Friday, February 11, 2011

Reactions from Israel to Mubarak Departure

I have previously maintained that support for the Mubarak regime is not deeply ingrained in Israeli society and is mostly limited to close cordial relationship of a small layer of politicians and to the fact that Mubarak's rule has been stable and found shared interests with Israel.

As for the people, they usually see Mubarak as a laughable autocrat. While 'official Israel' pretended that Mubarak's regime is a democratic republic for posterity, everyone knew the truth. Israelis tend to have disdain for central authority and far reaching regulations, they have no sympathy for a brutal dictator, be him a complacent one.

Israel always pointed out that the Middle East is a tough neighbourhood, and having Switzerland, Belgium or Canada as neighbours is preferable to having Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Deep inside, most Israelis would love to see Egypt (as well as all of Israel's neighbours) transformed to western style liberal democracies. This can be reflected by reactions of the Israeli public to recent events in Egypt. 

First, Israel's Arab communities have rejoiced in jubilation. While I have no intention to claim that there is no discrimination against Israeli Arabs emanating from the direction of their Jewish counterparts, they are able to enjoy levels of democracy, freedom and civil rights that are nonexistent in the Middle East. With that being said, it is no surprise that Israeli Arabs are happy and optimistic about the prospects of freedom and democracy in Egypt. Personally, I hope Israeli Arabs can form a bridge between Israel and Egypt.

As for Israeli Jews, optimism is mixed with fear of the prospects of the radical islamist group 'the Muslim Brotherhood' taking over and disrupting regional stability. However, if you use Google translate and skim through the comments section of all mainstream news websites, you will see that most Israelis are happy to see Mubarak go and are hoping for a peaceful transition to democracy.

This is also reflected by the few public statements coming from the government.

As a closing, I will wish the people of Egypt plenty of luck on their new path towards democracy and hope that they learn from history, exercise caution, and do not follow the path of many bloody revolutions from the past.


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