An Egypt Update

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 4, 2011

1. The Obama Administration wants to see a transitional government in which Egyptian vice president Omar Suleiman takes power, backed by the Egyptian military. This is just one option, and Mubarak hopes to hold out until September.

2. Mubarak claims to be “fed up” with being president, but also claims that if he leaves now, chaos and anarchy will erupt.

3. The crackdown in Egypt continues.

4. The Israelis, who have sought to back Mubarak to the hilt, and fear a future in which he is not in power, are angry with the Obama Administration over its handling of the affair:

“The Israeli concept is that the U.S. rushed to stab Mubarak in the back,” said Eytan Gilboa, an expert on the U.S. at Bar-Ilan University.

“As Israel sees it, they could have pressured Mubarak, but not in such an overt way, because the consequence could be a loss of faith in the U.S. by all pro-Western Arab states in the Middle East, and also a loss of faith in Israel,” he said.

Raphael Israeli, a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, echoed a widely felt perception that before the unrest erupted, the Obama administration paid only lip service to the lack of human rights in Mubarak’s authoritarian regime.

“If Obama were genuinely concerned with what is going on in Egypt, he should have made the same demands two years ago (when he addressed the Muslim world in Cairo) and eight years and 20 years ago. Mubarak didn’t come to power yesterday.”

“As long as there are no problems, the oppression works,” Israeli said. “If the oppression doesn’t work, suddenly it becomes urgent. That’s unacceptable.”

5. For whatever reason, George Soros has been asked to write a column on the subject, in which he tells us the following:

The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community. The main danger is that the Obama administration will not adjust its policies quickly enough to the suddenly changed reality.

Shorter Soros: “Don’t worry about the Muslim Brotherhood you poor, befuddled darlings. What could possibly go wrong with a scenario in which they take power? Also, the Israel Lobby is evil!” Unreal; Soros doesn’t even bother to acknowledge that change in Egypt could bring problems for Israel, and a general increase in radicalism in the region. There is hardly an attempt to understand or appreciate Israel’s concerns regarding the issue. For Soros, it is enough to denounce the country, and denounce AIPAC, lump Israel and AIPAC together with “the religious right” which apparently is fond of vendettas, while urging on policy changes that take no notice whatsoever of concerns over regional stability. What value do such columns have, other than making clear the nature of Soros’s prejudices?

  • Thomas Fisher

    Hey Pajama-boy. So Israel and America should be afraid of a handful of Arabs in the Muslim Brotherhood? You believe our country and democracy is that weak, and you believe a few religious guys are that powerful? WTF? You conservative wankers just can’t resist a boogeyman, can you. “Communists will get us all!” “Al Queda will get us all!” “Muslim Brotherhood will get us all!” When, exactly is this massive superior ideology supposed to sweep across the free world? Pathetic Pajama-boy. Sorry, can’t resist calling names, so there ya go

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