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The Angry Ones

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Who are the incubators of a real democratic renewal in the Arab Spring? After talking to young Egyptians, among them many intellectuals, who returned to their homeland having studied at prestigious English universities, I feel confronted with a rather contradictory picture.

They fight against corruption, religious fanaticism, for human rights, women's dignity and against violation of justice. But at the same time they are irreconcilable in their hostility towards the West. "You in America and Europe have supported the tyrant Mubarak for decades and condoned his torture chambers. We do not owe you anything. We are looking for new alliances, and even though they might not be ideal they are better than the West." They prefer Putin to Obama, are trusting Turkey more than Brussels and Berlin.

They have unambiguous views of Israel and the conflict in Palestine: diplomatic relations should be reduced further if not abandoned altogether. Open borders with Gaza, considerably more military elbowroom on the Sinai Peninsula, and the end of the gas supplies - as these are squandered below cost price to the Israelis - are the demands of the young Egyptians.

Most of all they are against a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They stand for a single, democratic Palestinian state where Palestinian refugees can assert their right to return. The idea of a Jewish state is a reprehensible, old-fashioned 'colonial' concept to them.

The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood and the even more fanatic Salafists gained more than two thirds of parliamentary mandates will give the young Democrats of this new hue little chance to assert themselves. Thus they are not only isolated, and alienated from the West, but also a thorn in the side of the electoral victors. The likely solution - an alliance between Islamists of all shades and the army - threatens at best to force these young Democrats into an impotent opposition but worst still could lead to a breaking-up of their groups.

Economic misery; a devastating decline of the tourism which is so important for that country; unemployment amongst young people of all strata, including the academically educated, present a bleak picture.

How should the free world view this emerging tragedy?

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