The world has focused on the actions of Israel in Gaza, but less attention has been placed on where Egypt stands in the situation. There is considerable concern over the inability of Gazans to receive shipments of goods through crossing sites, but the world appears less interested in the position of Egypt on this issue. The Mubarak government is a thinly disguised authoritarian entity which brooks no criticism of its power and actions. Egyptian police have been halting demonstrations in support of Gaza and they are rounding up individuals who use Facebook or MySpace in order to send information or organize protests about Egyptian actions in the area. A German blogger and student activist, Philip Rizik was recently arrested and taken to a secret location for questioning. His parents are not able to obtain information concerning his fate.
Egypt plays a key role in any discussions regarding the future of Gaza. Mubarak does not want a radical Muslim group like Hamas on his border given his concern about the Muslim Brotherhood in his own country. Individuals like Rizik will be kept quiet because demonstrations, unless organized by the police, are not tolerated in Mubarak’s little world of power and control.