Haartz is a newsapaper in Israel. Israel officially supports Mubarak
and does not support any democracy movement in Egypt. I believe this
is true for the majority of Jews in Israel as well as supporters of
Israel in USA, the Republicans and allies.
It is nice to see dissentiving views in Israel. It shows democracy at
work in Israel.
* Print Edition
* Published 01:27 13.02.11
* Latest update 01:27 13.02.11
Only someone like Mubarak could defend Netanyahu's brand of democracy
Can only Israel enjoy its limited democracy? The exodus from Egypt,
from slavery to freedom, is for Hebrews only, not for Arabs.
By Yossi Sarid
Over the weekend, voices could still be heard in our country weeping
over Hosni Mubarak, taken from us after 30 years in power and yet too
Voices were still being heard mocking and criticizing U.S. President
Barack Obama, accusing him of ignorance and treachery. Israeli
television and radio were no comfort. "Fire on the Nile" they insisted
on calling the revolution in Egypt, although hardly a plume of smoke
was seen. The only fire burned in the hearts, and blessed is the match
that kindled it.
This was a civil uprising, one that did not suit the wild and violent
image we insist on ascribing to all Arabs and to all Muslims. If only
the square had been awash in blood, we would feel better. If only more
heavily bearded young men and veiled virgins had gathered, we would be
more sure of our predictions; if only Israeli flags had been burned in
the streets, we could frighten ourselves and the whole world, saying
we were right again.
If not for the desperate provocations of the regime in its last
moments, releasing horses and camels from its dark stables, this
beautiful revolution might have ended without a drop of bloodshed. But
people who did not predict the revolution beforehand will not
understand its thereafter.
Over the weekend, we heard once again that old saw: "It's the economy,
stupid." But it's not only the economy and not only unemployment; it's
the humiliation. It's difficult to live with the dead in a cemetery,
difficult to live on two dollars a day, but much more difficult not to
be able to speak out against the rulers or to vote to replace them.
It's the insult, stupid, of life in the garbage without hope; of
students who have no opportunities; of young people born in streets
with open sewers.
They see their leaders in their local Olympus, cut off from reality,
human beings who act like gods. It's the corruption, stupid, which
drove people crazy and out to the streets.
True, the situation in Israel does not resemble that in Egypt. Here we
don't get by on two dollars a day. But even here, desperate eyes watch
their leaders in their ostentatiousness, in their greediness.
Indeed, from time to time, they're "attentive to the feelings of the
public" but only because they have no feelings of their own. Our
leaders may not have Swiss bank accounts, but Israel's citizens call
them to account for their ethical failures and degeneration.
Meanwhile, the outgoing chief of staff continues in his round of
farewells. "In the Middle East stability is preferable to democracy,"
he told a graduation ceremony of senior commanders. Does one smell a
military coup in the air? Does that rule apply to all countries in the
region, or can only Israel enjoy its limited democracy? The exodus
from Egypt, from slavery to freedom, is for Hebrews only, not for
Arabs. What was so good about this deceptive "stability"? What did we
do with it all these years?
Did Benjamin Netanyahu not say that true peace can be forged only with
democracies? Was it not Natan Sharansky who wrote a book on that
theory, which George Bush praised? And now, all at once, it is only
with the Mubaraks that Israel can make and keep agreements, and let
the peoples go to hell.
Now Sharansky is being mentioned as Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman's choice for United Nations ambassador.
By all means, send him there. Let him stand on an international
podium, and together with his colleagues from Saudi Arabia, Libya,
Algeria, Yemen and Iran, say, praise democracy in the name of
Netanyahu, Lieberman and Ehud Barak.
Finally, we fit in to this region.
More on this topic
* Israel supports democracy – except in the case of Egypt
* Egypt will maintain its peace treaty with Israel, military says
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* Yossi Sarid Yossi Sarid