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Tensions Rise Across Arab World

The game-changing protests sparked by a fruit-seller’s self-immolation in Tunisia are spreading, with more protesters horrifically¬†setting themselves on fire in Egypt, Algeria and Mauritania. In this al-Jazeera video, Egyptian protesters are seen going nose-to-nose with riot police in Cairo. In Jordan, thousands have poured into the streets to protest the state of the economy (“Bread is a red line”) and demand the resignation of the government, with demonstrations reaching the parliament building in Amman. King Abdullah is said to be “very nervous.”

In Israel, Netanyahu said the upheaval in Tunisia and ensuing unrest across the Arab world reflect the depth of regional instability and illuminate Israel’s need for solid security arrangements in any deal that might be struck with the Palestinians. “We need to lay the foundations of security in any agreement that we make,”¬†he said. “We cannot simply say ‘We are signing a peace agreement,’ close our eyes and say ‘We did it’ because we do not know with any clarity that the peace will indeed be honored.” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat claims that’s a bluff. “If there was a tsunami in Asia, a flood in Latin America or a lunar eclipse, Netanyahu would use it as a pretext not to negotiate,” he said.