Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Netanyahu celebrates Arab Spring by green-lighting hundreds of new setttlements

It's been more than two years since I blogged.

Heck, now with activity on Twitter, and my published articles in the midst of grading papers, who can figure out any time to think up a topic let alone write one.

But this was a gem I had to do something about.

I live for articles like this one "Israel to build new West Bank settlements" because they confirm my skepticism of the misnomer that Western Media continues to shove down Middle Easterners' throats.

Arab Spring.

There can be no "Arab" Spring nor Arab "Spring" without the resolution of key issues in the region; chief among them the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Arab - barring the Anglo protectorates of the Gulf - society has since World War II been shaped in various ways by this conflict.

You cannot have an "Arab Spring" while Gaza is bombed with impunity (five times this past week) and Palestinians live under the tether and yoke of occupation.

Neither can you have an "Arab Spring" if many in the region still don't recognize Israel. (But we'll leave the Arab penchant for playing the ostrich to another posting some time in the future)

The terminology mistakenly applied by western journalists, analysts, researchers and the like is designed to borrow credence from the regenerative trends and reformative changes that produced the Age of Enlightenment.

The Age of Enlightenment paved the way for a giant leap in the sciences and allowed for the Industrial Revolution.

But the Arab Spring has .... well, nothing. Too early, you have to be patient, wait for Revolution 2.0 and 11.x, some people who bemoan my position tell me. Yes, meanwhile more than 30 percent (even by the most optimistic figures) of the Arab World are illiterate.

That's nearly 100 million people, hoss.

I believe in fundamentals. You get the fundamentals right and you're likely to build something that stands the test of time.

In the Arab world, the fundamentals have not even been set; there is no infrastructure that allows for even a glimpse of a better future - Spring - down the line. There is the century-old misappropriation of priorities, which Arabs appear to excel at.

Only discernible change I have seen since the Tunisian protests is that the Palestinian issue - integral to this part of the world no matter how you look at it - has faded from public and regional media interest. Not that it had much of an impact by a long shot before 2010.

I remember chuckling last summer when Egyptian media heralded a new era because post-Mubarak diplomacy had resolved the Hamas-Fatah civil war. Fanfare, hoopla, confetti - celebrations abound in Egyptian media as it was declared that the two rival factions were forming a unity government.

Two weeks later, Hamas and Fatah were back at pricking one another. If I search carefully, I may come across an article now and again which cites some Palestinian official hoping for reconciliation. In fact, I just read - again - that they were forming a unity government under the auspices of another round of post-Mubarak diplomacy, following Qatari diplomacy in February.

Arab Spring, indeed.

PS: Another great article which of course will garner (don't you hate that word!) little to no attention, outcry, action in Arab media let alone the public.

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