ICSR BLOG SERIES Part 10: Atkin Fellow Perspectives on the Arab Spring
The Arab Spring is a reminder that history does indeed take its toll. The latest uprisings in the Middle East have risen, among other reasons, due to an incompatibility of borders and ethnic aspirations combined with the infiltration of social media. We are once again reminded that the de-colonisation process has artificially bound the region. What has helped bind the so called new states over decades, was Israel and its Zionist aspirations. The Arab world created a Pan-Arab approach designed to internationalise the Palestinian plight. But when the lights of the podiums were switched off long term damage was shed over the Palestinians National Movement. Had it been so – that the Arab League had truly promoted the sole goals of the Palestinians, the world would have seen a prosperous Palestinian State alongside a Jewish State as was suggested by the United Nations in 1947.
The Palestinians can no longer turn to the Arab League to be their shepherd as the latter is currently a void mechanism. In many ways this is a positive development for the people of the region as the Palestinian plot will no longer serve as a ‘political football’ in the hands of Arab dictatorships.
Israel might be observing the regional turmoil with some anxious reservations but I believe that the time is ripe for a new political address of the current situation and Israel must act upon it, initially on the micro level with the Palestinian leadership.
Most importantly, the sweeping uprisings defuse what many scholars, statesmen and technocrats have categorically expressed in the past decades. Israel is not the source of instability in the region. Oppression, lack of freedom of expression, human rights abuse and high scale corruption and top-down propaganda has been.
The international community must seize this window of opportunity and bring both sides to the negotiating table.