[Marxism] Arab World Losing Tolerance For Indifferent Leaders
jonflanders at jflan.net
Mon Dec 29 17:32:53 MST 2008
The most important part of this article follows the cut. It points to
exactly what I think will be the most important result of the latest
Israeli outrage against the Palestinians. The Israelis will not be
defeated by Hamas, but by the Arab masses who will soon tire of their
lack of leadership. The cited incident certainly must be a straw in the
"As the establishment figures started to make their speeches from the
podium, the crowd grew restless. I could hear mumblings of discontent
among those around me. One man said he was sick and tired of pointless
words of condemnation from Arab leaders. He wanted to see action against
Israel, action that would help the Gazans in a practical way, action
that would hurt Israel and force it to think twice before shedding
Palestinian blood again.
These sentiments soon spread around the enormous stadium and before long
the speakers' voices were being drowned out amid pro-Islam, pro-Hamas,
Then men dressed up as Hamas resistance fighters, clad in bandanas, face
masks and carrying fake rockets on their shoulders, jumped over the
security fences and headed toward the pitch. At first the police
brandished their weapons and prepared the water canon. But when the
crowd began to hiss and throw projectiles at them, they backed off.
Soon, thousands started to summersault the barriers and made for the
pitch, in defiance of the authorities' prohibitions.
Their slogans and chants soon turned toward the Arab leaders who they
blamed, almost as much as Israel, for the plight of the people of Gaza.
Top of the list was Egypt, which many feel gave Israel the green light
to attack Hamas a few days ago. More anger was reserved for Mahmoud
Abbas, the leader of the secular Palestinian Fatah faction, who has made
it clear that he would like to wrest control of Gaza from the elected
Hamas government. Those Arab governments like Jordan and Mauritania, who
are on friendly diplomatic terms with Israel, came in for yet more
criticism. And last but not least, anger was directed toward the wealthy
Arab governments, like Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf littoral countries,
which could potentially do so much to resolve the Palestinian issue, but
do little or nothing.
Just as things threatened to get very nasty, Sheikh Abdul Majid al
Zandani, Yemen's most prominent Islamic scholar, calmed the crowd by
urging them to retake their seats in the stand. Most people listened to
him and respected his authority -- the only person among the
establishment figures they seemed to instinctively obey. And eventually
the crowd's anger abated -- for the moment at least.
What happened in Yemen's soccer stadium on Sunday seemed to be a
microcosm of what is going on in the Arab and wider Muslim world.
Mirrored in pro-Palestinian demonstrations from Casablanca to Jakarta.
The disconnect between a humiliated and suffering people and their
elite, pro-Western rulers was easy for all to see. Ordinary people are
tired of the Muslim world's disunity and feebleness in the face of
American and Israeli dominance. They know that the Muslim world has
become a laughing stock to many in the West -- a byword for poverty,
backwardness and weakness. A region whose plentiful resources the West
can exploit precisely because of that disunity and lack of strong
Ordinary people have had enough of the humiliation, enough of the
impunity that the West and Israel seem to enjoy. They want all that to
stop, they want their pride and self-respect back. And they know that
their pro-western leaders are part of the problem, not part of the
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