Aw man…

This does not make me happy or imbue me with great confidence for the future:

I can try to spin it though, right? These protesters are probably one small, isolated sample – probably what drove the protests in Egypt were things like economic instability, political corruption, lack of freedom etc. The Arab world still seems to be drunk on Israeli haterade fed to them by the same despots that are quaking on their thrones at the moment.

In the past, all societal problems were blamed on the mere existence of Israel and that helped foster stability because the people’s attention was diverted to irrelevant external factors and no one looked internally. That worked relatively well for decades but clearly it’s starting to unravel. I’m hoping that Egyptians will be motivated to change things more by the desire to improve their lives than by an irrational hatred of the Jews. If not then we can always call on our Shark and Vulture battalions to defend Israel I guess.

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ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

31 Comments

  • This is in part the result of the continued attacks against Israel in the Egyptian press over the years. The press, of course, was controlled by Mubarak.

  • So Egypt’s jumping on the “I hate Israel” bandwagon, while this upsets me, it doesn’t surprize me. We have been taunted, hated, and ALMOST destroyed. Please take note of the ALMOST, is there any country on this planet that has not hated Israel and its people at some time in history? Yes we are still here. Is this not proof that we are indeed G-d’s chosen people? Egypt tried to destroy us before millenia ago and yet here we are. This is just tiresome BS. Countries need to start taking responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming Israel for everything from the state of their economy to pre-pubescent acne. Just freaking get over it already!

  • Middle’s right, Mubarak filled the press with Israel-baiting for years, to siphon off discontent. But more importantly, this just in: Israel lives in a tough neighborhood. Think things suddenly got tougher since last December? So the sudden Muburak-lovers in the punditocracy seem to think. ‘Our son of a bitch’ merely kept a convenient lid on things. Both the US and Israel benefited and invested in an illusory status quo. This is the sense in which the chickens have come home to roost.

    Israel’s international standing and power position worsens, seemingly inexorably. What’s Israel going to do about it? At some point, bashing the Arabs just won’t cut it any more.

    • Well Tom, I guess Israel can close up shop and the Jews could move back to Europe with some to North and South America.

      What the hell?

      Israel didn’t make Nasser or Sadat. Israel didn’t invent Egyptian political life or military rule. Israel did however give up a major strategic asset to make peace. Considering the implications of the ’79 revolution in Iran, Israel is right to be worried about the situation right now, but it is neither at fault nor very influential regarding the outcome. As for the US, in truth, they also didn’t create Egyptian political life. They just made the decision that it’s better to have Egypt in our pocket than in the Russians’ pocket.

  • Just came here to see what hip, open-minded, educated, American Jews were coming down on the Egypt dictatorsip/imperialism thingy.

    Nope, from what I read here, I can see the same shapes of the stupid among Jews in Germany–preparing the way to the death camps by acquiescing to brute thuggery.

    Sad little fuckers, so many of you are, save for a good, sane, humane many like Tom, as evident in his comments above.

    The rest of you are deluded, big time. Asslickers for your betters. Punk-asses. Look at the protesters deciding to stay and be shot to death in the square tonight–they will help you get some balls.

    You are the empire, Rome, you are Hitler, and Mubarak.

    Shame.

  • The sickest part is claiming and wallowing in victimhood while cheering outright theft, terror, and oppression.

    I gotta almost punch you in the face, and I am a peaceable type. You are squalid and reprobate.

    • Are you fucking insane? We have always been critical of non-representative government and lack of Democracy in the Arab world. My heart goes out to the people of Egypt. I’ve been there more times than I can count and was always touched by their kindness and hospitality even when they knew I was Israeli. Where in this post or in the comments do you even see support for Mubarak exactly? You’re a fucking tool and you should learn how to read. Please feel free to come over and punch me in the face any time you like you fucking imbecile. Just for your stupid hateful reference to Hitler I’ll make sure you eat your teeth.

  • Middle, my basic take on Israel’s situation has long been that it should take advantage of its great strength vis-a-vis the Arabs affirmatively to shape an outcome on its borders and a disposition for the millions of Palestinians no Israeli wants to rule. For the past several decades, thanks in part to the IDF and in part to tens of billions of US tax dollars, Israel has enjoyed the immense advantage of benign regimes in Cairo and Amman– not to mention inept, divided, and, now, similarly bought-off Palestinian leadership.

    Waiting for the Arabs to change their tune, seizing on every irresponsible public statement and, yes, Hamas rocket as an excuse to do nothing and risk nothing, and as an excuse not to come to terms internally with the nature and scope of the settlement project– we’ve seen where this has taken us, right? Increasing international isolation, the looming demise of US client states– not Israel’s fault, but a foreseeable event ending a hiatus highly favorable to Israel– Hezbollah’s comeback, the Fayyad-led drive to statehood– altogether, a broad deterioration in the balance of power. Wait til the IDF starts having to put troops on the Sinai border.

    So, we can wait another few decades for the individuals in ck’s video to undergo diversity training– maybe then negotiations will have a chance. Assuming Israel is still around to participate, that is.

    • But Tom, not only are we in agreement, but Israel’s leaders have been in agreement as well. Olmert and Barak both negotiated extensively with the Palestinians. They both extended offers. They didn’t come to terms, but you will note that the people with whom they’re negotiating won’t even admit that what was published about the negotiations is true when it comes to any significant compromises. This begs the question: is there anything Israel can do to come to an agreement?
      Can it offer more than it did in terms of land? Not much more. But even if it did, the Palestinians have not yet agreed to serious issues regarding refugees and security. This isn’t about finding excuses for Israel, this is about the very real question of whether peace is truly possible with the Palestinians.

    • Actually, now that I think about it some more, one of the other problems for Israel is precisely what we’re seeing in Egypt. It’s that Israel can cut a deal in good faith, keep every aspect of it in good faith and then worry desperately any time there’s a regime change as to whether the new government will maintain the deal. The US is playing a serious role in this, of course. On the one hand, it is a broker and therefore a keeper of the peace. On the other hand, in order to accomplish this, Egypt can now brandish a new Westernized military thanks to the US. By the way, please note that it’s not in Israel’s interest for Egypt to get aid or a new army. This is happening because it’s in the interest of American defense companies and an effective way for the administration to ensure fealty. As a consequence, they have American tanks and jets with which to fight Israel if they so choose. This is no different than the US arming the PA and training their men for the past few years. And while we are at it, by pushing for Mubarak’s ouster and elections, the US is making the same mistake it made with Gaza just a few years ago.

      In other words, there is no clear and easy way to play politics in this region. You’re in a win-win until one day it becomes a lose-lose.

  • It looks pretty awkward, to say the least, that the region’s only democracy is leading the effort to shore up Mubarak. From Israel’s perspective, democracy is a moral imperative for Iranians– but not Egyptians. Even Obama understands this is an unsustainable position.

    Mubarak of course is a former Air Force general and his regime essentially amounts to military rule– no more so than now, with the recent cabinet changes. Hence the importance, to Egypt, of the military relationship with the US.

    Middle’s concerns about the Egypt-Israel peace deal will turn out to be misplaced, with the ironic result that change in Egypt, which will likely produce a nationalist government a la Erdogan, may help revive the peace process. There is no way that the US or the international community will tolerate an effort to revist that set of borders.

    Actually, this is what Middle consistently misses in his analysis. Durable peace with the Palestinians doesn’t depend on the two parties’ good will but on the international community’s investment in finality and stability of borders. If Israel had acted more shrewdly, it would have made use of the US and its client regimes to impose a settlement on the Palestinians, but that’s become a much taller order, now that the Sunni Arab world is in ferment.

    • “Durable peace with the Palestinians doesn’t depend on the two parties’ good will but on the international community’s investment in finality and stability of borders.”

      You should read Ephraim Karsh’s Palestine Betrayed if you wish to be disabused of this, forgive me, naive premise.

      Better yet, consider recent history. Just look at the impact of UNSCR 1701 on Lebanon. It has no impact, even with UN peace-keeping troops there (unless, of course, you consider their turning a blind eye to Hizbullah activities as having an impact). Hizbullah has re-armed itself massively and openly, with Syrian and Iranian help, despite the prohibition by the international community. Hizbullah has also rejected the borders that were approved as recently as 2000 by the UN itself and considers their version of what is theirs to be the correct version and one which gives them the right to open fire on Israel. The Lebanese government has expressed support for this position.

      Since these are clear violations of the international community’s will, violations that remind one of, say, Iran’s flagrant pursuit of the Bomb, why do you believe that my analysis is flawed and future peace with the Palestinians depends on international players or supposed final borders?

      I believe the fault lies not with Israel for acting foolishly or misusing the influence of America’s allies. On the contrary. Abu Mazen and before him Arafat were regular visitors with Mubarak…a leader of a US client regime. The Saudis proposed the Arab Peace Initiative, which includes two key clauses that Israel cannot accept, but can’t find room for negotiations because the Arab nations which led this proposal refuse to have any official contact with Israel.

      It is easy to always lay the blame at Israel’s feet. However, one shouldn’t forget that there are 20+ Arab countries, 50+ Muslim countries, hundreds of millions of Arabs, 1.3 billion Muslims, the vast majority of the world’s oil supply under their feet and a UN that is virtually owned by the blocs these groups can put together. Against that you have Israel, a single country that isn’t even permitted to join its own region at the UN, with its 5.5 million Jews and a land mass the size of New Jersey, surrounded by countries that are either hostile or barely friendly. Yes, the US supports Israel, but as the Egyptian and Saudi armies’ technological capabilities reveal, the US is a mistress that has long been sleeping with both sides and cannot be counted on to be solely in Israel’s corner bed (I think this is how the US foreign policy should be managed, by the way, but the point is that Israel doesn’t have an exclusive relationship here). It’s tough to be Israel.

  • Al-Bayumi said he intends to cancel Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel. He also said the hostility toward the United States is based on U.S. support for Israel and Egypt does not need American financial aid.

    If the Muslim Brotherhood grabs the power in this huge Arab country, Israel’s going face an enemy with one of the largest and strongest militaries around, built on some of the most advanced American-made platforms. The impact on Israel will be immediate – the IDF will need to undergo major structural changes, new units will need to be created with the Southern forces being beefed up. Since the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the IDF has not had to worry about two fronts at once. Until now.

  • If Egypt should really get a government that seeks prosperity and democracy then there’ll be a general uproar in the Muslim world, denouncing it a ‘puppet of the jews’.

  • Middle, peace, if it comes, will not result from the bilateral effort of Israel and the Palestinians– any more than Milosevic and Izetbegovic made peace in Bosnia. Indeed, unless the international community provides reasonable guaranties, the two parties will never be able to trust each other enough to build a durable peace. Even if Jefferson were to emerge from Ramallah tomorrow, we both know that irrendentism and rejectionism will play a prominent part in Palestinian politics for many years.

    Think Russia is happy Estonia, Moldova and Kazakhstan exist? Russia could reoccupy Estonia tomorrow, if it wanted. Did Saddam Hussein get away with reuniting Iraq’s ‘thirteenth province’ to the motherland?

    No, Middle, there are no lead-pipe cinches in international law and politics. But what we can say for certain is that the Israelis and the Palestinians will never be able to achieve peace through their own efforts. One could argue, could one not, that the US posture as honest broker has given us a dysfunctional peace process with no prospect of a result– because it has failed forcefully to present its own solution and impose it on the recalcitrant parties. (This is not far from your own contentions elsewhere, that the US has to demonstrate red lines to the Palestinians to move the process toward agreement.)

    Switching the subject a bit: what do Israelis see when they look outward 20, 50, 100 years from now? What sort of region do they want to live in? One dominated by immiserated, resentful Arab populations brought barely to heel by Western-supported strongmen? Doesn’t Israel have a profound interest in the prosperity and friendship of the Egyptian people? The grudging, if not reactionary, response to the events in Cairo is very striking.

    • What do Israelis see? I think these days they see endless conflict. I think they wish it could end somehow but they don’t see how. They look at Iran’s successes: Hamas on one border, Hizbullah on another border (both with many missiles that can hit any part of Israel, Lebanon essentially a Hizbullah franchise, Turkey and Syria clearly in Iran’s corner, Jordan at its unfriendliest in a couple of decades, and now Egypt hovering between a new dictator who has to prove his credentials or another Islamic extremist republic. It’s depressing, and I don’t have to live with it the way the Israelis do.

      I think they are desperate for a solution, but know the best solution is not only problematic but isn’t a guaranteed solution. If they gamble wrong, the cost will be tremendous. Egypt is proving this today. Egypt is also showing Israel that even if you buy two-three decades of peace, it may not be enough.

      But I know what you are after. You want to know how a democracy that prides itself on its democracy can support the dictatorship that runs Egypt and seek to undermine a citizens movement to alter the regime which governs them. I think there are two answers. The first is that Mubarak has proven himself capable of keeping peace with Israel for a very long time. The second and no less important reason is that Israel is clear-sighted about what happened in Gaza after it permitted Hamas (daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood) to run in an election, as well as what happened in 1979 in Iran.

      The idea of promoting democracy is meaningless if the outcome is one person, one vote, one time. Both Iran and Gaza are theocracies whose religious leaderships manage their governments, with Israel perceived as a key enemy from a philosophical standpoint. The same is now taking place in Lebanon where Hizbullah has hijacked the government and has been threatening to blow up the country if they are held responsible for Hariri’s death. The Israelis have to live with the real consequences of these developments and no less with what happens in Egypt. These are extremely serious issues – Egypt is a leader in the Arab world and has a massive US-built army. If it is taken over by a dictator who wants to prove his credibility by finding the easy scapegoat, or worse, by Muslim fundamentalists who will turn the place into a theocracy in the style of Iran, then it’s not the US or you who will have to sacrifice its sons. It is families in Israel who will be sending their fathers, sons, brothers to war. Nobody in Israel is living in a Hollywood movie where the good guy always finds an escape. There will be real war.

  • Didn’t Mubarak himself declare the protesters agents of Zionist subterfuge? In that part of the world “I hate Israel” is just Arabic for “I’m a legitimate politician.” It’s like kissing a baby and attending state fairs.

  • I read a column online by Dore Gold last week in which he compares Obama’s call for Mubarak’s departure with Carter’s ostensible sellout of the Shah. Gold argues that the US should continue to support its despots in the region.

    No doubt the post-Mubarak period will be fraught. The chickens will come home to roost: there will be some damage to US and Israeli interests. From what I can glean from news reports, Egyptians are well aware that Mubarak’s support of the treaty with Israel, and general pliancy, insured his 30-year run as US client. Inevitably, there will be blowback, even under a moderate figure like Elbaradei– more outspoken support of the Palestinians, withdrawal of cooperation in Gaza, etc.

    However, what doesn’t make any sense is Gold’s view– and Netanyahu’s, judging by his round of calls last week to allies aiming to prop up Mubarak– is that the Mubarak regime can be saved. There will be elections and a very different kind of government. Mubarak always had a finite shelf life.

    Netanyahu expresses the anxiety of someone who embraces the status quo. For thirty years that’s meant a benign and predictable Egypt. When change comes, even foreseeable change like this, there is no plan B. We’re left with Dore Gold counseling the US to double down on its support of repression, as if Mubarak hadn’t helped engender Mohammed Atta and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    We’ve been through this in many places. Remember our stubborn support of bad actors in Central America, for fear of leftists like the Sandanistas? Maybe Mubarak, unlike Samoza the younger, will avoid taking a bullet in the head.

    Netanyahu’s ostentatious support of a dictator, as if seeking to cement the ill-will of the Egyptian people, suggests an abject lack of vision for the future.

  • No, I don’t take back the Hitler analogy, and you won’t shove your far right fist down my throat. I am not Abas, nor am I a weak-ass Euro-Liberal, capitalist ass-licker.

    The US and Israeli fanatics have been the major rejectionists of any peaceable solution. Now we have to lay down the law and make the teen-aged bullies threatening nuclear annihilation obey.

    When you tyrannical freaks commit war and terror, then the fires you ignite put my family and people in peril.

    The Israeli rightwing is leading their sheep to slaughter–and it is as if the sheep are so life-weary they want to die, and so cynical they want to take the rest of the world with them.

    I love the pop-cultural, McDonald-eating obese veneer of this website. Save for Tom, you have confirmed my loathing for so much of what passes for cosmopolitan Jewery. Almost as bad as their Christian masters, but not quite.

    The sooner Israel is weened off of the empire’s teet, the safer the entire world will be. (but, no!, the entire world are anti-Jew Nazis!–they want us all to die! No, we want you to behave and stop fucking over Palestinians. Go to the corner, sit down, shut up–and put your toy weapons away! Sheese!)
    If it weren’t for oil the goys wouldnt even trifle with your type.

  • Nice, attack and rebuke. I know I hit close to the bone.

    “Teet”–indeed, I might well have used the word “tweet”, and the resonance of the polysemous meanings would resonate according to the emotional impetus.

    Indeed, we should be celebrating a dictator’s fall–but when your identity is rooted in oppression and ecocide, then anything healthy is seen as a threat.

    The Arab uprising is akin to delivering an antibiotic to a virus that would kill humans as a whole.

    But according to the dominant narrative and trajectory, Isael has to be destroyed by mushroom clouds before the 500′ Jesus come back and takes the blond believers into his bosom. Never mind that Jesus looks like a young, handsome hippy Jew–at least he has blue-eyes!

    Will there be WalMart in heaven? McDonalds?

    If heaven aint a lot like Dixie, I don’t wanna go.

    If it ain’t gotta grand ole oprea, I’d just as soon stay home.

  • Slave revolt:

    You are so unclear it seems you must be a victim of substance abuse. Do you mean “antibiotic” for a bacterial infection or anti-viral serum to combat a viral infection or are you just confused and full of hate?
    If it were clear that the pro-democracy riots going on now would lead to a freer, non-military, democratic Egypt than it would be a non brainer. The worry is that the 90% of the Egyptians not present in those riots might just want an Islamic theocracy that would be a threat not only to Israel, but to the values of free speech, freedom and democracy is very real. Mubarak and his military regime have been poor partners to Israel, but the fact is they have been partners none the less. A Moslem Brotherhood controlled Egypt could be a clear non partner and a real threat. If you aren’t able to perceive the nuance of the argument, then at least be nice and control your language.

  • In the Middle East, doesn’t it compute that the majority of the people see the US and Israel as the tangible threat–or does their view not even matter.

    You really think that 90 percent of the Egyptian population want a theocratic dictatorship? Really?

    You kids should be a little bit more questioning of what your ruling elites and fearful, cynical elders promulgate in the way of conventional wisdom.

    Sorry, but the dictatorships supported by the empire and today’s Pharisee class (compradors) don’t make the populations of the world safer–on the contrary.

    One thing is for sure, the barbaric treatment of the Palestinians will change. The blaming the victim reflex that so many have internalized does you people more harm than good.

    You supporters of the status quo should be afraid of human liberation movements and growing democracy–because the walls you support are becoming weaker.

    Egyptian people. Tear down these walls!

    My Muslim Brotherhood amigos will have a say in how their nations are governed, just like the Settlers in Israel have a say. Many of you just don’t like it when the slave talk back.

    Democracy has been knee-capped with the lead-pipe of propaganda, neoliberal capitalism, and the puppet tyrannies that the putrid empire support to keep the people fearful and terrorized.

    Democracy is getting back up on our knees–we will not stay here. We rise to snatch the lead-pipe from the hands of of fat, stupid, consumerist abusers.

    Be fearful fatties.

  • Moron is cool–and when you call me ‘cockroach’ I will know that I have graduated, as have my Palestinian friends have for decades now.

    Hitler and the Nazis also hated and exterminated morons, queers, and commies, as well as the gypsies.

    All of these groups are targets of the hate-mongers in Israel and the US Republican Party, you will note.

    I bet you like watching videos of the IDF carpet bombing Gazan apartment buildings while you munch on popcorn.

    Look at that kid with no head! LOL

    Fatty, freak.

  • All that the Egyptians have achieved after overthrowing their leader Hosni Mubarak will be for nothing, if they carry on as they do and threaten Israel’s very existence with destruction then i have to say the first thing the IDF will do in retaliation is to bomb the aswam dam. let the Jew-hating scum suffer. Every single arab and possibly every muslim country including Iran, pakistan bangladesh will all be glassed over. and to hell with all those Muslim-Jew hating Hitler loving nazis.

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