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The Battle For Egypt - The Domino Effect - Israel
“I am fed up. After 62 years of public service, I have had enough. I want to go…If I resign today there will be chaos… I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other.” - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
The Domino Effect
WHO IS NEXT??
Syrian President Bashar Assad – Lebanon President Michel Suleiman - Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh
As we watch what is happening in Egypt let us not forget that freedom from tyranny is the objective of most Egyptians. This is strange to us because of the threat of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood was interviewed on Al Jazeera. In his mild mannered and soft spoken voice he announced that the Muslim Brotherhood is changing and disagrees with them on women and Sharia Law.
The Egyptians want jobs, freedom of speech, and the right to select who will govern them. Thirty year ruler President Hosni Mubarak announced that he was stepping down on Tuesday, (February 1) night but Egyptians want him to step down immediately. Obama in his speech addressed the need for an orderly and peaceful transition and that Mubarak should step down ‘now’. After a six day blackout, the internet and social media were restored but this seemed to fuel more turbulence and violence in Tahrir Square. There are mixed reports as to whether Mubarak has added to the chaos by mixing his people with those wanting to depose him. The U. K. Prime Minister David Cameron and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a joint release both condemned any attacks on the peaceful protesters at Tahrir Square. In another plea Ki-moon urged that freedom of speech and freedom to assemble be allowed by the Egyptian government.
As the situation in Egypt continues to unfold, it was reported that Egyptian as well as foreign journalists are being beaten, attacked, and arrested and their equipment is being confiscated. Journalists and photographers are fearful that their equipment will be taken from them and for this reason are not able to move about freely. They feel that there is a reason for not allowing journalists to record the events at the Tahrir Square. Friday has been designated ‘the Day of Departure’ hoping to force Mubarak out of office. Vice president Suleiman who has taken the reigns commented about the crowds at Tahrir Square by saying, “we will ask them to go home but will not push them to go home.” The fact that journalists are being targeted leads to the fact that violence is expected to erupt and that no record of this is wanted by the Egyptian government.
Graeme Bannerman a Lebanon expert at the Washington based Middle East Institute spoke on Al Jazeera Thursday evening. After Bannerman was told that the Muslim Brotherhood had been invited to meet with the vice president Omar Suleiman and the Egyptian government he commented that the White House wants what is best for Egypt and the United States. In reality we won’t know what will happen when Mubarak steps down. One very important sign is that American flags or any incidences of burning American flags or effigies’ of Obama have not been seen. There is an effigy of what appears to be Mubarak. It would be naive on our part to think that there are not those that hate Americans and that the Muslim Brotherhood is not waiting on the sidelines. I am afraid that the youth of Egypt will not know until they jump from the frying pan into the fire to understand their destiny. Social networking will not solve their problems.
It seems that all of the Arab countries are in a state of turmoil. Their leaders are either stepping down or promising that they will. Earlier this year on January 14, Zine al-Abidine Ben was ousted as president from Tunisia and Mohamed Ghannouchi, became the Tunisian prime minister. According to The Telegraph Ghannouchi will leave politics after the elections are held. However no date on the election for a new Tunisian President is known. If Egypt falls then we should expect to see a domino effect. King Abdullah of Jordan sacked his cabinet and accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai who is blamed for the high prices in food and fuel. King Abdullah has appointed Marouf al-Bakhit as the new Prime Minister. Bakhit supports the peace treaty with Israel and strong ties to the US. It is believed that the Muslim Brotherhood does not support this appointment. Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh stated Wednesday that he would not seek reelection in 2013. But this may not be believable as he made a similar statement in 2005. A Day of Rage was held on Thursday and Saleh gave handouts to 500,000 needy families in an effort to prevent the protests. Yemen’s Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar has asked the oil rich neighbors for financial assistance because of their vulnerability to the terrorists and pirates that have gravitated to its shores. Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed to be ‘safe’ from the turmoil in Egypt and Tunisia because he understands the needs of the people and is united with them against Israel. A Day of Anger was being planned by a few social media supporters but I doubt if anything will come of this due to the tight control exercised by Assad. Algeria President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is promising reform to ease any plans for protests. Lebanon President Michel Suleiman recently announced Najib Mikati as Prime Minister who is backed by the Hezbollah. Hezbollah is on the US blacklist of Terrorists.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen claims to be waiting to see what happens and if necessary will help Egypt. What does this statement mean? The US contributes one billion dollars that goes to maintain the Egyptian military. It is felt that the military is keeping the situation in Egypt from further decline. The greatest fear is that if Egypt, with 80 million people falls into the hands of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, a caliphate might occur in the Arabic countries. Egypt and Israel presumably have the same concerns, securing their border from the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The waiting game to see who governs Egypt is a serious situation for Israel. Unfortunately it appears that the Muslim Brotherhood is gaining momentum. If in fact we lose Egypt, the results to America will not be good. PRAY FOR ISRAEL!
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