As part of my Comparative Politics class, I had to give a presentation on the democratization of the Middle East. My professor made it clear that he wanted me to focus on the countries that are currently going through the process or have potential. When I first signed up for this particular topic I did so with the intention that I would be able to hone in on Israel and it being the only democracy in the Middle East and when I found out what my teacher had I mind I was a little bit disappointed.
With the fear of jeopardizing my grade, I gave a presentation on Egypt, Jordan and Iraq and the various struggles they are currently going through. The dynamics of the Middle East are changing rapidly. While citizens of these countries feel the need to revolt, the Israeli government is strong and efficient because of the democratic standards it holds itself to.
During the question and answer part of my presentation one of my classmates asked how Israel fit into everything – and I was so happy that he did. I was able to confidently talk about the democratic government in Israel and the freedoms that the variety of citizens have access to. A few students were surprised, but to the majority of students in the class this was not new information. Honestly, amidst of the turmoil in the Middle East right now I am happy that Israel is able to be a democratic beacon of hope to its neighboring citizens during these uncertain times.
This post is written by Shelley Greenspan (firstname.lastname@example.org).