Let the Good Times, and the Generals, Rule the Middle East

Let the Good Times, and the Generals, Rule the Middle East

Asaf Geffen’s biting satire from Ynet about Israel’s preference for military strongmen over democracy:

It was not surprising to discover that the new international star for Israelis is Egyptian General Tantawi. Indeed, in a country ruled by generals such as our own, what’s more natural for us than to put our faith in an elderly general? After all, the number of medals and decorations on this guy is greater than the number of wars in the entire world in the whole 20th Century.

Military rule in Egypt contributes to Israel’s sense of security and boosts the feeling that there is someone we can talk to on the other side. After all, what’s more logical than making peace with a regime led by the army?

Besides, rule by the generals will make it clear that we and our southern neighbors share areas of interest, thereby enabling us to take our relationship into a new era. With General Tantawi here and General Barakawi there, the sky is the limit; no longer a cold, annoying peace, but rather, equal ties premised on mutual fear and distrust.

Besides, amid all the nice talk, the time has come to admit that what we truly wish for in the Middle East is not democratization – which, just between us, is right for our regional climate to the same extent that a three-piece suit would fit here – but rather, “general-zation.” It will be a region where each nation is granted the right to manage its life under its own military regime.

It will be an intermediate regime, somewhere between democracy and dictatorship, where citizens freely choose to let the uniforms decide what’s right.

Such general-dominated Middle East will enable us to embark on a new road, and maintain relationships with our neighbors that are based on shared objectives, mutual understanding, and occasionally, a good war as well.

In all the words I’ve written about Israel’s affinity for Arab dictators, I’d never thought of Geffen’s analogy to the military dominated leadership of Israel and these countries.  And of course, it makes perfect sense.

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