Saturday, November 22, 2014
Egypt and Tunisia - The Power of Prediction
[Published 12 February 2011]
The West has been caught with its pants down following the popular revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia during the past month.
I wonder why.
There was plenty of evidence floating around to indicate that Egypt and Tunisia were repressive states where human rights abuses were the order of the day and people power was set to explode.
Rather the West preferred to avert its gaze and focus its concentration on alleged human rights abuses carried out by Israel - the only true democracy in the Middle East - to the total exclusion of subjecting.dynastic Arab dictators to the same scrutiny. Iran was shamefully allowed to retain its membership of the United Nations and strut the world stage calling for the destruction of Israel to the applause of these dictators.
Trade unions, church groups and human rights organizations led the chorus of campaigns and campaigners to boycott Israel and delegitimise its right to recognition as the Jewish National Home - whilst abuses of human rights in Arab countries never rated a mention on their radar screens.
The terrorist government of Hamas in Gaza democratically elected to power by the choice of the West Bank and Gazan Arabs - and removed by Presidential decree of Mahmoud Abbas - became the focus of the world’s sympathy as the Gazan Arabs became dragged into confrontation with Israel and the Palestinian Authority by a Government they had freely elected.
That the mayhem in Gaza was the direct result of their own voting decisions seemed inconsequential as the West sent in flotillas and demanded an easing of the blockade instituted by Israel and Egypt.
Meanwhile hundreds of millions of Arabs in other countries suffered ongoing abuse and persecution perpetrated by rulers those populations were never given the opportunity to elect - or reject. Were any protests made for their redemption or flotillas sent to their aid?
The banning of blogging and web sites on the Internet in 2009 in Arab countries was allowed to happen without any whimper of international protest - as contrasted to the outrage this repressive practice has hypocritically - and belatedly - received in 2011.
The UN Human Rights Council (with Egypt as a member) led the howling pack against Israel whilst serious human rights abuses in Arab countries were ignored, America sought engagement with this outrageous organization rather than identifying and isolating it as an affront to human dignity.
In December 2009 I wrote about a highly critical Report that came out of Cairo indicating in detail the human rights abuses occurring in many Arab countries - including Egypt and Tunisia.
I guess all the advisers to Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers, as well as the Gaza do-gooders - not to mention the media - had enough information and stage managed events being spoon fed to them to lambast Israel and allow these Arab dictators to continue on their merry way unchallenged and uncriticised in the face of this very comprehensive report. The silence following its release was deafening.
We are all going to pay the price for the chaos and suffering that must now inevitably occur.
The new buzzwords “orderly transition” are meaningless. They may have been relevant fourteen months ago had the fundamental concerns in this report been addressed then using a modicum of the time and diplomatic pressure spent in exerting pressure on Israel.
But the genie has now been let out of the bottle as events of the last month in Egypt and Tunisia have proved.