For all its rich history, Egypt has never had an elected leader, let alone a fair election. Many argue that King Farouk I was the last King of Egypt, but the reality is that there has always been a monarchy.
“It is the fourth wave of democracy”, writes an Arab sociologist after the success of the Egyptian uprising (or revolution) in forcing former President Hosni Mubarak to step down last month. Just weeks after the unexpected Jasmine Revolution that toppled the brutal Tunisian dictator, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
On 18 February, the US vetoed a UN Resolution describing Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories as “illegal” and “constituting a major obstacle” for peace. First submitted by Lebanon in late December 2010 on behalf of the Arab Group and the Palestinians, the resolution was co-sponsored by over 120 nations and received the endorsement of all other veto-wielding members on the Security Council. In the hope of attracting a unanimous pledge of support the resolution was specifically drafted to include wording contained in past UN resolutions as well as US and EU statements on the topic of Israeli settlements.
After months of intense protests across the Arab world that have led to the fall of Presidents Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mubarak of Egypt, one question remains on everyone’s mind: who is next? In Tahrir Square last Saturday, Egyptian protestors chanted "Today Egypt, tomorrow Algeria", positioning Tunisia’s neighbour Algeria as the next domino to fall in this remarkable Arab revolution.
Very few observers would have thought that January’s revolts in Tunis would lead to the fall of President Ben Ali. Even fewer would have predicted the domino effect that Tunisian citizens would pass on to their fellow Muslims in the region. Yet, popular protests against the regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, and even Syria and Iran, quickly followed. This article focuses on Yemen, the poorest Arab country and one, like many other Middle Eastern countries, in which the President has remained in power for more than three decades.
The Lotus Revolution has given way to a new definition of chaos. Eleven days after the beautiful sight of Egyptian unity in Tahrir Square and the start of historical change, there is no way of determining the truth. With each passing day new strings of rumours tie themselves to the massive knot that is Egyptian civil society.
In the Knesset, as well as in the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, there is high concern about the recent events that set Tunisia on fire and are now modifying, apparently for good, the political face of Egypt.