Israel takes great pride in its propaganda claim to be the “only democracy in the Middle East”. This is something it bangs on about at sanctimonious length in every international forum it has access to.
As well as being totally false for Palestinians (more of which below) it is entirely hypocritical. In reality, Israel has long had an important role in supporting, propping up and being in tacit or open alliance with the region’s worst dictatorships and human rights abusers.
The undemocratic regimes in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia for example. But it also includes the Iran-Contra episode of the 1980s in which Israel was recruited by the US to sell weapons to Iran; the profits were used to aid the terror war of the right-wing Contra army against the revolutionary government of Nicaragua (the US President at the time needed to get around Congress, which had imposed some limits on aid to the Contras after the record of their war crimes became impossible to ignore).
The Hashemite monarchy in Jordan has, despite some conflicts, too often served as a buffer between Palestinian anger and resistance, and Israel. The Black September war of the early 1970s being only one example. More recently, the Jordanian regime has played a key role in training anti-democratic, pro-imperialist forces in the region, such as when it trained and armed the Palestinian Contras led by the former Gaza warlord Mohammed Dahlan, whose failed 2007 coup attempt in the Gaza Strip (backed by Israel and the US) was nipped in the bud by forces loyal to the elected Palestinian Authority government of the time (led by Hamas).
Read the rest over at MEMO.