“Bukra il-mishmish” is an Egyptian peasants’ proverb that literally means “tomorrow the apricot,” meaning that today they will not enjoy this luxurious fruit, but maybe tomorrow they will. It is a touching reminder of their poverty and a lifestyle that did not change much since the days of the pharaohs; maybe that is one of the reasons why Hosni Mubarak was nicknamed “The Last Pharaoh.”
In the last week of March 2012, an Israeli diplomatic delegation met with Egyptian officials to decide the location of Israel’s new embassy. One year after the revolution that ousted the Last Pharaoh, Egyptians still cannot enjoy apricots, while the military junta ruling the country is effectively returning the situation in the country to pre-revolutionary days.
Israel and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution
The Israeli position during the 2011 revolution was clear: it supported the status quo in its relations with Egypt; that meant complete support of Hosni Mubarak. Yet, that could not be said publicly, after all Israel (wrongly) prides itself on being democratic and in promoting democracy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his government ministers to maintain silence, and urged the US and European allies not to comment against President Mubarak.
Tahrir Square, Cairo February 8, 2011
This position was the main indicator that a Western weapon backfired in Egypt. Facebook, Twitter, Google and other internet giants serve western security services as information gathering tools (in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), and for information-access manipulation.
Mossad Director Tamir Pardo and his counterparts at the CIA, MI6 and other international terror agencies probably can’t sleep well at night after discovering that Google, Facebook and Twitter played a key role in the ousting of their favorite yes-man in the Middle East: Hosni Mubarak, the Last Pharaoh of Egypt.
A boomerang hit the West. The Israeli support of Mubarak was known to the protesters. Ever since, there has been a popular request in Egypt to conduct a referendum on the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty; it is quite obvious that in such an event, the treaty would be rejected.
Thus, this is a non-topic for the Egyptian government, which enjoys generous US funding as a result of the peace treaty. The protests continue even now well over one year after they began, though now they are directed against the military junta running the country. Former Defense Minister General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi leads the junta, which looks like a continuation of the repressive Mubarak regime.
The Attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo
Burning Israeli Flag next to Embassy building, Cairo, September 9, 2011
On 9 September 2011, three thousand protesters forcibly entered the Israeli embassy in Cairo, after breaking down a wall surrounding the compound. At 12:30 AM, Saturday, the wall was breached. By 1 AM the protesters had entered the lobby and proceeded through the rest of the building.
Then, they ransacked the embassy, located on two high floors, throwing items and documents, some marked “confidential,” from the windows of the building to the crowded street below. The Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak urgently called the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and asked for help in the rescue of the six remaining Shin Beth personnel who were guarding the embassy.
Only a steel door separated the safe room where they had locked themselves from the protesters. The US complied and the six were saved with the help of Egyptian commando forces that were called by the US.
In the aftermath, the Egyptian army reinstated martial law, known as State of Emergency. Information Minister Osama Heikal stated that Egypt is committed to all international treaties to which it is a signatory, and that Egypt is committed to the safety of all foreign diplomats in the country. the next day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a televised press conference in which he emphasized the need to maintain Israel’s strategic relations with Egypt, which is crucial to the region’s stability.
Overall, the event sped-up the process of reverting Egyptian society to the oppressive reality of Mubarak’s days. In this affair, Israel played a clear anti-freedom, anti-democracy, anti-human rights role.
No Apricot for Egyptians | Sealing Freedom’s Tomb
Sealing Freedom’s Tomb
On March 28, 2012, an Israeli delegation of senior officials, including high ranking officials from the foreign ministry and the Shin Beth, held negotiations with senior Egyptian officials in Cairo. The main topic was finding a new embassy building for Israel, after the latter finally evacuated the building attacked last year. Several options are being considered. The talks also included discussions regarding a prisoner exchange of an Israeli citizen, Ouda Tarabin, for 63 Egyptian prisoners. The fair request of the people for a referendum on the peace treaty is being blatantly ignored.
One year after the Arab Spring ousted its most prominent enemy, Egyptians still cannot eat apricots, while a military junta as repressive as the ousted regime turns backward the wheel of history. The Last Pharaoh is dead, long live the New Junta!