Egyptians Say They're Not Going Home; Palestinian Bedouins Organize To Stay Home

Caption: "Leave". On 30 June 2013, millions of Egyptians took the streets to demand the removal of president Morsi, and the term "Irhal" (leave) with a red card was used indicating that it is time for Morsi to go. Image originally posted to Flicker by Kamal Sedra
Image found on
July 15th: #DayOfRage demonstrations against Prawer plan throughout Palestine. Blocking Yefet street in Yafa, Palestine48 (Photo & Caption: Ronnie Barkan)  Found on Mondoweiss
By Greg Hom
Jul 15, 2013

In Greg's blog posts, he comments on recent reporting on, or in-depth analysis of, the "Middle East" you may be interested in.

In my previous posts on Egypt, I've tried to show the nebulous state of the the revolution there. A democratic vote was held to bring in Morsi, while the military retained a central role in the state apparatus as it did under Mubarak. In the last few weeks we've seen strong protests against the Morsi government end with the military again showing its ability to carve roughly where the country might head. Political actors that might be called liberals have joined hands with the armed forces.

The article Egypt in Year Three by the Middle East Report's (MERIP) editors says that to ask if the recent change of power is a coup or a continuation of the revolution is not the right question to ask. Yes, they say, it's a coup. They also say that a broad swath of Egyptian society wanted Morsi's government out. They important thing the editors of MERIP see is that people in Egypt are still willing to come out physically into the streets by the millions (!) to state their desire for (many visions of) how their government is run.

If you're more into audio, you can listen to an interview with one of MERIP's editors on the radio show of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (listen from 8:20 to 16:30 for just the part on Egypt) to get the idea.

For a view from the ground of Egypt stating something similar to what MERIP sees, read this article (translated from Arabic) which says:

“Yes, it was always possible that our revolution would attract authoritarian Islamists. Yes, the army managed to repress the  street at first. But it was pressure from the street that made them retreat from their efforts to control “the transition period,” and  ended up forcing  them to hand power over.”

The title of the article, “Revolution? Coup d’état? The Certain Thing Is We Broke the Boxocracy,” refers to the Egyptian people no longer passively accepting politics as only above them, or handed out in ballots, but as something that they have a role in. The author ardently calls for people to stay engaged in politics, otherwise the effects of the coup are all in favor of the military. This impassioned piece made the more analytical view from MERIP much more real to me.

With all of the valid attention we have on Egypt, we shouldn't forget that Palestinian Bedouins are rising up against the Prawer Plan, a land grab by Israel to dislocate tens of thousands of people from their land in the Naqab (or Negev), which is in the south of the accepted international borders of Israel. While the land theft of Prawer is an ongoing process, July 15th began a process of coordinated actions inside Israel. Protests were also to be held in Gaza and the West Bank.

As a revolutionary process evolves and stutters in Egypt, the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine continues. The contrast is deeply unfortunate. But the movements that continue for human dignity against “the odds”, against militarism and imperial influence, against racism in the case of the Palestinians- those people are an inspiration.

Thank you to my fellow war-times writers for putting the MERIP piece on my radar.  

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project

Greg has written book reviews for Left Turn Magazine, and volunteered with Prison Radio.

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