Sunday, July 07, 2013

Egypt - good for the Jews?

In my last blog in relation to the situation in Egypt I posed the eternal question "is it good for the Jews?" This requires a more extensive answer.

If Israel wanted to topple the most dangerous party in Egypt, it would have chosen to topple the Muslim Brotherhood. Although Israel does not interfere in the affairs of neighboring Arab countries and although Pres. Morsi was being cooperative with Israel regarding defense in Sinai as well as keeping the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty, in the long run the MB is Islamist, inherently anti-Semitic and certainly anti-Israel. If Morsi had been in power long enough to cement the control of the MB, there would never have been another election, just as there have been no further elections in Gaza, where Hamas, the Palestinian MB, has gained control. So the overthrow of the MB-dominated Egyptian Govt. by the combination of the secular forces and the Army is in Israel's long-term interest.

But, this is only true if the Army continues to expand its control over Sinai against the Islamist forces there. They have done two positive things since the ouster of Morsi,. they have closed all borders with the Gaza strip and they have sent forces into Sinai to take control. In a clash with Islamist forces near Rafah, two Egytian soldiers were killed. This will only strengthen the Egyptian Army's need to extend its control over Sinai. However, some think that because of the potential for a civil war in Egypt the Army may be too preoccupied to do a proper job in Sinai. Nevertheless, Hamas which had supported Morsi, is now in crisis. It has backed the wrong horse in Egypt, and it has cut its former ties with Shia Iran. Hamas is in a difficult situation and Pres. Abbas of the PA has chosen this time to call for the people of Gaza to overthrow Hamas just as they did in Egypt.

Where is the US in all of this? Actually, it is nowhere. Pres., Obama has been vacillating over Syria and has largely missed the boat in Egypt. Where was US Secty of State Kerry when the action was in Egypt? He was visiting Pres. Abbas in Ramallah, trying once again to reactivate the moribund Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Talk about avoiding reality.

It is my opinion that what we are seeing in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world is a long-term process of adaptation to western norms, to modernization, technology and basic human rights. These are western concepts according to the Islamists and they oppose any entrenchment of western culture into the Islamic/Arab world. But, after being defeated so many times by Israel, in war, in terrorism, and in social development, the Arabs realize that they are lagging behind and their societies are backward and they need to do something drastic in order not to fall further behind. The educated, westernized urban elite know this. It's a bit like the KGB knowing that communism had failed long before the actual demise. Its also like the renaissance in Europe, a complete overthrow of existing ideas. These eruptions of civil unrest must be allowed to take their course, so that the Arab societies will not be controlled either by ossified military dictators or by Islamist extremists. So, is it good for the Jews? The short answer is yes, definitely yes!


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