GAZA CITY -- With pressure building on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, Egypt finds itself in the uncomfortable position of continuing to help enforce the siege while watching Turkey outflank the region's traditional Sunni Arab heavyweights in championing the Palestinian cause.It would be inconvenient for Mr President for Life, Mubarak, if his political opposition made any headway.
Egypt, the only nation aside from Israel to control a crossing into Gaza, has its own domestic political reasons for wanting the strip to remain closed. It views Hamas, the radical Islamist group that controls the territory, as an ally of Egypt's foremost opposition movement: the Muslim Brotherhood.
Of course, talk is cheap.
Egypt has said it favors lifting the blockade, but has balked at fully opening the crossing under its control. Unlike Turkey, which sees no cost in strengthening Hamas, Egypt's Mubarak is deeply reluctant to embrace the group.And of course the big issue for the Mubarak government is ensuring that his son becomes President for Life when the old man finally dies. (He is 82.)
(I have 2 questions: 1) Will the Left ever figure out that talk is very cheap in the Middle East. "Say one thing and do another" especially if talking is a delaying tactic? 2) Why do they even pretend to be democracies?)