By Na'eem Jeenah
As the Tunisian uprising gained momentum after four weeks of protests and former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was spirited out of the country, questions were being asked about “who next” would face the “Tunisia effect” and whether the North African country was the first of a set of dominoes to fall across the Arab world.
We now know that Egypt was next—even if that country’s president stubbornly refuses to go anywhere. But there is no set of dominoes that will result in despots fleeing their countries or being forced into early retirement.
By Mohsen Mohammad Saleh
There have been numerous debates recently about the usefulness or otherwise of the Palestinian Authority (PA). In light of these discussions, many leaders, both within the PA and in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), find themselves in a deep state of frustration. This is because it is becoming evident that the PA can no longer bring about the creation of a Palestinian state, and because Israel has essentially emptied the peace process of all its content.
By Ebrahim I. Ebrahim
Remarks by South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim I Ebrahim, at the opening of the international conference organised by AMEC on 'Locating Ethnic States in a Cosmopolitan World: The Case of Israel', Colosseum Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa, 12 April 2010.
By Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies
The recent trend of Israeli calls for Israeli citizens to take an oath of allegiance to the state suggests the rise of extremist right-wing and religious currents within Israel. It also suggests a growing spirit of racism against Arabs living in Israel, and an attempt to increase pressure on them. Moreover, this trend can be seen as a prelude for a law which will ultimately link the solution of the Palestinian issue to the future of the Israeli citizens who are originally Palestinians of Palestine 1948. Since the Palestinians of 1948 regard their presence in the country as pre-dating the establishment of the Israeli state, and because the notion of a declaration of allegiance clashes with their religious and national affiliations, they will persistently refuse to pledge loyalty to the state of Israel as a Jewish state. This conflict between the positions and considerations of the Israeli state and those of the indigenous people opens the way for various consequences. These would allow Israel further to tighten the noose on its Palestinian citizens, and create the conditions necessary to start a policy of displacement. However, this would expose Israel to more international isolation.
By Aisling Byrne
'If we are building a police state -- what are we actually doing here?' So asked a European diplomat responding to allegations of torture by the Palestinian security forces. The diplomat might well ask. A police state is not a state. It is a form of larceny: of people's rights, aspirations and sacrifices, for the personal benefit of an elite. This is not what the world meant when it called for statehood. But a police state is what is being assiduously constructed in Palestine, disguised as state-building and good governance. Under this guise, its intent is to facilitate the authoritarianism which creates sufficient popular dependency -- and fear -- to strangle any opposition.