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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Egypt: Bound to explode?

Mordechai Kedar writes that Egypt is bound to explode and the Egyptian army may just decide to use Israel to let the steam disperse.
The above developments have been clearly reflected in the behavior of one of the members of the Council of Armed Forces, General Mohsen Fangary. From the beginning of the revolution on January 25th, he supported the rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully, and has been very popular among the masses. Two weeks ago, on July 12th, he appeared on local and international media and, in a frightening and intimidating tone, read a statement issued by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces while waving his
finger threateningly: “. . . The council will not relinquish its role during this critical period in Egypt’s history . . . Freedom of expression is guaranteed to all, but only within the boundaries of the law. Elections will be the first step, after which the constitution will be drafted. The special courts (i.e. military courts) will not be abolished. The army will not allow violent protests or the obstruction of economic activity; it will not permit the spreading of rumors and misinformation which could lead to disunity, disobedience and the dismantling of the homeland; it will give
precedence to the interests of the public over those of individuals. The council will not allow anyone to seize power and will take the necessary measures against threats to the homeland.”

Millions of Egyptians listened with great concern to this threatening announcement, which made it clear to them – from no less than the thundering voice of the popular General Fangary – that the period of hugs and flowers had ended, that the army intends to stay in power for more than half a year, and perhaps for a much longer period. General Fangary, with his menacing finger and booming voice, let the audience know that what had been will no longer be and that he would not permit the Woodstock atmosphere in al-Tahrir Square to evolve into anti-army protests.

Egypt is now at the height of a hot summer; the overall atmosphere, as well as the air temperature have risen. In less than two weeks, at the beginning of August, the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims grow close to Allah, will commence....

In the next few weeks or months, the Arab Spring is liable to turn into the Egyptian Summer – hot, steamy, violent and repulsive – in which the cat will be let out of the bag and the youth of Al Tahrir Square will realize that they have replaced one group of officers with another, that instead of Mubarak, they have Tantawi or Fangary, all cut from the same cloth. If conflict erupts, Heaven forefend, it will take place between the revolutionary youth and the army, which, this time, might fire massively at

The army may in the interim throw protesters some bones, such as a show trial for Mubarak (if he lives), his wife and sons, and the public might even get to see them swinging from a rope in al-Tahrir Square; aside from momentary joy, however, this will not calm the street. The standing of the Israeli embassy and the peace agreement with Israel might also be impacted, because the army may employ such a stratagem to douse the flames.

In the event of major clashes between the army and the population, many Egyptians are liable to try and reach Israel via Sinai and the open border. Israel must prepare for such a scenario so that it is not caught by surprise when thousands of Egyptians arrive daily, fleeing the cruelty of their army.
As it is, it often happens that Sudanese refugees cross the border and the IDF tries to save them from being shot at by the Egyptian army. What will happen when the refugees are Egyptian? Whom will the Egyptian army try to smuggle across the border with them?

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