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Most of the Arabic commentary on the one-year anniversary of the Egyptian revolution has focused on its accomplishments of destruction of the Mubarak regime, destroying the gas pipelines with Israel, and hardly any constructive and humble rhetoric. And now, almost all Egyptians running for office are defying the West and calling on the repeal or re-evaluation of the peace treaty with Israel. That is what Egyptians traditionally like to hear and that is what they get and no one sees or challenges such dysfunctional dynamics.
The 2011 revolution follows in the same footsteps of previous revolutions. In the 52-revolution, Nasser’s popularity skyrocketed when he defied and ridiculed the West, disregarded many international obligations and arrested and expelled the Jews. The unifying theme that always guarantees bringing Egyptians together is to make the destruction of Israel the number one objective of the state.
The most important lesson the Arab Spring should teach us in the West, is that regardless who is in power leaders in Muslim countries are not free to befriend the West or be their allies, those who do so will be removed from office as traitors and Tantawi fully understands that. So far, the revolutions succeeded in taking out only the pro-Western regimes and no Spring in Saudi Arabia or Iran. Even Ghaddafy could not have been taken out without Western intervention.
Egyptian pride has reached a pathological levels where they would rather defy the West and attack Israel rather than engage in peaceful co-existence and concentrate on their internal affairs. They want to cut off Western noses to spite their faces and they are succeeding. What the naive West needs to learn is that third world countries are not as innocent as many in the West want them to be.
Nonie Darwish is author of new book, The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East.
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