Writing under the pseudonym Luqman el-Masry, an Egyptian analyst considers some of his country’s political pathologies, especially with regard to the Jewish state:
Why do we [Egyptians] view Palestinians as friends and Israelis as foes? Why do we have a strategic partnership with the U.S. though the average Egyptian believes, as do most Arabs, that the U.S. is a vile state that conspires with Israel against them? We have a peace treaty with Israel, but so much as to contemplate visiting that country is considered an act of treason.
Conspiracy theories are rife across the Arab world, . . . which enforce the dual notion that the West and Israel are perpetually conspiring against Arabs and that, owing to the West’s perceived support for Israel, there’s not much that can be done about it.
This [fatalism] does Egyptians a great disservice. . . . Consider, for example, the widespread belief among Egyptians in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Instead of working to establish a democratic, healthy community, Egyptians content themselves with the belief that they are hapless victims of a group of sinister [Jews] who held secret meetings to decide their future along with that of the entire world. Why try to shape our country’s future ourselves?
El-Masry hopes that things might change as Egyptians grow increasingly cynical about the failed pan-Arab vision that for so long dominated the country’s politics, and that they will eventually come to appreciate their northern neighbor and ally.