Flagman: Arab ‘Spring’, the Guardian & the glorification of a nation’s anti-Zionist obsession

H/T Margie

On Aug. 21, shortly after two Egyptians were killed in the firefight which followed an Islamist terrorist attack (launched from Egypt) near Eilat which left eight Israelis dead, thousands in Cairo protested outside the Israeli embassy demanding that the ambassador leave and all diplomatic ties with Israel cut.

While Egyptians would eventually at least partially succeed in the morally urgent task of expelling the Jewish state’s presence from the capital, the riotous crowd on that Aug. night attempted unsuccessfully, though valiantly, to set the Israeli flag, perched 20 stories above ground, afire and so had to settle for a small replica to burn instead:

However, it turned out that a Pyrrhic victory on that warm summer night would not be completely denied, as a young Egyptian man, Ahmed El Shahat, succeeded in scaling all 20 floors of the building which housed the embassy, removing the Israeli flag and pinning an Egyptian one in its place.

Recently, the Guardian commissioned nine Arab writers to reflect on events of the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011. The piece,”Revolution in the Arab world“, was published in the Guardian book section on Jan. 13, and included the reflections of a Palestinian poet named Mourid Barghouti.

If a single scene could summarise the current historic moment in the Arab world it would be that horizontal image of Egypt’s dictator, Hosni Mubarak, idly, helplessly, and with half-closed eyes, lying on a stretcher behind the court bars juxtaposed with the vertical, flying image of Ahmad El Shahat, the young Egyptian who climbed the 21 floors to the top of Israel’s embassy in Cairo to rip down its flag. The future is coming.

To Barghouti, one of the most iconic and glorious images of the ‘progressive’ Arab Spring seared in his mind (the most enduring symbol of the glorious revolution) was a symbolic display of his nation’s enmity towards Israel. 

Indeed, Barghouti was far from alone. As a report on Aug. 21 regarding Ahmad El Shahat’s act of heroism observed:

People [on Cairo’s streets] were chanting, cars honking and others carrying Ahmed El Shahat on their shoulders in joyful expression of the absence of the [Israeli] flag were seen shortly after the incident.

Eyewitnesses at the scene in Egypt’s capital say hundreds of people are flocking to the embassy in a massive rally of joy.

The taking down of the flag created big waves among activists on Twitter and the hashtag #FlagMan was receiving hundreds of tweets.

There are tribute videos all over YouTube dedicated to El Shahat, one which includes this cartoon by none other than Carlos Latuff.

Egypt may have just elected an illiberal Islamist majority to its new assembly.   The country’s Christian minority may continue to flee in fear of a less tolerant post-revolution culture.  And, the country may have to confront such daunting challenges as a sclerotic economy (Egypt has one of the lowest business start-up rates in the world) and a myriad of social problems (Egypt is ranked as worst in the region by the UN Human Development Index).

But, throughout it all, they’ll always have flagman: a symbol of Barghouti’s pride, the aspirations of an ‘Arab Spring’, and the continuing glorification of a region’s crippling fixation.

8 replies »

  1. The Guardian and its fellow-travellers personify the malaise of the Arab Middle East – they would prefer to destroy Israel than to build up their own countries. If it comes to a choice between improving their own lot or abusing, degrading or attacking Israel, they will always choose the latter option.

    This then enables them to wallow in their victim mentality, blame the Jews for all their ills, and repeat the whole vicious cycle. Meanwhile these attacks are like water off a duck’s back for Israel as its economy continues to grow, its political regime remains free and stable, and its citizens enjoy freedom.

    One hardly expects otherwise from the Arab nations since totalitarianism is all that they have known, but shame on the Guardian (but I repeat myself).

    • Agreed, anneipt.

      Their benighted belief system of Islam cripples Muslims, but that should be no reason for ostensibly sensible people who are not Muslims to abandon their critical facutlies too. Muslims in the Arab Middle East are caught between a rock and a hard place.

      Their prophet orders them to support each other against kufar whom they are warned will betray them (and of course the Koran conveniently skates over the prophet’s too-ready inclination to betray his own allies) and yet they seem unable to resist blowing even each other to bits;

      Their prophet also orders them to obey their leaders, but said leaders don’t give the proverbial tinker’s cuss about them. Instead those leaders project all their evil onto Jews and Israel and encourage their people to do likewise to deflect it from its intellgent focus, the leaders themselves.

      Did I say “intelligent” focus? These wretches cannot be known for intelligent problem solving, can they, otherwise rather than unite in hatred against the one state in the Middle East which could possibly do them some good if they didn’t keep on trying to wipe her out, they would be falling over themselves to make peace with her so that they could benefit from trade agreements, etc. One indicator of intelligence is to learn from experience and, if one fails, not to repeat the behaviour that caused one to fail.

      Nevertheless, in spite of being beaten again and again in wars they should not have fought, and betrayed by their own leaders likewise, these numb skulls still fall for the Jew-hating rubbish they are told because it is told to them authoritatively and written in their holy book. They still continue to perform the same losing, crazy actions in the vain hope and somehow insh’allah it will all turn out differently for them without them having actually to do anything different. They don’t realise, and probably never will that the insh’allah attitude to life, which deprives them of all sense of agency roots them in the dark ages.

      Add to this stupidity which borders on lunacy the manipulation of them by their leaders, and the manipulation by them in turn of the useful idiot western governments and there is a recipe for ongoing disaster.

    • “Carter’s optimism about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood​ and its Hamas allies tells us everything we need to know about the prospects for peace. If he is pleased, then it is a certainty that trouble looms.” Ain’t that the truth.

  2. ” But, throughout it all, they’ll always have flagman: a symbol of Barghouti’s pride, the aspirations of an ‘Arab Spring’, and the continuing glorification of a region’s crippling fixation….”

    And of the Arab/Muslim crazy inclination to turn resort to “Comical Ali”-type wishful thinking and try to turn those wishes into spurious fact