[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance, Subversion, and Social Mobilization in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each monthly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com.]
Thousands protest Israel coalition deal on eve of court date, Arab News (2 May 2020)
Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv to demonstrate against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition deal with Benny Gantz, the premier’s chief political rival. Under the deal, the two men will share the premiership, with Netanyahu serving for the first eighteen months and Gantz for the following eighteen months. Advocacy groups in Israel are demanding that the high court ban any indicted politician from forming a government, including Netanyahu.
Algeria’s Hirak Mulls Ways to Make a Comeback, Asharq Al-Awsat (2 May 2020)
Although the Hirak movement suspended their protests in early March due to coronavirus, the arrest of activists has continued. One activist pointed out that the arrests demonstrate the political system’s concerns over a resurgence of the movement and reflects the government’s failure to manage the ongoing health crisis.
Lebanese army denies beating, electrocuting detained protesters, Al Jazeera (4 May 2020)
Army intelligence forces arrested seven Lebanese protesters in the southern city of Sidon, who it is said were beaten with sticks and electrocuted. The army accused the detainees of participating in riots and attacking soldiers, and a senior official denied the accusations of torture.
Protests in Lebanon’s Sidon over worsening economy, Arab News (5 May 2020)
Protests erupted in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon as the economic situation in Lebanon continues to worsen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Popular Nasserist Organization (PNO) called on citizens to protest, with the PNO party leader Ousama Saad taking part in the demonstrations.
‘Today is a message’: Anti-government protests resume in Iraq, Middle East Eye (10 May 2020)
Iraqis returned to the streets following the formation of a new government led by newly appointed Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi. Although the new premier promised to release demonstrators and compensate the families of those who have been killed since the protest movement began in October, activists have renewed calls for fresh protests against what they view as a continuation of the status quo.
Coronavirus fears leave Iraq’s anti-government protesters divided, Middle East Eye (15 May 2020)
As Iraq’s coronavirus lockdown is beginning to lift, the country’s protest movement is slowly returning to life. The demonstrations are smaller, however, as many worry that returning to the streets too soon could risk spreading COVID-19. Some who had previously taken to the streets believe that the newly elected Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi should be given a chance, as the premier has repeatedly promised to hold those responsible for violence against the protesters accountable.
Palestinians tear gassed in protests against Israeli settlements, Al Jazeera (16 May 2020)
The Israeli army injured dozens in the northern occupied West Bank as they fired tear gas at Palestinians protesting against the expansion of Israeli settlements. Demonstrations coincided with the seventy-second anniversary of the Nakba, in which Israel ethnically cleansed more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and destroyed around five hundred villages and towns.
Foreigners evacuated from Iraq gas field after protests: source, The Daily Star (21 May 2020)
Iraqis in Basra staged a multi-day protest outside the Basra Gas Company (BGS), causing the evacuation of around forty foreign nationals. An industry source said the protests resulted from late salary payments at one of the fields where BGS is extracting gas.
Iraq to investigate torture, disappearance of protesters, Middle East Monitor (27 May 2020)
The Iraqi government has promised to investigate cases of torture, abduction, and enforced disappearance of protesters during ongoing demonstrations that erupted in late last year. The announcement came as a response to a United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) report stating that 490 protesters were killed, 7,783 injured and 25 others disappeared from October 2019 to March 2020.
Protesters calling for jobs halt Tunisia’s phosphate output, Reuters (27 May 2020)
Protesters in Tunisia calling for jobs have brought the country’s phosphate output to a halt by staging sit-ins at Tunisia’s sole phosphate producer. Tunisia was once one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate minerals, but its market share fell after the 2011 Arab Spring.
Coronavirus en Irak : par de petites manifestations, tentative de relance de la contestation contre le gouvernement, rtbf.be (1o Mai 2020)
En Irak, les gens commencent à nouveau à organiser de petites manifestations contre le gouvernement d'Al-Kazimi. Cela arrive après que les soulèvements sociaux du 1er octobre se soient calmés en raison de la Pandémie de COVID-19.
Indignation à Jérusalem après la mort d'un Palestinien autiste, abattu par la police israélienne, Libération (31 Mai 2020)
Un Palestinien non armé est abattu à Jérusalem par des soldats d'occupation. Les militants locaux font preuve de solidarité et connectent la lutte palestinienne avec la lutte pour la solidarité noire et l’affaire “George Floyd”.
بعد تعرضها للحذف.. هكذا تمكن شاب سوري من أرشفة مئات آلاف الفيديوهات للثورة,الجزيرة (31 مايو 2020)
حشد و ارشف شاب سوري أكثر من مليون و نصف مقطع فيديو توثق فظائع ومجازر النظام السوري خلال الثورة السورية بمبادرة خاصة. فعل ذلك لايمنع ان النظام السوري يستطيع أن يخفي مسؤوليته لجرائم الحرب العديدة. و خزن المعلومات في بلدان مختلفة لحمايتها. ويخطط هذا الشاب أن ينشئ موقع لنشر عام للادلة.
Opinion & Commentary
Opinion: Struan Stevenson: As Iraq’s corrupt elite squabble, young protesters could sweep them away, The Herald (1 May 2020)
Struan Stevenson discusses the appointment of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as prime minister. He is the third appointment this year, as the former two appointees failed to secure enough support to form a government. Stevenson argues that Khadhimi will have a tough time appointing a cabinet that will meet the demands of the protesters and the approval of the various political factions in Iraq.
Coronavirus stokes Middle East boiling points, BBC (4 May 2020)
Jeremy Bowen points out that while the Middle East has many reasons to fear the COVID-19 pandemic, the region has one significant advantage in resisting it, in that roughly sixty percent of the population is under thirty. He continues on to address the regional weaknesses that the pandemic is already exacerbating, including crumbling health care infrastructure and a spate of economic woes.
To survive, Lebanon needs a revolution that delivers Lebanese people from want, despair, The Jordan Times (6 May 2020)
Michael Jensen points out that despite Lebanon’s economic meltdown, the powerful banking sector has rejected a long-awaited reform plan that could secure eleven billion dollars in funding from international lenders and an additional loan of ten billion dollars over five years. Jensen concludes that Lebanon needs a revolution of not only the hungry but one that will deliver the Lebanese people from want and despair.
My first lockdown was during the first Intifada, Al Jazeera (9 May 2020)
Palestinian activist Majed Abusalama draws parallels between the nation-wide lockdown in Germany and the many curfews he endured as a child in Gaza during the first intifada. He recalls that during these curfews, his family would run out of food, and his grandmother and aunts would risk their lives to go outside in search of food and supplies. He concludes by noting that the death and suffering that the pandemic could inflict on Palestinians is just one entry in a long list of Israeli war crimes, as Gaza’s healthcare system has been severely damaged by years of Israel’s siege on Gaza.
‘Where’s Hezbollah’s Money?’: Coronavirus Recession Makes Lebanese Protesters Yearn to Take Over the Streets Again, Haaretz (10 May 2020)
Zvi Bar’el points out that a number of articles have appeared in Lebanese publications asking why Hizballah has not come to the aid of Lebanese people during the deepening economic crisis. He also acknowledges that many Lebanese are eager to return to the streets, as Lebanon’s unemployment rate is at forty percent and the situation is likely to get worse.
How Tripoli became Lebanon’s protest capital, The National (11 May 2010)
Aya Iskandarani comments on how Tripoli became the center of Lebanon’s self-styled “revolution.” She traces the city’s history back to the establishment of the state of Greater Lebanon in 1920 and points out that the city has largely been forgotten by Beirut, as half of Tripoli’s population lives below the poverty line. She concludes by acknowledging that although traditional political players are taking the opportunity to fan flames of sectarianism, Lebanese have not taken the bait.
La pandémie a freiné les manifestations en Afrique du Nord et au Moyen-Orient, La Presse (14 Mai 2020)
En Algérie, au Liban et en irak les mesures prises pour contenir la pandémie de COVID-19 ont affaibli les protestations révolutionnaires, mais il est très probable que les gens retourneront dans la rue car les problèmes persistent ou ont été exacerbés par la pandémie et les contre-mesures.
Nabni lance un chantier autour de la liberté de manifester et de s’exprimer enAlgérie, Maghreb Emergent (5 Mai 2020)
En Avril 2020, le collectif algérien NABNI (Notre Algérie Bâtie sur de Nouvelles Idées ») a effectué un atelier sur les droits citoyens de s’exprimer librement et de manifester en Algérie. Parmi les créances se trouvent des changements de la constitution pour consacrer le droit de rassemblement publique et la pérennisation le “Vendredire,” c'est-à-dire permettre des manifestations pacifiques chaque vendredi dans le points de rassemblement du Hirak.
La junte soudanaise a coupé internet, le peuple l'a rebranché, Korii. (18 Mai 2020)
La brève reconstitution des événements révolutionnaires au Soudan décrit comment la junte militaire au Soudan a coupé l'Internet. Un avocat local s'y est opposé avec succès et est donné raison dans un procès contre son opérateur téléphonique.
هل تخرج احتجاجات لبنان عن السيطرة؟.. "ثورة جياع بالأفق", 21 (20 مايو 2020)
يرجع اللبنانيون الى الشوارع في بعض المناطق احتجاجا بعد فترة هادئة و فترة ازداد فيها الوضع تدهورا في لبنان بسبب وَبَاءٌ فيروس كورونا. يلوم المتظاهرون الطبقة الحاكمة وحزب الله صراحة على الأزمة الاقتصادية و السياسية. و يوجد شك من قبل المحتجين بالنسبة لخطة الإنقاذ الحكومية.
Arts & Culture
Palestinian activists use virtual means to mark Nakba Day, Middle East Eye (15 May 2020)
While demonstrations usually take place in capitals around the world to commemorate the Nakba on 15 May, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted activists to go virtual this year. A coalition of organizations including Jewish Voices for Peace, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and Palestinian Solidarity Campaign staged an online rally in which members condemned Israel’s planned annexation of Palestinian lands.
‘Misery gives us strength’: Soolking, the rap voice of young Algeria, The Guardian (19 May 2020)
Algerian rapper Soolking became the voice of the Hirak protest movement in Algeria shortly before COVID-19-related lockdowns put demonstrations on hold. His song “Liberté” resonated with not only young Algerian protesters, but with millions of others as the song has already generated billions of hits on Youtube.
French film on Algeria sparks diplomatic spat, angers protesters, The Jakarta Post (29 May 2020)
A documentary about the Hirak protest movement in Algeria that aired on French TV has sparked anger on the sides of both the Algerian government and the protesters. The film, entitled Algeria, My Love, was directed by French journalist of Algerian origin Mustapha Kessous, and showcases the testimonials of five Algerians in their twenties to tell the story of the ongoing anti-government protest movement.
Shadi Habach est mort, parlons pour ceux qui restent, As-Safir Al-Arabi (3 Mai 2020)
L'artiste égyptien Shadi Habash est mort dans la prison de la Torah. Il était en prison à cause d'un clip vidéo qui se moquait du dictateur égyptien. Shadi est un symbole pour tous les prisonniers politiques de la révolution.
Mustapha Kessous. Journaliste et réalisateur du film Algérie, mon amour : «Il y a une chance historique de changer l’Algérie et de la mener vers la démocratie», ElWatan.com (25 Mai 2020)
Mustapha Kessous a réalisé un film sur le Hirak et la Révolution du 22 février. Kessous donne la voix a cinq jeun qui participaient aux manifestations du Hirak et qui racontent des témoignage sur le quotidien et la vie en Algérie sous Bouteflika.