Sunday, January 30, 2011

Water Rats

They say that when a ship begins to take on water, its rats take to the water. Ditto for your ship of state.

Mrs Mubarak and heir apparent, Gamal, in time-honoured, woman-and-children-first tradition, have reportedly washed up in London, while Captain Hosni seems to have lashed himself to the wheel in defiance of the rising waters.

Such a pity. They were such a nice family, as US VP Joe Biden and his lovely wife, Jill, testified in June last year before embarking on a tour of Africa:

Joe: Hey folks, we're here in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt just having met with president Mubarak, and Jill met with Mrs Mubarak. My discussions with president Mubarak were about the number of joint efforts we have under way. We're working very closely with them and trying to deal with the crisis in Gaza as well as Israeli-Palestinian peace. We also had discussions with other areas of great concern, the Sudan, we're working closely together. They are one of the few countries that have been very forward leaning in Iraq and engaging the Iraqi government and... they're also engaged in Afghanistan. But Jill, you were out with Mrs Mubarak?

Jill: Yeah. I met with Mrs Mubarak and we found that really we had so much in common. She's engaged with women's issues and childrens' issues. We talked about the importance of reading and early childhood education, the importance of libraries. And then she's hosting a conference on child trafficking and that's very important to her and actually she's established a peace park. So after I left the meeting I went to see her peace park and what she's doing and how important it is for children especially to feel a sense of peace in the world. So we had a very nice meeting, We had a lot in common.

Joe: Well, you know, I have known president and Mrs Mubarak now since a long, long time, since back in the late 70s even before he became president, and we met on scores of occasions and it's good to see him and in good health and there's an awful lot together we can get done." (On Board, Travels with the Vice President,

Maybe when Mubarak does jump ship he and the missus could shack up with Joe-n-Jill. After all, isn't that what friends are for?

But hey, others have taken the plunge as well:

"The national airline El Al has whisked some 200 Israelis, including families of Israeli diplomats, out of Egypt on board an emergency flight to escape the chaos engulfing the Arab country... A special EL Al flight, including dozens of tourists as well as diplomat's families landed at Ben Gurion Airport early Saturday evening. Israel's ambassador to Egypt, Yitzhak Levanon and diplomats have remained in Cairo. The Israeli embassy in Cairo has been closed since the riots broke out, and will remain closed on Sunday." (Dozens of Israelis flee Egypt on emergency flight, Barak Ravid, Haaretz, 29/1/11)

What a mensch is this Mr Levanon! But wait... what's this?

"Matthew sent me this from Cairo: 'I just drove by what used to be the Israeli embassy in Cairo. It's now completely empty, the staff has fled. There is no longer an Israeli flag hanging in Cairo or anywhere else in Egypt'." (Israeli flag removed from Cairo,, 29/1/11)

Damn, Mr Levanon's steadfastness - just another hasbaroid!

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