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Monday, January 31, 2011

But of course: Egyptian protesters begin blaming US and Israel

Egyptian protesters have begun to blame the US and Israel for propping up the Mubarak government.
Egyptians understand that the world is waiting to see if President Hosni Mubarak falls to popular pressure before major leaders decide which side to support. But this is infuriating the demonstrators, who realize that six days of unrest have not accomplished their goal and that they need united international pressure in order to topple the almost-30-year incumbent.

The protests have lacked a clear leader to unite them and provide an alternative to Mubarak, and demonstrators are beginning to focus their wrath not just on Mubarak and the country’s widespread corruption, but also on the United States and, to a lesser extent, Israel. They blame Israel and the US for supporting a government because it is convenient for them, not because it is good for the Egyptian people.

“The USA does not support democracy; they’re supporting Israel, which is like their baby,” said Ahmed, a 26-year-old Cairo resident. “They think Egypt is functional because it’s in favor of their considerations.”

“I don’t care if we have peace [with Israel] or not,” Ahmed continued, echoing the indifference of many demonstrators who don’t have a clear agenda for what they want a future Egypt to look like, as long as it does not include Mubarak. “But will Israel allow us to have a real president? For example, Turkey elected an Islamic government, but it was their choice. Will Israel give us the freedom to make the same choice?” he asked.

Demonstrators are relying on the foreign press to get their message to Obama.

“Isn’t this democracy?” they asked me over and over when I said I was a journalist from America, incredulous that the country held as the pinnacle of world democracy could ignore such widespread popular sentiment.

“Obama has to be on our side. Where is your democracy?” asked Osam L, who works at a foreign bank in Cairo.

“You say Arabs are just donkeys, but the USA is supporting the system, not the people.”

The Jewish community in Cairo and Alexandria both declined to speak with the media, but told The Jerusalem Post that all of its members were safe and going about their daily routine as normally as possible.
I think that's what's called realpolitik, and no, it doesn't always lead to the most moral outcome. But if they're going to make war with us, I won't support them either.

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At 7:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

My view is increasingly the regime will ride out the storm. The protesters have to eat sometime and work for a living. What the Egyptians lack is a charismatic figure like the Ayatollah Khomeini to rally around. ElBaradei just doesn't excite them. Mubarak will be gracefully eased out after the protests end and my guess would be that Suleiman or some acceptable figure not tainted by a close association with Mubarak will become the country's next President.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

Disgusting. Alexandria has been a hotbed of anti-semitism from before Christ! That says something.
It is about secularism versus Islamism. Do you think many of those young brave souls who protested the Shah in 1979 wanted something far different than the Imams? The secular movement in Egypt is limited to a few thousand westernized elite. The masses want the Muslim Brotherhood... and they will get it.

I hope Israel is planning a plan b. Plan b is what will Israel do when Egypt abrogates the Camp David Accords. If they cut off the gas and introduce the military into the Sinai and/or aid Hamas, Israel should retake the Sinai or portions of it. That's plan b.

And another point about Obama fiddling when Mubarak burns... who's next-Jordan or Syria?


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