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Feb 14 2011

Forgive Me For Not Joining The Bye Bye Mubarak Party

By at 9:22 am

On the off-chance that you’re living in a cave with restricted internet access that only lets you read, Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt.

Everyone I know back in The States (my family and I recently moved from LA to a kibbutz in Israel where my in laws live) is tossing around the words “freedom” and “liberation” like confetti all over facebook.  In fact, it seems like the whole world is celebrating.

But I’m not ready to join the party.

Actually, I’m a little nervous:  I’m a few hundred miles away from Cairo.  And while being this close to Egypt is cool if you want to check out the pyramids or get stoned on a beach in the Sinai Desert and drink sahlab, the fact remains that Egypt and Israel have not always been BFFs.

And, for all his faults, Mubarak helped keep the peace following the Camp David Accords.

In fact, during the recent fire in the Carmel, Mubarak sent planes to help put out the inferno.  That’s pretty neighborly if you ask me.

And while  katusha rockets come hurtling down onto Israeli towns in the North from our less-neighborly neighbors in Lebanon and Syria, the border between Israel and Egypt has been (relatively) chill.

In other words, there are no tanks in the Sinai ready to “drive Israel into the sea.”


Yeah, I know, I know,  Israel is not the center of the world.  The revolution isn’t about the Jews or Israel or my family on the kibbutz…  And clearly Mubarak screwed up during his tenure because obviously his people were unhappy.  Hell, even members of the Egyptian military defected on the job and joined the protesters. (That sound you here are students in Berkeley singing Kumbaya.)

But still.

Sure, right now it looks like Egypt might move in a more liberal direction, but the truth is we do not know who will seize power.

And so, while everyone celebrates, I think I’ll stay home and watch the news instead.

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

6 Responses to Forgive Me For Not Joining The Bye Bye Mubarak Party

  1. Shaun says:

    No one is saying that Mubarak was a great ruler, it’s simply being said that we must always watch, cautiously, for the future. Following the end of World War I, Germany restructured itself and chose a new leader to reform and repair their country; it didn’t work. The same thing happened for the Soviet Union, with Stalin. I didn’t want to see Mubarak in power, but I will be cautious of the new governing body, until it has proven itself.

  2. Jesse Bacon says:

    @Sarah I think you are greatly understating how brutal the Mubarakdregime was. Relying on such a regime will not make any of us safer in the long run. Count me out of the “Nostalgia for a Dictator” party

  3. Sara says:

    I get where you are coming from. If I were back in America it would be my progressive student activist side that saw nothing but rainbows, sunshine and Egyptian liberation. As I live within sight of the Lebanese border, I can be hopeful that a people will find a better self rule in time, but I can’t be blinded by the idea that disposing of a man who ruled for 30 years by HIS military will brighten the path to an entirely new future… which will also be guided by the military, and another militarized group.

    The rest of the world was pacified that the new regime would respect all established treaties, including Israel but in Israel we saw the immediate after announcement that established this single treaty (Camp David Accords) would be a different circumstance and is on the table to possibly be tabled. I don’t call your position pessimistic, but cautious, and I don’t blame you or myself for this mixed reaction to the new Egypt.

  4. Shaun says:

    I don’t think it was meant as a pessimistic view, but more of a statement of reality. It is incredibly wonderful that Egypt has a chance to become something greater, after 30 years of dictatorship. But, there’s also the reality that true democracy does not come easy in any Middle Eastern nation (Israel, included) when they face such a wide-open future. Mubarak’s reign needed to end, and I am happy to see it end, but he did bring peace to Israel during this time. So, in one sentence, I don’t think Sarah was wishing Mubarak was still in power, but rather, was expressing her concerns going forward.

  5. Sara says:

    I just can’t agree with you. You would deny the long-repressed population of an entire country, and have it continue under a dictator, just because of what the next regime MIGHT do? An Egypt with a government responsive to her people might (or, of course, might not) give her citizens a better outlet for their frustrations (e.g., participate in government if you don’t like the way things are), than previously (e.g., we won’t fix things because we’re corrupt, so blow of steam by blaming Israel instead). Of course, it is no more possible to guarantee my more optimistic thoughts, than your pessimistic ones, but I wish you weren’t so quick to condemn. I wish the people of Egypt well, and I celebrate Mubarak’s ouster. I hope other people in Israel will do the same.

  6. Shaun says:

    You expressed my exact thoughts during the protests. Though I am not in Israel, all I could do was ponder and worry about who would be next to step into power. As we wait for an answer, I will continue to pray for a fair leader of the Egyptian people and for a peaceful neighbor of those in Israel


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