February 24, 2011

COMMON CAUSE:

Upheaval Jolts Israel and Raises New Worry (STEVEN ERLANGER,. 2/23/11, NY Times)

Israelis worry that Arab democracy movements will ultimately be dominated by extremists, as happened in Iran after the 1979 revolution that ousted the shah. They worry about the chaotic transition between revolt and democratic stability, if it ever comes. They see Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, even if it remains a minority of Egyptian opinion, as pressing for more solidarity with the Palestinians and Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood. And they fear that Israel’s regional partners in checking Iran are under threat or falling.

Arab analysts counter that new Arab realities and democracies should be welcomed by Israel, because the new Arab generation shares many of the same values as Israel and the West. They argue that there is no support among Egypt’s leaders for the abrogation of the 1979 peace treaty, though it is unpopular with the public, and that the Egyptian Army will not disrupt foreign policy.

“There is no regime that is going to be against or hostile toward Israel in the near term,” said Mohamed Darif, a political scientist at Morocco’s King Hassan II University. “There has been an evolution in the Arab world, among political elites and in civil society. Israel is a fact.”

But new governments are more likely to increase their support for the Palestinian cause, with Egypt already reopening the crossing with Hamas-run Gaza.


The best thing that could happen to Israel is to have a Palestinian nation forced upon them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2011 8:52 PM
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