HomeMarch 2011Turmoil in the Middle East, My Take

Turmoil in the Middle East, My Take

Instead of bombarding you with daily handwringing over the situation in the Middle East, I decided to wait it out so as not to imitate certain journalists and world leaders (who shall remain nameless) who were taking sides before even knowing what that meant.  I think now, with Mubarak apparently gone, that there are certain things that are possible to say:

1. The people of Egypt, like all the peoples of the Middle East save for Israel, were mired in a political system that was corrupt and which did not allow them to pursue life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.  There is no way for an Egyptian to start a business or get the financial means to marry without bribes and years of horrifying bureaucratic nightmares.  That was and has always been the reason for instability in the Middle East.  This, not Israel, is probably the leading cause for the rise of Muslim fanatics and terror organizations that are destroying the peace of the whole world.  Unfortunately, this fact is something the democracies have long ignored. This is a wake up call for them. Let’s see if they sleep through it.

2. Mubarak has always kept Egypt’s treaties with Israel.  For that, the people of Israel are grateful.  We are also grateful that he did what needed to be done to control the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Founded in Egypt in 1928 to promote sharia law, it created a military wing that had close links to the Nazis during the 1930s, when the Brotherhood was involved in spying, sabotage and support for the terrorist activities of Haj Amin el-Hussaini in British Mandate Palestine.  The Brotherhood disseminated Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion widely in Arab translations.  Douglas E. Schoen, adviser to four former Israeli Prime Ministers over the last 30 years, wrote in a Fox News editorial that if elections are held in Egypt now, there is a fifty percent chance of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the country.  For Israel, that would be a nightmare.  We can only hope against hope that the true will of the people who started this revolt to make better lives for themselves and their families will not allow one dictatorship to replace another, leading to a war that will no doubt prove disastrous for everyone.

3. The White House, in this terrible time of uncertainty and change in the Middle East, has been confused to say the least, and dangerously wrong-headed.  Encouraging the protestors, then siding with Mubarak, then welcoming Mubarak’s ouster just before Mubarak declared he wasn’t leaving has left us in Israel shaking our heads.  With this kind of instability in Washington, where is the strong ally we pretend we have?

4. Caroline Glick’s article
(http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=207742), pointing out that while the White House was sleeping, Pakistan, which receives more U.S. dollars than any other country on earth, has DOUBLED its atomic arsenal and has begun testing long range missiles, is a must read.  While the White House has banned all terminology relating to a war on terror, and President Obama is calling for 2 billion dollars of ADDITIONAL AID to Pakistan, a country half in the power of the Taliban at this point, how will this play out if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over Egypt?

5. I see hopeful signs in the speech of British Prime Minister David Cameron in which he backed up PM Merkel’s admission that multiculturalism in Europe has failed, warning Muslim groups that if they fail to endorse women’s rights or promote integration, they will lose all government funding.  This realism is reassuring.

It is my hope that the democracies will get stronger.  The only way that can happen is if people vote out dangerously delusional leaders with their head in the sand and ideological rhetoric in their mouths.  The only way that can happen is if people abandon their bandwagon mentality and stop waiting for the New York Times to tell them who to vote for.  Reality is going to get a lot more real, even for the most dim-witted ideologues.  Let us hope that our future leadership is not from their blinded ranks.

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