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Military dictatorships are good for Israel

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That’s what the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), an international news agency serving Jewish community newspaper and media around the world seem to be promoting.  The headline was clear:

“Egyptian military’s anti-democratic moves may benefit Israel”

The article by JTA staffer Uriel Heilman went on to say “Egypt’s military coup is now nearly complete. That may be distressing for Egyptian democracy, but it could help the Israel-Egypt relationship.”

This may also be distressing for millions of Egyptians and the cause of freedom and human rights, but there is no mention of that in the article, of course.  No, the only focus here is that what is “good for Israel.”

What do they mean by the phrase “good for Israel”? I suggest that they have not the good of the Israeli people at heart, but it is good for the preservation of an unjust status quo that enables Israel to oppress Palestinians without consequence, while still enjoying “normal” relations with a neighboring state (that just happens to be under a military dictatorship, for now).

If the editors at JTA really had the good of the Israeli people as their prime objective, or if they really cared about Israel’s international status, it would work tirelessly to end all oppression and support full freedom for all people, including Palestinians and Egyptians.

It is tragic that they instead chose to declare beneficial moves toward continued oppression of the Egyptian people because it is politically expedient to preserve Israel’s apartheid rule over Palestinians.

What makes this cheering for military dictatorship even more ironic and even irrational is that they seem oblivious to the fact that this move by the Egyptian military is quite possibly a very temporary arrangement that may be overthrown by the collective will of the Egyptian people.  Tens of thousands are on the streets in Egypt and are not taking this military coup lightly. The people of Egypt do not seem they are going to throw away the hard-won gains from earlier this year without a massive struggle. Even if the military wins in the short-term this is clearly not sustainable.

Finally, have the editors at JTA not given any thought to the millions of Americans, especially young people, Jewish and non-Jewish, who will ponder why stalwart supporters of Israel find it so necessary to support all sorts of oppression, not only of Palestinians, but also now clearly, and without apology, of Egyptians?  What kind of system are they supporting that it can be so indifferent to, indeed, even dependent on, the suffering of others? Don’t be surprised if the answers many come up with are not so beneficial to the status quo.

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If you’re going to harp on the question of why an Egyptian military dictatorship is better for democratic, liberal Israel (and, let’s be honest, democratic, liberal America) I think you should at least consider why a democratic, illiberal, Islamic Egypt where women have fewer rights, rhetoric is more belligerent, and… Read more »

Israel has pledged to respect Egypt’s democratic vote. Will Egypt respect the peace treaties it has with Israel and the self-determination of the Jewish people?

I’d call this the inner ghetto. This piece shows how much this feeling is deep in their minds and souls. Inasmuch they rely on the suffering of other people, they don’t deserve solidarity whatsoever. And in the (not so) long run, they won’t get any.

‘If you’re going to harp on the question of why an Egyptian military dictatorship is better for democratic, liberal Israel (and, let’s be honest, democratic, liberal America)’ More like, ‘let’s be dishonest.’ Why America? I can’t see it. Indeed, it’s been noticeable that our willingness to tolerate democracy in the… Read more »

‘What makes this cheering for military dictatorship even more ironic and even irrational is that they seem oblivious to the fact that this move by the Egyptian military is quite possibly a very temporary arrangement that may be overthrown by the collective will of the Egyptian people.’ Yeah. Happily, the… Read more »