JPost reporters in Cairo: Violence as we've never seen it

The Jerusalem Post's Ben Hartman and Melanie Lidman describe the Egyptian uprising, painting a harrowing picture of lynchings, beatings and fear for their lives.

20 questions 58 (photo credit: courtsey)
20 questions 58
(photo credit: courtsey)
What did the protesters envision for Egypt’s future? What sentiments regarding Israel did you encounter? What did you feel once the attacks on journalists began?
On this week’s 20 Questions two reporters for The Jerusalem Post, Melanie Lidman and Ben Hartman, share their experiences of reporting from Cairo during the demonstrations.
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Hartman breaks the 18-day uprising into two distinct periods: Before the attacks on journalists and after. Lidman states that in the latter period, she was, “terrified…not only was I a target for being a journalist, I was also a target for being a woman and for being Jewish.”
The reporters said that while Israel was not the on the top of the protesters’ agenda, there were still some anti-Israel signs and stars of David spray painted in Tahrir Square. In relation to this Lidman asserts, “People were looking for something to hate and Israel is an easy target to direct your rage at.”
Hartman described the vigilante roadblocks set up by people with no jurisdiction or authority who were brandishing a bizarre assortment of weapons ranging from tridents, machetes and hatchets. 
Lidman detailed the explosions of violence in the square as being reminiscent of medieval times. The lynchings, killings and hand to hand combat were a show of brute strength.
When asked how they viewed the protesters’ vision for Egypt’s future, the impression the reporters got was one of uncertainty. While the demonstrators were clear that they wanted Hosni Mubarak out, they were a lot vaguer about who or what they wanted in his place.
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