The end of the Camp David accords? Two million Egyptians aim to 'liberate' JerusalemI was surprised to discover that I have had a lot of hits from Egypt lately. I'm not sure why. Unfortunately, it's becoming clear that the new 'democratic' Egypt is likely to be an enemy of both Israel and the United States. Here's Giulio Meotti writing at Contentions.
All the secular forces in Cairo are asking for a review of or a break from the relations with both Israel and the United States. The protagonist of the revolts, Mohamed ElBaradei, has said that Israel is the biggest threat in the Middle East. “Israel has signed a peace treaty with Mubarak, not with Egypt,” said the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Leftist Karama Party leader Hamdeen Sabahi proclaims the end of the “American-Israeli domination over Egypt.” And the generals in power have just asked a former judge of the State Council, the so-called “moderate islamist” Tariq al-Bishri, to chair the committee that will reform the Egyptian constitution. Praising the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Mr. Bishri said that, against Israel, “all forms of resistance must be deployed, including violent resistance.”It gets worse from there. Read the whole thing.
The old Wafd Party wants to strengthen Egypt’s ties with Islamic countries such as Sudan. The largest leftist party, Tagammu, claims “anti-Zionist principles,” promotes solidarity among Arab states, supports the “Palestinian cause,” and opposes “normalization with Israel.” The Nasserist Party wants to “solve the Palestinian issue through the expulsion of the occupying forces from all Arab lands” and opposes the “normalization of relations with Israel.”
Even the popular movement Kefaya movement calls for “the opposition to the influence of Israel and the United States in the region.” Kefaya’s leader, George Ishak, said that “the Camp David agreement is only ink on paper.” The April 6 Movement, born a year ago, also asks for the cancellation of the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. The Democratic Front plans to “resist Israeli expansionism and support the Palestinian cause.”
But it isn't just Israel. Mort Zuckerman writes that Egypt is in danger of becoming America's greatest enemy in the Middle East.
Nobody knows the true strength of the Muslim Brotherhood among the young or in Egyptian society as a whole. Nobody knows what the composition of the next Egyptian parliament might be, once it is elected in free, rather than fraudulent, elections. What we do know is that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only organized force within the opposition and as such has the best chance to exploit the post-revolutionary confusion. In the aftermath of a revolution, the people who seize power need not be the most popular, only the most organized, and in Egypt that is the Muslim Brotherhood. It believes in what? It believes in an Islamic democracy based on the principles of sharia, or Islamic law, and the investiture of a supreme guide—something eerily similar to Iran's Islamic state. Islam has a unique appeal in Egypt and indeed in the broader Arab world where secular dictators ruled for decades except in the mosques, which they were unable to close. So the mosques became the center of political activism and Islam the doctrine of opposition.On Friday, 2,000,000 people gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square to hear the Islamist Yusuf al-Qaradawi, whom I previously discussed here. I'd like to show you a video of that event.
The Brotherhood opposes a secular state as well as Western civilization, but supports taqiyya, which means lying is allowed if it helps to ultimately defeat the infidels. As for the Brotherhood mellowing, a notion that is the love child of our mass media, this mostly reflects the organization's recruitment of media-savvy spokesmen, who can espouse the virtues of a pro-democracy platform as a smokescreen for the group's real views and intentions.
Polls in Egypt reveal that the people want democracy—but that they also want an Islamic state with sharia and all of its restraints on minorities, religion, and women. As Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said this month, "The Muslim Brotherhood is not, as some suggest, simply an Egyptian version of the March of Dimes." Opinion polls of Egyptians in past years indicate that 60 percent or more support Islamists and favor the re-establishment of a single Islamic state, or caliphate. In a Pew poll last spring, fully three quarters of Egyptians said they favored strict sharia punishments, and of those who saw a struggle between fundamentalists and groups that want to modernize the country, only 27 percent favored modernizers. Half expressed favorable views of Hamas, 30 percent Hezbollah, and 20 percent al-Qaeda. If these convictions or inclinations govern Egypt's future politics, ousted President Hosni Mubarak's military authoritarianism might well be replaced by Islamic authoritarianism.
Remember when Egyptians had the chance to choose their legislators in 2005? Where they could, they favored the totalitarian Muslim Brotherhood. If that happens again, the United States' greatest ally in the region will become its greatest enemy, and Israel's peace partner will become its greatest foe. As Bernard Lewis, the renowned historian of Islam, said recently: "Many of our so-called friends in the region are inefficient kleptocracies. But they're better than the Islamic radicals." It's a judgment that is well captured in the phrase "the evil of two lessers."
Let's go to the videotape.
For those whose Arabic is a bit weak, the first commenter on YouTube translated what they were shouting into English.
"To Jerusalem We go, for us to be the Martyrs of the Millions."And I'm sure some of you are wondering what became of Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who 'lead' the revolution. Well, here are a couple of comments about Ghonim by a couple of morons from the New York Times, followed by the reality (Hat Tip: Soccer Dad).
Thomas FriedmanSo much for Ghonim and his yuppie friends and their wishful thinking Western cheerleaders. So much for Egypt's 'secular revolution.' I see little chance that Camp David or any arrangements between Egypt and Israel survive this. We're right back where we were on June 4, 1967. Except that now the Egyptians have a modern, American-equipped army at their disposal.
Indeed, it is no surprise that the emerging spokesman for this uprising is Wael Ghonim — a Google marketing executive who is Egyptian. He opened a Facebook page called “We are all Khaled Said,” named for an activist who was allegedly beaten to death by police in Alexandria. And that page helped spark the first protests here. Ghonim was abducted by Egyptian security officials on Jan. 28, and he was released on Monday. On Monday night, he gave an emotional TV interview that inspired many more people to come into the square on Tuesday. And when he spoke there in the afternoon, he expressed the true essence of this uprising.
The sea of people pulsated with energy, galvanized by the words of Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who got the Mubarak treatment — 12-day disappearance, blindfolding, interrogation — before a tweet that will one day be etched in some granite memorial: “Freedom is a bless that deserves fighting for it.”
Google executive Wael Ghonim, who emerged as a leading voice in Egypt's uprising, was barred from the stage in Tahrir Square on Friday by security guards, an AFP photographer said. Ghonim tried to take the stage in Tahrir, the epicentre of anti-regime protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, but men who appeared to be guarding influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi barred him from doing so.
What could go wrong?