The Arab Spring brings on an Israeli Winter

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 29th, 2011

Week in Review

It may be an Arab Spring, but it looks more like an Israeli Winter (see Moderate Islamist Party Claims Victory in Tunisia by David Kirkpatrick posted 10/24/2011 on The New York Times).

A moderate Islamic party appeared to emerge as the big winner in Tunisia on Monday as preliminary results leaked out in the voting for an assembly to draft a constitution and shape a new government in this small North African country, where a revolution in January inspired uprisings across the Arab world…

In neighboring Algeria, an electoral victory by Islamists 20 years ago set off a military coup and a decade of bloodshed, and in the Palestinian territories, the sweep to victory of Hamas in 2006 elections led to a showdown with the West, a split in the government and armed conflict in Gaza…

Military coups and bloodshed.  Not exactly what we have in mind when we think of Arab Spring.

Islamists cheered the results as a harbinger of their ascent after revolts across the region. Islamists in Egypt are poised for big wins in parliamentary elections next month and their counterparts in Libya are playing dominant roles in its post-Qaddafi transition…

In Tunisia and elsewhere some are wary of the Islamists’ surge, arguing that party leaders sound moderate now but harbor a conservative religious agenda. Tunisia, arguably closer to Europe than the other states swept up in the political upheaval of the past year, is widely viewed as having the best chance of establishing a genuinely pluralistic model of government…

In countries like Egypt, where Islamists are more ideologically divided, Ennahda’s victory was sure to embolden those who favor a more liberal approach, including some within the Egypt’s mainstream Muslim Brotherhood as well as breakaway groups like the New Center Party or a new party founded by former leaders of the Brotherhood Youth — groups already drawn toward the thought of Ennahda’s founder. But in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood also faces competition from new parties formed by ultraconservatives, known as Salafis, who seek an explicitly Islamic state that might enforce religious laws.

Just in case you don’t know, the Islamists aren’t the good guys.  At least, they’re not friendly to the U.S.  Or to Israel.  These are the people who are more apt to chant something like, oh, I don’t know, death to America.  Death to the Zionist state.  You know, the same old sweet talk.  But now they’re in Egypt.  Tunisia.  Algeria.  Gaza.  The West Bank.  And now Libya.

Doesn’t sound so much like an Arab Spring.  But more of an Israeli winter.  And an American defeat.

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