Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arab Anger Gives Hope To Gaza

Stepping outside the borders of Gaza, a sea of anger is visibly rising. It threatens to wash away the detritus of American imperialism in the region; the Arab ruling classes of Egypt, Jordan and beyond.
That the dictatorial governments of Jordan and Egypt are bought and paid for is utterly apparent to all but the North American and European media. They endlessly insist on calling them “moderate Arab regimes”. You’d think this were a compliment if you didn’t know that this is a region where extreme solutions are the only viable ones.
But the New York Times is happy to let the cat out of the bag: being moderate means being pro-American. It doesn’t matter if you cut the heads off of political opponents and prevent women from driving. It doesn’t matter that you slaughter, repress, censor or engage in any number of other repulsive practices: if you will kiss Uncle Sam’s ass, you’re a moderate. Robert Fisk summed it up well :
“As usual, the Arab satraps – largely paid and armed by the West – are silent, preposterously calling for an Arab summit on the crisis which will (if it even takes place), appoint an "action committee" to draw up a report which will never be written. For that is the way with the Arab world and its corrupt rulers.”
Luckily, the idiot kings and dictators of Egypt and Jordan face a growing wrath. Egypt in particular has seen an explosion of militancy in recent years, including a growing confidence to challenge America’s favourite president-for-life, Hosni Mubarak. It was only severe repression earlier this year that prevented a growing labour insurgency from turning into a general strike, rooted in the giant textile mills of Malhalla, Egypt.
That anger still exists and the confidence remains unbroken. The present slaughter in Gaza is creating a special crisis for Egypt because it has locked down its Gaza border, preventing at gunpoint desperate Palestinians trying to escape.
“The largest protests against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza were in Egypt, where 8,000 demonstrated in the southern city of Aysut, 4,000 protested in the capital Cairo and 4,000 in Alexandria. In total, more than 50,000 demonstrated in Egyptian cities on Sunday, led by the Islamist opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, out of which Hamas first emerged.”
Within Iraq anger at the slaughter is acting as a catalyst to unite Sunni, Shia – and even Kurds in the north. Israel is undermining all of America’s good work of divide. The war against Gaza could make life difficult for America in Iraq.
In Jordan, which has long aided Israel, including a massacre of tens of thousands of Palestinians during Black September, 1970, protests continued across the country.
In Lebanon, which has also suffered under the blows of Israel’s American-made weapons, and which sent the Israeli’s scurrying back across the border on more than one occasion, there was a mass demonstration of tens of thousands that pledged solidarity with the suffering Palestinians.
And, of course, within Israel/Palestine itself the assault is pushing more Palestinians towards support for Hamas and leading to greater unrest – including riots and protests - in the areas controlled by the corrupt satraps of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.
It’s this explosion of anger that has pushed the Americans and the so-called Quartet to press Israel to agree a ceasefire. So far Israel has resisted the pressure but if the mobilizations and pressure rises in Egypt or Jordan, watch America move to rein in its high priced watchdog. It can't come a moment too soon.
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