Focus :Contradicting Stances
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday blasted Israeli and world politicians who support the Arab Spring revolutions and accused the Arab world of "moving not forward, but backward." In his sharpest Knesset comment since the wave of uprisings swept out of Tunisia and across the Arab states in January, Netanyahu expressed his complete contempt for the Arab people's ability to sustain democratic regimes, and his nostalgia for Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt. He said he feared the collapse of Jordan's Hashemite monarchy and also reiterated his absolute refusal to make any concessions to the Palestinians. Israeli officials have been railing, in particular in reference to Egypt, about how free elections in the Arab Spring nations are installing Islamist factions. A moderate Islamist bloc won the elections in Tunisia, and Egypt’s ongoing elections are seeing Islamist factions winning overwhelmingly.
The Democratic Peace Theory that democracies don’t go to war with one another is an old one and has been a popular talking point for proponents of regime change in recent decades. The theory’s validity, however, rests mostly on people insisting that one or both participants in wars between democracies (the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, for instance) aren’t “real democracies.” On the other hand, there is no reason to expect Tunisia to attack Israel no matter what its government is composed of, and Egypt’s Islamist factions have given some lip-service to revising the existing peace treaty to more favourable terms, but neither seems to suggest dismantling it or starting a war.
In a brief visit to Israel, European Union envoy to the Southern Mediterranean Bernardino Leon rejected Israeli concerns about the Arab Spring leading to free elections of Islamist factions, insisting it is “much more difficult to have wars with democracies.” I think Bibi has it backwards: the Arab world is moving forwards and Israel is moving backwards. Bibi likes to say that Israel is a beacon of democracy in a sea of tyrants, yet Israel is the one supporting these tyrants and suppressing the voice of the people in the Middle East. If Israel is a beacon of democracy then I'm the Queen of England. Why does America continue to support a nation that is diametrically opposed to progressive and American interests in this region? In another development More than 1,000 Israelis demonstrated on Tuesday night in Tel Aviv against what organizers called "the recent wave of anti-democratic legislation," an AFP correspondent said. Waving Israeli flags alongside red ones, demonstrators bore banners stating "the Right will not silence us" as well as "no rights, no problems."
By Alfatih Ziada, 07/01/2012