By Larry Gordon
It is said that as Egypt goes, so goes the Arab world and some even say the entire Middle East. Well, Egypt is going but no one is quite sure exactly where. The only thing that may be certain is that this is definitely one spectacular show.
Now I was just wondering as I was watching the online coverage of the ongoing rioting in Egypt on Al Jazerra, wow, can you imagine what it would have been like if there was this kind of coverage of those original ten plagues more than 3,300 years ago as the Jewish nation was evolving and the newly formed nation had to be miraculously extricated from Egyptian servitude. Where were Fox, CNN and Al Jazeera then? What a spectacle that would have been.
So now it seems that instead of those archival videos we have to do with what is taking place today and being limited to imagining what could have been if only that could have been recorded in some video format other than the reliance upon Cecil B. DeMilles Ten Commandments staring Charleto Heston in the 1960’s
So I’m watching Egypt become unglued right there before my eyes on Al Jazeera America, the new Arab based new channel that debuted this week on cable systems around the country. You will recall that Al Jazeera bought the Current TV network from former Vice-President Al Gore last year for $500 million. Courtesy of that transaction we now have the Qatar based network broadcasting into our homes, lap tops and IPads.
Egypt in her previous incarnation known to those of us who study Chumash as Mitzrayim, has always played quite a central role in the destiny of the Jewish people. Certainly there were many other nations to which G-d could have directed the famine escaping clan of Jacob to settle in aside from Egypt. But no, Egypt and the Jews are “gebundin and Geknipled,” which in Yiddush means, bound and stapled.
Egypt is the most populace Arab country and until the first Camp David accords in 1979 was always considered the greatest military threat to Israel. Of course the peace hatched and developed between the two countries was a great thing but also ended up earning Egypt the enmity of the Arab world for being so bold and making an attempt to create better lives for everyday people in a country with a more than 80 million person population today.
One of the always fascinating things to me as an observer about Egypt was the fact that they always celebrate their defeat to Israel in the Yom Kippur War as if it was a victory of some kind. The reason for the celebration is essentially because it took Israel six days to defeat them in 1967 while in 1973 it took Israel a full three weeks and the need to endure many casualties in order to beat back the Egyptians. Only in the Arab world can defeat be sold to the mostly repressed public as a great victory. In fact on a recent clip on Al Jazeera I saw some military vehicles being driving over a roadway they referred to as The October 6 Bridge. That was the date on which the Yom Kippur War began in a war they believe they came close to winning.