Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Riots in Egypt

In wide-spread riots throughout Egypt ca. 50 people were killed and hundreds injured on the commemmoration of the third anniversary of the ouster of Pres. Mubarak. The pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood organized major demonstrations against the military government of Gen. al-Sisi, but the largest crowds came out to celebrate the anniversary of the "revolution" with fireworks.

However, in reality nothing much has changed in Egypt, there was an interlude of quasi-democracy that the MB exploited as the largest and best organized political party, and now there is a return to the status quo ante with the accession of the Army chief at the head of the interim military government. The continuity between Mubarak and al-Sisi is evident. One difference is that the secular/liberal forces at present support Sisi as opposed to the MB, and they hope he is dedicated to bringing back democracy to Egypt with the new constitution. But, Egypt had a good constitution before under Mubarak, it was simply never applied.

Gen al-Sisi is currently dedicated to suppressing the MB, by arresting and killing its leaders. But, he is also suppressing freedom of speech, by arresting many journalists and leaders of the secular movement who led the fight against Mubarak. He is also engaged in a deadly conflict in Sinai with elements of the Islamist opposition, including MB and al Qaeda. Although this has destablized Sinai, it is better for Israel that these Islamist groups are fighting the Egyptian Army rather than fighting against Israel. There have been no rockets fired into Israel from Sinai for some months and the tunnels between Egypt and Gaza have been closed by the al-Sisi government, cutting off Gaza and Hamas from many weapons and significant income.

It has been announced in Egypt that presidential elections have been brought forward, so that Gen al-Sisi can be elected and assume legal power sooner rather than later. But, don't expect the struggle in Egypt to come to a peaceful conclusion any time soon. The violent cataclysms in the surrounding Arab countries, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq have left Israel in a relatively peaceful situation, although it may be the calm before the storm.


Post a Comment

<< Home