Twitter has given me insight into the mindset of many of the leaders of the currant Arab revolutions. Many are calling them Facebook or Internet revolutions because much of the planning support and especially the reporting from the actual scene of unfolding events is all taking place online, in real time.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the one feature that stood out to me, was the ability of the crowds in Egypt to maintain a non-violent stance in the face of police brutality. This model is now repeating itself in other Arab countries and in the Palestinian territories. Via Twitter, I read about plans for peaceful demonstrations in Gaza and Ramallah. While the demonstrators may have intended peaceful rallies, those in power had other ideas. In Gaza the ruling Hamas attacked demonstrators, while in Ramallah it was the Fatah/Palestinian Authority that used force against them.

What were they demonstrating about that so angered both Hamas and Fatah?
For unity. The Palestinians are tired of sectarianism and want to maintain a united front against Israel. Apparently neither Hamas nor Fatah appreciate this attempt at creating a unified Palestinian people.

Just think, if the Palestinians take the lessons learned in Egypt, and apply them against the Israel. True, demonstrations occur regularly at the border fence with Israel, but they are limited in scope and location. During Intifada II, there was one point where Hanan Ashrawi called on Palestinian women to march non violently. But her voice was drowned out in the series of suicide bombings that wracked Israel at the time. Palestinians seemed to honor martyrs much more than anyone trying a non-violent approach.

Now that they’ve seen the success of a popular revolution in Egypt, I think it more likely that they will adopt a similar method for regime change. In my opinion, Israel can have no real response to a non violent revolution and declaration of statehood. Palestinians have a window of opportunity that may not remain open for very long.