‘Tomorrow we’ll trample you with our shoes! Leave with honor, you disgusting bunch!’

Israel/Palestine
on 128 Comments

I wish the American media were reflecting more of the pure democratic joy of the Egyptian revolution. And here is why we insist on calling it a revolution at this site: Because a year ago when my friends and I who were enraged by human rights violations in Gaza tried to take over Tahrir Square, or even demonstrate at its periphery, the thugs in the green uniforms laid into us and dragged us out of the roads in sight of the grand pink Egyptian museum, and passersby winked and silently encouraged us but walked by fearfully–and I walked away with orientalist theories about the pharaoh and the patriarch in Arab culture. But look what those brave people are doing for me and the rest of the world now. Egyptian political culture will never be the same; you will never crush this feeling; and we are all being liberated by the Egyptian imagination. Please watch this strong and poetic pink-clad woman lead a chant of human dignity. “Whoever imprisons his own people/is a traitor head to toe.” Also note the materialist theme in the chant– yes, people want to know where their money is! I’ll shut up now. Thanks to Saleema.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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128 Responses

  1. annie
    January 31, 2011, 9:41 am

    ;) code pink!

    • RoHa
      January 31, 2011, 9:51 pm

      Poor, oppressed, little Muslim girl!

      Fancy having to wear a hijab in that appalling colour while leading a bunch of men in a political chant.

      But it certainly adds impact to her caustic declamations. I’d love to see this on all the news programmes in the world.

  2. Avi
    January 31, 2011, 9:54 am

    I suspect that the rest of the people in the region are waiting anxiously to see what will transpire in Egypt. They are aware of the heavy hand of the US and Israel in backing Mubarak and know that if Mubarak is ousted by the people, then they too stand a chance of ousting their own tyrants, especially in Jordan and Yemen. And what was unprecedented about the demonstrations in Jordan this last week was the makeup of the crowds. Jordan’s population is 60% Palestinian, yet that didn’t stop Jordanians from uniting against the government, and protesting the miserable economic conditions.

    In addition, Jordan is an interesting case since the Palestinians were historically excluded from government posts. In turn, they focused on trade and commerce. So, when Jordan’s government — due to global economic downturn — found itself in dire straits and was letting thousands of government employees go, Palestinians in Jordan were the only demographic to weather the crisis. But, that didn’t last long as economic conditions worsened, resulting in last week’s protests.

  3. jawad
    January 31, 2011, 9:55 am

    I thought this was the most beautiful scene ever. And then I saw something even more beautiful.

    link to youtube.com

    If this woman had sung in Iran, she would have brought down the regime. The MSM would have played her 24/7. Lets make her go viral, and bring down more tyrants and stereotypes.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 31, 2011, 10:38 am

      gently gently respectfully, jawad — observe:
      1. did you see any American/English signs being waved around the Egyptian girl?
      2. Were there American/English signs, etc. in the Iran “Green” protest?
      3. Does the Egypt revolution have a name, a color code, a brand?

      Here’s what I’m getting at: The Iranians are amazingly lyrical people — at lunch breaks and after work, it is NATURAL for Iranians to recite poetry to each other. You didn’t see that in the GREEN protests because the Green movement was not a natural, grassroots Iranian protest, it was astroturf, constructed, made by the West for Western purposes.

      Iranians will reform their own government in their own time in their own way; US/Israeli interference is making it harder, not easier, for Iranians to reform their government.

      In addition, as numerous, high-quality studies have concluded, the Iranian people actually voted, in large numbers (greater percentages than vote in typical US election); the voting was not suspiciously lop-sided — Ahmadinejad got about 56%, Mousavi around 40% — unlike Egyptian elections where Dear Leader garners 90%+. Tentative conclusion: Iranians may not be that interested in “bringing down the regime” on a Western timetable or for Western purposes. They’re willing to work with their government as-is.

      The Egyptian revolution might just be a genuine revolution of the people.
      The same cannot be said of the Green movement with 100% surety. (there’s a better than even chance the death of Neda was staged: link to alef.ir )

      Sadly, the Tunisia protest might also be a US-staged event: Washington Facing the Ire of the Tunisian People

      • wondering jew
        January 31, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Here is a link to Juan Cole commenting at the time on the Iranian elections and the suspicious nature of the results. The primary evidence for the falsity of the results was 1. poor results for candidates in their home districts. 2. inflated results for a minor candidate 3. inflated results for Ahmadinejad in Tehran 4. premature announcement of the results instead of the usually mandatory 3 day waiting period for complaints and 5. standard results for Ahmadinejad throughout the country instead of the usual variations according to province and ethnicity. Juan Cole then proceeds to call the post election situation a crime scene.

        link to juancole.com

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 8:10 pm

          here’s a link for you Analysis of Mousavi Complaints

        • wondering jew
          January 31, 2011, 9:33 pm

          annie- The analysis by Eric Brill seems pretty shabby to me and whereas Juan Cole’s Informed Consent is listed as one of the websites that Phil Weiss refers to, and he is considered an expert, who the hell is Eric Brill?

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 10:06 pm

          The analysis by Eric Brill seems pretty shabby

          be specific

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 10:16 pm

          wj, cole wrote that on june 13th. the election was held on june 12th. the protests began on the 13th before the votes were even tallied. brill’s article was written in october. here’s brills conclusion

          No credible evidence published so far indicates that Ahmadinejad stole Iran’s 2009 presidential election – or, for that matter, that any fraud at all occurred. The second point is important because many commentators have grudgingly accepted Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy only because his margin was large enough that they believe he would have won even without cheating. Nearly as telling, there appears to have been no serious effort by Mousavi or his supporters to find such evidence. Shortly after the election, Mousavi claimed in his newspaper (Kaleme) that 10 million people had voted without showing proper identification, but his complaint to the Guardian Council mentioned only 31 such voters. Widespread ballot-box stuffing was alleged, but not a single stuffed ballot box has been identified. Wholesale buying and selling of votes was alleged, but Mousavi has identified only four instances, in each case without any evidence. Thousands or millions of Mousavi votes were said to have been thrown away, replaced by thousands or millions of Ahmadinejad votes, but no one has identified any of the perpetrators, nor mentioned exactly where or how this was accomplished. Vote counts from the field, approved in writing by tens of thousands of Mousavi’s observers, were said to have been altered by the Interior Ministry in Tehran, but no one has identified a single ballot box where this occurred – even though the data have long been available to compare the counts for all 45,692 ballot boxes. The silence of Mousavi’s polling station observers is especially deafening. Most or all of them may believe that electoral fraud occurred all over Iran, but apparently each is equally adamant that it did not occur where he spent election day.

          cole repeating questions that were thrown out there the day after the election are not really an argument anymore. why don’t you try linking to something that actually refutes brill’s conclusion. otherwise cole’s concerns on june 13th are rather a moot point.

        • wondering jew
          January 31, 2011, 11:26 pm

          Who is Eric Brill? That’s the first question. Has he ever commented before or since on this topic or any other topic?

          Now to the argument. The best proofs that I saw were two: why did they announce the victor so quickly? and why were there no normal variations between provinces? I have followed American presidential elections closely since 1968, but I have never followed Iranian elections, have you? I am not going to spend hours trying to train myself in the nuances of normal variations in an Iranian election and normal reporting times for announcing victory. I don’t consider the case closed, because I know very little about the topic. But you have decided that Eric Brill’s remarks are substantial and Cole’s are premature. If you are an expert on Iranian elections I will defer to you. If you are not, you should at least not act like one.

        • Frances
          February 1, 2011, 9:16 am

          Nima Shirazi’s written lots of good articles about the Iranian elections. I am so sick and tired of hearing about how the elections were stolen. No one outside of America, and probably Europe believes it. Neocons and neolibs are just butt-hurt that they spent all that money staging a fake revolution and it didn’t work. Ack, spare me.

  4. Taxi
    January 31, 2011, 9:56 am

    “You act so tough in front of us
    But you crawl away at our borders!”

    Well… say no more eh.

    But my fave’s gotta be the bureaucratically succinct chant of:
    “Null & Void”.

    :-)

  5. seafoid
    January 31, 2011, 9:56 am

    I think the thing in Egypt is an Intifada which implies a casting off rather than a revolution which implies turning. Egypt has been under a blanket of US sponsored repression for far too long.

    • Potsherd2
      January 31, 2011, 10:04 am

      They’ve been callling the Tunisian action an intifada, which makes me surprised t hat the US establishment backed it.

      • Psychopathic god
        January 31, 2011, 10:47 am

        as I commented above, Potsherd2, there’s a good chance the US establishment is not so much “backing” the Tunisia ‘intifada’ as managing it — that is, if there WAS anything genuine about the Tunisia protest, the US has co-opted it: way too much at stake for US to allow durned Tunisians to interfere with US designs on Tunisia:

        General William Ward – formerly in charge of keeping the Palestinian territories in line and current Africom commander – during a ceremony in May 2010. The Tunisian army has been reduced to a skeleton, but the country serves as rear base for regional “anti-terrorist” operations and offers ports which are indispensable for NATO’s control of the Mediterranean. The big powers abhor political upheavals that escape their control and thrwart their plans. The events that have electrified Tunisia for the past month are no exception, quite the contrary.

        It is therefore rather surprising that the international mainstream media, staunch cohorts of the world domination system, should suddenly acclaim the “Jasmine Revolution”, churning out reports on the Ben Ali family fortune which they had up until now turned a blind eye to, despite their ostentatious luxury. Western countries are chasing after a situation that has slipped from their hands and which they are trying to rein in by painting it as it suits them.

        First and foremost, what must be borne in mind is that the Ben Ali regime was supported by the United States, Israel, France and Italy.

        Regarded by Washington as a country of minor importance, Tunisia fulfilled a security role more than an economic one. In 1987, a soft coup d’état deposed President Habab Bourguiba in favour of his Interior Minister Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, a CIA agent trained at the U.S. Army Intelligence School, Fort Holabird, Maryland. According to revelations that have recently come to light, it would seem that Italy and Algeria were akin to that power takeover.

        The minute he settled into the Republican Palace, Ben Ali set up a military commission in conjunction with the Pentagon, which has met in May of each year. . . .

        • Potsherd2
          January 31, 2011, 11:04 am

          And they’re certainly trying to “manage” the Egyptian one while Obama stands upfront blathering his usual meaningless platitudes.

        • MHughes976
          January 31, 2011, 1:02 pm

          And the management is going quite well for a quickly improvised response to something not predicted. I’ve mentioned before that there was a letter in the Financial Times about 10 days ago from a former UK Ambassador in Tunisia which began by denouncing Ben Ali’s ‘gang’ and went on to welcome Ghanoussi, the new President, whom the writer had known well. How could he have known him if he had not himself been part of the ruling circle in Tunisia, the sort that gets to know ambassadors, ie a member of the gang?
          Well, we’ll see what happens when there’s an election. But I suspect that real opposition will find it difficult to organise.
          Tunisia lives on tourism and it must be very difficult to create a situation where your basic livelihood, which utterly depends on giving foreigners who only want sun, sand and a quiet life, is threatened. We might in time find that the same applies to Egypt as well.
          Mind you, I think that this can only be hasty crisis management with an unpredictable outcome. I can’t believe that we’re pulling the strings of the whole enterprise. Far, far too much could go far, far too wrong.

  6. Jim Haygood
    January 31, 2011, 10:01 am

    About the ‘materialist theme’ … kleptocracy is the high-level complaint, but at the granular level of daily life, Mubarak’s shutdown of banking is starving the economy of cash and driving up food prices. It would take only a few days for this to become a dire problem. From Al Jazeera’s live blog:

    ————

    12:18pm: One of our correspondents in Cairo tweets about the hardships of being in a city “under seige”:

    Food prices rising v quickly now. So too petrol & phone cards. But yet to find an ATM in Cairo that has any money left #Egypt

    and later:

    No ATM’s making life hard for all but at least we have credit cards. Most Egyptians use cash. Many feeling v much under siege #Egypt

    link to blogs.aljazeera.net

  7. bijou
    January 31, 2011, 10:11 am

    If this video doesn’t shatter all myths about the “oppressed Arab female,” I don’t know what would…

  8. Scott
    January 31, 2011, 10:12 am

    My favorite video of the revolution. Don’t they know that Islam is supposed to make women subservient and passive? (sarcasm).

  9. Taxi
    January 31, 2011, 10:24 am

    Will willy-nilly Rachael Maddow play it on her show today?

    We wait with baited breath (not).

  10. hophmi
    January 31, 2011, 10:31 am

    I believe there is a correlation between the strength of Egyptian democracy and the amount of energy a democractic Egypt will spend on Israel. The less democracy, the more time spent on externalities like Israel. The more democratic Egypt is, the less time they will spend on externalities like Israel.

    A responsible democratic government will realize that Egypt has a lot to lose by focusing on Israel, and will maintain decent relations with a country with which it has had peace for three decades, does a lot of business, and cannot defeat militarily. Because no matter how much the people of Egypt hate Israel, they will hate the Egyptian government more if it decides to start a war, and lots of Egyptians get killed. The same will be true if the government drives out foreign investors by stoking the class divisions that are already appearing or by nationalizing industry.

    As we have all learned in recent years, it is crucial that a democracy be based on more than simply free elections. There must be rule of law and basic stability and security. It does not matter much to me who takes over Egypt or how they feel about Israel. How they govern is much more important than any of these things.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 31, 2011, 10:53 am

      yawn

      israel has a lot more to lose than Egypt, hophmi. The lesson of ‘democracy’ — or, rather, of civil society — that Israel has not learned is that behaving civilly gets you friends; buying and bullying people gets you seething mad, resentful ‘allies’ only for so long as they are bullied and bought. And eventually, those bullied and bought people will throw your money back inyour face, and will stare down your tanks and bullets, in preference for their dignity and autonomy.

      Earth to Israel: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

      • Avi
        January 31, 2011, 11:11 am

        Israel gets subsidized natural gas from Egypt. Instead of paying the full market price for natural gas, Israel is getting it at a much lower price, thanks to the ‘special relationship’ it has with Mubarak the tyrant.

        In the end, the Egyptian people have been the sole victims of the peace treaty with Israel, for both Israel and the Egyptian puppet have received cash injections from the U.S. for their cooperation.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 4:33 pm

          In the end, the Egyptian people have been the sole victims of the peace treaty with Israel, for both Israel and the Egyptian puppet have received cash injections from the U.S. for their cooperation.

          I am sure they were praying everyday that the peace treaty would be annulled so again they could be at a constant state of war with a militarily superior enemy.

    • Scott
      January 31, 2011, 10:56 am

      Hophmi,
      Well, where does helping Israel blockade Gaza, and helping to suppress Hamas fall in the continuum of spending time on “externalities” like Israel? I would expect a moderately democratic government to have a policy resembling Turkey’s–diplomatic and rhetorical support for Palestinian self-determination. That would be a big change, and a good thing.

    • Potsherd2
      January 31, 2011, 11:03 am

      “Peace with Israel” has to be distinguished from collaborating in the occupation.

      I think the Egyptian people have come to realize that the peace treaty itself was ultimately to their advantage.

      • hophmi
        January 31, 2011, 11:27 am

        “israel has a lot more to lose than Egypt, hophmi.”

        Still focusing everywhere but on the actual protesters. I think the Egyptians have a lot to lose if they let another strongman exploit the chaos to take power. I love democracy. But there’s no reason to be hopelessly naive.

        “Earth to Israel: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

        Earth to PG: The same is true for the Egyptians, who will not do themselves or their people any favors if they decide to go back to using their army to try to throw the Jews into the sea.

        “Well, where does helping Israel blockade Gaza, and helping to suppress Hamas fall in the continuum of spending time on “externalities” like Israel?”

        What does this have to do with Egypt? If Egypt wants Gaza back, I’m sure the Israelis will be happy to give it to them. Gazans are not Egyptians. What happens in Gaza is not going to affect what happens to the common guy on the street in Cairo. The more the Egyptian leadership, whomever they are, understand that, the better off Egypt will be.

        Again, you can assess for yourself whether 30 years of trying to wipe Israel off the map was good for Egypt.

        “I would expect a moderately democratic government to have a policy resembling Turkey’s–diplomatic and rhetorical support for Palestinian self-determination. ”

        Egypt already supports Palestinian self-determination. I’m not sure what makes you think otherwise. The question is whether the new regime will openly support terrorism or use Hamas in Gaza to conduct a proxy war with the Israel. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes power, that could happen. Again, it is hard for me to see how provoking Israel benefits the people of Egypt.

        “I think the Egyptian people have come to realize that the peace treaty itself was ultimately to their advantage.”

        We shall see. Certainly the business community thinks so.

        • Potsherd2
          January 31, 2011, 1:30 pm

          if they decide to go back to using their army to try to throw the Jews into the sea.

          Don’t be ridiculous, hophmi. There’s a big difference between extending peace to Gaza and “throwing the Jews into the sea.”

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 1:44 pm

          “Don’t be ridiculous, hophmi. There’s a big difference between extending peace to Gaza and “throwing the Jews into the sea.””

          Because the Egyptians were every only focused on one thing – capturing Gaza. C’mon.

        • Chaos4700
          January 31, 2011, 1:45 pm

          We shall see. Certainly the business community thinks so.

          I’m just going to highlight that line. If I make any more commentary about it, my comment will be banned outright.

        • Psychopathic god
          January 31, 2011, 1:54 pm

          I think we should be affirming hophmi’s progress:

          Again, you can assess for yourself whether 30 years of trying to wipe Israel off the map was good for Egypt.

          That’s quite a discount from “2000 years of persecution we poor victims cry sigh.”

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 1:57 pm

          lol, it’s back to the ‘throwing jews into the sea’ lingo is it.

          i think we’re gonna need to stock up on some hankies and smelling salts over the next couple weeks. the z boys are going off their rockers.

        • Avi
          January 31, 2011, 2:13 pm

          hophmi January 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

          Again, you can assess for yourself whether 30 years of trying to wipe Israel off the map was good for Egypt.

          Since we’re in this bizarro world of Zionist bullcrap, spin and rhetoric, everyone certainly knows that 63 years of trying to wipe the Palestinians off the map while making significant inroads toward that goal has been, and should continue to be, good for Israel. Yup.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 2:35 pm

          Still focusing everywhere but on the actual protesters.

          You’re the one obsessing about Israel Hophmi. In any case, there’s no point complaining about us. Everyone from
          The stare department and every talking head on cable news is obsessing about Israel.

          It’s just fun watching apologists for Israel panicking over the possibility of Israel having to play without a stacked deck. 

        • andrew r
          January 31, 2011, 9:18 pm

          Earth to PG: The same is true for the Egyptians, who will not do themselves or their people any favors if they decide to go back to using their army to try to throw the Jews into the sea.

          I’m more worried Israel will blitz the Sinai and deport the Gazans there at gunpoint. That may not happen but there’s a historical precedent for that (Sharon deported 12,000 Gazans to Sinai in 1971) as opposed to any Egyptian regime at any point trying to throw any Jew into any sea.

      • seafoid
        January 31, 2011, 12:01 pm

        How was it to their advantage, Potsherd? They haven’t been allowed into Jerusalem since 1967. The people of Egypt have always been shafted. Do you think peace with Israel changed that ?

        • Potsherd2
          January 31, 2011, 1:27 pm

          seafoid – I think it’s to their advantage that their people haven’t been killed in continual wars with Israel. Look at Lebanon to see what it could have been like.

        • seafoid
          January 31, 2011, 3:32 pm

          Potsherd

          Lebanon developed fighters capable of whipping Israel’s ass. The Egyptians have spent the last 32 years living in a dictatorship that destroyed the hopes and dreams of millions of the people. And for what? So that 5.5 million Jews can buy enough peace to pretend they have a normal country. And build YESHA. The Egyptian people got nothing.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 3:42 pm

          Does anything happen globally that you can’t blame on Israel? Are you really blaming a 30+ year dictatorship in Egypt, on Israel? Do you know how ridiculous that is?

          This they haven’t been allowed in Israel since ’67 is BS also. the comment section on here is like one giant act of disinformation.

        • Taxi
          January 31, 2011, 3:50 pm

          Wake up and smell the revolting coffee yonira:

          Mubarak was installed to maintain a fake peace with israel that his own people were utterly against – and remain largely so.

          Born yesterday were you?

        • Potsherd2
          January 31, 2011, 3:57 pm

          seafoid – Egypt had a dictatorship before 1979, even if Nasser was a more agreeable dictator than Mubarak has proved to be.

          Lebanon has spent years under Israeli attack, under Israeli occupation, bombed into flaming rubble time and again. Lebanon got less than nothing.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 4:44 pm

          Taxi,

          Mubarak was Sadat’s VP until he was killed.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 5:20 pm

          Are you really blaming a 30+ year dictatorship in Egypt, on Israel? Do you know how ridiculous that is?

          It’s actually self evident. Dictators require foreign assistance to remain in power, especially hated ones like Mubarak. Without the massive aid from the US, he would not have held onto power for so long. Without bowing to Israel, there would have been no aid.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 5:37 pm

          “Lebanon developed fighters capable of whipping Israel’s ass. The Egyptians have spent the last 32 years living in a dictatorship that destroyed the hopes and dreams of millions of the people. And for what? So that 5.5 million Jews can buy enough peace to pretend they have a normal country. And build YESHA. The Egyptian people got nothing.”

          Seafoid’s willing to fight to the last Egyptian.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 5:46 pm

          “Dictators require foreign assistance to remain in power”

          Fidel since the fall of the Soviet Union? How about him? Virtually no foreign assistance, and he’s still around.

          “Without the massive aid from the US, he would not have held onto power for so long. Without bowing to Israel, there would have been no aid.”

          That’s conjecture. There was no aid to Egypt before Camp David. Egypt was a dictatorship for many years before that. There are plenty of dictatorships in this world that do not get $2 billion a year from the US.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 8:25 pm

          Dictators require foreign assistance to remain in power

          That is an asinine statement, most dictators don’t get foreign assistance because of the fact they ARE DICTATORS.

          Who funds the Ayatollahs, Assad, North Korea, etc. etc.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 8:33 pm

          That is an asinine statement, most dictators don’t get foreign assistance because of the fact they ARE DICTATORS.

          Those are the dictators that don’t remain in power for 30 years.

          Who funds the Ayatollahs, Assad, North Korea, etc. etc.

          All of them are popular with the public.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 8:47 pm

          Those are the dictators that don’t remain in power for 30 years.

          Like Castro, Kim Jung Il, Assad and Qadaffi? Your argument is bogus Shingo.

          All of them are popular with the public.

          All of them are popular with the progressive Israel/US haters, being popular with their public is a different story.

    • sherbrsi
      January 31, 2011, 11:24 am

      The less democracy, the more time spent on externalities like Israel. The more democratic Egypt is, the less time they will spend on externalities like Israel.

      Israel was never an “exernality” in Egypt; why else are the Israelis still holding onto hopes of Mubarak quashing the revolts and Netanyahu lobbying world government’s to curb criticism of Mubarak?

      A democratic Egypt would never be complicit in Israel’s medieval siege of Gaza. The Israelis are well-aware of this, but aren’t deluded by any notions of welfare or democracy for their surrounding Arab states like you presume – they are only interesting in a government where their writ is obeyed and in a “stable” manner (keeping the Arab street suppressed).

      • hophmi
        January 31, 2011, 11:50 am

        “Israel was never an “exernality” in Egypt; why else are the Israelis still holding onto hopes of Mubarak quashing the revolts and Netanyahu lobbying world government’s to curb criticism of Mubarak?”

        Well, obviously Israel prefers a stable Egypt who honors its signed agreements. Countries tend to worry about stuff like that before they worry about the form of government. Israel does not want Egypt to be run by fundamentalists, no matter how benign they claim to be.

        “A democratic Egypt would never be complicit in Israel’s medieval siege of Gaza.”

        Maybe not. Mubarak’s interest in maintaining the status quo in Gaza was to avoid benefitting the Muslim Brotherhood and dealing with a massive influx of refugees.

        So, let’s say they open the border, and lots of refugees come into Egypt. Great. Now let’s say that MB decides to ferry lots of weapons to Hamas and Hamas uses them to pick a fight with the Israelis. Who benefits from this? Not the Egyptian people, and not the Gazans, who will doubtless eventually face another war.

        You tell me how the Egyptians benefit from a change in Egyptian Gaza policy.

        “The Israelis are well-aware of this, but aren’t deluded by any notions of welfare or democracy for their surrounding Arab states like you presume – they are only interesting in a government where their writ is obeyed and in a “stable” manner (keeping the Arab street suppressed).”

        This I don’t doubt. I certainly do not presume that the Israelis care about Arab democracy. They don’t care about Palestinian democracy either; the entire Oslo process was predicated on the idea that Palestine would be run by Arafat, who was no democrat. But in preferring a stable dictatorship to an unstable democracy, they are no different from anybody else, including the US, the EU, the Arab League, and, might I add, many Egyptians. Much as I sympathize with the belief that a person who trades stability for freedom deserves neither, history suggests that this is exactly what most people do.

        • Chaos4700
          January 31, 2011, 12:01 pm

          Well, this is full of useless truism. Everybody prefers states that honor their treaties and agreements. That’s why Israel is so very unpopular and has attained its pariah status.

        • seafoid
          January 31, 2011, 12:06 pm

          If the siege is lifted Israel will have suffered another blow to its image in the region. And why shouldn’t the people of Gaza be allowed to defend themselves? Imagine if they got their hands on some white phosphorous and bombed the shit out of Tel Aviv with it. Israelis need to understand that sort of problem solving.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 12:13 pm

          “Well, this is full of useless truism. Everybody prefers states that honor their treaties and agreements. That’s why Israel is so very unpopular and has attained its pariah status.”

          Far from it. You have people here who think that the form of government matters more than the ability of a government to maintain basic security and stability. I think that’s wrong-headed.

          People do yearn for freedom, but they yearn for consistency and stability much more, and that’s even more true in places without democratic traditions. Look at Russia.

          That is why strongmen are so often able to exploit chaos; they convince beleaguered people that their choice is anarchy or stability. And my friends, it will be no different in Egypt if things get too violent.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 12:16 pm

          “If the siege is lifted Israel will have suffered another blow to its image in the region. ”

          Didn’t someone just say you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Guess there’s some disagreement in the politburo on that one.

          “And why shouldn’t the people of Gaza be allowed to defend themselves?”

          Oh, no doubt, no doubt. It’s just that Israelis have the same right of self-defense. What do you think would happen to Gazans if they perpetrated a mega-terror attack on Tev Aviv? Or maybe you’re of the opinion that violence has gotten the Palestinians so much already.

        • sherbrsi
          January 31, 2011, 12:51 pm

          Maybe not. Mubarak’s interest in maintaining the status quo in Gaza was to avoid benefitting the Muslim Brotherhood and dealing with a massive influx of refugees.

          Yeah, it would have nothing to do with Mubarak receiving billions from the US, or his opposition to the MB to repress challenging his 30-year rule on Egypt.

          Like a good dictator, Mubarak was motivated only his desire to keep himself (and his family) in power, a key component exploited by the imperialist powers in the region.

          Who benefits from this?

          Obviously the Israelis, who have been quite content in starting wars and making land grabs. Perhaps you read posts of eee here, who already has his eyes set on the Sinai?

          Well, obviously Israel prefers a stable Egypt who honors its signed agreements.

          Yes, and Israel also “prefers” that it have a complicit partner in sealing Gaza. And we all know what “stability” entails: extending the rule of a brutal and repressive regime to further Israeli interests. It isn’t about Israel not “preferring” Arab democracy, it is about Israel having a heavy hand in subjugating Arab democracy. This is why Israel is not some “externality” as you like to make believe, or some object of irrational hatred.

          This is why your talk of the Israelis preferring one thing or the other are nonsense. We aren’t talking about the Israeli viewpoint here, they actively impose their writ in the region. We are talking about a state here that has collectively imprisoned 1.5 million people in Gaza and is quite happy in torturing them.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 1:18 pm

          “Yeah, it would have nothing to do with Mubarak receiving billions from the US, or his opposition to the MB to repress challenging his 30-year rule on Egypt.”

          I think I said above it has to do with quelling the MB opposition.

          “Who benefits from this?”

          My question was how the EGYPTIANS benefit. How the EGYPTIANS benefit.

          “And we all know what “stability” entails: extending the rule of a brutal and repressive regime to further Israeli interests. ”

          Can you please read what I write before you respond with talking points? My point is the Israelis, and the entire West, and countries in general, prefer stable neighbors to unstable ones. Predictability. So they can actually have a policy. It’s hard to have a policy toward an anarchic state. No one opposes a democracy that can actually govern the country. But an anarchy with free elections is not going to be good for anyone, first and forement the EGYPTIANS.

          “This is why your talk of the Israelis preferring one thing or the other are nonsense. We aren’t talking about the Israeli viewpoint here, they actively impose their writ in the region.”

          Seems a number of people are analyzing this from the Israeli viewpoint. And all I am stating is a general point about what the rest of the world prefers in response to someone who said that Israelis prefer a stable dictatorship to an unstable democracy as if this made the Israelis different.

          “We are talking about a state here that has collectively imprisoned 1.5 million people in Gaza and is quite happy in torturing them.”

          I thought we were talking about the EGYPTIANS.

        • Potsherd2
          January 31, 2011, 1:32 pm

          Israel does not want Egypt to be run by fundamentalists, no matter how benign they claim to be.

          And does Egypt have a say in Israel’s fundamentalists running the place, as they increasingly do?

          Your exceptionalism is having a bad flare-up today, hophmi. Maybe you need calamine lotion.

        • Chaos4700
          January 31, 2011, 1:40 pm

          Just how many Palestinian babies need to burn to death to satisfy Israeli self defense, hophmi? Can you put a concrete number on that, please?

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 1:43 pm

          “And does Egypt have a say in Israel’s fundamentalists running the place, as they increasingly do?”

          No, because no one is afraid of Israel invading Egypt.

          “Your exceptionalism is having a bad flare-up today, hophmi. Maybe you need calamine lotion.”

          Maybe you need to start using your head instead of making dumb reactive statements.

        • sherbrsi
          January 31, 2011, 1:48 pm

          I think I said above it has to do with quelling the MB opposition.

          It’s pretty obvious that Mubarak is implementing what he is paid to do.

          My question was how the EGYPTIANS benefit. How the EGYPTIANS benefit.

          Time will tell how the Egyptians will exactly benefit, but as I stated, the Israeli designs on exploiting and gaining from war cannot be easily dismissed.

          My point is the Israelis, and the entire West, and countries in general, prefer stable neighbors to unstable ones. Predictability.

          That’s a load of nonsense. Israel and the US want compliant governments that follow their commandments. The election was Hamas was stable and the most free in the Arab world; why did Israel and the US nullify them? Were the results of that government too “predictable?”

          But an anarchy with free elections is not going to be good for anyone, first and forement the EGYPTIANS.

          More imperialist talkdown. Now a Zionist knows what is best for the Egyptians. Please tell the Egyptians what is best for them, they are all ears I am sure.

          And all I am stating is a general point about what the rest of the world prefers in response to someone who said that Israelis prefer a stable dictatorship to an unstable democracy as if this made the Israelis different.

          The rest of the world is pretty supportive of the protesters. You sound like one of those nuts who says that the supposed Iranian nukes are not only a “threat” to Israel, but the whole world. Then the only states who create a furor over them are the Israel and US. You are presenting a very limited, Zionist imperialist viewpoint and then assuming them as a reasonable stand. This will be opposed.

          I thought we were talking about the EGYPTIANS.

          I took issue very clearly to your efforts to exonerate Israel out of this issue. Like I said, Israel is NOT irrelevant to what is happening right now in Egypt, no matter how much you protest, in fact it is critical to what is happening in the Egypt and American stance towards it, if not only as directors of said policy then as chief collaborators in extending the Mubarak regime.

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 1:49 pm

          My question was how the EGYPTIANS benefit. How the EGYPTIANS benefit.

          yeah, we heard you here:

          You have people here who think that the form of government matters more than the ability of a government to maintain basic security and stability. I think that’s wrong-headed.

          People do yearn for freedom, but they yearn for consistency and stability much more

          this sounds like if torture leads to stability and is preferable than letting people choose their own government.

          it’s abundantly clear your lens is filtered by ‘what is good for israel’ and damned if the egyptians live under a brutal regime who jails their candidates and tortures the opposition.

          bottom line it’s the egyptians who have to live w/the result so if you want to know ‘ how the EGYPTIANS benefit’ ask them. they’re speaking right now, you just don’t want to listen.

          My point is the Israelis, and the entire West, and countries in general, prefer stable neighbors to unstable ones.

          yeah, we get it. and damned what the population has to go thru so israel and the entire west can be ‘stable’. tell you what, many think palestine would be more stable w/out israel in it. so how bout we impose a government on israel we like? doesn’t that seem reasonable?

          i wish you could hear yourself.

          It’s hard to have a policy toward an anarchic state. No one opposes a democracy that can actually govern the country.

          how bout you give them an opportunity and quit jumping to this conclusion there’s nobody there capable w/the exception of our puppet. you do not know it will be an anarchic state. who are you to determine no one will be able to actually govern the country

          you sound completely pompous.

          the power of nightmares

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 1:51 pm

          No, because no one is afraid of Israel invading Egypt.

          you should take that up w/eee. he was just claiming the other day israel would retake the sinai. or was that yonira. you can’t speak for everyone. israel is a militaristic loose cannon, a rogue state, it invades at the drop of a hat.

        • eljay
          January 31, 2011, 1:52 pm

          >> My point is the Israelis, and the entire West, and countries in general, prefer stable neighbors to unstable ones.

          Then let Israelis and the entire West – who, from what I keep reading, believe in freedom, democracy and justice – work toward supporting and stabilizing the new democracies, rather than hypocritically propping up stable, oppressive dictatorships so that they can continue with the dirty business as usual.

        • sherbrsi
          January 31, 2011, 1:57 pm

          And does Egypt have a say in Israel’s fundamentalists running the place, as they increasingly do?

          Why beat around the bush?

          Israel is very firmly in the grip of racist Jewish fundamentalists. Are we forgetting that Lieberman himself, along with 10 other members of Knesset, lives in illegal West Bank settlements?

          But obviously the rest of the world citizenry isn’t allowed to divest, boycott or sanction personally or their government’s involvement with the Israeli apartheid state, because that constitutes “delegitimization” and “demonization.”

          The Israeli policy of propping up and supporting brutal torturing dictators like Mubarak, however, is just an innocent matter of the Israeli “preference” for “stability,” if you would believe what hophmi writes.

        • tree
          January 31, 2011, 2:04 pm

          “And does Egypt have a say in Israel’s fundamentalists running the place, as they increasingly do?”

          No, because no one is afraid of Israel invading Egypt.

          Maybe you aren’t afraid of it, but Israel has invaded Egypt several times before and Egypt has never invaded Israel. Certainly if a fear of invasion is sufficient cause for a foreign country having a say in who rules another country, then Lebanon (and Iran, and even Egypt for that matter) have a much much stronger case for interfering in Israel’s politics than Israel has for interfering in Egypt’s.

          Quoting you back at ya: Maybe you need to start using your head instead of making dumb reactive statements.

        • MRW
          January 31, 2011, 2:04 pm

          Hophmi,

          My point is the Israelis, and the entire West, and countries in general, prefer stable neighbors to unstable ones.

          (1) You anoint personhood to Israelis, then place them on the same same as the entire West, and countries. How about using the correct logic, and saying Israelis, Egyptians, Americans, etc, so that your point can be assessed accurately.

          (2) Justice, individual freedom, and equal rights for all citizens in a country trump stability. So does economic opportunity, which this Egyptian uprising is largely about, among other things. (Cuba and Saudi Arabia are ‘stable’ countries.)

          (3) What the neighbors think don’t matter when someone in your house is mistreating you.

          I agree with annie: you sound completely pompous

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 2:14 pm

          “this sounds like if torture leads to stability and is preferable than letting people choose their own government.”

          G-ddamn it, did I say that? Can you TRY to stop reading stuff that it not there? Honestly, you do this all the freaking time.

          What I said was that people generally prefer dictatorial stability to democratic chaos. That is true everywhere in the world. That is how strongmen take power – by exploiting chaotic situations. If the people preferred the chaos, they’d reject the strongman.

          You fail to realize that people choosing their own government means little when that government cannot govern.

          “it’;s abundantly clear your lense is filtered by ‘what is good for israel’ and damned if the egyptians live under a brutal regime who jails their candidates and tortures the opposition.”

          Again, this is not what I said at all. I want Egyptian democracy. I’m happy about the revolution. I spent several posts explaining to you that that democratic leaders need to be able to actually govern. Otherwise the democracy will fail.

          “yeah, we get it. and damned what the population has to go thru so israel and the entire west can be ‘stable’.”

          No, you really don’t get it, because you refract everything through an anti-US anti-Israel analysis, you don’t understand what needs to happen for this revolution, which we both support, to be successful, and you act like a naive 1960s radical who has learned zero from the past and thinks every revolution is an end in itself.

          “how bout you give them an opportunity and quit jumping to this conclusion there’s nobody there capable w/the exception of out puppet. ”

          Again, nowhere did I jump to any conclusion. I’m making a GENERAL POINT. A GENERAL POINT. And the GENERAL POINT is that people generally prefer a stability to freedom, and the international community generally does as well.

          “you sound completely pompous. ”

          Actually, it’s the people who wish to define this revolution in every way but in the way the actual people on the ground do who are the pompous ones. And the people here, who wish to focus the discussion on the US and Israel, are no exception.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 2:36 pm

          “(1) You anoint personhood to Israelis, then place them on the same same as the entire West, and countries. How about using the correct logic, and saying Israelis, Egyptians, Americans, etc, so that your point can be assessed accurately.”

          Because it would be inaccurate. The EU feels exactly the same way – they do not want chaos in Egypt. If you believe otherwise, perhaps you can point us to the rash of pro-democracy statements from European leaders. Here’s the joint statement from David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Angela Merkel (scroll down)

          link to digitaljournal.com

          Perhaps you can show me where they call for Mubarak to be ousted. It is really amazingly identical to President Obama’s statements.

          “(2) Justice, individual freedom, and equal rights for all citizens in a country trump stability. So does economic opportunity, which this Egyptian uprising is largely about, among other things. (Cuba and Saudi Arabia are ‘stable’ countries.)”

          A nice statement. It is an ideal in which we all believe. But on the ground, it simply is not an accurate statement, not in Egypt, and not in the West.

          Again, read carefully, because my statement has nothing whatsoever to do with the FORM of government: People prefer stability to chaos. That is the most basic realist rule, and one that holds up well. If that stability is brought about by a democracy, that’s fantastic. I prefer democratic stability to authoritarian stability. But the general rule is stability over chaos, no matter what kind of stability and what kind of chaos; if the people believe their choice is between chaos and stability, they will choose stability every time. And this holds true domestically and internationally, particularly in places without democratic experience. If there is chaos in society, authoritarianism becomes more likely.

          As a supporter of this revolution, I remain apprehensive that it will fracture, and that a new strongman will exploit the situation to take power. As a supporter of Israel and of the Egyptian people, I worry that such a strongman may be a militant Muslim Brotherhood member and renege on a 30-year-old peace agreement that has been beneficial to both sides, IMHO, and I believe that would be bad for everyone. My hope is that the people of Egypt remain unified, that Mubarak is forced out, and that a sustainable democracy results. I believe that in everyone’s best long-term interest.

          That’s what I believe.

          “(3) What the neighbors think don’t matter when someone in your house is mistreating you.”

          I agree: the Egyptians on the ground are not worrying about what the US and Israel thinks. That’s one point I’m trying to make. That’s why I keep saying – it’s about the Egyptians.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 2:43 pm

          Hophmi,

          Ever heard the wisdom that if given the choice of a free press or a stable government, that a free press wins out every time?

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 2:55 pm

          “Ever heard the wisdom that if given the choice of a free press or a stable government, that a free press wins out every time?”

          I haven’t heard that. It’s interesting, though I don’t completely agree with it, because I think the vast majority of the time, there’s no free press without a freely elected government in the first place, so there’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with the statement.

          I would say that a free press is a great check against authoritarian tendencies. Unfortunately, it’s rare to have a free press and an authoritarian government at the same time. (Nigeria’s a good exception, and it’s one reason the dictatorship there didn’t last that long.)

          Egypt does have some good media outlets, so that is a positive sign, though I wish there were more of a foundation. Al-Jazeera erases a lot of the problems of a state-run media, which is why Mubarak keeps trying to ban it.

          I will say that I am glad to have learned of Al Masry Al Youm, which I discovered here; years ago I used to follow the Middle East Times, which was another English-language Egyptian free press effort, but I think was operated outside of Egypt.

        • sherbrsi
          January 31, 2011, 3:03 pm

          What I said was that people generally prefer dictatorial stability to democratic chaos. That is true everywhere in the world.

          By your measure, then, the protesters in Egypt are an anomaly, so are those in Tunisia, Yemen and Jordan and practically any other people who have rebelled against dictatorship. The people have spoken and they directly contradict your faulty and self-serving assessment. And really, how can you yourself claim to support Egyptian aspirations while continuing to hold that the status quo (as the Israel and US say is dictatorial stability) is preferable for the Egyptians?

          Like any self-respecting imperialist, you are projecting your own preferred governance over that of another people. Whatever happened to the Egyptian right of self-determination, that concept the Zionists are quick to boast about when colonizing Palestine? By your judgement then, the Israeli/Western preference for dictatorial stability would always override democratic governance, however flawed.

          You are the very definition of pompous, deciding for the Egyptians what they want and what is preferable for them. Sorry but if you haven’t noticed they aren’t in the mood for taking orders these days, specially not some Zionists posturing as sympathetic to the Egyptian revolution.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 3:25 pm

          “By your measure, then, the protesters in Egypt are an anomaly, so are those in Tunisia, Yemen and Jordan and practically any other people who have rebelled against dictatorship.”

          No, that is NOT what I am saying. I am saying that for these revolutions to be sustainable, there has to be stability. Obviously rebelling causes short-term instability. I’m talking about long-term, like one year from now.

          “The people have spoken and they directly contradict your faulty and self-serving assessment.”

          What is wrong with you? Are you capable of thinking beyond today? No one knows what’s going to happen in Tunisia and Yemen yet. And I am telling you, if chaos prevails (and I am talking for an extended period of time, not a month), there will be more authoritarianism.

          “And really, how can you yourself claim to support Egyptian aspirations while continuing to hold that the status quo (as the Israel and US say is dictatorial stability) is preferable for the
          Egyptians?”

          Israel, the US, England, France, Germany, the EU. Not just Israel and the US. And I DID NOT SAY THAT THE STATUS QUO IS PREFERABLE. STOP MISQUOTING ME.

          I said that people will prefer stability to chaos. That is one reason why Egyptian dictatorship and a number of others have lasted so long. It is not just US money.

          It is really tiring to keep having to say the same thing over and over again. I make no judgment about what form of government is right for Egyptians. I am merely telling you what I believe is essential for their revolution to work successfully.

          “By your judgement then, the Israeli/Western preference for dictatorial stability would always override democratic governance, however flawed.”

          No. No. That is not what I said AT ALL.

          “You are the very definition of pompous, deciding for the Egyptians what they want and what is preferable for them. ”

          You are the very definition of a moron, because despite my repeating to you over and over again that my point is not to say what is best for the Egyptians but to say what I believe will give them the best chance at a better future domestically and internationally, you continue to hurl accusations at me and attribute things to me that I did not say.

        • Potsherd2
          January 31, 2011, 4:09 pm

          No, because no one is afraid of Israel invading Egypt.

          Are you out of your mind, hophmi? Israel has invaded Egypt three times – when has Egypt ever invaded Israel? [no, 1973 doesn't count, Egypt didn't invade Israel, only its own occupied territory in the Sinai.] That idiot eee has proposed on this site that Israel should retake the Sinai.

          Of course Israeli fundamentalists don’t want to convert the Egyptians to Judaism, only eradicate them from their land. This doesn’t make them any less dangerous.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 4:13 pm

          Pots,

          how many times has Israel invaded Egypt or Jordan since they made peace with Israel?

          That idiot eee has proposed on this site that Israel should retake the Sinai.

          I won’t argue about the idiot part, but you are misrepresenting what he said.

        • eee
          January 31, 2011, 4:21 pm

          Yonira,

          Thank you for the compliment. :)

          Just to be clear, I said that if Egypt cancels the peace treaty, Israel should retake the Sinai. Cancelling a peace treaty is an act of war, and Israel should respond accordingly.

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 4:42 pm

          yonira, I won’t argue about the idiot part

          eee, Thank you for the compliment. :)

          it is just me or is it funny in here today.

        • eee
          January 31, 2011, 4:46 pm

          Actually Annie it is funny here everyday.

        • Shmuel
          January 31, 2011, 4:51 pm

          I don’t know whether cancelling a peace treaty is an act of war or not (were you referring to some sort of legal definition?), but invading and occupying the sovereign territory of another state certainly is. Would that really be Israel’s wisest course of action? It strikes me as just about the stupidest thing Israel could do under the circumstances – but certainly in keeping with the popular idea (in Israel) that there is military solution to every problem.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 4:53 pm

          we are showing the lighter side of the Ziotrolls.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 5:07 pm

          I don’t think Israel has any plans to invade the beautiful Sinai. As Jackie Mason once said, there’s no boardwalk.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 5:10 pm

          LOL, you nailed that one eee, I get some of my best laughs of the day on here.

        • eee
          January 31, 2011, 5:20 pm

          Shmuel,

          Of course it will be Israel’s wisest choice for several reasons.
          1) If you are really serious about land for peace as a working formula, the moment the peace goes, same goes for the land. Otherwise, what is the basis for our peace treaties? If we do nothing what would stop other countries to annul their treaties with us in the future?
          2) Without the peace treaty, the Israeli-Egyptian border will be assailed by many African migrants. Today, the Egyptian attempt to stop the migrants is credible. They attempt to stop them entering Sinai and they attempt to stop them crossing the border.
          3) Do you think that we should really wait until Egypt starts building bases or advancing troops into the Sinai before takingaction? Israel needs to act immediately so as to not give the impression that it accepts the end of the peace agreement as a fait accompli that does not have consequences. The longer we wait, the less legitimacy our move will have. Israel needs to act decisively and make clear that the moment the Egyptians re-instate the peace treaty, Israel will retreat from the Sinai.

        • Woody Tanaka
          January 31, 2011, 5:24 pm

          “Just to be clear, I said that if Egypt cancels the peace treaty, Israel should retake the Sinai.”

          At first, you said that Israel should do it if “the islamists” (whatever they are) take over. Only later did you add the caveat about the treaty.

          “Cancelling a peace treaty is an act of war”

          I depends on what the new government does, as “cancelling a peace treaty” is a rather dopey way of describing what could occur. The treaty ended the theretofore existing state of war and established relations. Sure, a new government could “cancel” that by declaring war on Israel, but why would it?

          Futher, the treaty called for no perputual conditions as between the two states, vis-a-vis diplomatic relations, etc., so even if the new government withdrew its recognition of Israel over, say, the past and present murder of the Gazans or the continued oppression of the Palestinians (both Israeli violation of the Egypt-Israel treaty, btw), that would not be an act of war, but an exercise of Egypt’s sovereign rights.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 5:25 pm

          People do yearn for freedom, but they yearn for consistency and stability much more, and that’s even more true in places without democratic traditions. Look at Russia.

          Russia is democratic. Putin enjoys 80% approval.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 5:29 pm

          Just to be clear, I said that if Egypt cancels the peace treaty, Israel should retake the Sinai.

          They could try, but they won’t.

          Cancelling a peace treaty is an act of war, and Israel should respond accordingly.

          Then Egypt should have been attacking Israel long ago.

        • Donald
          January 31, 2011, 5:31 pm

          “I said that people will prefer stability to chaos. That is one reason why Egyptian dictatorship and a number of others have lasted so long. It is not just US money.”

          In fairness, I think this is a valid point. It’s almost certainly what Mubarak is relying on–that people will become tired and worried by the chaos of an ongoing rebellion, accompanied by looting (and as many Egyptians suspect, the Mubarak regime might have a hand in causing some of this chaos). If it drags on long enough they might decide a strong man (the old one or the new one) is the lesser of two evils. Again, this is probably what Mubarak is counting on, and why so many Egyptians themselves suspect Mubarak is in some way orchestrating at least some of the chaos (by allowing criminals to escape, for example).

          I haven’t gone through the thread and if I had no doubt I’d find some things hophmi has said that I’d disagree with (there usually are), but he might be right about this.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 5:34 pm

          “Russia is democratic. Putin enjoys 80% approval.”

          I don’t think most of the world considers Russia a true democracy.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 5:39 pm

          Thanks for proving once again what a rabbid war monger you are eee

          1) How you can keep a straight face and assert land for peace, while Israel is staling land from the Palestinians is beyond the pale

          2) Israel has a border with Egypt, so lot Israel control the flow of African migrants from their side. That would be far more practical and reasonable that going to war to take the Sinai. Of course, it would also divert a lot of Israel’s resources from maintaining the occupation in the WB.

          Bummer.

          3) Israel has no legitimacy in the region, so I wouldn’t fret over losing it.

          The simple fact is that Israel doesn’t have the means and resources to hold onto the Sinai.

          How’s that European passport holding up?

        • wondering jew
          January 31, 2011, 5:47 pm

          Egypt invaded Israel in 1948 and fedayeen from territory controlled by Egypt infiltrated into Israel before 1956.

          The essence of the Egyptian Israeli peace treaty is the demilitarization of the Sinai, if that is abrogated then Israel would go to war, otherwise not.

          The hundreds of thousands of African migrants heading towards Israel is a problem that Israel will have to solve on its own, meaning without substantial help from Egypt.

          (Totally off topic: every time I type Egypt, I recall the Five Graves to Cairo, a great film directed by Billy Wilder)

        • Woody Tanaka
          January 31, 2011, 5:50 pm

          1) The only way that “the peace goes” is if the new Egyptian gov’t declares war on Israel. Why would it do that?

          2) How is this to Egypt’s problem?

          3) Israel has already signed away its right to “take[] action” if Egypt does something which Israel believes is precluded by the treaty. Israel has foresworn such action under the treaty, in favor of negotiations, concilliations or arbitration.

          Did you ever actually read this document, or do you simply think “it’s about land for peace” and figured that you would just wing the rest??

        • eljay
          January 31, 2011, 6:05 pm

          >> People prefer stability to chaos. That is the most basic realist rule, and one that holds up well. If that stability is brought about by a democracy, that’s fantastic. I prefer democratic stability to authoritarian stability. But the general rule is stability over chaos, no matter what kind of stability and what kind of chaos; if the people believe their choice is between chaos and stability, they will choose stability every time. And this holds true domestically and internationally, particularly in places without democratic experience. If there is chaos in society, authoritarianism becomes more likely.

          I agree.

          >> As a supporter of this revolution, I remain apprehensive that it will fracture, and that a new strongman will exploit the situation to take power. … My hope is that the people of Egypt remain unified, that Mubarak is forced out, and that a sustainable democracy results. I believe that in everyone’s best long-term interest.

          Works for me. :-)

        • tree
          January 31, 2011, 6:20 pm

          Egypt invaded Israel in 1948 …

          No, Egypt entered the territory assigned to the Arab State to help fight off the offensives of pre and post state Israel, which had created the massive ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

          …and fedayeen from territory controlled by Egypt infiltrated into Israel before 1956.

          Otherwise known as citizens returning to their country of residence. According to the Partition Plan everyone who lived in either the Jewish State or the Arab State were full citizens in their state of residence. Citizens can’t “infiltrate” their own country.

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 6:34 pm

          I don’t think most of the world considers Russia a true democracy.

          That’s the evasive kind fo rhetoric I woudl expect from Witty.
          I don’t think most of the world considers is of any consequence to what Russians believe.

          Mubarak is loved by the West but hated by Egyptians. Putin is loved by the Russians, but hated by the West. The same went for Yeltsin, who also sold out his country.

          Which do you think it the more credible leader?

        • Shingo
          January 31, 2011, 6:36 pm

          Did you ever actually read this document, or do you simply think “it’s about land for peace” and figured that you would just wing the rest??

          WJ must be getting blogging lessons from Witty.

        • wondering jew
          January 31, 2011, 9:45 pm

          tree- Egypt attacked territory assigned to the Jewish state with Spitfire aircraft. The line of Egypt’s attack according to the maps that I have looked at included crossing territory that was assigned to the Jewish state.

          It is true that Israel shot at Palestinians who were attempting to return to their homes, but there were fedayeen who attacked and killed Israelis and even if the word “infiltrate” might be misleading, these were physical attacks against Israel launched from Egyptian territory with Egyptian connivance.

        • Chaos4700
          February 1, 2011, 2:03 am

          It is true that Israel shot at Palestinians who were attempting to return to their homes, but

          No. There is no “but,” war criminal. Israel shot at and killed civilians, Israel broke the Geneva Conventions, and Israel stole their land. All so you could have your villa on the Mediterranean, today.

          Stop making excuses for your monstrous profiting from theft and murder. It’s disgusting.

        • Shmuel
          February 1, 2011, 6:57 am

          1) I think the very “kontzeptzyah” of “land for peace” is a big part of Israel’s problem. Lasting peace will necessarily be a function of addressing grievances and the root causes of hostility. The Sinai was returned to Egypt because it is Egyptian territory. The treaty also addressed the reasons for Israeli hostility against Egypt (primarily Egyptian military presence or the possibility of such a presence in the Sinai). The idea that if and when the treaty is cancelled, Israel should somehow ‘take it’s money back’ is silly. We’re talking geopolitics here, not the shopping channel.

          2) The migrants are Egypt’s responsibility while they are on Egyptian soil, and Israel’s once they cross into Israeli territory (or attempt to do so). Cooperation between neighbouring states on matters of immigration is a function of the relations between them, not a casus belli.

          3) Were Egypt to start building bases or moving troops, Israel might have a casus belli, in which case it would have to evaluate the pros and cons of initiating a war and attempting to occupy Egyptian territory as a first option – certainly not a decision to be taken lightly or for granted. Simply “cancelling the peace treaty” (as you have posited), without taking any belligerent action, would make even contemplating initiating a war a gross (and rather stupid) over-reaction, with immense ramifications.

        • Shmuel
          February 1, 2011, 7:23 am

          there were fedayeen who attacked and killed Israelis

          Egypt actually had a consistent policy of preventing raids into Israel, until the latter committed an act of war against Egypt, in February 1955, attacking an Egyptian army base in Gaza City, killing 38 Egyptian soldiers and wounding many others. (See Ehud Ya’ari, Egypt and the Fedayeen, 1953-6 [Heb.], 1975).

  11. Taxi
    January 31, 2011, 10:34 am

    Arab women have a long history and tradition of their own chants handed down to them through oral traditions. These ‘folk’ singers are usually local village girls with good pipes who will perform their regional songs at traditional weddings, local funerals and yes some will act as group-criers at political rallies.

    • Scott
      January 31, 2011, 10:57 am

      Do you think this women was reading a script, or a natural leader?

      • Taxi
        January 31, 2011, 11:14 am

        Mubarak probably tortured and imprisoned her father/brothers for no good reason at all – I’m guessing – but it would explain her independent spirit and her outspoken smarts against the regime.

        People protesting on the streets of Egypt are not there to pose in front of Aljazeera cameras – each one there I’m sure has a horror story or two that compelled their absolute and dedicated participation.

  12. Avi
    January 31, 2011, 11:06 am

    I have just heard a talking head on Fox ‘explaining’ how Egypt’s government shutdown the Internet so as to quell the riots. She went on to ‘explain’ that the mobilization of masses with the help of social media was “unprecedented”. Never in the history of mankind has the world seen such a revolution led by social networking sites, she alleged.

    Coupled with the nonsense peddled on CNBC yesterday, I won’t be surprised if these TV stations were vilifying the Internet and spinning the revolution in Egypt as a Twitter revolution for their own interests. After all, the Internet hurt cable news’ profits by stealing younger audiences away. Most of the youth between the ages of 18 – 25 get their news from the Internet.

    This could very well be an attempt by the U.S. MSM to vilify the freedoms enjoyed by Internet users in an effort to encourage the government to squash net neutrality and regress to a time when the mainstream media had an easier job in disseminating the establishment’s narrative. Otherwise — the assertion goes — those social media sites could come back to haunt the U.S. establishment here at home.

    • Taxi
      January 31, 2011, 11:59 am

      Aljazeera English website has seen an increase of over 2000% in American hits since the Egyptian protests began.

      None of the msm can claim such an impressive record.

      And I bet the talking heads are avidly tuning into Aljazeera themselves during their station commercial breaks.

      • hophmi
        January 31, 2011, 12:04 pm

        “Aljazeera English website has seen an increase of over 2000% in American hits since the Egyptian protests began.”

        Shouldn’t be surprising. I spent a good chunk of the weekend watching. It is their region, and they’re doing a great job.

        • Avi
          January 31, 2011, 2:17 pm

          Shouldn’t be surprising. I spent a good chunk of the weekend watching. It is their region, and they’re doing a great job.

          Except when they’re critical of Israel and show it for the apartheid state that it is. Then Al-Jazeera become a haven for terrorists and Islamists. If I had the time and inclination I could find one of your gems on this website to indict you and your hypocrisy.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 2:45 pm

          “Except when they’re critical of Israel and show it for the apartheid state that it is. Then Al-Jazeera become a haven for terrorists and Islamists. If I had the time and inclination I could find one of your gems on this website to indict you and your hypocrisy.”

          You people are such haters it’s unbelievable. I make a positive comment about Al-Jazeera, and even this becomes an opportunity to attack me.

          The only comment I remember making about Al-Jazeera is one explaining the belief (not mine) among many in the US that Al-Jazeera was serving as a mouthpiece for terrorists by allowing itself to be the go-to media outlet for Osama bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda before and after 9/11, which led to Comcast banning it and the Bush administration speaking out against it.

          I have never, however, been among those who believed in banning Al-Jazeera or denying its accomplishments; the people who argued for banning would try to ban MSNBC if they could.

          Like any other media outlet, it does have certain biases, but on the whole its programming is eye-opening and very interesting, and it’s an invaluable resource for understanding what’s going on in the Arab world.

        • kapok
          January 31, 2011, 5:27 pm

          You people are such haters it’s unbelievable.
          Try saying this out loud without sounding ridiculous.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 5:36 pm

          “Try saying this out loud without sounding ridiculous.”

          You’re blind. Have a nice day. Try talking to people who don’t validate every word you say.

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 5:45 pm

          ok hophmi, i can see how you got offended when criticized for complimenting AJ, none the less what’s worse than hatred? i don’t hate you and i’m sure avi doesn’t either. can’t you express yourself w/out trying to sink your opponents in the mires of hatred? or is attacking by way of assigning hatred so ingrained in your speech you don’t realize what a crutch it is?

          seriously, you should try saying it out loud. it sounds like crazy talk because it is. and richard on the other thread claiming MB ‘rages’.

        • hophmi
          January 31, 2011, 5:58 pm

          “i don’t hate you and i’m sure avi doesn’t either.”

          Then maybe Avi’s just a jerk. When I make a statement that basically agrees with all of you, and you pounce on it to attack me, that’s called hating.

          “can’t you express yourself w/out trying to sink your opponents in the mires of hatred? ”

          LOL. Can’t you do the same?

          “or is attacking by way of assigning hatred so ingrained in your speech you don’t realize what a crutch it is?”

          It is you folks who don’t realize how hostile you are as a group toward me and others here who disagree with you. Nor do most of you realize how poor your counterarguments are, because you spend most of your around people who validate everything that you say.

          “seriously, you should try saying it out loud. it sounds like crazy talk because it is. and richard on the other thread claiming MB ‘rages’.”

          Seriously, you should try commenting somewhere, where most people attack you every opportunity they get, and then see how you react when they call you crazy.

        • Donald
          January 31, 2011, 6:14 pm

          “It is you folks who don’t realize how hostile you are as a group toward me and others here who disagree with you. Nor do most of you realize how poor your counterarguments are, because you spend most of your around people who validate everything that you say.”

          Actually I think we do realize how hostile we are. I’m hostile to RW and I didn’t start out that way–it grew as I watched how he behaved. I’m sometimes hostile to you, sometimes less so. In this thread I just said I agreed with one of your points.

          I do think that the comment section would be improved by moderate increases in civility. I say “moderate”, because if someone defends Israeli brutality then I don’t think hostile responses are unreasonable.

          As for “poor counterarguments”, you are not an objective observer and we are constantly around a mass media which is filled with people who say the opposite from what we say. Probably some the arguments here are poor and some not–it’s that way at most blogs most of the time. Israel’s behavior is brutal and thuggish and so long as we don’t go overboard (which happens from time to time) then I don’t think your side can say anything to refute it.

        • annie
          January 31, 2011, 6:34 pm

          . When I make a statement that basically agrees with all of you, and you pounce on it to attack me, that’s called hating.

          you’re being drama queen. pouncing on someone in a rhetorical argument isn’t called hate. hate is the extreme end point of human emotion.

          “can’t you express yourself w/out trying to sink your opponents in the mires of hatred? ”

          LOL. Can’t you do the same?

          i have never accused you of hatred, ever. nor anyone else here. seriously, maybe you think others throw that term around lightly because you do. this a practically a constant in hasbara rhetoric, it’s even in the recent handbook.

          It is you folks who don’t realize how hostile you are as a group toward me and others here who disagree with you

          which begs the question why you are here? doesn’t it?

      • Chaos4700
        January 31, 2011, 12:09 pm

        This is an amusing thought, considering it wasn’t more than a few years ago that the US government was seriously investigating “sekrit Mooslim messages” embedded in Al-Jazeera’s transmissions.

        I guess the revolution actually will be televised.

        • yonira
          January 31, 2011, 2:59 pm

          Chaos,

          Where is Al-Jazeera aired in the United States?

        • Scott
          January 31, 2011, 3:23 pm

          In Washington, on comcast, for one. Channel 275. Comcast is a big cable provider and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t all over their system.

        • Potsherd2
          January 31, 2011, 4:11 pm

          Be surprised, then, Scott, because they don’t carry it here.

  13. Jim Haygood
    January 31, 2011, 11:36 am

    Today the NYT Lede blog mentions a fact that was reported in-depth at Mondoweiss several days ago:

    A reader wrote to The Lede on Monday to point out that the markings on a tear gas shell used in Cairo, photographed by an Egyptian blogger, show that it was made by Combined Tactical Systems (CTS), a Pennsylvania company that also supplies the Israeli military.

    link to thelede.blogs.nytimes.com

    Glasnost only goes so far at the Times/Pravda, though. They aren’t going to publish that provocative photo of the Israeli flag proudly flying over the CTS plant in Jamestown, PA.

  14. hophmi
    January 31, 2011, 11:52 am

    “A reader wrote to The Lede on Monday to point out that the markings on a tear gas shell used in Cairo, photographed by an Egyptian blogger, show that it was made by Combined Tactical Systems (CTS), a Pennsylvania company that also supplies the Israeli military. ”

    OK, and I’m sure that the fighter jets Mubarak used to buzz the crowd were American-made as well.

    I think we know this story already.

    • Chaos4700
      January 31, 2011, 12:03 pm

      Indeed. The fighter jets are American, and the tactic of buzzing gathered crowds with them was introduced by Israelis.

      I dare say this offers insight into why Egyptians feel they need to take back their own government.

  15. Jim Haygood
    January 31, 2011, 12:42 pm

    Here’s a hilarious translation of Madame Hillary Pantsuit’s coded messages, revealing their true meanings to the uninitiated:

    link to youtube.com

    The video runs 4:08 and is worth the time to watch. Warning: contains politically subversive material.

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