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April 15, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

April 15, 2012 | 3:52 am

A Syrian protester makes a victory sign near the national flag during a protest for Bashar Assad to step down, in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman. (Photo: Reuters)

A Tale of Two Uprisings

Syrian refugees who found sanctuary in Libya talk to Abigail Hauslohner of Time about the ‎differences between the revolts against the rules of Muammar Gadhafi and Bashar Assad.  ‎

‎[T]he Syrians who have fled Homs for the relative safety of their Arab Spring counterpart ‎believe there’s a far more sinister reason that Homs is not Benghazi. “It has been 13 ‎months, but no one has helped us because it’s not in their interest to do so,” says Ammar, ‎a Syrian refugee in Darnah, who declines to give his last name because his parents remain ‎in Homs. “Libya has gas and oil, but we have none of that.” His friend Mohamed Tarek Ziad ‎puts it differently: “Libyans can pay for their war. They can pay NATO back.”


What has happened to Egypt’s ‘revolution’?‎

The uprising in Egypt did not really achieve any significant changes, with the army still in ‎control of much of the country and increasingly in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood, ‎writes Hossein Turner Durham in Zaman.‎

The members of the army who were loyal to Mubarak still effectively control the country, ‎and it seems they have been willing to work out deals with former rivals, such as the ‎Muslim Brotherhood party. Was this really a revolution, or is it time for the movement to ‎oust the entire army from its influence on politics and business?‎


A New Breed of Islamist

Writing in the National Interest, Ahmed Charai takes a look at Morocco’s relatively ‎successful blending of secular democracy and political Islam.‎

Morocco’s Islamists won this year’s elections on an electoral platform of ‎cooperation with the West, tourism and global commerce, a moderate ‎foreign policy and individual rights. They will now be held accountable to an ‎electoral base demanding the fulfillment of these promises. Whether ‎Islamists in other Arab countries prove committed to the same democratic ‎principles is a matter of chance; in Morocco, it’s the outcome of a history ‎of moderation.‎


Stop yelling at Israel

Critics of Israel would do well to brush up on their knowledge of the country before ‎expressing their opinions so vocally, writes Chas Newkey-Burden for Ynet. ‎

Western debate over Israel’s position on the Iranian nuclear programme is symptomatic ‎of a wider reality that Israel faces. More so than any other country, Israel is the one ‎about which outsiders who know little nevertheless speak lots. Ask an average Briton or ‎American what he or she thinks about, say, Sri Lanka’s war with the Tamil Tigers, the ‎nomadic hostilities in Sudan or India’s battle with the Maoists and most will freely admit ‎they do not know enough to comment.‎


Not the Best of All Possible Worlds

The internationally approved plan for Syria was doomed to failure from the outset, and the ‎Obama administration is still stalling, writes Adam Garfinkle in the American Interest. ‎

‎ It is becoming ever more difficult, however, for the Administration to pretend that Annan’s ‎diplomacy, or any other kind of diplomacy, is going to make this problem go away. The ‎Administration remains in a logically impossible and an increasingly embarrassing situation, ‎having demanded that Assad step down but then having subordinated its policy to Russian ‎diplomacy, even though, as everyone knows, Russia is Assad’s main supporter in this crisis.‎

 

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