More than eight hundred martyrs were killed at the hands of the Hosni Mubarak regime during the events of the war on the January 2011 revolution. Another 3,000 were martyred during the most violent phase of the military regime’s war on the revolution, which began in June 2013. This is not counting the tens of thousands of people buried alive in the prison cells of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and the thousands of uprooted from their homelands.
In Syria, over 350,000 were martyred and millions are either displaced or imprisoned, all of whom fell victim to the war on the revolution of a nation who dreamed of democracy, justice and freedom. In Libya, several thousand were victims of the empowerment of General Khalifa Haftar, with the support of Al-Sisi and the forces hostile to the Arab Spring. The situation isn’t much different in Yemen, meaning we have a total of hundreds of thousands of victims of the regimes’ war on the Arab nations’ revolutions. These same regimes are begging for false peace and normalisation as a guarantee of them retaining power under the pretext of preserving the lives of their people, sparing them from a confrontation with the Israeli occupation, bring about development and growth, and achieving security and stability for them.
If you compare the number of Arab martyrs fighting against the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the Arab territories to the number of victims killed by Arab governments fighting the public’s quest for freedom from oppression, tyranny, and corruption, you will find that the losses of the Arabs in the time of false Israeli peace is dozens, and even hundreds of times more than during the phase of confrontations and the quest to liberate the land. Therefore, we cannot believe the Arab claims of seeking a settlement with Israel in order to stop the bloodshed and preserve the lives of our citizens.
Rather, reality indicates that the regimes looking for the warm comfort of relations with the occupation have actually killed their rebellious peoples in execution of Israel’s desires and to protect the Israeli occupation from the winds of the Arab Spring, which shook with it the pillars of the occupation. The occupation considered these winds to be the greatest danger to Israel’s existence in Palestine.
The Arab Spring was a portrayal of the power of the masses in the conflict equation and a call for citizens in the struggle for existence. It is also a revival of the critical central issue modern Arab history. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed this when he said that the danger posed to Israel is from the strength of the Arab public opinion.
In November 2017, during his speech to the Knesset marking the 40th anniversary of former Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat’s visit, he said: “The obstacle is public opinion on the Arab street, public opinion that has been brainwashed for years by a distorted and misleading presentation of the State of Israel. And after many decades – it is like geological layers – it is very difficult to reveal and present Israel in its true light, in its beautiful and true face, in the help we provide, both in the region and in Africa, also in Asia, in rescue missions, both in technology and assistance to the wounded from Syria. Thousands, thousands. It is very difficult to penetrate these geological layers to the rock of truth, and therefore the peace remains cold.”
He also tweeted at the time that the biggest obstacle to spread peace is not the leaders of surrounding countries but the public opinion in the Arab street, which has been subjected to propaganda that portrays Israel in a wrong and biased light.
Therefore, Israel’s absolute support for Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s massacres to ensure he rules Egypt with repression and armed
terrorism, and Israel’s explicit and implicit expression of Bashar Al-Assad’s remain in power over the remains of hundreds of thousands of Syrians serves Israel’s existential interests, along with the violent generals in Libya and Yemen, all achieve Israel’s supreme goal. This goal is to neutralise the public opinion and remove the masses from the equation by means of murder, imprisonment, and displacement. They are seen as the obstacle to Israel’s spread in the region through a group of leaders who preserve the lives of their people by abandoning confrontation with the occupation and instead claim the lives of their people in order to pave the way for normalisation by continuing to remain in power.
So, the Israelis were not wrong in believing they were experiencing an Israeli spring that the Arab regimes created, fought for and defended with their blood over the past five years. This was marked by the imposition of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as leader of Egypt, thus becoming an example for other leaders that consider Israel the source of leadership.
They are killing Arab citizens in squares, prison cells, consulates and on the borders, then they knock on Israel’s door asking for peace and normalisation in order to preserve the lives of their people.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on 31 October 2018
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.