By DANIEL GREENFIELD, FRONTPAGEMAG—
It wouldn’t be politics as usual in the Muslim world if both sides didn’t accuse each other of being tools of the vast international Zionist conspiracy. Because that’s just the way things are in the Golden Age of the Arab Spring.
On the Muslim Brotherhood side, the Egyptian Prosecutor General is claiming that a member of the Black Bloc was caught with an Israeli plan to sabotage Egyptian oil companies. It’s not entirely clear whether there really is a Black Bloc, or whether the whole thing is a Muslim Brotherhood setup. In any case the Black Bloc is claiming that the man arrested was not a member of the Bloc. Israel is just, as usual, ignoring the whole thing, while watching Egypt turning into Turkey.
On the opposition side, the protesters have widely circulated a theory that Obama is backing Morsi only because Morsi has promised to protect Israel. This doesn’t make much sense considering that Morsi is in bed with Hamas, and that nobody in Israel is feeling all that cheerful because a guy who talked about destroying Israel and nursing his children on hatred of the Jews is running the most powerful Arab country in the region.
While the international foreign policy establishment does view Morsi as a force for stability, a subset of which is mediating and preventing local conflicts, that’s a long way away from supporting him because he supports Israel. After all most of Europe, not to mention the current occupant of the White House, has a view of Israel that isn’t all that much better than Morsi’s. And they are correct that Morsi’s intervention in Gaza did cement his foreign backing, but that happened not because he “protected” Israel, but because he prevented Israel from going into Gaza in a conflict that he almost certainly covertly started.
The opposition conspiracy theory claims that Morsi is backed by Obama in exchange for an Israeli deal to have Egypt take over Gaza. That isn’t happening any time soon, not so long as Hamas is doing its job of attacking Israel, but it exploits a lot of the resentment against Obama, Hamas and Israel and ties it into a giant web.
As usual it’s not clear to what extent either side believes their own conspiracy theories and to what extent they’re just pandering to populist Islamic bigotry.
The government arresting protesters and claiming that they’re Israeli stooges is not exactly new. Mubarak did. So did SCAF. Even without the history of wars between Egypt and Israel, Jewish conspiracy theories would flourish in a region where Mein Kampf still sells a lot of copies and outdated conspiracy theories about the Freemasons and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are still in vogue. With the history of wars, everyone can accuse the other side of letting down the honor of the nation.
Blaming Israel for fuel sabotage is a useful way of distracting from the incompetence and corruption of the Brotherhood, including their deal with Qatar and the mess in the Sinai.
Denouncing Morsi as an American/Israeli puppet allows the left-wing protest movements to depict him as another Mubarak, another foreign-backed Pharaoh.
Since the only way to disprove either accusation is to attack Israel, verbally or physically, the cycle of craziness never really ends.