Friday, February 11, 2011

Democracy, Peace, And War

"The Economist" reminds us that Egypt's peace with Israel was the desire and work of Anwar e-Sadat, not the Egyptian people, so more Egyptian democracy will mean a harder line toward Israel. And then there's America's devotion to Israel, which the magazine's Lexington columnist chalks up to shared political values, sentimentality, and evangelical Christians hoping to accelerate the parousia. Put it all together, and:
Israeli fears of abandonment look unwarranted. America will be faithful. But it will have to pay a higher price for its fidelity in an Arab world whose leaders no longer dare to ignore the preferences of their people. The best way to escape this trap would be for America to win the Palestinians their state. In that event, Arabs in general might be willing to make a people’s peace with Israel. But it was hard enough to negotiate a compromise when the autocrats were in charge. Finding one the masses accept will be harder still.
If a post-Mubarak Egypt means Israel will have to give the Palestinians more, it may just as well decide to give nothing and wait for the next war.

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