Not Again! Does this Look Like Another Arab Spring?

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Arab Spring

Remember how "Arab Spring" started in December 2010? Public outrage was ignited when a street vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi set himself ablaze, protesting joblessness and police harassment. The situation was so tense that President El Abidine Ben Ali who had ruled the country since 1987 stepped down by January 14, 2011. The protracted fervor of that riot became contagious, spreading to other Middle Eastern countries. Five more people committed self-immolation. Hosni Mubarak was toppled in Egypt. Mohammed Gadhafi was eliminated, as Libya boils even till date. Anti-government protest in Bahrain spanned 2011-2014. Syria has been in turmoil since. Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted. Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries were infected with the fever in differing dimensions.

Is "Arab Spring" Happening Again in 2018?

Apparently, issues that led to the Arab Spring of 2011 in Tunisia are far from being abated. Another series of riot is ongoing amidst government crackdown. Citizens are protesting the hardship brought about by austerity measures of the government. Government policies have led to chronic inflation, while income level remains as it were. One person has died in the unrest, several police have been injured and over 200 have been arrested. It’s a troubling situation over there and one cannot but be concerned and insinuate whether "Arab Spring" is resurging in Tunisia, a country touted to be the model of democracy in the Arab world.

What about Iran?

Over two weeks of serious anti-government agitation went down in Iran between December 2017 and January 2018. The melee saw at least 21 dead, several injured and over 1000 protesters arrested. Citizens, composed of many students are angry over bad governance, corruption and high cost of living. In an attempt to truncate the ease with which rioters mobilize themselves, government had to shut down Instagram and some platform on Telegram. The riot was quite effective in almost every city of the country. Though the uprising appear to have doused down due to the crackdown by government forces, pockets of pro-government rallies are being held where blame is laid on US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Of course, US was already exploiting the situation by calling an emergency session of the Security Council to discuss helping the people of Iran in their quest to unseat President Hassan Rouhani. It is hoped that the situation in Iran gets a real political resolution as against government’s high handedness. Otherwise, an "Arab Spring" situation similar to Libya’s might be imminent.

Situations in Syria and in Yemen

Power tussle between the ruling class and opposition has plunged these Middle East countries into perpetual war zone. An interesting satire has it that the people involved in these countries should bring out their leaders, government versus rebel in an exclusive physical fight. Whoever wins should rule the country, instead of leading people in endlessly bloodshed where mostly, women and children bear grief consequences. Already, we have dire refugee situation across the world, with displaced people from Africa and Middle East trying to cross to Europe. Anyways, situation in these countries have been perennial and it won’t be a novelty to term it as "Arab Spring".

What about Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel?

This is the "mother of all conflicts!" Longest standing in history! How I wish the then generation of Palestinians had agreed to the land demarcation arrangement designed by "the League of Nations" (now United Nations) after the 2nd World War. Although distribution of the land was alleged to be 55% to Israelis and 42% to Palestinians, the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were proposed to be jointly occupied and governed by UN.

It has become obvious that Arab-strengthened (or Arab-betrayed) Palestinian forces has continuously failed to achieve her aim of taking over the whole region by force. Unfortunately, Israel has occupied spaces beyond the 1950s demarcation line. Jordan and Egypt have also taken advantage to expand their territories, leaving Palestine with less than desired space. In an exacerbation of the situation, US announced her recognition of the earlier disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Palestine is infuriated! Thankfully, majority of UN’s member states voted against US’s declaration. But, the fact that situation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine has always been with us disqualifies it as an "Arab Spring!"

According to Wikipedia, "Arab Spring, also referred to as Arab revolutions was a revolutionary wave of both violent and non-violent demonstrations, protests, riots, coups, foreign interventions, and civil wars in North Africa and the Middles East that began on 17 December 2010 in Tunisia…"

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