Several experts on the Middle East concur that the Middle East cannot be democratized.
But foremost, I do not subscribe to the view that Islamic culture and democracy cannot be reconciled.
I am a person who is inclined to define relations between individuals based on principles.
According to this view, democracy is a product of western culture, and it cannot be applied to the Middle East which has a different cultural, religious, sociological and historical background.
Paramount is the need to secure human rights. The form of rule should be such that the citizen does not have to fear the State, but gives it direction and confidently participates in its administration.
However, democracy cannot be defined as the existence of parliaments and elections alone.
It is impossible to preserve my friendship with people who are allegedly leaders when they are attacking their own people, shooting at them, using tanks and other forms of heavy weaponry.
It is essential that policy instruments be developed that would firmly establish democratization on the basis of social consensus and enable transformation on stable grounds.
Similarly, gender-equality, supremacy of law, political participation, civil society, and transparency are among the indispensable elements that are the imperatives of democratization.
What should be targeted is a concept of organic, and not just mechanic, democracy that preserves the rule of law, separation of powers, and that is participatory and pluralistic.
Everyone should unconditionally accept that Israel is an indispensable element of the Middle Eastern mosaic.
I take the debate on the method of promoting democracy seriously.
A confidence problem exists on the part of the people of the region who desire democratic rule in principle, but remain suspicious of both the fashion with which democratization is presented and the purposes of the democratic world.
The US and the European Union needs to help in the translation of the demand for democracy into a political will.
The purpose cannot be creating self-styled democracies, but rather encouraging steps that are conducive to establishing democratic rule at universal standards. Obviously, this would be a formidable journey.
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