Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 17th, 2012

What changed? Before, during, and after serious mass disobedience movements…

I know the feeling.

Before critical mass uprising, the people in all class divides think that they know the complete story and the tiny details of how the social/political system works.

They think that they comprehend exactly how the political elites coordinate their plans and actions to retain the largest piece of the pie…

They think they understand thoroughly how the financial institutions and the religious clerics order the politicians, with utmost contempt, to enacting laws that preserve their privileges and enduring interests…

They think they have nailed down the process how the politicians return the favor by targeting the lower classes with heavy doses of rude application of the law-of-the-land, and how they behave with deranged contempt to the same laws…

And the people really know the story, and they can name names and secrets that the major media decline to spread for the public interest, on the ground that too much transparency is nefarious for the smooth running of government…

Before a mass disobedience movement, engaged poetry is considered the opium of the masses:

To conquer the splendid city of justice and dignity to all…” requires ardent patience, and poetry is the medium to feeding short-term emotions to the people, until the conditions are ripe for a revolution…

I know the feeling.

During the revolution and as dissatisfaction spreads to every region and blocks, and resentment catches on with most classes, genders, age groups, and minorities…what we knew is no longer such a clear-cut story, a cohesive telltale.

You start hearing bits of truths, listening to the other sides of the stories, the counterpoint, rational opinions, normal human shortcomings, no “ill faith” from the authority figures, human frailties and limitations in planning, and executing programs…

The revolution is for all the people, all the citizens?

How is it possible to satisfy the desires and wants and dreams of the entire people?

Even the most apathetic of people, the one who never cared to associate, to show compassion, and to sacrifice anything for the others’ welfare…are still citizens with rights and responsibilities…

The revolution is for all the people, the citizens regardless of wealth class, genders, educational level, ethnic minorities, religious minorities…

How is it possible to coordinate a speech, a plan, a policy, a program to get the entire people on the street to approve, agree on parts and bits of a declaration…

To believe that sanctioning any program into timeline of feasibility, availability of resources, and possibilities is meant to satisfying the entire population?

For the duration of the hot revolution, burning decades of taboos are priorities. Taboos are meant to be sacrificed every year, to cleanse the community and start afresh…not decades later

Happiness with the same empty stomachs

Happiness with the same physical handicaps

Happiness with the same limited means…

Taboos are to be demolished, and better now than never…

Taking the decision to learn how burn taboos every year, for one reason or another, so many of them reasons, so many of them taboos accumulated during the long period of oppression…

I know the feeling.

After the revolution, this ingrained reasoning of the old story of catering first to current elite classes in order to smooth out transition is a plausible short-term tactic…

The elites classes reap the benefits under all situations and conditions, in the short, medium, and long-term, and quickly orienting the revolution toward the old-time structure…

As if the elite classes are ever satisfied, except by parting from the crumbs in the usual trickle down economic policies.

The revolution is the act of looking fear in the eyes and getting used to facing the authority figures on equal terms…

Burning prisons of infamies that incarcerated the freedom to express conscious opinions is a normal follow-up activity.

Hope for building a better world system takes over, the eyes recapture their scintillation, little people take initiatives, the “invisible” person grab a role in the movement and he is the true name of the game: Power to all, every one is entitled to participate in the revolution…

The invisible individual is no longer about to relinquish his time of recognition, he won’t let go easily of how he felt taking actions, he won’t relinquish these deep-rooted day-dreams of acquiring dignity, dreams he never had the courage to tell, to recount, to share with all.

Action is saying it all: rhetorics have their “impotent” masters, leaders for a moment, before they are swept aside by the invisible and mighty power…

So many of such minorities…? Only in Israel counting is a sacred business…

“Liberal” Zionists have acquired this tendency of glorifying the apartheid nature of Israel by avoiding the occupation policies and the ever expansion of illegal settlements in the Palestinian Territories, and putting forth the “imaginary threats that Israel is facing or might be facing, without reminding the readers that these threats are the results of Zionism ideology of supremacy and heaping indignities on the “goyim” everywhere the Zionists are in majority and in control… This following article is an example.

AARON DAVID MILLER published on August 14, 2012 In the New York Times under “Preserving Israel’s Uncertain Status Quo”:

“If someone asked me to sum up in a sentence where Israel will be a decade from now, I’d paraphrase Dickens: It will be neither the best nor worst of times. The Israelis will prosper and keep their state, but the Arabs and Iranians will never let them completely enjoy it.

What drives many Israelis and the successive governments is not a Scrooge-like Christmas Eve glimpse of a terrifying future, but a strange mix of accomplishment, comfort and anxiety that reinforces the desire to maintain the status quo, particularly on the Palestinian issue.

And that attitude is not going to change anytime soon.

Mitt Romney’s stumble on the Palestinian question highlighted just how comfortable many Israelis are, and the sheer magnitude of what they have accomplished. Romney mistakenly lowballed Israel’s per capita G.D.P. (about $31,000 in 2011, according to the World Bank, rather than his misstated $21,000).

Israel has serious worries:

1. The gaps between rich and poor are growing.

2. The military conscription issue highlights the resentment toward the ultra Orthodox, their unemployment rate (60 percent for men) and the drain they place on state resources.

3. The country’s demographics look bad — too many ultra-Orthodox Jews, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs and not enough secular Jews.

4. The frequent mass demonstrations that have been organized for a year now by Israelis young and old protesting the extremes in wealth and poverty and the squeeze on the middle class were stunning reminders of the extent of general disaffection.

Still the demonstrations weren’t sustainable. Most likely, it’s because — all in all — times are just not that bad. Indeed, along with all the forecasting of gloom and doom there’s this: Per capita Israel gives rise to more startups than any other country in the world.

On the U.N.’s 2011 Human Development Index, Israel — a country of seven-and-a-half million people — stands 17th out of 187 nations. The discoveries of natural gas in the Mediterranean will not only take care of Israel’s needs but by 2017 make it a significant exporter.

As for the Palestinian issue that threatens to undermine Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic State, the dangers seem mitigated by the current situation.

The Palestinian Authority’s state-building enterprise and the security cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian services have generated more than a manageable status quo and all but eliminated terrorism.

The Arab Spring has left the Hamas leadership with few options and no real desire to wrangle with the Israelis militarily. And the approaching demise of the Assad regime in Syria will weaken Hezbollah.

If economic prosperity and a tolerable Palestinian problem seem to reinforce the status quo, the disquiet caused by instability elsewhere in the region validates Israel’s caution in not wanting to change it.

Israel seems bookended by two major worries that have all but subordinated the Palestinian issue to the back burner: Egypt’s future and Iran’s centrifuges.

The Israelis may have gotten over the shock of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster and the immediate fear that a Muslim Brotherhood president was going to abrogate the peace treaty. The Egyptian military and Cairo’s need for Western support will prevent that.

Yet the range of problems from security in the Sinai to support for Hamas in Gaza will introduce new uncertainty into Israel’s most important relationship with any Arab state and the only one based on the exchange of significant territory for the promise of normalized relations. Should that relationship deteriorate, the chances of a deal with the Palestinians on the same basis will recede.

The Iranian nuclear issue presents an even greater challenge and strategic priority. Israel is seeing its worst fears now realized. Sanctions hurt but won’t retard Iran’s enrichment of uranium, and negotiations aren’t capable now of producing a deal to stop that process at bomb-grade levels.

The fall of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria will help weaken Iran. But it could also serve to accelerate the Iranian nuclear program out of Tehran’s fear of Sunni encirclement.

One of the biggest losers from the Iranian nuclear program may well be the Palestinians. The Israelis never bought the argument that solving the Palestinian issue would weaken Iranian influence in the region.

For this Israeli government, Iran is a much bigger priority. And if there is an Iranian-Israeli conflict or one involving the United States, the resulting turmoil would make Israeli-Palestinian negotiations almost impossible.

Given the uncertainties in the region, the odds of resolving its most complex problems — Palestine, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Arab quest for representative government — seem very long indeed.

Even under more enlightened governments than the current one, the issue has never been about comprehensive solutions. Instead, Israel traditionally looks to buy time, pre-empt and prevent on the military side when necessary, and take calculated risks in pursuit of peace when possible.

It’s not an ideal strategy — and one not always well-suited to the Silicon Valley of the Middle East and to a country that wants a more peaceful and prosperous future. But it’s kept a small country living on knife’s edge alive and in remarkably good shape. And that’s got to count for something…”

Philip Wiess replied: “Search for these phrases in the New York Times: Too many blacks in Alabama. Too many Jews in New York City.
Obama’s friend Eric Yoffie, a liberal Zionist, has used the same phrase, “too many Arabs.”  You don’t pay a price for such rhetoric in the U.S. No; you get into the New York Times!”

Aaron David Miller is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the author of “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.”

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on August 15, 2012, in The International Herald Tribune.




August 2012

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