Thursday, January 16, 2014

Arab headlines: how’s the Arab Spring doing?

These days, everyone talks about the so-called peace talks between Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu. But there is a bigger picture unfolding in the Arab Middle East—the Arab Spring.

The Arab Spring was supposed to sweep away tyranny and corruption. The Arab Spring was supposed to bring a new hope to abused Arabs—much like the current Arab-Israel peace talks are supposed to bring peace and security to Arabs and Jews.

Well, the Arab Spring isn’t doing so well. Should we expect better from Abbas, the PLO and Hamas?

The headlines—and comments—below are from January 11 -15, 2014.

PA news

- Palestinians in Syria 'not human shields'”

- Report: Egypt has long-term plan to oust Hamas

- Starving refugees: How we disowned Palestinians in Syria

 - Gun prices, sales up in Jordan over Syria war fears

- Egypt army kills gunman in Sinai peninsula

 - Group: 8 Palestinians killed in Syria's Yarmouk and Khan al-Sheikh

- Anti-corruption chief: complaints quintupled in 2013

- PLO says US to allocate $440 million to PA in 2014

 - Official: Hundreds face imminent death in Yarmouk camp

 - Richard Falk: 'Palestinians do not even have the right to have rights'

- Interview with Ilan Pappe: An Israeli 'New Historian' and BDS activist


Hamas news

- God wouldn't be just if He didn't send Sharon straight to hell

- Palestinian consensus against negotiations

- UNRWA fails to enter aid convoy to Yarmouk camp


In Syria, there is no Arab Spring, just an Arab hell. In what has to be a sad irony, PA news laments that Palestinian refugees are being used as human shields in Syria’s Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp. PLO officials call the ‘kidnapping’ of Yarmouk camp by terrorist militias a war crime. They call the treatment of Yarmouk refugees by the militias ‘a brutal and inhumane crime against humanity.’

That’s an irony because Arab residents in Gaza are used as human shields in the Arab war against Israel; and Hamas maintains a brutal and inhumane rule over Arabs in Gaza that includes—according to Human Rights Watch—torture and unjust imprisonment.

If these Syrian war reports (above) are any indication, the Arabs know full well what ‘human shields’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ are. Perhaps it is an example of measure-for-measure to see Arabs, so accustomed to calling Jews ‘war criminals’, now call each other war criminals.

The big story in Syria is not the Arab Spring—it’s what has become of the Arab Spring. That ‘Springtime of Hope’ has collapsed in a human horror called, ‘Yarmouk’.

Here is what the Hamas and PA news sites are describing: in the Yarmouk ‘Palestinian refugee camp’, total population has dropped since March 2011 (when the fighting began) from 250,000 to 18,000. Thousands have fled for their lives—to other refugee camps. Those remaining behind live in inhumane, primitive conditions. There is no electricity. It stopped flowing more than a year ago. There is now no more water. Aid convoys are ambushed outside the camp. Because of continued shelling, the camp is in ruins. Casualty figures include: 1,922 registered deaths and perhaps eighty who have starved to death. But conditions in Yarmouk are now so bad that PLO-Hamas estimates suggest that starvation might now begin to kill ‘100’s’.

At least 134 Yarmouk refugees have died of torture in Syrian prisons. Another 466 are still detained in Syrian jails—and 232 are missing.

Yarmouk has, essentially, been abandoned by the West. The Syrian Arab Spring has become the Syrian Arab Hell.

Fighting in Syria has killed more than 130,000. That’s the official number. The true number could be three times that—or more. No one knows. The UN has recently announced that it would stop counting the fatalities. It seems pointless. Millions have fled their homes. Cities lay in World War Two-like ruin. The situation has become so bad, Arabs in Jordan feel increasingly unsafe. They report that more than 500,000 Syrians have crossed into Jordan seeking safe haven—and that frightens Jordanians enough that they have been rushing to buy guns for self-defense.

Many Jordanians say they fear for their future. They believe that Jordanian security forces may not be able to keep them safe. Hence, the gun purchases.

Syrian refugees burden Jordan’s scarce resources. Syrian refugees compete with Jordanians for jobs. The refugees are looked upon as dangerous. Can Syria bring to Jordan a Syrian-style Arab Hell? Some Jordanians fear the answer is, yes.

In Egypt, security officials grow frustrated by militias roaming in the Sinai. The Egyptian Arab Spring leaves Egypt unable to control the militias. These armed groups have taken advantage of a relative lawlessness that has settled over the Sinai as Egypt struggles through its own Arab Spring: leaders in Cairo seem to have little time to control the Sinai when they can barely control more civilized city-dwellers.

Egypt’s Arab Spring contains only misery and riot. Sinai militants roam freely. They smuggle, shoot at Egyptian soldiers and increase their human trafficking businesses.

In the Palestinian Authority, the Arab Spring means corruption complaints quintupling in 2013 over 2012. Corruption cases begun in 2011 have still not been resolved. Their Arab Spring also means shortages in medicine and medical supplies because bills for already-delivered supplies haven’t been paid. Now, suppliers won’t ship supplies until they get come money. Debts for medicine and medical equipment are said to be 700 million NIS (app 200 million USD.

Fatah (Abbas) jousts with US Secretary of State John Kerry over a supposed peace plan. Hamas officials claim he (Abbas) is not entitled to negotiate anything. Egypt plans to oust Hamas from Gaza as the next stage in ‘The Arab Spring’.

The Arab Spring has brought death, destruction, fear, and strife to the Arab Middle East. The West sees this horror—and wants to force Israel into a shot-gun marriage with it.

What must the G-d of Israel think of the West?



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