The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

The biggest non-surprise of Sharm

In a sign of further diplomatic encroachment and normalization, Egypt will be sending its Amb. back to Tel Aviv soon. This, despite the fact the regime reserves and employs the right to negatively play the normalization card with ordinary Egyptians who travel to Israel.

The resending of the Egyptian Amb. simply confirms what many of us expected back in late November, early December. This should draw a close to any further democratization talk from Washington for a little while while Ayman Nor and other political activists sit in prison.

Bush urged Egypt to “show the way toward democracy in the Middle East� in the SOTU last week. Bushie is happily ignorant as democratization seems to mean being friends with Israel, not actually democratizing.

Ummm...friends with Israel, unrepentant authoritarianism - what a novel concept.