What Is Going On In Egypt?


UPDATE:  The steady rain of Palestinian Qassam rockets and mortars on southern Israel continues unabated (check israelstreet breaking news). Each of these terrorist launches is followed by the obligatory IAF bombing of buildings in Gaza. Nothing is done by the IDF to bring this ridiculous situation to a halt.

TODAY’S BLOG:

The Egyptian Parliament

The final results of the incredibly convoluted Egyptian elections for the 332 “list” seats in the 498 member Egyptian lower Parliament are finally in:

the hard line Islamist Muslim Brotherhood won 127 seats (38%)

the even harder line Islamist Al-Nour Party won 96 seats (29%)

the “liberal” New Wafd Party won 36 seats

the Egyptian Bloc Party won 33 seats

the “Revolution Continues” coalition of young people won 7 seats

The actual number of Islamists elected will be even greater than that indicated by the results above because many of the individuals running for the remaining 166 ‘individual’ seats in the 498 seat lower Parliament are also Islamists.

Does this embrace of radical Islamists make any difference? It appears as if the Egyptian military has regained its swagger and is brooking no interference in its governing of the country despite its promise to turn over power to an elected president in June. On Wednesday, Egyptian leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi posted these remarks in the Egyptian media:

“Egypt is facing grave schemes and conspiracies it has not seen before. The armed forces is the backbone that protects Egypt. These schemes are aimed at targeting that backbone. We will not allow it and will carry out our task perfectly to hand over the nation to an elected civilian administration.”

He should have added: “an elected civilian administration under Egyptian military control.” 

According to activists, the military has killed at least 80 protestors since October and put more than 12,000 civilians before military tribunals.  In advance of the anniversary of the overthrow of President Mubarak (who is surreally still being tried for killing protestors and imprisoning activists as these current events take place), the military has begun ordering the arrest of protest leaders from across the political spectrum. They are being accused of being “agents for foreign powers.”

General Tantawi arrives in Libya

More than this, Tantawi is now acting like Egypt’s new leader by going on his first ‘international’ tour. On Monday, he flew into Tripoli to discuss boosting the Libyan economy, enhancing trade between Libya and Egypt, and extraditing members of the Qadafi government who sought refuge in Egypt.

How does all of this affect Israel? The obvious point is that the democratic elections in Egypt have produced a government that will be non-democratic, Islamist, and anti-Israel to the core. To the extent that the Egyptian military can rein in these elements, Israel will benefit.

THIS DAY IN ISRAELI HISTORY:

On January 21, 1988, a three man Palestinian terrorist squad infiltrated Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Armed with assault rifles, rockets and explosives, they managed to penetrate 30 yards into Israeli territory before they were spotted and killed by an Israeli patrol south of Kibbutz Manara. The PLO claimed responsibility for the attempted attack.

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