The New Middle East

No one knows yet how the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, and governmental change in Lebanon will affect the Middle East, the US, Europe, Israel.

Its possible that the uprisings will result in sober, healthy Arab world with prosperity for its residents, and in good will towards minorities within, and towards Israel.

And, it is possible that that goodwill will make room for Israel to confidently make peace with Palestinians and forever commit to friendly and cooperative means to reconcile differences as they arise.

Or, if the past is any guide, it is also possible that Egypt will join the radical Muslim interpretation as Israel as only interloper, a thorn in their shoe, a division between the undivided Islamic territory stretching from Western China through North Africa, requiring a purge (surgery by force).

If a moderate replaces Mubarak in Egypt, that continues to honor the Camp David peace agreement with Israel, then it is possible that Israel can reconcile with Palestinians, especially now that it is very publicly obvious that the PA is very willing, eager to negotiate an actual settlement with Israel.

Many don’t want this to happen for who knows what political, religious, or personally vindicating reason. Many are angry at Israel, and cannot get past that anger, feel that they would be betraying truth to allow themselves to be so easily swayed. Others sincerely distrust Israel, and fear that an agreement will not be honored in fact, but only in pretentious public relations.

My hope is that goal is more important than the distractions.

But, various goals are at play, and there is no guarantee which one will prevail, or in the chaos of things, which will occur by unintended paths.

If this could be laid at Netanyahu’s feet, I would criticize him as the leader prevailing over the dissolution of Israel’s relationship with: Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Palestinian Authority; not to mention the prospect of conflict with Lebanon, Iran, Syria.

But, events were faster than his very very slow foot.

I’ve spoken with a few Palestinian solidarity, radical ones, that appear to me to very buoyed by the events in Tunisia and Egypt and seem to apply that there is a wave of uprising that will take Israel with it. I get the sense that many solidarity feel that they do not have to consider compromise anymore.

They interpreted the Palestine Papers as a liberation, that the willingness of the PA to compromise was exposed as a betrayal, whereas I interpreted the disclosure as an indication that peace was palpable.

We see very different constellations.

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