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View Diary: Israel's 4 yr. Blockade of Gaza unravels as Egypt opens border crossing (223 comments)

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  •  would they have done this (1+ / 0-)
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    without seeking a green light from the US first?

    or maybe they informed the US ahead of doing so as a sort of perfunctory courtesy.

    •  That was a given w Bush in the White House (1+ / 0-)
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      Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

      by Lefty Coaster on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:15:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The current Egyptian government (10+ / 0-)

      is not the Mubarak government that's been in power for decades. It's a new group of people, and we have yet to see whether they'll be as beholden to the US.

      •  It's a tricky balance (18+ / 0-)

        The current power structure is the military, which is indeed extremely beholden to the US ($1-2 billion in annual aid is tough to ignore).  A number of "pro-Israel" commenters here like to claim that the Arab spring has been contained and that dictatorships have reasserted control, whether by Saudi influence/intervention, Syrian guns, or quiet Egyptian military coup.  What those folks fail to understand is the change in the balance of power.

        The key concept is what is often called the "Arab street", a shorthand for public opinion.  Arab public opinion reached its nadir of power in 2006.  Folks might remember that during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 2006, of course the vast majority of Arab peoples supported the Lebanese 100%.  However, Arab governments did not and did not even pretend to.  Egypt and Saudi Arabia openly called on Israel to be more agressive and not stop the invasion until Hezbollah was annihilated.  It was only after weeks of brutal attacks in which over a thousand civilians were killed (and Hezbollah was hardly dented) that those goverments were forced to issue public statements against the Israeli invasion.  Hence, in 2006 Arab governments were able to completely ignore the positions of the almost all their people, even on such an emotional issue as an Israeli invasion of an Arab state.

        All of that has changed now (not only in Tunisia and Egypt, but across the Arab world).  Even though the Egyptian military council is still extremely beholden to the US, it cannot ignore popular will except at massive risk to itself.  It (like all Arab governments) must make at least a show of support for popular opinion, and must generally go beyond a real show.  Hence, while pro-Israel commenters can look around and say the wave of revolutions has halted (though this halt is in fact only temporary), they miss a very key understanding (particularly for Israel) that the balance of power in the region has changed and that Israel can simply no longer count on repressive autocrats to run interference for Israel, even if those autocrats continue to remain in power.

        "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

        by weasel on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:09:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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