Saturday, January 29, 2011

Revolution Until Victory!

Today I stumbled into the Egyptian solidarity demonstration that took place at Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.

The liberty lover that I am, I cannot help but being curious... so I looked around. I honestly wish will for the people of Egypt. I long for a day where Israel, my birthplace, will one day be surrounded by truly liberal Arab democracies. Since events in Tunisia and Egypt started to unfold, I developed a weird sense of optimism that perhaps the Arab World is ready for a shakedown in the right direction. 

I think my observation today has brought me back to the reality of the Middle East, which is quite far removed from the mushy, touchy-feely reality of Canada. 

I think the following encounter illustrates the situation well:

After leaving the protest, I got on the Dundas streetcar and overheard a young woman telling her mother on the phone "Sorry I am running a little late, there was some protest at Dundas Square... it was Egypt or Palestine (?!) I am not quiiiiite sure which one it was". "Egypt", I informed her.

"I don't know... there seemed to be a lot of Palestine stuff over there..." She answered me, still midconversation with whomever is on the other side of the line, she added: "There were lots of strange signs in the protest, 'Mossad did 9/11' was my favourite, I couldn't help it, it cracked me up!"

I think this summarizes the entire screwed up mentality that unfortunately prevails in the Arab world. First of all... why the hell is the 'Palestinian Cause' hijacking everything? Unlike the Palestinians, the Egyptians are a people with a long and proud history of self governance... there are almost 90 million of them, with many issues of their on... many of them are significantly worse than that of Palestinians that ever head to endure the Israeli presence. No wonder the Palestinians are treated like crap by the rest of the Arab world, every time Arabs wish to deal with their own very real social and political issues, it's the Palestine Problem that jumps to the front of the line. It's quite ludicrous.

Second of all, for a group of people that are supposedly fighting for freedom and democracy in their homeland, getting their civic education in perhaps the most tolerant and civil democracy in the world; Canada, much of what appeared on the surface seemed quite far removed from the democracy as Americans, Canadians, Brits, Western Europeans and Israelis see it.

That's what we need... a democracy at the hands of group of vehemently antisemitic 9/11 truthers? Is this going to bring peace, liberty and stability to the Middle East? Is this what's going to turn Egyptians into free and proud people, ready to face their modern problems?

I don't think so...

Frankly I think that a much longer period of transition is needed... Currently the best non Islamist opposition group in Egypt is quite radically antisemitic and anti-American. The best real opposition group is a radical Islamist group that believes in creating something analogous to the Taliban in Egypt as the ideal state for the country.

With the best of intentions, the current revolution in Egypt is likely to lead into a Taliban style Muslim Brotherhood theocracy, if let run its full course.

No Thank You!



  1. Yeah most people don't realize that the real power struggle will begin when Mubarak steps down. I just hope it will not be the Russian revolution all over again. There seems to be separate groups amongst the protesters. Look at the museum example one side was looting, while the other side formed a human chain to prevent thieves stealing artifacts.

    If an secular government will form, I hope they will realize that Israel will be one of their greatest allies in the long run, to bring a truly democratic style of peace and governance to the Middle East.

    However if history is to repeat itself we will have another Iran on our hands. In a power struggle it is always the irrational side that seems to win.

  2. That's the problem... I don't think much order and sanity can emerge out of wanton chaos.

    I think, in a way, a military coup was already completed, with Gamal Mubarak officially out of the way, and the military's favourite Omar Suleiman poised to take over.

    One must remember that while about 500,000 people are bringing the country to its knees, the security apparatus represents about 7 million members. The government's vast bureaucracy represents close to 10 million.

    The number of people who favour the status quo greatly outnumbers those who feel they have nothing to lose.