Israel Isn't Perfect, but It's an Example for the Mideast

(Wall Street Journal) Nadim Koteich - While Israel debates policy and holds regular elections, much of the Middle East remains under authoritarian rule that quashes political discourse and silences dissent. As a Lebanese who has lived under the dictatorships of Hizbullah and Bashar al-Assad, I've witnessed how autocrats are freed from accountability for economic disarray, the erosion of human rights, and the destruction of infrastructure. Any Middle Eastern observer would draw a distinction between the demonstrations in Israel and the protests elsewhere in the region - including in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. In those countries, public dissent is often described by the authorities as treasonous, claims used to justify harsh repression in the form of lawless imprisonment and execution. Few countries in the Middle East have a sterling record when dealing with ethnic or racial minorities. Ask the Kurds and Christians in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey, or consider the hostilities between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The writer is a Lebanese columnist and talk show host.

2023-04-13 00:00:00

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