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9-11, and What should Israel do?

It should be said that a lot of people in this group had their interest in the Middle East sparked by a desire to understand what happened on September 11th.  The whys.  Deepening our understanding is the biggest goal of MEDG.

That said, here are there are two articles in the New York Times today that are worth reading through.  The first discusses the current frustration that many Pakistanis and Afghans feel as America continues its war effort in those places.

The second looks at Israel’s current issues.  Their two biggest regional partners, Turkey and Egypt, aren’t exactly great allies at the moment.  Now, with the physical manifestation of destruction at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Israeli diplomats are very alarmed, and asking for additional US support.  The last four paragraphs are outstanding, so I’m going to post them here:

Initial Israeli fears about the Arab Spring uprisings have begun to materialize in concrete ways. When the uprisings began in Tunisia and Egypt at the start of the year, little attention was directed toward Israel because so much focus was on throwing off dictatorial rule and creating a new political order.

Traditionally, many Arab leaders have used Israel as a convenient scapegoat, turning public wrath against it and blaming it for their problems. The faint hope here was that a freer Middle East might move away from such anti-Israel hostility because the overthrow of dictators would open up debate.

But as the months of Arab Spring have turned autumnal, Israel has increasingly become a target of public outrage. Some here say Israel is again being made a scapegoat, this time for unfulfilled revolutionary promises.

But there is another interpretation, and it is the predominant one abroad — Muslims, Arabs and indeed many around the globe believe Israel is unjustly occupying Palestinian territories, and they are furious at Israel for it. And although some Israelis pointed fingers at Islamicization as the cause of the violence, Egyptians noted Saturday that Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, distanced themselves from Friday’s protests and did not attend, while legions of secular-minded soccer fans were at the forefront of the embassy attacks.

So the question is, what should Israel do?  Standing firm is an option.  So is aggressively seeking to create a peaceful Palestinian state.  A middle route might be to take diplomatic steps to ease tensions with Turkey and Egypt, on the governmental level.

My only thought is that I hope the United States tries to act proactively, rather than wait for Israel to choose its course and support that decision wholesale.

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