Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, February 2011
Will Democracy in Egypt Benefit the Palestinians?
By Alan Hart
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 15, 2011
One was that corrupt and repressive Arab regimes were the best possible guarantee that oil would continue to flow at prices acceptable to the West, and that there would be almost no limits to the amount of weapons that could be sold to the most wealthy Arab states. (The design, production, testing and selling of weapons is one of the biggest creators of jobs and wealth in America, Britain and some other Western nations. Were it not for Saudi Arabia’s purchases, Britain’s arms manufacturing industry might have gone bust by now).
Corrupt Arab dictatorships – good for Israel
In addition, there
was great comfort for Western policy makers in their knowledge that a
corrupt and repressive Arab order was not going to fight Israel to liberate
Palestine. (As I have noted in previous posts and documented in detail in my
book Zionism: The
Real Enemy of the Jews, after Israel closed the Palestine file with
its victory on the battlefield in 1948, the Arab regimes secretly shared the
same hope as all the major powers and Zionism – that the file would remain
closed. There was not supposed to have been a regeneration of Palestinian
With Mubarak gone – I imagine the generals finally said to him something like, “We’ve either got to shoot our people or insist that you go now” – the first question is this: Will Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces really be prepared to preside over the dismantling of a corrupt and cruel system and give democracy a green light?Decision time for Egypt’s Mubarak-era generals
The problem for some of Egypt’s top generals is not only letting go of their
own grip on the levers of political power. They are also locked into the
business and financial corruption Mubarak presided over. I imagine he
believed that allowing them to make loads of money would guarantee they
would not make trouble for him as he assisted Israel to impose its will on
the Palestinians, not least by effectively cancelling the results of the
Palestinian elections which gave Hamas victory in the Gaza Strip.
Key question: Would a democratically elected civilian government have to be bound by the Supreme Council’s commitment to the peace treaty with Israel?
The answer, surely, has to be “No!” If, for example, the will of the people who elected the new government was for the peace treaty with Israel to be reviewed, the government would have to set a review process in motion.
That would create a very tricky situation for the government with Israel
and the US but it could be managed by the government saying that it would
submit the treaty to a referendum.
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