Israel, Egypt and the ‘F’ Word

Rob Eshman in Jewish Journal:

ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 02 09.15 Israelis and their supporters are wondering whether the uprising in Egypt is good for Israel. They want to know: Will it bring a radical Muslim government to power? Will outgoing strongman Hosni Mubarak’s replacement stick by the country’s treaties with Israel? Will a new Egypt keep supplying Israel with natural gas? Will a new Egypt cooperate to stop Hamas terrorists in Gaza from attacking Israel?

The fearmongerers and fatalists are already at the megaphones. Pro-Israel Web sites are full of well-recycled gotcha quotes from Mohammed El Baradei, Egypt’s apparent next leader, “proving” that he has it in for Israel. Overnight, the same people who have long pointed to the cold peace with Egypt as Exhibit A for why Israel shouldn’t cede an inch of land to any Arab government are now rushing to defend Mubarak as a stalwart ally.

Meanwhile, Israel’s official response has been first silence, then a strident call for stability, which can easily be understood to mean support for the current regime.

What’s going on? A massive, heartfelt liberation sweeps through the most populous Arab country in the world, with the prospect of rescuing future generations from drowning in oppression and stagnation. The Arab street cries freedom, and what do we cry? Oy!

More here. [Thanks to Zara Houshmand.]