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Revolution & the Arab World: Is Egypt the Next Tunisia?

Tear gas, and blood in the streets. We look at what’s unfolding in the Arab world.

Police face demonstrators in Cairo, Jan. 25, 2011, during a Tunisia-inspired demonstration. (AP)

First it was Tunisia, with thousands in the streets and a dictator of decades sent packing. The “jasmine revolution,” they called it.

Now, just days later, with Tunisia still on edge, it is Egypt with thousands in the streets, and tear gas and blood, and shouts of “Down with Hosni Mubarak!”

Egypt’s longtime strongman ruler – and U.S. ally – is a tougher, more brutal target.  But something big is happening in the Arab world. Thousands out in Yemen. Protests in Jordan. Twitter and Facebook on fire. The U.S. watching.

We look at the peoples’ revolt in the streets in the Arab world.

-Tom Ashbrook


Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.

Noureddine Jebnoun, visiting professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. He is Tunisian and lived there until he came to the U.S. in 2005. Read his new article: “Tunisia’s Glorious Revolution and Its Implications.”

Ben Wedeman, senior international correspondent for CNN.

Labib Kamhawi, Jordanian businessman and political commentator.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-a-new-truth-dawns-on-the-arab-world-2194488.html Kevin


    My hope is that this will be the beginning of the end of Western hegemony in the Middle East.

    We, The West, have been propping up these brutal dictators for two generations or so. We have sponsored the oppression of almost 350 million Arabs, and they have had enough. Why should we be the bad guys? Aren’t we better than that? Isn’t America supposed to be better than that?

    And why is Clinton silent? No, why is Clinton saying that the dictator Mubarak is a valued friend an ally? Silence would be better.

    Why no Obama mention/support of Egyptian democracy in the SOTU? As he spoke, thousands of young Egyptian heroes faced off against riot police in Tahrir (Liberty) Square. Is it because freedom in the Arab world will destroy our national interests there?

    I, for one, do not want my nation to prosper on the backs of the repressed.

    I’m bursting with joy as I watch them take back their freedom in Tunis, Egypt, and hopefully Palestine, KSA, Jordan, Algeria, etc. THIS is what we, America, should be sponsoring. This is what the CIA should be backing.

    Thoreau taught Gene Sharp (Civil Disobedience), and Gene Sharp taught this generation in turn(From Dictatorship to Democracy). Now Robert Fisk has his finger on the pulse of the Arab street. These are some of the people who’s writings really put the events in perspective as downtrodden citizens put those lessons into practice.

    We could be witnessing the births of new liberal democracies IN SPITE OF our (shameful) opposition to them. Hope and Change all across the world. Happy day!

  • Michael

    Will On-point call out the hypocrisy of Both Obama and SOS Clinton speech on democracy and human rights in regards to Tunisia vs Egypt.

    Or At least Clinton hyperbole condemnation of Iran against there protester vs “We are going to smash the protesters” Egypt?

    The line so far for the U.S. quite blatant hypocrisy so far is that Egypt is more stable with a dictator aka F#k democracy if it is political or economically valuable to prevent it.

  • Michael

    Could onpoint atleast talk about this?

    Rights Group Says Democracies Ignore Abuses
    Democracies around the world are ignoring abuses by repressive regimes and opting for improved relations rather than condemning rights violations and curtailing aid, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

    In its annual report, the international watchdog decried what it called the increasing use of soft measures without any guarantees to ensure that changes occur in regimes.

    “`Dialogue’ and ‘cooperation’ with repressive governments is too often an excuse for doing nothing about human rights,” said Kenneth Roth, the group’s executive director

    “For him to be received warmly by Mr. Barroso is in a sense a culmination of this gradual capitulation,” Roth said. He called Karimov a “ruthless leader,” and the Human Rights Watch report said Uzbekistan’s human rights record remains “abysmal,” with crackdowns on opposition and media, and persecution of religious believers.

    “The European Union has epitomized this failure, this tendency to fall for subterfuge used by these governments to avoid serious pressure,” Roth said.

    But Barroso said human rights stood at the heart of his private talks with the Uzbek leader.

    Now here’s the kicker and Almost word for word what SOS Clinton said substituting such for egypt.

    “I have raised all key concerns of Europe, notably regarding human rights and fundamental freedoms, which stand at the heart of EU foreign policy,” Barroso said.

    “Overall, the report said many democracies are abandoning political pressure and accepting the rationalizations of authoritarian governments.”

    Just as the U.S. is rationalizing support the Dicator in Egypt. Base on it’s Foreign Middle East Policy.

    Regarding the U.S., the report criticized the alleged use of illegal interrogation methods involving the torture of terror suspects during the Bush administration.

    The report also said President Barack Obama’s “famed eloquence … has sometimes eluded him when it comes to defending human rights.” This was especially noticeable in contacts with countries that are important to U.S. interests, such as China, India, Indonesia, Egypt and Bahrain, the group said.
    “A dictator will weigh this cost-benefit analysis and decide that repression pays. The aim of the international community is to make repression not pay,” he said.

    The group also complained about what it called the West’s “soft reaction to certain favored African autocrats, such as Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.”

    Defending human rights “may sometimes interfere with other governmental interests,” Human Rights Watch said. “But if governments want to pursue those interests instead of human rights, they should at least have the courage to admit it.”

    It be great if on-point could have someone on from HRW as well.

  • http://www.gignouxphotos.com Alan

    If you are sitting in Whitehall,The Lycee Palace, US State Department and most importantly, Yerusaleim, your hairs must be standing on end! Could this be Eastern Europe in the 80′s, Latin America in the 90′s?. For the West, this could be the end of neo colonialism and the ability to control a billion people, economically, politically and socially. Don’t worry, I think we have thought about the specter of popular revolt, if anybody wants to read about Britain’s dealings with the Islamist movements over the years, read Mark Curtis’s, Secret Affairs.

    The real looser in all of this will be Israel. What happens if there is not a Government in Cairo who will be willing to collaborate with the occupation of Gaza? Don’t worry, Britain has been nuturing its contacts in the Brotherhood (who are a large umbrella organisation, from Whabbists to secularists) for this day and will support Britain’s economic interests, like in Jordan.

    Hussein always allowed members of the brotherhood into Parliament and the Government and even allowed Hamas to have an office in Ammaan. Hussein’s son, Abdullah, under pressure from the West, has cracked down on the Islamists, mixed with less support from the Bedouin, Rania could well be shopping in London. Maybe Prince Hassan was ten years before his time! calling for a constitutional monarchy and we all saw Israel’s attitude towards that! What does Israel do if Jordan has a Palestinian Prime Minister! who maybe might enforce the economic side of the Peace deal!

    Lebanon, the Christians are divided between Gagea and Aoun but both do not see benefits in supporting Israel as all know the conflict with Hizzbollah is really about the source of life, the Litani river and the Hasbani springs, Lebanon as dysfunctional as it maybe, is a sort of democracy with Hizzbollah MP’s, does the US go the Iraq route of sanctions on Lebanon and the West Bank if they do not get the freely elected Government they want? or the question could be, does the US have the ability to do the, “Iraqi style” sanctions?

    This could well happen in the West Bank after the, “Palestine Papers” as Abu Mazzen is perceived worse than the Israelis and maybe, he dissolves the Palestinian authority! goodbye to the Israeli sponsored thugs trailblazing new settlements as there will be no partner to facilitate.

    Sweet dreams Mr. Netanayhu.

  • Zeno

    It has never been surprising that the US supports dictatorships or any form of government that will protect wealth. I remember how George the 1st was in a complete panic during the LA riots.

    Anything that threatens their power and wealth is reason enough to support whatever it takes to retain it.

    Here is the basic and concrete principal: Never do anything to endanger wealth and commerce.

    Its why we don’t care about situations like Rwanda, but we care about North Korea and The Mid-East. It is why WikiLeaks is a problem, and outsourcing is not.
    Its why a constant stream of taxpayer money is used to support large corporations, but small ones don’t count.
    Its why the SJC deems corporations to be people, but real people have no rights at all. Its why multimillionaires get free tax paid health care, but the taxpayers themselves are not worthy of such support.

    On and on it goes because of a simple rule: Money to get power, power to protect money.

  • Al Dorman

    Prof. AbuKhalil would be a good guest on this. We have to remember that Tunisia was a SECULAR uprising, not an Arabic insurgency. If it turns out we are propping up these regimes in N. Africa, after decades of propping up right-wing dictatorships and torture squads in S. America, it would be a real shame.

  • Brandstad


    Pop quiz: Which country, over the last 30 years, has received the second biggest amount of U.S. foreign aid?

    If you said Egypt, you should move to the head of the class.

    Other than Israel, it’s been at the top of the list, hauling in $2 billion a year, on average.


    What have we got for all of this money? Do we get food from them, do we get technology from them, do we get energy from them? NO, not any significant amount.

    Shouldn’t we stop this wasted foreign aid and start investing it in the US mainland?

    Doesn’t giving foreign aid give fuel to those around the world that claim that the US is an imperial power that is trying to take over the world, by influence?

  • Nicolas Hajjar

    Finally, the Arab people are ready to step out of their backwater systems. for decades, since my paretns fled the Egypt, i have watched in agony a region which is not modernising its ideals, i have watched as extremism and hopelesness have griped it. But now tunisian heroes have shown us the way, and i can only praise them and enjoin my brothers to follow their path.
    We, in the Arab diaspora, are 100% behind your efforts, no ressources will be spared to help this revolution.
    One last point, this is a Western interest as well. the only available options are Arab democracy or Isalmic extremism, support these revolution or the war on terror will never be won. support the corrup kelptocrats at your own peril, for chickens always come home to roost.

    Nicolas Hajjar
    Montreal, PQ, CAN

  • Nicolas Hajjar

    Al Dorman – it WAS an Secular Arab uprising, not a Islamic one.

    Nicolas Hajjar
    Montreal, PQ, CAN

  • Mohamed

    There is no confrontational transfer of power without army support or at least neutrality. Tunisians succeeded when their army disobeyed Ben Ali’s order to shoot but Mubarak still enjoys the support of his army. External pressure must be sufficient to allow energized political activities that can produce leaders capable of governing. Tunisia is challenged now because the only people who know how to take office are the corrupt ones that would never give it up. Mohamed Elbarady ( former chief of the IAEA) should be engaged and supported by the US and it’s allies. ( Egyptians know he may be the only one fit for a half orderly transition)


    SF California

  • Nicolas Hajjar

    The army in Egypt, unlike Tunisia, is a principal economic force in the country and it will not dissociate from the current situation without being combatted.

    I have much family there and they all remind me of this point: For this to succeed, there will be blood…

    Nicolas Hajjar

  • David Ingle

    I have a suggestion for a show. Tom would be outstanding at this interview. Charlie Rosenburg who has a history chair at Harvard, husband of Drew Faust president of Harvard. He wrote a book, I think in the sixties, called “The Trial of the Assassain Gaudault” which is about the facts and trial around President Garfield’s murder. Dr. Rosenburg’s analysis is interesting because it really covers how our society thinks about insanity, stalking, stalking high profile figures and all issues around the public discussion or murder. VERY interesting and right up your alley I think. Cheers, love the show!

  • Sameh Ahmed

    As an Egyptian who knows many in the Egyptian army, Mubarak does not have any real support from the army, the protests are snow balling and the protesters are getting bolder day after day. I was chatting with a Tunisian friend and the Mubarak regime is using the same tactics to confront the protests that Ben Ali was using in Tunisia. The more he cracks down, the more the dissent increase and the support for the regime increases. The result is adding more fuel to the protestors and increasing their numbers. That is exactly what has been happening. Cracks is starting to appear in the ruling party and it is a matter of days before it reaches a tipping point and Mubarak follow Ben Ali.

  • Erin in Iowa City IA

    Now Yemen too? What is going on?

  • Johan

    It’s heartening to see these democratic movements across the Arab world. One big question is whether or not we’ll see a resurgence of the Green Revolution in Iran. Another big question is whether or not the West will support the kind of democratic governments that replace the dictatorships. Will the result be democracies where we want to see them and dictators where we need them?

    Dundas, Ontario

  • John (Murfreesboro)

    Do the collection of North African nations down to Kenya have common interests? Could these seperate nations come to a consensus that would allow a coalition of partnerships breaking from foreign aide and developing there own economy?

  • John from Plainville

    The most important question here is why is the US government not speaking out about the democratizing movement in Africa/Middle East right now. However, the government is silent about this right now. Seems as if the US wants to protect itself as the “only true path towards democracy” a la the Catholic Church mediating one’s relationship towards God. Very disappointing silence from America right now.

  • Nick

    Excellent comment from John from Plainville @ 10:32AM!

  • jack

    Johannes Gutenberg brought the Enlightenment to the Western World; Mark Zuckerberg has brought it to the Islamic World.

  • Bill Minter

    Hi Tom

    Great topic. Westerners continue to try to define Middle Eastern societies with National lines and Nation States that have always been applied by force and have never been native to the region. We need only look back to the Iranian revolution to see this exact same sea change regional movement. These are often defined by false states, or even over emphasis on religious definitions (ie Suni Shiite). Do people forget that the real reason for the Iran Irac War was the effort of all those pro western oil states to stop a flow of revolution that would certainly have swept all those Westernized monarchies into the sea. That is why Saddam Hussain felt that the US and all of those states owed him after he sacrificed his people to stop that flow. These sea changes are not confined to State lines drawn by outsiders. These are historical movements that history has seen before.

    Hope you get this in time.

  • Larry

    The most important question here is why is the US government not speaking out about the democratizing movement in Africa/Middle East right now. However, the government is silent about this right now. Seems as if the US wants to protect itself as the “only true path towards democracy” a la the Catholic Church mediating one’s relationship towards God. Very disappointing silence from America right now.
    Posted by John

    Don’t you know America loves totalitarian regimes? They are good allies in the eyes of the elite. They control their people under the boot and America loves that because it means they can make deals with a few at the top. A little riches for them and the countries resources can be stolen from the people.

  • Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban

    My husband is in Cairo as a tour leader. He just emailed me that cell phones are blocked and twitter is also blocked. He’s worried about the internet too.
    Carolyn in Providence

  • David Henry

    It is very interesting to see how much the US deters democracy in the middle east. I guess you could say we hate their freedom. It makes a lot of things look different when the US’s policy objects are put to the test. I wish we would see the long view and realize our interests would be much better served in the long run if we did support democracy. It may be shaky for a while but in the end it will lead to a lot more peace and prosperity, though it might make gas prices go up. The cold war is over its time to show these autocrats the door. We should all write the white house and tell them to support democracy at home and abroad.

  • Grady Lee Howard

    John and Nick
    Supporting “human rights” is contingent on whom you consider human. To Oligarchs only those with the means to socialize with them are human. To them Barack Obama is barely human. So our regime, dominated by oligarchs, tends to come to the aid of their repressive puppet allies, and to give them carte blanche over the masses of Middle Eastern youth under age 30 who are corralled like cattle with no opportunity. Maybe Hillary and Barack consider these dispossessed masses too volatile and dangerous to qualify as human. What they thought was a fail safe pressure cooker turned out to be an old coffee pot percolating away. Are you ready for some hot coffee? “Pass the cream, er ah, the ammunition,” say Marines in Yemen.

  • Larry

    My husband is in Cairo as a tour leader. He just emailed me that cell phones are blocked and twitter is also blocked. He’s worried about the internet too.
    Carolyn in Providence
    Posted by Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban

    That’s why depending on the internet is such a losing proposition for an uprising. The government can shut it down very easily. Surely people know that. And hopefully they have the smarts to go to plan B. In-person communication with their fellow oppressed citizens.

  • david sokol

    I am a democratic and I am toubled by the bias of your show and its guests. A brief look at the above comments and you see the sliver of opinion that is broadcast. Tom tries to represent another view when he realizes that the trust is being “sugar coated” but he does not invite guests to truely give an alternative opinion.
    For instance. The guest who portrays the Muslim Brotherhood as begign is an apolgist for Islamism. The fact that they have apparently changed is only because the stong arm Egyptian government would stop hanging their members if the MB would change its stated goals. How long will this last without a totalitarian overseer. There is no non totalitarian govt in the area. The guests were all angry arabs and liberals saying again that the U.S. is on the “wrong side of History” ‘ Shameful biased reporting

  • Kevin

    I would like to add a high level analysis to the discussion, somewhat detached from the actual details and current events, but hopefully still relevant.

    The “levels of existence” theory of bio-psycho-social human evolution (Dr. Clare W. Graves) describes how autocratic regimes take advantage of pre-rational worldview memes in a given population to control the people through force (and fear and intimidation), but then through the imposition of disciplined –t hough often despotic — control over the population, the life conditions thus created for the population result in the evolvement generally of rational worldview memes ready for institutional democracy.

    Not meaning to oversimplify complex bio-psycho-social phenomena, I could add that biologically, the key is the development of the pre-frontal cortex based understanding of future consequences for present actions, which form the basis of rational decisions and self-discipline.

    The understanding then is this: Autocratic regimes will arise where worldview memes among the population resonate with the autocratic governance style. One hopes such a governance style would be benevolent, but more often than not, it is unfortunately despotic.

    In either case — benevolent or despotic — the autocratic governance style itself promotes the evolution of worldview memes within the ruled population to a next level, to a level that resonates more with the self-disciplined, rational worldview necessary for the successful development of democratic institutions.

    So in a way, autocratic governance is necessary for societal development for given populations at given stages of development, and the next governance system is generally oriented towards democratic institutions. We see examples of this throughout history: England (400 C.E.-present), Chile, France, Japan, etc. And we see very few examples where a stage of autocratic governance is not part of an evolution from “pre-civilized” society to democratically oriented free society.

    In fact, where the stage of autocratic governance is not fully experienced by the population (usually through intervention from outside forces or countries who impose “democratic” rule on a population not ready for it), the result is generally widespread corruption and instability that eventually devolves into autocratic governance as per the predominant worldview memes in the population. Examples: Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, Afghanistan.

    The best we can hope for is that populations ready to transition to democratic governance through a stage of autocratic governance be governed during the autocratic stage by upstanding, benevolent rulers who truly have the people’s best interests in mind. And the role of more evolved governments is not to impose democracy, but to understand the importance of the autocratic stage, to allow it to happen, but 1) to keep a rein on the behavior of autocratic rulers so that their actions and policies are not despotic and tyrannical, but keep the best interests and highest good of their people in mind, and 2) maintain a vital signs monitor on worldview memes within the given population and help the development of democratic institutions as and when the prerequisite worldview memes begin to arise naturally within the population.

    Thank you,

  • Zeno

    It seems so bizarre that humans have not progressed beyond titles like The King, The Ayatollah, The Supreme Leader, and The President.

    It seems like the only change in the human condition is that we cavemen have HiDef and the internet.

  • Larry

    Very interesting Kevin.

    How do the pre-Columbian Native North American populations fit into this analysis?

    To me, they seem completely outside of it.

  • http://bit.ly/f9nEvR Kevin

    US/UK puppet governments (needed to prop up Israel) are falling.

    This Jerusalem Post quote is VERY telling:

    Why would Israel be so enthusiastic about supporting a dictator? Because they can’t survive without it, maybe?

    It looks like Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, AND Palestine will all see democracy soon.

  • Kevin

    Hi Larry,

    In response to your question, here’s how I would answer.

    The pre-Columbian Native North American populations are excellent examples of healthy societies with pre-autocratic modes of governance supported by the predominance of worldview memes that one could describe as: tribal leaders and respect for elders, generally animistic or spiritistic understanding of natural phenomena, non-linear understanding of time, pre-rational understanding of “me” as a part of “us” that is there for our safety and the survival of “our ways” necessary for our safety.

    So those societies (as best I understand them), within the life conditions they found themselves in pre-Columbus, were healthy and sustainable, i.e., there was not a general coalescence or focus of energy into the evolvement of the existing worldview memes into a next stage — which would have been a transition into the autocratic stage based on the patterns we’ve seen in history.

    Compare pre-Columbian North American societies with post-Roman, pre-Medieval bands in England (380 C.E. – 800 C.E.) and the similarities in worldview memes (see description above). In England, the life conditions — and the people who lived and evolved within them — did not result in long-term sustainable predominance of those worldview memes. Human nature within those life conditions adapted and evolved into the next worldview memes (pre-autocratic/tribal into autocratic and absolute monarchal, then various stages of democratic institutional, then representative democracy). As Mitchi said at http://www.mitchisworld.com: in this way, the current “vestigial” monarchy in England can be traced back — at least in terms of worldview memes — to the warlords after the fall of the Roman Empire.


  • Larry

    Thanks Kevin.

    Give me the woodland trails of America over the cobblestones of Europe any day. (talking of course about past societies)

  • Ashraf

    Quick comment about the fear from Coptic Christian genocide by Muslims in Egypt. If in our religion we should kill them (as your biased media brainwashed you), why we didn’t do that hundreds of years ago? there was no USA, Europe was in its dark ages, and the Islamic empire was the strongest in the world? ask yourself before spreading misconceptions. In fact, the dictatorship that US is supporting is the ideal environment to spread violence, racism, and hate. Please, please, leave us alone, we will take care of each other.

    As for Israel, when they give back the land they occupied (and still occupying), when they listen to the international community, when they respect united nations decision, when they get rid of their nuclear arsenal, and more importantly, when the US stops supporting them blindly to kill innocent people, we can sit down and talk.

    BTW, we don’t hate Americans as your media is brain-washing you. I am currently here in US, and have very nice American friends, always opposing the US foreign policy. Let’s help each other, and live in peace.

  • Kevin

    Ashraf is 10000% correct!

  • http://Washington Cash,

    Revolution! Revolution! Revolution!

    The First Overthrow in Tunisia was a Surprise.
    The Next Overthrow in Egypt or Yemen will Titillate.
    And the Third Overthrow in Saudi or Pakistan will launch a Revolution that will infect a sclerotic Arab World.

    Any other aging, imperious arab dictators in power for over 20 years using an Iron fist policy?

    The Domino Theory may be proved right, but 50 years late and a half world away.

  • Shermin

    Tom, what do you mean when you say “Islamism”? This is a new term to me, a Muslim. We’ve herd of “Islamic extremism,” and if this is what you mean please say so instead of coining a new term that makes it seem that Islam is the problem when that is simply the name of the faith.

  • Judy

    Is the Middle East now beginning to experience its version of the fall of the Soviet Union? Strength in numbers?
    (I’m from Boston)

  • Sean

    wow, so many of you believe the pallywood propaganda against israel . How come we don’t hear about the media hoaxes like Al Dura which by the way was one of the exuses to kill Dianel Pearl. Anyway, WBUR if you want to delete what I write as you do all my other posts about Israel, you have your finger on the button.

  • Bob (Taylor Mi.)

    If Egypt falls, can Saudi Arabia be far behind? Seems that since Tunisia, the rest of the Arab world is realizing that there is power in mass uprising. (Some of the most corrupt regemes in the world are in the Middle East) Who is going to step in to the power vacuums in these places? From a US perspective, (We have a history of propping up some of the worst.) they probably won’t like us very much. We’ll need to get over it, and learn how to deal with these people PDQ!

  • Michael

    “pallywood propaganda”

    is what our Israeli apologist like to claim when people point out there HR abuse,genocide,ethic cleansing and there current support for the Egyptian Dictator.What they do is try to claim (often) using IDF radio of if’s,buts, could of that in fact the video footage of say IDF forces bounding a man and shooting him is a fake. Until the evidences is so think they have to admit such.

  • Michael

    Just to give a example of the (sic)the worlds most moral army.

    “On-Camera Shooting: Israel Troops Avoid Jail Two soldiers found guilty of shooting a blindfolded Palestinian man at close range have escaped jail sentences.

    “The court heard how Borberg and the sergeant carried out the shooting to encourage Abu Rahmeh to stop protesting in the village.

    The rubber bullet struck near the Palestinian’s toe causing superficial injuries.

    The video footage caused an outcry when it was filmed by a teenage Palestinian girl from her home in Naalin in July 2008.

    Israeli Soldiers Shot Man In 2008

    Her father told Sky News he was later arrested and detained for a month by the Israeli military without charge as punishment for what his daughter had done.”


    That’s right shooting a bound unarmed pally civian gets a Israeli solder Jail-time? nope

    Wow that sounds like something a Israeli and U.S. supported Dictator would do.

    WBUR keep his post it quite easy to dispute


    Ben-Eliezer: All we can do is express support for Mubarak

    01/26/2011 21:27

    Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who is close to Mubarak and met on Tuesday with a senior Egyptian official, said Mubarak’s regime was strong and stable. He said there was no Egyptian who was serious enough competition for Mubarak to lead an effort against him.

    “I don’t think it is possible [for there to be a revolution in Egypt],” Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio. “I see things calming down soon. Israel cannot do anything about what is happening there. All we can do is express our support for Mubarak and hope the riots pass quietly.”

    That’s right the (sic) Liberal democracy of Israel choose to support a oppressive dictator over democracy and it’s people(this includes are POTUS and SOS). Of course supporting a Dictatorial neighbor will have no backlash for Israel or the U.S. when there overthrown right?

  • Michael

    Now compare and contrast Egypt and Israel,

    Palestinians test out Gandhi-style protest bbc.

    organisers in Beit Jala, such as Ahmad Lazza of the Holy Land Trust who trains protesters in non-violent tactics, are determined to keep things peaceful.

    This is partly out of personal belief, and partly about avoiding escalation with Israeli soldiers.

    He was latter arrested by the IDF for incitement to protest and illegal protest and given a year. The IDF than requested he stay looked up for another 3 months. That’s right incitement for peaceful protest.

    Or this,
    In the shadow of an Israeli settlement bbc
    Though their inhabitants live within the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem governorate, few get to visit Jerusalem – though the city was “like a mother to us” one man said.

    While Israelis in nearby Givat Ze’ev settlement bloc zip to Jerusalem by car in minutes, the Palestinian villagers need permission from Israel’s military authorities.

    If they don’t get permission, apparently the norm, there are roundabout ways past Israel’s defences and into the city, but this risks jail and a stiff fine.

  • Michael

    Some of you might not know that Israeli settlers are not under the same law normal israeli’s are.

    Unlike Palestinians, Israeli civilians living in the Palestinian Territories are not subject to military or local law, but are prosecuted according to Israeli penal law. This originates in the Emergency Regulations bill enacted in 1967 and extended since which gives extraterritorial rights to Israelis in the occupied territories. B’TSelem has said that the difference in legal status of Israelis and Palestinians in the territories has led to a double standard in which Israelis are given more legal rights and are punished more lightly than the Palestinians who are subject to military and local law. B’Tselem notes the system violates the principles of equality before the law and territoriality.

    Referring to settler violence during the police evacuation of the “Federman Farm” near Kiryat Arba, Haaretz has stated in an editorial “Israeli society has become accustomed to giving lawbreaking settlers special treatment”, noting that no other group could similarly attack Israeli law enforcement agencies without being severely punished.[20] Haaretz has characterized settler violence on soldiers and policemen who participated in the evacuation of the “Federman Farm” as “terrorism”.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settler_violenceThe United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict reported on rioting and violence in the West Bank in the period preceding the Israeli military operations in Gaza. The report said “Little if any action is taken by the Israeli authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish violence against Palestinians, including killings, by settlers and members of the security forces, resulting in a situation of impunity. The Mission concludes that Israel has failed to fulfil its obligations to protect the Palestinians from violence by private individuals under both international human rights law and international humanitarian law

    . Back to Egypt and how Both the U.S. and Israel is supporting the authoritarian dictator over it’s people. You question that was not answer is the fear the Egyptians will not keep the blockade over gaza. Another obvious one is because the people in Egypt now that both the U.S. and Israel supports such one can expect there will be little goodwill towards the two if such oppressive ruler falls.

    Of course maybe in the short run might not be good for the U.S. interest, but in the long run one would think democracy is a better system. Isn’t that the reason we’re now Nation Building in Afghanistan and had those rigged elections there?

  • Michael

    West Bank protester has jail term extended

    Leader of village demonstrations against barrier has sentence is extended by three months after appeal by Israeli military prosecutors

    Opps it was Abu Rahmah another peaceful protestor

    West Bank protester Abdallah Abu Rahmah is facing a further three months in prison after the Israeli military court of appeal today extended his sentence.

    Abu Rahmah, a leader of protests against Israel’s separation barrier in the village of Bil’in, was convicted in August of incitement and organising illegal demonstrations. This was criticised by Cathy Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, who described him as a “human rights defender committed to non-violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier”.

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa also condemned the conviction.

    Abu Rahmah was due to be released in November, but military prosecutors argued for him to be detained until their appeal for a longer sentence could be heard. They wanted him to serve two years “as a deterrence not only to [Abu Rahmah] himself, but also to others who may follow in his footsteps”.

    Today the judge extended the sentence to 16 months, of which Abu Rahmah has served 13.

    Diplomatic representatives from seven European countries – including the UK – as well as the European Union were present in court today.

    Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was arrested in December 2009, and was sentenced to 12 months last October after an eight month military trial. He was cleared of stone throwing and possession of arms.


    Of course if this was Iran and not Israel or even egpyt the MSM would be all over it.

    “Menawhile, Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack began a three month prison sentence today after being of illegal gathering during a bicycle protest in Tel Aviv two years ago over the blockade of Gaza. His conviction activated an earlier suspended sentence.

    Pollack has regularly attended the protests in Bil’in.”

    Now It makes sense why Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, is close to Mubarak

  • Sean

    as a matter of fact it was a fake B’tselem propaganda film video. A top physicist told the court that the tape of the incident had been “doctored
    Yes they have courts of law in Israel . unlike hamas who just shoot and then ask questions

  • sean

    as far as Israel as you say is”an apartheid state” :

    Israel has Arab political parties ,In south Africa they were not allowed . There are Arab members of the Knesset ,the Israeli parliament, in south Africa they were not allowed .There is an Arab judges in the Israeli supreme court. In south Africa they were not allowed .There are Arab offices in the Israeli army ,In south Africa they were not allowed .There is an Arab general in the Israeli army .In south Africa they were not allowed . Therefore Israel is NOT a apartheid state .

  • Michael

    “as a matter of fact it was a fake B’tselem propaganda film video. A top physicist told the court that the tape of the incident had been “doctored
    Yes they have courts of law in Israel . unlike hamas who just shoot and then ask questions”

    Yet it was admitted in court and doing it and the father went to jail.lol

    “Lieutenant Colonel Omri Borberg, caught on video holding the arm of Ashraf Abu Rahmeh while he was shot with a rubber-coated bullet, cannot be promoted for the next two years, or command troops for one year, the military said.

    The sergeant who pulled the trigger – Leonardo Koria, has completed his military service, but was demoted to private.”

    I guess the judge must be in on it to.lol

  • Michael

    as far as Israel as you say is”an apartheid state” :

    Israel has Arab political parties ,In south Africa they were not allowed

    apartheid state does not have to be a mirror image of S.A. but there seem but the similarity that are pretty close.


    “Unlike Palestinians, Israeli civilians living in the Palestinian Territories are not subject to military or local law, but are prosecuted according to Israeli penal law. This originates in the Emergency Regulations bill enacted in 1967 and extended since which gives extraterritorial rights to Israelis in the occupied territories. ”

    As well

    On 27 July 2005, the Knesset amended the Nationality Law. The amendment restricts the family unification of Israeli citizens and residents (including residents of East Jerusalem) and Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories . The law does not apply to Israelis who apply for a legal status for their foreign spouse who does not live in the Occupied Territories

    As well

    “Center of Life Law” this law (does not apply to jews btw) that if a Palestinian does not live in Jerusalem for a set period of time these loss there residency and cannot return.

    As well,

    Settlers are protected by both Private Security Guards and the IDF, Palestinians are not,


    Israel does not recognize Palestine land rights to private property vs Israeli Jews

    the JNF(Jewish National Fund) has in it’s charter to only help Jews.

    Though Arabs make up 20% of the population they only receive 5% funding by the state. There also on make up 5 tp 7% of high tech jobs.

    The Knesset tried to pass a law banning israeli arab Party in israel.

    50-Rabbis have called for not allowing israeli arabs into villages and jews to refuse to rent to them. Many work for the State. After such call was made 250 more rabbis sign on to the pledge

    In February 2008, the government announced that the first new Arab city would be constructed in Israel. According to Haaretz, “[s]ince the establishment of the State of Israel, not a single new Arab settlement has been established, with the exception of permanent housing projects for Bedouins in the Negev.

    The term “demographic bomb” was famously used by Benjamin Netanyahu in 2003[77] when he noted that if the percentage of Arab citizens rises above its current level of about 20 percent, Israel will not be able to maintain a Jewish demographic majority. Netanyahu’s comments were criticized as racist by Arab Knesset members and a range of civil rights and human rights organizations

    The 2004 U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices[161] notes that:

    * “Israeli-Arab advocacy organizations have challenged the Government’s policy of demolishing illegal buildings in the Arab sector, and claimed that the Government was more restrictive in issuing building permits in Arab communities than in Jewish communities, thereby not accommodating natural growth.”
    * “In June, the Supreme Court ruled that omitting Arab towns from specific government social and economic plans is discriminatory. This judgment builds on previous assessments of disadvantages suffered by Arab Israelis.”
    * “Israeli-Arab organizations have challenged as discriminatory the 1996 “Master Plan for the Northern Areas of Israel,” which listed as priority goals increasing the Galilee’s Jewish population and blocking the territorial contiguity of Arab towns.”
    * “Israeli Arabs were not required to perform mandatory military service and, in practice, only a small percentage of Israeli Arabs served in the military. Those who did not serve in the army had less access than other citizens to social and economic benefits for which military service was a prerequisite or an advantage, such as housing, new-household subsidies, and employment, especially government or security-related industrial employment. The Ivri Committee on National Service has issued official recommendations to the Government that Israel Arabs not be compelled to perform national or “civic” service, but be afforded an opportunity to perform such service”.
    * “According to a 2003 University of Haifa study, a tendency existed to impose heavier prison terms to Arab citizens than to Jewish citizens. Human rights advocates claimed that Arab citizens were more likely to be convicted of murder and to have been denied bail.”
    * “The Orr Commission of Inquiry’s report [...] stated that the ‘Government handling of the Arab sector has been primarily neglectful and discriminatory,’ that the Government ‘did not show sufficient sensitivity to the needs of the Arab population, and did not take enough action to allocate state resources in an equal manner.’ As a result, ‘serious distress prevailed in the Arab sector in various areas. Evidence of distress included poverty, unemployment, a shortage of land, serious problems in the education system, and substantially defective infrastructure.’”

    The 2007 U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices[162] notes that:

    * “According to a 2005 study at Hebrew University, three times more money was invested in education of Jewish children as in Arab children.”

    Human Rights Watch has charged that cuts in veteran benefits and child allowances based on parents’ military service discriminate against Arab children: “The cuts will also affect the children of Jewish ultra-orthodox parents who do not serve in the military, but they are eligible for extra subsidies, including educational supplements, not available to Palestinian Arab children.”[163]

    According to The Guardian, in 2006 just 5% of civil servants were Arabs, many of them hired to deal with other Arabs, despite the fact that Arab citizens of Israel comprise 20% of the population.[164]

    The Israel Land Administration, which administers 93% of the land in Israel (including the land owned by the Jewish National Fund), refuses to lease land to non-Jewish foreign nationals, which includes Palestinian residents of Jerusalem who have identity cards but are not citizens of Israel

    Intermarriage is prohibited by the Jewish Halakha.[187] In the case of mixed Arab-Jewish marriages, emotions run especially high. A 2007 opinion survey found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage was equivalent to national treason.The Mossawa Center — an advocacy organization for Arabs in Israel — blames the Knesset of discrimination against Arabs, citing a 75% increase in discriminatory and racist bills submitted to the Knesset in the year 2009. According to the report, 11 bills deemed by the center to be “discriminatory and racist” were placed on the legislature’s table in 2007, while 12 such bills were initiated in 2008. However, in 2009 a full 21 bills deemed discriminatory by the Mossawa Center were discussed in the Knesset.[190]

    The reports categorizes as “racist” proposals such as giving academic scholarships to soldiers who served in combat units, and a bill to revoke government funding from organizations acting “against the principles of the State.”[190] The Coalition Against Racism and the Mossawa Center said that the proposed legislation seeks to de-legitimize Israel’s Arab citizens by decreasing their civil rights.[191]

    In 2001, Human Rights Watch issued a report that stated: “Government-run Arab schools are a world apart from government-run Jewish schools. In virtually every respect, Palestinian Arab children get an education inferior to that of Jewish children, and their relatively poor performance in school reflects this.”[206] The report found striking differences in virtually every aspect of the education system.[207][208]

    According to the 2004 U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied territories, “Israeli Arabs were underrepresented in the student bodies and faculties of most universities and in higher professional and business ranks. The Bureau of Statistics noted that the median number of school years for the Jewish population is 3 years more than for the Arab population. Well educated Arabs often were unable to find jobs commensurate with their level of education. According to Sikkuy, Arab citizens held approximately 60 to 70 of the country’s 5,000 university faculty positions.”[161]

    Arab educators have long voiced concerns over institutionalized budgetary discrimination in the government’s education sector.

  • Michael

    More to the point,

    Palestinians denied water
    Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says.

    In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    The Current Israeli F.M. party,
    Has pushed to institute a mandatory loyalty oath and advocates stripping anyone who refused to sign it of their right to vote or hold public office.(only to non-jews btw)
    • Advocates a reduction of Israel’s Arab population by redrawing borders along Palestinian-controlled areas to cede select towns to the Palestinian Authority.

    • Has called for the death penalty for any Arab Knesset member found to be collaborating with Hamas.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1878741,00.html#ixzz1CIxeaeQM

    Israeli orthodox rabbi stirs up racism debate
    In the past few weeks it has also become famous for a decree made by its chief rabbi who instructed residents not to rent rooms or houses to Israeli Arabs.

    In his little, stone house in the heart of the old city, I meet 89-year-old Eliyahu Zvieli. He moved here after fleeing the Nazis during the Second World War.

    Now he has been condemned by the rabbi for renting part of his house to three Arab students.

    The fact that he is an Israeli citizen means nothing to those who want him and his fellow students out.

    Poll: 55% back rabbis’ anti-Arab ruling

    Survey shows 41% of secular Israelis support municipal religious leaders’ call not to rent apartments to non-Jews, as do 64% and 88% of Israel’s traditional and haredi Jews, respectively

    Poll: 46% of high-schoolers don’t want equality for Arabs

    Some 81% of religious students said they would refuse to evacuate settlements, versus 36% of secular counterparts. Every second student is opposed to granting right to vote to Arabs, and 32% don’t want Arab friends
    They support a democratic form of government, but more than half of them believe that Arabs should not be allowed to vote in Knesset elections. One out of every six students would not want to study in the same class with an Ethiopian or an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, and 21% of them think that “Death to Arabs” is a legitimate expression.

    Some 82% of the religious students believe Arab Israelis should not be allowed to vote in Knesset elections, versus 47% of seculars. Overall, 56% of the high school students polled believe Arabs should not be allowed to vote.

    Israel’s apartheid is worse than South Africa’s
    The system preserving this apartheid is more ruthless as it is equipped with the lie of being ‘temporary.’

    The system preserving this apartheid is more ruthless than that seen in South Africa, where the black were a labor force and could therefore also make a living. It is equipped with the lie of being “temporary.” Occasionally, Israel’s indifference comes up with allegations against the Palestinians.
    As if the Rabbis’ edict against renting homes to Arabs wasn’t enough, a new letter, made public yesterday, has some 30 well-known wives of Orthodox Rabbis warning Jewish girls against dating Arabs or even working with them.

    Ynet reports:

    The letter stated that “there are quite a few Arab workers who use Hebrew names. Yusuf becomes Yossi, Samir becomes Sami and Abed becomes Ami. They seek your proximity, try to appeal to you and give you all the attention you could ask for, they actually know how be polite and act making you believe they really care…but their behavior is only temporary.

    UN chief says East Jerusalem demolition plan ‘illegal
    UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said the plan to demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to make way for a tourist park is illegal and unhelpful.

    W Bank building ‘bias’ condemned Israel passed fewer than 6% of building requests by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2000-07, an Israeli anti-settlement group says.

    Peace Now says 91 permits were granted from 1,624 requests, in contrast to the 18,472 homes built for Jewish settlers.

    The group says the data show “clear discrimination” against Palestinians in West Bank areas under Israeli control.
    Israel soldiers speak out on Gaza

    A group of soldiers who took part in Israel’s assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under “permissive” rules of engagement.

    Other allegations in the testimonies of the 14 conscripts and 12 reserve soldiers include:

    • Civilians were used as human shields, entering buildings ahead of soldiers

    You can’t identify too much at night and anything that moves you engage in order not to take risks. It was not defined this way officially, but it was obvious
    Anonymous Israeli soldier

    Israel soldiers on Gaza: Excerpts

    • Large swathes of homes and buildings were demolished as a precaution or to secure clear lines of fire for the future.

    • Some of the troops had a generally aggressive, ill-disciplined attitude

    • There was incidents of vandalism of property of Palestinians

    • Soldiers fired at water tanks because they were bored, at a time of severe water shortages for Gazans

    • White phosphorus was used in civilian areas in a way some soldiers saw as gratuitous and reckless

    • Many of the soldiers said there had been very little direct engagement with Palestinian militants


  • Mandy Simpson

    We need to see Moroccan people fighting for democracy and freedom.
    We are fed up of this king who takes loans and put the country in huge debt. He takes money from France, etc and show like he is encouraging inovation by opening small bussinesses.

    The Moroccan King must be out too! He takes all treasures of Morocco and use for his own benefits. People don’t get to share anything. He owns over thirthy palaces and hundrend kilo of gold, etc while many people in Morocco miss the minimum quality of life.

    We know you inherited the kingdom from your dad but YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED to be a leader for this great country.


  • millard_fillmore

    “Quick comment about the fear from Coptic Christian genocide by Muslims in Egypt. If in our religion we should kill them (as your biased media brainwashed you), why we didn’t do that hundreds of years ago?”


    Your religion of peace also makes provision for having the People of the Book (and other non-Muslims) live under Islamic jurisdiction as long as they pay jizya.

    Just because all Christians were not killed, doesn’t imply that the book doesn’t have verses that call for, and justify the killing of infidels/non-Muslims. It’s the same justification why Ahmaddiyas are considered wajib-e-qatl (“OK to kill”) in Pakistan and most Pakistani Muslims quietly agree to their massacre, instead of protesting. It’s the same justification why the minority non-Muslim populations in Pakistan have steadily declined since it was formed. It’s the same justification why some Sikhs were be-headed by Taliban for not paying jizya, and Hindus were forced to wear yellow arm-bands.

  • Mandy Simpson

    If you say that the king of Morocco is bad, you will be put in the prison that is underground your whole life.

  • arif cp

    Supremacy of america on the middle east will be soon down with in a few years.All the kings of Arab countries
    will be demolished by revolutionaries of those countries.

Sep 2, 2014
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with Mark Wilson, event political speaker chairperson, with his wife Elain Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, August 4, 2012. (AP)

Nine weeks counting now to the midterm elections. We’ll look at the key races and the stakes.

Sep 2, 2014
Confederate spymaster Rose O'Neal Greenhow, pictured with her daughter "Little" Rose in Washington, D.C.'s Old Capitol Prison in 1862. (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

True stories of daring women during the Civil War. Best-selling author Karen Abbott shares their exploits in a new book: “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy.”

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

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