Tens of thousands at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Tuesday
These are historical times in the Arab world; one
This is the story that everyone is talking about; the revolt in
Because I have lived in
Israel and have relatives living there, many of my friends have been asking me to share my views on the uprising in . Egypt
The truth is, Israelis are afraid. Afraid of what a radical take over of
Egypt might mean to the southern border and the future ties with this Arab country that has a peace treaty with for over 30 years. From my Israeli family and friends, for once in the Middle East, Israel has nothing to do with it. Israel
Instability is also convulsing
Lebanon, Yemen, Algeria and Jordan, where today King Abdullah, a close ally of the US replaced his prime minister following protest inspired by the uprising in Tunisia and the revolt in . Egypt
All this uprising shows just how different
is from all its neighbors. The events unfolding on the Arab streets in the region would be unthinkable in Tel Aviv or Israel . Jerusalem
Less than a year after declaring its independence,
held its first election in January, 1949 to a constituent assembly, which later became the Knesset. Although Israel was still at war with Arab states that invaded with the intention of destroying the new state, the election went ahead. Israel
Democracy requires much more than holding elections. It requires freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the freedom to communicate and organize. It requires an independent judiciary and a wide-ranging of non-governmental independent organizations representing groups such as labor, business, women, gays, immigrants, seniors, environmentalists, health advocates, and many more.
Of course, corruption and abuse of power threaten any democracy. But when confronted with such problems,
has dealt with them even when they have occurred at the highest level. Israel
Other countries in the
Middle East have held elections too, but they are usually one person, one vote.
For now, the tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets of
Egypt over the weekend, there have been no cry yet of “Death to ”. Israel
So far it appears that the generals will tolerate the demand for change. In the coming hours, days or weeks we should expect to see a big change in
President Hosni Mubarak is a determined man, but his end is near. The pressure is building; Mubarak must go-Power to the people!
Photos by: Associated Press