02.12.2011 06.Kislev. 5772
Even if the democratization of the Middle East produces Muslim-led governments, democracy remains the only guarantee against anti-Semitic persecution.
This is my fourth visit to Egpyt's capital and every time here I have found myself, without planning to, standing in Adly Street and gazing up at the grimy edifice of the Sha'ar Hashamayim synagogue. After a few seconds, one of the policemen constantly on guard there orders me to move on. On my first visit, innocently believing the guidebook, I asked to be allowed in, only to be met with a blank stare of incomprehension. The last Jewish visitor to be admitted into Sha'ar Hashamayim was Dan Kurtzer over a decade ago, and that was only thanks to him being the ambassador of a country that gives Egypt $2 billion in foreign aid annually.
I certainly didn't expect this week to find the place open and I wasn't wrong, but during that brief moment before the policeman grunted at me menacingly I thought: So much has changed in Egypt over the last 11 months, in ways we never thought possible, is it outside the realm of possibility that on some future visit I will actually walk through those imposing doors?…