It may or may not be advantageous for Israel to have Hosni Mubarak stay in power. But it’s advantageous for no one to have Israel openly lobbying to keep Mubarak in power.
1. It probably doesn’t help Hosni Mubarak, in his struggle to stay in power, for Egyptians to know that the Israeli government wants him to stay in power.
2. It certainly doesn’t help Israel, in its long-term goal of not being hated by all its neighbors, to be known as a supporter of the Egyptian and Saudi kleptocracies.
This would have been a good opportunity for the Israeli Foreign Ministry to STFU. But, since the death of Rabin, Israeli foreign policy has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman
3 thoughts on “Israel and Mubarak: silence, please”
I disagree. Israeli foreign policy has actually been quite adept–in implementing Israeli government electoral policy. The Israeli statements are perfectly rational, in a means-ends sense. The ends, of course, are insane.
What's happening in Egypt has nothing to do with Israel, the US or another country. Its about the frustrations and aspirations of the Egyptian people. The results will bring consequences for others and Israel in particular, but where is it ordained that the past dynamic of the Middle East that borders the Mediterranean should exist indefinitely?
Israel and the Palestinians have each had opportunities to seize a solution to their dilemma and each has walked away from those solutions believing that that they could gain just a bit more leverage and force a different deal or to pander to some domestic constituency. Times change and so do the players.
Is there any evidence that "not being hated by all its neighbors" is actually a goal of Israeli policy? It seems to me rather the reverse — Israeli policy since 1967 has been to pursue goals using means that ensure that it continues to be hated by all its neighbors.
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