How the Egypt revolution could help Israel

The historian, Kai Bird, writes:

[T]he cold peace Israel has forged with Arab dictators is unraveling. This may, in the short term, empower Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud ideologues who will argue that Arab democrats are out to “delegitimize” Israel. But in the long run, the emergence of an Arab democratic polity should convince Israeli voters that their leaders have become too complacent and too isolationist. After Tahrir, a majority of Israelis may conclude that they can’t live in the neighborhood without forging a real peace with their neighbors.

The separation wall was never a real answer to Israel’s security predicament, and it will be less so when a democratically elected government governs Egypt. The policy of separation — hafrada in Hebrew — had some short-term strategic viability when the largest Arab country was willing to police Israel’s southern border and keep Hamas penned up inside its Gaza prison. But no legitimate government in Cairo will be able to continue its complicity with the Gaza blockade — particularly not if the Muslim Brotherhood is a player in a new government.

In reality, Israel will come under renewed pressure to deal with both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Hamas’s ideology is certainly vile, but it won the last Palestinian legislative election in 2006 and has more or less observed a cease-fire with Israel since early 2009. In December 2010, the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, announced that his party would abide by any peace settlement if it were to be ratified by a referendum of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, as we recently learned from Al Jazeera’s Palestine Papers — the leaked documents on the 2008 Abbas-Olmert talks — the two sides are not that far apart on a comprehensive peace settlement that would create a Palestinian state.

So here is the uplifting news: What is happening in Tahrir Square may actually propel the politicians in Washington, Jerusalem, and Ramallah to forge the Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that all of us know is there for the taking. And if that doesn’t happen? Absent a comprehensive peace settlement, Israel and the United States will find themselves increasingly isolated in the new Middle East.

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3 thoughts on “How the Egypt revolution could help Israel

  1. Christopher Hoare

    Leaving aside the question of why the hell should Israel expect help from the revolution in Egypt, I’d suggest that no peace settlement is possible between Israel and the Palestinians as long as the legitimate government Hamas is unrecognized and until the illegitimate Abbas dictatorship thrown out.

    Two down, but still more than half a dozen to go. Hopefully, Mahmoud Abbas will be the next to bite the dust. If Obama thought his hypocrisy was strained over Egypt, wait until the world sees that the American trained Dayton goon squads are the only thugs standing between the Palestinians and freedom.

  2. David

    It is a little one-sided to emphasise the vileness of Hamas’s ideology,since, outsdie Zionist Jews, only the “Christian Zionist” propagandists can embrace the (equally? more?) vile ideology of Zionism. In the end, words are cheap, as the real issue is how the locals can live with an expansionist Israel whose citizens show no serious sign of abandoning their desire for a Greater Israel. Compared to the US-Israel bloc with its EU etc hangers-on, Hamas is powerless, and bound to remain so unless and until that bloc dissolves. We should always emphasise the unremitting campaign by the hasbarists to divert all attention from their Greater Israel programme, and it seems from most reports I have seen that the man-in-the-street in Israel is getting more rather than less rabidly anti-Arab.

  3. John Somebody

    WHAT ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    “So here is the uplifting news: What is happening in Tahrir Square may actually propel the politicians in Washington, Jerusalem, and Ramallah to forge the Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that all of us know is there for the taking.”

    You think the “peace deal”, is uplifting ???????????, The same, deal that Zio – lackies in the PA, have engineered, to ensure further enslavement, expulsion, or death to Palestinian victims, is uplifting ? How can a deal with murderous thieves who require recognition of their right to thieve, and murder in “self defence”, against those who resist, be uplifting ?

    Any such apparent uplift, must surely be illusion.

    Please don’t downplay the uplift from seeing the racist filth have their powers undermined

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