Dear Friends of Israel
The uprising and mass demonstrations in Arabic Tunisia took the world completely by surprise. When the crowd there succeeded in banishing the corrupt president into exile, the fascination with the events unfolding in Tunisia reached a climax among the masses in other Arabic countries. The Tunisian example fell on particularly fertile ground in Egypt. Many Egyptians have long grown weary of the 83-year-old President Mubarak and his regime, although his regime is not as thoroughly corrupt as the fallen one in Tunisia. In fact, the true reasons for the uprising against Mubarak are found elsewhere. It is certainly true that people in Egypt have meager incomes, and that many of the 83 million residents, in particular the young people, see no prospects for the future. A young woman in religious garments however, expressed the deeper reason for the dissatisfaction most clearly as she stated, "We hate Mubarak; we hate him, because he stands behind Israel." Others accuse him of being a mere puppet of America and the West. Like his predecessor, Sadat, President Mubarak has suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood and their political activities. Their party was even prohibited by law at times, on the well-justified grounds that they would not play by the democratic rules of the game.
It is interesting what Syria's President Assad said in an interview about the events in Egypt. In his opinion, such a thing would not happen in Syria. Although Syria is in more difficult circumstances than most Arabic countries, Syria is stable. Why? Assad explained, one has to stay closely linked to the people and their beliefs. If this sense of unity is not present, it will lead to unrest. The essential factor is the ideology – what one believes and the motive behind that belief. Therein lies the difference. There is either a common motive or a vacuum. Syria is insulated from the current unrest, because it understands the importance of sharing a common goal with its people: Enmity with Israel. Nasser, the former president of Egypt, understood and pursued this strategy perfectly. That made him popular, and an idol of the entire Arabic world.
Furthermore, Assad blamed the unrest on the West, particularly the United States, because they did not manage to push through a peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs. The wars they are waging in Iraq and Afghanistan are also to blame for the current situation.
Assad’s statements clearly show what the root causes of the revolt in Egypt are. Mubarak made himself unpopular because he turned away from the ideology of hatred toward Israel, and ruled out a further war with Israel. More and more voices among the demonstrators in Egypt are calling for a termination of the peace agreement with Israel. Do not forget that Mubarak’s predecessor, Sadat, was assassinated by a murderer from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, because of his peace negotiation with Israel.
Some voices calling for an end to the sale of natural gas to Israel are growing stronger. The explosion of the gas line in northern Sinai was likely the work of Mubarak’s opponents. Given these events, Israel has every reason to be concerned and to prepare itself for the worst-case scenario.
The present events in the Arab world once again demonstrate that a seemingly fixed world order can break down quickly and biblical scenarios can become reality.
In the service of He who builds up and tears down governments: Greetings and “Shalom”.
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