Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Egyptian Spring Grows Ever Chillier

Yahoo News: Egypt: Israeli pilgrimage 'impossible' thus year

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it had told Israel that it would not be "appropriate" for Israeli pilgrims to make an annual visit to the tomb of a 19th-century Jewish holy man in the Nile Delta, as activists mobilized to block the pilgrimage route.

Ceremonies at the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abu Hatizra have triggered yearly political sparring in Egypt throughout most of the last decade, with Islamists, nationalists, and others claiming that the government by allowing the pilgrimage is pursuing an unpopular policy of normalization with the country's former enemy.

Note that the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the forces behind these protests:

Yahoo News:Egypt activists vow no Israeli pilgrimage to tomb

Pilgrimage opponents have decided to stage protests on roads leading to the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira in the village of Daymouta, 180 kilometers (112 miles) north of Cairo, said Gamal Heshmat of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group which is the country's best organized political movement.

He said that the late December and early January pilgrimage would be a "suicide mission" for Israelis, because of popular opposition to their presence in Egypt.

"Normalization (of relations) with Israel is forced on the people, and the visits too come against the will of people and despite popular rejection," said Heshmat, who recently won a seat in parliament in the country's first elections following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptian activists have rallied against the pilgrimage every year for most of the last decade. Egypt's daily Al-Ahram newspaper reported Tuesday that 31 parties and groups had joined this year's campaign.

Did anyone really believe that a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egypt would adopt western values of peace, tolerance, democracy and religious pluralism?

Oh wait, I know of at least one particular administration that seems to still think so.