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  • Views on the Arab revolutions from within Israeli society

    In February 2011, when it was clear Hosni Mubarak's 30-year authoritarian rule over Egypt would not survive the popular uprising that had begun on January 25, the Israeli media’s reporting was characterized primarily by a combination of confusion and unease about the big issue that concerns the country above all others – security. On the evening television magazine shows, panels of white-haired male analysts in their 60s reminisced in tones of near-nostalgia about their army service in the 1967 and 1973 wars with Egypt. They mentioned the porousness of the border in the south and implied that without Mubarak to…

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  • Egypt's election results are none of Israel's business

    Outsiders who wish for a return of the dictators are pushing against the inevitable tide of history. And Israelis who express a preference for Mubarak only contribute to the perception, widely held in Egypt, that the dictator was able to survive because he was supported by ‘the Zionists.’ The Egyptian election results are in, and two-thirds of the vote went to the Islamist parties. According to the New York Times, 47 percent of the votes went to the Freedom and Justice party, representing the 84-year-old Muslim Brotherhood, which invented political Islam; and 25 percent to the Nour party, representing the fundamentalist…

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  • Jailed Egyptian blogger on hunger strike, in critical condition

    Last March, an Egyptian blogger named Mikael Nabil Sanad, 26, was arrested and accused of insulting and defaming the military. The catalyst for the arrest was a blog post he wrote at the beginning of the month, in which he accused the army of forcing female activists arrested at Tahrir to undergo virginity tests. Several weeks later, the army admitted that they had done this. Sanad also called for an end to military conscription, proposing that army service be voluntary rather than compulsory. He was put on trial in a closed military court and sentenced to three years in jail,…

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  • The Egyptians are giving us a lesson in democracy

    In Israel we like to boast about being the only democracy in the Middle East, but while democracy in Israel slides down the slippery slope, the Egyptians are showing us what true democratic spirit is By Mati Shemoelof The media and Israel’s left wing has recently been dealing with the harassment of left-wing organizations and the chilling of free speech. It seems that with so much of their attention focused on the delusional fringes of the racist right wing, Israel’s leftist organizations have forgotten the social struggles. We have not heard a word about the struggle led by social activists…

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  • Why is the Egyptian Army in Sinai?

    And why is the Chief of Military Intelligence still in office? Two comments on recent events Egyptian Forces in Sinai: Several reports indicate that Egyptian military forces have entered Sharm el-Sheikh, in Sinai. Rumors also say this is where Mubarak is at the moment. The entrance of Egyptian military forces into Sinai is prohibited by the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, to which the US is a guarantor. Lisa Goldman and myself tried to get a reply from the IDF Spokesman, to no avail. The spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, gave Goldman the following response: “We will have to analyze…

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