48 thoughts on “Arab Democratic Revolution: Bringing It All Back Home–to Palestine – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “Let us dare the forces of repression to confront us and then allow the world to judge who is right and who is wrong.”

    The world’s kangeroo court has already determined that Israel is guilty. Therefore, there is little reason for israel to appear before any court.

    Let the palestinians rise up against their corrupt (Fatah) and violent (Hamas) governments and set up a constitutional democracy, not some lame mob rule that passes as Palestinian democracy today.

  2. Brilliant! This would work! In fact, the only disagreement I have is that I don’t think there are such risks as Richard describes – that the Shin Bet and police would thwart an Israeli Arab mass protest or that Israeli soldiers would brutalize Palestinians in the West Bank. They might if they could keep such a mobilization quiet and out of the media, but obviously they couldn’t. This is a non-violent movement for a two-state solution and Jewish-Arab equality in Israel – the entire world (except the GOP and Dershowitz Democrats) supports that cause. It’s a great vision and I hope to God it comes true – swiftly, in our time.

  3. Brilliant Richard,
    located on the other side of the world preaching for a revolution, that have no chances and will probably result in violence and dead. This is the true meaning of fighting until the last Palestinian.

    Not to mention your plan has no grasp on Israeli reality. you gathered the Druz and the Arabs to one group, they are worlds apart.
    Israel is a democracy, and if the Arabs MK’s will spend more time working for the benefit of their electoral force, and less time kissing Arab leaders ass (anyone says Kadafi ?) maybe they would be able to change things.

    1. How come I was sure that our propagandist would come around with his usual “Israel is a democracy-blahblah” ?
      “Druze and Arabs ..they are worlds apart”. We’ve already discussed the subject on this blog, and once again I’m amazed by the number of Israeli (Jewish) specialists on the Arab-Druze interrelations.
      As if Israel hasn’t done all that’s possible to divide the two ethnic groups. The Druze speak Arabic and are thus ‘technically’ Arabs, and lots of Druze in Israel consider themselves Arabs and Palestinians in spite of the Israeli colonial “divide-and-rule” politics. And it’s not necessary to post a ‘wikipedia’-entry to confirm the contrary. Outside Israel, the Druze have largely contributed to Arab nationalism.
      The Arab revolution is coming to Israel/Palestine whether the Israelis like it or not. It might take some time, but it’s coming, and in spite of the ‘national’ outlook of the various revolts, Pan-Arabism is an important part of it. Palestinians, with or without Israeli citizenship feel part of the Arab nation, and Israel’s treatment of the Israeli Palestinians has done everything to reinforce that feeling of belonging.
      An Arab point of view on the ongoing revolutions by the prominent American-Palestinian journalist Lamis Andoni:
      “The Resurrection of Pan-Arabism”:

      1. I consider Druze to be Arabs (they are), but I served with several Druze in the IDF who were personally offended to be called Arabs. So it’s not Jewish Israelis who are forcibly trying to divide the Druze from other Arabs, it’s the Druze themselves.

        1. @ Shai)
          I’m not saying that Druze ARE Arabs. This is a complex question which goes beyond the fact that they do speak Arabic – and thus are ‘technically’ Arabs but ‘ethnically’ Druze – as belonging is a personal matter. I’m not a psychologist 😉 but I’m convinced that the ‘inferior’ status of ‘everything Arab’ in Israel has something to do with the negative attitude of some Israeli Druze to being considered Arabs. Israel – and not the Druze – have institutionalized the division of the Israeli citizens in different ‘leum’ ( I don’t know the plural): Arabs, Bedouins, Circassians, Druze and Jews. That’s a fact.
          As goes a saying: “A Saudi with an oil field is not an Arab, but a Prince”.

        2. There are loads of old people from colonial Indonesia in the Netherlands who are offended to be called ‘Indonesian’. And this is even though they look Indonesian, they talk Indonesian, they eat Indonesian etc. etc.

          And why? Because long ago some Dutchman slept with his housemaid, their ancestor, and in the old colonial system in which they grew up, they were taught that they were just a little bit higher in status than the average Indonesian because of this. (They had a special name ‘Indo’ and more importantly, they had certain priviliges.)
          But mind you: The younger generation thinks this is silly and identifies proudly as Indonesian.

          I think the higher status afforded to the Druze in Israel may have had the same effect (“we are not Arabs”), but it can quickly wear off, as in case of the younger generation of ‘Indo’s’.

    2. As usual you don’t know what you’re talking about. Gene Sharp, an 83 yr old American living in Boston provided some of the key strategic thinking for the Egyptian youth who made their revolution.

      Borders are breaking down, in case you didn’t notice. As for which Jews’advice Palestinians should take, yours or mine–I’d make a wager it’d be mine. But frankly I don’t care whether they take one idea of mine, none or all of ’em. Just as long as they ride the Wave of democratic revolutions sweeping the region.

      1. So did Chicago (not only Gene Sharp) influence the Arabs?
        “Asad AbuKhalil, a Lebanese-born professor at Cal State Stanislaus, said that trying to look for Western influences in dramatically indigenous revolts misses the point. “I understand it’s very difficult for the white man to look at the natives acting in a way that is inspiring and causing so much attention without hoping to take credit,” said AbuKhalil, who writes the Angry Arab blog. “When the Muslims or Arabs protest in ways that are violent, in ways that the West doesn’t like, they are blamed, I would say wrongly, on Islam or some peculiar, weird aspect of Arab culture,” he said. “But when Arabs protest in a way that is inspiring, in a way that is causing even people in Wisconsin to see them as a model, then the West believes that they couldn’t have done it themselves, there must have been some Westerner who must have inspired them.””

        1. There is something to what he says, but I think he misses the fact that human beings from the dawn of time have been influenced profoundly not just by what is happening in their immediate vicinity, but also by what happens outside it. So Arab revolutions are certainly impacted in crucial ways by indigenous forces, grievances, etc. But they are also impacted by events from afar: developments in other nations in the region, social networks, word from expats, etc. These revolts are far more fluid than this statement allows for.

          I’m not saying they couldn’t have succeeded w/o Gene Sharp. But they’re rightfully looking for inspiration whereever they can find it. Sometimes it may be within their own society or movement. OTher times it may be in Boston or maybe even Seattle. Who knows?

      2. Just as long as they ride the Wave of democratic revolutions sweeping the region.

        Hey hey hey, revolutions I can agree on, but we haven’t seen the democratic part of any of them yet. I firmly hope we will, but it’s far too early to call them such.

    3. What do you mean “fighting until the last Palestinian”?
      Do you think Israel will exterminate them if they dare to organize a mass movement of non-violent protest??
      What a view of your own country you have! I would almost say it was anti-semitic…
      (By the way, your concern for the Palestinians is truly heart-warming…)

      1. This is your own anti-Semitic view.
        What he said was that when Westerner like Richard Silverstein (or Bush) meddle in ME issues it usually ends with people here dying, Israeli, Palestinians, Egyptian, and many more…

        1. I see you are using the term ‘anti-Semitic’ in the new sense. The old meaning used to be “someone who does not like Jews”. The new meaning that people like you are spreading is “someone whom certain Jews do not like”.
          As for the rest of your remarks: They are your own opinions. IlanP wrote nothing of the kind.
          And how can you compare Bush sending in an army, with Richard thinking of strategies the Palestinians THEMSELVES could put into practice? Two kinds of ‘meddling’ that are so different that a comparison is utterly ludicrous.

  4. will you come here and participate in this intifada 3 dream scenario you conjured here?
    tzion square is probably the last place for this kind of thing.
    if the west bankers try to seige ariel it will make kadafi look restrained, but that is what you’re counting on.
    the seige will be broken easily from the air by the way.

    1. A much more important question is what will you do & where will you be when the uprising begins?

      I noted that an important spot for Muslims would be the Temple Mount but Kikar Tzion is the heart of Jewish Jerusalem & as such a Palestinian protest there would bring a msg home to Israeli Jews.

      1. I can tell you what, I’m not sure any of us will like it.
        A group of Jews, probebly much larger than the Palestinians will gather to release the Temple mountain from Muslim hands.

        1. You’re about half an inch fr. being banned. I put you on notice here & now. If you repeat that radical settler bullshit here again, you’re gone. If you want to advocate religious holy war go ahead & do it, but NOT HERE.

          1. Thank you for the hospitality so far and for the warning.
            I think you may have missed my intensions here.
            I wrote in my replay “I’m not sure any of us will like it” and I meant it. It may have been a little bit understatement so here is a clarification:
            This is certainly not my interest, nor do I advocate it.
            The last thing I want is civil war in Israel.

    2. Ah yes, a few guided missiles into a non-violent crowd blocking the entrance to Ariel along with some Uzi toting settlers spraying them with automatic weapons fire. That’s go over well. And yes, this is the behavior I expect from the IDF and extremist settlers.

  5. The American Jewish Progressive-Ready To Fight To The Last Palestinian! I wonder how Derfner would feel if the Arabs laid siege to his house in Modi’in?…make HIM feel uncomfortable so that he can go back where HE came from.
    You see Richard, the Palestinians object not only to Ariel, but to Tel Aviv and even “progressive” Haifa…that is why they carried out numerous suicide bombings there.

  6. WOW’ I don’t even know where to start….
    I read your blog with great appreciation both for your brave opinions (with which i mostly agree) and the time you spend in this blog.
    But this post is something else. I feel the same as when i saw Gaddafi on the balcony “speaking to his people”.
    What you write here is totally crazy. Israel is a democracy (not perfect but it is), Israeli Arabs ,you will be surprised , don’t share your vision for uprising. Sure, there is a lot to improve regarding the Arab Israeli citizens, but all can be achieved with hard long political struggle the way it’s done in a democracy . What you suggest is far from the peaceful Dr.king’s way and more of Lawrence of Arabia revolt .
    As for the occupied territories, The time is indeed ripe for ending this shameful situation.All the papers are written and the solutions are well known and mostly agreed upon . It is for us Israeli citizens Jews and Arabs to be able to choose a government that will be brave and decisive to implement those agreements.Call me naive but, I’d rather take the long democratic path ,again ,which is what people do in a democracy , than the path people have to take when they live under Gaddafi, Mubarak , Ahmadinejad , Ben-ali and all the rest of them.

    1. I’m always amused by commenters who begin their cOmment by saying how much they agree w my views & how much they appreciate my blog while proceeding to show how little they really agree w any of my views.

      Israel a democracy? Debatable. A partial or truncated democracy or perhaps ethnocracy. But full democracy? No.

      Hey look, this uprising is going to be messy, maybe violent. But Israeli Jews have only themselves to blame. And you want to complain about violence? What about 40 yrs of violence, theft & disposession Israel has inflicted on the Palestinians. Stop worrying so much about yr own perogatives & worry a bit more about the crimes committed in yr name against Palestinian.

      1. Im always amused by your assumption you are the sole owner of the term “democracy”. Do you live in a democratic state, Richard? Should we talk about the de-facto segregation in cities like Detroit? or even an easier to answer question: When blacks werent allowed to whites schools (which was +-50 years ago, no?), was USA a democracy back then? if no – when did it turn into one? on the day Bush left white house, and Obama replaced him?

        Hey look, this uprising is going to be messy, maybe violent

        No it isnt, because it simply wont happen, just like it didnt happen so far. Surprising, isnt it? You’d expect the wave of revolts in the arab world to hit the country where arabs supposedly suffer the most- the evil zionist empire. Yet, somehow it doesnt happen here. Dont you feel it abit ruins the image of israel you and ur friends are trying so hard to create? Maybe, just maybe, its not THAT bad to be an arab citizen of Israel? Maybe you cannot compare their standart of living to what was going on in Egypt under mubaraks reign?

        1. No one owns democracy. That’s the beauty of the concept. Once again using the old hasbarist trick of deflecting fr. the injustices of your own country (I presume you’re Israeli though perhaps not & just a hasbarist advocate) so as to minimize them in comparison to other injustices. There are thousands of other outlets & sources for discussion of the sins of America.

          America is an imperfect democracy, but far more of one than Israel. America fought its battles for equality for minorities. Israel has yet to fight those battles in any significant way that would bring real change or reform to the system.

          Hey, that’s precisely what Mubarak said on Jan. 24th & Qaddafi said on Feb 14th. There won’t be an uprising because one isn’t possible. We’ve got things under control. But guess what? An uprising happened & one is no more & the other will be following him shortly. But I do trust that Israelis like you & Bibi will continue under the same convictions so you too will be knocked senseless at the proper moment by the depth of yr own illusions.

          Egyptians will have more freedom & control over their own lives than Israeli Palestinians after the next election there.

  7. I’d like very much to see this happening.
    By the way, having Arabs gather on Zion square in Jerusalem is indeed a stretched scenario. Not because I have anything against it (I don’t) but rather because I doubt that particular location has any meaning for Arab Jerusalemites.
    A much more suggestive location for the protest would be the environs of the Old City of Jerusalem (the Damascus Gate square?), on the way to Haram ash-Sharif (the Temple Mount), access to which is routinely prohibited by Israeli authorities to a large segment of the Moslem population. I may be not up-to-date with this, but for the most time in the past years, access to Haram ash-Sharif was allowed only to the citizens and legal residents of Israel, and for men, only to those aged 45 or more. A mass peaceful protest of young Moslems demanding access to their most important holy site in the Holy Land would be perceived in the whole world as perfectly legitimate — that is, in the whole world beside the Israeli government. And that would do the job.

    1. Meni,
      i am sure in the name of democracy that you would approve jews demanding the right to pray on Temple Mount, there are two places in the world in which Jews can’t pray:
      one is the city of Mecca (jews can’t even enter the place) and the other is Temple Mount.

        1. I’m really getting tired of your repeated method of conditioning everything to fit YOUR values of importance, as if one thing is at all related to the other.

          And -I- say when Jews will be let into the Temple Mount normally, Arabs will be able to freely mingle among the Jewish worshipers in the Kotel, Israeli settlers in the West Bank will be pulled back to Israel, Palestinians will have a full Right of Return and a Palestinian country will be formed.

        2. Lets keep in mind that the reason Jews pray at the Kotel….is because the Arabs will not let them into the temple to pray. In fact they conveniently built a mosque over the original structure that was there. Are we conveniently forgetting this little fact or does it fall into your hasbara category?

          1. “In fact they conveniently built a mosque over the original structure that was there. Are we conveniently forgetting this little fact …”
            Are you conveniently forgetting that the second Temple was totally destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, and al-Aqsa built 600 years later. It sounds as if you want people to believe the mosque was built on top of the Temple by writing ‘over the original structure’.

      1. @ IlanP)
        Typical navel-gazing statement. No non-Muslims can ENTER Mecca, so no, it’s not a anti-Jewish measure. And we all know that you don’t care about praying in Mecca. The city has no importance in Judaism. You just picked the next issue in your “Hasbara for Beginners”.

        1. So you claim Muslims don’t hate Jews, they hate anybody else just the same.
          Great logic.
          You fail to see how racist that argument is.

        2. Oh, i see.
          Jerusalem has no importance to the Muslim world what so ever, it is not mention in the Qur’an not even once. By the Name Jerusalem or by its Arabic name Al-Quds. about time DY you would add some more words to your vocabulary other then Hasbara, you sound extremely dull when that is your single word answer to the world problems.
          if you claim my statement above is wrong, please respond with the exact location and quote from the qur’an.
          thank you

          1. @ Freeman)
            By the way, what a pretentious pen name, you’re stuck in your own biased world vision !
            Can I – as a non-Jew – enter an Orthodox synagogue ?
            @ IlanP)
            I didn’t mention Jerusalem anywhere in my post. I mentioned your regret of not being able to pray in Mekka. It really sounds convincing. Maybe you should address what I actually wrote and not try to force the discussion where YOU want it to go.
            PS. Jerusalem/al-Quds not being mentionned is the Koran is one of the oldest Hasbara-points. I think it’s on page 3 in the first edition of “Hasbara-Guide for External Use”. I DON’T want to discuss the Koran with you, but you’re wrong: al-Quds IS mentionned in the Koran.

          2. Deïr Yassin,

            Yes, you may enter any of them, although you would have to be in Ezrat Nashim with other women, and of course be clothed modestly.

            As for the Koran/Bible Jerusalem appearance, I have never understood how anyone thinks this is a legitimate argument. Who cares what’s in the holy texts? There are many places of importance to the Jewish world that are not mentioned in the Bible. You simply can’t decide for others what’s important to them.

            Moreover, holy texts serve no legal basis at all, and as far as I know sovereignty over land is not determined by whose holy book mentioned a geographic location more times.

          3. @ Shai)
            The argument of Jerusalem/al-Quds/Bayt al-Maqdis not being mentioned in the Koran is one of the ‘identifying fingerprints’ of extremist Zionist propaganda. You think IlanP actually read the Koran ?

            Of course, Jerusalem being in the Koran or not has NO importance. As if the Palestinians – the Christians included – would lose all right to live in the area because it’s not in the Koran. The Palestinians are often described as religious fanatics, but I’ve noticed that it’s nearly always the ‘other side’ that include religion in the discussion – even secular Jews. As if they can’t cope with the historical arguments, and want to turn to a debate on our ‘myths’ – ‘myth’ against ‘myth’. By the way, I think the Ancient Hebrews have their origins in Irak, according to your own ethnogenese 🙂

          4. @ DY
            Point number 1 in Hasbarah manual for idiots is do not lie, you simply lie. when you state that Al-Quds is mention in the Qur’an, you are simply lying, this is an english translation for what is mention in the Qu’ran :
            Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque,
            whose precincts We did bless, – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things). [Qur’an 17:1]

            what is mentioned in the Qur’an is Al-Aqsa which translation is the farthest mosque. You my dear DY have simply no idea what you are talking about or you are simply lying.

          5. Snnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

            I could care less what is or is not in the Koran. If this is the level of yr argument or discussion take it elsehwere.

            As for the hasbara manual, maybe yours says do not lie, but the standard operating procedure for hasbara is that facts mean little if anything. I’ve never seen any hasbara manual (& yes, I’ve seen some) that say do not lie.

          6. @ IlanP)
            This is my last comment to you on this topic.
            We all know by now that you’re the most brilliant person God ever created: fluent in Arabic – though you hardly ever manage to write a single Arabic name correctly – and now a specialist in the Koran.
            As God has many names in Arabic (99) so has Jerusalem: al-Quds, bayt al-maqdis, al-ard al-muqaddassa (masjid al-aqsa), and as you’re a specialist, I don’t have to explain the significance of the root q/d/s, do I ?

            How tolerant of al-jazeera to give time to a right-wing extremist as Mordechai Kedar – he’s mistreating the Arabic language as well as the Arabs. Why didn’t you post the English subtitled version so everybody here can see what kind of extremist people you’re referring to to ‘prove’ that “Jerusalem in not mentioned in the Koran”.
            Here’s the English version:

            You want me to ‘prove’ that Jerusalem is in the Koran. You’re lucky: nobody asks you to prove that you actually descend from people living in the area 2000 years ago !

  8. Deïr Yassin,

    1. As for the name, as it was once said, one who lives in a glass house should not lift a rock.
    Not to the issue:
    Yes, you can enter any synagogue in the world.
    You will be asked to cover your head (if you’re mail) and be not dress to bold (both sex). Just like I take my shoes off what I go to visit an interesting mosque.
    If fact, I’ve been to most of the holy christian places and had never been expelled for being a Jew.

    That said, Mecca, is a whole city, claiming every dark ally there is holy, does not work.

    1. You know as well as I that no Arab is welcome at the Kotel & if someone came there & was clearly identified as Muslim by clothing or other indication that they would be expelled, violently if necessary. Even Jewish women aren’t welcome in the male section. Why would any Arab be welcomed?

      1. The thing is, I don’t know that.
        Maybe you can refer me to a case when a Muslim tried to access the place and he was expelled.
        I think you mix too many things here.
        one thing:
        Orthodox Jews don’t allow anybody to pray in different way at the Kotel. This is where the woman fight and I support thier case with whole my heart.
        second thing:
        Separation of woman and man in this place. When coming to a holy place one usually follow the rules of the place. Cover your head in a Jew place, remove your shoes in A Muslim place, and so on. The partition of man and woman, although it is not to my liking is a custom in that place and it makes sense to accept it.
        third thing:
        Are people from other religious allowed there. To my knowledge they are.

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