Thomas L. Friedman argues that the"house of Sharon and the House of Saud" need each other. I will set aside the ludicrous idea that the House of Saud can legitimize anything in the Moslem world. The more important notion is Friedman's contempt for democracy apparent in the manner in which he equates the elected and reelected Israeli prime minister with an autocratic king. But, then, both are"Progressives" who apparently do not believe in democracy because the people refuse to follow their recommendations as to the"right" people to elect or the"right" policies to follow.
In today's Financial times Quentin Peel gives the Palestinian authority (where Mahmoud Abas, the former prime minister, left politics because he was afraid for his life and said so publicly!) and Iran (where the people have decided to stop voting after realizing that their votes meant nothing) as examples of the right kind of democratization in the Middle East.
Their ideal is the democratically deficient European Union where elites wine, dine and rule without paying any attention to the will of their people. After all, democracy was as alien to much of Europe as it is today to much of the Middle East. It was brought there by American guns! On their own Europeans preferred to kill each other and, most especially, kill Jews.
In fact, just as the Moslem Middle East refuses to accept a Jewish state in their midst, Christian Europe refuses to accept Muslim Turkey in their Midst. Muslims know it and are angry.
Europeans try to deflect that anger towards Israel and the US, blaming one for the Palestinian misery (caused in part by the Arab and European support for their self appointed billionaire leader named Arafat) and the other for the lack of democracy in the Middle East. But, alas, post 9/11 America is no longer willing to accept that role and does not even force Israel to accept it. It is a small wonder that Europeans, like the Middle Eastern tyrants, consider them threats to peace.
After all, Jews have been the chosen sacrificial lamb in Europe for generation. It was DeGaulle who told Eban before the Six Day War that Israel had a case but her existence did not merit endangering the world with a world war. A Jewish state which refuses to be sacrificed is a threat to peace. And Diaspora Jews like Friedman and Soros (whose power and notoriety can also be said to inflame anti-Semitism) who try to redirect European anger towards their Israeli brethren help to legitimize the European anti-Semites.
The real parallel is between the House of Friedman, the House of Powell, the House of Peel and the House of Saud. Democracy is an anathema to them all and paying ransom to murderers their one size fits all solution.
With friends like these, who needs enemies!
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