The Second Arab Awakening

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Marwan Muasher, former Jordanian ambassador to Israel and the United States, current vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and now author of The Second Arab Awakening: And the Battle for Pluralism (Yale University Press, 2014), takes the long view of Middle Eastern politics, and discusses news of the day from peace talks in the region.


Marwan Muasher

Comments [19]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


If you are sincerely against brutal occupations then you should pack up and leave Native American land of North America.

Apr. 11 2014 09:50 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

According to the UN, 135,000+ have died in Syria. That's Arabs killing Arabs.

If Arabs can't get along with fellow Arabs, can they get along with Infidels?

And Jews were in the Land of Israel long before muhammed came on the scene.

Apr. 11 2014 09:43 AM
Chris from New York

Arab awakening?!?

What has changed? The military still rules Egypt, the Assads still rule Syria, Iraq is in chaos, Israel is bulldozing Palestinean homes and containing them in ghettoes, and Saudi Arabia is facing a succession crisis.

Arguably, all of this so-called "awakening" has led to more chaos and deaths while the countries' rulers clamp down harder on the people. Sure, it's easy for academics and intellectuals to read Instagram feeds and blogs and imagine change, but it's only gotten worse there.

I'd argue that the only material change in the Arab world is that the USA is slowly withdrawing from the region. And that might indirectly be fomenting all this chaos.

Apr. 10 2014 05:49 PM

You're right; you're not going anywhere but it's also true that there will always be people who are present to say that your glorious view of yourself is false and you're a racist state. And as long as such people exist you'll never be perceived by the world as you want to be perceived; you're not like other western democracies who over time make strides to be just and don't hide their nasty past. It is this desire to be viewed as on par with the great democracies that makes you unwilling to make peace with the Arabs; they must heel to YOUR false narrative and you'll war with every last one of them till they do. You'd rather live as a state besieged; perpetually under threat by its enemies then at peace by allowing people their basic freedom of speech and even of thought. Now THAT's irrational and undemocratic. The Arabs on the other hand make no pretense to being democracies but it is they who are rising up authentically. And to maintain your sense of yourselves as noble you have to constantly squash all opposing views. Not only are Arabs who know your narrative to be falsevilified, but you have to extend that to all or any people[Carter] or nation who does not toe the line. You have to dominate the mass media to succeed in keeping your narrative from being exposed. You're always vigilant and ready to foment wars and hatred among people who dare to not buy your narrative. You're all over the place with your organizations;stopping the leaks here, there and everywhere, in academia, alternative media, etc.Noble democracies do not do that and do not need to live like a nation under siege. But the truth comes out in the age of the internet.

Apr. 10 2014 04:03 PM
jgarbuz from queens


Does not matter what you believe or choose to believe. WE Jews waited 1800 years to get our homeland back. WE got it back legally, from the LEague of Nations. WE settled it. We built almost everything on it. WE fought and WON 7 wars. We are the victors; you are the vanquished. You have to accept our terms of surrender, or continue the VANDETTA, as you wish. It will only mean more casualties mainly on your side. You will condemn your children and grandchildren to more misery, as well as ours, but more so yours.
There are 21 Arab states. Plenty. We Jews will never give up our liberated homeland again under any condition. End of story.

Apr. 10 2014 01:42 PM

The issue is about Israel's sense of honor, it's about not narrative, not land.Israel insists that Arabs believe and say what the Israelis want them to believe and say about Israel; namely that the creation of the state of Israel was a morally legitimate and noble event. Israel insists Arabs say what Israeli' s say about themselves. THAT is not only absurd but tyrannical. People have the right as free people to believe and to speak and to teach their history as they see it; for Arabs who were displaced, that means the belief that the creation of Israel was an ignoble and morally illegitimate theft, by hook and by crook of the native people. It was made technically legal by the UN which back then was a colonialists club. They have the right to believe and teach to future generations that Israel was created unethically and is therefore illegitimate from a moral perspective.That does not mean that Israel should disappear and all Israeli's should be killed. It is merely a belief about the origin of the state. It was not a glorious event as the Zionists see it but ignoble. Just as Native Americans may believe that the creation of the US was illegitimate or Mexicans may believe that the annexation of Texas from Mexico was illegitimate or our belief that the USSR was illegitimate or Castro's Cuba is illegitimate or Crimea's being part of Russia is illegitimate etc. The problem is not borders but Israelis insistence that Arabs, who were the victims of Israel's creation, disavow their narrative about the creation of the Zionist settler state. This refusal to allow people to believe what they believe is the heart of the problem and shows the Israelis to be irrational. They would rather live with hostile neighbors when they could live at peace with them if they would allow people their right to believe and to teach their version of history about the creation Israel. Israel wants to falsify history by minimizing the fact that Israelis came from Europe ,and displaced native Arab people. They want us to believe they were there all along and that is a falsification of history. Arabs will not abide by falsifying THEIR history to appease the Israelis narrative of a glorious noble origin . They see Israel's creation through the lens of a history of thugary against them and they see continued thugary in Israel's insistence that Arabs adapt Israel's narrative which they believe is false and they have the right to their beliefs.

Apr. 10 2014 01:04 PM
Elaine from Baltimore

Well said Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn!!

Apr. 10 2014 11:44 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Israeli's? The Palestinians, again, won't accept the continued existence of Israel, they won't do it. Can't go forward without that.

Apr. 10 2014 11:44 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Mr. Muasher must understand - intellectually, if not in his heart - that Israel is a Jewish state and that it is not up to anyone but the Israelis to decide that. In addition, any other nation that does not recognize Israel as a Jewish State and Jerusalem as its capital is not dealing in reality. That said, Israel does not prevent anyone but terrorists from living on its sovereign land, but anyone who lives in Israel knows that it is a Jewish state.

If the Arab countries do not wish to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, there is no point in negotiating any "two-state solution" with them because they are irrational and in denial and it is impossible to have a rational discussion with an irrational party.

Apr. 10 2014 11:41 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Palestinians will not accept the reality of the state of Israel, without that there is no possibility of coexistence and peace, can't blame the U.S. there.

Apr. 10 2014 11:40 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jerusalem was NEVER an ARab capital and never will be! Just because Arabs live in Jerusalem means no more than JEws living in New York, Baghdad or Warsaw. It does not give them the right to an Arab capital there anymore than Jews have a right to a capital in New YOrk, Baghdad, Warsaw or Casablanca.

Apr. 10 2014 11:39 AM

There are NO SETTLERS IN GAZA!! Do not allow your guest to lie and fabricate facts.

Apr. 10 2014 11:39 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

Plualism and Islam? Please define what dhimmī laws are.

Apr. 10 2014 11:38 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

Tell him to acknowledge "Israel is a Jewish state"

Apr. 10 2014 11:34 AM

There are NO SETTLERS IN GAZA!! Do not allow your guest to lie and fabricate facts.

Apr. 10 2014 11:34 AM
John A

First off eliminate the "Death to infidels" policy from all Islam. Second, control Sunni - Shiia warring as northern Ireland has with Protestantism. /// I'm pretty accepting of all religions but I've been avoiding this one for these reasons.

Apr. 10 2014 11:31 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

Past and Future Tensions

From the Politically Incorrect, Too section of my book, Ornamentally Incorrect, third edition, Luxe et Veritas


“In all corners of the earth Christianity and Mohammedanism are coming into collision, and the indications are that a struggle for the mastery is inevitable. The Moslems are burning with anxiety to see such a crisis and such a conflict; but Christianity does not seem to be in a condition to welcome the struggle, as, especially in Europe, it would be almost absolutely impossible to enthuse the masses for a religious contest to the same degree and extent in which this will be possible among the Mohammedan peoples.”
— From a summary of “Christianity and Islam”, an address by Dr. Martin Hartmann of the Oriental Seminary in Berlin in the Literary Digest January 21, 1899.

Hab SoSlI’ Quch!*

Diplomacy: Back to the Future

Floundering around for a Middle East policy? Can’t reason with those ornery fundamentalists? Feel like you’re wandering around in some foggy bottom?

Well, you didn’t do your homework. It’s been done before (or maybe since). You can find all the guidance you need in the voluminous papers of Federation policy toward the Klingons.

There is – no kidding – a Klingons for Christ web site. Sounds like an evangelical challenge.

* Klingon — Your mother has a smooth forehead.

Copyright © 2014 Joseph Mirsky

Apr. 10 2014 09:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Jordan" is geographically eastern Palestine, as defined by the Romans in 135 AD, and the majority today are descendents of the Arabs who fled Israeli rule after 1947. Doesn't that make Jordan the defacto Palestinian state and shouldn't the king become the king of Palestine? How many Palestinian states are there to be, one, two or three?

Apr. 10 2014 08:27 AM

Hey, ask Muashar about the "awakened Arabs" who forced Brandeis University to (cowardly) rescind their invitation to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an advocate of women's rights in the Muslim world, give the commencement speech next month.

"Awakened" indeed ... same old menacing, paranoid, insular bigotry. His touted "battle for pluralism" is a joke even in Massachusetts.

"BANISHED AT BRANDEIS - The university yanks an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali" (WALL STREET JOURNAL)


Apr. 10 2014 07:33 AM

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