In a brief visit to Israel today, European Union envoy to the Southern Mediterranean Bernardino Leon rejected Israeli “concerns” about the Arab Spring leading to free elections of Islamist factions, insisting it is “much more difficult to have wars with democracies.”
Israeli officials have been railing, in particular in reference to Egypt, about how free elections in the Arab Spring nations are installing Islamist factions. A moderate Islamist bloc won the elections in Tunisia, and Egypt’s ongoing elections are seeing Islamist factions winning overwhelmingly.
The Democratic Peace Theory, that democracies don’t go to war with one another, is an old one and has been a popular talking point for proponents of regime change in recent decades. The theory’s validity, however, rests mostly on people insisting that one or both participants in wars between democracies (the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, for instance) aren’t “real democracies.”
On the other hand, there is no reason to expect Tunisia to attack Israel no matter what its government is composed of, and Egypt’s Islamist factions have given some lip-service to revising the existing peace treaty to more favorable terms, but neither seems to suggest dismantling it or starting a war.
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