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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Great news: Egypt won't be like Iran. It'll be like Lebanon

Alan Dershowitz gives what's unfortunately a plausible scenario for how what's going on in Egypt may play out. The good news is that Egypt won't end up like Iran. The bad news is that it may end up like Lebanon.
The following scenario is possible, if not likely. Mubarak will leave. Someone like Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Laureate who ran the International Atomic Energy Agency, will serve as an interim leader. He is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, and, in turn, he has said nice things about the Brotherhood. On Sunday, he told Fareed Zakaria the following:
"You know, the Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with the Iranian model, has nothing to do with extremism, as we have seen it in Afghanistan and other places. The Muslim Brotherhood is a religiously conservative group. They are a minority in Egypt. They are not a majority of the Egyptian people, but they have a lot of credibility because all the other liberal parties have been smothered for 30 years.

They are in favor of a federalist state. They are in favor of a wording on the base of constitution that has red lines that every Egyptian has the same rights, same obligation, that the state in no way will be a state based on religion. And I have been reaching out to them. We need to include them. They are part of the Egyptian society, as much as the Marxist party here. I think this myth that has been perpetuated and sold by the regime has no - has no iota of reality."
This Pollyannaish description of the Muslim Brotherhood is misleading and incomplete at best and totally unrealistic at worst. The Muslim Brotherhood is a violent, radical group with roots in Nazism and an uncompromising commitment to end the cold peace with Israel and replace it with a hot war of destruction. Its very name undercuts ElBaradei claims that "every Egyptian has the same rights" and that "the state in no way will be based on religion." Christians, women, secularists and other dissenters will not have the same rights as Muslim men. Right now the Brotherhood "are a minority," but they are the largest and best organized minority, and they don't play by the rules of democracy, using assassination and threats of violence to coerce support.

ElBaradei is their perfect stalking horse—well respected, moderate and compliant. He will put together a government in which the Brotherhood begins as kingmaker and ends up as king.

This will not produce functional democracy. Nor will it preserve peace in the region. The first casualty may well be the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority will be emboldened by the prospect of a powerful military ally on Israel's border. The Israelis will be reluctant to surrender any more territory if they can no longer count on peace with Egypt (and perhaps with Jordan).

The second casualty will be religious freedom for Egyptians, particularly Christians, but also secularists.
Dershowitz left out one party that would be emboldened by that scenario: Hamas. That's already happening. On Monday night, Hamas terrorists shot two Grad rockets from the Gaza Strip into Ofakim and Netivot. Fortunately, no one was injured, but a car was damaged in Ofakim.

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At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason ElBaradei wants to reprise in Egypt the foolhardy role Franz von Papen played in ushering the National Socialists into a "unity government". Except here the rule about history, first time as tragedy, second time as farce enters into ElBaradei's hopeless infatuation with the idea of being the man of the hour.

At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw--statement from the Egyptian army:

"The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people...Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody."

They don't want to play Tiananmen Square for Mubarak. What will be will be....


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