Thursday, August 30, 2007

Joe McCarthy's Spirit Alive and Well in Egypt

The McCarthy era was one of the darkest in American history, but it lives on in Egypt.

As reported by the Associated Press, "The chairman of Egypt's Actors' Union said Thursday that the group planned to investigate one of the country's brightest young movie stars for appearing in an upcoming miniseries with an Israeli actor. ... The investigation could have serious ramifications for Waked's career in Egypt, where the majority of his films are still made."

Besides illustrating the reactionary nature of Egypt (generally, the entertainment industry is one of the most liberal and open portions of a society; thus, if the entertainment industry still blacklists any actor who, knowingly or unknowingly has contact with an Israeli, one can imagine how much more reactionary and full of hatred the rest of Egyptian society is), it also gives some insight into the meaning, for Arabs, of peace.

Three decades into a so-called "peace" with Israel, Egyptian society is still being educated that Israel should not exist. One wonders how durable even this minimal "peace" will be after Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's long-time de facto dictator, leaves the scene. One wonders what incentive this gives Israel to make further concessions in the pursuit of peace.

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