Thursday, February 17, 2011

Misguided Euphoria

  Now that euphoria over regime change in Egypt is beginning to subside, it is time for a reality check. The western world seems to think that holding elections are a key to democratic reform and a way to empower the citizens of a previously oppressive country. Time and time again it has been proven that in the middle east , elections don't necessarily bring about positive changes that the population is yearning for.

     We are all aware of elections in the middle east that have not brought about feelings of empowerment for the average person in the street. First, we can look toward Lebanon that is now facing a government that is being controlled by the terrorist group, Hizbullah. Lebanon once considered the Middle East Riviera, is now being lead by none other than the notorious terrorist leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah has recently threatened to capture the Galilee region , an undisputed area of northern Israel, from deep beneath the ground in a secure bunker. Democratic leaders don't usually lead and govern while hiding in bunkers last I or anyone else has checked.

     we can look toward the Palestinian area where calls for elections by the Bush #2 administration, has led to Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip and a strong divide between the Palestinian people and is a major roadblock in trying to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority is still in office though is term was up in 2009, because there haven't been new elections. Abbas keeps promising or threatening to resign from office , and only reneges to do so due to begging and promises of more financial aid that continues to pad the pockets and Swiss bank accounts of the PA leaders and not assist  the people it's intended for.

     Gaza on the other hand is ruled with an iron fist by the terrorist group Hamas. They don't recognize Israel's right to exist and don't honor any current Israeli-Palestinian interim agreements. They are responsible for launching rockets into Israel and threaten the stability in the region. As Israel permits more and more goods to enter Gaza, Hamas has confiscated many products and slowed the free flow of goods because it reduces their profits from illegal tunnel trafficking from Egypt. The media unfortunately hasn't had the desire to report these events. They are too busy condemning Israel for not permitting more goods to cross into Gaza such as cement and steel that will be used by Hamas to restore their military capabilities and ready them for the next confrontation with their sworn enemy , the Jewish State.

     Now that the newly crowned revolution is happening in Egypt, top leaders in the movement that brought down Hosni Mubarak, are calling for the suspension of natural gas shipments to Israel which is a clause included in the peace agreement between the two countries. The Muslim Brotherhood which is poised to be a major player in the new government, has time and time again called for the suspension of this treaty. With more and more Egyptian troops entering the Sinai Peninsula to restore order, the situation can quickly get out of hand and Israel will be faced with a hostile presence once again on this southern border.

     We don't know what the outcome in Tunisia or Algeria will be. Yemen which is fighting Al-Quida insurgents is also very unstable, while the newly appointed Justice Minister in Jordan is calling for the release of the jailed murderer of 9 Beit Shemesh girls who were gunned down in 1997.

     Though Israel is not ruled by an Iron fist and their citizens from all backgrounds enjoy many freedoms , there are still many problems with their parliamentary system. They don't have a system in place where by their national elected officials are chosen directly by the people. Citizens can only vote for political parties and therefore unlike democracies in the US and Western Europe they lack the ability to remove elected officials from office as was just witnessed in the previous two elections in the US. This unfortunately leads to many corruption scandals . The elected officials' loyalties are to the political parties and not the voters they are supposed to represent.

     Thomas Friedman and Roger Cohen, voices for the notorious basher of the Jewish State, the soon to be defunct New York Times , are quick once again to take a swipe at Israeli leaders for not being supportive toward the revolution that is going on in Egypt. It must be easy for these elite Jewish journalists to sit in their comfortable ivory towers, while Israel with its tiny geographical size must look at all events especially drastic change in leadership and the effect on its' safety and security. This tiny country realizes that what excites others in far away lands does not necessarily mean more peace and security for its' citizens and the children of future generations.

A View from Jon's Place  2/17/2011