‘Shu maktub 3a sabati? Hosni Mubarak ya wati!‘ (What is written on my shoe? Hosni Mubarak fuck you!*
Nael M. Shama, a political researcher and freelance writer based in Cairo, minutely dissects Mubarak’s propaganda machine and its lies: ‘5. Egypt has always served the Palestinian question: Egypt staunchly supported the Palestinian cause in the few decades following the loss of Palestine and the establishment of the state of Israel. But when Egypt’s rulers saw a contradiction that could not be reconciled between its national interests and its pan-Arab commitments, they opted for the former. The product was Egypt’s separate peace treaty with Israel in 1979 that neutralized the strongest and most populous Arab country, thereby depriving the Palestinians of their only stalwart Arab ally. The argument that “Egypt has always served the Palestinian question” is clearly used to tickle chauvinistic feelings, but it is not scientifically accurate. Obviously, to thwart supra-state identities (such as Islamism and Arabism), the Egyptian state has opted for reviving nationalist Egyptian feelings.
6. The Egyptian officer killed by Hamas militants is a martyr: Perhaps. But what about the Egyptian soldiers who were killed by Israeli fire across the Egyptian-Palestinian border? In the period between 2004 and 2008, at least eight Egyptians were killed along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip. They were buried in silence, no reverence, no attention. In contrast, heroes are made of the Egyptian victim of Hamas; prime media time is generously offered to highlight the agony of the deceased’s loved ones and a military funeral is held in honor of “the brave officer who was safeguarding Egypt’s sacred land.” In other words, Egyptian bloodshed at the hands of Israeli Apache helicopters and F-16s is cheap and neglected. But hostile Palestinian bullets are an opportunity to legitimize Egypt’s antagonistic stance toward Hamas and mobilize people against it. Double-standards reveal hypocrisy and reflect policy too; the crimes of Israel are forgiven because Israel is an ally, Hamas is a foe. No wonder the Israeli commentator Zvi Bar’el wrote in Haaretz that following the Egyptian media gives the impression that the real war is between Egypt and Hamas, not Israel and Hamas. President Mubarak spelled out his intentions when he told a European delegation that “Hamas must not be allowed to win,” a statement which the regime was quick to deny. The bloodbath on Egypt’s doorstep is a reminder that Israel comprises the real threat to Egypt’s national security, not Hamas. But the strategic calculations of the nation have been overshadowed by the narrow interests of a ruling elite.’ (Thanks to Nat for pointing me to this article)
*Slogan chanted in various demonstrations. Literally, ‘Hosni Mubarak, you despicable man’, but that sort of loses the rhyme in english…