What the Bleep!? Egyptian Protests & Israel

Egyptian Protesters in the Streets, January 29, 2011

The craziest things going on the news this week are the protests in Egypt, and the resulting changes in government.  Instead of talking about other news, I thought I’d focus in on one question for this week’s What The Bleep?!:

What do the Protests in Egypt Mean for Israel?

Now this question does not mean that the protests in Egypt aren’t independently fascinating, troubling, and nerve-racking for other reasons.  But, as a Jew, who is writing for people who care about Jewish issues, I wanted to gather some of the most interesting stories in the Jewish (and non-Jewish) news this week about how the uprising in Egypt could affect Israel. Especially since up until now, Egypt has been the United States and Israel’s strongest (perhaps only?) Arab ally in the Middle East.

Don’t miss these breaking stories & fascinating opinion pieces:

Israel’s public silence, but concerns in private about the uprising in Egypt; plus a bit of a historic look at the relationship between Israel and Egypt, from AP.

Ron Kampeas on Capital J takes a look at one of the first U.S. statements on the protests, which happens to be by a Jewish legislator who is one of those in charge of appropriations for Egypt. It’s all about Israel. Watch Ron tease it out.

Special El Al flight airlifts Israeli nationals and diplomats out of Egypt to safety. If that doesn’t say we’re worried about the volatility of this country, I don’t know what does. Haaertz

Arab Israelis in Haifa and elsewhere rally to show their support for Egyptian protesters. My concern is with the parallels being drawn between the Palestinians’ struggle and that of the Egyptians. Would be interesting to read an article debunking the idea that they have anything in common, but for some silly reason, that article doesn’t yet exist.  Anyone?

Israeli minister has faith in Mubarak’s suppression of the protesters, and ponders the possibility of democracy in Egypt. Time Mag gets the scoop.  Off the record, of course.

Israelis concerned about the impact of the unrest on the historic peace treaty Israel has with Egypt; and the dangerous changes that could ensue if Islamic militants take over Egypt’s government. Voice of America.

Check out this video of the protests in Egypt from Al Jazeera’s creative commons channel:

So what do you think? How is this uprising going to play out? And how will it affect Israel?

(Photo: Al Jazeera english)


About Leora Miriam Maccabee

Leora Miriam Maccabee is the President of Jewfolk Media, Inc. and founder of TCJewfolk.com. She is a litigation attorney at Maslon LLP in Minneapolis and lives in St. Louis Park with her two children.

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One comment

  1. I’ve read that Egypt supplies 40% of Israel’s oil/gas. That’s a huge amount. I’m not convinced this situation in Egypt will end well, despite all the calls for so-called democracy and reforms. Yes there is an educated socially liberal middle class in Egypt but it’s population not as large as the ignorant poverty stricken villagers who can’t even read or write. I hate, really hate, to make such comparisons but let’s recall another democracy in Germany in the 1930s. They suffered a great economic crash after World War 1 and desperate people will vote for anybody. Just because Egypt institutes democratic reform doesn’t mean the world will be a better place, for Egypt, the Middle East or for the world at large. I won’t hold my breath that the next Gandhi will be elected there. The key ultimately will be economics. If the new leaders in the Arab world can improve the lives of the average citizen then perhaps a new era of stability will dawn. The alternative is a very scary and one only needs to look at Azza to see the potential.