Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, February 2011
Arabs Revolting Against Brutal Regimes of the Zionist Empire
By Hassan El-Najjar
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 9, 2011
Updated on February 20, 2011
The following is a lecture presented by the author, on February 9, 2011.
On Friday, December 17, 2010, a 26-year-old fruit seller, called Muhammed Bou 'Azizi, set himself on fire in front of the Sidi Bouzaid regional council in central Tunisia, in protest against the Tunisian regime's economic and security brutality. He was unemployed despite his education. When he attempted to make a living by selling vegetables and fruits in the streets, he was faced with the police corruption, humiliation, and brutality.
His tragic act of protest triggered similar acts by two other youngmen also in the same city. The first electrocuted himself on a pylon and the second jumped into a well and drowned.
Protests erupted all over the Arab state, culminating in the police killing of scores and injuring hundreds of protesters, which triggered more protests until the police force collapsed. The dictator, Zain Al-'Abideen Bin Ali (also written with French spelling as Zine Al-Abidine Bin Ali), fled to Saudi Arabia, on January 15, after ruling the country for 23 years, fearing execution by the angry masses. (1)
On Sunday, January 16, 2011, in neighboring Algeria, a 37-year-old firefighter also set himself on fire, in a village near the eastern Tunisian border, inspired by Bou 'Azizi. He died hours later in the hospital. Three other Algerians set themselves on fire in protest. These were Senouci Touat, Mohsen Bouterfif, and Mohamed Aouichia. Demonstrations broke out throughout Algeria, sparked by these incidents but in anger against unemployment and poverty. Several protesters were killed and injured in confrontations with the police (2).
On Monday, January 17, 2011, an Egyptian man set himself on fire in front of the Parliament, in protest against poverty and brutality of the security forces. On Friday, January 21, 2011, the unemployed 35-year-old Egyptian man, Salah Sa'ad Mahmoud, set himself on fire in the middle of a Cairo street, before being put out by bystanders. He was the tenth Egyptian youngman to do so because of unemployment, poverty, and blocked opportunities. (3)
Inspired by the success of the Tunisian revolution, the Egyptian people took to the streets in Cairo, on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, protesting against poverty and brutality of the security forces. They were faced with fierce crack down by security forces, which resulted in killing hundreds and injuring thousands of protests, in less than two weeks. The Egyptian people escalated their protests to include major cities in the country at the same time, leading to the collapse of the security forces, change of government, appointment of a vice president (a long standing demand), and an announcement from the dictator, Hosni Mubarak, that he and his son are not going to run for election again. The protesters have insisted that their goal is changing the regime, starting with deposing the dictator. Post-script note: The revolution has achieved its initial goal of deposing the dictator and his deputy on February 11, 2011. (4)
Encouraged by the Tunisian revolution, Jordanians also took to the streets denouncing the government for the sharp rise of prices, poverty, and unemployment. One of the largest of these protests was on Friday, January 21, 2011, but it was preceded by several smaller protests and followed by protests on every Friday. King Abdullah II responded by sacking the government and appointing a new prime minister with a mandate to address people's grievances. (5)
Yemenis organized two major protests in Sana'a and other cities, on January 28, 2011 and February 3, 2011 against the dictatorial regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who responded by a promise not to run again for election and not to allow his son to run. However, protests have continued but with less intensity, expressing support for the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. (6)
Even in Saudi Arabia, on February 5, 2011, there was a protest in front of the Ministry of Interior in Riyadh, organized by women who demanded the release of their relatives, who are political prisoners. Officials from the Ministry came out and talked to them, telling them that the issue will be taken care of by courts. Moreover, there has been a Facebook campaign demanding that the country become a constitutional monarchy instead of the present absolute rule (7)
What may make Saudi Arabia a candidate for the first revolution in the Gulf states is the existence of a long history of opposition to the royal family since the beginning of the twentieth century. At present, the Reform Movement and its leader, Sa'ad Al-Faqeeh, who airs TV broadcasts from London, leads opposition to the Saudi regime. The Movement has been successful in organizing protests in several mosques in different areas of the country. The Saudi Reformists have been ecstatic lately after seeing their brothers and sisters in Tunisia and Egypt, who succeeded in throwing up the dictatorial regimes there.
In Kuwait, the Emir ordered the distribution of thousands of Kuwaiti Dinars to citizens, in an attempt to prevent any protests for economic reasons. However, tensions are still high over there, as a result of the police crack down against law makers and citizens who were attending a political rally, despite the resignation of the scandalous Interior Minister. The
also started to demonstrate demanding their right to be recognized as
citizens in their country. (8)
also started to demonstrate demanding their right to be recognized as citizens in their country. (8)
In Bahrain, the Shi'i
majority activists have been encouraged by the spirit of the Arab revolution
and came out demanding a regime change, to make their country a
constitutional monarchy instead of the current regime. (9)
In Bahrain, the Shi'i majority activists have been encouraged by the spirit of the Arab revolution and came out demanding a regime change, to make their country a constitutional monarchy instead of the current regime. (9)
In Libya, another
oil-exporting Arab state, people came out demanding an end to the
dictatorial regime of Gaddafi, who ruled them brutally for forty-two years.
By February 19, 2011, about one hundred Libyans were killed in protests by
the security forces, particularly in Bani Ghazi and other eastern cities.
The protests also broke out in Tripoli and other western cities, indicating
that Libyans are united against the Gaddafi regime. (10)
In Libya, another oil-exporting Arab state, people came out demanding an end to the dictatorial regime of Gaddafi, who ruled them brutally for forty-two years. By February 19, 2011, about one hundred Libyans were killed in protests by the security forces, particularly in Bani Ghazi and other eastern cities. The protests also broke out in Tripoli and other western cities, indicating that Libyans are united against the Gaddafi regime. (10)
Finally, Lebanon and Palestine have been in continuous state of unrest as a result of Israeli wars, attacks, assassinations, blockade and siege of Gaza, and the continuous occupation of the West Bank.
What does all this mean?
It means that Arabs are in revolt against the dictatorial regimes imposed on them, all of which are backed and supported by the US and its EU allies for no other reasons than keeping the peace with Israel. The objective is to keep the Zionist state as the dominant and hegemonic power in the oil-rich region.
The Western governments, which are backing the Arab dictatorial regimes, never cared about the poverty of the people or the repression and brutality inflicted on them by these regimes. To the contrary, Western governments cooperated and collaborated with the dictatorial Arab regimes, providing them with the military and security assistance, which enabled them to control Arabs for decades. The result has been abject poverty, oppression, and horrendous violation of all human rights.
Some Basic Facts: Poverty in Oil-Rich Lands
The basic facts about Arab states mentioned in Table 1 below show that Arabs are mainly in their young adultood, in their twenties. This means that they need education first and jobs after that. They will be angry if they cannot get jobs which enable them to be independent of their parents, get married, and buy the basic commodities available to their counterparts in other world regions.
The internet has opened the gates of knowledge about the world for educated youngmen and youngwomen around the world. It has enabled them to know about what's going on for their counterparts in other societies, which leads them to demand similar treatment and privileges.
Table 1 also shows that the Arab unemployment rate is about ten percent, except for Libya and Yemen, where it is in the thirties. Apparently, statistics about unemployment in the table are too low, not because they maybe so, but because official Arab statistics maybe doctored for propaganda purposes. These statistics may also represent only those who report unemployment to the government, something unusual to hear about in the Middle East. Finally, most Arab women do not work, meaning that unemployment rate is much much higher than the reported ten percent.
Statistics about those living below the poverty level show that a lot of Arabs are living in poverty, whether because of unemployment or because of low wages. This is particularly the case with Egypt and Algeria, where poverty level exceeds 20 percent, while it exceeds 40 percent in Yemen.
If high rates of poverty and unemployment in large Arab states are accompanied by less democratic practices, more corruption, less or no press freedom, and long-lasting dictatorships, then this is the recipe for revolutions. Table 2 shows us statistics ranking the Arab states on these variables.
Basically, wealthy Arab states have less corruption, lower poverty, and lower unemployment rates. The dictatorial regimes of these states count on the material comfort of their citizen to outweigh their discontent due to the lack of democracy and the restricted freedom of expression. This explains the less likelihood of protests or revolutions in the oil-wealthy states with small populations.
Concerning poor Arab states, such as Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan, people have been protesting because the dictatorial regimes have not only suppressed their freedoms but also starved them. At the same time, citizens can see the outrageous wealth amassed by the ruling families and their surrounding cronies, through corruption, monopolies, and collaboration with rulers of the Zionist Empire.
Thus, revolutions in the poor Arab states represent a logical outcome of an illogical arrangement imposed on them by their local regimes and their Zionist masters.
Concerning Arabs living in large but wealthy states, like Algeria, they are not going to accept poverty or dictatorship. They will follow the first group of revolutions in poor states. This is clear by the many protests and demonstration breaking out throughout Algeria.
Even in wealthy Arab states, like Saudi Arabia and Libya, there have been several indications of opposition groups, and even protests. In these states, people are not going to accept minimum life conditions, or even material comforts of the middle class, while seeing the ruling families and their surrounding cronies amassing millions and billions of dollars. The educated members of middle classes are going to demand more freedoms and more participation in the political process. Their turn will be third, after the first two groups.
The last group of Arab states to have revolutions or protests are the Gulf states, which have small populations, enjoying a high standard of living, and are among the highest in the world in per capita income. The royal families in these states are directly protected by NATO forces, which occupy the Gulf region. However, protests have started in Kuwait, by the Bidoons and the political activists, and in Bahrain, by the Shi'i majority activists demanding more participation in governance.
Why are Arabs so poor despite their oil wealth?
The vast majority of Arabs have been living in abject poverty despite the huge oil wealth and other resources they have. The following are just the main factors that may explain this illogical phenomenon.
First, most of Arab revenues have been spent on the military and security establishments. The objective is making sure that the dictatorial Arab regimes, republics and monarchies alike, are doing their major job, protecting the borders of the headquarters of the Zionist Empire, the racist, apartheid, Zionist state of Israel. This military and security spending has been on the expense of investments in the human capital and economic development.
Second, a great deal of Arab revenues in poor Arab states are consumed by the interests paid as services to foreign debts, which leaves little or no revenues to be spent on investments and economic development.
Third, the dictatorial Arab regimes have been characterized by ugly levels of corruption. The ruling families and the classes benefiting from them have been amassing their vast wealth from giving themselves monopolies in production, importing, and distribution of strategic commodities. This leaves the rest of the population receiving poverty-level or below poverty-level wages, which are not enough to pay for the basic necessities of life. The result is the spread of corruption among members of the lower classes, in the private and public sectors alike, in the form of exacting bribes for services they are already paid for to do.
Fourth, all Arab dictatorial regimes, in all Arab states, have crippled their populations with endless number of bureaucratic rules, which are officially intended to regulate the economy for the benefit of society as a whole. However, these rules are not adhered to by the corrupt members of the ruling wealthy classes, who control or bribe government employees. At the same time, these bureaucratic rules have been blocking the way of the entrepreneurs from the rest of the population, who find themselves frustrated, helpless, and without any assistance from the government.
Fifth, the oil wealth is concentrated in states which have small populations, while states with large populations have no or less oil reserves. This was an arrangement by the British empire, which controlled the Arabian Peninsula, according to the Sykes-Pico agreement with France in 1916. The European imperialist powers created the artificial entities, they called states, namely Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon in the north as well as the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the east, namely Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. With the exception of Saudi Arabia, the citizens of of these Gulf states are only few hundreds of thousands. This leaves the huge Arab oil wealth in the hands of the corrupt members of the ruling families, who have deposited a great deal of it in the US-EU banks and spent major amounts of it on buying military and security equipment from NATO countries, particularly US and UK, which protect them.
The partition of the Arab nation by the European imperialist powers, then the actual protection of the ruling families in the oil-rich states by these powers, has led to the awkward situation of overpopulated Arab states with little or no oil reserves and under-populated and tiny Arab states with a vast oil wealth. In addition, the imperialist Western powers have continued the depletion of resources of the Arab states directly during the colonial era and indirectly after independence, through wars, invasions, occupation, and imposed military and security spending.
In order for the ruling families and their cronies to maintain their tight grip on the population, they have imposed a tight regime of border crossing, travel, work, and residence, to prevent Arabs from traveling freely from one Arab state to another in their homeland. The visa system made sure that only a very small number of people will be able to travel from one state to another. This led thousands of Arab youngmen, particularly from the North African Arab states, to risk their life to reach European shores as illegal immigrants to find work. Moreover, rulers of the wealthy Arab states invented the Kafeel (Patron) system, which gives employers in these states rights over their employees (Arab and non-Arabs) that can be compared to the rights of salve masters over their slaves in the 19th century.
In essence, poverty is imposed on Arabs as a result of the European imperialist partition of the Arab nation and the creation of sovereign states, military and security spending, keeping the oil wealth in the hands of a small number of people, corruption on various levels, international debt, rigid bureaucracy, and controlling the masses as protection of the headquarters of the Zionist Empire, the so-called state of Israel.
Arabs Revolting Against Brutal Regimes of the Zionist Empire
Arab revolutions against the brutal regimes, imposed on them by the Zionist Empire, can also be explained by the main sociological theories.
1. The functional Theory
Thus, functionalists may explain Arab revolutions against the dictatorial regimes in the Middle East as a result of dysfunctioning institutions, in this case the two major social institutions of the economy and the government. The economies of Arab regimes produced in extreme poverty and blocked opportunities for Arab citizens, particularly educated youngmen and youngmen. Moreover, the corrupt rulers abused their control over Arab governments, staying in power for decades and denying people their rights for freedom, free expression, assembly, and participation in decision making. Then, the failure of these two institutions to do what's expected from them led to Arab revolutions.
2. The Conflict Theory
The conflict perspective gives credit to Karl Marx, who argued that there is a conflict in society between the capitalist class and the working class. The conflict is about the wealth generated by work in the form of profits. Capitalists maximize their wealth by taking the profits, leaving exploited workers in poverty. Marx predicted that this conflict will ultimately lead to revolutions by workers against capitalists.
Contemporary conflict theorists extend the conflict to be between several social classes, not just the capitalists and workers. They also include all other racial, ethnic, regional, and gender groups in the analysis of conflict in society. However, the essence of conflict is on the distribution of wealth in society.
The conflict theory analyzes how the capitalist class maintains its control over societal resources through its control over the legislative and executive branches of government. It achieves that control by sponsoring leaders of the ruling party or the alternating parties (through directing donations to them), who in return serve the interests of their capitalist benefactors.
Through the mass media, which they control by ownership in the private sector or by their servants in the public sector, capitalists disseminate their own ideology among the masses of people. The ruled working poor classes then develop a false consciousness of their class positions and their class interests. They end up absorbing the capitalist ideology and adopting it as their own. They end up voting for their capitalist exploiters. Even their unions become supportive of the despotic capitalist regimes, hoping that their standard of living will improve one day. When this does not happen a decade after a decade and they find themselves in abject poverty, then they revolt against their capitalist oppressors.
The major tenets of the conflict theory is applicable to Arab revolutions. There are exploitative wealthy ruling classes, which control the masses of poor Arab workers through employment in the private sector or through control in the public sector. The working classes were tamed to accept their miserable conditions by measures of the police state but when the level of poverty has become unbearable, the masses of Arab impoverished workers revolted.
3. The Power Elite Theory
In his book, "The Power Elite" (1956), C. Wright Mills argued that the United States is ruled by three groups of leaders. These are top business, military, and political leaders. Though the first two groups are unelected, they exert influence on the elected political leaders. The theory was developed on the basis of data and observations related to the United States. However, it is also applicable to other societies, including Arab societies in the Middle East. The Bin Ali and Mubarak despotic regimes represented examples of this alliance between the corrupt politicians and business leaders, who amassed vast fortunes as a result of this alliance. The military and security establishments backed that alliance in return for enjoying internal privileges as well as being the major recipient of US-EU aid.
In the United States, the Power Elite theory shows the top business leaders as the real rulers of society. They influence the selection process of politicians through their donations and their financial intervention in the political process. In return, elected politicians (in the legislative and executive branches of the government) pay their business patrons back by using the US government's diplomatic, economic, financial, and military resources to subjugate other nations to the wishes of the US corporations.
The top military leaders work with the military and security industries to develop the weapon systems, technologies, and information systems, which maintain the American hegemony world-wide. Their main job is to come up with a military budget which enables them to guard the interests of the "American Empire" world-wide, thus spending most of the US annual financial revenues to maintain the US military bases, fleets, wars, as well as overt and covert military and security operatiojns around the world.
4. Empires and Imperialism
Imperialism is the third stage of the development of capitalism, after mercantilism and colonialism. Mercantilism was represented by expeditions sponsored by European merchants and kings to explore new routes and lands for trade, during the 15th and 16th centuries. Colonialism represented establishing colonies in the New World by the competing European colonial powers, in the 17th and 18th centuries.
When the colonies of the New World started to get independence, the European colonial powers turned to Africa and Asia to make fortunes through looting the raw materials, buying agricultural products with low prices, and selling manufactured commodities with high prices.
The imperialist stage of the development of capitalism started during the 19th century, continued throughout the 20th century, and even was rejuvenated by the NATO invasion of the Middle East at the beginning of the 21st century.
With their advanced weapon systems, they invaded the two continents after dividing them in treaties among themselves in Europe. To achieve control over Asian and African nations, the European imperialist powers depended on professional military forces, which fought for money.
The European imperialist powers started their invasion and occupation of Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire during 19th century, when France invaded and occupied most of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritania. Spain invaded and occupied parts of Morocco and the Western Desert. Britain invaded and occupied the chiefdoms of the Western Coast of the Arabian Gulf. Italy invaded and occupied Libya and part of Somalia at the beginning of the 20th century. Finally, the rest of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire were invaded and occupied by the British and French imperialist powers during World War I.
When the European Empires were destroyed during World War II, the United States inherited the their legacy becoming the World Western Empire, sharing world domination with its rival, the Soviet Empire in the East. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, the Soviet-satellite East European states were swallowed by the European Union economically and by NATO militarily.
The United States started launching its own wars around the world to establish itself as the New World Empire (or New World Order). This endeavor started with the Korean war, then the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War over Kuwait, which resulted in the US occupation of the Arabian Peninsula, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the so-called global "war on terror."
As a result of the imperialist stage of the development of capitalism, the ruling classes in the capitalist countries amassed vast fortunes. However, due to the rivalry and competition for resources and domination, all of the European empires collapsed during the two devastating world wars in the twentieth century.
The American Empire is no exception. The American capitalist class amassed vast fortunes. However, the US federal government has sunk deep in debt, reaching more than $14 trillion at the beginning of 2011. The Empire has been a huge burden on the shoulders of the American people, the tax-payers, and it's just a matter of time until the Empire collapses, like its predecessors ( More About Empire Analysis ).
The Arab nation suffered from being subjected to the previous European empires, the current American Empire, and the overlapping and emerging Zionist Empire. Arab poverty resulted from the imperialist exploitation, looting of their natural resources, and selling them manufactured commodities with high prices.
5. World System, Underdevelopment, and Dependency Theories
According to the World System theory (Wallerstein), the world capitalist system has been divided into three major regions and an external arena. These are the core industrialized wealthy region, the semi-peripheral industrializing region, and the exploited peripheral, least industrialized impoverished region. The external arena may include parts of the world that cannot fit in any of the three regions.
The poor Arab states may be classified as part of the impoverished periphery, while oil-rich Arab states are part of the external arena of this system in terms of industrialization. However, they are active participants of the global financial capitalist system because of the huge oil wealth amassed by the ruling families and the capitalist classes in these states.
The core and the periphery have been associated in an interdependent relationship. While the core needs raw materials from the periphery, the latter needs manufactured commodities and advanced technologies from the core. Thus, the developed core needs the underdeveloped periphery, and in order for the core to continue its development, the periphery has to continue as underdeveloped. It should not be allowed to develop, as argued by Andre Gunder Frank.
This mutual economic dependency has created mutual political dependency, too. Rulers of the core societies depend on the rulers of the peripheral societies in enabling them to amass vast fortunes through buying cheap raw materials from the periphery. In return, the ruling families and their surrounding cronies enjoy military, security, and diplomatic support from the ruling classes in the core societies. This support enables them to amass fortunes on the expense of the impoverished masses in the peripheral region.
The 1991 Gulf War was an example of the dependency relationship between rulers of the Arab states and the ruling classes in the US and Europe. The Bush Sr. administration led a US-EU war against Iraq to force the Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. The war led to the destruction of Iraq and ultimately to the 2003 invasion and occupation of that Arab state.
The ruling classes in the US-EU amassed vast fortunes as a result of consolidating their shares of the global production and marketing of oil, and as a result of selling their military hardware and their information systems to the military and security establishments in the US-EU. In return, the ruling family of Kuwait was restored to the throne, and actually to the ownership of the chiefdom's oil wealth. The continuous US occupation of the Arabian Peninsula ever since has assured protection of these royal families against their domestic and external enemies.
6. Neo-Imperialism (International debt & multi-national corporations)
Acknowledging the futility of imperialist wars, and seeing new opportunities to generate wealth without the brutal imperialist means of shedding blood, death, and destruction, capitalists started to follow new methods such as granting loans to nations and receiving huge amounts of interests on these loans to the extent that the indebted become like their own slaves.
This neo-imperialist stage (which is sometimes incorrectly referred to as neo-colonialism) has been overlapped with the imperialist stage. Actually, they have been going side by side for half a century, as an application to the frequently heard threat, reiterated by the Israeli leaders and their followers in NATO countries: "All options are on the table." This means that if rulers of a nation-state accept the dictates of the rulers of the Zionist Empire, particularly financial and economic subordination, they will be safe and spared to loot their own nation as they wish, as the case with most of the Arab dictatorial regimes. However, if they do not accept subordination to the rulers of the Zionist Empire, then they can be subdued by force through war, invasion, and occupation (regime change), like the most recent case of Iraq, and the possible future case of Iran.
The neo-imperialism perspective applies the analysis of the social class conflict on the nation-state level to a global conflict over wealth, between a global capitalist class and the rest of humans on Planet Earth. Wealthy capitalists have been enslaving not only poor nations in the Peripheral Third World but also the Core industrial societies of the First World, as has been the case with European societies and even the castle of capitalism, the United States, during the 2008-2010 period.
The United States federal government is now heavily sunk in debt, $14 trillion at the beginning of 2011, borrowed from capitalists everywhere, but mainly from the American capitalist class, to finance the so-called "global war on terror." This is in fact a capitalist global war for control of resources and for protection of the headquarters of the Zionist Empire, the so-called state of Israel.
In this stage of neo-imperialism, nation-states have been losing control over their financial resources, forced to borrow more from global capitalists, and gradually losing their political and economic sovereignty to global capitalists.
Parallel to global financial capitalism has been the emergence of multinational corporations, which have no loyalty to nation-states. Rather, they work for themselves, crossing the defunct political borders of these states, and controlling resources, labor, and markets, as well as exerting influence inside them.
Arab states have been active participants in the neo-imperialist stage of capitalism. Poor states, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Yemen, have lost their sovereignty to the global financial institutions and multinational corporations. Aid programs from the capitalist societies have been mainly used as bribes to the security and military establishments, as a reward for their participation in the neo-imperialist global "war or on terror." They participated in the rendition program of torturing suspects, as sub-contractors. They never stopped cracking down on the opposition, or on any groups or individuals suspected of having aspirations for human rights. They have turned Arab citizens into impoverished, helpless, and hopeless masses of de facto slaves, so they will never rise up against what rulers of the Zionist Empire have imposed on them.
For example, Egypt and Jordan, as subordinate states without sovereignty, signed peace treaties with the Zionist state of Israel, which usurped the heart of the Arab Homeland, Palestine. Other Arab states have maintained secret relations with Israel but some of them had open diplomatic or commercial ties with the Zionist entity. It has become apparent that the supreme job for Arab dictators is maintaining peaceful relations with the Israeli aggressors by making sure that there are no individuals or groups in their states who may oppose the racist, apartheid, Zionist regime and its dominance on the Middle East region.
Rich Arab states, like those of the Gulf Cooperation Council, have also been active participants in the neo-imperialist stage by investing most of their wealth in the Core societies, instead of investing it in the neighboring poor Arab states. They have deposited hundreds of billions of dollars in international banks, particularly in the US and the EU. Thus, the Arab oil wealth has become under the control of the international financers, who lend to a nation and deny lending to another, according to how much cooperation they receive from the ruling elite in that nation.
Moreover, just like their European counterparts, the Gulf states have relinquished their nation-state sovereignty by becoming hosts to the military bases of NATO, the armed forces of the Zionist Empire. The Gulf states functioned as the launching pads for the NATO wars, invasion, and occupation of their Arab brethren state of Iraq, in 1991 and 2003.
Arabs are in revolt against the dictatorial regimes imposed on them by the rulers of the Zionist Empire. All of these regimes have been backed and supported by the US and EU governments for no other reasons than keeping the peace with Israel. The objective is to keep the Zionist state as the dominant and hegemonic power in the oil-rich region.
As the Israeli hegemonic status in
Middle East is maintained, rulers of the Zionist Empire and their global
capitalist allies maintain their global control over resources, labor,
and markets, generating and amassing vast riches.
Arabs are revolting for liberation, freedom, social justice, and for their human dignity, indeed.
Dr. Hassan El-Najjar is the Editor of Al-Jazeerah & CCUN.
Middle East social indicators
Country pop. (m) median age jobless (%) below poverty line (%) internet users (m)
Statistics about unemployment, in the above CIA Factbook table refer to jobless men who are reported to the government. This does NOT include women, the overwhelming majority of whom do NOT work. It is also noteworthy that dictatorial regimes doctor their books and make up their own statistics for propaganda purposes.
Another inaccuracy in the numbers above is the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The West Bank alone is the home of more than 2.5 million Palestinians. The tiny little territory of the Gaza Strip is inhabited by more than 1.5 million, making it the most densely populated area in the world.
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History of the Zionist Invasion of the Arab Homeland,
Inaccurately Referred to as the "Israeli-Palestinian" Conflict,
Because the Arab dictatorial regimes have been supported by NATO countries for their peace with the Zionist state, it's important to review the history of the Zionist invasion of the Arab Homeland, which is inaccurately referred to as the "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict. The sequence of events below show that the World Zionist leadership established the Zionist state of Israel to be the headquarters of its global empire. The US-EU governments have been forced by Israel-firsters to fund the Zionist state, arm it to teeth, and even launch several wars, on its behalf in the Middle East, to subjugate Arabs and Muslims to the hegemony of Israel in the region.
The continuous Israeli wars on Arabs and Muslims since 1948 show that the conflict is not just a Palestinian-Israeli conflict over Palestine, which has been stolen by Zionists with the force of arms. Rather, it is more accurate to describe it as a Zionist invasion of the Middle East for the purpose of subjugating Arabs and Muslims to the current global Zionist Empire, and its headquarters, the State of Israel.
The Zionist Invasion of the Middle East: Main Events and Wars
- 1897: The first World Zionist Conference headed by Hirzel, decides to usurp Palestine from its inhabitants and give it to Zionists.
- 1916: Signing the Sykes-Picot agreement, which divided the Arab homeland between the British and French empires, as the Ottoman empire was collapsing during World War I. Other European powers, such as Italy which had occupied Libya already, was informed about the agreement.
- 1917: British forces occupied Palestine. The infamous British foreign minister, Balfour, promised Zionist Rotschild British help to give Palestine to Zionists. This has become known as the Balfour Declaration.
- 1947: The UN General Assembly passes Resolution 181 to partition Palestine, giving Zionists 56% of Palestine, though they only possessed about 5% of the lands, and despite the fact they were half a million while there were 1.3 million Palestinians.
- 1948: Israel was declared by Zionists, who evicted Palestinians from their lands, the most infamous ethnic cleansing in the 20th century. This forced population transfer created the Palestinian refugee problem, which persists until today.
Zionists also occupied and annexed more lands than the Partition Resolution gave them. In particular, they annexed the Galilee in the north, Aujah in the South, occupied West Jerusalem and the land corridor leading to it. This gave them 78% of Palestine instead of the 56% given to them by the Partition resolution.
The annexation by force of 22% of Palestine made the Israeli government an occupying force since its inception. It has adopted and maintained the policy of acquisition of land and occupation ever since.
- 1948: The UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 calling for the repatriation and compensation of Palestinian refugees. Successive Israeli occupation governments never complied with this resolution, which blocked any resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem until today.
Expanding the Zionist Israeli Aggression to Other Arab States, in Addition to the Palestinian People
- 1956: The Israeli occupation government participated with the British and French imperialist governments in attacking Egypt, in what became known as the Suez Canal War.
While the British and French imperialist forces occupied the Suez Canal area, the Israeli occupation government joined the imperialist camp by occupying the Egyptian territory of the Sinai Peninsula and the Palestinian territory of Gaza Strip.
President Eisenhower ordered the three aggressors to withdraw from the Suez Canal, Sinai, and Gaza Strip. They did and that was the second time an American president dared to confront the Israel Lobby.
The first was President Roosevelt, when he refused to pressure the British government to allow 300,000 European Jews to go to be repatriated in Palestine. He offered them to come to America instead. As soon as he died, his successor, President Truman, adopted the Zionist project as his own and asked the British to allow them entry to Palestine.
- 1967: The Israeli occupation imperialist government launch war on three neighboring Arab states: Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, occupying Egyptian Sinai again, the Syrian Golan Heights, and the two Palestinian territories of the West Bank (which was under Jordanian rule) and Gaza Strip (which was under Egyptian administration).
Zionists rejoiced worldwide thinking that a major stage of their dream of an Israeli Empire from the Nile to the Euphrates was achieved.
The US entered the conflict forcefully, siding with the victor, providing the Israeli occupation imperialist government everything it needed to control the occupied Arab territories and the Palestinian people in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Estimates of the US military, economic, and financial aid to the Israeli occupation imperialist government range between $147 billion and $1.5 trillion. The latter figure is more likely if indirect aid is included, particularly tax-free donations to religious charitable organizations and investment of pension and retirement funds in Israeli companies and projects.
Moreover, successive US administrations have shielded the Israeli occupation imperialist government from any UN measures or sanctions by using the US Veto against any anti-Israeli resolution, weakening the UN to the level of helplessness.
Without this tremendous US support for the Israeli occupation imperialist government, the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories and oppression of the Palestinian people could have ended a long time ago.
- 1968: Israeli occupation forces attacked Al-Karamah area on the east bank of the River Jordan, in an attempt to crush the Palestinian resistance movement. The battle was a victory for the resistance and increased recruitment in the resistance ranks.
- 1973: Egypt and Syria launched their counter attack to restore their territories from the Israeli occupation imperialist government. The US intervened shielding Israel from military defeat. Ultimately, President Carter succeeded in making a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel (1978), leading to the return of Sinai to Egypt in return for Egypt to get out of the conflict.
Syria did not get its territory back because the Israelis wanted to change the borderline to deny Syria access to the eastern side of the Tabaria Lake (Sea of Galilee). The same Israeli condition has persisted until today.
- 1978: Israeli occupation forces attacked and occupied south Lebanon to crush the Palestinian resistance movement there. They failed but established military bases in south Lebanon and stayed there until Hizbullah resistance fighters forced them out on June 2000.
- 1982: Israeli occupation forces invade Lebanon, including the capital Beirut. The objective was to drive the PLO resistance fighters outside Lebanon. The invasion was successful and PLO fighters were dispersed throughout the Middle East.
b) The Israeli Occupation Regime: Blunt Slavery and Subjugation of the Palestinian People
- 1987 (December): The first Palestinian Uprising (Intifadha) against the Israeli occupation started. It continued until 1993. The Israeli leaders realized that there was no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- 1993: Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, signed the Oslo Agreement in the presence of the US President, Bill Clinton, in the White House. The agreement allowed the PLO fighters to return to the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza. The agreement also specified that the end outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would be the establishment of a Palestinian state in 1999.
Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated to stop the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His successors did not continue the path of peace. They played every trick in the book to avoid the establishment of the agreed upon Palestinian state. Peres, Netanyaho, and Barak all followed this policy.
- 2000: The Palestinian people realized that the Israeli occupation government was not sincere, playing games to maintain the occupation indefinitely. They revolted against the Israeli occupation again in what became known as the second Uprising (second Intifadha), which extended from 2000 to 2005.
Thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis were killed, tens of thousands of Palestinians were injured, their homes were destroyed, all in front of the whole world through television screens.
- 2001: The US invaded Afghanistan, as a reaction to the September 11 attacks.
- 2003: The US and the UK invaded and occupied Iraq, though it nothing to do with September 11 attacks. This got Israel rid of the strongest Arab enemy state.
- 2004 (November): Elected Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, dies in his office prison, in Ramallah. Many Palestinians believe he was assassinated by the Israelis. He was imprisoned in his own office, surrounded by besieging Israeli occupation forces because he refused to sell out and sign on a phony Palestinian state.
- 2005 (September): The Israeli occupation forces were forced to leave Gaza Strip by resistance, as they were forced to leave south Lebanon.
Mahmoud Abbas was elected as the second president of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian government under Israeli occupation.
- 2006 (January): Palestinian parliamentary elections were held, supervised by international observers. Prominent among these was President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center. Carter and all observers announced that the elections were democratic, transparent, and fair.
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won an overwhelming majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament.
The Israeli occupation government expressed its displeasure and decided to punish the Palestinian people for electing Hamas. The US-EU government followed the Israeli lead right away, as usual.
The Palestinian people were isolated, border crossings were closed, financial relations were severed, revenues were withheld, and even financial assistance from Arab and Muslim countries was not allowed to reach them.
- 2007: A short confrontation between Fateh and Hamas in Gaza resulted in the defeat of Fateh-loyal security forces. Hamas became the only party dominating government in Gaza. Fateh became the only party dominating the West Bank.
The Gaza Strip now is the largest prison in the world. About 1.5 million people cannot leave it, cannot receive financial aid from Arab and Islamic governments, most of them are unemployed living on the UN handouts.
- 2008-2009: On December 2008 and January 2009, the Israeli occupation terrorist forces launched a war on Gaza Strip in order to change the elected Palestinian government there but failed in doing so. However, they succeeded in killing about 1,400 Palestinians, most of whom were women and children, using all weapons they had short of nuclear weapons.
The Gaza Strip conditions now have made the Warsaw Ghetto, during World War II, a little story.
Dr. Hassan El-Najjar is the Editor of Al-Jazeerah & CCUN.
(1) References about the spark which started the Arab revolution of 2011, the suicidal protest act of Muhammed Al-Bu'azizi and two other youngmen in Sidi Buzaid, Tunisia can be found at:
(2) References about the Algerian man who set himself on fire, in protest against poverty and unemployment, following the Bou 'Azizi example:
(3) References about the Egyptian youngmen who set themselves on fire, in protest against poverty and unemployment, following the Bou 'Azizi example:
(4) The Egyptian Revolution:
(5) Protests in Jordan:
Jordanian Government Supporters and Opposition Clash, First Injuries in Weeks of Protests
(6) Protests in Yemen
(7) Protests in Saudi Arabia
(8) Protests in Kuwait
(9) Protests in Libya
Arab Revolution Reaches Bahrain, Protesters Demand Sweeping Political Reforms
(10) Protests in Libya
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