The case for Israel


AmirAshkan Pishroo
by AmirAshkan Pishroo

Groucho Marx once said: “I find television very educational. Whenever somebody turns it on, I go into the other room and read a book.” When Condoleeza Rice met for the first time Nathan Sharansky at West Wing office in 2004, she had in her hand a copy of his newly published book, The Case for Democracy, and said to him, “I’m already half-way through your book. Do you know why I’m reading it?”

At that moment, Sharansky must have thought to himself, I hope not because somebody has left the TV on at West Wing office, thus waiting for her to say, well, Mr. Sharansky, this a brave book by a brave man, as Professor Brenard Lewis once observed.

Rice replied, “I’m reading it because the president is reading it, and it’s my job to know what the president is thinking,” quoted in National Review.

Whatever one’s reason may be for reading The Case for Democracy, whether wanting to know what goes on the president’s mind or just disliking what goes on on the TV, one thing is clear: this book must be read by all those who want to know what’s going on in the Middle East.

Here, I am not trying to write a commentary on this book, but rather to draw attention to the linkages between democracy and peace and between tyranny and terror that appear in Sharansky’s brilliant analysis.

The linkage between democracy and peace is self-evident, therefore, it is suffice to say that the very mechanics of democracy make democratic systems inherently peaceful. But the linkage between tyranny and terror needs further elaboration.

According to Sharansky, nondemocratic regimes stay in power by controlling their populations which, in turn, requires an increasing degree of repression. Thus, in order to justify repression and to maintain internal stability, nondemocratic regimes must maintain an ever-lasting state of conflict by manufacturing external enemies.

Given the ethno-religious differences between Arabs and Jews and the historical conflicts coupled with present disputes over lands–all these make Israel the best possible choice for becoming enemy number one. The Middle Eastern despots love Israel for that matter.

Sharansky writes, “this relationship also becomes obvious when looking at how the various Arab states treat Israel and Jews.” He invites us to thought experiment, asking us to rank the following countries in terms of their attitude toward Israel and Jews: Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, and Turkey.

Which one of these countries is the friendliest and which one is the most belligerent? The right answer is as following: Turkey is the friendliest, followed by Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, and the least and lastly, Syria.

Now Sharansky wants us to go and see what the Freedom House report has to say about the ranking of these countries according to their political freedom and civil liberties.

As a reminder, Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that provides an annual comparative assessment of the state of political rights and civil liberties in 192 countries and 14 related and disputed territories. Countries are given a score of 1 to 7, with 1 being the most free and 7 the most unfree.

What is astonishing is that the above-mentioned countries also appear in the same exact order in the report, with Turkey (a 3-4 freedom ranking) being the first, followed by Morocco (5), Jordan (5-6), Egypt (6), and, once again, the least free and lastly, Syria (7).

Sharansky’s analysis backed with Freedom House report shows, clearly and cogently, what tyranny got to do with the belligerent nature of the Middle East countries toward Israel, which remains the lone democracy in the region. A brave democracy by a brave nation.


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Where are these Israelis come from

by xerXes (not verified) on

Another Zionazi added to the list. Nice to have you with us. I wonder if you are all the same or live in the same neighborhood back in Urshalim.

Israeli work is done from the US perspective. Israel is just a liability now. The remaining time is just because the American administration is shy to stop her support to the Zionist state, immediately.
Watch and see the next ten fifteen years, you shall see what I am talking about. Hope that you have secured yourselves in the US...

AmirAshkan Pishroo


by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

I am grateful to Mehdi mazloom, Farhad Kashani, Zion, Not Anonymous, and Anonymous for their kind words and interventions.


Afshin: You should apologize

by Anonymous... (not verified) on

Afshin: You should apologize for accusing Mr. pishroo of plagiarising. After all, it's the right thing to do.

Mola Nasredeen

my camel throw up after reading this book

by Mola Nasredeen on

No disrespect off course.

I asked him why he threw up: "Is it because Mr Sharksky is the head of settlement building in Palestine?" 

My camel explained to me "No, because he's so ugly!"

I told my camel "but you are not very handsome yourself!"

He replied "but I'm a camel not a human".

I thought for a second and concluded, "well said what a intelligent comment by a beast".



Very well said

by Zion on

Sharansky is a great man. I wish more people would listen to him both inside and outside of Israel.



by Anonymous-haha (not verified) on

democracy breeds tolerance towards occupation,killing,death and war.

Just ask America,Britain,Australia,Spain and Italy.

AmirAshkan Pishroo


by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

The Middle East Interest would be visible only to users I choose. 

Baa mehr va setaayesh,


Farhad Kashani

Mr. Pishroo, great

by Farhad Kashani on

Mr. Pishroo, great article.


Sharansky is a great realist intellectual.


Worst enemies have made peace before, worst conflicts have been resolved through negotiation, but with the Iranian regime and its leadership in worldwide fascist Islamic movement, how can you make peace or negotiate with someone who doesn’t recognize your existence? Through negotiation and diplomacy, Israel made peace with 2 Arab nations already and gave back their lands, with a third Arab nation is in process. The ones who will be isolated are the Islamic regime and its mini fascist Islamic groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.


I don’t agree with what Israel is doing in occupying lands, but these Islamic fascist like Iran and others, are not seeking peace, they’re seeking chaos, cause its through chaos and conflict, is where they can further their agenda.



The intellectual fraud on display is worse than the plagiarism

by Anonymous in Philly (not verified) on

Israel's closest allies in the Middle East are the Lebanese Maronite Phalangists. They are also the Arab party whose ideology is most directly descended from European Fascism (though the Phalangists might consider themselves "Phoenicians" rather than Arabs). The cosy relationship between Maronite fascists and Israel (as well as between Maronite fascists and the U.S.) goes back several decades and involves close military, intelligence, and diplomatic support--notably, in Israel's facilitation and assistance for the Sabra and Shatila massacres in 1982.

Moreover, the characterization of Freedom House, a well-known apologist for U.S. sponsored murder-and-torture regimes throughout the world as "an independent non-governmental organization" is unintentionally hilarious. Natan Sharansky (real name: Anatoly Borisovich Shcharansky) is a right-wing, mad-dog Zionist racist of the highest degree. It's nice to see that his Jewish chaunvinist hatred and insanity posing as so-called "analysis" earns your praise. That says a lot.


Afshin: how do you know

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Afshin: how do you know amirashkan pishroo is not the author of that blog??



by afshin on



Dream land dudes who know nothing about history

by XerXes (not verified) on

Do you guys know that if this very democratic United States cuts her hand short of the natural domestic movements around the globe or the middle east, we would have social growth and democratic system. What the hell are you guys talking about. Our problems are the foreign intervention and people naive and politically clueless such as yourselves that think if a 'nation' has a problem with your policies, it comes because they hate your freedom. Get a life and a clue. How stupid one could be in this time and age that still would think like a five year old.
People don't hate you or democracy, they hate those who truely support it, do regime change, coups, and wars in order to make sure their inhumane, dictatorial ideologies remain in power. Name one country in the middle east that you believe is anti west, from governmental point of view.
Dumb, simple as that.


not necessarily

by Political analyst (not verified) on

Sharansky can not take an obvious situation and turn it into a political theory. The very same concept of the dictator oppressing is true for Israel as well. You think people are free in Israel?

Education is the mother of tolerance and individuals have to be thought one at a time to understand the concept of tolerance beyond religion and politics. In Israel as well as the rest of the middle east a very little is being thought about tolerance and that is why the entire area is in deep poopoo.

Sharansky is not offering anything that you already knew since 500 years ago.

Mehdi Mazloom

Excellant and poignant post.

by Mehdi Mazloom on

AmirAshkan Pishroo
Thanks you for excellent input. A very sobering and true fact. Democracy breads tolerance breads freedom of expression breads economic and social progress breads peaceful co-existence between nations.