Mirror images. Mubarak and Suleiman
Photo: AP/ Egypt State TV

Egypt autocracy to remain

Op-ed: Suleiman’s rise in Cairo will be good for Israel, create welcomed continuity in Egypt

When a group of young people fights for its civil rights and points an accusing finger at the regime, this is a positive step and an unprecedented historical moment.


President Hosni Mubarak complied with the demands made by the masses and proceeded to change his government. Given the steps he has adopted since Friday, the leading figure slated to succeed him is the newly appointed deputy minister (and successor according to the constitution) Omar Suleiman.


Suleiman is the mirror image of Mubarak when it comes to domestic and foreign relations, yet as opposed to the president he is being portrayed as an honest man in the eyes of the people.


This is an optimistic point for Israel, which will create welcomed continuity without toppling the entire regime. At the end of the day, the system of government in Egypt will not be changing – it will remain an autocracy, but a softer, more flexible one.


Credit Egypt’s young people  

The credit for the apparent government change ahead should be given to the young people of Egypt. These are the people who were portrayed as passive and submissive in the face a regime that undermined their ability to manage normal lives, make a dignified living, and stop relying on their parents.


After in April 2008 they experimented with the trial balloon of the so-called “pita riots,” where they protested against the rising prices of food staples, they now decided to take their fate and the destiny of their nation into their own hands.


These people pointed an accusing finger at Mubarak, charging him with direct responsibility for their grim state. Now, they are demanding that the president leave the political scene in favor of a just regime premised on the honoring of fundamental human and civil rights.


The writer is a lecturer at the Tel Aviv University Dayan Center



פרסום ראשון: 02.02.11, 00:09
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