A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
February 15, 2011 Egypt Revolt in Perspectve, Iran, Baharain, Yemen, Israeli Hosptials
The aftermath of events in Egypt continue to reverberate. It's still a little hard to separate out the hyperbole from the reality. It's particularly interesting to listen to experienced correspondents try to put the events into perspective– some saying this is the most important event in human history, since the fall of the Berlin Wall. They could be correct. However, many things have to happen in the coming months and years for that to become correct. The two key questions are: Will Egypt become a true democracy? and will the events these past weeks in Egypt continue to reverberate throughout the Middle East? Both of these questions remain unanswerable at this moment. The issue of Islam and democracy is part of larger question about religion and democracy generally. This is something I hope to write about in the coming weeks.
On the ground, the Egyptian military have vowed to transition to democracy in the six months. Meanwhile, demonstrations continued in Yemen, Baharain, and Iran today. The Baharainian Sunni government seems to be most endangered by a majority Shite population. The Shiite theocracy in Iran has made it clear that it will not yield, and has no problem killing demonstrators. I do not believe there can be peaceful revoltion in Iran, since the government has a large number of supporters who believe the government is doing the work of God. Therefore, whatever they say, including the killing of innocent demonstrators is fine.
Israeli news has now moved beyond Egypt. While briefly covering events in the other part of the Middle East, today's broadcast was devoted to the pair of scandals de jour: A high ranking tax official is being investigated for fixing tax cases, and the latest flap between Lieberman and Netanyahu. I would feel a lot better if there was a shred of evidence that any reflection is taking place in the Israeli government on the events in Egypt and the Middle East at large. There is a fundamental change taking place in the United States at the moment, in the view of many towards Israel. This change is both related to events in Egypt, but also independent of it. Israel is taking a major risk by ignoring this fact. However, again, that is a separate peice.
Finally, in Israel today, nurses in the internal medicine department began a work action, not accepting any new patience to the wards. As the wards are hopelessly overcrowded. Israel has the second highest occupancy rate in hospitals in the OECD. The cause-No new hospital beds have been added in Israel in the last 10 years, despite the fact the population has grown substantially. The figure that I do not know, (and maybe a reader could enlighten me) is what the length of the average stay in a hospital in Israel is compared to the rest of the world. Since in the US, the ever shrinking length of stays in a hospitals has allowed US hospitals to serve more patients without growing their physical plants.