Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Setting Egypt on fire | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Egyptian government was speaking the truth when it said that Egypt is currently exposed to a genuine plight that threatens the structure of the state as a whole. It is therefore wrong to only focus on the storming the Israeli embassy in Cairo, in isolation from other incidents that would indicate that there are serious attempts to set Egypt alight.

The act of storming the Israeli embassy can be considered the second landmark event dragging Egypt towards a war with Israel. The first relates to the recent events in Sinai, which claimed the lives of Egyptian soldiers. It is clear that there is currently an organized effort to inflame the internal situation in Egypt, from the gates of Israel, specifically through the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement. This means that there are those trying to harm Egypt by dragging it into non-calculated or unnecessary battles. What’s amazing is that despite all these attempts, the reactions of the Egyptian leaders – politicians, intellectuals or journalists – have yet to reach the required level.

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 US embassy in Tehran after the Iranian revolution, so is this the future of Egypt? Is a confrontation with Israel, or thrusting the Camp David Accords onto the Egyptian scene today, the key to solving Egypt’s internal problems? Was the Egyptian revolution originally undertaken to overthrow a peace agreement with Israel? Strangely, the attempts to drag Egypt into a confrontation with Israel seem to be an attempt to respond to those who said that the Egyptian revolution was conducted without a foreign agenda, and without burning the flags of America or Israel!

Thus, the problem with regards 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. It is clear, unfortunately, that many Egyptian political leaders are more interested in their political futures than the future of Egypt, and the safety of the state as a whole. This doesn’t relate to politicians only, for anyone following the Egyptian press, and the unfair, organized campaigns it has directed against some Arab countries, would believe that Egypt’s problems are external only. Yet the fact is that Egypt’s problems are purely internal, most notably relating to the dimension of realism and prudence. The Egyptian revolution is without a head, and the demonstrations every Friday are without real demands, they are inflammatory rather than realistic; based on slogans rather than seeking to make a real difference. Despite that, all demonstrations enjoy the courtesy of the media and the elite, without posing the simple question which is: In what direction is Egypt heading? Overthrowing the Mubarak regime is not the most important achievement, but rather identifying and correcting Egypt’s course is the ultimate goal.

In Egypt today, the problem is that there is no place to put forward reasoned and serious questions. Rather, Egypt is a chaotic – mistakenly labeled revolutionary – state, ready to blame all troubles on foreign entities. It is unfortunate that some in Egypt are either busy looking out for their self-interests or maintaining a negative silence, alongside the presence of an emotionally-charged, but not sincere, media institution. This is despite the existence of an organized effort to set Egypt ablaze!

So, as I always say: May God help Egypt, for the sake of all Egyptians!