After for several years being convinced that it was 1938, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who appears to live in a time warp, has now decided that it’s 1979. Iran was Germany and now Egypt is Iran.
From Jerusalem, the prospect of Egyptians fully-armed with votes looks more dangerous than Iranians stockpiling enriched uranium.
Further evidence of Israel’s concerns in response to the dangerous proliferation of freedom in Egypt is that hundreds of Egyptian troops are now being rushed into Sinai, heading towards Sharm el-Sheikh — the location where Hosni Mubarak is rumored to be mounting his last stand. Under the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, Sinai is a demilitarized zone and thus the troop movement required and received Israel’s consent.
Mubarak has ordered his new prime minister to begin talks with the opposition to find out their specific demands and protesters, recognizing that “Down With Mubarak!” might not be specific enough are now adding that he needs to be out by Friday.
Protesters gathering at Tahrir Square are now having their IDs check by the army. Heba Fatma Morayef, a Human Rights Watch Egypt researcher, said: “When I asked why a soldier replied: ‘it’s to keep the police out and make sure none of the escaped criminals get in.'”
Israeli officials are appealing to Egypt’s newly-appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman to maintain the siege on Gaza.
Meanwhile, Washington dithers — I mean, continues to monitor the situation.
After emerging from a White House meeting on Egypt on Monday, Marc Lynch, a foreign policy expert who blogs on the Middle East as Abu Aardvark, wrote on his Twitter feed: “as usual a lot of what you’re hearing about the administration’s policy is wrong.”
He then responded on the social network to a plea from the Cairo-based blogger and journalist Issandr El Amrani – who wrote: “@abuaardvark Since they can’t explain themselves clearly, perhaps you can translate for us!” – by summing up the Obama administration’s current stance in this simple Twitbite:
@arabist U.S. Egypt policy translated: keep army from using violence + get transition to a post-Mubarak real democracy, but not sure how.
One of the experts at the meeting told Politico:
While the administration is considering various options — including the possibility of at some point telling Mubarak privately it’s time to leave — “I don’t think they are there yet.”