Western folly in MidEast comes home to roost, but democracy in Egypt must be supported
By Robin Shepherd
“Here are two sets of statistics that you have never been informed about by the BBC, and have never heard from the mouth of a senior official in the British Foreign Office: According to a major opinion poll survey conducted by Pew in 2006, 97 percent of Egyptians admitted to holding “somewhat unfavourable” or “very unfavourable” opinions about Jews while none (zero percent) said they had favourable opinions about Jews; in Jordan 98 percent said they had unfavourable opinions with one percent holding favourable opinions.
Those figures tell you much about why genuine, liberal democracy is going to be so difficult to achieve in Egypt (ditto Jordan), while also telling you just how harmful to the prospects of genuine MidEast peace have been the appeasement/stability-at-all-costs oriented policies of Western governments and the assumptions which have underpinned them.
This is a complex issue, and the key points are rarely spelled out. So let me think aloud in front of you. My thoughts, as you will see, are not yet fully formed on this. So, I welcome your contributions in the comment section. Here goes for starters, in question and answer form…”