Egypt's Prison of Hate

(Wall Street Journal) Bret Stephens - Essam El-Irian, a senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, says that while he believes the Israeli Mossad was behind the New Year's Eve massacre of a score of Coptic Christian worshippers outside a church in Alexandria, he won't rule out the possibility that al-Qaeda itself may now be under Israeli operational control. Even if Egypt's leaders don't believe the preposterous anti-Israel and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that circulate in their streets and newspapers, the regime understands that hatred of Israel remains the string that binds an increasingly fractious country together. For the West, it means an Egypt that resembles Iran in the waning days of the Shah, in which a comparatively moderate regime led by a sickly despot confronts a restive and radical public. The ultimate source of Arab backwardness lies in the debasement of the Arab mind. When the only diagnosis Egyptians can offer for their various predicaments is that it's all a Zionist plot, you know that the country is in very deep trouble.

2011-01-04 10:41:29

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