Meir Javedanfar

Morsi Needs to Put His Foot Down

Many countries including Israel are worried about the long-term repercussions of the current wave of demonstrations taking place in numerous Arab and Muslim countries. What triggered these demonstrations is the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims” which “portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer, a homosexual and a child abuser”.

We should be concerned about the current wave of violence and to condemn it. I also condemn the film’s maker who not only libeled Islam, he also libeled Judaism by pretending to be Jewish.

What worries me most of all is what is happening in Egypt. Perhaps I am being selfish because we share a border with them. Also because its one of the Arab world’s biggest and most important players.

I don’t mean to be facetious  or sarcastic by asking: has President Morsi realized the full extent of the damage which the attack against the US embassy in his capital  has caused to his government’s standing abroad, especially in the US?

When Barack Obama, the man who backed the Egyptian people’s call for democracy questions the quality of the U.S.-Egypt alliance, then Morsi should worry. This is not a joke. How does he expect the US to continue helping him? and who is going to replace the US? China? Russia?

Where is the outrage from Morsi against the attackers?

Top Egypt expert Steven Cook currently at Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)writes:

“This is not an excuse, but Americans must understand the context in which their embassies and diplomats are being attacked.  Yes, Washington has helped Egypt through infrastructure development, agricultural reform, public health, and myriad other areas; but the United States has, according to Egyptians, weakened their country through an alliance that subordinates Cairo’s interests to those of Washington (and by association those of Jerusalem).”

The question remains: for how much longer are the Egyptian people going to hold Israel directly or indirectly responsible for their woes? For how long is US relations with Israel going to be an excuse for their hostility against the US?

I am sure many Egyptians have a sense of solidarity with the Palestinians.

But America is doing much to help Egypt financially, despite the toppling of its previous ally Hosni Mubarak.

Lets not forget Muhammad Morsi’s own government closing its border with Gaza last month. Before Mubarak could be blamed for being pro – US. What is Morsi’s excuse for hurting the livelihood of Gazans by punishing them en masse?

The suffering of the Palestinians must be recognized. So should the intention and efforts of those who want to use and abuse it as a cheap excuse to serve their own interests.

About the Author
Meir Javedanfar is an Iranian-Israeli lecturer, author, and commentator. He has been teaching Iranian politics at Reichman University in Israel since 2012 and is Anti-Defamation League’s Iran consultant.