Daily Israel Report

Israel's 'Role' in Egypt

With Egypt refusing to drop from the news, anti-Israel columnists insist on dragging in - and blaming - Israel.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/14/2011, 1:00 PM / Last Update: 2/14/2011, 1:48 PM

With Egypt refusing to drop from the news, anti-Israel columnists insist on dragging in - and blaming - Israel.

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times outdid himself in Sunday’s column, writing that though “Israel was not part of this [uprising] at all,” the “children of Egypt were having their liberation moment and the children of Israel decided to side with Pharaoh – right to the very end.”

“Israel today,” Friedman wrote, “has the most out-of-touch, in-bred, unimaginative and cliché-driven cabinet it has ever had,” adding that the White House became “thoroughly disgusted” with Israeli government representatives.

Behind Friedman’s attack on Israel is his particular understanding of the Egyptian uprising, touted unquestioningly by the liberal end of the American political spectrum. Friedman believes that the rebellion is about nothing more than the pursuit of “the most basic human rights… freedom, dignity and justice.”  

“What makes the uprising here so impressive,” according to Friedman, “is precisely the fact that it is not owned by, and was not inspired by, the Muslim Brotherhood. It is so much more powerful than that. As I said, it is being propelled by the most basic, universal human emotions – a quest for freedom, dignity and justice... It is not about anything narrow, like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, America or Palestine.  It cannot easily be pigeon-holed and delegitimized. Most of all, it is not about some populist upsurge that craves restarting the war with Israel. It is all about a people who crave the chance to restart their own future, their own lives.”

Yes, But What About the End?
The writer relates not at all to those who have shown that historically, revolutions that begin in the pursuit of justice and freedom often end up in the hands of dictatorial, fanatical, war-mongering zealots.  

Soros: Israel is the Main Stumbling Block
Another swipe against Israel was taken by billionaire George Soros, a Hungarian-born Jew famous for blaming Israel and the Jews for anti-Semitism. In his most recent column – in the Washington Post on Feb. 3 – Soros wrote that Israel is the “main stumbling block” on the path to peaceful transition in Egypt. In listing the concerns of some who fear “adverse consequences of free elections in Egypt,” he equates Israel’s “adamant” opposition to regime change with the fear that “supply of oil from the region could be disrupted.”

Suissa's Rebuttal
David Suissa, CEO of Suissa Miller Advertising and a columnist for the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles, responded to Soros and  especially to what he called Soros’ “luldicrous” claim that Israelis the “main stumbling block.” Suissa wrote on JewishWorldReview.com, “As if some real and concrete stumbling blocks aren't already there in Egypt, like a history of anti-democratic regimes that have ruled the country since before Israel was born; or the absence of myriad democratic institutions that are essential to the flourishing of a civil society; or the widespread dissemination of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and anti-anything Western; or the fact that the only significant organized group in the country - the Muslim Brotherhood - is enamored more with the theocracy of Shariah law than the democracy of Thomas Jefferson. Aren't these ‘made in Egypt’ stumbling blocks big enough for you? You still had to find a way to squeeze in Israel as the main culprit?..."

"You, Mr. Soros, have been criticizing Israel for so long that you have become that criticism," Suissa wrote. "Even when you are presented with a glaring example of the value of Israel's open and civil society, you refuse to give the country its due. You must criticize Israel, you must find a way to blame it, because this is what you do - and this is who you are.”