Rafah will open after the revolution

NOVANEWS
 

Just in case anyone was buying the shiny paper-wrapped non-sense about the “opening” of the Rafah Crossing, the Egyptian government today “decided to allow travelers to enter on foot rather than buses Saturday.” Amongst those taking the long walk from the Hamas terminal in Palestinian Rafah to the other terminal in Egyptian Rafah were a number of old people, disabled people, and children. That’s the Egyptian revolution: Egyptian security forces abusing Palestinian children and elderly people as they try to cross into Gaza, same thing that happened there before January 25. That’s why I didn’t write about a revolution and don’t think it’s pedantic or defeatist to not do so. Clearly and wonderfully, the Egyptian people have broken loose. Still, revolutions have to condense their energy into institutions in order to secure socio-economic restructuring.

Meanwhile, the old regime is still trying to re-consolidate itself. Adam Hanieh writes of the “orderly transition,” as massive aid flows stream into Egypt conditioned on it deepening the Mubarak-era neo-liberal reforms and channeling social protest into places where it will dissipate. As Hanieh writes, the goal of those pushing for “orderly” change “is a society that at a superficial level takes some limited appearances of the form of liberal democracy but, in actuality, remains a highly authoritarian neoliberal state dominated by an alliance of the military and business elites.”

The question is if the people will let it. Based on what I am hearing day-by-day and the level of participation in ongoing demonstrations, particularly on Fridays in Tahrir Square, the answer seems thus far to be no. Hopefully the answer will continue to be an ever-more-conspicuous, “No,” until the whole Middle East breaks loose. Egypt is the major Arab country and if it becomes a regional anti-imperialist power the US-Israel-Saudi alliance will be threatened. For more on that, check out Samir Amin’s brilliant canvass at Monthly Review. My favorite excerpt:

…Conspicuous progress in constructing the united front of workers and democratic forces is happening in Egypt. In April 2011 five socialist-oriented parties (the Egyptian Socialist Party, the Popular Democratic Alliance—made up of a majority of the membership of the former “loyal-left” Tagammu party, the Democratic Labor Party, the trotskyist Socialist Revolutionary Party, and the Egyptian Communist Party—which had been a component of Tagammu) established an Alliance of Socialist Forces through which they committed themselves to carry out their struggles in common. In parallel, a National Council (Maglis Watany) was established by all the active political and social forces of the movement (the socialist-oriented parties, the diverse democratic parties, the independent unions, the peasant organizations, the networks of young people, numerous social associations). The Council has about 150 members, the Muslim Brotherhood and the right-wing parties refusing to participate and thus reaffirming their well-known opposition to continuation of the revolutionary movement…

And Richard Estes on the Israel-American-Saudi counter-revolution.

Technorati Tags: Adam HaniehEgyptGazapolitical economyRafahrevolutionrichard EstesSamir Amin

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