Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Mideast Prediction for 2012

I do not cater to Apocalyptic prophesies.  But I do believe that the democratic tsunami sweeping through the Arab world will have its biggest impact on Israel.
 Last year, I penned a New Year's Prediction for the Mideast in which I described U.S. missteps in that region as "the ideological corpse of Neoconservatism."  Its putrid odor will continue to diminish U.S. influence in the region. 

However, there  is more at stake than the mere fact that America, the superhero of democracy and freedom, has been exposed as a phoney.  What observers are now beginning to realize is that U.S. support for the former Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, is all that held together Cairo's peace agreement with Israel.   Egyptian public opinion even during the Mubarak era remained hostile to Egypt.  An Israeli poll conducted by Ynet in 2006 reported that "92 percent of [Egyptian] respondents see Israel as an enemy, while only 2 percent saw it as 'a friend to Egypt.'"  A 2007 Pew poll reported that 70 percent of Egyptians, Palestinians, Kuwaitis and Jordanians agreed with the following statement:  "The needs of the Palestinian people could never be met as long as Israel exists; just 18 percent said that the two societies could coexist fairly."

I am in no way suggesting that another war between Israel and the Arab states is in the offing.  A  democratic Arab world would no longer need to go to war with Israel in order to squeeze the life out of the Jewish State.    What I predict for 2012 is that the chain of events transforming the Middle East will fundamentally change Israel as well.    The new Arab democracies will reject a two-state solution, in which Israel maintains the fourth largest army in the world, while neighboring  Palestine is denied a military, water rights, or control of its own borders.   Israel will find itself left with one option alone, that is its evolution tinto  a secular democracy, one state for all its peoples.  However improbable it may seem at this moment, my prediction is that 2012  will mark the beginning of Israel's maturation into a global symbol of justice for all.

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