Watching “The Arab Spring” unfold has been a remarkable and awe-inspiring experience. Something that was once impossible to imagine suddenly became inevitable as Tunisia sparked a revolutionary fire that spread to Egypt, eventually inspiring the entire Middle East to rise up in varying degrees of revolt against even the most repressive of their regimes. It seemed like only a matter of time before justice prevailed, and each dictator would fall like dominoes giving way to a democratic, liberated Arab World.
Those of us who closely follow Middle East politics were uncharacteristically excited and hopeful for the future.
This quickly changed when Libya’s protests escalated into a full-scale civil war, making the movement become an unfortunate victim of foreign military intervention. Instead of Muammar Gaddafi’s imminent, and at that point expected overthrow, it felt as if we were watching a slow, painfully reminiscent re-institution of the Iraq war.
However, amidst the heartbreaking bloodshed and painfully worn out excuses for military intervention, one of the least expected, and (dare I say) hopeful regime changes has finally come to the Arab world in Palestine. After several weeks of carefully orchestrated, non-violent unity protests throughout Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinian political factions, and long time rivals Hamas and Fatah have finally agreed to set aside their political differences and unite as one political regime. This is undeniable political progress.