» Showing off at cleaning house: Going thousands strong, it’s easy enough to see that the Egypt’s ruling military council would want a means of positive P.R. to quell a protest movement (as well as less activist sections of the public) that’s clamoring for purges of Mubarak-connected officials. What effect this decision will actually have in the day-to-day matters of policing within Egypt is too hard to say right now, but that the military is taking any sort of giving posture speaks to the strength and legitimacy of continuing protests in Tahrir Square.
Oh yeah, that: With all the chaos in Libya and Japan, there hasn’t been much attention paid to what’s happened in Egypt in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ousting. So, here’s the skinny: Over the weekend, the country voted on a referendum containing substantial changes to the country’s Constitution. Both of the country’s two major political parties, the National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, supported the changes, which passed with 77% of the vote. Now, it has to pass a parliamentary vote, which could come as early as September. But what was actually in it, and how is it playing out in Egypt?
Maintaining the stability that has lasted in Egypt for the past 30 years is a goal of highest importance for Israel on the regional level. The Egyptian army, which is faithful to Mubarak, is an anchor and thus the army’s leaders bear the responsibility for continued stability.Israeli Knesset minister Shaul Mofaz • Relating the Israeli perspective on the turmoil taking place in Egypt. Mofaz is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and had a lot to say. In his eyes, it’s best for Israel if Mubarek survives the protests and holds elections in September, which is possible as “the protesters lack an organized leadership.” He also spoke to Iran’s perspective on the conflict, saying that Iranian leaders are “watching the events in Egypt with enjoyment,” in hopes that the Muslim Brotherhood takes over. High stakes be damned, Mofaz ultimately stated that Israel should not get involved. source (via • follow)
In a 22-kilometer (14-mile) route from our suburb to the airport we had to get through 19 checkpoints, including nine manned by civilians.Markos Loukogiannakis, a Greek traveler • On trying to get to the Cairo airport in the midst of the protests. And this is before he even steps foot inside the airport! source (via • follow)
I wish we didn’t have to go to the street to impress on the regime the need to change. We tried signatures. We tried boycotting the elections. Nothing worked; every demand fell on deaf ears and the young took the credit for going onto the streets and making things happen.Egyptian opposition leader (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Mohamed ElBaradei • Offering his take on the events that led to the current protests. While he’s seen as a possible new leader in the country, he’s not universally loved; others criticize him for choosing to live in Vienna instead of Egypt even after he completed his time with the United Nations’ atomic energy agency. Nevertheless, he’s a symbol to rally around. source (via • follow)
» Obama’s not-very-harsh words: It’s clear that Obama’s comments on Egypt, made during a YouTube town-hall style thingy, try to tow that public/private line noted above. “I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform – political reform, economic reform – is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of Egypt,” Obama said. “And you can see these pent-up frustrations that are being displayed on the streets.” Dear Obama administration: There’s a point where a chummy relationship doesn’t work anymore.
ElBaradei: ready to take up power for a transitional period if the street demanded it.A message that popped up on Arabic satellite channel Al Arabiya • Informing Egyptians that Mohamed ElBaradei, a key opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was up for the job of leader if they needed someone to rally behind. He’s returning to the country today after a long time away. So far, the protests against President Hosni Mubarak have been strong, but not focused. A figurehead like ElBaradei might strengthen the movement with a rallying point. “He has served the country for 30 years and it is about time for him to retire,” ElBaradei said. Will this be the corner-turning the protesters need? source (via • follow)