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Israel on the Islamist Surge in Egypt: Told You So

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 03:30 PM
Original message
Israel on the Islamist Surge in Egypt: Told You So
The stunning showing by Salafist parties in the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections surprised Israeli officials as much as the rest of the world. The estimated 40 percent of the vote that went to the Muslim Brotherhood, the party that founded modern political Islam, was about in line with pre-election polls. But the unexpectedly strong showing by the Salafis -- fundamentalist Sunni Muslims who hold that the only true Islam was practiced around the time of the Prophet Mohammad, 1,300 years ago -- could put a group that rejects modernism in a pivotal position in Egypt's new democracy.

This is even worse than we predicted," a senior Israeli security official was quoted telling the daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

In other words, events are unfolding much as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned they might in the heady first days of the Arab Spring, which Netanyahu said could well turn into an "Iranian winter." The metaphor draws from the history of Iran's 1979 revolution, which began as a popular uprising united in opposition to the despotic Shah, and thanks in part to the organization and motivation of religious activists, produced the radical theocracy that has controlled the country since.

"In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we're facing a new era of liberalism and progress," Netanyahu told the Knesset last month, before polls even opened in Egypt. "They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don't see where things are heading."

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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Democracy doesn't always produce
the results that other people would like. Who knew? :shrug:
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Mosby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 03:54 PM
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3. well apparently a lot of "hard core, RW, neocon, fundy" israelis like bibi knew.
Nt.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. Democracy is more than one election
I would think that any Democrat or like-minded progressive would find the results of the Egyptian election to be alarming, just as we would if any far-RW group had electoral success of this magnitude in any country.
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. What can/should we do about it though?
One can dislike (or be alarmed about) the outcome of an election while still respecting it. I mean, I hate that the GOP Tea Party did so well last year and that they took over the House and increased their numbers in the Senate and took over several state legislatures and governors mansions but that is what the public- the majority of those voting- wanted. :shrug: :puke:
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Express support for those who share our values
Help promote those values until they became mainstream around the world?
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Well, yeah
I agree with that. I'm just concerned about people like our neocons (and those in Israel) using dismay over election results in arab countries to ratchet up the rhetoric and use overt (or covert) actions to undermine other countries' governments.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Many progressives in Europe and around the world "ratcheted up the rhetoric" when Bush was elected
There was nothing wrong with those expressions of anger, shock, what have you at the fact that the US could elect someone like George W Bush.

I would expect an even stronger negative international reaction if we elected someone like Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann.

These folks in Egypt, the Salafists, are far far to the right of either of those people. And those are two insane right wingers.

I see nothing wrong with expressing extreme displeasure at the election of a government that promotes values that I completely oppose in every respect.
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Nothing wrong with expressing concern/displeasure about what's going on in other countries
I just don't want us to undermine/overthrow governments we don't like (like our country has done in the past).
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Well that is what this board (and specifically this forum) is all about
Lots of concern and displeasure expressed!
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King_David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. This is more like 1 man 1 vote 1 time. nt
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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. What would Netanyahu have wanted us to do?
Invade Egypt and set-up a puppet government that serves Israel's interest? Is BeBe offering that we should have used American military might to crush any of the Arab Spring uprisings that did not meet with Netanyahu's approval?
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. he just saying....
you don't pretend something is not going to happen because you don't want it to. Intl relations are best built on the reality not some wishful thinking because it feels better.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. so what is Israel going to do now?
as it seems 'our worst nightmare' is still 'a dream come true' as Israeli government is already capitalizing on this in the area of not cutting military after all, so what next?
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I guess so
:shrug:

I think that all of the right-wing frothing over us leaving Iraq is crazy in the same way. It almost seems as though they think that Iraq doesn't have, you know, the "freedom" to insist that we continue to abide by the SOFA that BUSH negotiated in 2008 and withdraw our remaining military forces from Iraq. Remember when the neocons were all agog about "spreading freedom" in the ME a few short years ago? Of course, I suppose that, like with Netanyahu and Egypt, they only support democracy when it produces the outcomes they personally want? :shrug:
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I'm more wondering what Bibi intends to do about it.
Blame someone else, for sure, but then what?
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henank Donating Member (755 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Bibi's not doing anything
That's exactly it. The whole world has been on his head, pressuring him to "do something" about Egypt - give it more land, give it more diplomatic leeway, give give give. The Israelis said we should wait till we see the results of this revolution, and all Israel got was a cold shower.

Now Israel has been proven right. Why do you gleefully expect Bibi to do anything? Why should he? What is wrong with allowing Israel to adopt a wait and see attitude? It's not as if the "new" Egyptians are eagerly lining up to make warm fuzzy peace with Israel.

Egyptians dont like Israel, so any government they elect is going to have tense relations with Israel; thats just the way it is, he said.

The Brotherhood, though, has proven more than comfortable compromising its principles for political gain. If they need to compromise on Israel in order to get something out of it, theyll do it, he said.

That said, the Brotherhood is never going to like Israel, and the relationship is not going to improve. I dont think theres a chance of an outright cancelation of the peace treaty, but I think theres certainly a possibility of renegotiating certain aspects of it or finding ways to limit its impact or operability.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. You seem confused.
I am not gleeful. I am not amused, I am not excited.

I don't expect him to do anything, I can't really think of anything useful he could do, that's why I brought it up. I can well understand why some parties would be after him to "do something", though, I just don't see what. And I can well understand why it upsets you enough so that you think it must get me excited too, but that is wrong.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 03:57 AM
Response to Original message
10. It doesn't take a genius
Anyone who ever looked at any public opinion poll could have told you that.

This is part of why Israel and the US were so keen on Mubarak for so long.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. +1. nt
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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
17. 135 miles from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Aqaba.
That's a long naked border.
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UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
20. Same here : Much worse than expected .
but a step in the right direction nevertheless. Let us hope the Islamists don't drown the baby. :( :( :(

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