About ten years ago, a desperate act of protest against the state violence of a single citizen, Mohamed Bouazizi, ignited in Tunisia and then throughout the Middle East, an unprecedented uprising known as the Arab Spring.
Bouazizi’s dignity and sacrifice not only served as a call to action for millions fed up with state oppression and abuse across the region, but ultimately, albeit temporarily, directed the attention of the international community towards its situation.
The Arab Spring, however, failed to offer democracy, justice and equality to all the peoples of the region. In fact, as we “celebrated” its tenth anniversary earlier this year, many talks, discussions, and interviews were organized to try to determine what went wrong with the 2011 democratic movement.
I think a crucial factor in the failure of the Arab Spring was the fear of the “chaos” of the international community, and especially of the Western powers, the fear that the overthrow of corrupt autocratic regimes and the establishment of real Arab democracies would the much less “Controllable” region.
In the months and years following the Arab Spring, Western efforts to avert “chaos” in the region allowed those who were most lost to democratization: Israel and its vassal allies, the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia. , the UAE and Egypt – to silence voices and calls against democracy with increased violence and oppression.
The self-serving decision of the West to turn a blind eye to the abuses committed by these authoritarian states in the name of preserving an unjust status quo allowed the Egyptian army massacre more than 1,000 civilians in August 2013 and imprison about 60,000 Egyptians for their political views. It allowed the assassins of the Saudi regime murder dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s Istanbul consulate in 2018 i prison women’s rights activists like Loujain al-Hathloul on baseless charges. The indifference of the West also allowed Morocco repression against journalists, artists and activists critical of state authorities, some of whom are still in jail and on hunger strike.
Meanwhile, being humiliated by the Israeli authorities, expelled from their homes by Zionist extremists, mutilated and killed by the “security forces” of the occupation and slowly suffocated under the weight of an apartheid regime, it continued to be the daily reality of the Palestinians. The West, in its hypocritical attempt to maintain “stability,” ignored its suffering.
And yet, turning a blind eye to these growing abuses by Arab dictatorships and the state of Israeli apartheid, the international community did not in fact prevent “chaos”, but sowed the seeds of a new revolution. Because there can be no true stability without democracy and justice.
Ten years ago, the latest act of resistance by a single man in Tunisia made millions of people across the region realize that they could no longer take them and take to the streets to demand change.
Today, something similar is happening in Palestine.
The situation of the inhabitants of the East Jerusalem district occupied by Sheikh Jarrah, who are forced to leave their homes to make way for Jewish settlers, along with images of Muslims attacked by Jewish extremists at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan has sparked a huge wave of support for Palestinians from all over the Middle East and the world.
The dignity of the Palestinians, abandoned by the international community, but still proud and fighting for their rights, is an inspiration to millions of people who suffer brutal regimes alike.
Those in power in the West, however, are silent on what is happening in Palestine or want it all to start with Hamas attacks. They may think that if they continue to support Israeli apartheid and its regional allies in the name of “stability,” calls for democracy and justice in the region will eventually run out.
What they do not understand, however, is that the gap between the Arab populations and their rulers has never been wider and, most importantly, that the Arab populations have reached the point that “they can no longer take it.”
For years, the Palestinians have been left to suffer on their own, abandoned by the international community and Arab leaders, as if their struggle is over and nothing can be done to help them. But in recent weeks, they have shown the world that their thirst for life is intact and that they are not prepared to give up the fight. His dignity and resilience caused everyone to suffer under Israel’s regional allies, and longing for freedom and justice, we realized that we too “can’t stand it any longer”.
The Palestinians have relaunched the desire for irrepressible freedom that will spread everywhere.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.