Polish aspects in the Middle East

Marian Miszalski

There are many indicators that ‘victory of democracy’ in Egypt can mean a victory of the Muslim Brotherhood or at least compromising concessions to this Muslim Brotherhood made by every regime that will replace Mubarak’s regime. From the Israel’s point of view it would be better if Mubarak remained in office, which will surely polarise and confront ‘democrats’ and ‘adherents of the regime,’ leading almost towards a civil war and weakening Egypt. It is curious that some media also seem to incline towards this option: from their initial support for the Egyptian ‘democrats’ to the present abstinence, almost obvious scepticism and even initial disapproval (the term ‘revolutionary chaos’ is slowly replaced by enthusiasm for ‘democratisation’ and the American authorities speak straight that Mubarak’s regime should ‘guarantee democratic changes’…). Are the ‘Egyptian democrats’ not going to end as ‘brawlers’ if we follow this logic? But the Israeli authorities had revived their diplomacy earlier. Just before the riots in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Jordan, but after Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Chile, they recognised de iure the Palestinian state. And immediately a special envoy of the Israeli government had gone to Washington to strive for disciplining these ‘anti-Semitic regimes.’ Almost at the same time, in Brussels, a report, unfriendly to Tel Aviv, was created and it appealed to the European Union to take sanctions against Israel and to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state. Currently, out of 192 members of the UN as many as 109 have recognised the Palestinian state. The situation is becoming paradoxical: more and more countries recognise the Palestinian state that does not exist on the world map: there is only the Palestinian Autonomy within the framework of the Jewish occupation. Will Poland recognise the Palestinian state, too? Following the morality ‘For our freedom and yours’ Poland should have done it long ago. And considering her political interests? It seems that Poland should do it all the more. After our sight-sighted and harmful involvement into the American war in Iraq our relationships with the Arab countries and the security of our citizens’ have worsened. And these countries constitute for poor Poland a considerably more important area of trade partnership than Israel. In Egypt only there are oil, earthy gas, noble metal ores, and the 80 million population makes a market worthy of consideration for Polish enterprise. Poland’s decision to recognise the Palestinian state would obviously irritate the American authorities but in the situation when the USA stops being interested in Central-Eastern Europe our obligations towards the American politics become loose. This is what Minister Sikorski should explain the Americans. However, is Tusk’s government sovereign to make an independent decision to recognise the Palestinian state after we have signed the Treaty of Lisbon and the EU Foreign Minister has been appointed? Can we recognise any other country? It is not clear and that’s why the public opinion needs to be rightly informed. At the same time it is a question about the range of independence of the Polish foreign politics after the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, and that’s why I think it is an important question to which the Polish opinion should get to know the answer. But as the media have informed us there will be the first unprecedented joint session of the Polish and Israeli governments. Perhaps Tusk, Sikorski and Klich will care about this visit better than the visit of President Kaczynski to Smolensk. Will it have the Head status?… Will the Ministry of Foreign Affairs see to that Israel will give its answer to this issue or will our ministry be satisfied with no answer like it was satisfied in the case of the presidential visit to Smolensk?… It is also not known why the visit of the new head of the state, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affair or some other minister is not sufficient. Most clearly, we have not got so many common interests (what kind of interests") with Israel that our whole government must take the trouble to go there – but it would be good if the public opinion in Poland got to know which state interests they meant, which ministry and what matters they were to negotiate with their Israeli partners and why. Will such joint sessions of the entire Polish government be held in other countries as well? Will some government in corpore come to us? These are more interesting, more important questions to the public opinion than the question which MP is going to leave his/her party before the election or what the difference between the Democratic Left Alliance and the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland is, and so on…

"Niedziela" 9/2011

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl