Arab Pundits Debate Egypt’s Role in Anti-Israel UN Resolution

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Arab social media users were largely content with the UN Security Council motion condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. They were, however, skeptical of the international community’s ability to force Israel to comply with the resolution, which calls for a halt to all Israeli construction in those territories.

Some of the more prominent voices preferred to discuss Egypt’s initial introduction of the resolution and its subsequent decision to pull the resolution before it could be voted on.
Journalist and pundit Abdelbari Atwan wrote that he “would’ve loved for this achievement at UNSC to have gone under Egypt’s or another Arab state’s belt, but these are tough times for Arabs. Thanks to the four states who were not afraid to face up to Israel and defend justice.”

Al-Jazeera journalist Jamal Rayyan wrote that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah “Sisi’s willingness to protect Israel’s interests returned to hit him like a boomerang in the shape of a blunder so embarrassing that not even the waters of the Nile could wash it away. This laid bare the fact that Sisi is a traitor to vital Arab interests.”

Jamal Sultan, the editor-in-chief of the Egyptian Elmasryoon newspaper, hit out at Sisi, writing that the “thunderous applause that greeted the measure’s passage at the UN Security Council reflects the world’s disgust with Israel and all those who tried to help it to evade the decision.”

The Iraqi activist Shimriyeh wrote that “the Security Council voted for the halt of Israeli settlement. It would’ve been better had they voted on the halt of Iran’s settlement in Arab countries. Iran is occupying twice the territory Israel does.”
Mohamed ElBaradei, former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also decided to settle a score with the Egyptian president, his political rival. “The Security Council ruled that the settlements are in violation of international law,” ElBaradei wrote. “It’s sad that due to external pressures and vested interests we lost sight of our national commitment, our moral compass.”

The Kuwaiti political science professor Abdullah Alnefisi lamented that “Arabs’ joy at the UN anti-settlement resolution will not last. Trump is expected to reverse the US position the moment he’s sworn in on January 20.”

The Senegalese activist M-Niang wrote “I’m proud of my country, I’m proud to be against the settlements. Shame on Sisi, Egypt does not deserve a president as stupid as he.”

Finally, the Palestinian political operative Mohamed Rachid, an associate of Mohammed Dahlan who is considered close to Sisi, defended Egypt, writing that it “ended up backing the resolution at the Security Council, yet in a way that doesn’t lose it the support of the Trump administration. This is how you conduct affairs, through diplomacy rather than loud declarations. We must thank Egyptian diplomacy.”


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