept Palestinian dominion over their own national goals. The Palestinian emperor had no clothes! We finally took to the streets to win something for ourselves.

[ Progress-- the Palestinian struggle is sidelined for the wider Arab revolutions ]


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