01 October 2009

Something else Israel's neighbours wont allow

This post, criticising some of Netanyahu's speech, in a major Israeli newspaper.

You see, the only permitted press in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, or indeed most of Israel's neighbours (Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon far less so), would not contemplate printing a column being profoundly critical of an address made by their political leader.

It shows that there IS real debate within Israel about such things as whether the IDF acting excessively or not against Hamas in Gaza, and noting some of the treatment of Palestinian protestors.

What struck me was not the criticisms themselves, but that Israel, unlike its neighbours, has a vibrant civil society, open press and has the sorts of debates that we take for granted in the western world. The sorts of debates that are more difficult to have in other states in the Middle East, or banned in the case of Iran, Syria or Saudi Arabia.

In other words, Israel's enemies fear their own people turning on them, which says volumes about their own legitimacy.

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