I try to follow politics in the Middle East to some degree or another. I think I could do it 24/7 for several years and still not really feel like I know what’s going on over there. However, I support peace in the region, and preferably, some kind of democracy. It has been fascinating to hear what’s been happening in the region lately, especially with the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. I don’t think anyone has a clear idea of what will happen as events continue.
One of the big questions being asked is how a regime change in Egypt will affect Israel. Egypt has been fairly friendly with Israel for awhile now, as far as I understand. In that, Egypt has set the political tone, to some degree, of the entire Middle Eastern Region.With this current instability, it’s possible that Israel could come under heavier assault, and it seems possible that Israel could find an even better ally, especially if democracy comes to Egypt. (Or at least those are the things I’m guessing– again, I’m sure I’m very uninformed, so I could be wrong)
There are concerns over the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the current events, and whether they will attempt to seize power. I’m not sure how well-founded these are– maybe it’s a real concern. However, the tone and style of presentation of this idea has been consistently focused on the U.S., rather than the Egyptians’ uprising in and of itself. It seems an incredibly US-centric way of looking at things, and an entirely unfair and biased way of describing them. As I read about the conflict, my brother-in-law posted a thought on Facebook, effectively wondering how these events would affect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as the rest of the region in general.
After an argument with someone else on Facebook, he finally posted something that I feel has quite a lot of merit. I think we here in the U.S. are usually very ignorant in our views of world politics, and even when we attempt to understand what’s going on out there, we seem to have only a superficial understanding. With that said, here is the quote from his Facebook in response to his friend, and I will leave you to ponder it.
Joe: “…I studied Middle Eastern history and culture for the past four years. I’ve lived there, I have friends there, I’ve seen the conflict firsthand, and for a short time I worked for one of the most influential policy-making organizations for US foreign policy in that region. Your arguments about the Palestinians may not be false–I’m not saying that they are–but the conclusions you subsequently draw about Israel betray a willful onesidedness that is completely and utterly uninteresting to me.
I’m not interested in winning any arguments about the rightness of the Palestinian cause or the wrongness of the Israelis; I just want to have a better understanding of what’s going on. Because even after all of my studies and experiences, I still feel stunningly ignorant about the region. If you don’t, you must be blind.”