‘Old’ Middle East Resurfacing in Cairo

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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As of Friday morning, it was expected in Cairo that, later in the day, up to a million people would be confronting the Egyptian army in the Tahrir Square area. It had earlier been reported that the target of such a gathering would be the “Judaization” of Jerusalem. By now, though, it appears clear that if the event occurs, the fury will be directed mainly at Egypt’s own military regime that has tried to hold things together since President Hosni Mubarak was thrown out of office last winter.

Tens of thousands of anti-regime protesters have been swarming in the Tahrir Square area for about a week. Police have killed about 40 and wounded hundreds. A ceasefire was attempted on Thursday morning, with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi’s regime going so far as to apologize for the deaths and promising to prosecute the perpetrators. But by Thursday afternoon it had already broken down with fresh outbreaks of violence.

Unlike those of Qaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria, the regime is not bent on staying in power at any price and indeed appears desperate to try and appease the protesters. Parliamentary elections are set for Monday, and the regime moved presidential elections up from 2013 to next spring. But the protesters out in the streets—some of them—appear driven by a blind fury and keep demanding that the regime step down immediately.

Boaz Bismuth, special correspondent in Cairo for Israel Hayom, reported on Thursday that

Tahrir Square, the symbol of the original uprising, is no longer the home of the revolution…. the battlefront is now on Mohammed Mahmoud Street, the street that leads from the square to the Interior Ministry. That is where protesters and police officers violently clash, where the battle is waged. That is where people are wounded and killed.

But while these protesters have mostly been secular youths impelled more by hatred of the regime than by any coherent notion of what’s supposed to replace it or how Egypt is supposed to be run, Bismuth noted that: “Some protesters are organized: the bearded ones. And they come in groups. The women, covered in black from head to toe, also take part in the demonstration….”

Clearer still:

In today’s Egypt, the khaki uniforms of the army that were so highly revered during that 18-day revolution back in January-February have been replaced by beards. Lots of beards. Muslim Brotherhood beards but also many Salafist beards. Beards that have joined forces to ensure that not only deposed President Hosni Mubarak is gone, but that any memory of his legacy is gone too. Beards that promise that everything will be alright only because “Allahu akbar” (God is great).

In other words: the shabab or violent, youthful protesters basically don’t know what they’re doing, probably are not keen on an Islamist regime, but are helping pave the way for one while the Islamists observe with satisfaction.

Observing the upheaval in Egypt with a lot more trepidation than satisfaction is Israel, where views are divided as to the implications but most are negative.

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  • WildJew

    Barack Hussein Obama, Allahu Akbar!

    • kafir

      Hey! Don't be calling our President "Hussein"! They don't like that! Only the campaigner in chief and Supreme Court justices can use that name. Drop the H, be respectful, and refer to him as BO, or Stinky for short.
      Oh, and that's allahu snackbar, where for Black Friday you can get Aisha brand pork rinds, buy one get one free!

    • Asher

      ~He is the Dark, Sardonic, and Forboding man who has caused great Devesdation~

  • Asher

    How awful for the people of Egypt who wanted peace and bought into this Arab spring-Change of Regime for Democracy Crap…..This is about Radical Change over to a Radical group of Islamists who are not going to bring peace and Democracy for the People. Thank the Puppet masters Soros and his Money and Obama and his Deceit!

  • jacob

    With their "ARAB SPRING" what these people did was to jump off the frying pan
    and into the fire which is what a MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD regime means…
    Ask the IRANIAN people who exchanged the SHAH's regime (who at least did
    care for advancing his country into the 20th century, proven by the thousands
    he sent to higher education everywhere in the world) how are they faring under
    the ALLAH U AKBAR yoke they placed upon themselves by ousting the SHAH
    and which they won't be able to shake off unless they get rid of ALL Islamic clergy….
    The Lybian new "leader" swore the country will be ruled by SHAARIA LAW and in
    EGYPT, if the military hesitates to crush this attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood,
    which is what all this unrest is driving at, better to keep in mind what happened
    to the Turkish military under ERDOGAN's Islamists….

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The lessons—that “peace treaties” are fragile entities in the Middle East, that lands given up for “peace” become bases for terror, that Israel’s real value to the West lies in being an island of stability and progress instead of a fawning supplicant for “peace”—are not lost on most Israelis.

    Actually, peace treaties (Hudnas) between Muslims and non-Muslim unbelievers are useless and intended to last just long enough until the conditions are ripe for the next resumption of the permanent and perpetual jihad.

    Islam remains the strongest identity framework in Egyptian society in particular, and in Arab society generally. The Arab national dictatorships that were layered over this basic Islamic identity for the past 80 years were but a thin veneer of repression. With the fall of these dictatorships, what remains is the core Islamic underpinnings of society, and these will now come to the fore. Consequently, no democratic structures, processes or values are likely to emerge in the Arab world for many generations.

    Islam underpins everything that occurs not only in the Arab world, but also throughout the Islamic world as well. Indeed, it is the sole motivating factor behind the jihad of conquest currently being waged perpetually against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel. However, you would never know it as the news media and even Israel supporters avoid the issue like the plague, which is a very tragic mistake that allows Muslim taqiyya to prevail over truth in the court of public opinion.

    With respect to secular and liberal Western-style democracy emerging in the Islamic world via the so-called misnamed Arab Spring, that prospect is impossible for two reasons: First, the freedoms and liberties embodied in secular and liberal Western-style democracy leaves the door wide open for its inevitable demise. Second, because Islam will not tolerate any other form of governance other than that provided by divine Islamic Sharia law.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Excellent post …

  • Yeshayahu Goldfeld

    The poor and misguided people of Egypt have been encouraged by their religious leaders to multiply to 87 million inhabitants.They have been enjoined by the same leaders to resist modern education and have been inspired by the same leaders with a deadly and debilitating hatred towards Jews and Israel as their sole preoccupation. Who can help a people who has been immobilized by such an indoctrination?

    • Blaze Pascal

      It must be a festering hell hole by now. What a miserable place to be.

      • StephenD

        Wait until they are literally starving in the streets. The ones that bring the food will be the ones that win their hearts in their so called "free elections." You can thank Hillary for saying she looks forward to working with the M.B. which translates into US Tax Dollars going to buy votes for them as they will end up the ones distributing the food.

  • BS77

    I ll bet lots of Egyptians now miss the peace and prosperity during Mubarak's long term…yes, there was corruption……but the nation was not in a chaos of anarchy and mass rioting as it is now.

    • aspacia

      Not only corruption, but torture and assassinations. Whole families vanished.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Whole families…….whole villages will be on the block when the Brotherhood
        manifests itself in power…………………….William

  • Philosopher

    Egypt does not grow enough food to feed itself and its violence has shut down the tourist industry and ended the income it received from Israel for gas. Now they not only don't have enough food, they will completely run out of money by the end of the year. Let's see how the Muslim Brotherhood enlists Allah's help in that situation.

    Riots will end but only because the would-be rioters are too weak from hunger to throw tantrums.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Caliphate in the making yes but behind the scenes who knows who is working,
    in Egypt be sure the Russians under Putin have plans. The picture is not clear
    just who will be king maker which would be Pharaoh in Egypt but Obama may
    be looking for a new job next year and could be feathering his nest…………William