Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CLXI. A Country in Turmoil (3 of 7)

Anwar El Sadat

Anwar El Sadat was appointed as vice-president to Abdel Nasser because he was considered as the most innocuous of the free officers, a man who would not challenge Abdel Nasser. And indeed, he was always loyal to his president. Gamal often sought his advice, and whether the advice was followed or not, Anwar remained unperturbed. Other officers looked upon him as a yes- man, but Gamal knew better. When he got sound advice from Anwar, Gamal is reported to have said, “some yes-man!”

After Gamal Abdel Nasser passed away, Anwar El Sadat as the vice-president automatically became the president. But neither Egypt, nor the rest of the world considered him as anything but an interim president, the head of a caretaker government. But Sadat proved them all wrong. He would remain as president, a president who is credited with some amazing feats.

One of Sadat’s early actions was to cut Egypt’s ties to the Soviet Union.

Abdel Nasser at the onset had relied on U.S. support. One of Gamal’s top priorities was to replace the old Aswan Dam with a giant dam. El Sad El A’li (The Giant Dam) was a cherished dream which was expected to substantially increase agricultural yield. By the time the Free Officers came to power, this dream had become an imperative. Egypt’s population was increasing geometrically, and the dam had become a lifeline if the government was hoping to avoid a famine (something that never happened in Egypt). Therefore Gamal turned to the World Bank for a loan. He was turned down. And the existing U.S. administration (both the president and I believe Congress) did not assist him.

In the 1950s you had two players on the world stage: America and the Soviet Union. Therefore Abdel Nasser had no choice but to turn to the Soviet Union, and they agreed to help him build the dam. Indeed, it went beyond the dam. They supplied him with armaments and advisors. Finally, they assisted him in various other ways.

But it was an uneasy alliance. The atheist Soviet Bloc and the deeply religious Egyptians could never really mix. There were no doubt other reasons. All of which goes a long way to explain why Sadat broke his ties with the Communist Bloc. Of course, America stepped into the vacuum thus created. And all was well in Anwar El Sadat’s world – well almost.

The three defeats inflicted by Israel were wounds on the Egyptian psyche that refused to heal. And Sadat, the sly fox, did something about that. Sadat has always been underestimated, and this presumably helped him in almost pushing Israel down the cliff in 1973.

The 1973 war has not been called the Yom Kippur War for nothing. It was indeed Yom Kippur (the most sacred of the Jewish holidays where you ask God and your brothers and sisters for forgiveness, and you fast for 24 hours) when the Egyptian army managed for the first time to catch Israel by surprise.

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