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A supporter holds a Syrian opposition flag during a demonstration at the Ennahda party "Youth Festival" organized by the Renaissance Movement at the Conference Palace in Tunis 23 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters - Anis Mili)

By: Rami Zurayk

Published Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two years ago on this day, I wrote a column titled “On the Necessity of Rebellion.” In those days, beautiful Tunisia was calling out to Egypt, the motherland. The scent of jasmine was on the clothes of workers and peasants. Ben Ali’s regime fell, soon followed by Mubarak’s. Arab chests heaved with a single breath.

And then, suddenly, the moment was over. Libya rebelled and NATO intervened. We began to struggle with our own contradictions. While we were immersed in our existential navel gazing, American planes started bombing Arab lands. Gaddafi’s regime fell, only to be replaced by another regime.

Gaddafi had isolated Libya from the rest of the world and plundered its riches, while today Libya has opened up and democracy prevails – or so we assume. Who hears news from Libya these days? Who knows who’s stealing what from whom? Who knows anything about its regime, rulers, tribes, or resources? The last thing we heard about was the US ambassador’s killing. To be fair, the US was extremely tolerant and understanding on that occasion. Imagine if it had occurred in Lebanon. They would have sent the Sixth Fleet and Detlev Mehlis would have been appointed president.

The peaceful demonstrations in Bahrain (peaceful from one side because the government’s forces have no problem using violence as long as it does not bother Kim Kardashian) were accompanied by a new round of political hypocrisy. The revolt in Yemen began and with it came the systematic starving of the revolution, followed by its hijacking at the hands of the US ambassador.

Syria ignited only to become a bleeding wound. In Palestine, the chronic wound, we saw settlements expand and more concessions offered. We heard some Syrian and Yemeni “revolutionaries” asking for help from the very people who ravaged Palestine. We saw those who had grown up in the cradle of resistance snuggling in the laps of the kings of oil.

And so today, more than at any other time, we need to intensify the rebellion against those who betrayed the revolution in order to seize power themselves.

Rami Zurayk is Al-Akhbar's environment columnist and author of the blog Land and People.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


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