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Crusades redux: Will Jerusalem soon be surrounded by hostile Islamists?

In 1187, Jerusalem was engulfed by an angry, surging Muslim sea. Today, revolution in the Arab world – particularly in Egypt – is making Israel anxious.

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The other night I found myself dreaming, drifting simultaneously through two parallel worlds, 800 years apart.

In the first vision, I was on the ramparts of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in July 1187. News came in from Galilee that the Crusader Armies had been decimated by the overwhelming Muslim forces of the great Sultan Saladin at the Battle of Hattin. Jerusalem, already an island in an angry, surging Muslim sea, was about to be totally engulfed.

My second dream was in the same place, but I was witnessing a 21st-century Islamic encirclement of modern-day Israel. This second trance was apparently shared by some Israeli columnists who openly fear Egypt’s chaotic regime could be followed by an extremist Islamic government, reinforcing that nightmare Crusader scenario of encirclement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already asked the United States and other countries to make it clear that any new Egyptian government must not be allowed to abrogate its longstanding peace treaty with Israel. Although Egypt's Army has said it will uphold the accord with Israel, a worrying sign came this week from opposition politician Ayman Nour. Dr. Nour, who is planning to run for president as head of the liberal, secular Party of Tomorrow, declared the Camp David agreement to be "over" and urged Egypt to renegotiate its terms.


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