It appears that Israeli diplomats are fleeing yet another Arab capital, and this one usually an exceedingly peaceful one for Israel: Amman. The Israeli government announced that its entire staff would evacuate the embassy in advance of several pro-Palestine statehood demonstrations planned for the city this weekend:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the early evacuation of Israel’s embassy in Jordan on Wednesday, over fears of violent anti-Israel protests similar to those which erupted in Cairo last week.
While no one wishes for Israeli diplomatic personnel to be harmed, it seems odd to flee an embassy before you even know of a concrete threat against it. What’s worrying Israel? That 3,000 Jordanians signed up in support of the demonstrations on Facebook. Keep in mind, Jordan is a relatively stable Arab country in which security is relatively tight. What does Israel have to be afraid of? I think these people are afraid of their own shadows at least when they’re in an Arab nation. If a demonstration of a few hundred people is what you’re afraid of, it seems the Arab Spring and its methods really have you spooked. Why not roll the carpet up and bring all the Israeli diplomats from Arab capitals and admit Israel is licked and there’s no point in having diplomatic representation in these places (I say that half-facetiously)? Israel, this is the foreign policy brought to you by Avigdor Lieberman. A policy of defeat and confusion in the Arab world; and a policy of truculence in the western world.
Israel’s attitude toward the Arab world is exemplied by this translation of the Hebrew version of the Haaretz article. Ostensibly, the official is expressing his satisfaction that Jordan, unlike Egypt, can control demonstrations in its territory:
“In Jordan there’s a landlord, a responsible adult and they won’t permit riots Cairo-style.”
This speaks volumes about Israeli attitudes towards its neighbors. Nations liberated by the Arab Spring and enjoying the first fruits of democracy are irresponsible teenagers let loose on a drunken spree. The traditional authoritarian regimes being toppled right and left, as represented by Jordan’s monarchy (still relatively stable), are the sorts of governments with which Israel feels comfortable. Because after all, in this benighted perspective, the only people that can handle democracy is the Jews (i.e. Israel). Arabs clearly can’t handle democracy because they revert to their worst animalistic tendencies. The racism inherent in this notion tells all of us how much farther Israel’s leaders have to go before they can ever hope to be integrated into the region.