Archive for April 2011
Interestingly, one of the key Israeli promoters of Arab democracy, Natan Sharansky, is a keen chess player, whose defeat of Garry Kasparov (born Garry Kimovich Weinstein) in a noisy simultaneous chess exhibition held in Israel in 1996 was reported by the New York Times to have prompted the then former world champion’s storming out of the event immediately after the last move and his failure to appear at an awards ceremony later. Apparently, the Russian Jewish chessmasters had made up by 2007, when Kasparov, as leader of Russia’s dissident United Civil Front, participated in Sharansky’s Prague conference on “Democracy and Security” — a seminal event which may indeed have sown the seeds of the Arab Spring.
Spreading democracy in the Middle East is a good idea, founder of One Jerusalem (under Israeli sovereignty) argued in 2007
Under the direction of Natan Sharansky, the former Israeli minister who resigned his cabinet seat in 2005 in protest over Ariel Sharon’s Gaza disengagement plan, the Jerusalem-based Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies held a “Democracy and Security” conference in Prague in 2007. The conference brought together (.pdf) right wing Israelis; their American neoconservative sympathizers, with their favourite Middle Eastern dissidents in tow—most notably, Richard Perle’s Israel-admiring Syrian protégé Farid Ghadry; and the newly-installed Eastern European democrats swept to power in the wake of a wave of neocon-backed “color revolutions,” the latter group presumably serving to inspire the Arab and Iranian participants to emulate them.
Jeff Blankfort, preeminent critic of the Israel lobby and host of “Takes on the World” on National Public Radio’s KZYX station, talks with Maidhc Ó Cathail, creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, about the Israel partisans who promote Arab democracy.
Summary: Middle East analyst and investigative journalist Maidhc Ó Cathail exposes US governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that have been involved behind the scenes in encouraging “democratic” reform in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Libya, including the National Endowment for Democracy, Democratic and Republican Institutes, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and its head, Peter Ackerman, plus the roles of George Soros and the pro-Israel neocons like Michael Ledeen and Robert Kagan.
Listen to the interview here.
“U.S. ‘Democracy’ Advisors Suddenly in Demand,” reports IPS:
“It’s exhilarating,” he said of IRI’s activities in Egypt. “We’ve been working since 2005 with Egyptian political activists and now the democratic universe has vastly expanded.”
Was it all a beautiful dream? The Western world’s broadcasters and print-journalists repeatedly characterised the celebratory atmosphere in Cairo and other Egyptian cities after Hosni Mubarak’s resignation late on 11th February as like a rock festival or a big party. It was the happy ending to die for – or was it the end?