Sunday, January 4, 2009

Editorial: The Price of Egypt's Silence on Gaza - Rania al-Malki

Egypt Daily News, January 2, 2009 - CAIRO: A 19-year-old Egyptian intern at this newspaper said something, which to me, sums up what’s at stake for the future of this country if Egypt continues doing nothing about the barbaric assault on Gaza.

“I’ll hate my country forever if it’s true that our government knew about this attack and supported it,” she said.

She refused to believe that Egypt could actually be complicit in this crime against humanity which has murdered some 425, at least 45 of them children, and wounded over 2000 all of whom will be maimed for life, if not physically, then emotionally and psychologically.

Like her, and despite my anger at the impotence of the Egyptian government’s reaction to what Israeli officials have dubbed an “all-out war” on Gaza, which actually began with the Israeli-imposed blockade that has been suffocating the city for over 17 months, I refused to acknowledge what I believed were insidious accusations of complicity.

But is seems now that misguided patriotism and the idealistic images that have accumulated over the years about Egypt’s past sacrifices for Palestine, had blinded my powers of reason.

“While I strongly resent even the slightest implication that the Egyptian government may have given Israel the nod to unleash its barbaric onslaught on Gaza,” I wrote in my Tuesday editorial, “I also strongly condemn Egyptian (so-called) diplomacy for its naiveté in dealing with Israel, which timed Livni’s Cairo visit precisely to cause this local and regional backlash against Egypt, and thus foment the divisions which always cripple a unified Arab stance.”

Yet in light of what has transpired over the past few days, I must confess that I’ve been extremely naïve in my analysis of the situation....

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