Saturday, February 12

The End of the Mubarak Era

The will of the Egyptian people has been accomplished. President Hosni Mubarak has resigned. After nearly three weeks of protests and shouting of anti-Mubarak slogans, the Egyptian people achieved what they wanted in a peaceful manner. Deaths have resulted because of the actions of Mubarak's goons.

One cannot help empathizing with the Egyptian people and identifying with their fight for freedom, democracy and human rights which had been denied them under the Mubarak era and its state of emergency that had never been lifted since Mubarak came into power thirty years ago.

The Egyptian people had their say and emphasized their standpoint. The fact that they achieved this with the minimum of violence is to their credit.

Nobody can predict what the future holds for Egypt and we, in Israel, do have some trepidation which is justified. A revolution in the Arab world including Iran (which is a non Arab country) has ended up in replacing one dictatorship by another. In Iran the dictatorship became Islamic in the extreme. The dictatorship of Iran is hypocritical in its cheering of the Egyptian revolution. Iran is no paragon of  democracy. The Ahmadinajad regime under the Ayatollahs is even worse than the Mubarak dictatorship ever was. Democracy is not tolerated there at all under any guise.

Perhaps the difference between Egyptian revolution and Iraqi revolution is that the Mubarak dictatorship was overthrown by the Egyptian people without any foreign aid in contrast to Iraq, where the US and its allies had overthrown the evil Saddam Hussein regime. At the same time, they left a chaotic situation behind with warring factions of Islamic terrorists killing innocent people at every opportunity.

The Egyptian people are mostly Sunni Muslims with a Coptic Christian minority and there is no strife amongst them. They are united in their common desire to rid their country of Mubarak, a dictator, who had no sympathy for his people's difficulties, lack of democratic rights and severe poverty as well as severe unemployment which was the plight of most of the population. The youth of Egypt was the spearhead that initiated the revolution. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain. They had no future under the autocratic Mubarak regime.

The Egyptian Army has now taken over and even Mubarak's sidekick, vice-President, Omar Suleiman, has been pushed aside. The army has reacted with restraint, and has managed to retain the respect and support of the Egyptian people. This is a good sign towards returning to order and the cessation of chaos. Despite the statements of support for democracy coming from the army, one must view this with great caution. Military rule usually ends in a military dictatorship and this would be contrary to the will of the Egyptian people. A new order of checks and balances must be introduced to prevent this from occurring and free democratic elections must be held as soon as possible so that a new constitution can be drawn up to ensure and protect the nascent democracy whose future is still very uncertain.

The situation in Egypt is uncertain with an opposition that is far from being united. The only thing that united them was ridding the country of the Mubarak dictatorship. Now that this has been achieved it remains to be seen who will replace him.

We Israelis are very close neighbors of Egypt. We have been watching with great interest the latest developments there, and we are all hoping that the peace between Israel and Egypt will be maintained even though it is a cold peace. Maybe the departure of Mubarak will improve Egyptian-Israeli relations. I say this with cautious optimism.

Israel does have legitimate fears as to the worst possible scenarios that could occur. The Muslim Brotherhood could possibly win in the elections and their members in this organization who have gone on record against Israel’s existence and the signing of the peace treaty with Egypt. On the other hand, there are moderate, pragmatic members of the Muslim Brotherhood who recognize Israel's right to exist and wish to maintain peace with Israel. The support of the Egyptian people for the Muslim Brotherhood remains untested at this stage. We will be the wiser when the situation in Egypt stabilizes resulting in free and democratic elections being held. However, Egypt has so many problems and even after the elections renewal of hostilities against Israel is unlikely.
Egypt's priorities are rebuilding its economy, creation of jobs and ensuring that human rights are not abused.

According to reports, the Muslim Brotherhood is not interested in becoming part of the new government and to date has not put up a candidate for the presidency despite the fact that they are the largest and most coherent opposition.

A rather interesting observation is that those who led the revolution are not Muslim fundamentalists but rather secular young people. There was no shouting of anti-Western or anti-Israel slogans. There may have been minority rabble rousing in this direction but it certainly was not characteristic of this revolution.

Israel must also be prepared to accept the new situation and support the Egyptian peoples’ desire for democratic change and their fight for human rights. This is to the advantage of all the peoples in the Middle East.

Israel could also take steps in freezing the building of new settlements and work systematically to end the occupation by deeds and not pay empty lip service to the establishment of a Palestinian state which can only be established once the territories occupied in the June 1967 War are liberated from Israeli rule with territorial adjustments agreed to by both Palestinians and Israelis. This would go along way to achieving a true and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine and the rest of the Arab world.

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joetote said...

We can all agree that Mubarak was a tyrant in the eyes of his people and deservedly so. And people here in the West cannot begin to imagine the hardships and travails of life in a country like Egypt or for that matter any Third World country, be it Egypt, Sudan or whatever. Too many of the citizens of the U.S., even if they were to look at it, are too busy whining about their own supposed problems to even consider what’s going on around the world. So be it. That’s what class warfare and the entitlement society have done to us.

However, as we look deeper into the Egyptian situation, we can see a rather disturbing pattern emerging. Listen to the talking heads of the MSM. Listen to the President and his out of touch administration, Hell, they can’t even get their stories straight. Hillary says one thing. Clapper says another. And the President openly welcomes the very element that can and will destroy Egypt and in turn put Israel and the West in dire straits. Of course I and many others will be called alarmists, racists or Anti-Muslim bigots for pointing this out, but it has to be said.

One only has to remember the Iran situation. Yes, the Shah as far as the people of Iran were concerned was a despot. As the people rallied there, the talking heads including our good buddy “lost in space Carter” went on and on about how the Ayatollah was in fact a moderate Muslim who would bring peace and open Democracy to the country. I distinctly remember the few brave souls who had done their homework and warned of the impending disaster that was coming. As it is now, they were branded as subversive or worse. The world sat back and we all know what has transpired since then.

As the Iran situation came to a head, the morons in the press and government here in the States put out the fallacy that the people of Iran, having grown use to the Freedoms they did have and their supposed love for all thing U.S. would in fact turn their back on radical Islamic fundamentalism and continue to embrace and expand the Western ideals to which they had grown accustomed to. Well, we all know how that worked out! Typical head in the sand gobbley goop from the West and presto!, an Islamic hell was born.

While one can hope the army there can keep the order and help transition to a free government, the chances of that happening in my view are slim at best. First, let’s take a look at the army. They have always been the power in Egypt since the overthrow of King Furuk. No secret there. Will they give up power?

As there is a vacuum in leadership right now can we assume the radical movements, those that any idiot can see are the best organized will in fact take their shots at power? You can bet your ass they will. The head of the Muslim Brotherhood is a known terrorist with a deep seated hatred for Israel. As we move forward, one has to assume they along with infiltrators from other radical Muslim states will do their best to install a Radical regime in Egypt.

It took about 30 days from the overthrow of the Shah, to the Ayatollah’s homecoming and then an almost instant plunge in radical Muslim horror that is now Iran. Is this what one wants for Egypt? And what about Israel? As we have a President who seems hell bent on hastening her destruction, will we come to the aid of Israel when the crap really hits the fan? If Egypt is taken over in the end by the radicals, will Israel survive? Hell, let’s not even go into the oil situation right now or the fact the Egypt controls the Suez Canal. At least Mubarak was honor bound to a treaty and kept too it. Can one even think for one moment that any radical faction will not immediately turn on Israel?

norman said...

I can think of one sure thing to unite the future competing factions of Egypt (unless the army rules) and that would be the hatred for Israel!

Be ready for it.......

zac said...

Norman, my dear cousin, I do not agree with you on this issue. In a nation of 85 million people, Israel is not really a factor at all. That does not mean that there are no anti-Israel sentiments, but it is never a good idea to generalize.