Anti-Morsi demonstrators not about democracy

It boggles the mind that even many conservative pundits are observing the events in Egypt with an optimistic eye. Photo: Egypt / Associated Press

JERUSALEM, July 3, 2013 – There is nothing to suggest that the mass demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi are any more indicative of hunger for democracy than the 2011 protests that led to the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

This is not to say that the Egyptian people aren’t hungry. On the contrary, their economic conditions – already appalling during Mubarak’s autocratic rule – have continued to decline under the Muslim Brotherhood leader who took the helm a year ago. It is this situation that best explains why millions of Egyptians from all walks of life and political parties are taking to the streets to conduct another coup.


If anything, the events in Egypt prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Indeed, the similarities between the current “revolution” and that which took place two years ago are so striking that one need only copy and paste the coverage and commentary about the previous protests for a dose of déjà vu.

The only difference this time around is that U.S. President Barack Obama is not calling on Morsi to step down; yet, two years ago, he sided with the demonstrators against Mubarak. To justify this discrepancy, Obama made a statement at a press conference on Monday in Tanzania, his last stop on his three-country tour of Africa this week.

“It’s not our job to choose who Egypt’s leaders are,” he said, explaining that his approach to Mubarak, a long-standing American ally, was to let him be toppled so that Egypt could “transition” to democracy. However, he stressed, “We do want to make sure all the voices [in Egypt] are heard and it’s done in a peaceful way.”

Now there’s a hoot.

SEE RELATED: Massive Egyptian demonstrations push for ouster of President Morsi

Let’s take a look at the “peaceful way” in which the anti-Morsi Egyptians are making their voices heard.

On Friday – two days before the slated June 30 “Day of Anger” – Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old student from Maryland, was stabbed to death in Alexandria. Pochter’s only crime was that he was American and Jewish. His enchantment with the Arab World and concern for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians was irrelevant.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, a Dutch journalist whose name has not yet been released was gang-raped by anti-Morsi “secularists.” Her injuries were so severe that she required surgery. Her only ill deed was that she was born a woman and hailed from a Western country. That her coverage of unrest in Egypt was aimed at giving publicity to the very people demanding Morsi’s head carried no weight whatsoever.

As these and other molestations and murders were taking place, a group of demonstrators gathered at the Egyptian Defense Ministry, waving banners with signs accusing Obama of supporting a terrorist and of being one himself. These “peace-loving democracy seekers” also carried Israeli flags, some of which had pictures of Morsi tacked on to them, and others with slogans such as: “This is the Egyptian nation’s message to the dogs of Mossad,” and “We will foil Mossad’s plots to create civil war in Egypt.”

SEE RELATED: Tamarod (Rebel): The new face of opposition in Egypt

After chanting epithets at the top of their lungs, they set the flags on fire.

This group, as most of the others participating in the protests, is not straying from Morsi’s own view of the United States, Israel and the Jews. As late as 2010, as a Muslim Brotherhood leader not yet running for election, Morsi called on the Egyptian people to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred.” Later that year, he called Israelis “bloodsuckers” who attack Palestinians, and described Jews and Zionists as “the descendants of apes and pigs.”

It is outrageous that Obama backed the anti-Mubarak forces. Even more horrifying is his showering of money and military equipment on the Muslim Brotherhood regime that was voted into office by the Egyptian people. But this is in keeping with Obama’s overall foreign policy, which has been friendly to enemies and hostile to friends. It is therefore not the least bit surprising that he is now encouraging Morsi by being “neutral.”

It also makes sense that Morsi does not believe he will be forced to step down, in spite of his military establishment’s threat to take over while new elections are scheduled.

But it boggles the mind that, yet again, even many conservative pundits in the U.S. and Israel are observing the events in Egypt with an optimistic eye about the “desire” among Egyptians for freedom. What they want, first and foremost, is to be fed and employed. And then each interest group – other than the Coptic Christians, who have been and will be abused by all — wants its own crack at being in charge of the curtailing of everyone else’s freedoms.

Let’s not kid ourselves: Whatever Morsi’s fate, one thing that is not on the Egyptian horizon is a pro-Western democracy – or democracy of any kind.

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Ruthie Blum

 Ruthie Blum is a pull-no-punches, conservative, Israeli-American columnist for Israel Hayom,  and the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’”

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