Israel: Democracy And The Next Wars

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February 23, 2011: With the military now running Egypt, until elections can be held in about six months, Israeli officials are quietly calling, and visiting, Egyptians who might lead the new government, as well as generals who are running things now. Decades of anti-Israel media activity has created a popular Egyptian hostility towards Israel, and Israel is hoping a free press might be inclined to take a less hateful view.  Most Israelis are optimistic that they can establish better relations with a true democracy in Egypt, but it will be a year or more before anyone will really know if it will all turn out that way. At the same time, the Palestinians are divided over new elections, and the Lebanese are on the brink of civil war because of it. Democracy looks attractive from a distance, but it's hard to make it work.

Meanwhile, the availability of so much anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda on Arab satellite news (which is easily available inside Israel) continues to motivate young Arab-Israelis to become terrorists. Police are uncovering more plots, and weapons. It's only a matter of time before a lot more of these plots become successful.

February 22, 2011: Israel and the United States conducted a successful test of the Arrow anti-missile system (which provides protection from Iranian ballistic missiles.) While that was going on, two Iranian navy ships (a frigate and a supply vessel) passed through the Suez canal. It's unclear exactly what the Iranian ships are doing in the Mediterranean.

February 21, 2011: For the first time this month, Egypt has opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza. Despite the fall of the government, most Egyptians still view Gaza as a hotbed of Islamic terrorism, and want that danger contained.

Hamas turned down another Fatah unity proposal, insisting that before any discussions can begin, Fatah must release dozens of Hamas leaders and terrorists (who were arrested in the West Bank). Fatah refuses to do this, considering the jailed men dangerous fanatics. Meanwhile, Hamas has reduced the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, but not the attempts to set off bombs along the border fence (to create a breach, and help to capture Israeli troops.)

February 15, 2011: The new Hezbollah controlled government pledged to abide by the 2006 peace treaty that ended the Hezbollah initiated war. Israel fears that the new control of the government, which Hezbollah achieved largely through bribes and intimidation, might soon come apart, and plunge Lebanon into another civil war. Israel was drawn into the 1975-90 civil war, and fears getting dragged into the next one as well.

February 14, 2011: The Palestinian government ministers resigned, in preparation for new elections in July. Hamas won the last elections in 2006, but that caused a split. Hamas controls Gaza, Fatah controls the West Bank, and Hamas is not inclined to join Fatah in new elections. That's because Hamas has lost the slim majority it once had, and knows that it would lose new elections.

 

 

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