Why undermined democracy in the US and Israel should not surprise you?

For decades, Western countries like the USA and Israel who claim to be the strongest and most effective democracies in the world, and in Israel’s case the only Democracy in its region, have made ties with, endorsed, supported, and funded dictators and corrupt regimes around the globe…then why is anyone surprised when the leaders of these countries get some helpful tips on how to undermine democracy?

President Trump’s four years in office, and his undiplomatic handling of words have truly made US attitudes to dictators around the globe, and in our region, clearer and stronger than ever. 

“I like him. I get along with him great,” Trump said when speaking about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, as well as describing him as a “great leader”. 

The US President also boasted about saving Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from the accusations and the scandal of the Jamal Khashoggi murder in a Saudi consulate in Turkey: “I saved his ass”.

These may appear to be tactless attempts to gain crowd popularity, a show of power, or simply lighthearted statements. However, they truly portray the attitudes of a government, hailed for its democracy and of its self proclaimed  duty to fight for it-internally and globally- yet who knowingly supports oppressive regimes when it is of its interest. 

Similarly, in the last few months, Israeli leaders who have previously declared Israel to be the only Democracy in the Middle East, and that have criticized Arab regimes for being backwards and oppressive, have made peace and officialized diplomatic relations with these same countries. 

Now, this is obviously what politics and diplomacy are. Each country working for its own gains and interests, at almost any price; even that of dying democracy and injustice.

Yet, it should have been obvious that the approach of turning a blind eye to dictators and oppression when it is deemed necessary was only due to make some impact on our societies as well: it now should make sense when leaders who have supported dictators -directly or indirectly-  start acting like ones. 

The evidence to this are the events at Capitol Hill yesterday, which occurred at the instigation of the US president who has blatantly made false claims with regards to election fraud, and has refused to admit election results even when protests turned into riots. In addition to the past year’s dealings of Benjamin Netanyahu which were affected and clouded by the fear of the legal process, and that have -among other reasons- lead us to our fourth elections in two years.

These clear attempts at undermining democracy, and the influence of these attempts on our societies are within themselves calls for a change: a change of perspective on politics, diplomacy, and the morality which appears to have been lost in between.

About the Author
Fitnat Waked is a 17 year old Muslim, Palestinian Israeli, born and raised in Jaffa. She is a student at the Scottish school Tabeetha in Jaffa. Fluent in 3 languages - Arabic, Hebrew and English. Have participated in YaLa Academy for Citizen Journalism of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
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