Issandr el-Amrani of the Arabist has been doing some of the best blogging on today’s IDF flotilla massacre.
Among his great posts have been these: How Israel sets the TV agenda and The flotilla crisis seen from Cairo.
In the latter post he writes:
- this is the biggest protest about Palestine since the Gaza war, in an atmosphere in which such protests have not been tolerated. We might see more in the next few days, including on Friday after prayers. This may revive local activism on Gaza as well as linkages made between the situation there and the situation in Egypt — notably the Mubarak regime’s collaboration with Israel on the blockade. Expect a fierce fight in the media over this in the next few days, and more opportunities to express all sorts of grievances. But when Turkey expels its ambassador and Egypt is seen to be doing nothing, it looks very, very bad for Cairo.
Egypt is of course a central ally for the U.S. military in the Arab world. Plus, its leadership is now in the throes of a long-drawn-out succession crisis. (Has anyone actually seen the elderly Pres. Mubarak in public any times recently?)
I watched ABC News here in the U.S. this evening. They had Jim Sciutto reporting from London on the international fallout from Israel’s thuggish act of piracy today. He and the other reporters made these two centrally important points:
- 1. Israel’s assault on the ship took place in international waters and is thus considered by many to be an outright act of piracy, and
2. The anti-Israeli feeling engendered by the Israeli assault is also spilling over in many places into anti-U.S. sentiment– and this has direct consequences for the many U.S. service members now serving in vulnerable places in Muslim countries.
Good for ABC News! Let’s hear those very salient facts from a few more members of the U.S. political elite.