Monday, January 31, 2011

Jewish and Democratic - Yes
Arab and Democratic - No

Egyptian protestors at Tahrir Square today (NY Times)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's muzzling of his ministers,  turns out to have been just a tactical ploy. Netanyahu's public silence was the cover for diplomatic activity. The Israeli newspaper of record, Haaretz, reports that the Israeli government is advocating in Western capitals on behalf of Mubarak' regime.

Liberal Zionists argue that Israel can resolve the paradox of being simultaneously a Jewish ethnocracy
and a Western democracy. The shorthand for this is "Israel is Jewish and democratic".
Now it appears that Israel does not share the same optimism with regard its Arab neighbors.

In 1989, the world trusted Eastern Europe's democratic revolutions against totalitarianism.
Five years later, the West trusted South Africa's democratic revolt against apartheid.

In the last few days, the U.S. has - albeit belatedly - begun to shift support from Mubarak to the Egyptian people.

Why is Israel still behind the curve?

Netanyahu's machinations will surely reinforce Arab suspicions that Israel will never voluntarily end its domination over Palestinians.

Who will trust that Israel with its Palestinian population when it backs a dictator against his own people?

Those who are invested in the status quo in Israel/Palestine are rightly concerned that if the Egyptian protests against Mubarak succeed in deposing him, Israel's military occupation and ethnic discrimination of the Palestinians will come under close scrutiny.

For those of us who support a peace and justice resolution in Israel/Palestine, nothing could be more welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment