Monday, February 14, 2011

Aftershocks in Palestine and Tunisia: Change? Or the more it changes the more it stays the same?

Some of us tend to wonder if what we hear in the news is the full story, on any topic. We have been elated to hear that Tunisia and Egypt have had successful public uprisings, and that in Iran and Bahrain and Algeria and Yemen there are attenpts to push their respective governments to allow more openness. Even so, we wonder: Do we have the full picture? Is it as good as it sounds? The news from Palestine suggests that shake ups are still taking place in the Middle East; the news from Tunisia suggests that less has taken place than it seems.

The new fear of the people in the PLO

Al Jazeera: "Palestinian cabinet resigns: President Mahmoud Abbas re-assigns Salam Fayyad, who also resigned, to form new government."

The resignations came amid calls for reform in the Arab world, triggered by the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, after a popular revolt.

The shake-up was long demanded by Fayyad and some in Abbas' Fatah faction.

"The cabinet resigned today and the formation of a new cabinet will take place as soon as possible," Ali Jarbawi, minister of planning, told Reuters news agency.

An analyst told Al Jazeera: "For the past 50 years, people have been living in fear of their leaders but now the leaders are living in fear of the people, this is incredibly telling of the situation across the region."

Signs that all is not well in Tunisia.

Al Jazeera: "Tunisia refugees flood Italian island: Arrival of more than 4,000 people sparks humanitarian crisis and Italian calls for EU aid.

The immigrants are fleeing poverty and continued unrest in the North African country following an uprising last month that ousted Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the president.

"We are afraid. The revolution in January has changed nothing, absolutely nothing. We want to find a job in Europe. We are asking the Italian people for help," one man told news channel SkyTG24.

No comments: