Egypt Beyond Mubarak
The Gaza war exposed an alarming truth about one of Israel’s most important neighbors: just how precarious is Hosni Mubarak’s control over Egypt.
The war trapped Mubarak in an unenviable, unwinnable position. On one side was Israel, with whom Egypt is locked in a peace treaty; America, from whom Egypt receives billions of dollars in aid; and Mubarak’s own fears that supporting Hamas would embolden the Muslim Brotherhood (the radical Egyptian Islamist party that has close ties to Hamas) and loosen his slippery grip on power. On the other side were millions of Egyptians, much of the Muslim world, and regional radical Islamic national governments and groups, which embraced the efforts of their Hamas brothers and were irate at Mubarak’s refusal to condemn Israel and lend Hamas a hand.
“Rarely has an Arab leader been so widely perceived as backing Israel and the United States against the Palestinians,” the Washington Post reported (January 10). Mubarak’s fortitude was impressive. Not long after war erupted he told a group of European foreign ministers that Hamas “must not be allowed to emerge from the fighting with the upper hand.” And despite intense criticism, he refused to condemn Israel, banish its ambassador from Egypt, pull Egypt’s ambassador from Israel or allow free passage of goods and people in and out of Gaza via Egypt.
But that resistance came at tremendous personal cost.
The “mood on the streets of Cairo feels somber, dark, dejected,” observed New York Times reporter Michael Slackman (January 9). Aware of the people’s disgruntlement, Mubarak increased security measures across the nation and arrested dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members.
“Over three days of interviews here, people seemed deflated about the public criticism their country had received, let down by the failure of their own government to help the Palestinians and sickened by the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, not only combatants but many women and children as well,” Slackman continued. “Over and over, Egyptians said they felt the only ones they could trust were the Islamists—not their government” (emphasis mine throughout).
The schism between the public and the government was a gift to the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s primary opposition party and the mother of Sunni terrorist groups in the Middle East. Challenging the government—while simultaneously serving Egypt’s millions of disadvantaged through charity work—has the Brotherhood’s popularity soaring. Outwardly, most Egyptians submit to Mubarak’s harsh rod. But in their hearts, it’s the beliefs and promises of the Muslim Brotherhood that they support and admire!
Muslim rage at Mubarak resonated far beyond the gentle shores of the Nile. “Death to Mubarak” was a common chant among the multitude of violent anti-Israel demonstrations that erupted across the planet. In Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Egyptians to rise up against Mubarak. “Can the Egyptian police kill millions of Egyptians?” he asked on satellite television December 28. “Of course not. You, the Egyptian people, go, and open the border. I am calling for a revolution in Egypt.”
Iran is giddy over developments in Gaza, particularly the unifying effect they have had on Muslims worldwide and the pressure they put on moderate Arab governments such as Mubarak’s. “Through Hamas, Tehran can possibly reach the ultimate prize, the Egyptian faithful,” wrote Reuel Marc Gerecht in the Wall Street Journal (January 7). Hamas’s popularity among Palestinians resonates strongly in Egypt, Gerecht wrote, and hence “the uncertainties in Egypt are greater now than they have been since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981.”
In addition, the president’s age and poor health mean he won’t be around much longer. “His jet-setting son or a general may succeed him. Neither choice will resuscitate the regime’s legitimacy, which has plummeted even among the highly Westernized elite,” Gerecht continued. “The popularity and mosque-power of the Muslim Brotherhood, which would likely win a free election, continues to rise.” And the Gaza war contributed to this trend substantially.
For Israel, the transformation underway in Egyptian politics is extraordinarily dangerous. One week after Hamas overran the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Dr. George Friedman wrote: “The only thing that could threaten the survival of Israel, apart from a nuclear barrage, would be a shift in position of neighboring states. …The single most important neighbor Israel has is Egypt.”
The replacement of Mubarak’s relatively moderate, pro-Israel government with an anti-Israel, anti-Western, Iran-friendly regime in Egypt would be a national security nightmare for the Jewish state.
Astoundingly, this scenario is one that Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has been warning about for over 14 years!
“The radical Islamic movement, led by Iran, is very strong in Egypt,” Mr. Flurry wrote in December 1994. “This religion will probably take control … very soon.”
What led Mr. Flurry to that dramatic declaration? A passage in Daniel 11 that we refer to often—of an imminent clash between an Iran-led “king of the south” and a German-led “king of the north.”
Verse 42 describes Egypt’s fate when that European power wipes out Iran: “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” The time sequence of this prophecy indicates that before the violent Daniel 11:40 clash can occur, a radical Islamic government will be established in Egypt, and an alliance be formed between Cairo and Tehran! As Mr. Flurry wrote in 2001, “Daniel 11:42 indicates Egypt will be allied with [Iran]. … I believe this prophecy indicates we are to see a radical change in Egyptian politics!”
The Gaza war has weakened President Mubarak’s tenuous grip on his nation, and exposed more fully the extent of support that Iranian-led radicalism has among the Egyptian populace. We are about to witness the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, the emergence of a radical Islamic regime in Egypt, and the beginning of the terrifying Egypt-Iran alliance that God said would precede the eruption of war across the Middle East!
Although the increased likelihood of a radical Islamic uprising in Egypt is sobering, it is also electrifying. Just read into the next chapter of Daniel’s prophecy. It shows that this event—which the Trumpet’s editor in chief has been prophesying for 14 years—precedes the most joyous event in mankind’s history, the return of Jesus Christ!
To learn more, request your free copy of Jerusalem in Prophecy.