The toppling of Egypt's modern-day pharaoh through peaceful mass protests, aided by Facebook and Twitter, marks a watershed for Egypt and the entire Arab world. Contrary to widespread anxieties in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, it will also serve the long-term interests of the United States - and Israel.
Many analysts of Egypt have been warning for years that the status quo under Hosni Mubarak was not sustainable. A repressive and deeply corrupt dictatorship was sitting on top of a social volcano - an increasingly young, urbanized, digitally connected population seething over the lack of freedom, dignity and economic opportunity. A quarter of Egypt's working-age youth are unemployed and many more under-employed. Over the past two decades, average incomes in Egypt stagnated while they doubled or tripled elsewhere in the region.