Israel nominated Mubarak for the Israeli personality of the year award. According to Al Arabiya, Israel’s Channel Two said that Mubarak was nominated for “his commitment to peace.” The article then points out that Mubarak had ruled Egypt since 1981.
This notion of peace is built on shallow political stability. It disregards actual quality of life in an alarming way. It is a concerning sentiment that does not seem to be absent in other centers of global power, namely the US congress. The Al Arabiya article goes on to quote Odi Segel, an Israeli journalist, who said that “because Mubarak was such a friend to peace in the region he should be honored.”
This is an attempt to recast the narrative of Mubarak’s ousting in a vocabulary that glorifies his repressive reign and demonizes the protestors that demanded freedom. It elicits the same discourse employed by Michele Bachmann, noted earlier, that freedom and democracy, that regional peace are merely hollow vocabularies for political expediency.
This is not an Israeli issue, although Israel is brazenly disregarding Mubarak’s rampant human rights violations and the will of the Egyptian people. This is part of the reason why Bahrain has received no substantive attention from US policy makers or media outlets. It is a reminder that the Arab Spring is not a regional issue but must be situated within a global context of policy decisions and interests.
Bearing this in mind as Tunisia goes to elections, as Egypt goes to elections, as Libya calms, as the world settles into relations with the newly formed complexions of regional power is important to guard against a return to the old system of hollow political stability in place of substantive human rights.