For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Well, what a turn-up for the books. Those same liberal circles which flayed the neo-cons alive for pursuing the apparently ludicrous idea that democracy could ever come to the Arab world are now hailing the current upheavals in that same Arab world as .. a democratic awakening.
Maybe it will be so. For sure some at least of the elements involved want true freedom and human rights. But that particular argument against the neo-cons was not wrong (and before anyone flies to their keyboard, let me clarify that what I support, and have always supported, is the principal belief that drove neo-con thinking -- not that democracy in such countries was necessarily achievable, and certainly not overnight, but that there is a moral duty to defeat the jihad in order to defend the west. And that was always a very different matter).
Anyway, back to the crisis at hand. There is no doubt that, in large measure because of the mainly subterranean debate that has been taking place within the Arab and Muslim world as a result of events on and since 9/11, there are powerful yearnings there for democracy and human rights and for an end to the tyranny and oppression under which the inhabitants of such places generally live.
The unhappy fact is, however, that in Egypt and Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world where ferment is growing against the tyranny of their regimes, the crucial infrastructure of the rule of law, independent judges and police, free press and so on that are the necessary precondition of democracy just don’t exist.
As a result, when tyrants there fall the outcome is generally not the emergence of a free society but a tyranny far worse even than the one that has fallen – an Islamic theocracy. That’s precisely what happened, let us not forget, in Iran in 1979, when the fall of the Shah was greeted with acclaim by the Iranian people who wanted an end to his police state – but what they got instead was the Ayatollah Khomeini and the beginning of decades of Islamist oppression and tyranny far worse than under the Shah.
The unrest in Tunisia has apparently been driven by liberal elements. But the likely outcome is that the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamists who want to overturn all secular Islamic rulers and in turn conquer the rest of the world for Islam might now move into this vacuum. Accordingly, the imminent return to Tunisia of the important Muslim Brother Rannid Ghannouchi, who has announced his decision to go back after more than two decades in Londonistan where he comfortably resided having been convicted in Tunisia of bombing an airport – and as Gabriel Scheinmann notes, who has of course been feted as a moderate by the New York Times and other dhimmi dummies – suggests that hailing the brave new democratic dawn in Tunisia may be distinctly premature.
As this mood of revolt snowballs, there has been unrest too in Yemen and Jordan. But the really terrifying prospect is Egypt, after six days of violent clashes in which untold scores of people have reportedly died. Egypt is the home of the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite its ‘cold peace’ with Israel, it is a fulcrum of Nazi-style Jew-hatred which it exports to the Arab and Muslim world. And it is strategically crucial for the west because of the trade and shipping routes it controls in the Suez Canal; it is particularly significant also because of its size and military power.
Through the tyrannical measures which have caused him to become so hated, Mubarak has suppressed the Muslim Brothers – but only just. The nightmare has always been what will happen when Mubarak departs the stage – a development that Obama actually appears to be trying to accelerate, having belatedly discovered the attractions of promoting democracy in the Arab world at the very moment that the Islamists are poised to take control. This is but the latest astoundingly inept or malign action by Obama against the interests of America and the west. An Islamist Egypt would alter the dynamics of the entire region – Jordan would surely not be far behind -- and pose an urgent and acute threat to the western world. That nightmare, it would seem, now might be upon us.
If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page. .
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"