The mass protest by vast numbers of the unemployed, the impoverished, and seekers of democracy and freedom against the pro-American despotic leaders of Arab countries, which started in Tunis and has expanded to Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Algeria as well as other states – is a crucial turning point in the development of the region as well as in the international arena. Despite the harsh measures taken to suppress the revolt, including the use of live ammunition, the protesters against misery and tyranny continue their demonstration and are demanding their right to live with dignity.

After decades in which the rights of workers and of the unemployed were trampled upon, and critics and opponents were silenced, the Arab nations are learning to recognize their power to impact and change reality in the direction of progress. The spontaneous demonstrations, attended mostly by youths, are not centrally organized. We are witnessing a popular movement representing a cross-section of parties and political streams, who are formulating their messages in the midst of action.

CPI’s political bureau believes that the claim advanced for many years by the world’s reigning capitalist establishments, which holds that the Arab world is only suited for either tyranny and oppression or Islamic fundamentalism, has been discredited. The mass popular movement in the Arab countries, which draws its power from the rage of the masses against the rise in food prices and the deepening scarcity of job opportunities, as well as the lack of basic civil rights – is emerging as a concrete political alternative.

It is difficult to estimate at the present moment, where the popular protest movement in the Arab states will end. Will it lead in every instance to the ousting of the tyrants, as occurred in Tunis? Or will it also lead to substantive changes in the nature of the regime and its policies? What political forces will be able to draw new energies from the uprising? But even now it is possible to estimate that we are witnessing a new phase in the social and political development of the Middle East, leading to the weakening of pro-American dictatorial regimes, which lead a policy of privatization in the service of the multinational corporations and provided backing to U.S. aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Communist Party of Israel, as do all seekers of democracy and human rights in the world, stands in solidarity with the struggle of the Arab nations for a decent livelihood and freedom. The uprising of these peoples is a source of encouragement in our struggle to defend workers and democracy in Israel, and to combat racism, while demanding equal political and social rights for all.

Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Israel
January 31, 2011