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The Egyptian protests turned critically dangerous to Mubarak after the Muslim Brotherhood called on its supporters to pour into the streets Friday night. This makes sense of the Brotherhood’s earlier restraint: apparently, they were waiting for secular parties to weaken the security forces. Now the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to deal Mubarak’s regime the last, mortal blow.

Mubarak may not risk setting his army against the Brotherhood, which has thoroughly infiltrated the military. His better choice would be to buy time by calling new elections. The problem is that the United States will push him to make those elections transparent, and the Muslim Brotherhood will win transparent elections hands down.

Rally in CairoMubarak was too late in offering the rioting crowds a new government; at this point they will reject any offer he makes.

The crowds are getting out of control: they are looting shops in Cairo, and Bedouins have blown up government buildings in Rafah. The very limited military presence on the streets may be a sign that Mubarak is carefully calibrating his response, or that he is uncertain of the army’s loyalty to his regime. But most likely Mubarak is simply complying with Obama’s demand that he avoid doing violence to the protesters. The very high ratio of casualties among police compared to protesters—750 to 1,500—confirms that Mubarak has ordered his forces to keep violence to a minimum.

Mubarak’s appointment of his intelligence chief as vice-president shows that the president takes the riots very seriously.

In his speech, Obama chose to remain blind to the real nature of the Egyptian protests, treating them like a Western-style pro-democracy movement rather than a putsch to bring Islamists to power. White House officials continued to advise Mubarak to accept democratic reforms—as if there would be any democracy after the Muslim Brotherhood wins the next elections. The White House remains mute on demonstrations in Syria.

Israel would benefit from the failure of Mubarak’s regime. If the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in Egypt, Israel will return to her role as America’s only viable ally in the Middle East. The political change would allow Israel to destroy the Egyptian nuclear program.

Hundreds of American rabbis have signed a letter published in the Wall Street Journal. The letter demands the resignation of Fox News anchor Glenn Beck, who accused George Soros of collaborating with Nazis and using his money to promote a leftist agenda. Both charges are true.

Beck is a rare reporter in that he is critical of Muslims, and his rhetoric against Soros also serves Israeli interests well.

The rabbis should be ashamed to have spent some $120,000 of charity money for that ad. They accused Beck of exploiting Holocaust symbolism in his charges against Soros, but acted similarly by publishing their letter on Holocaust Memorial Day.

January 2011
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