Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Israel this week, just as Egypt announced the victory of Mohammed Morsi in its first “civilian” presidential election. The fuss made over the former — bordering on fawning — temporarily drowned out “concerned reactions” in relation to the latter. But the bottom line regarding both is that Israel is screwed, no matter what pomp, circumstance, or spin it engages in to buy time before genuinely grasping how alone it really is in the world right now. It is facing a nuclear Iran bent on its destruction; it is watching as each country in its immediate neighborhood is becoming Islamized (even its former buddy, Turkey); it is hearing a self-imploding Europe accuse it of being at the root of all problems in the Middle East; and last but certainly not least, it is prey to all of the above without America’s embrace.
This is not new. Since the minute that Barack Obama became president of the United States nearly four years ago, it was clear that the Jewish state was being tossed aside like an unappreciated, loyal, long-time wife for a far more alluring, utterly inappropriate, and dangerous lover. Indeed, Obama has not hidden the hots he has always had for the Islamic world; nor has he been the least bit discreet about his attraction to its more anti-Western elements.
Well, his seduction tactics could not have worked out better. The regime in Iran is not only still in place, but its nuclear weapons program is sailing along smoothly (other than occasional glitches, due to computer viruses allegedly cooked up by Israel). Meanwhile, the rest of the Muslim world used the “Arab Spring” uprisings to move from autocracy to theocracy — with democracy nowhere to be found, other than in the mouths of wishful thinkers in the West.
Indeed, that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate just became the leader of Egypt means that a former ally of the United States — one that has had a decades-long treaty with Israel — has just officially become a medieval society.
The White House was encouraged by this turn of events. Its response was to say that it “intends to work with all parties within Egypt to sustain our long-standing partnership as it consolidates its democracy. We commend the Presidential Election Commission and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for their role in supporting a free and fair election, and look forward to the completion of a transition to a democratically-elected government. We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt’s role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability. And we will stand with the Egyptian people as they pursue their aspirations for democracy, dignity, and opportunity, and fulfill the promise of their revolution.”
It is the height of tragic irony that, in the absence of its previous protection by its adulterous spouse, America, the Israeli government felt it had nowhere to turn but to Russia. Putin was undoubtedly as amused by this as I am. In spite of tensions between Washington and Moscow these days, there is one thing Obama and Putin have in common. When unable to or unwilling to alter their foreign policies, they repeat the same mantra to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: that he should stop planning a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and start focusing on the “urgent issue” of establishing a Palestinian state.
For the past 18 months, pundits across the globe have been saying that the outcome of the Arab revolutions “remains to be seen.” (Far be it from me to boast, but some of us could tell from the outset that these were not cries on the part of Muslim masses to be free to enjoy democracy.)
When Egypt held its parliamentary elections, and the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists won a majority of the seats, these same pundits continued to say that the outcome “remains to be seen.”
When the Egyptian military said it would not abdicate its power to the Muslim Brotherhood, again we heard that the outcome “remains to be seen.”
Even today, with Morsi’s victory, analysts in Israel and abroad are suggesting that the outcome “remains to be seen.”
At what point will everyone finally acknowledge that the outcome has been apparent all along?
Ruthie Blum, a former senior editor at The Jerusalem Post, is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring,’” soon to be released by RVP Press.