Thomas Friedman revisited (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) Dror Eydar 05/24/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
We live in a region rife with "celebrations" and "springs." Many
around the world were excited to see 50 million Egyptians go to the
polls to cast their votes in the presidential election, "the first
vote since the time of the pharaohs."
An esteemed expert on the Middle East told me: Yes, this is the first
democratic election, but it could also be the last. Egypt could end
up with an Islamist parliament, government and president who root out
the democratic process, or the military may choose to intervene and
stage a coup.
In any case, as far is Israel is concerned the forecast isn´t looking
good: The peace treaty with Egypt is dissipating, its embassy in
Cairo is barely functional and a vast majority of the Egyptian public
supports nullifying the peace agreement and even favors war.
It´s amusing to watch the media try to mitigate the catastrophe by
searching for the Egyptian candidate who is the lesser evil for
Israel. Some have pinned their hopes on the"secular" and "Western-
oriented" Amr Moussa, as opposed to the unenlightened religious
candidates. It´s amazing how quickly things can change: The person
responsible for some of the most venomous campaigns against Israel
has suddenly become the great hope of the West. It´s not unlikely
that Moussa, too, could turn out to be serious trouble.
In light of the democratic festivities, I was reminded of an analysis
about the Arab Spring by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman,
who is venerated across the globe as well as by Israel´s Army Radio.
More than a year ago, Friedman wandered around Tahrir Square,
intoxicated with joy, and dispatched articles to his newspaper that
were more akin to Beatles´ songs — something like "make love not war."
Writing with colonialist condescension customarily reserved for the
natives, Friedman showered the Israeli government with fire and
brimstone for not being excited about the Tahrir chaos. He compared
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pharaoh and Egyptians to the
people of Israel seeking freedom from bondage to the original
pharaoh: Hosni Mubarak.
"Indeed, what makes the uprising here so impressive — and in that
sense so dangerous to other autocracies in the region — is precisely
the fact that it is not owned by, and was not inspired by, the Muslim
Brotherhood," Friedman wrote in February 2011. Amazing, but this is
what the "most important" journalist in the world concluded back
then. Now he is advising Netanyahu "to make history" — or, in other
words, to compel Israel to commit diplomatic suicide once again,
following in the footsteps of the delusional Oslo and disengagement
Look at Egypt, look at its list of candidates for president and
parliament. Consider how the barrier that Egypt placed in Iran´s path
in its effort to infiltrate the heart of the Arab world has
collapsed — and then read Friedman´s unfounded articles. His other
advice should be approached this way as well.
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