Friday, November 23, 2012

Gaza rocket attacks have returned Palestine to the top of the Arab agenda

The spirit of the Arab spring is as important as ever, and it has informed responses to the violence in the Middle East this week,
If we are learning anything from the latest round of woefully predictable slaughter it is how a festering problem got worse, not better, during the Arab spring...... Palestinians first introduced the notion of Arabs rising up against their oppressors. The Arabic term "intifada" means "shaking off" or "uprising" and first entered popular usage during the 1987 Palestinian rebellion against Israel. It was as easily applicable to the Arab spring as it is to those living in Gaza.
There are now signs of change, however. Political leaders who replaced US-backed despots after the Arab spring are openly supporting Hamas.....

It was also in 2008 that Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni actually declared war on Gaza from Cairo – a ruthlessly pragmatic gesture which infuriated the majority of Egyptians. Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's new president, in contrast, frantically stepped up diplomatic efforts to resolve the Gaza crisis.
Terms of the ceasefire were necessarily restrictive and it is, of course, a fragile truce. The crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel remains, for example, and there are ongoing humanitarian concerns for the near 2 million Palestinians living there....."

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