Egypt no to mubarak_311.
(photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
Democracy is much like making mensiff. No one wants to watch the lamb get
slaughtered or the ladies roll up their sleeves to mix the
People just want to enjoy it.
It can be messy.
Sometimes, very messy. But in the long run, it’s what’s best for everyone. It
may not seem that way now, but democracy in Egypt – if it is allowed to take
place – will be a good thing.
The problem is that in the short run,
democracy is vulnerable to other people’s wants. These people don’t care about
the interests of those clamoring for civil rights, and may be influenced by
forces that fear change.
No one fears change in Egypt more than Israel,
the US and several Arab countries like Jordan and Syria.
democracy doesn’t have a great track record in the Arab world.
offered to the Palestinians, it quickly stumbled. The moderate secular
Palestinians, who are the majority, were divided over who would represent them.
That split the pro-Fatah vote, allowing the religious extremists of Hamas to
That’s not democracy. It’s a mini-dictatorship.
saw an opportunity to use democracy to undermine the peace process, which had
created the basis on which the elections were held in the first
Needless to say, had things been allowed to develop and mature, I
believe there would have been another election, with better results. But that
never happened because instead of actually believing in the power of democracy,
the US and Israel intervened, messing things up even more.
are two governments in the Palestinian territories – the religious fanatics who
oppose peace with Israel, and the secular moderates who support it. In a
stagnant political environment, time is not on the side of the
Every day of stalemate sees Hamas gaining strength.
there been no interference in Palestinian affairs, things would have worked
themselves out. Voters would have eventually ousted Hamas. Its ridiculous
religious extremist demands have already started to turn people off.
do the right thing, sometimes people need to see the wrong thing happen. But the
meddling blinded the Palestinian public to the extremist fanaticism of Hamas,
and Israel’s arrests of its leaders only fed the group’s
Today, Hamas continues to feed off of the failure of the
Democracy is the antidote to tyranny. It doesn’t always
seem that way, but it is always better than relying on dictators. Didn’t America
learn anything from its experiment with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War?
The same choices are rearing their ugly heads in Egypt.
want Hosni Mubarak out because it believes his successor would likely revoke the
peace accord, or change the terms significantly, though that may well happen.
But even if it did, in a democracy, Egypt would return to peaceful public
discussion and debate.
Egypt’s turmoil might prompt Israel to do the
right thing and move forward with the peace process.
What democracy needs
are strong voices who believe in it – Palestinian, Israeli, Arab and
We need to come together because democracy is the only thing that
will make the Middle East safe.The writer is an award-winning columnist
and Chicago radio talk show host. www.YallaPeace.com