Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Egypt in the Israeli Press

In the wake of the protests and ouster of President Mubarak, a rigorous and healthy debate has emerged in Israel about whether the events bode favorably or unfavorably for Israel. The debate has fallen rather predictably along party lines, with liberals speaking generally positively, and conservatives voicing healthy and well-reasoned concern.

For a country with Israel's security posture and siege mentality to be engaging in such a debate is a credit to the Israeli people and to Israeli society. With an active security threat from Gaza, weapons and drug smuggling through the Sinai, and growing international pressure, the country could be expected to be largely pessimistic. While pessimism exists, however, the Israeli press is entertaining a curious optimism that perhaps democracy in Egypt wouldn't be so bad, and could even be good for Israel.

As discussion continues in the region, another discussion is about to open up here in Washington. J Street will be holding its second annual conference beginning this Saturday evening. I have been granted press credentials as editor of this blog, and will be blogging the conference. I look forward to an exchange of ideas which is similarly earnest and honest.

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