The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
In the light of the ostensibly single-minded war against terrorism, it is becoming increasingly difficult for defenders of Yasir Arafat to explain away his continuing embrace ? if not worse ? of terrorism emanating from within areas under his control. Further, the various Arab states that are nominally allied with the United States such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan are having a devil of a time justifying their continued support of Arafat despite his recalcitrance, and also their urging pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian as the price of their participation in the anti-terror coalition.
What are these folks to do? What indeed?!
An answer of sorts surfaced this passed Sunday in the lead article on the front-page of the New York Times “Week in Review” section. The article was entitled, “Street Brawl: The New Power of Arab Public Opinion” and here is part of what it had to say:
To some, it has long seemed that “the street” is a kind of myth ? unable to turn its aspirations or discontent into action and fed by a press tightly controlled by the government itself. That press would, most often, offer a farrago of twisted conspiracies to excuse the failure of the regimes.
But in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on America, the idea of the street may be taking on a new importance. The street, once all but powerless, has become a real force, exposed to more sources of information that repressive governments do not control, harder to rein in once inflamed, and more susceptible to radical Islam.
It is on just this Arab ? or better, Islamic ? street that President Bush must fight in his war against Osama bin Laden and his terrorists, a battleground for the public's mood that may be more important than the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan. And this is not only a war between Mr. Bush and Mr. bin Laden; leaders of countries from Egypt to Pakistan must also weigh how to court and contain the street ? how much they can repress expressions of hatred for America when their countries are, however conditionally, American allies in the war against terrorism….
“There has been a major change which has led to the street becoming a major factor,” said Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle East Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. “This is the emergence of satellite television and the privatization of media, which has dramatically changed things. Arab rulers no longer have a monopoly on information; they can no longer shape opinion….
“The so-called Arab street,” he added, “is a figment of the imagination that has become a reality.”
…While the conventional wisdom held for years that the Arab powers could manipulate the public mood as Nasser did, a new pattern appeared to emerge when the second Palestinian intifada broke out last year. This uprising was directed not only against Israel and the failure of the Oslo accords, but at the Palestinian Authority itself for its false promises, incompetence and corruption. Though Palestinians did not say so publicly, the uprising's raw power has been an open challenge to the established leadership, one capitalized on not only by Islamic idealogues, but by grass-roots fighters.
The leaders of Jordan and Egypt have been ambivalent in their response, encouraging support for the Palestinian cause, but also reining in pro-Palestinian demonstrations when they grew too large. In this, they have followed the old patterns of both co-opting and controlling the street. But Mr. Arafat's power to control his own street is far less clear; how much he can repress radicals among his own people, even in the face of American and Israeli demands, before being overthrown remains an open question….
“The street,” said Farid el-Khazen, a political scientist at the American University of Beirut, “is increasingly Islamicized. The phenomenon is there. The street counts….
So now we have the answer from an out-of-the-blue, essentially undocumented story in the New York Times, principally supported by the comments of two obscure professors no one ever heard of. Don't hold Arafat responsible for the violence because he can't control it, and if he confronts it, he will be overthrown with the direst of consequences. Ditto for the “moderates.” Their leaders cannot align themselves with a United States that is identified with Israel for fear that the Arab street will throw them out. Ergo, America must force Israel to acquiesce in Palestinian demands.
Neat and very cute!
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims
The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR
Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.
We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/paving-the-way/2001/12/14/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: