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  • Block by block, Egyptians fight their past for a new future

    'For me, today is one of the days of the revolution,' Egyptian poet Zain El-Abdeen Fouad says, describing the recent unrest as part of a process of a continuing social transformation. 'The [revolt against Mubarak] sparked the revolution and it never ended. The revolution will continue until it achieves its goals.' By Jesse Rosenfeld CAIRO – Walking through Cairo’s Munira neighborhood on the third day of clashes since the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution, riot cops sit behind barbwire awaiting protesters’ return following a night of clashes. Just blocks from Tahrir Square and the U.S. and British Embassies, the neighborhood…

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  • The Plunge: An Egyptian liberal's response to Derfner

    No liberal can justify the extreme, gruesome violence perpetrated by the regime on unarmed demonstrators, in full view of the international media. The ends cannot justify the means. By R.W. Al-Thahabi As a liberal, I understand much of the fears of Western and liberal commentators following the overwhelming victory of Islamists in the Egyptian Parliament. Even further, I share such fears. And even though it has been argued repeatedly that not every Egyptian who voted for the Islamists made their choice on the basis of ideology, but rather often for pragmatic and more worldly reasons, I remain quite worried. Nevertheless, I…

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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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  • Origins and Responses to the Arab Awakening

    When the Arab awakening started, no one would have predicted that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak would be behind bars and asked to give account for abusing his power. It is a new Middle East, and despite chaos and confusion at the moment, it is clear that the age of unchallenged dictators is over. Liberal democracy are not born in a day, but are the result of a long struggle and reform.  Some analysts' expectations of the Middle East turning into a democracy overnight is nothing but wishful thinking. On the other hand those who believe that Arab countries cannot have…

  • Egyptian journalist: The revolution was not about Israel

    With very few exceptions, the protesters who toppled Hosni Mubarak did not even mention Israel during their 18-day revolution.  Even now, with post-revolutionary populism slightly on the rise, there is no-one, from anywhere on the political spectrum, who wants to abrogate the peace agreement. At the worst, Israel can expect the cold peace to become slightly chillier By Mohamed El Dahshan There was a “Down with Mubarak!” sign in Hebrew or two. With grammar mistakes, too. The implicit – and sometimes not so implicit – joke was that Mubarak was an Israeli agent and couldn’t read the signs ordering him…

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  • The Arab revolutions will not be tweeted

    The revolutions that toppled Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Mubarak were not planned on Facebook, and they did not gather momentum on Twitter. Social media is a useful tool for many things, but critical mass can only be achieved through old-fashioned, face-to-face people power By Maath Musleh As the youth revolutions flourished in the Arab world, many people started referring to them as Facebook revolutions. The young generation was called the Facebook generation. The social media did cross the imaginary borders between Arabs, but how much did social media influence the revolutions in the Arab world? As a social media…

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  • Egyptians polled during uprising: Many still scared to speak up

    No one knows what this evening will bring for Egypt. But a new Pechter Poll, funded by the Washington Institute for Near East policy, offers a remarkable insight from the days of revolution. Beware: It's a small sample of just 343 respondents, reached by land line and cellphone, from 5-8 February, during the third week of the uprising, in  both Cairo and Alexandria. I have a hard time believing that the poll is "enough to be representative" as the authors claim. The sample size is of course not as important as the correct demographic and geographic distribution. Maybe that's why…

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  • IDF officer's career torpedoed over corruption, but not over alleged war crimes

    In Israel, reporting on the upheaval in Egypt has been sidelined by news that the appointment of Major General Yoav Galant to IDF Chief of Staff has been cancelled. Yedioth, Israel's most widely read newspaper, devoted half of its pages to coverage of this development, pushing news of Mubrak's decision not to run for reelection to page 14. The Galant affair is petty and farcical, but is also instructive, and could have significant implications for Israel and the region. The background is a bitter power struggle between the popular incumbent Chief of Staff, Lt. General Gaby Ashkenazi, and the increasingly…

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  • Concerns about Israel mean getting on the right side of history

    While it is impossible to predict what kind of relationship Israel might have with a post-Mubarak Egypt, it is perfectly legitimate to be concerned about possible negative ramifications. But these concerns should not be an excuse for discrediting the Egyptian protesters By Lara Friedman Today Egypt is undergoing historic, organic change led by the people of Egypt.  The Egyptian people – not led by any single party or individual – are demonstrating through their actions that the longstanding political status quo in Egypt cannot continue.  It is still unknown how these protests will end and what Egypt’s government will look…

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  • Israelis view the street protests in Egypt with both fear and indifference

    In Israel, media coverage of the Egyptian uprising has been superficial at best. Most Israelis know little about the Arab world and are indifferent to the issues that brought Egyptians to the streets; instead, they focus on their fear that the Muslim Brotherhood, which is perceived as hostile to Israel, would fill a power vacuum left by the Mubarak regime By Elizabeth Tsurkov Most Israelis didn't see the protests in Egypt coming. The protests rocking Egypt for the past three days have left many Israeli spectators and analysts confused. If the downfall of Mubarak was supposed to mean a takeover…

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  • Israelis in Cairo: "We envy the Egyptian people"

    By Hagar Sheizaf and Bar Rose Two Israelis on holiday in Egypt were caught in the Cairo awakening. This is their report. ‪The Cairo pro-democratic demonstrations started on Wednesday at about 1:00pm. We were on our way to the Egyptian museum, and just happened to curiously stop by what later became one of the largest demonstrations ever held in Egypt; at that moment, it was quite a small gathering of people shouting anti-Mubarak slogans and about the same  amount of policemen gathering around them. At first, when we took our camera out, a man that was not taking part in…

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