Egypt's army: This Pharaoh we can cheer

The Egyptian army is doing the work Americans don’t want to do Photo: Egyptian tanks (AP)

NEW YORK, August 21, 2013 — Morsi is down. Mubarak is up. Welcome to the Middle East.

An hour from now it could go the other way. But as of the moment, Islamist and former president Mohamed Morsi is still in jail. Meanwhile, non-Islamist and former president/strongman Hosni Mubarak is being released from jail. This is welcome news to those who believe that in some cases there is no choice.

Some nations need to be ruled by an iron fist.

Mubarak ruled just like that and he did in fact keep order.

He did it by using the army to crack heads when it got to be tribe against tribe and especially when radical Muslims stopped whispering and got too loud.

Then came the “Arab Spring.” Mubarak was deposed and arrested and on came Morsi through what many believe to have been a rigged election. Morsi, as president, was a nightmare. But if you were an Islamic terrorist, Morsi was your man. This led to an “Arab Spring” in reverse, which is where we find ourselves today.

We find the Egyptian army cracking down on Islamic terrorists and taking no prisoners. They have been cleaning house to near Biblical proportions.

If skeptics thought they would never see the day when Israel would cheer an Egyptian army, here it is. The day has arrived when Israel loves Pharaoh, at least this Pharaoh, Egypt’s army, and if we in the United States had any sense, we would cheer right along.

The Egyptian army is doing the work Americans don’t want to do…and which Israel is reluctant to do.

In fact, from John Kerry onwards, in an act of true madness, Israel is being asked to release the same jihadists that have been thorns underfoot for decades and centuries. Israel has already released 26 of these murderers with more to come straight into the welcoming arms of Hamas and Fatah. This is crazy.

Some know it from history and some know it from remembering, that until the 1979 Camp David Peace Treaty, signed between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, Egypt was constantly at war against Israel, America’s closest, most reliable and most powerful ally. Our Middle East assets were at constant risk.

The Egyptian army was to be feared. Under the rulership of Gamel Abdel Nasser, Israel faced the Biblical Pharaoh who “knew not Joseph,” and who forced the Israelites into slavery. Nasser went to bed and awoke dreaming his dream of driving Israel into the sea. He started the 1967 war. This cost him the Sinai, just for starters.

Abiding the Camp David Accords, Israel gave up the Sinai. But both sides agreed that a non-United Nations neutral force would keep the peace.

Or as Lawrence of Arabia had it, he liked the desert “because it is clean.”

Egypt was to do everything in its power to prevent war and chaos, keep it clean…and this is where we find ourselves today, even at this moment.

The Egyptian army is fighting against rogue elements in the Sinai that are threatening both Egypt and Israel. Israel is watching this carefully. This is normally the fight Israel has on its hands from Hamas and other terrorists, but it is a fight being waged by the Egyptian army, themselves mostly Muslims, but against Muslims that have become radicalized and murderous.

In other words, Egypt and Israel are up against a common enemy. They are on the same side. Who said this can never happen? (I did.)

The Hebrew Bible is clear about Egypt as a foe. Jacob said, “Bury me not in Egypt.”

However, there is this too, and coincidentally it comes from a portion of the Torah, specially the Book of Deuteronomy, that was read only last week: “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not abhor an Egyptian, for you were sojourners in his land.”

Sojourners together, for the moment.


New from Jack Engelhard, the novel: Compulsive

Jack Engelhard, a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist, Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, brings his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior and reaches around the globe.

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Jack Engelhard

Jack Engelhard enjoys international fame as a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, which was turned into film starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His memoir Escape From Mount Moriah has been acclaimed for excellence and a movie version was an official selection at CANNES. Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist is Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer. Engelhard’s journalism covers all topics, with special focus on  the absurdity of human behavior, and reaches around the globe. He can be contacted at


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