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September 16, 2011

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Turkey Warns Cyprus Against Offshore Gas Drilling - Selcan Hacaoglu (Huffington Post)
    Turkey warned Cyprus Thursday against proceeding with offshore oil and gas drilling activities after Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias announced that U.S. firm Noble Energy will soon begin exploratory drilling to confirm deposits beneath the sea bed off Cyprus' southern coast.
    Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as a sovereign country and strongly objects to the Greek Cypriot search for mineral deposits inside the island's exclusive economic zone.
    Cyprus was split into a Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded the island. The island's northern part declared its independence in 1983 but it is recognized only by Turkey, which maintains 35,000 troops there.

    See also Report: Russia Sends Nuclear Subs to Patrol Cyprus Waters - Sarah Fenwick (Cyprus News Report)
    Russia has sent two nuclear-powered submarines to patrol Eastern Mediterranean waters around Cyprus and enforce the island's right to explore for undersea oil and gas in its territorial seas, according to information from (Greece), citing a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman.
    Alexander Lukashevich said that Russia supports Cyprus and guarantees its security if it is threatened.
    The Russian move is being interpreted as a clear warning to Turkey to stay away from Noble Energy's drilling sites.
    Noble is set to start exploring for undersea gas at the beginning of October along with Israeli energy company Delek, which shares in the licensing deal with Cyprus.

Turks Hand Over Deserted Officer to Syria - Ivan Watson (CNN)
    Syrian activists are denouncing the Turkish government in the wake of the Syrian regime's announcement that it has a deserted army officer in custody.
    Lt. Col. Hussein al-Harmoush defected months ago and began broadcasting video statements denouncing the Syrian government, before eventually fleeing to neighboring Turkey.
    Omar al-Muqdad, a prominent Syrian opposition activist now in exile in Turkey, said the Turks handed al-Harmoush over to the Syrian secret police.

Al-Qaeda Tightens Grip in Sinai - Dan Williams (Reuters)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's counter-terrorism czar told an Israeli-hosted security conference this week Egypt's political entropy had helped reinforce and arm Sinai radicals.
    "Many jihadists were released from jail....[They] bring into the area many years of experience, knowledge, courage and people who actually do not have anything to lose," said Nitzan Nuriel.
    He said such militants were flush with weaponry looted in civil war-ravaged countries such as Libya and Yemen.
    "If you want to buy, today, a mortar or a machinegun or even a MANPAD (anti-aircraft missile), all you need is a few dollars and you get it," Nuriel said. "The level of the threat is much more dramatic than it was a year ago."
    On a tactical level, al-Qaeda has "benefited in places like the Sinai," said Lorenzo Vidino of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich. Visiting Egypt last month, Vidino said he had heard "virtually the same assessment from the remnants of the Egyptian security forces, which are concerned with their own security."

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Israel's Submarine Fleet - Alex Fishman (Ynet News)
    On 9/11, the IDF submarine Leviathan of the advanced Dolphin model was on a training exercise at sea. The submarine went into high alert and sank into the water for a period of several weeks.
    At such moments of uncertainty, Israel's first walls of defense are its long-range strategic arms that include the submarine fleet.
    Israel's enemies must be made to understand that should they dare use any weapon of mass destruction, their own fate will be sealed.
    According to foreign reports, Israel's Dolphin fleet plays a crucial role in such deterrence with its second-strike capability - Israel will always be able to strike back.
    The Navy is preparing to double Israel's submarine fleet from three to six in the next five years.

Saudis Continue Anti-Israel Boycott - Michael Freund (Jerusalem Post)
    Six years after promising Washington to drop their boycott of Israel, Saudi Arabia continues to enforce an embargo against the Jewish state.
    The U.S. Treasury Department issued a quarterly "list of countries requiring cooperation with an international boycott," on August 11, which included Saudi Arabia.
    In addition, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce lists nine separate examples of recent Saudi efforts to enforce a boycott of Israel.
    In November 2005, Riyadh promised the Bush administration they would abandon the boycott after Washington conditioned the kingdom's entry into the World Trade Organization on such a move.

Hints of High Life Sprout in Poverty-Stricken Gaza - Crispian Balmer (Reuters)
    A smart hotel which aspires to five-star service, a shopping outlet that boasts Gaza's first in-store escalator and a sparkling supermarket stocked to the rafters have all opened their doors this summer.

Standard and Poor's Upgrades Israel to A+ - Yossi Nissan (Globes)
    Standard & Poor's has upgraded Israel's long-term foreign-currency sovereign rating from A to A+ with a "Stable" outlook. S&P also reaffirmed Israel's local currency rating at AA-.
    S&P said, "The rating action reflects our view of Israel's... strong growth and careful macroeconomic management.... Israel is on a credible path toward continued government debt burden reduction and stronger external indicators."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • EU Seeks Limited Upgrade of Palestinians' UN Status - Justyna Pawlak
    The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, is trying to negotiate a package that would not rule out full UN membership for a Palestinian state in the future but focuses for now on a lesser upgrade of their status coupled with a specific mention of talks, a senior EU diplomat said Thursday. (Reuters)
        See also U.S. Not Involved in Negotiations over Palestinian UN Bid Text
    Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said Thursday that America is not involved in trying to tone down a draft UN resolution on Palestinian statehood. "We're not negotiating any text, we're not engaged in efforts to water down a text," Rice said. "We're making the case that this is not a productive course."  (JTA)
        See also U.S. Sees Wider Recognition of Need for Mideast Talks
    There is a growing perception that the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians can only be resolved via negotiations and will not be settled by Palestinian moves to seek recognition at the UN, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday. "I think there is certainly a growing recognition among not only the parties and the region - but beyond, that there is no real answer to all of these concerns that we share other than negotiations on the tough issues like borders, like security, and other matters that can only be resolved (via negotiations) and will not be resolved if some other route is taken at the United Nations."  (Reuters)
  • UK Legal Reforms Make It Harder to Arrest Foreign Politicians - Alex Spillius
    A legal reform came into force on Thursday that will make it harder to arrest foreign politicians visiting Britain for suspected human rights abuses committed in other countries. The changes won praise from Israel, which had issued vigorous calls for change after former foreign minister Tzipi Livni cancelled a trip to London in 2009 because Palestinian campaigners sought her arrest for war crimes.
        A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy said: "We are hopeful that this correction will finally close that loophole which was abused by opportunistic groups promoting their sinister purposes." The new law requires the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions before an arrest warrant can be issued in universal jurisdiction cases, meaning political considerations regarding allies such as Israel are more likely to be taken into account. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Low Turnout for Anti-Israel Rally in Jordan - Isabel Kershner
    Efforts to organize a million-person march on the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan's capital, concluded on Thursday with about 200 pro-Palestinian protesters cordoned off by nearly as many Jordanian police and security officers in a vacant lot about a mile away from the diplomatic mission. The turnout was clearly a disappointment to many of the participants, who demanded the closing of the embassy, the expulsion of the ambassador and the annulment of the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty.
        This is a time of rising tension between Jordanians of Palestinian origin and the original Jordanians known as East Bankers. Across the road from Thursday's rally, patriotic music blared from the house of an East Banker family who had placed loudspeakers on the front porch, often drowning out the chants of the protesters. "They are not real Jordanians," said the head of the family, Jaafar Abu Hashish. "They are not against Israel, they are against Jordan," he said. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF on High Alert Ahead of West Bank Demonstrations - Yaakov Katz
    The IDF was set to go on high alert on Friday throughout the West Bank amid concerns over Palestinian demonstrations that were expected to erupt already this weekend north of Jerusalem and in Hebron. The IDF has completed the deployment of several additional infantry battalions to the West Bank that have undergone special anti-riot training. In addition, units were also deployed in the south near Gaza and in the north to prevent border infiltrations from Syria and Lebanon.
        IDF assessments are that the Palestinian will work - at least in the beginning - to prevent the demonstrations from turning violent. Large demonstrations are scheduled for Wednesday in Ramallah, Jenin and Nablus. (Jerusalem Post)
  • In Ramallah, No One Wants Another Intifada - Avi Issacharoff
    Bulldozers were flattening the hill opposite Yasser Arafat's mausoleum and PA headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank on Thursday, preparing a large plaza for the "independence celebrations." 94 flags of states that have already recognized the Palestinian state surround the plaza. But nobody is speaking about an intifada here. The Palestinians have learned the lesson from the last intifada. All the organized events will take place in Palestinian city centers, a clear sign of wishing to avoid confrontations with the IDF.
        "Forget the third intifada," a leading Palestinian journalist, seen as close to Fatah, told Ha'aretz. Throughout the West Bank people say no third intifada is expected. The general feeling among the Palestinian public is of weariness. Yet the possibility for escalation and deterioration exists. (Ha'aretz)
  • Turkey Is No Economic Powerhouse - Guy Bechor
    Turkey is not an economic power, but rather a state whose credit bubble will be exploding any moment and bringing down its economy. The budget deficit of the collapsing Greece compared to its GDP stands at some 10%. At the same time, Turkey's deficit is at 9.5%. (Israel's deficit stands at 3% and is expected to decline to 2% this year.)
        While Turkey's economy grew by 10% this year, this was the result of financial manipulation. The banks in Erdogan's Turkey handed out loans and mortgages to any seeker in recent years, offering very low interest rates. Turkey's Central Bank financed this credit party via loans from overseas. Turkey's external debt doubled in the past 18 months, which were election campaign months. Erdogan's regime was re-elected not because of Islamic sentiments, but rather because he handed out low-interest loans to everyone. Now the date for returning the loans is approaching.
        With a weak currency and with a stock exchange that lost some 40% of its value in dollars in the last six months, Erdogan wants to be the Middle East's ruler? (Ynet News)
  • Israel Foreign Ministry Releases YouTube Video on Peace Process
    Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Tuesday released a YouTube video entitled "The Truth About the Peace Process," to demonstrate "that the reason there is no successful peace process is because of decades of Palestinian and Arab recalcitrance." "The Palestinians were offered a state many times over the last several decades but rejected each offer because it would have meant recognizing Jewish sovereignty," Ayalon said. He decided to release the new video after seeing the "vast success" of a previous YouTube video which attempted to "show the truth about Israel's rights in the West Bank." Ayalon has plans for two more videos that will deal with refugees and Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: The Truth About the Peace Process - Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (YouTube)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • The UN Vote and Palestinian Statehood: An Unnecessary Gamble - Robert M. Danin
    Phase II of the 2003 Quartet Roadmap for Peace offered the option of creating "an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders" as a stepping stone to a negotiated permanent final-status agreement. The Palestinian leadership long rejected this option. Now they have effectively reversed course, hoping for just such an outcome with their effort to attain international statehood recognition at the UN.
        But the net outcome would likely set back, rather than advance, their national aspirations. First, accession to the UN would undermine Palestinians' moral and historical claims to being a stateless people, a status that has kept their plight at the top of the international agenda for decades. In the international community's eyes, moreover, the conflict with Israel would effectively become a border dispute - one of scores around the world - not an existential challenge to the Palestinians. This would reduce the saliency and centrality of the Palestinian issue for many.
        By adopting a publicly confrontational approach toward the Israelis, the Palestinian leadership has only managed to convince Israelis and many in the international community that they seek to delegitimize the Jewish state, not live alongside it. The writer is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and a former Director for the Levant and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs at the National Security Council. (Foreign Affairs)
  • The Folly of the Palestinian Statehood Bid - Houriya Ahmed and Julia Pettengill
    Recent polls suggest that the majority of Palestinians remain united in their commitment to independence, but are increasingly ambivalent about the value of the statehood gambit, and more focused on measures which will tangibly improve their daily life. As Dr. Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Taskforce on Palestine, told us: "Palestinians aren't stupid - they know this UN bid is not going to create a Palestinian state. Now that they've had time to see what the costs will be, it's clear that many Palestinians are re-evaluating the effectiveness of the bid."
        The potential loss in American aid to the PA as a result of the bid could have serious fallout for the fledgling economy of the West Bank. The U.S., which currently contributes approximately $500 million in annual aid to the PA, objects to the statehood bid on the grounds that it subverts the negotiation process with Israel, and has threatened to withdraw or severely curtail these funds. The writers are Research Fellows at the Henry Jackson Society. (Telegraph-UK)
  • The Palestinians' UN Theatrics - Marc Ginsberg
    No matter the hoopla surrounding it, the UN vote on Palestinian statehood is a detour leading nowhere. The measure will yield only more opposition from UN members that matter most to Palestinians: Israel, the U.S., Europe and neighboring Arab states. At the end of the day they will likely share the enhanced status as a "nonmember state" of the UN similar to the status granted the Vatican. Is this really worth the price the PA is about to force its citizenry to pay?
        The UN theatrics is a poke in the eye at the president's efforts to forge reconciliation with the Arab and broader Muslim worlds. It leaves the U.S. exposed to the prospect that it may have to defy the will of the international community even though the president passionately believes that a negotiated settlement leading to a two-state solution serves everyone's cause. And this comes after the American people have donated more to the plight of Palestinian refugees than every Arab nation combined. The writer is a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco. (Huffington Post)
  • Palestinians Forge Ahead with UN Statehood Push. Are They Ready? - Joshua Mitnick
    Some Palestinians say that pushing for the UN to take action on statehood is premature and potentially detrimental to Palestinians. "The Palestinians don't have the ability to stand on their own if Israel says, 'Do it yourself,'" says a senior Israeli official. "It's an international illusion. They have no currency, no tax system, and they have no ability to deal with Hamas."
        In August 2009, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched a two-year initiative to prepare for statehood. Foreign donors underwrote his state-building project to the tune of nearly $2 billion a year. Today, Fayyad can point to the overhaul of the Palestinian security forces, the reestablishment of law and order in towns, and increased transparency of key ministries like the treasury. Yet few Palestinians say the UN vote will change their daily lives. They are more worried about losing international aid - $1.7 billion, or a quarter of the Palestinian gross domestic product - as a result of the vote. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • UN Vote Could Have Unintended Consequences for Palestinians - Joel Mowbray
    With the Palestinians reportedly poised to force a vote for statehood at the UN Security Council next week that would embarrass the U.S. and be seen as a direct assault on Israel, the PA's smooth sailing in Washington could soon end abruptly. Its standing in Washington already has been tenuous because Congress this year finally has made the ongoing Palestinian incitement against Israel a priority. Although U.S. taxpayer funds do not officially cover Palestinian broadcasting, the fungible nature of money means that U.S. taxpayers indirectly make possible rabid and unrelenting Palestinian incitement against Israel. The writer is an adjunct fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. (Washington Times)

  • Egypt

  • Washington's Limited Influence in Egypt - David Schenker
    After thirty years of joint exercises, stateside training for the officer corps, and over $35 billion in U.S. military assistance, just how much influence Washington has with the Egyptian military remains unclear. While Egyptian officers clearly appreciate the benefits of military-to-military ties with Washington, the leverage derived from this relationship has been overstated.
        Simply put, the $1.3 billion a year U.S. grant isn't what it used to be. When U.S. assistance started flowing back in 1981, the annual military grant equated to more than 5% of the state's GDP. In 2010, it stood at less than 1/4 of a percent. Thus, it is unlikely that U.S. attempts to condition this aid to politically difficult decisions would be successful. And Washington's influence in Cairo will become even more tenuous when (and if) the military eventually returns to the barracks after elections.
        In the populist politics of post-revolution Egypt, close ties with the U.S. are considered a liability. In late July, the state-owned October magazine ran a cover story about the new U.S. envoy to Cairo titled, "Ambassador from Hell." Just a month earlier, Cairo turned down a $3 billion low-interest IMF loan with virtually no conditions attached, a decision seemingly predicated on a popular aversion to the U.S.: According to a Gallup Poll taken earlier this year, 75% of Egyptians oppose accepting U.S. economic assistance. The writer is director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Weekly Standard)
  • Israel's Ambassador to Egypt Recalls Riot - Judith Miller
    In an interview, Yitzhak Levanon, Israel's ambassador to Egypt, described the 13-hour drama at the Israel Embassy in Cairo. Coordinating with the Egyptian commandos, the Israelis devised a code that would let the Israeli guards know when their rescuers had reached the reinforced metal door to the security room which stood between them and the mob. "They had to determine that they were the good guys, not the bad guys," Levanon said. Disguised in Egyptian garb, the Israeli guards were spirited out of the besieged embassy and through the screaming mob.
        Egyptian officials now acknowledge that their security services' initial lack of response to the assault on the embassy has created a "credibility crisis" for Egypt over its ability to protect diplomatic compounds as international law and tradition require and to maintain security within its own borders. The incident has "damaged Egypt's image and its international reputation," acknowledged Osama Heikal, Egypt's minister of media. (Tablet)
  • Setting Egypt on Fire - Tariq Alhomayed
    What the Egyptians seem to have forgotten is that the storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo, after the Egyptian revolution, is reminiscent of the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran after the Iranian revolution, so is this the future of Egypt? Is a confrontation with Israel the key to solving Egypt's internal problems? Was the Egyptian revolution originally undertaken to overthrow a peace agreement with Israel?
        Thus, the problem with regard to what is happening in Egypt is the notable absence of rationality and a failure to prioritize the interests of the state, alongside the remarkable absence of rational voices from political leaders, who are yet to speak clearly to alert everyone of the necessity not to drag Egypt into chaos. The fact is that Egypt's problems are purely internal. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
  • Keep the Peace between Israel and Egypt - Chuck Freilich
    Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, there has been increasingly strident anti-Israeli invective in Egypt, including calls by a number of presidential candidates to recall the ambassador. The Muslim Brotherhood repeatedly has advocated downgrading or even abrogating the peace treaty, and the Egyptian-Israeli gas line has been bombed multiple times.
        For more than three decades the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty has been the linchpin of U.S. policy in the Mideast, allowing the U.S. to build a pro-Western Arab camp, contain radicals and promote peace. For Israel, it has been even more crucial, putting an end to the warfare with the greatest of its adversaries and allowing it to devote its resources both to other fronts and, more important, domestically. All sides must now do everything possible to prevent a collapse of the peace treaty and the horrific possibility of renewed hostilities. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Egypt Must Support Peace - Editorial
    Given the enduring importance of the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty as the bedrock of what passes for peace in the Middle East, events in Cairo that have seen the Israeli ambassador forced to flee in the middle of the night as mobs stormed his embassy could hardly be more ominous. Egypt's interests will be served not by confronting Israel but by maintaining the treaty that has served both countries so well for so long. Ganging up with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is seeking support for his imminent quest for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, will ill-serve Egypt. (The Australian)

  • Other Issues

  • Israel's Determination Unshaken - Edmund Sanders
    An Egyptian mob stormed Israel's Embassy in Cairo. Turkey is threatening to dispatch warships off Israel's coast. Yet the external pressure appears to be only hardening many Israelis' resolve to do what they say they've always done: Go it alone.
        "In our region, peace is not made with the weak and obsequious," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week. "Peace is made with a strong and proud Israel." "Israelis maintain a general perception that the world is hostile towards them anyway and don't believe the world would embrace them if they only changed their ways," said pollster Tamar Hermann, a sociology professor at Israel's Open University.
        "Those who say Israel is isolated are greatly exaggerating the situation," said Professor Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University. "Our rivals in the Arab world are busy with domestic problems and are less capable of mobilizing force against us," he said. "We should sit and weather the crisis. Sometimes doing nothing is the best strategy."   (Los Angeles Times)
  • Durban and 9/11 - Ten Years Later - Irwin Cotler
    On the eve of 9/11, the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, emerged as the tipping point for a new wave of anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-racism. If 9/11 was the Kristallnacht of terror, Durban was the Mein Kampf. A conference purportedly organized to fight racism was turned into a festival of racism against Israel and the Jewish people.
        On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, let us not overlook the racism and evil still prevalent today. As history has taught us only too well, while it begins with Jews, it does not end with Jews. Combating racism, hate and anti-Semitism is everyone's responsibility. The writer, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, was a member of the Canadian delegation to the Durban Conference. (Jerusalem Post)
  • How Anti-Semitism Prevents Peace - David Patterson
    The greatest obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians is virulent, jihadist hatred of Jews. Hamas and Fatah have developed a theological and ideological justification that precludes any negotiations that would lead to a lasting peace with a Jewish state. At best, one can expect an application of the PLO's phased strategy, which gives the illusion of peace without renouncing its goal of Jewish extermination.
        Neither Hamas nor Fatah can agree in good faith to any peace with the Jews since in their eyes to do so would amount to treason or apostasy or both. The writer is Hillel Feinberg Chair in Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is the author of A Genealogy of Evil: Anti-Semitism from Nazism to Islamic Jihad (2011). (Middle East Quarterly)
  • The Mounting Problem of Temple Denial - David Barnett
    Temple Denial is the belief that no Jewish Temple ever existed in Jerusalem. Yet this claim is counter to Islamic tradition. Koranic historian and commentator Abu Jafar Muhammad al-Tabari, who chronicled the seventh century Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, wrote that one day when Umar finished praying, he went to the place where "the Romans buried the Temple [bayt al-maqdis] at the time of the sons of Israel." Eleventh-century historian Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Maqdisi and fourteenth-century Iranian religious scholar Hamdallah al-Mustawfi acknowledged that the al-Aqsa Mosque was built on top of Solomon's Temple.
        During the Palestine Mandate, the Supreme Muslim Council published yearly guidebooks to the Haram al-Sharif (the Temple Mount). The 1924, 1925, 1929, and 1935 guidebooks all stated that the Haram al-Sharif's "identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings." The recognition of the Temple Mount's importance to Jews in the guidebooks continued until 1950. However, by 1954, the references to Solomon's Temple disappeared.
        Palestinian nationalist ideology is predicated on the rejection of Zionism and Jewish ties to the Land of Israel. The continued spread of Temple Denial poses a serious problem to a peace process based on coexistence and mutual recognition. (GLORIA Center-IDC Herzliya)

Optimists Were Wrong About the Arab Spring - Josef Joffe (Wall Street Journal Europe)

  • Like many, I thought that dawn was finally breaking over the Arab world when those nice, middle-class crowds thronged Cairo's Tahrir Square chanting "freedom" and "democracy." What a wondrous moment of transcendence! Free the people, and they will free themselves from the obsession of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism their overlords had implanted to distract them from misery and oppression.
  • It was a false dawn - and not only because of the sacking of the Israeli embassy in Cairo last week. The demons of yore are back, and presumably, they have never left. The Friday demonstration on Tahrir Square was at first yet another protest against the military regime. But at the end, several thousands armed with Palestinian flags, crowbars and hammers marched off to the Israeli embassy.
  • But there is more. For six hours, desperate Israeli leaders tried to contact the junta; its leader Field Marshall Tantawi refused to speak with either the prime minister or his defense minister. It took another seven before Egyptian security forces rescued the last Israeli - perhaps only because Washington had interceded in the meantime.
  • The moral of this tale is simple. The revolution isn't going anywhere, and life is as miserable as always. So how about a little pogrom? It wasn't the junta that invented this stratagem, but our good friend Hosni Mubarak. How do despots stay in power amid poverty, hopelessness and repression? By feeding the people the heady brew of hatred against the "Other."

    The writer is editor of Die Zeit in Hamburg, a senior fellow of the Freeman-Spogli Institute, and a fellow of the Hoover Institution.
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