White House: Obama Nurtures 'Arab Spring'

By JTA

Published May 06, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Obama administration is invested in nurturing the “Arab Spring,” said Denis McDonough, the deputy national security adviser.

“While the change in the Middle East is working against Iran, it is our belief that it can and will work for the United States,” McDonough told a Washington Institute for Near East Policy retreat. “A more democratic region will ultimately be more stable for us and our friends.”

McDonough named four countries that the administration perceived as advancing toward democracy: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has expressed skepticism about the benefits of the democratization movement, particularly in Egypt, because of the concomitant rise of Islamic parties.

The Obama administration has engaged with the Muslim Brotherhood, among other actors in Egypt following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak more than a year ago. McDonough said such parties were unlikely to impose dictatorships.

“Any government today is going to press towards greater transparency,” he said. “As a result of more powers to individuals, more powers to Egyptians, even if someone wants to be dictatorial its going to be difficult.”

McDonough said the administration was making clear to the Egyptians that preserving the peace treaty with Israel was critical to maintaining the relationship with the United States, which provides Egypt with $1.3 billion in annual assistance.

McDonough also said that the Obama and Netanyahu governments coordinated closely on strategies to isolate Iran, and reiterated the administration’s commitment to advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.