Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Israeli Narcissism

As a narcissist, perhaps it takes one to know one?  Israel's take on the events in Egypt are all about Israel.  I get that--Egypt has been an ally, more or less for more than thirty years.  The one neighbor they could take for granted.  And now they cannot.  I find it alternatively amusing and appalling to see Israelis and fans of Israel defend Mubarak and his authoritarian rule.  Israel used to stand for being a democracy, but whenever there is a choice between security and liberty, well, we know which way that goes.  Yes, Israel is vulnerable, but selling one's soul is usually not a good idea.  Plus supporting authoritarianism today usually means that sometime down the road things get ugly. 

The future of Egypt is uncertain, but let's not over-romanticize its pas.  It has been a breeding ground for extremism, including significant numbers of folks working in and with Al Qaeda.  Repression has that effect.  [Indeed, one way to quickly determine that Petraeus is very sharp is to see how much focus he puts on getting detention straight.  He gets that prisons generally become breeding grounds for more and more extremism]

What these events should demonstrate to Israel is that the US has its own interests and values and identities, and it cannot count on the US to support whatever Israel thinks is best for Israel.  Of course, the irony here is that if the US focuses on what is best for the US, it might end up doing things that are best for Israel in the long run.  Certainly, Israel has been doing a crappy job of late defending its own interests.  How well did that last invasion of Lebanon work out?

No comments: