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Friday, June 10, 2011

An-Nahar Newspaper: Yemen, Arabs & The Palestinian Naksa (Setback)

[Administrator's Note: Octavia is now writing articles for An-Nahar Newspaper each week and we will provide them here after they are printed.]The anniversaries of the Palestinian Naksa (setback) and Nakba (Catastrophe) before it this year have a different meaning as Arab citizens go through serious soul searching while their leaders fall one at a time.

The latest symbol of Arab dictatorships to fall is Yemen’s Ali Abdallah Saleh. The circumstances of the attack on the presidential palace, which left him and key members of his regime injured, remain unclear. It is clear however that Saleh ended up in Saudi Arabia for “medical treatment” and it is unlikely that he will be returning to Yemen any time soon. It is also clear that Yemen is moving on to fill the gaps left by the President, Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker.

Here is another eventful week that serves as a reminder that no one is immune of this new wave of Arab spring that has been overwhelming the Middle East region. By now, we as witnesses have become accustomed to these changes and we look forward to see who is next.

At the end of the day, it matters little which method was used to remove Saleh or the other dictators before him. What really matters is that they’re out and others might still follow. The clear message this sends to other Arab nations actively seeking reform or regime change is that if you stay the course and remain on message, you will succeed at the end no matter how long it takes or how much resistance you face.

In the midst of all this, it is mind-boggling to see some Arab regimes remain oblivious to the new political realities and the landscape being drawn as a result of the regional turmoil whether one calls it revolution, uprising or rebellious. It is interesting to see how Arab regimes have dealt with the Naksa anniversary with ceremonial sound-bites and a few rosy programs that adorned government controlled media under slogans such as “Palestine Will Return” and “The Golan Is Ours” that are recycled year after year with no real action to turn them into something pragmatic.

Despite some voices of support here and there, Palestinians stand alone on this anniversary. The political support that Arabs can offer at this juncture is obviously missing. The action is certainly lacking.

This is another Naksa (setback) for the Palestinians to add to other setbacks of the past decades. It is certain to push them further into action that is spearheaded and executed by them and them alone. In light of the amazing events of the past few months, and in the absence of the not so much missed Ben Ali, Mubarak, and Saleh, coupled with the absent-minded and silent presence of other Arab leaders, it would seem that Palestinians should have gone that route a long time ago.

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Keep the conversation going...

Blogger Oussama said...

Yemen is an enigma, the opposition is only united in the removal of the President and do not seem to agree on what happens next. Another fact that no one seems to want to acknowledge that there are supporters of the President and they constitute a sizable segment of the population. So what will happen when the opposition comes to power, how will they cope with what is now the supporters of the ex President. Are we going to see further sit ins with roles reversed. I am not being pessimistic or anti reform, but Yemenis have to unite behind something more substantial than removing the President and rhetoric.

June 11, 2011 at 9:08 AM  

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