Yet there is one more thing we can learn from the events in Egypt, aside from the fragility of the region we inhabit, and it is something that’s not easy to digest: The Western world’s and mostly America’s treachery. We learned that the way they abandoned President Mubarak and gave him the cold shoulder can happen to us too. Or in other words, we cannot count on the Americans at a time of crisis.
Everyone understands that Mubarak has to go, yet we would expect the American Administration to back him rather than disown him. It’s the decent thing to do at least. For dozens of years, he was the only leader the West could rely on, the dam in the face of Islamization. He should have been treated differently if only in gratitude.
And when America does this to the Egyptian president, what should any other ally think? Perhaps that it’s better to conduct oneself like Iran or Syria, rather than like a moderate Arab state.
There is no doubt that something fundamental about the American Administration has changed. The US conduct in the Middle East attests to inexperience and lack of familiarity with the region. It appears as though the world is being led by a rookie.
Ignoring Mideastern realities
A senior diplomatic source told me this past week that Israel is engaged in talks with US officials on the events in Egypt and Mubarak’s abandonment. The Americans are saying that they cannot ignore reformist elements that believe in the universal values espoused by the president. Or in other words: The current Administration’s problem is ideological and ignores Mideastern realities. Indeed, democratic reforms are worthy of being promoted, yet when this is done by abandoning an ally it sends a bad message to regional leaders.
Meanwhile, it’s clear to all that if Muslim groups take power in Egypt at the conclusion of the uprising, our peace deal with Cairo is doomed. And should this agreement collapse, what are the chances that Jordan will remain the only state in the region that has peace with Israel?
The revolution in Egypt has prompted a revolution in our thinking as well. Indeed, Egypt is not Israel, as we have the support of the US Congress and Jewish groups that exert immense influence on the Administration. However, following the events of the past week, we must wonder whether we can even count on that.
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