In an article that appears in the Daily News Egypt, Natalia Simanovsky of Common Ground believes that with the right approach, Israel should not write the Arab Spring as a disaster.
“The Arab Spring and the new landscape that has emerged in its wake have led to a number of developments, including genuine free elections in Tunisia. Yet many in Israel see the rise of the Islamic political party Al-Nahda as the precursor to strong anti-Western and anti-Israel sentiment, viewing Al-Nahda as an ideological ally with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. But parties which use Islam as the backdrop to their policies are not monolithic as many incorrectly assume.”
In his blog for the Council on Foreign Relations, Eliot Abrams puts the relationship between Ankara and Hamas under the microscope, and speculates on its meaning.
“With Assad gone and Iran’s role in Syria greatly weakened, Hamas would need a new sponsor and protector and Turkey could play that role. For Turkey, this would provide obvious advantages in its rivalry with Iran for influence in the Arab world and in its contest with Israel.”
Hard Times in Hebron
Jackie Spinner of Foreign Policy meets Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron whose lives depend on American aid that is now in danger of disappearing.
“USAID has been one of those major sources of foreign funds. Since 1994, it has spent $3.4 billion in development funds in the Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza, with new roads, water systems, health care facilities, and schools that have served both residents and businesses of cities like Hebron, the largest municipality in the West Bank, with some 189,000 residents.”
The son of Obama’s Transport Secretary is unable to leave Egypt, and faces a jail term for running an unauthorized NGO. Elise Jordan of the Daily Beast speaks to Sam LaHood, and gets a first-hand account of the new reality in Egypt.
“Just over a year ago Egyptians jubilantly ousted thirty-year dictator Hosni Mubarak. Now, the moving images of Egyptians rising against tyranny in Tahrir Square are in danger of being supplanted by a darker reality: the military’s desperate struggle to hold onto power.”
One year on: what has the Arab Spring changed?
The Journal of Ireland presents a scorecard for Arab states whose leaders were toppled in the wave of uprisings that swept the region.
“Torture remains a serious concern in Libya, where both pro- and anti-Gaddafi forces have been accused of abuse and mistreatment. Fighters supporting the former leader have been accused of killing rebels and burying dissidents in mass graves.”