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Sphinxter Says What?

In a post dealing with the coup in Egypt, douchebloggerTM Richard Silverstein takes a mandatory swipe at Israel.

Egypt’s Coup

silverstein womanIsrael’s leaders are sittin’ pretty with today’s developments.  As any good politician will tell you, when your opponent is imploding just sit back and watch.  Israel, of course, can’t restrain itself.  That’s why it’s leaders crow about the overthrow of the Morsi government.  Disarray in the most powerful frontline state is good for Israel.  It means there can be no pressure for it to deal with Gaza or Hamas.  It means the likelihood of a more secular, “moderate” (whatever that means) party taking power is greater.  But Israel’s leaders are guilty of thinking in hide-bound clichés.  Islamist=Bad.  Secularist=Good.

That’s not the way the Middle East works.  In truth, we don’t know what will follow Morsi or the Brotherhood.  It may be a relative moderate like Mohammed el-Baradei; or it may be a general in civilian clothing.  Whoever it is, Israel, by its own actions, has guaranteed that no Egyptian leader can take a soft approach to bilateral relations.  Even the most quiescent leader is going to have to take a hardline on Israel.

Israel, on the other hand, believes that its own behavior has no bearing on how it’s perceived in the region.  It looks at the frontline states in a unidimensional manner.  They hate us.  Let’s just wait for someone better to come along who hates us less.

Finally, what Israeli political leaders forget is that a true Egyptian democracy might impact Israeli politics in unforeseen and disturbing ways.  Imagine a visionary leader who would set Egypt on the road to long-term stability, economic growth, and democracy.  Such a leader would offer Israelis a vision of an Arab state that might run rings around Israel because it, unlike Israel, would’ve truly embraced ethnic tolerance and diversity.

Admittedly, this is a development that won’t happen overnight.  The Middle East isn’t going to turn into a George Bush democratic fantasy based on one Egyptian military coup.  But as I wrote in the post I referred to above, the region is moving slowly (in some places more slowly than others), deliberately and inexorably toward what I called an arc of justice.

I look forward to the day Silverstein leaves the comfort of his (wife’s) Seattle home and moves to the utopia that is democratic Egypt.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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