What Does the Egyptian Revolution Mean For Palestine?

-

Atallah.jpg
This is a guest post by Amjad Atallah, the Executive Consulting Editor for the Palestine Note, where the post originally appeared. He is also Director of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation and an editor for the Middle East Channel at ForeignPolicy.com.
If you live in Washington, DC, the question of what does the Egyptian Revolution mean for Palestine might seem like a strange question. The question du jour here is what does the Egyptian Revolution mean for Israel? The subtext to that second question is what does the Egyptian Revolution mean for Israel’s continued occupation and its denial of equality to non-Jewish citizens and residents. Of course, both questions show an Israel/Palestine-centric view of the world. Yes, the denial of Palestinian freedom has been an iconic issue of concern not only for Arabs and the larger Muslim world, but also for the Global South and persons of conscience around the world. And once upon a time, the Palestinian struggle for their rights did symbolize the heroism of a people demanding justice for themselves.
But today that mantle lies with the Egyptian and Tunisian peoples. Today, they are the teachers and the rest of us are the pupils. Today, the Arab people of Egypt and Tunisia, and those demonstrating for the same goals throughout the Arab world are providing all of us, including Americans, with hard fought lessons that decades of useless peace-processing and support for authoritarian leaders have let us forget. Here are at least four lessons that have been thrown in our face:


First, the state and the government exist as a consequence of the will of the people, and not vice-versa. It was clear in Hosni Mubarak’s speech yesterday that he has conflated the state of Egypt with himself. His well being is that of Egypt. Attacks on his rule, in his mind, are attacks on Egypt. But Mubarak is not alone in this delusion. Saddam Hussein saw Iraq in the same way. Listening to the Palestinian rulers in Gaza and Ramallah who administer some of the Palestinian cities under Israeli occupation you would think that Palestine has become those administrations. Millions of people marching throughout Egypt today and for the last two weeks have shown us what Egypt actually is – it is the self-determination exercised and demanded by those millions of individuals. Egypt is not an abstract concept tied in to a corrupt rule, it exists because the people today have resurrected themselves and in so doing have resurrected their state. Palestinians in the first Intifada had tried something very similar but the exercise was ultimately hijacked and ended up in an agreement that actually restricted even further Palestinian space (anyone who lived in the West Bank or Gaza before the Oslo Agreement can tell you it was easier to travel throughout all of historic Palestine before “peace” than after). Worse, the Palestinian identity was further constrained. Rather than representing Palestinian values and interests throughout the world, being Palestinian became a consequence of being a Ramallah native, a Nablus native, a Gazan. Palestinians in Israel, in the Diaspora, and elsewhere were asked to only play a supporting role. This is not much different than a narrow elite in Egypt claiming to represent the concerns of Egypt. Today that elite is subsumed in the millions of brave Egyptians, Muslims and Copts, religious and secular, equally demanding a citizen state and true democracy.
Second, the key to victory has always been in the hands of the people – and not in Washington. Yes, that is a blow to those of us who have worked so hard for so long to convince the US to act in its own self-interests in the Middle East. Ultimately, that may still come about – but the real actors, the real decision makers are the people in Tunisia, in Egypt and ultimately in historic Palestine. The Palestine Papers leaked to al Jazeera and now on the internet show clearly that the United States government has never been able to stand for its own political values – or even its own policy pronouncements – when any Israeli government disagreed. Yet, the entire exercise in Palestinian negotiations have been predicated on the ability of the United States to represent itself and the assumption that there was an overlap in American and Palestinian interests. Yes, the latter is true, there is an overlap in American and Palestinian interests, but the United States has not been able to represent itself in the face of Israeli intransigence. Watch the Tunisian and Egyptian people. Watch them. They are not demanding the US to do anything. They are demanding actions of their own army, their own leaders, their own people. The US government is watching and responding to them with courage it wouldn’t have had last week and that would have been unthinkable a month ago. That courage in US loins is a result of Egyptian courage – not vice-versa. How can Palestinians do less?
Third, freedom may be hard to define but you know it when you see it. Listening to the military regime in Egypt attempt to fool the people with promises of constitutional changes and words of respect combined with those of contempt, I could not but help be reminded by the language of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Israelis too have promised the Palestinians many roadmaps, many transitions, many easily revoked concessions including even discussions on something called “statehood.” Just like the promises of the Egyptian regime, everyone who lives under Israeli rule knows that they lack content. Everyone knows there is no sincerity when the basic premise of a Palestinian state is simply a place to corral Palestinians to ensure a Jewish majority in the remainder of the territory. Without a recognition of the basic humanity and equality of Palestinians to Jews, everything else is a farce. Egyptians today are raising their voices so that even the most deaf can hear them – they know what freedom is and now will demand nothing less. How can Palestinians continue to remain confused between concepts of statehood or government and the human aspiration for freedom and equality?
Fourth, the loudest voice is the moral voice. The means do not justify the end – the means actually help determine the end. What if Egyptians, instead of resorting to amazing self discipline and mass peaceful protest, had instead resorted to terrorism – the use of violence against civilians and other non-combatants in order to achieve a political end. Yes, the regime had used such violence against the people, but the people remain amazingly disciplined, amazingly brave, amazingly peaceful. The regime must have been praying for violence, because for the power that possesses all the means of physical coercion, terrorism and other forms of violence justify the full use of their advantage in force against the demands for freedom. Tunisians have done the same. It is time for Palestinians to humbly acknowledge that moral leadership in combating injustice has moved from Palestine to Egypt and Tunisia and perhaps elsewhere. When you see leadership, and when you can’t provide it yourself, the least you can do is to follow it.
Egypt and the Arab world remain a work in progress. We don’t know the outcome but we know that if you are an Arab, you have reason to be proud today, perhaps for the first time in a generation. Palestinians in the Occupied Territory, in Israel, in refugee camps, in the Diaspora, everywhere can stand stunned today watching the rebirth of a people and possibly of a nation. And then they can start participating in it.
The Palestine Note wants to hear from you about how Palestinians can re-enter history as actors in charge of their own destiny. What do you think the Egyptian Revolution means? What should Palestinians do now? What should Israeli Jews of conscience do? Let us decide the future again – let us envision our freedom and reach out for it.
— Amjad Atallah

Comments

67 comments on “What Does the Egyptian Revolution Mean For Palestine?

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Carroll, Feb 12 2011, 4:25PM ……
    Says quite a bit that these alpha dogs feel they need to hand out food allotments to the lesser peons. I bet if you asked, they’d deny that hunger is an issue with “their people”.
    Then you have these Israelis purposely depriving the Palestinians of essential food items, then denying that the Palestinians are deprived.
    Then you have people like Clemons asserting an empathy or sympathy for the “plight of the Palestinians” while heaping praise on this bitch Harman, or in the past waxing eloquent about what a great guy Harry Reid is.
    Then you have these sacks of shit like Nadine, and her all-too-plentiful ilk, slamming Obama as anti-israel, when in fact, Obama and Clinton have given the jackbooted Israeli fanatics everything they asked for, including carte blanche permission to asassinate American citizens.
    The whole Middle East thing, from top to bottom, here and there, stinks to high heaven. Duplicity, intrigue, religious fanaticism on ALL sides, slimey players, torture, oppression, mass casualties, tin pot dictators, bribery, arms dealing, drugs, sex trade, black market body parts, the list goes on and on. And these pieces of SHIT in Washington DC are right smack dab in the middle of it, doing the breast stroke right through raw sewage like they were swimming in God’s wine. You think the Muslim Brotherhood is bad??? Well, just listen to this fuckin’ wackjob Huckabee when he’s on a roll. Or Palin. These two would push the button as casually as a drunk teen lighting a firecracker.
    Did you ever think you’d reach old age as an American citizen just to be ASHAMED of what we have become? I certainly didn’t. But I look now to DC, and there’s nary a one of these rotten scumbags I’d want as a neighbor, much less a role model for my daughter, or a determiner of United States policy. One of the slimiest most despicable pieces of shit I know is a retired United States Senator. Despised by one and all in his community that have ever done business with him, he stands as a testament of what it “takes” to slither your way into the DC inner circles.
    If the Egyptians have any sense of whats good for them, they’ll do everything in their power to nip American meddling in the bud. But they can’t, because its not “the people” that these criminals in DC will be meeting with behind closed doors. It is the military, and history tells us how well military leadership does at leading a nation to “democracy”. Just look at Musharif, one of our Little Lord Fauntreloy miltary dictators that we have subsidized, propped up, and sucked off. What did we get for the billions we stuffed in his coffers?
    The optimism I see extended to the Egyptian’s futures is inexplicable. It doesn’t consider history. Democracy isn’t blooming, its withering, We had it, and we didn’t keep it. And we sure as shit haven’t got a clue how to pass it on. Not that our “leaders” are interested in doing so anyway, if Iraq, Iran, I/P, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are any indication. Killing Muslims seems to be a lot higher on our list of “things to do” than “giving them freedom” does. Since ’91, we have killed a lot more of them than were ever gathered in Liberation Square at any one time. Picture droppin’ a nuke right smack dab in the middle of that square when the protest was at its zenith, and you might get a small inkling of what we have done in terms of Muslim casualties these last two decades. 500,000 dead Iraqi kids, just from the sanctions against Iraq alone. And you ever wonder why we never heard a figure about how many Iraqi non-combatants we killed during Desert Storm? I guess we just don’t bother to count dead Muslims.
    But hey, they hate us because of our way of life and our values, doncha know. A “way of life”, by the way, that is actually being diminished by “values”. Not our own, but the values of our “leadership”, whose quest for self-enrichment and personal power has far surpassed their respect for duty to country or citizen. The idea that we have a “representative government” has become a very bad joke. Do YOU feel “represented”????
    Fuck ’em. Vegetables grow just as fast without them, and Jake just wants his ball thrown. I’ll whittle out the finish work on another home, and put a bigger smile on my customer’s face than some shyster piece of shit in Congress can ever hope to do. I’ll touch their life in a positive manner. What politician these days can say the same? Is there a calling more loathed than being a DC serpent? I “represent” the interests of my fellows in a far more constructive and impactive manner than the slime in DC does.
    I mourn my daughter’s future here. She has inherited….what??? What is left of the country I grew up in? Even the myths of exceptionalism have been smashed. We stand before the global community naked. Quantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Iraq, Katrina, the Gulf, Haiti, our complicity with the likes of Netanyahu, Mubarak, and Musharif.
    And now we’re “on the side of democracy” in Egypt??? Ho ho. Ha ha. Who the fuck do we think we are kidding?

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Now you are searching for the conspiracy that will explain how Israel and US, who obviously were taken completely by surprise by the revolution in Egypt and have no control over events, are somehow controlling the situation through “covert” ops”
    I opined that they are attempting to control the “outcome”, you hasbarist piece of shit.
    What part of that do you doubt, or find fault with?? Are you denying that Israel and the United States will try to steer events in a desired direction?
    Come on, bigot, feed us some more crap. Then, shove it.

    Reply

  3. WigWag says:

    “I find myself reading Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, a work of astounding prescience, considering it was written in 1789 and 1790, before the Reign of Terror and rise of Napoleon, both of which it predicted.” (Nadine)
    Yes, its an extraordinary treatise. I pulled out my copy after the Revolution started in Egypt but the pages were yellow and falling apart. I bought a new copy of the E-book for my kindle for less that $2.00.
    Burke is endlessly fascinating. Despite being a member of the British Parliament he supported the American Revolution while reviling the French Revolution; Burke was right about this.
    Interestingly, the bigoted Chas Freeman specifically sighted Burke in his famous email supporting the Chinese Communist crackdown of the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.
    I am hoping that Steve Clemons will ask Freeman his take on the Egyptian Revolution and what the Chinese and Saudis (his two favorite nations presumably after America) think about it.

    Reply

  4. Carroll says:

    This is funny…are autocrats and dictators paper tigers?….Tunisia and now Egypt have them so nervous they are giving little presents to their people. LOL
    Bahrain
    Bahrain’s king has decided to give $2,650 to each family on the Gulf island, the latest step the Sunni rulers have taken to appease the majority Shia public before protests planned for next week.
    Although most analysts do not see any immediate risk of revolt, the kingdom is considered the most vulnerable to unrest among Gulf Arab countries.
    Algeria
    Algeria’s state of emergency, in force for the past 19 years, is to be lifted soon, official media quoted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as saying on Thursday.
    The announcement followed pressure from government opponents who demanded the emergency powers be scrapped.
    Several Algerian towns including the capital experienced days of rioting and protests last month, provoked by a jump in food prices.
    Two people died and hundreds were injured, officials said. To calm the situation, Algeria cut the cost of some basic foodstuffs and increased wheat supplies to markets.
    However, protests erupted again on February 12, with pro-democracy demonstrators ignoring an official ban to march in the capital, Algiers.
    Yemen
    Yemen’s opposition has said a dialogue with the government, which was expected to start this week, had been delayed so that it could consult with opposition figures outside the Arabian Peninsula country.
    President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on February 3 he would not seek to extend his presidency, in a move that would end his three-decade rule when his current term expires in 2013.
    Saleh also vowed not to pass on the reins of government to his son. He appealed to the opposition to call off protests.
    Saleh promised direct election of provincial governors and also agreed to re-open voter registration for elections due in April after opposition complaints that around 1.5 million Yemenis were unable to sign up.
    Jordan
    King Abdullah of Jordan has replaced his prime minister after protests, but the opposition has dismissed the move as insufficient.
    The king asked Marouf Bakhit, a conservative former prime minister to head a new government after accepting the resignation of Samir Rifai. He asked the new government to take speedy and tangible steps to launch political reform.
    Jordan has announced a $225m package of cuts in the prices of some types of fuel and staples including sugar and rice. Rifai also announced wage increases to civil servants and the military in an attempt to restore calm.
    Kuwait
    The ruler of Kuwait has announced the distribution of $4bn and free food for 14 months to all citizens, although his country is not facing any protests.
    Each of the 1.12 million native citizens will get $3,572 in cash as well as free essential food items until March 31, 2012, Kuwait’s emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah was reported to have said

    Reply

  5. WigWag says:

    “Name me a Mideast revolution that turned out well.” (Nadine)
    I think your request for the name of a revolution in the Middle East that turned out well is a little unfair; after all, the sample size is so small that it’s hard to draw any significant conclusions.
    I think your question would be better if you asked for an example of a revolution in the Muslim word that turned out well; the sample size there is still small but somewhat larger.
    The recent revolutions in the Middle East/North Africa are not the first in the Muslim world in the past year. As you will remember, there was a revolution Kyrgyzstan this past spring; or perhaps it was the second act of the Tulip Revolution of a few years back. How did this revolution work out?
    Well thousands died and 400 thousand Uzbeks were forced from their homes (this represents half the Uzbek population of Kyrgyzstan). Uzbek women were raped, their communities pillaged and their children mutilated. Of course, Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks are both primarily Muslim.
    Here’s an essay on the subject in case you’re interested,
    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/06/18/the-killings-in-kyrgyztan/
    Time will tell if there’s a better outcome in Egypt. The story so far is a positive one but it wasn’t that long ago that the stories coming out of Egypt were about pogroms directed at Copts and shark attacks telepathically ordered by the Mossad.
    I think an even better question, Nadine, is which revolutions outside of a Western world that accepts enlightenment values have turned out well.
    By my count, there are a few, but the number is astonishingly small.

    Reply

  6. DonS says:

    Perhaps OT but with implications for a free democracy: A long excerpt from an even longer piece by Greenwald. Should be of interest to anyone who honestly cares about the erosion of the separation between corporate and government
    interests, and about the targeting of efforts to discredit and destroy government/corporate critics involving:
    “The leaked campaign to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters”:
    “But the real issue highlighted by this episode is just how lawless and unrestrained is the unified axis of government and corporate power. I’ve written many times about this issue — the full-scale merger between public and private spheres — because it’s easily one of the most critical yet under-discussed political topics. Especially (though by no means only) in the worlds of the Surveillance and National Security State, the powers of the state have become largely privatized. There is very little separation between government power and corporate power. Those who wield the latter intrinsically wield the former. The revolving door between the highest levels of government and corporate offices rotates so fast and continuously that it has basically flown off its track and no longer provides even the minimal barrier it once did. It’s not merely that corporate power is unrestrained; it’s worse than that: corporations actively exploit the power of the state to further entrench and enhance their power.
    “That’s what this anti-WikiLeaks campaign is generally: it’s a concerted, unified effort between government and the most powerful entities in the private sector (Bank of America is the largest bank in the nation). The firms the Bank has hired (such as Booz Allen) are suffused with the highest level former defense and intelligence officials, while these other outside firms (including Hunton & Williams and Palantir) are extremely well-connected to the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government’s obsession with destroying WikiLeaks has been well-documented. And because the U.S. Government is free to break the law without any constraints, oversight or accountability, so, too, are its “private partners” able to act lawlessly. That was the lesson of the Congressional vesting of full retroactive immunity in lawbreaking telecoms, of the refusal to prosecute any of the important Wall Street criminals who caused the 2008 financial crisis, and of the instinctive efforts of the political class to protect defrauding mortgage banks.
    “The exemption from the rule of law has been fully transferred from the highest level political elites to their counterparts in the private sector. “Law” is something used to restrain ordinary Americans and especially those who oppose this consortium of government and corporate power, but it manifestly does not apply to restrain these elites. Just consider one amazing example illustrating how this works.
    “After Anonymous imposed some very minimal cyber disruptions on Paypal, Master Card and Amazon, the DOJ flamboyantly vowed to arrest the culprits, and several individuals were just arrested as part of those attacks. But weeks earlier, a far more damaging and serious cyber-attack was launched at WikiLeaks, knocking them offline. Those attacks were sophisticated and dangerous. Whoever did that was quite likely part of either a government agency or a large private entity acting at its behest. Yet the DOJ has never announced any investigation into those attacks or vowed to apprehend the culprits, and it’s impossible to imagine that ever happening.
    “Why? Because crimes carried out that serve the Government’s agenda and target its opponents are permitted and even encouraged; cyber-attacks are “crimes” only when undertaken by those whom the Government dislikes, but are perfectly permissible when the Government itself or those with a sympathetic agenda unleash them. Whoever launched those cyber attacks at WikiLeaks (whether government or private actors) had no more legal right to do so than Anonymous, but only the latter will be prosecuted.
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/02/11/campaigns/index.html
    The NYT’s report (whether you think the Times is a liberal lefty mouthpiece, or a corporate MSM apologist doesn’t really matter). Sustains the main points Greenwald describes:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/us/politics/12hackers.html?_r=1&hp

    Reply

  7. Kathleen says:

    rc “Of course it is a combination of both. With 40% of Egypt below the poverty line and Mubarak sitting on $70bn (of which the Swiss portion has just been frozen) we can expect a bit of adjustment to go on.
    What the Egyptians have shown is the ability to adapt affordable hand-held technology and mass media into a lethal weapon against hierarchical systems.”
    The Egyptian protesters are an inspiration. As were the hundreds of thousands (millions nationwide and worldwide) before the invasion of Iraq that our U.S. MSM purposely ignored and did not give coverage to.
    The Egyptian protesters commitment to peaceful protest and their endurance as well as Al Jazeera, Twitter, Facebook and the 24/7 coverage by the U.S. MSM certainly helped

    Reply

  8. Kathleen says:

    POA “Now, in place we have a military dictatorship in Egypt.”
    Hopefully the U.S. backed military dictatorship will go too. Last night on CNN Rep Ron Paul said to Wolf Blitzer “the U.S. owns the Egyptian military which means we own the country”
    Hey at least our MSM covered the Egyptian protest far more than they even whispered about the protest here in the states against the invasion of Iraq in 2002, early 2003. Silence.
    How much time do you think will pass before we see more legislation coming up for more aid to Israel?
    Latest letter over at Aipac.
    “Thursday, January 27, 2011
    Ros-Lehtinen, Cantor, Other Senior Members of Congress Send Bipartisan Letter Asking President to Pledge Veto of Anti-Israel UN Resolution
    (WASHINGTON)

    Reply

  9. rc says:

    “Egyptian Tsunami of freedom skips the Israeli Palestinian conflict and hits Iran” (Kathleen, Feb 12 2011, 11:25AM)
    The only strategic question in the minds of the Turks and Egyptians is where to draw the ‘dotted line’ for the common border.
    This is ’empire-ish’ — Turks, Egyptians and Persians. It’ll rattle around the ME for a while until the press get tired of it.
    I’m watching Pakistan — a similar perturbation could tip the balance in that ‘failed state’.
    India is the ’emerging empire in that region and China is just round the corner.
    These are interesting times.
    These words just came from a young person I know:
    —-
    Frank Rich column: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/opinion/06rich.html?ref=frankrich
    Says there is too much attention given to social networking. One person he quotes:

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Frankly, I feel sorry for the Egyptian people. Protest as they might, with seeming victories cause for celebration, behind the curtains there are powers that no amount of street protest can conquer.
    To think that Israel and the United States are not working feverishly, through covert ops, to control the outcome of the so called “transition”, is naive.
    Now, in place we have a military dictatorship in Egypt.
    “Supreme Military Council”. You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me! They couldn’t have picked a more transparent and descriptive title for what is now taking place. Only a fool would believe these military big-wigs, who were such an important part of Mubarak’s power structure, are not now involved in behind the scenes negotiations with the United States and Israel, with obscene amounts of money, power, and arms deals being offered as incentives. There IS NO opposition parties or individuals in Egypt that can offer the scale of bribes that the CIA and the Mossad is now dangling in the faces of the Egyptian military leadership. And you can rest assured that the elections will be controlled by the military, and the military will be controlled by us, through the kind of bribery and incentive that is the hallmark of United States’ foreign policy. We are master puppeteers, a fact that is undeniable. As we speak, the groundwork is being laid to control the outcome of any electoral charade that will insinuate “free elections”.
    As far as this piece of shit Nadine goes, its cute seeing her finally admit that the actions of the IDF against the Palestinians mimics perfectly the actions Mubarak’s thugs took against the protesters……
    “I guess Egyptian lives aren’t nearly as valuable as Palestinian ones, since they have the misfortune to be killed by other Egyptians. Arabs killed by other Arabs don’t count. Only Arabs killed by Jews count”
    I see the AIPAC website, besides its piece about the fear of Egypt falling into the control of radical elements, which has ran for close to two weeks now, is now running a piece about Turkey’s growing trade exchanges with Iran. Its seems these radicals in Israel just don’t see the handwriting on the wall. One wonders how close they will drag themselves to the abyss before they wise up, if they ever do. Watching this racist little theocracy commit suicide is as epic as watching the “irrelevent” Arab Street that Wiggie told us about raise their voices as one. The situation is still manageable, and Isarael and the United States still can exercise control covertly, but times they are a changin’. The chickens aren’t home yet, but they’re on their way, and they’re flying fast and furious.

    Reply

  11. Kathleen says:

    Matthew. Want to make a bet? I would put money on that with in several months we will witness more foreign aid going to Israel.
    And no mention of the illegal settlement building and expansion in the West Bank and E Jerusalem.
    Hell even CSpan’s Washington Journal puts up the fake whole West Bank map on their programs.
    No difference between CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, CSPAN and the rest of the mainstream when it comes to what is really going on in that conflict. They barely whisper about it.
    Forget covering any Palestinian protest by MSNBC’s Richard Engel, or CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Rachel Maddow will be hammering along hard on Iran during the next few weeks. Repeating the I lobbies unsubstantiated claims about Iran’s elections, nuclear program etc. Rachel is a mouth piece for the I lobby. She would not dare have Flynt Leverett on her program. She has stepped out of line and had Prof Cole on her program although he even tip toed around on her program.
    MSNBC’s Cenk Uygar and Dylan Ratigan are the best bets for getting close to the truth on these matters. Although last night Cenk Uygar had Barbara Slavin on and he allowed her to repeat falsehoods about the Iranian election on his program.

    Reply

  12. Kathleen says:

    “If you live in Washington, DC, the question of what does the Egyptian Revolution mean for Palestine might seem like a strange question.”
    Egytian Tsunami of freedom skips the Israeli Palestinian conflict and hits Iran
    On Friday many of us were glued to Al Jazeera watching the live broadcast of the Egyptian people celebrating after it was announced that Mubarak had stepped down. The boundless joy that the Egyptian people exhibited through their chants, singing, smiles, dancing, tears was infectious. Many of us who were able to witness this much deserved success were overwhelmed by their integrity and enthusiasm and commitment to peaceful protest. We celebrated with them that they were starting the process of getting the U.S. supported dictatorship off their backs.
    I was curious to watch where our mainstream media would head after following these protest 24 7 for several weeks. I watched MSNBC, CNN and Fox from 4 p.m. est until 10 p.m. There was a great deal of coverage of the actual celebration in Tahir square and interviews with many of the people in the square. What was astounding was how quickly the talking heads pivoted and focused on this “tsunami of freedom” hitting Iran I was sadly not astounded by how these same talking heads completely avoided talking about this “tsunami of freedom” influencing the Palestinian Israeli conflict. When have you ever seen MSNBC’s Richard Engel, or CNN’s Cooper Anderson broadcasting from the middle of a peaceful Palestinian protest? You all ready know the answer. Never.
    I heard V.P Joe Biden, NBC’s Brian Williams, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Rep Engel, Michelle Dunn from the Carnegie Insitute of Peace, Ambassador Cohen and many more bring up Iran Iran Iran. MSNBC’s Cenk Uygar had Barbara Slavin on and most of her response focused on Iran and how they needed to allow protest. She went on to say that the Iranian elections were fraudulant a myth that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel repeat. When will any of these programs have former Bush administration official and former middle east CIA analyst Flynt Leverett on their programs to discuss Iran based on substantive facts? Instead of one guest after the next repeating the I lobbies unsubstantiated claims? When?

    Reply

  13. DonS says:

    Questions, I recall the oligarchy/democracy coexistence article.
    Depressing indeed. Somehow the economics has become divorced from the politics, although in many ways the politics — who buys government — results in the concentrations of wealth. The current recession, caused in large part by the oligarchs, who have also benefited from it, is an example. Yet no one is in prison. Indeed the corporatists are back to screaming louder than ever to eliminate regulation.
    You know I can’t help but look at systems behavior as analogous psychologically to individual behavior, and the engine that I see driving the destructive-for-ordinary-individuals syndrome is fear and it’s expression, blame. And blame, perhaps more than hope/aspiration (real vs fear-based hope) drives much of the electoral process — or it certainly has driven the right wing politics in this country, domestically and internationally. Sadly, sensible centrist thought, not to mention liberal, often emulates the right in many ways since the appeal of fear based values and outcomes is so simplistically applauded. The economics just rides in on the back of the politics.
    To my mind, the way the politics has functioned, the psychology of fear/blame is more pertinent than any philosophical underpinnings and the one, fear/blame is easily used to influence the other. Emotional reaction is much faster and behaviorally powerful than intellectual thought. That is why the manipulation of elections is such big, important business. Again, to my mind, a ‘democracy’ based around what monied influences can buy, can’t help but maximize greed and wealth disparity.

    Reply

  14. Cee says:

    This isn’t over.
    Suleiman: Egypt

    Reply

  15. questions says:

    DonS,
    There was somewhere recently a blog post about the oligarchy and democracy issues– the two seem shockingly comfortable with one another. We seem to separate economic position from the political apparatus of voting, and we seem not to mind it at all that a small group of people control a vast amount of wealth. Indeed, it seems more democratic to let the wealth concentrate this way…..
    Depressing.
    There’s also been some work recently on the attack on public workers. I think I tossed in a link or two on this that I found from Yves Smith’s nakedcapitalism….. A group of right wing think tanks has been pushing the line on unfunded pension mandates at the state level, the need to break that agreement for budgetary issues, the refusal to account for where the money that was supposed to go into the pension funds ended up going. Methinks that there was some corruption involved? And a basic refusal to raise taxes as needed to cover services.

    Reply

  16. DonS says:

    “New Wisconsin GOP Governor Pushes For Massive Rollback Of Worker Rights”
    As an example of the the right wing petty tyrants leading the anti-democracy charge, complete with, note this, “alerting the national guard”.
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/new-wisc-gop-governor-pushes-hard-for-rolling-back-workers-rights-by-decades.php?ref=fpa
    These oligarchs apparently think there is very little that ordinary Americans should not be asked to sacrifice to continue to increase the wealth of the wealthiest.

    Reply

  17. DonS says:

    Bob Herbert reflects on the downward trajectory of democracy in the US . . . just to keep focused on business at home.
    “As the throngs celebrated in Cairo, I couldn

    Reply

  18. questions says:

    Jonathan Bernstein, complete with interesting links to other pieces, on how much a president can or cannot do in foreign policy decision-making, how much the bureaucracy or parties might be a factor and so on….
    http://plainblogaboutpolitics.blogspot.com/2011/02/egypt-and-obama.html
    ******
    Dan, the contagion effect is real. The bigger issue is the extent to which the Egyptian model, complete with the extensive training and preparation, is really necessary at this point, OR does the mere success of the Egypt model guarantee far more quick capitulation among the ruling classes in other countries.
    We have an 18 day standard now, we have a non-violence standard, and we have pretty broad support and communication set ups, not all cell phone/wire dependent. Plenty of fliers, printed posters and the like were used in Egypt. People were donating all sorts of communication services.
    If the public support is wide enough, the police really have a hard time going full out beating the shit out of people. But Egypt’s planners out foxed the police, as well as out numbered them.
    We’ll see how proactive the gov’ts are with offering reform, the police are with offering to beat people up. And we’ll see what this 18 day standard does.
    I think there are going to be a lot reforms coming on line. I hope the US is ready with offers of Hawaiian beach huts for a whole bunch of thugocrats.

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    Demonstrations are taking place in Algiers and Oman, with clashes taking place in Algiers between demonstrators and police.

    Reply

  20. Dan Kervick says:

    Communique #4 has been released. It says that the military government will act as a caretaker government until a new government is formed, and that they will respect all of their foreign treaties.

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    OT, but always good to read, James Galbraith on deficit hawks, and I think the same kind of analysis can be applied to Egypt as well. People obsessed with a particular narrative don’t seem to take in new information, don’t seem to justify well their particular assumptions, make up analogues that don’t really fit, and thus come up with dumbfuck policy prescriptions.
    Just as we don’t really know what the Egyptian analogues are and thus assuming we do know is pretty dumb, so we don’t know what the right set of econ analogues is, so again we make up stuff and get into panics when we shouldn’t.
    Indeed this pattern shows up all over policy-making, including that in education. We don’t really know what education is “like” so we don’t draw good analogies and we end up with corporate models (BIG failure) or managerial models (fire all the principals! because that’s what a business would do and we are in the business of educating….) We think ‘testing’ is good because ‘tests’ tell us thing in other circumstances, like, say, the EPA tests car mileage (and doesn’t get that right either), or we test water quality based on quality standards that may or may not be meaningful. We test blood pressure — turns out that’s not so simple either! It varies, can be different in the two arms, and “high” probably is less fixed than the numbers might suggest. We test cholesterol, but cholesterol explains only a small portion of heart attacks, and further, “cholesterol” has been refined over the years into “good” and “bad” and it turns out eggs are back in as a good food…… I don’t think we know what we’re talking about. But we do love us some testing!
    The Republic is full of analogies and one of its biggest weaknesses is that analogies aren’t the REAL THING, and so they take us in misdirections quite easily. Because there’s an ineffable ‘thing’ Socrates is trying to point to, and he’s trying to ‘show’ this ‘thing’ to people who don’t think the way he does, he ends up in numerous pickles and side issues along the way.
    We don’t know what ‘thing’ Egypt’s revolution will turn out to be. The rest is mere speculation.
    Here’s the link to the Salon/War Room piece by Galbraith:
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/02/11/galbraith_deficit_hawks/index.html

    Reply

  22. kotzabasis says:

    The foolish, greedy desire of the Tahrir Square protesters to swallow victory in one gulp may tragically choke them.

    Reply

  23. rental elf says:

    Nice article, thanks for the information.

    Reply

  24. Ben Rosengart says:

    I’ve heard a lot of Egyptians blaming Mubarak for their problems.
    A lot of good natured grumbling about Obama’s reticence. Not a
    peep about Israel. And much more joy than anger.
    Any of that could still change, but I would like to give this
    revolution the benefit of the doubt. The joy and optimism of the
    protestors in Tahrir Square is so affecting, I can’t close my heart
    to it.

    Reply

  25. rc says:

    One thing the Egyptian Revolution means for Palestine is a shift in the ME narrative to a higher broader front — now it is the “Arab-Israeli peace process.”
    And given Israel still has not apologized to Turkey for the attack on the peace ship to Gaza then it may include Turks at the table as well.
    <<<<
    Fourth, the fall of Mubarak will affect a host of regional issues – the Arab-Israeli peace process, the growing influence of Iran, the battle against Muslim extremism – in ways that are hard, if not impossible, to predict. …
    The West has, for decades, made stability a higher priority than democracy and human rights.
    Some urgent re-thinking is now under way, as policymakers scramble to learn the right lessons.
    The other painful lesson for Western powers is how little influence they have, even in countries to which they give generous aid.
    Money does not buy you love. Nor, when the chips are down, does it enable you to save a close ally from the wrath of the people.
    Roger Hardy is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC.
    <<<<
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12437147

    Reply

  26. Carroll says:

    Back to Egypt for a minute.
    For those who heard mention of the ‘business privileges” the army enjoys…here’s a bit of a explanation.
    Obviously some adjustments will need to made concerning the profits involved after a civilian government is in control…the army might use some bargining points with the opposition.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/02/10/133501837/why-egypts-military-cares-about-home-appliances
    Why Egypt’s Military Cares About Home Appliances
    Categories: Trade
    03:36 pm
    February 4, 2011
    by Alex Blumberg
    Lefteris Pitarakis/AP
    The Egyptian military has been notably non-confrontational during the recent
    wave of protests, defending the right of people to protest and protecting
    the protesters from attacks by pro-regime forces.
    One reason for the military’s peaceful response: the unique role it plays in
    the Egyptian economy. The military owns “virtually every industry in the
    country,” according to Robert Springborg.
    Springborg, a professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, has written
    several books about Egypt, he’s lived in Egypt, he’s consulted with the
    Egyptian military, and he’s an expert on the various businesses it runs.
    Here’s a list he rattled off from the top of his head:
    …car assembly, we’re talking of clothing, we’re talking of construction of
    roads, highways, bridges. We’re talking of pots and pans, we’re talking of
    kitchen appliances. You know, if you buy an appliance there’s a good chance
    that it’s manufactured by the military. If you … don’t have natural gas
    piped into your house and you have to have a gas bottle, the gas bottle will
    have been manufactured by the military. Some of the foodstuffs that you will
    be eating will have been grown and/or processed by the military.
    The reasons for this arrangement go back to the ’60s and ’70s, when the
    Egyptian military was very large as a result of the wars with Israel. After
    the peace treaty with Israel was signed, the need for such a large fighting
    force disappeared. But leaders worried about all those young men released
    from military service suddenly flooding the job market.
    So the military transformed itself from a fighting force to hiring force.
    And some of the businesses it got into were pretty far away from its
    traditional mission. For example, the military had all these forces
    stationed on the coast

    Reply

  27. jk says:

    Steve,
    I’d love to get your reaction to this article “Mubarakism Without Mubarak”
    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67416/ellis-goldberg/mubarakism-without-mubarak

    Reply

  28. bks says:

    Obama has toppled a dictator without firing a shot. He completely pwns George W. Bush. That’s what democracy looks like, Bushie. It’s not an Iraqi abattoir.
    –bks

    Reply

  29. rc says:

    @nadine, Feb 11 2011, 9:55PM
    Oh, so it seems Israel’s Yahoo has lifted the cone-of-silence from the DC propaganda unit.
    I’m going to have to start reading the adverts again for something interesting as I scroll down past the nadineite verbiage looking for intelligent comments.
    State sponsored goons and brown shirts shooting local citizens is the issue. It makes no difference whether they are Jew, Muslim, Christian or any other flavor.
    And it makes no difference whether the goons are directed by a senile out-of-touch autocratic tyrant or an unrepresentative apartheid minority regime driven by millennial BS.
    Any obnoxious regime clinging to some bizarre ideology that minor DNA sequences, eye color, skin tone or dietary habits justifies a democratic vote or not is just not legitimate in the emerging world foreshadowed by recent events in Tunisia and Egypt.
    Better go back HQ and ask for a new narrative nadine — this old one is starting to sound a touch dated. A bit like Elvis — rumors are he has left the building.
    After 30 years in power Mubarak became little more than a parody of Tolkien’s Smeagol degenerating into a Gollum before the global online population. Pride before the fall: shame personified.
    Mubarak’s last speech to his nation of ‘children’ just hours before his departure clearly showed a demented personality not able to relinquish the ‘ring’ — he could barely speak intelligible words other than hissing “It’s mine, precious, all mine….!” between his clenched teeth. He has ‘slinked’ off stage into a ‘stinkers’ history. Classic!
    The Israeli regime is only about one stop from the same collective fate. Will they learn from this and turn back before it’s too late? The answer, if there is one, is obviously dormant in the youth demographics of Palestine and Israel.
    Abbas made a fool of himself by siding with Israel’s mate Mubarak. He’s gone. So once the old scabs are ripped off in Israel as well, then who is going to step forward and negotiate an equitable ‘peace deal’ between the apartheid state of Israel and its surroundng emerging Arab democratic nations?
    Washington was snookered on the Egyptian question for the last three weeks — global tweeting transparency, and 24×7 coverage by global media (Al Jazeera and others). Neutered by a very public clash between espoused values and covert practice.
    This lesson is not likely to be lost on key regional players.
    With his Cairo speech in his pocket, Obama can probably claim some credit. If he maintains his successful ‘do little’ strategy while the youth of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordon, Egypt, S/Arabia, Iraq and Iran start to ferment for change ‘they need’ at home and in Palestine, then this may be the start of a new cycle indeed.
    Let’s see if the apartheid state of Israel also slinks off the map in due course — and a new democratic state system emerges that represents all peoples within its borders as equal and legitimate – Jews, Christians, Muslims and others.

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    The Palestines could have a successful revolution and be supported by the US public if it could get ‘honest’ coverage on TV like Egypt’s.
    We all need to sign those petitions to get AL Jazeera on more US cable networks.
    Honest reporting and coverage of the Palestine situation would put Washington in the frying pan.

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “WigWag, are you capable of writing *anything* that doesn’t include an effort to ridicule, smear, disparage, humiliate, condescend or exact revenge upon some individual or group?”
    Careful Dan, or she’ll target your penis size.

    Reply

  32. L Shin says:

    Mubarak has made a right choice to end up autocracy government while he is still alive, in other words, he will not have ugly name remain before he die, he will become good example for people to overturn autocracy government, and people can have rights to rewrite constitutions for better protection their country and the people, Egyptian is good example to write great history. Can the rest of dictatorship nations learn from Mubarak

    Reply

  33. Joesphus says:

    The crusades were a reconquest of prior Christian held lands that were invaded and conquered during the Byzantine-Arab wars of 634-740 AD, including the siege of Constantinople. If there had been no Islamic wars against the previously Christian lands of the Levant, there would have been no crusades.

    Reply

  34. Philip H> Eaton says:

    I forgot to mention in my last pos t that most have a problem about accepting others who have a different religious background!!

    Reply

  35. Lina G says:

    Democratic Egypt is great mirror for rest of the world; Mubarak, though Mubarak is
    Autocracy, but he choice to gave up his power, can work out with people, and he had choosen to step down with peaceful transition, he is care of people and accepted for people fight hard for change better, means revolution to fight for freedom.
    It is great news for the tyranny world, and good example for people under tyrannical ruler, for instance, people of PRC should have sense of justice to learn and it

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    Yes JohnH: c’est moi! And that’s how we Norwegians usually
    celebrate revolutions. If they take place in July, we just look
    for the nearest glacier, and perform the same ritual.

    Reply

  37. Philip H. Eaton says:

    Remember the Crusades? Christians should start to remember the treachings of Christ and accept all peoples of all religions and all ethnic backgrounds to form one united society.

    Reply

  38. Josephus says:

    Erdogan said it best:

    Reply

  39. JohnH says:

    Paul Norheim celebrating the departure of the Pharaoh: http://www.lemonde.fr/sport/video/2011/02/11/l-instant-norvegien-version-givree_1478434_3242.html
    Just goes to show that insanity is not limited to doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result…

    Reply

  40. Paul Norheim says:

    Apropos Jennifer and Barry Rubin and their sympathizers in the comment section at TWN -here
    is a quote:
    “…the judgment of a lot of anti-jihadists in the West is hopelessly impaired by their complete
    failure to make any distinctions among Muslims or between different groups of Islamists. The
    catch-all term

    Reply

  41. Dan Kervick says:

    his Al Jazeera feature also gives more background on the April 6th movement, which was one of the main participating organizations.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/peopleandpower/2011/02/201128145549829916.html

    Reply

  42. questions says:

    INCREDIBLE — the secret 21st site, the level of planning for this “spontaneous” revolution — really amazing!
    Click through and read this post. It’ll give a completely different sense of what we just witnessed.
    http://www.themonkeycage.org/2011/02/overcoming_collective_action_p.html

    Reply

  43. samuelburke says:

    Look through these reports from israel palestine and show me that world famous kindness and fairness b.s that you guys claim to be so famous for.
    Israeli attack on Gaza wounds 10, destroys factory and damages Ministry of Health storage facility
    by Kate on February 11, 2011
    And other news from Today in Palestine:
    Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers
    In wake of fourth demolition, Tana villagers vow to rebuild
    Nablus – PNN 10 Feb – On Wednesday, Israeli army bulldozers demolished all but the mosque in the tiny village of Tana, east of Nablus, because it did not have the required permits. On Thursday afternoon, the villagers began to rebuild. This is their fourth time. Thirty-five buildings in all were destroyed, most of them makeshift houses constructed of metal siding, pipes, and blue tarp. Now most of the roughly 200 villagers made homeless by the demolitions must move to nearby caves as winter winds and rain buffet this mountainous region of the West Bank. Livestock sheds were destroyed, so five thousand sheep are shivering. Nobody, however, is leaving Tana. “This is my life,” said one man, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals. “I was born here and I have my children here. I won

    Reply

  44. samuelburke says:

    by Mustafa El-Gindy from the interview by Amjad Attalah.
    “we can not see our brother in palestine killed everyday in front of
    our eye and turn our head, no, this will not happen because in
    democracy these things do not happen, because in democracy
    values and ethics are very important, then maybe this will bring
    peace between the two nations if egypt stop sometime israel of
    doing mistakes.”

    Reply

  45. samuelburke says:

    “But it could just as easily auger disaster for them.”
    It is already hell for the palestinians nadine, you zionist liars have made sure of that for however long you have been stealing their land and making sure that what the press of the world says about it all has been nothing but that bullshit you lowlifes call hasbara.
    zionism is already a nightmare, its just that american jews havent caught on yet for the most part.

    Reply

  46. Dan Kervick says:

    I think you mean Paul Berman? But maybe when the intellectuals flew, they took the letter “g” with them.

    Reply

  47. dwg says:

    unbelievable.
    How about we figger out what the Egyptian revolution means for the EGYPTIANS first?
    Self centered Israelis and Palestinians — as usual — how about this has nothing to do with the ineffective, irrevalant and mostly meaningless “peace” treaty between Israel/Egypt?
    Has to do with hungry, jobless Egyptians, tired of being kept poor to enrich the ruling class.
    Maybe Israel should have its own revolution to overthrow Bibi — easily as corrupt and power mad as Mubarak.

    Reply

  48. JohnH says:

    “Well, you’ve been right about everything else Nadine:” Yep, the Muslim Brotherhood just took power.
    It was inevitable, just as Nadine and her ilk have been claimed!

    Reply

  49. Cato the Censor says:

    Thanks very much for completely fulfilling my expectation that the events in Egypt would provoke a great deal of foaming at the mouth in this comments section. It’s very rare in adult life that this happens.

    Reply

  50. JamesL says:

    The caption headline pic on Al Jazeera right now: “Barack Obama watched history unfold in Egypt on a television screen just outside the Oval Office, sources said [AFP]”.
    Watching history unfold on tv is so…American.

    Reply

  51. Dan Kervick says:

    “Flash-mob Facebook rebellions are not likely to work out better than the French Revolution did.”
    Well, you’ve been right about everything else Nadine. Why just yesterday you assured me that Mubarak wasn’t backing down, and that the dumb Obama clearly didn’t understand the testicular obduracy of Middle Eastern manhood.
    That Mubarak – such a mensch.

    Reply

  52. Matthew says:

    Dan said: ” hope the Egyptians maintain their peace treaty with Israel, stand back, and allow the Palestinian youth to organize their own resistance in the same way Egypt’s young people insisted on ownership of their homegrown revolution.”
    Absolutely true. What the youth of Egypt have shown us is the effectiveness of demonstrating for freedom and refusing to be coopted into a phony process (i.e., the US-lead “Peace Process”). Demand human rights. And accept no substitute.
    It’s astounding that people don’t pay Israel the compliment of analyzing its actions as those of a typical nation state: It will hold what it can hold and only concede what it must. So the point is to “price tag” its Occupation and land theft. It is to treat Zion like Apartheid South Africa.
    To appeal to Israel’s “morality” is, frankly, childish.

    Reply

  53. Dan Kervick says:

    I think Atallah’s sentiments are quite apt.

    Reply

  54. DonS says:

    “It wasn’t all that long ago that Steve came close to calling Senator Schumer a traitor for disagreeing publically with President Obama about his Middle East policies.” (ww)
    Was that before or after WW came close to slandering homosexuality (you do remember the Walt Whitman posts), threateningly juxtaposed to one of WW’s little dust ups with our host, that she manages to ‘sincerely’ rationalize away, but never sincerely apologize for.

    Reply

  55. DonS says:

    “Dan, that’s not fair. Wigwag often criticizes pieces without ridiculing them . . .” (nadine)
    [controlling laughter]
    Another disingenuous, or stupid comment. WW has never written a word here that isn’t cynical and razor edged, perhaps most especially when she is feigning sincerity and concern. But I would not expect nadine to notice that.

    Reply

  56. DonS says:

    As usual, the blathering hasbarist can’t wait to spin her Israeli centric “realism”. I guess it’s a thankless job, but some zionist apologist has to do it.
    But the statement “The United States has been taught (once again) that its only stable and reliable ally in the Middle East is Israel” is a real puzzler, even given the qualifications that it’s not a bed of roses for US policy dealing with potential unstable outcomes in the “non Israeli” ME (i.e., everyone else. Exactly what “stability and reliability” has Israel brought that benefits the US, except the stable, constant and reliable demand to enable the consequences of Israeli intransigence. And in what way is Israel “reliable” in any sense that benefits the US except to predictably and reliable thwart any “progress” that would normalize conditions in the region and reduce the pressure on the US to cover Israel’s sorry ass internationally.
    No one has yet, in years of hasbarist propaganda listed one tangible benefit the US derives from the relationship with Israel, though they are quick to throw out the claim that Israel is a “reliable ally” — with allies like that we don’t need enemies to cause us grief.
    As to Ros Lehtinen, who is surprised. On Egypt she waxed all sympathetic to the uprising cause, at times, yet always through in the bottom line clincher, i.e., the US should control conditions to prevent the arising of “extremes”. So, divert Egyptian aid to Israel! What a shocker! Our stupid Congress might just go along with it. Or they might grow some balls, but I’m not holding my breath. The US has just been proven markedly less important on the international scene — particularly the bellicose, Israeli supported sort of relevance favored by the Ros Lehtinen’s and similarly corrupted stooges for the Israel right wing. So she can take her best shot. They can all take their best shot. Obama, who the hasbarists hate, will quite likely grovel right along. Sure, the US can choose the backward looking path that leads to decreasing relevance. But maybe it’s just that we’re not yet at the point in social development that the Egyptians have gotten to where overturning the whole corrupt system is the only thin that makes sense.
    So keep rattling your sabers, hasbarists. And may you wake up one day; take a positive step towards peace. Or rot. America deserves better than the corrosive influence spread by your ilk.

    Reply

  57. WigWag says:

    “But it’s hard to mount a rational criticism of a piece so devoid of rational argument.” (Nadine)
    I actually thought my criticism of Atallah’s post was quite rational.
    I am sure that Mr. Atallah is a nice fellow. Steve Clemons and Dan Levy appear to like him and they seem like fine fellows too.
    Mr. Atallah might even be very bright. You just wouldn’t know it from this post of his or any other post he has ever written at the Washington Note.
    Someone who pens a piece this dimwitted has richly earned all the ridicule he gets; but let me be clear that the ridicule is directed towards Atallah’s commentary on the Israel-Palestine dispute at the Washington Note not towards any other aspect of his personhood.
    I am sure Atallah is thick-skinned enough to take it; after all, I am regularly referenced in the comment section of the Washington Note far more offensively than anything that I am dispensing to Mr. Atallah.
    In fact, Steve Clemons himself has posted remarks far more offensive than anything I’ve said about Mr. Atallah. It wasn’t all that long ago that Steve came close to calling Senator Schumer a traitor for disagreeing publically with President Obama about his Middle East policies. To be more precise, Steve implied that the Senator was more loyal to Israel than he was to his own country.
    I am sure Mr. Atallah is a loyal American (or a loyal citizen of whatever nation he is a citizen of).
    I ridiculed him for writing this post because his point of you is so ridiculous.

    Reply

  58. Dan Kervick says:

    My suggestion for the Palestinians is that they bring the Arab Spring to Palestine, and that young Palestinians work to displace *both* the Palestinian Authority and Hamas from their current leadership roles. The Palestinians need a new national unity government, and a new generation to lead it.
    The Arab world – and all of us – have just received an epochal round of instruction in the tremendous potential of disciplined, non-violent resistance organized around internet-driven civil society. The same approach can work elsewhere.
    I hope the Egyptians maintain their peace treaty with Israel, stand back, and allow the Palestinian youth to organize their own resistance in the same way Egypt’s young people insisted on ownership of their homegrown revolution.

    Reply

  59. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag, are you capable of writing *anything* that doesn’t include an effort to ridicule, smear, disparage, humiliate, condescend or exact revenge upon some individual or group?
    If Atallah’s views are childish or wrong-headed, then surely that fact will stand out in clear relief when those views are juxtaposed with the products of your own advanced wisdom. Why not just present your alternative views and let the reader judge who has the better part of sagacity and judgment?

    Reply

  60. WigWag says:

    Well there’s one thing the Egyptian Revolution didn’t change; Amjad Attalla was incapable of saying anything relevant or informative before the overthrow of Mubarak and he’s still incapable of penning a post at the Washington Note that spouts anything other than platitudes.
    Could the Egyptiam Revolution bode well for the Palestinians? Possibly. But it could just as easily auger disaster for them. You wouldn’t know any of this by reading what Atallah has to say.
    Surely the Palestinians could use better political leadership; both Fatah and Hamas are corrupt, violent and clannish. The major Palestinian political parties hate each other with the same gusto that they hate Israel. To add to the dysfunction, the Hamas faction practices a form of Islam that is hateful and intolerant of Jews, Christians, gays and just about any other group that doesn’t share its version of Islamism. How do Hamas and Fatah deal with each other? Well members of Hams like to throw members of Fatah off roves; members of Fatah enjoy torturing members of Hamas.
    As has been noted over and over again by Palestinians and their supporters, no one is more in need of the rule of law than Palestinians; simple majoritarianism won’t do; legitimate representatives who are constrained by the need to adhere to secular legislation as opposed to Sharia would be a huge step forward for the Palestinians. If the Egyptian Revolution inspires Palestinians to reject Hamas and Fatah and construct a civil society then it would have served the Palestinians very well.
    The other thing the Palestinians could learn from the Egyptians is to stop looking elsewhere for the source of their own dysfunction. Just as Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak led the Egyptians down a hole that they may be starting to climb out of, Arafat, Abbas and Meshal have done the same thing. If the Palestinian people learn to stop blaming Israel for everything and start blaming the leaders of their own society, they will have learned a valuable lesson from their Egyptian colleagues.
    But if I were a Palestinian patriot I would be very nervous about the blowback from the Egyptian Revolution. After all, what are the likely results for Palestine?
    1) The United States has been taught (once again) that its only stable and reliable ally in the Middle East is Israel. It will be increasingly obvious to Washington policy makers that the unstable Arab autocrats it has been supporting can’t last forever and that even if nascent democracies replace the autocratic regimes, those democracies are likely to be fragile, unreliable and weak. And that’s before the inevitable try for a counter-revolution that follows virtually every revolution within a few years. What happens when the Egyptians and citizens of potential new democratic regimes in other Arab nations realize that an improved form of government won’t lower the price of wheat or gasoline? What happens when citizens in democratic Arab nations realize that their economic prospects continue to be dim?
    All of this means that the U.S. and Israel are about to get even closer as hard as that is to believe. Will this help the Palestinians? I have heard that there have even been discussions on Ros-Lehtinen

    Reply

  61. non-hater says:

    “What should Palestinians do now?”
    That depends on whether or not the “peace” process is dead. A dead “peace” process would mean that the Palestinians will never have a state that is sovereign in any meaningful way. If it is dead, then Palestinians should start peacefully demanding to be made full citizens of Israel. If it isn’t dead, then Palestinians should continue (or start, depending on one’s POV) peacefully demanding a fully sovereign state with borders very close to their pre-1967 locations. Jews of conscious should support what is right in light of the state of the “peace” process, though I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them find the “peace” process to be alive and kicking.

    Reply

  62. JohnH says:

    Nadine fantasizes again: “What a destabilized and possibly revolutionary Egypt means is that the peace process is dead.”
    Wrong again! Nadine forgets that it was Bibi who took credit for killing Oslo. The peace process died when Bibi was elected 15 years ago. Everything since has been a charade.
    It will be interesting to see how Egyptian troops will enforce the blockade of Gaza now that Palestinians have been feeding them. Maybe Israel will have invade Sinai, so that they can continue Palestinians at a subsistence level. That should go over big with the Arab world!

    Reply

  63. Warren Metzler says:

    Amjad, you wrote two very significant statements in your article. One is “…the state and the government exist as a consequence of the will of the people, and not vice-versa.”
    This is so true, and as you pointed out, even true for dictators. Therefore any effective change in government results from the majority of the citizens deciding “no more”. To relate this to Palestine, educate and encourage the Palestinian people that they each deserve the right to pursue their natural destiny. And in time sufficient numbers will do “an Tungypt”. There I just created a new word / noun. A Tungypt: where the people finally assemble, and through daily protests force the government to create a government for the people, of the people, and by the people. A Tungypt, a 21st. century form of the American Revolution.
    The second one is “…the loudest voice is the moral voice. The means do not justify the end – the means actually help determine the end.” So very true. Reality grows out of the citizens’ inner contexts, people’s inner contexts are not formed by their environment (the “clean slate” theory of childhood is in error). Encourage the citizens to develop individual moral lifestyles, and eventually they will have a government that reflects those values.
    Very good my man. Keep up your presentations.

    Reply

  64. Matthew says:

    I’m not as pessimistic as Kathleen. To complete the blockade of Gaza, Israel needed a partner and enabler. A Egypt that says, “We will not starve Arabs for Israel’s benefit” will be a light unto the nations.
    Next stop on the Freedom Express: Riyadh!

    Reply

  65. Kathleen says:

    “What Does the Egyptian Revolution Mean For Palestine?”
    Probably more U.S. aid for Israel’e illegal activities
    You can bet that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Richard Engel, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Fox, Cspan will not be broadcasting from any Palestinian protest, illegal settlements, refugee camps will continue to keep these critical issues out of the light.
    Israel and the powerful I lobby will use this to get more aid for Israel’s illegal activities

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *