Editor’s note: Below is a video version of this commentary:
The following are all definitions of the word democracy:
"Government by the people … power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system … characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges ... political or social equality; … common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class …"
Basically, there are two types of democracies: representative democracy (indirect democracy) and direct democracy.
Direct democracy: A political system in which the citizens vote directly in matters of public concern; every citizen participates in decision making.
Indirect Democracy: People elect representatives to rule in their interest, participate in elections and elect people to carry out their wishes. The United States is a republic, a type of a representative, or indirect, democracy.
With all due respect to the various commentators and political pundits, what is going on in the Middle East right now, the so-called "Arab Spring," is essentially mob rule, and I doubt if anyone in the West is quite sure exactly what the final outcome will be. This we can say for sure, it is most assuredly not a demonstration of, or for, democracy, for a very solid reason. Islam and democracy are antithetical; they cannot co-exist.
Islam is not about the common people of a community, but the privileged class, with respect to their political power. As is clear now that Mubarak has been deposed, Egypt will not be a democratic state. It has simply changed from a single dictator to the military elites and probably soon, if not at present, a government dominated by Islamic extremists.
History, as well as the modern state of affairs throughout the Muslim world, testifies emphatically to this truth. Islam does not allow for a democratic form of government. While pundits and news reporters loudly decry the "Dictator Mubarak," notably all have failed to point out that with the possible exception of Turkey, there is not a predominately Muslim democracy anywhere in the world.
Egypt will not be the lone exception. Every "pure Muslim" country (Saudi Arabia, et al) is governed by a dictator. Some happen to be pro-Western (because it is to their advantage), but regardless of political affiliation, all are dictators nonetheless.
When the pro-Western Mubarak is gone, another dictator will replace him in Egypt. The real issue will not be whether or not it is a dictatorship, but whether or not he/it/they will abrogate an Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty of some 30 years, leaving Israel once again completely surrounded by hostile "neighbors."
Considering the turmoil throughout the Middle East, this situation overall is fraught with danger for the world at large, especially Israel.
People in the West somehow seem to overlook the fact that Israel is continually threatened with annihilation by her neighbors. As I write this, Lebanon is essentially an Iranian proxy, Syria is in an uproar, there are public demonstrations in Jordan against the current Israel-friendly regime, and there is no need to mention the Palestinian situation. Together these could represent an existential threat to Israel.
It would be a tragic mistake on the part of the West to think Israel will allow itself to be peacefully annihilated by Egypt, Iran, Syria, et al, just because the West feels a "democratic" Middle East will cause Muslims to suddenly love us.
Like it or not, Israel is a nuclear power and possesses one of the most powerful military forces in the region and will not simply roll over and permit another Holocaust.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I would venture to say, spoke on behalf of most of the Jewish people worldwide when he said at a recent Auschwitz ceremony:
"From this site, I vow as the leader of the Jewish state that we will never again allow the hand of evil to destroy the life of our people and the life of our state. Never again."
A word to the wise: He reiterated that in a recent address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress: "When we say never again, we mean never again."