A lynching cannot possibly be supported by advocates of human rights and democracy, even if its target is the worst of tyrants. Justice would have been served had Muammar Gadhafi been brought to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. At the same time, the removal of one of the most brutal tyrants in the region can been seen as a positive development: Before the NATO campaign in Libya, Gadhafi promised to "mercilessly" wipe out his opponents in Benghazi.
Had he not been caught, Benghazi would have joined the list of killing fields along those of Darfur and Srebrenica. During his 42 years in power, Gadhafi headed a regime which terrorized and murdered its critics. He funded and armed terrorism throughout the world and was behind a series of terrorist attacks, including the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in Scotland, in which 270 people lost their lives in 1988.
The fall of another domino in the Middle East is an encouraging development for all those who aspire to democracy and the rule of law throughout the world. The fact that France and Britain took the lead in the attack from the Americans reflects a new type of world order, which we cannot avoid noticing also in relation to our region.
We will miss the old order, warn the pessimists. Civil wars, chaos and Islamization are hiding in every corner. Libya may become a "new Somalia"; in Egypt, the wave of anti-Israel behavior reached a peak with the breaking into the Israeli embassy in Cairo; and in Tunisia, where the revolutionary snowball began, the Islamist party is expected to win the elections.
Whoever thought that there had been no point in supporting agreements with tyrants now argues that the Arab Spring let loose the hatred which the Arabs feel toward Israel. But Israel is not able to stop history. In the dilemma between the support for stable tyrannies and supporting the revolutionaries and their uncertain future, the choice is clear. Israel must do everything possible to prove to the Arab peoples that are being freed that democracies are meant for each other; and that Israel is part of the family of freedom, democracy and peace, that same family that is seeking to adopt them.
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