Not Worrying About Egypt
Sitting in Jerusalem, it only makes sense that over the past month I have been keeping one eye focused due south towards Egypt, watching an historical regime change unfold before my eyes. I have been asked countless times by colleagues, friends, and family who are not familiar with the day-to-day situation in Israel if I am ‘nervous’ about what’s going on in Cairo, but despite the uncertainty, my answer has been a resounding ‘no’.
As Herb Keinon, the Jerusalem Post’s Diplomatic Correspondent wrote in a recent article about life in Israel cleverly titled ‘What, me, Worry?’ “there is so much going on here in Israel that one can literally make him/herself crazy worrying about everything. With enemies surrounding us – Hezbollah to the North, Hamas to the Southwest, a two-faced Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, and Iran developing the bomb, Egypt at this point is yet just another potential hub of terror threatening our existence.”
Besides the existential threats, Keinion points out that in Israel these days we can spend our waking hours worrying about the next big earthquake (as we sit on a major fault line), our lack of drinking water, (the Lake of Galilee, our largest source of drinking water is drying up following a six-year draught) and even the threat of rabies (apparently, there are rabid dogs running around in the northern part of the country). So yes, while I follow the latest from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and even Morocco, I calmly sip my coffee and type from a local café.
As Thomas Friedman of the New York Times and others use the uprising in Egypt as the perfect opportunity to chastise the government of Israel for not openly siding with the supposedly “democracy seeking” protestors, I question his logic. How does Friedman know that what’s going on in Egypt is for the best? Will Friedman eat his words if the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that birthed Hamas, takes over and introduces Sharia law as the most populous Arab nation’s official system of governance? Since the Brotherhood didn’t initiate the chaos, Friedman assumes that they won’t take over. Well, as we all know, assuming does nothing but yet again make a fool out of Friedman and his fervent liberal flock.
As was reported in last week’s Jerusalem Post, the Brotherhood is already mobilizing to form a political party (see Hezbollah). In addition, well-known scholar Professor Barry Rubin astutely pointed out in his most recent article that “Friday, February 18 may be a turning point in Egyptian history. On that day Yusuf al-Qaradawi spoke to a giant cheering crowd in Tahrir Square.” Who is Qaradawi, you might ask? He is a Brotherhood senior spiritual leader, and was the sole representative chosen to spew his message of hate and intolerance for anything non-Muslim on that historic Friday. According to Rubin “Qaradawi, not bin Laden, is the most dangerous revolutionary Islamist in the world, and he is about to unleash the full force of his persuasion on Egypt.” Talk about scary!
While ideally the world would rather see a flourishing democracy in Egypt; if that doesn’t happen I would personally rather see the Brotherhood in power. No, I’m not pulling your leg. While the Brotherhood is no doubt evil, one thing they are not – liars. They, along with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran have no problem admitting their hatred of Israel, the US and of Western culture and values. In my opinion, that’s better than at the two-faced Trojan Horse of the Palestinian Authority, which claims that it wants peace, only to be waiting patiently for the right time to stab Israel in the back. As they say, it’s important to ‘know your enemy’ – I couldn’t agree more.
Nevertheless, I’m not going to sweat it – at least not yet.