Israel’s Elections 2006
There is no doubt that Israel's elections is one of the most important elections in the Middle East if not the only one. Other Arab-like elections, voters are killed or wounded or peacefully have their votes rigged. Israel's elections is yet another reminder for the failure of the Arab states and leaderships to establish democracy over half a century of military ruling. In less than 60 years, a tiny country became the only democracy in a vast region, mostly populated with youth. Iraq now with the support of the U.S. and international community is taking leading steps towards democracy. At least, Iraqis have a start.
While Arab leaderships are convening in Khartoum to decide on international issues, with the absence of 10 Arab leaders, to bring more failure to the Arab affairs scene, Israel was winning another democracy battle and taking unilateral initiatives as usual. The Israeli people voted for their new government and members of parliament. Winning Kadima leader and acting PM Ehud Olmert announced Israel’s initiative to establish permanent borders for Israel by 2010, leaving no room for any Palestinian or Arab initiatives.
The newly-established party Kadima won 28 seats in the Knesset, opening the way for a coalition government. Kadima’s victory is seen somehow historical. Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Likud and the Labor parties were alternating governments in Israel.
As an Egyptian, I find that easiness and smoothness of handing over power from Coma-stricken Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is phenomenal. I cannot imagine that any Middle Eastern country doing so that easily. The fact that Sharon disappeared from the political scene does not mean that the political power or scene in Israel should diminish.
On the other hand, regrettably, Arab leaders in the Middle East work all the time to prove that they are indispensable and that their replacement will always mean instability and chaos or extremist Islamic movements. Despite Israel’s low population in comparison to many neighboring countries, there is always an efficient alternative in Israel.
Congratulations to the Israeli People on their democracy and freedom.