A new report released this week by the United Nations warns of the possibility of a second “Arab Spring” that may well have implications for Israeli safety and security.
Called the Arab Development Report, the paper focuses on the future of young Arabs aged 19 to 26, who are battling poverty, joblessness, “marginalization” — and desperately seeking a voice for their concerns.
It warns that the failure of Arab nations to help young men and women succeed academically, vocationally, and economically could lead to another wave of deadly protests across the region, similar to the popular uprising six years ago that became known as the Arab Spring.
Few jobs, lack of upward mobility and widespread disillusionment
Joblessness is a major problem all across the Middle East—much higher than the world average. Youth unemployment, at 30 percent throughout the region, is more than twice the world’s 14-percent average. What’s more, almost half of young Arab women looking for jobs can’t find work.
The paper noted that young Arabs 15 to 29 now make up nearly a third of the region’s population. Another third are under 15. If they don’t attain what the report characterizes as “full social and economic inclusion,” they’ll be increasingly inclined to turn to violence. And that violence could be directed at Israel.
The eight-chapter report calls on Arab states to invest in their youth and equip them to share in economic growth.
Soft-peddling the root causes of Arab rage
In an opinion piece carried by the Jerusalem Post, Benjamin Weinthal, a Fellow at the Foundation for Defensive Democracies, criticizes the report for “tiptoeing” around the root causes of trouble in the region—genocide, the oppression of women, political corruption, and the rise of radical Islam—by not naming the oppressive leaders who cause these evils, such as Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
He said corrupt Arab leaders should be called out, but instead are given a pass through the report’s frequent use of evasive “boilerplate United Nations diplomatic” language.
Weinthal quotes a former veteran Israeli diplomat as saying, “There is almost no free market, no hi-tech (though many study it), and most important, corruption rages. These are the ingredients which will continue fueling the situation for the foreseeable future.”
The diplomat warned of a “total implosion.”
The real troublemakers
Even as the report blames social disparity, corruption, and lack of opportunity as the drivers of young Arab angst, it cites Israel 29 times and claims: “The cause of the Palestinians remains the largest and most serious” threat to the region.
Incredibly, the study makes just one mention of radical Islamic organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, that continue to cause violence, instability, and incalculable damage all across the Middle East. There are no dire warnings of the grave threat the Brotherhood, ISIS, and other Jihad-driven movements present to not only Israel, but other nations in the region and worldwide.
You and I know this is delusion.
Arab Spring, Part 2?
On December 17, many peace-seeking Arabs will observe the 6th anniversary of the self-immolation—suicide in the name of a deeply held belief—of Mohamed Bouazizi. He was the Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire in protest of government corruption. Bouazizi is widely recognized as the catalyst for the wider Arab Spring.
But if this report is any indication, influential organizations like the UN still do not understand the real problem. By ignoring the need for worldwide repudiation and action to neutralize Jihad-driven governments that are the direct cause of Arab disillusionment, we only prolong the violence and magnify the eventual, terrible consequences.
You can be sure that Bouazizi will not be the last young Arab to take extreme action in protest of the incompetence, oppression, and corruption that characterize the Arab world under radical Muslim control. We will see more violent revolution. Unfortunately, the entire region—and likely Israel—will suffer as a result.
How should we respond?
As always, I ask for your prayers. Chaos and upheaval are opportunities for God to bring peace. I believe these developments are clear indications God is at work in the Middle East. That’s our prompt to pray earnestly for His protection on the Jewish people during these Last Days.
Yes, pray for peace. But pray also for redemption—not only for the Jewish people we love so much, but also for young Arabs who find only disillusionment and hopelessness in the Islamic faith. It’s true: our primarily mission is salvation for the Jewish people. But the entire Kingdom of God will be blessed by the millions of Muslims I am convinced will come to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) during this era of growing darkness.
It’s a blessed irony: Muslims finding true salvation in the Jewish Messiah!
And please come alongside Jewish Voice with your gift in support of Israel during these confusing times. You’ll support outreaches to Jewish people in Israel and worldwide, focused on practical help, hope, and the promise of eternal deliverance in Yeshua.
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