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.
Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA
03 February '11
Is President Obama another Yeshayahu Leibowitz?
Here’s the story:
Years ago I attended a local panel discussion in Raanana on the prospects for peace in the Middle East. The late Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz was one of the speakers. In the course of the discussion I cited the long history of conflict in our region, much of which has nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict, and asked Leibowitz what he thought the long-term prospects were for peace in the Middle East.
Leibowitz replied that it was clear that peace, any peace, would not last forever, and that the most one could expect was peace for a few years, possibly decades. He added, though, that Israel must make every sacrifice and take every risk in order to get a state of peace, no matter how fleeting.
No matter how fleeting.
Is that President Obama’s view about bringing democracy to Egypt?
If it is then the warnings that Egypt’s first democratic elections could very well be its last as the "Hamir al Thawra" , "the donkeys of the revolution", are cast aside and a radical Islamic regime takes control of Egypt may not be relevant to Mr. Obama.
At this stage, with the Obama administration pushing for a quick resignation it isn’t clear that the American goal is even to bring democracy.
Instead of nation building we have pyromania.
It could have been different.
Mr. Obama could have dictated a “roadmap for the democratization of Egypt” with a timeline for various elements of legislation, freedom of the press and other elements that are the lifeblood of democracy in the fervent hope that this would not only facilitate free and open democratic elections but also insure that after a moment in the sunlight of democracy that Egypt isn't plunged into the darkness of a suppressive radical Islamic regime.
The timeline could have required some headline making immediate steps so that Mubarak’s opponents could claim success.
Instead Washington only spoke vaguely, leaving the impression that the immediate departure of Mubarak may be more important at this stage to the White House than the orderly transformation of Egypt to the democratic state that Mr. Obama claims it can become.
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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!"