حمد بن جاسم… لا مروءة لكذوب ولا ورع لسيّئ الخلق

الخائن حمد بن جاسم بن جبر (@hamadjjmalthani) | Twitter

رامز مصطفى

رئيس الوزراء القطري السابق حمد بن جاسم آل ثاني، والمُعاقب بعزله أميركياً، لفشله وأميره حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني في إسقاط الدولة السورية والرئيس بشار الأسد، بالتعاون والتنسيق التامين مع السعودية والولايات المتحدة الأميركية، بحسب اعتراف حمد بن جاسم في مقابلة على القناة القطرية الرسمية العام 2017. يطلّ علينا اليوم في تغريدات، من غرائب ما تضمّنته أنها انتقدت بشكل مباشر الاتفاق الإماراتي مع الكيان الصهيوني، برعاية الرئيس الأميركي ترامب الذي حرص شخصياً في الإعلان عنه.

التغريدات التي أطلقها حمد بن جاسم، تحمل الكثير من التناقضات والأكاذيب، على الرغم من إقراره أنّه مع ما أسماه «السلام»، والعلاقات المتكافئة مع كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني. كما أنّ لديه أصدقاء كُثر في أميركا والكيان، وهو على تواصل دائم معهم. ومن جملة ما تضمّنته تلك التغريدات من تناقضات وأكاذيب:

أنّه مع السلام الذي يقوم على أسس واضحة حتى يكون التطبيع دائماً ومستمراً ومقنعاً للشعوب. متناسياً أنّه ودولته من أولى الدول الخليجية، التي شرعت أبوابها للتطبيع مع الكيان، عندما افتتحت في العام 1996 ممثلية تجارية للكيان على أراضيها، والتي توّجت آنذاك في توقيع شمعون بيريز عدداً من الاتفاقات التجارية، وإنشاء بورصة قطرية للغاز في مستعمرة تل بيب في فلسطين المحتلة. وذلك بعد أن كشف حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني، في لقاء مع قناة «أم بي سي»، عن خطة لمشروع غاز بين قطر والكيان والأردن، مطالباً في ذلك الوقت بإلغاء الحصار الاقتصادي المفروض من جانب العرب على الكيان.

على الرغم من انتقاده اللاذع للجامعة العربية ومجلس التعاون الخليجي، أقرّ أنّ الجامعة العربية ومجلس التعاون حاله ميؤوس منها. حمد بن جاسم في اكتشافه عن راهن الجامعة العربية ومجلس التعاون الميؤوس منهما، بأثر رجعي يمتدّ إلى أكثر من عقدين من الزمن، يطرح سؤالاً، أليست دولة قطر ومعها الإمارات والسعودية، وبقوة البترو دولار، هم المسؤولون عن تحويل الجامعة قبل مجلس التعاون إلى أداة لتشريع التدخل الدولي في ليبيا، عندما دفعت الأموال لأمين عام الجامعة آنذاك عمرو موسى لتمرير القرار؟ وأيضاً أليست قطر هي مَن طلبت من السلطة الفلسطينية التنازل لها عن ترؤسها للقمة العربية، بهدف تجميد عضوية سورية في الجامعة العربية، واستجلاب من أسمتهم بـ “المعارضة السورية”، وقدّمت لهم ملايين الدولارات لإسقاط الدولة السورية ورئيسها بشار الأسد، وهذا ما اعترف به حمد بن جاسم، بأنّ قطر تعاونت والسعودية وتركيا والولايات المتحدة من أجل ذلك، مستخدماً عبارة تهاوشنا على الفريسة وفشلنا في صيدها، ولا زلنا نتهاوش عليها.

Dr. Mohamed Elhachmi Hamdi د. محمد الهاشمي الحامدي - Objave | Facebook

التباكي على حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني وتطلعاته الوطنية، أصبحت معزوفة مشروخة يعرفها شعبنا، لأنّ قطر واحدة من الدول التي عملت على طمس حقوقه من خلال التطبيع المبكر مع الكيان، ولا يغرينا الكلام عن أنّ الفلسطينيين لم يفوضوا أحداً التحدث بالنيابة عنهم، وهم أصلاً لم يفوّضوا حتى قياداتهم الاعتراف بالكيان والتنازل له عن 78 بالمئة عن أرض فلسطين بموجب اتفاقات أوسلو. وبالتالي التباكي على الجولان العربي السوري ومزارع شبعا اللبنانية، من خلال أنّه يعاير الإمارات أنها تكذب في وقوفها وراء تأجيل عملية الضّم. وسؤالنا ماذا فعلت دولتك يا شيخ حمد عندما أعلن ترامب بأحقية سيادة الكيان الصهيوني على الجولان؟

مؤكد أنّ الشعب العربي بما فيه الخليجي أذكى من أن تسوّق له الأوهام لا من الإمارات ولا من قطر، ولا من أية أنظمة تصطف اليوم لتوقيع اتفاقات التطبيع مع الكيان، أو وقعت الاتفاقات معه.

الشيء الوحيد الذي ساهم بالكشف عنه، أنّ الثمن الذي تمني الإمارات تمريره بموجب الاتفاق، هو صفقة طائرات “أف 35” التي طلبتها الإمارات من واشنطن ووعد نتنياهو بالمساعدة في تمريرها؟ الأمر الذي نفاه لاحقاً في تصريحات له.

يُسجّل له فقط، أنّه اعترف، بأن ليس للقادة العرب أهداف وهو واحد منهم، غير الدسائس والمغامرات حتى يحترمهم الغير عليها؟

أنت يا شيخ حمد من تلك البطانة التي قدمت المصالح الصهيو أميركية، على المصالح العليا لأمتنا. وأنت يا شيخ حمد، كما تلك البطانة ومنها الإمارات، قد عرّضتم ولا زلتم الأمن القومي لأمتنا للخطر، واستجلبتم الكيان إلى عقر الدار، تحت ذرائع واهية اختلقتموها لتبرير مساركم ومسيرتكم السياسية المذلة والمخجلة والمهينة لإرث أمتنا الذي سيبقى عهدة وأمانة لدى أحرار وشرفاء هذه الأمة.

كاتب فلسطيني

Is the Middle East Beginning a Correction?

By Alastair Crooke

Source

 

“Two years, three years, five years’ maximum from now, you will not recognize the same Middle East”, says the former Egyptian FM, Arab League Secretary General and Presidential Candidate, Amr Moussa, in an interview with Al-Monitor.

Mousa made some unexpected points, beyond warning of major change ahead (“the thing now is that the simple Arab man follows everything” – all the events). And in reference to the protests in Iraq, Moussa says that Iraq is in “a preparatory stage for them to choose their way as Iraqis — emphasizing that “the discord between Sunni and Shia is about to fade away.”

The present regional turbulence, he suggests, is [essentially] a reaction to the US playing the sectarian card – manipulating “the issues of sect and religion, et cetera, was not only a dangerous, but a sinister kind of policy”. He added however, “I don’t say that it will happen tomorrow, but [the discord between Sunnis and the Shi’a fading away], will certainly happen in the foreseeable future, which will reflect on Lebanon too.”

What we are witnessing in Iraq and Lebanon, he adds,

“are these things correcting themselves. It will take time, but they will correct themselves. Iraq is a big country in the region, no less than Iran, no less than Turkey. Iraq is a country to reckon with. I don’t know whether this was the reason why it had to be destroyed. Could be. But there are forces in Iraq that are being rebuilt … Iraq will come back. And this phase – what we see today, perhaps this is the — what can I say? A preparatory stage?”

Of course, these comments – coming from a leading Establishment Sunni figure – will appear stunningly counter-intuitive to those living outside the region, where the MSM narrative – from Colombia to Gulf States – is that the current protests are sectarian, and directed predominantly at Hizbullah and Iran. Certainly there is a thread of iconoclasm to this global ‘Age of Anger’, targeting all leaderships, everywhere. In these tempestuous times, of course, the world reads into events what it hopes and expects to see. Moussa calls such sectarian ‘framing’ both dangerous and “sinister”.

But look rather, at the core issue on which practically all Lebanese demonstrators concur: It is that the cast-iron sectarian ‘cage’ (decreed initially by France, and subsequently ‘corrected’ by Saudi Arabia at Taif, to shift economic power into the hands of the Sunnis), is the root cause to the institutionalised, semi-hereditary corruption and mal-governance that has infected Lebanon.

Is this not precisely articulated in the demand for a ‘technocratic government’ – that is to say in the demand for the ousting of all these hereditary sectarian Zaim in a non-sectarian articulation of national interests. Of course, being Lebanon, one tribe will always be keener for one, rather than another, sectarian leader to be cast as villain to the piece. The reality is, however, that technocratic government exactly is a break from Taif – even if the next PM is nominally Sunni (but yet not partisan Sunni)?

And just for clarity’s sake: An end to the compartmentalised sectarian constitution is in Hizbullah’s interest. The Shi’i – the largest minority in Lebanon – were always given the smallest slice of the national cake, under the sectarian divide.

What is driving this sudden focus on ‘the flawed system’ in Lebanon – more plausibly – is simply, hard reality. Most Lebanese understand that they no longer possess a functional economy. Its erstwhile ‘business model’ is bust.

Lebanon used to have real exports – agricultural produce exported to Syria and Iraq, but that avenue was closed by the war in Syria. Lebanon’s (legal) exports today effectively are ‘zilch’, but it imports hugely (thanks to having an artificially high Lebanese pound). All this – i.e. the resulting trade, and government budget deficit – used to be balanced out by the large inward flow of dollars.

Inward remittances from the 8 – 9 million Lebanese living overseas was one key part – and dollar deposits arriving in Lebanon’s once ‘safe-haven’ banking system was the other. But that ‘business model’ effectively is bust. The remittances have been fading for years, and the Banking system has the US Treasury crawling all over it (looking for sanctionable Hizbullah accounts).

Which brings us back to that other key point made by Moussa, namely, that the Iraqi disturbances are, in his view, “a preparatory stage for them to choose their way as Iraqis … and that will reflect on Lebanon too”.

If the ‘model’ – either economically or politically – is systemically bust, then tinkering will not do. A new direction is required.

Look at it this way: Sayyed Nasrallah has noted in recent days that other alternatives for Lebanon to a US alignment are possible, but have not yet consolidated into a definitive alternative. That option, in essence, is to ‘look East’: to Russia and China.

It makes sense: At one level, an arrangement with Moscow might untie a number of ‘knots’: It could lead to a re-opening of trade, through Syria, into Iraq for Lebanon’s agricultural produce; it could lead to a return of Syrian refugees out from Lebanon, back to their homes; China could shoulder the Economic Development plan, at a fraction of its projected $20 billion cost – and, above all it could avoid the ‘poison pill’ of a wholesale privatisation of Lebanese state assets on which the French are insisting. In the longer term, Lebanon could participate in the trade and ‘energy corridor’ plans that Russia and China have in mind for the norther tier of the Middle East and Turkey. At least, this alternative seems to offer a real ‘vision’ for the future. Of course, America is threatening Lebanon with horrible consequences – for even thinking of ‘looking East’.

On the other hand, at a donors’ conference at Paris in April, donors pledged to give Lebanon $11bn in loans and grants – but only if it implements certain ‘reforms’. The conditions include a commitment to direct $7 bn towards privatising government assets and state property – as well as austerity measures such as raising taxes, cutting public sector wages and reducing social services.

Great! But how will this correct Lebanon’s broken ‘business model’? Answer: It would not. Devaluation of the Lebanese pound (almost inevitable, and implying big price rises) and further austerity will not either make Lebanon again a financial safe-haven, nor boost income from remittances. It is the classic misery recipe, and one which leaves Lebanon in the hands of external creditors.

Paris has taken on the role of advancing this austerity agenda by emphasising that only a cabinet acceptable to the creditors will do, to release crucial funds. It seems that France believes that it is sufficient to introduce reforms, impose the rule of law and build the institutions – in order to Gulliverise Hizbullah. This premise of US or Israeli acquiescence to this Gulliverisation plan – seems questionable.

The issue for Aoun must be the potential costs that the US might impose – extending even to the possible exclusion of Lebanese banks from the dollar clearing system (i.e. the infamous US Treasury neutron bomb). Washington is intent more on pushing Lebanon to the financial brink, as hostage to its (i.e. Israel’s) demand that Hizbullah be disarmed, and its missiles destroyed. It might misjudge, however, and send Lebanon over the brink into the abyss.

But President Aoun, or any new government, cannot disarm Hizbullah. But Israel’s newly ambiguous strategic situation (post – Abqaiq), will likely hike the pressures on Lebanon to act against Hizbullah, through one means or another. Were Aoun or his government to try to mitigate the US pressures through acquiescence to the ‘reform’ package, would that be the end to it? Where would it all end, for Lebanon?

And it is a similar conundrum in Iraq: The economic situation though, is quite different. Iraq has one-fifth of the population of neighbouring Iran, but five times the daily oil sales. Yet the infrastructure of its cities, following the two wars, is still a picture of ruination and poverty. The wealth of Iraq is stolen, and sits in bank accounts abroad. In Iraq, it is primarily the political model that is bust, and needs to be re-cast.

Is this Moussa’s point – that Iraq presently is in the preparatory stage of choosing a new path ahead? He describes it as a self-correcting process leading out from the fissures of sectarianism. Conventional Washington thinking however, is that Iran seeks only a Shi’i hegemony for Iraq. But that is a misreading: Iran’s policy is much more nuanced. It is not some sectarian hegemony that is its objective, but the more limited aim to have the strategic edge across the region – in an amorphous, ambiguous, and not easily defined way – so that a fully sovereign Iraq becomes able to push-back against Israel and the US – deniably, and well short of all-out war.

This is the point: the end to sectarianism is an Iranian interest, and not sectarian hegemony.

A MONKEY FOR THE EGYPTIAN CONSTITUTION

The last stooge of all stooges who served Mubarak for ten years as minister of foreign affairs and who served the World Order for another ten years as the general secretary of the unhappy Arab League ; the pet who has licked all boots from NATO to Arab puppets ; the monkey who gave license to the NATO to bombard Libya and invade Libya and dispose of its wealth . The clown whose number is not over yet is been given today the performance of his life on the Egyptian revolutionary stage : Mister ‘Amro Moussa – with his “revolutionary” heart and spirit who for more than twenty years killed all the aspirations of the Arab Nation is now heading the commission that is writing the new Egyptian Constitution that will rule the Egypt of the Revolution . Big Deal Mister Moussa and what kind of revolution and what kind of constitution and what kind of trip have the Egyptians embarked on ? And is Egypt so much in shortage of real people that it is has gone to the tombs to unearth this stinking Mummy that speaks in the name of human rights ? Shame on the Egyptians and Shame on Egypt and fie to such revolution and constitution written by the Monkey of the Arab League .

WHICH REVOLUTION ?

by Daniel Mabsout,
The revolutions of the NGOs are not revolutions , nor is the revolution of the Ikhwaan a revolution nor is Mursi a revolutionary and never will he be one . Neither Barad’i nor Amru Moussa will ever be revolutionaries , they’re a bunch of reactionary people who fit for museums to figure among fossils , they will make you cry , A revolutionary like Wa’el Ghonim will make you cry also , nominee for Nobel Peace Prize, a sandwich revolutionary from Google . Sheikh Imam did not live to witness the Google Revolution not the Face Book Revolution or the Qatari Revolution of Moza and al Jazeera. The revolutions of the oil Gulf princes . Sheikh Imam did not see all this .

There are plenty of these Revolutions everywhere , Revolutions of Hillary and NATO and of good Egyptian kids who have taken the western world for model and example and whose mind is controlled by Hillary . Good Egyptian kids who will do as they are told and not transgress the limits lady Hillary has set for them . Sheikh Imam did not live to see all this . A revolution lead by ghosts and heading to a ghostly place , Sheikh Imam did not live to see a mediocre president brought to power to rule after millions took to streets and then threatened to be deposited by no less mediocre protesters, by other stooges waiting in line for their turn to come and for the US/Israeli green light to show .

Sheikh Imam did not live to see a Revolution lead by hired stooges , where the peasant and worker and soldier were not present as such . Sheikh Imam did not live to see a revolution that did not close the Israeli embassy , nor retrieved the shameful peace agreements with Israel , nor embraced the Palestinian cause , nor defended the armed Resistance nor opened the border of Rafah .

Sheikh Imam was spared all this , spared the shameful attitude regarding Syria , spared the hosting of the so called Syrian /NATO opposition funded by the corrupt Saudis , he was spared the shameful attitude of the Arab League and spared the shameful affiliation of Egypt to Western agendas , spared to see a masquerade called revolution and a staged event called Spring cooked in the back stages of foreign embassies Sheikh Imam was spared all this , because Sheikh Imam deserved much better than this , deserved the real Revolution he praised and embraced , the real Revolution of the Real Egypt , of the authentic Genuine Egyptians , of the soldier and the worker and the peasant and the poet, of the student and the teacher and the artist , of the struggle against the real enemy, the sworn enemy of the nation . Sheikh Imam deserved much better than this . And Egypt deserves much better than this, than Mursi or Barad’i or Moussa or Ghonim .

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Khalid Amayereh calling for "UNITY"??

Worried that Shea may take “his Sunni” Mecca, amayereh call gulf states to unite before its too late.  Source

Khalid Amayereh
on hair-raising massacre in Houleh
He ment hair-razing

 Amayereh is talking about the “ill-will that keeps coming from the Iranian and Shiite religious establishment, which gives rise to and justify Sunni fears and suspicions”.. and “The genocidal Shiite drive against the Sunni majority in Syria”


For him: Sunni = His brothers, the Brothers of America ,
Pro Assad Sunnis in Syria (who, according to Assad saved Syria) such as Mufti Hassoun, Buti… are not Sunnis, the same applies to Sham’s (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon) clerics front.



His enemy is Syria the cave of Arab resistance movements. “The Syrian regime must change, or it will be changed” he wrote one year ago.

The required change is not democracy, elections, new constitution, freedom of speech, nor lifting emergency law, its nothing but handing over Syria to his Brothers of America, to break the so-called Shea cresent, and form a Sunni one, consequently, Sunni Hamas should leave Damascus.



Iran, not “Israel”, is his enemy. “Iran has no right to threaten and intimidate its Muslim neighbors”, but, Iran’s neighbors has the full right to host Nato in their waters and their land.

Rats desert a sinking ship, fools ride

 In order not to rock his brothers boat, sailing in Nato waters, he have no proplem with Camp David “peace treaty”, all he wants from Egypt is to tell Israel, straight in the eyes, our commitment to the Camp David Peace Treaty depends on your behavior toward the Palestinians

In his previous article Khalid Amayereh said:The PA ought to press the new rulers of Egypt to make the Egyptian commitment to honor and uphold the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty subject to Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. The same thing applies to all new governments and regimes in the Arab world. This is what everyone would call smart politics.”
“He will be remembered as a sincere man who tried but failed”
Moreover, to start of a ”real” Palestinian partnership” Amayereh has no problem in Reconciliation with the traitor. For Amayereh Abbas is a traitor, he was naive, then out of sudden a sincere man who tried but failed” 
Palestinians should never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he said 
The rift is not about the PLO ten points plan, not about selling 78% of Palestine in OSLO, and the alliance with the Zionists is a “de facto alliance”.

“The rift …..turned brother against brother, with some Palestinian groups effectively entering into a de facto alliance with the Zionists, the killers of our children and tormentors of our people.”

“There is still much to be done in this regard. We must start immediately to minimize security coordination with Israel to the point of ending this shameful chapter in our political life.”

He also has no problem with the with the de facto alliance” of his “brother” Erdugan with the Zionists, and Nato.

His only problem is with Syrian regime, His priority is to fullfill His London’s Facebook brother:

 
The above quotes are the core of all recent comments written by Amayereh in PIC

“We promised them with every revolution to rejoice their defeat and our next gloat will be soon from free Damascus, God willing, that’s a promise!”
Worried that Shea may take “his Sunni” Mecca, amayereh call gulf states to unite before its too late.
Al-quds could wait 20-50 years.
Why not, “Where is the Roman Empire, where is the British Empire? Where is Napoleon Bonaparte? Where is the Soviet Union? Where is Adolph Hitler?” he wrote few weeks ago.

So whats on “Muslim’s” Brotherhood table is,dismantling and termination of the Syrian regime, “the totalitarian police-state apparatus which has been ruling Syria since the early sixties once and for all, is aware about whats on the table. The Baath party is inherently undemocratic; it can’t be reformed, it must be ended.”
“Arab spring” is a great asset for Palestinian cause Amayereh wote. Bahrain Spring is not, it’s an asset for Iran and Sheaa.

When talking about Bahrain, and the uprising in Arabia, he ignored the peacful nature of the uprising, and quoted one Bahraini Shiite advocates as saying. “We will slaughter you all once we reach power”
No word is said about his Al-qaeda brothers slaughtering Shea in Iraq, bombing Shea mosques in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

For him, the “hair-raising massacre in Houleh speaks volume as the criminal intentions of some Shiite circles and those abetting and supporting their murderousness”, not the criminal actions of his Syrian nato brothers, designed to call a nato intervention to stop the civil war in Syria.

Horrific Massacre in Houla, Syrian Authorities Deny Responsibility
Initial Report of Judicial Investigation Committee on al-Houla Massacre:
Victims belonged to Peaceful Families who Refused to Stand up against State

“Iranians, and Shiites in general, decidedly and doggedly sided with the “Yazid of Damascus”, whose Shabbiha or thugs are carrying out pornographic, Nazi-like atrocities against the Sunni people of Syria for daring to demand freedom and dignity from one of the most evil tyrannies under the sun” he claimed hinting to both Iran and Hezbollah.

On 10-05-2008 members of Future Movement massacred
eleven defenseless SSNP members in Halba.
NO word is said about the Hariri, the Sunni PALAYBOY, the Sunni real “Yazid of Beirut” and His massacre is Halba,
lebanese visitors abducted in syriaNo word is said about daily massacres in Iraq or about Lebanese Visitors Martyred in Iraq Attack or about the 11 Lebanese visitors who were abducted in Syria ten days ago.
The real kidnaper are the so-called “friends of Syrian”, in particular, Erdugan, who wants an apology from Sayyed Nasralah to destroy his image. However, today the real kidnapers got the message:
Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah addressing the audience on Imam Khomeini's departure ceremony in Beirut; June 1, 2012 e are ready to resolve it the way you want,  whether through war or through love and peace.”

“If your problem was with me, there are a lot of means and ways to resolve it. W

No word about Sunni rulling Yazids.
Instead he asked them to unite before its to late, not against Usrael, but against Iran, Shea in General, and Sunnis opposing Mulslim Brotherhood.
In short Amayereh, like his sister, Laura Stuart, learned that Success will never come from deviant“.
However, Khalid was right in saying: “History can be especially harsh for those who fail to learn from its lessons.”
Non-Islamic democracy is impossible in the Arab world, Amayereh wrote reflecting the real MB’s stand towards democracy.
Islam is inherently superior to democracy. “The reason is simple; democracy in its simplest form means the rule of the majority. Right and wrong, morality and immorality, and other values are determined by the people whose views are often subject to all sorts of manipulations by special interest groups, media brainwashing and political money”.
His opportionist brothers failed to learn from 1950’s lessons in Egypt, and 1980’s lesson in Syria. After parliament elections they “took people’s support for granted”, to face the hard facts in both countries.

According to Esam Al-Amin, “MB candidates received almost 11 million votes during the parliamentary elections, their presidential candidate gained only 5.7 million votes, a stunning loss of over five million votes.

Why??

“there are clearly three major political forces within society, namely SCAF, the Islamic political parties led by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and the mostly secular revolutionary forces including youth groups, nationalists, liberals and leftists. Whenever two of these distinct groups come together it is usually at the expense of the third party.
  • During the decisive revolutionary days all Egyptians were united and SCAF had to abandon Mubarak and side with the people. But during most of last year the MB backed SCAF on many occasions while the revolutionary groups were crushed and their demands ignored.
  • When SCAF tried to impose supra-constitutional principles on all political parties to protect its interests, the MB sided with the revolutionary groups forcing SCAF to withdraw the document, retreat, and set a date for handing over power to a civilian president.
  • When the MB tried to impose a constitutional-writing committee dominated by Islamists, SCAF sided with the secular revolutionary groups against the Islamists compelling them to change course.

The Egypt brotherhood performance reminded of story of the Shepherd (MB)and the wolf (Tantawi).

The Brotherhood lied when they promised first promised they would not seek more than 30% of the seats in Egypt’s new parliament, and they have won more than 50% of the seats.


The Brotherhood lied again when they promised for the past year that it would not run a candidate for the presidency, and they run two candidates


And now MB’s candidate Mursi promises broad coalition, presidency would no longer be about one person; it would be an institution.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Egypt’s Presidential Vote: Minorities Divided

Egypt’s Presidential Vote: Minorities Divided

Egyptian presidential hopefuls Amr Moussa (R) and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh smile during a televised debate in Cairo 10 May 2012. (Photo: REUTERS – Mahmoud Khaled – Handout)
Published Monday, May 14, 2012
Salafi and Coptic voters will have a major say in who becomes the country’s next president, but neither group is united over which candidate to back.

Cairo – While Egyptian expatriates have already begun voting for their next president, Egyptians at home have yet to make up their minds.

The final list of candidates was not actually confirmed until Saturday, when an administrative court ruling upheld the candidacy of former premier Ahmad Shafiq until the constitutional court judgement on the validity of the Disenfrachisement Law, which disqualifies senior members of the former regime from running.

The same court also ruled that the election must be held on schedule.

Yet with only nine days left to choose between the 13 presidential hopefuls, many Egyptians—including political and other groups – remain undecided.

These include the country’s array of Salafi groups, who are divided over which candidate to back.
The two leading Salafi forces in terms of their ability to mobilize voters – the Nour Party and the al-Daawa al-Salafiya – have come out in support of independent Islamist candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh – as have the Salafi Front and the Fadila Party.

But other Salafi factions – including the Asala party, Ahl al-Jamaa wal-Sunna, Ansar al-Sunna al-Muhammadia, the Sharia Association for Reform and Rights, and the Sharia Society – have thrown their weight behind Muslim Brotherhood candidate (MB) Mohammed Mursi.

The so-called “Hazemoun” tendency, meanwhile, continues to support disqualified Salafi presidential contender Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, despite his having been barred from running.

The split within Salafi ranks reflects disagreements over the extent to which Abul-Fotouh and Mursi are committed to Islamic sharia. Mursi’s supporters accuse his rival of fence-sitting over the implementation of sharia law in Egypt, and have been urging Salafi preachers to endorse the MB candidate instead.

Abul-Fotouh has responded by stressing his determination to “struggle for God’s sharia and the establishment of the Islamic project,” while at the same time emphasising his centrist credentials. “The country wants a centrist president, not an extreme secularist nor a religious extremist,” he remarked on a recent campaign tour.

Observers believe that Abul-Fotouh has the upper hand over Mursi among Salafi voters, and these could prove decisive in giving him the edge over the MB nominee, especially given the popularity and electoral clout of the Nour Party and al-Daawa al-Salafiya.

The MB has sought to counter this by mobilizing big turnouts at Mursi’s campaign events. While designed to project its own strength, observers see this as a sign of alarm on the MB’s part.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians, who according to official statistics account for some 20 percent of the population, are also divided over which candidate to support, albeit from the opposite perspective to their Salafi compatriots.
 

Some Copts see the priority as electing a president who believes in a civil state and has no Islamist leanings, so as to avoid being treated as second class citizens as they were under the Mubarak regime. This inclines them to back either Shafiq, or former foreign minister Amr Moussa, despite their association with the former regime.

Other Copts see Abul-Fotouh as more deserving of the presidency.

While the Coptic Orthodox Church has deliberately avoided backing any candidate, Coptic activists have sought to mobilize the communal vote.

One group fell out with a committee of 100 prominent public figures which had been formed to choose a consensus presidential candidate who could command the support of a majority of Egyptians after it opted for Abul-Fotouh.

Most Coptic members of the committee resigned. According to Nagib Gibrail, the Church’s lawyer, they had drawn up a list of ten criteria for selecting the future president. These included believing in civil state, not belonging to any Islamist group, supporting equal right for Copts, and also not being an Arab nationalist. Gibrail would not say which if any candidate met these specifications, though he did not suggest there was agreement among Copts in support of former regime figures Moussa or Shafiq.

However, prominent activist Sharif Dous, who heads the General Coptic Association Activist, has openly backed Abul-Fotouh. The Egyptian Coptic Alliance declared after a meeting with Independent Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi that it would announce its recommendation on how Copts should vote shortly. Sabahi had pledged that if elected he would, among other things, bring to justice the perpetrators of sectarian crimes against Copts, and ensure a “just exit” – as opposed to a “safe exit” – from power by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed forces.
 

The various candidates have meanwhile been continuing with their campaign tours and conferences.
The latest opinion poll, conducted by the public opinion survey and research institute at Misr University for Science and Technology, gives Abul-Fotouh the lead with the support of 34 percent of respondents. Sabahi came second with 10.7 percent, with Shafiq third at 8.4 percent, just ahead of Moussa. The MB’s Mursi trailed in fifth place with just 5.2 per cent.

Sabahi may also prove to be the net beneficiary of last week’s unprecedented televised presidential debate between Moussa and Abul-Fotouh. After the writer Alaa al-Aswany revealed that Sabahi was originally supposed to take part in the debate too but was excluded at the insistence of the other two candidates, Abul-Fotouh responded by offering to hold a separate debate with him.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Muslim Brotherhood and The Presidential Campaign in Egypt

Yusuf Fernandez

Muslim BrotherhoodTens of thousands of Egyptians filled Cairo´s Tahrir Square on April 13to protest against the disqualification of 10 candidates by a panel of Mubarak-era judges. The demonstrators demanded an immediate transfer of power from the military junta to the Parliament.

The opponents to the military rule who filled the Square denounced the generals´ efforts to abort a handover of power. During their tenure, more than 100 people have been killed in crackdowns on protests. Thousands of civilians have been detained and tried in military courts in this last year.

The latest blow to Egyptians´ aspirations was the Supreme Presidential Electoral Comission (SPEC)´s move, which eliminated from the race the top candidate from each political bloc. The Salafist candidate, Hazem Abu Ismail, was disqualified allegedly because his mother had the US citizenship. Ismail contested the claim as false, but the Egyptian foreign and interior ministries along with the US State Department pointed out that Abu Ismail’s mother had received a US passport before she died.

This move left the Salafists, whose main party Al-Nour obtained almost 30% of votes in the parliamentary elections, without any candidate who could support their views. The commission also disqualified Omar Suleiman, the former head of the Egyptian intelligence service and vice-president under ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak’s rule. However, Minister Ahmed Shafiq, a former prime minister during Mubarak´s time, was allowed to become a candidate.

Khairat Al-Shatir
The Muslim Brotherhood´s top candidate, Khairat el-Shater, was also disqualified because he was a political prisoner under Mubarak. Al-Shater was arrested with other leading members of the Brotherhood in 2006, when the Mubarak regime launched an offensive against “Islamist businessmen”. A military court sentenced him to 7 years in prison. He was allegedly accused of money laundering, providing students with weapons and funding “illegal” group. He was released by the SCAF soon after it took power, reportedly for health reasons. Al-Shater´s lawyers claimed that he received a full pardon, which covered all charges against him. However, the SPEC turned down the appeals submitted by the disqualified candidates.

The SPEC is made up by a group of judges appointed by the SCAF. Its president, Farouk Sultan, is a former army officer and judge in the military court system. Some commentators hold the position that the SPEC took its decision to disqualify the candidates on behalf of the SCAF junta, which wanted in particular to get rid of Al-Shater.

Al-Shater, a businessman and former banker, represents the economic interests of the Brotherhood. He is the owner of a business empire; his economic platform sought to attract more foreign investment and further privatize and liberalize the Egyptian economy. The military saw his economic programme as a potential threat to its economic interests. The army controls large parts of the country´s economy. Recently, SCAF said that it would “fight to defend our projects”.

After knowing the decision of the Electoral Comission, Al-Shatir accused the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of not being serious about the handover of power. He also said that the military junta was “looking for a figure that it can control from behind the scenes,” “We vow to defend the revolution and to overthrow the rest of Mubarak’s regime and to cleanse establishments and institutions that support the old regime”, he added.

However, the Brotherhood and its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) announced they are still in the competition for the presidency of the Republic. Their second candidate, Mohamed Mursi, said that he would adopt the same approach and programme of Al Shater. In a statement issued by the Brotherhood and the FJP, they reiterated that they have “a comprehensive renaissance project for Egypt that covers all fields and sectors, and is capable of taking Egypt to safety shores of stability, security and prosperity.”

The Commission´s decision to ban Al-Shater from running for president is a further indication of a growing conflict between the ruling military and the Brotherhood. Although Mursi is still in the race, he is less popular than Al-Shater and his possibilities of winning the election are also very few.

Initially, the Brotherhood supported the SCAF´s move to take over the power. The Brotherhood and the Salafists then supported a law issued by the generals in March 2011 banning strikes and protests and backed virtually all the SCAF’s decisions. However, after its victory in the parliamentary elections, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the Brotherhood have taken a more confrontational stance towards the SCAF junta.

The reason of this new approach is that their outrage for the SCAF´s refusal to remove the interim government headed by Kamal Ganzouri and replace it with another national unity government, as the new parliament has demanded. They claim that SCAF is unwilling to give up power and seeks to continue ruling the country. The newly elected parliament remains largely powerless.

Division among the revolutionaries

Muslim BrotherhoodOn the other hand, the division between its “Islamist” and “secularist” sectors within the revolutionary camp is getting worse and worse. The first contentious issue was the criteria and methods for selecting the 100 members of the comission charged with drafting the new constitution. When the Islamist parliamentary majority demanded 72 of the 100 seats, liberals withdrew and accused them of being deliberately exclusionist. Later, they lawsuit it what froze all activities of the commission.

In the recent protests, including the above-mentioned one in Tahrir Square, demonstrators voiced more division than unity, with many liberals and Salafists accusing the Brotherhood of being more focused on its own political interests than on increasing pressure on the military. Ahmed Said, leader of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, said that it was obvious that the Brotherhood resorted to Tahrir to polish its revolutionary image and serve its own interests.

“The Brotherhood’s leaders left us alone in many earlier confrontations in which we were the first to call for the removal of the present cabinet led by Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri, and were critical of SCAF,” claimed Said. “We would need a clear apology first before we can consider having confidence in the Brotherhood after its repeated failed promises.” 

IN CASE YOU FORGET
Amr Moussa: “Arab League decided to suspend Libya’s membership!”

The second controversy was triggered by the Brotherhood’s decision to field a presidential candidate, breaking the pledge they had repeated for more than a year.

The decision caused dismay in political circles, especially among the secularists and the SCAF.

It was seen as further evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to “monopolise power”. However, the Muslim Brotherhood rejected these claims by saying that in the most democratic countries the president of the republic and the parliament are usually in the hands of the same party.

However, prospects are not very positive for the Brotherhood. According to a poll by Al Ahram, it will be independent Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh who will become the successful Islamic candidate who will compete with the other favourite candidate, former secretary-general of the Arab League Amr Moussa, for the presidency in the second round of the presidential elections in June.

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Source: Al-Manar Website
11-05-2012 – 16:07 Last updated 11-05-2012 – 16:09

Egyptian Candidates Debate: Peace Treaty with Israel to be Revised

Local Editor

Egypt’s hopeful presidential candidates have made the first televised presidential debate in Egypt’s history strongly criticizing Israel and calling it as an enemy to the Egyptian nation.
Abul Fotouh, Amr MoussaThe two front-runners in Egypt’s presidential election were Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister and Arab League chief, and Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh. The debate, which was aired on two private Egyptian television channels, ONTV and Dream, lasted for nearly four hours late into the night on Thursday.

The two traded accusations against each other but both agreed the country’s 1979 “peace treaty” with the Israeli occupation had to be revised though not annulled.

Abul Fotouh, Amr Moussa“Israel is an enemy, an entity established on occupying the land and threatening our security,” former leading member of Muslim Brotherhood Abul Fotouh said. “An entity that has 200 nuclear warheads, has a vast amount of reinforcements on the pretext of security, an entity that stands against international resolutions and rejects the return of the Palestinian people’s rights,” he was quoted as saying by AP.

Moussa also expressed similar views against the Zionist entity. “Most of our people consider it [Israel] an enemy, most of our people don’t agree with it and don’t trust the peace with it. This is true,” Moussa said.

Egyptian polls have suggested that Moussa and Abul Fotouh are the leading contenders in the May 23-24 polls.
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Egypt’s Presidential Vote: US Picks Its Favorite – Egypt presidential frontrunner reaches out to Iran

Egypt’s Presidential Vote: US Picks Its Favorite

By: Elie Chalhoub

Published Thursday, May 10, 2012

The upcoming presidential elections could determine Egypt’s future political positioning in a volatile region. Major world powers including the US are monitoring developments with great interest.

It has become clear that the intensification of the presidential election contest in Egypt is not only due to rivalries between the domestic political forces competing over the top job in the country.

Many issues are also at stake at the strategic level, including Egypt’s future regional role and its policy on key issues. These are deemed vital by various players both inside and outside the country, notably the US and Israel, whose policies in the region have been inextricably linked for decades.

Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt, which raised the banner of anti-imperialist national liberation struggle and resistance to Zionism, turned Cairo into a regional superpower that wielded formidable influence throughout the Arab world.

Anwar al-Sadat’s Egypt, which aligned itself with the US and made peace with Israel, was isolated and ostracized by the Arab and Islamic world.

Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, which so aligned itself with Israel that its president became Zionism’s “strategic treasure”, turned in on itself. Its aspirations were confined to sustaining the regime, which the masses brought down in Tahrir Square.

What will tomorrow’s Egypt be like? Which of these models will it adopt? The behaviour of the military establishment will doubtless be important in this regard. Egypt’s economic needs are also a factor that cannot be ignored. But the decisive say will be with the political authority that finally emerges from the belly of the active popular forces that brought down the previous regime.
 

The forthcoming presidential elections have become the principal arena in which this battle is being fought. Virtually every regional and international power with a stake in the outcome has been exerting whatever influence it can in a bid to secure victory for the candidate it thinks most attuned to its interests.

The major player in this regard may be the US, given its long-established relations in Egypt – with the former regime, the military, and civil society alike – and the enormous influence it wields over the regional actors who are involved in this game.

Regarding this issue, Arab diplomatic sources point to a report that was prepared by US intelligence agencies for the Obama administration, and passed on by the State Department to a number of regional governments. The document both assesses the Egyptian presidential election campaign and makes recommendations for US policy and actions.

The report acknowledges that there is widespread public feeling that Egypt has hitherto been prevented from playing its natural role in the Arab and Islamic world, and that it should take a stronger stand against the US and Israel. It sees the spate of bombings of the pipeline supplying Egyptian natural gas to Israel as a manifestation of this, and warns that it might eventually result in the abrogation of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

Accordingly, the report argues that the Muslim Brotherhood should be prevented from winning the presidential elections by all means – including by aggravating rivalries with other Islamist groups, including the Salafis and al-Qaeda sympathizers. The diplomatic sources suggested that the recent violent clashes at the defense ministry headquarters may have been an early manifestation of this.
The report recommends that the US support the candidacy either of Amr Moussa, the former foreign minister and Arab League secretary-general, or ex-premier Ahmad Shafiq.
The diplomatic sources, however, said that the Americans are aware that Shafiq lacks the charisma, popularity and legitimacy needed to stand any chance of winning, and are in practice backing Moussa. They said a team of British intelligence operatives had been formed to covertly support his candidacy.

The sources stressed that this does not mean this team is working with Moussa, or that he approves or is even aware of it. Yet he remains Washington’s preferred choice because it believes that while he may talk tough on Egypt’s role, Arab solidarity and Palestine, he will not have the power to carry out any promises he makes.

According to the sources , the report adds that if victory cannot be secured for Moussa or Shafiq, the preferred alternative candidate would be independent Islamist candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh. It reasons that as he broke off from the Brotherhood, he lacks the mass social base he would need to restore Egypt’s leading regional role, and his victory would also undermine the Brotherhood’s public standing generally. The sources suggest that the disqualification of the Brotherhood’s original candidate, Khayrat el-Shater, may have been the first step towards realizing this scenario.  

Although the Brotherhood has kept a low public profile concerning Israel and the peace treaty, the Americans still worry about it, on the grounds that it is the only political force with enough of a mass base and sufficient historical and religious legitimacy to lead Egypt on to a new course in foreign policy. Its traditionally anti-imperialist approach and record of support for the Palestinian cause give it much in common with the Iran’s Khomeinist Islamists in this regard.

“The American priority is, therefore, firstly to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from reaching the presidency, because they carry these characteristics and these ideological genes, and secondly to undermine the appeal of the broader Islamic project, assisted by the weakness of the Brotherhood’s own stands,” the sources said.

These sources also said there were signs that movements were afoot within Egypt to encourage the three Islamist presidential candidates to join forces with Nasserist hopeful Hamdeen Sabahi and rally their supporters behind a single agreed nominee. The aim would be to ensure that a supporter of the Islamist/ Arab nationalist project made it through the first round, thus enabling the country’s two largest popular forces to make their influence felt in determining Egypt’s future place on the region’s geostrategic map.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Egypt presidential frontrunner reaches out to Iran

Published Thursday, May 10, 2012
The leading candidate in Egypt’s presidential elections has called for Arab states to improve relations with Iran, a move that is likely to raise eyebrows in the West.

Amr Moussa, who polls say is leading the race to become Egypt’s first democratically elected president, said he would look to improve relations with the Islamic republic and had worked to do so in the past.

The former Arab League head, known for his fiery anti-Israel speeches, pointed out that during his time as foreign minister he had tried to improve relations with Iran, but had been prevented by former US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak, state news agency MENA said.

Any improvement in relations would be frowned upon by the United States, which gives Egypt US$1.3 billion in annual military aid.

The US, Israel and its local Gulf Arab allies have been trying to maximize pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday hailed his administration’s policies toward Iran, which he said has resulted in Tehran’s increased international isolation.

Any Egyptian move under Moussa to develop relations with Iran would be seen as undermining US efforts to isolate the Islamic republic.

Iran and Egypt severed ties in 1980 after the Islamic revolution in Iran and the normalization of relations between Egypt and Israel.

Egypt under Mubarak served as America’s most strategic Arab ally, but his ouster has raised concerns in the West that Egyptian foreign policy might now follow its own interests and not that of Washington.

A recent poll carried out by the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies found that Moussa had 39 percent of support, 15 ahead of his nearest rival.

(Al-Akhbar, MENA)

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The U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood: The Calculus of Egypt’s Presidential Race

The U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood
 
 
“President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from his position as president of the republic.” Uttered by former Vice President Omar Suleiman on the evening of February 11, 2011, these words set in motion jubilations by millions of Egyptians celebrating the ultimate triumph of their will over the obstinate dictator.

Although the previous eighteen tumultuous days had united the overwhelming majority of Egyptians regardless of political orientation, religious persuasion, economic class or social strata, the ultimate victory of the revolution was not inevitable. The massive demonstrations that started on January 25, were originally called for by groups dominated by youth activists such as the April 6 Movement and “We are All Khaled Said,” in reference to the young blogger who was murdered by state security agents.

Most established political parties and social movements including the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) did not initially support the calls to protest in anticipation of the security crackdown, though they did not discourage their members from participation.

Within days the demonstrations escalated and it became clear that the security forces were not able to stop the growing protests. By January 28, the protesters called for a Day of Rage, and all genuine opposition parties, led by the MB, took to the streets calling for the ouster of Mubarak.
Within two weeks, the regime was ousted and the military, under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which refused to back Mubarak and violently disperse the demonstrators, assumed political control, promising a peaceful transfer of power to a democratically elected civilian government within six months.

It was the most momentous event in the modern history of Egypt. But unfortunately the revolutionaries went home satisfied with their astonishing achievement as the remnants of the regime – the fulool– were on the run.

But this incredible historical unity of all Egyptians soon dissipated, giving way to deep ideological divisions. Urgent issues such as whether the constitution should be written before democratic elections or vice versa, or long-term questions concerning the identity of the country, the nature of the state, the role of Islam in society, and the status of the military were hotly debated outside an agreed upon framework. Religious and social groups that were highly organized insisted on holding the elections first, utilizing their clear advantage over others especially the new revolutionary groups that lacked structure, manpower, and resources.


But these revolutionary groups realized early in the standoff with SCAF that none of their objectives were going to be accomplished without applying tremendous pressure on the military council. For several months, massive demonstrations returned to Tahrir Square in order to compel SCAF to dissolve parliament and local assemblies, change the government, force trials of the deposed president and his corrupt cronies, repeal emergency laws, and halt military trials, among other revolutionary demands.

Throughout these demonstrations that sometimes turned deadly, especially in July and November, the revolutionary youth accused the MB of turning a blind eye to the SCAF’s abuses, and in some instances even defending or justifying its actions. Hence, throughout the summer two main camps were formed: the religious camp with the MB and the more conservative Salafis on the one hand, and the secular camp that included the liberals, the leftists, and many youth groups. The former clearly wanted calm in order not to give any pretext to postpone the parliamentary elections, scheduled for end of November, while the latter accused the former of pursuing political expediency at the expense of the primary objectives of the revolution.

By the end of January 2012, the elections of the two-chamber parliament concluded with stunning victories for the religious camp garnering close to 75 percent of the seats, led by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the MB, gaining 47 percent of the seats, while the Noor Party (the political arm of the Salafi groups) acquiring 25 percent of the seats. Other smaller Islamic parties received 3 percent while all the liberals and the leftists parties combined acquired less than 22 percent. The fulool, of the banned National Democratic Party (NDP), running under numerous new-fangled names, garnered less than 3 percent.
The Brotherhood and SCAF

The charge of the revolutionary groups was not completely without merit. The MB by its nature is a conservative group that favors phased reforms rather than revolutionary change. It had been banned since 1954 after its confrontation with the Nasser regime.
Since the release of its members from prison in the early seventies, its primary objective was to receive recognition by the state and work within the system. So when in a secret meeting during the height of the revolution on Feb. 1, former Intelligence Chief and Vice President Omar Suleiman offered the MB leadership recognition and release from prison of their senior leaders, Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat El-Shater and businessman Hasan Malek in exchange for withdrawing their ranks from the streets, they agreed.
Meanwhile, the revolutionaries, including MB youth groups and other rivals within the MB leadership at the time such as Dr. Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, refused to leave Tahrir Square and openly defied the proposition. The attack by the goons of the former regime the following day in the Battle of the Camel forced the leadership to change course and that agreement became moot.
For almost a year since the SCAF took power in February 2011, a tacit honeymoon between the two strongest centers of power in the country evolved for different reasons. On the one hand, the MB did not want to experience a repeat of their 1954 showdown with the military that ended in their ban and imprisonment. Confident in their ability to win contested democratic elections, they overlooked all the attempts by SCAF to frustrate fulfilling the objectives of the revolution, particularly with regard to holding corruption investigations and trials, or banishment of former regime loyalists in the government.
On the eve of the triumph of the revolution on Feb. 10, 2011 the MB senior leadership body of about 120 members met for the first time in years and announced they would not seek more than 30-40 percent of seats in a new parliament and that they would not field a presidential candidate.
They gave assurances to anxious civil society groups and nervous international powers that they simply wanted to be one of the participants in governing the country and that they did not want to face similar sanctions Hamas had to contend with in Gaza after winning the 2006 elections.
Throughout 2011, the main strategy of the MB and its affiliated FJP was to manage a close coordination or at least a friendly and cordial relationship with SCAF in order not to give the military any pretext to postpone or cancel the parliamentary elections. But with the elections approaching, the pledge not to field more than 30-40 percent evaporated and the group fielded close to 100 percent of the candidates, winning an impressive result as it won almost 47 percent of 498 elected members in the lower house (People’s Assembly) and 55 percent of 180 elected members of the upper house (the Shura Council).
Meanwhile, since taking the reign of power SCAF has had three main objectives that they wanted to secure before turning over control to a future civilian government.
Since the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, the military has quietly acquired a substantial stake of the Egyptian economy, estimated by experts to be between 25-35 percent, comprising many sectors including agriculture, industry, real estate, and energy. This control allowed many generals and senior military leaders, as well as their families, to enjoy extreme wealth without any transparency or public accountability. No one in government, let alone parliament or the public, knows the extent of their holdings, who has control over it, or how it is being spent. Unsurprisingly, SCAF justifies the concealment and control of these public resources in the name of national security.
Secondly, the military has desperately sought blanket immunity from prosecution or accountability for anything it has done in the past, especially with regards to financial corruption. But no one actually knows what the immunity would entail, though it is suspected that massive wealth and corruption could be uncovered once senior military leaders retire or disappear from the scene.
Finally, the military wants to obtain a special status in the constitution that allows it to control its budget without civilian oversight, and enjoy veto power in strategic policy areas, including foreign relations and decisions of war and peace.
SCAF calculated shortly after the fall of the regime that the easiest way to achieve its main objectives was by reaching a tacit understanding on these matters with the MB, the largest organized political group. When SCAF inserted these provisions in the so-called supra-constitutional document last November, the MB along with most political opposition groups rejected this document in a massive showing of public protests that forced the collapse of the government and the withdrawal of the document.
Meanwhile, SCAF prevented the FJP, the MB affiliated majority party in parliament, from forming a new government after the elections, while appointing a government headed by Mubarak’s former Prime Minister, Dr. Kamal El-Ganzouri. With worsening conditions of the economic and security situation in the country, the public was blaming the MB for not delivering on their promises of good governance, while the Brotherhood complained that SCAF did not allow it to form a government.
But the primary purpose of the elected parliament was to elect one hundred people to form the constitutional writing committee. Instead of holding countrywide discussions with all political parties and civil society groups on the criteria for committee membership, the FJP held bilateral talks with the Salafist Noor party reaching an agreement that appointed to the constitutional committee fifty members from parliament, which is dominated by Islamists.
In the end the total Islamists appointed to the committee comprised two-thirds (super majority) of total membership and were dominated by members or supporters of the MB. Not only liberal and leftist parties as well as revolutionary groups were incensed, but even religious entities and civil society groups including Al-Azhar, the Coptic Church, opposition parties, labor unions, and the Supreme Court, were upset and withdrew their members from the committee. Predictably, all condemned the policy of exclusion that the MB promised it would not pursue. Eventually, the High Administrative Court invalidated the committee and the parties are now back in discussions to devise new criteria after the FJP conceded its high-handed tactics and did not appeal the ruling.
Nevertheless, by late February, the FJP felt empowered and confident with its electoral gains. The speaker of the Assembly and the president of the Shura Council as well as the chairs of the major committees were all MB members. They were also in charge of appointing the constitution writing committee. So they demanded from SCAF that they lead a coalition government. A tense meeting between both parties took place in early March. The military was upset because of the way the MB formed the constitution committee and for their adamant opposition to the special status for the military in the new constitution. During the meeting, the generals played hardball. They told the Brotherhood’s leadership that not only would they be denied the opportunity to form a government, but they would also not be allowed to control any key ministries including foreign, interior, finance, and justice. They also hinted that the decision to dissolve the new elected parliament that the FJP dominated was near if they did not cooperate and withdrew their motion to dissolve the government. In short, a test of wills was in play.
For the first time since SCAF took the reigns of power, the MB decided to seriously challenge it. Within a few days, the MB released a fiery statement that attacked the military in unprecedented fashion, accusing it of thwarting the revolution and blackmailing the group, and warned the public that SCAF might rig the upcoming presidential elections.
By the following day, SCAF issued its own harsh response denying all accusations and warning the MB, in a thinly veiled threat not to forget the lessons of their past and avoid repetition of their mistakes, in an oblique reference to the 1954 confrontation between the two sides.
Soon after the Shura Council of the MB, their highest decision-making body that usually meets twice a year, uncharacteristically met twice in one week to decide their next step. In response to the SCAF challenge, the Guidance Council, the MB executive body, proposed that they change course and field a presidential candidate. A contentious discussion ensued where 52 of the 65 members attending the meeting objected, fearing that violating their one-year old pledge against fielding a candidate would further erode their credibility with the public. The Supreme Guide, Dr. Muhammad Badie’ adjourned the meeting and called for another within a few days. In the following meeting, 43 more members attended and all voted in favor of fielding a candidate, thus jumping the final count from 13 to 56 against 52. Their candidate was the Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat El-Shater, an engineer by education and a businessman by profession. But more importantly he is a charismatic leader who was not only in charge of the so-called Renaissance Project within the group, but who also controlled the most important components within the group including organization, finance, and media.
 

The U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood

Mustafa Al-Fiqi was one of the most important political thinkers of the Mubarak regime. During the intense debate in 2009 and 2010 regarding the candidacy of Gamal Mubarak to succeed his father, Al-Fiqi said that the most crucial criteria for the next president was acquiring the blessing of America and avoiding a veto by Israel. This idea was not lost on the MB. When they announced in Feb. 2011 that they would not contest the presidential elections, their justification was that they did not want to cause anxiety in secular circles or concern in Western capitals.

As Western officials flocked to Egypt throughout the year, the MB headquarters was always one of the most important places visited by these officials. When Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visited Egypt in January, he met with top MB leaders Badie’ and El-Shater. During the meeting the MB leadership gauged America’s red lines. Assuming power by the MB was not one of them. Burns’ main concern was the fate of the peace treaty with Israel. According to a person familiar with the meeting with the U.S. official, Burns offered that “the good offices of the U.S. would help Egypt secure as much as $20 Billion” from the Arab Gulf states as well as from other international organizations such as the IMF if the MB would maintain the peace treaty with Israel. Although the MB leaders were non-committal, they indicated that their main concern was the shattered economy and the rebuilding of Egypt. In mid-February Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham met with El-Shater and other FJP leaders and essentially delivered the same message.

By the time the MB leadership decided to field a candidate after their clash with SCAF, its main concern with regard to Western reaction had already been put at ease. As El-Shater became the official candidate for the MB, he sent in late March a delegation to Washington that featured four MB officials including a member of parliament and a senior advisor. In effect, their main purpose was to determine the administration’s reaction to the candidacy of El-Shater. Although the delegation members were neither senior party leaders nor officials of the Egyptian government, they were met by the highest officials in Washington. They met twice at the State Department with senior administration officials including Burns and Jeffrey Feltman, the top State Department official on the Middle East. They also met at the White House with National Security Council staff Samantha Power and Steven Simon. While they were at the White House meeting, President Obama dropped in and dazzled his Egyptian guests.
Once again the talks centered on the future of the peace treaty with Israel and Egypt’s economic needs. This time the delegation promised that the MB had no plans to cancel or alter the peace treaty but that they would end the blockade and sanctions on Gaza. During the meetings the Americans repeatedly raised concerns about policies with regard to women and the Christian Copts. At one point the MB delegation responded by raising their concerns about the ill treatment of American Muslims after 9/11. The Americans immediately cut them off and told them that this issue was “none of their business.”
In essence, both parties felt comfortable with each other and were satisfied with the results of their discussions as the U.S. attempted to recalibrate the nature of the relationship with its former client state. Not to be outdone, neocon Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s top foreign policy advisor in 2008, and the current undeclared senior advisor to Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, met secretly with the MB delegation, essentially raising the same concerns and receiving the same assurances.

Egypt’s presidential race

Between March 10 and April 8, Egypt’s Judicial Committee for Presidential Elections started receiving the applications for candidates running for the presidency. To qualify, each candidate had to satisfy certain criteria including proof of age and Egyptian citizenship, not only of the candidate but also of his parents and spouse. In addition, there were three ways for any candidate to become viable: a) collecting at least 30 signatures from members of parliament, b) becoming the official candidate of a political party provided that the party has at least one seat in parliament, or c) collecting at least 30,000 notarized signatures from a minimum of 15 provinces with at least 1000 signatures from each province.
Within four weeks, 23 candidates submitted their papers, claiming to have satisfied the criteria to become an official candidate. This slate of candidates had actually represented the diverse Egyptian political electorate, ranging from the ultra conservative to the radical leftist and Mubarak regime’s loyalist. The MB fielded Deputy Supreme Guide El-Shater as its official candidate with less than a week before the end of the nominating process. To qualify he submitted signatures by 277 MB members of parliament.

At that time it was not clear what candidate SCAF might support. Before the dispute with SCAF was made public, many observers thought that a deal might have been struck with the military to support El-Shater in exchange for the secure exit guarantees SCAF was seeking. But within days, rumors started circulating that former vice president Suleiman was about to run for president as the military’s response to El-Shater’s candidacy. On April 4 Suleiman issued a statement announcing that he would not be a candidate. Yet, within 48 hours he reversed himself and submitted 43,000 signatures to the Elections Committee twenty minutes before the closing of the nominations. Not since the success of the revolution have the fulool felt empowered and the revolutionaries became dispirited and divided.

Egyptians across the political spectrum were shocked and outraged that Mubarak’s intelligence chief and most loyal underling would have the audacity to run for president in order to “fulfill the objectives of the revolution” as he shamelessly declared. They felt insulted and appalled. Many asserted that as pro-revolution groups were divided along ideological lines, the fulool (former regime remnants) and SCAF were now regrouping and organizing themselves to mount a counter-revolution. The signatures in support of Suleiman’s candidacy were collected within 48 hours, an impossible task if it was not for many government agencies and officials pressuring public employees and army recruits, and mobilizing their resources to facilitate it.

Within days the parliament passed a law barring former Mubarak senior officials from running in any elections for ten years due to their role in corrupting politics during the former regime. If signed by SCAF, this law would effectively ban not only Suleiman but another official candidate who was Mubarak’s last Prime Minister, Ahmad Shafiq, also a former military general. In order to play for time, SCAF sent the law to the Constitutional Supreme Court asking for an advisory opinion hoping to delay the decision until it would be too late to disqualify the fulool candidates. But the court immediately ruled that it had no jurisdiction on the matter. SCAF is now forced to show its cards, it could no longer hide behind any political group or the courts.

As they sensed the grave threat Suleiman’s candidacy paused against the revolution, all political parties and groups called for massive demonstrations in the two successive Fridays against the fulool candidates represented not only by Suleiman and Shafiq but also by two former intelligence officers and former foreign minister Amr Mousa. Hundreds of thousands flocked to Tahrir Square and across the country in a show of unity reminiscent of the early days of the revolution. The protesters rejected the fulool candidates and called for the end of military rule.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Committee evaluated the applications of the candidates and disqualified 10 candidates out of the declared 23. Most surprisingly, it disqualified El-Shater, Suleiman, Ayman Noor, a liberal and a former presidential contender that ran against Mubarak in the 2005 elections, as well as the charismatic Salafi candidate, fiery preacher and civil rights attorney Hazem Salah Abu Ismail.

The committee reasoned that each candidate was disqualified because they lacked one or more conditions. Abu Ismail was disqualified because his mother attained U.S. citizenship before she died in 2010. The candidate claimed that the U.S. forged the citizenship documents and thus it was opposed to his candidacy because he called for the implementation of Shari’a law and took a hard stand against the peace treaty with Israel and American foreign policy in the Muslim world. Although the U.S. as well as many secular Egyptians were indeed concerned about his candidacy and popularity, it was clear that his mother had indeed obtained American citizenship in 2006, acquired a U.S. passport, as well as registered to vote in Los Angeles County.

The committee also disqualified the candidacy of El-Shater and Noor on the pretext that they were convicted of crimes during the Mubarak regime, though in widely condemned political show trials. According to Egyptian law, a convict loses his political rights unless restored through full presidential pardon or by the courts. Although SCAF issued pardons to both candidates the committee claimed that they still lacked the requirement of restoring their political rights that could only be obtained by the courts six years after the pardon is issued or by the invalidation of the charges. Perhaps most surprisingly, the committee also disqualified Suleiman by charging that some of the signatures submitted by him were forgeries. The other six disqualifications were minor candidates, including two former intelligence generals. They were excluded for violating one or more conditions. Although the committee allowed the candidates to appeal its decisions, it eventually rejected all appeals and reaffirmed its disqualification of their candidacies.

Naturally the MB and El-Shater were outraged and charged that the Suleiman’s candidacy was a ruse, a farce, and a clumsy attempt by SCAF to disqualify the MB official candidate without causing public outrage since the public would feel relief after the disqualification of Suleiman. They also charged that the real SCAF candidates were now revealed. They are Prime Minister Shafiq and former foreign minister Amr Mousa; both allowed to contest the elections. Not to be out-maneuvered, the MB feared that their official candidate, El-Shater, might be disqualified so on the last day of the nominations it too fielded a back-up candidate, FJP chairman, Dr. Muhammad Mursi. The new MB candidate received a Ph.D. in 1982 in engineering from southern California, and worked as an academic in the U.S. and later in Egypt for decades before being elected to parliament in the 2005 elections.

So who are the final official candidates?

One can classify the remaining 13 candidates that might appear on the ballot into different groupings as follows:

a) The Islamically-oriented candidates: There are three candidates that belong to this group.

1) Dr. Abdulmoneim Abol Fotouh, 60, a medical doctor by training, and the head of the Arab Medical Union, a pan-Arab medical association focused on relief work. He is also a former MB leader who broke away from the group last year after announcing his candidacy. Abol Fotouh was qualified as an independent candidate after collecting over 43,000 notarized signatures. He is well known to the public since his days as a former student leader who challenged former president Anwar Sadat in 1977. In that confrontation, which aired on live television at the time, Abol Fotouh accused Sadat’s advisors of being hypocrites and corrupt. The former president, not accustomed to public criticism became angry and tried to intimidate and silence him but Abol Fotouh stood his ground, gaining many admirers. He later spent several years in prison for his political activism during the Sadat and Mubarak regimes. He is not only popular within the Islamic circles, but also among many segments of Egyptian society including liberals, leftists, and Copts. He is also known for his moderate views. With the elimination of Abu Ismail, it is expected that he would get a substantial vote from that conservative constituency as well as from many other revolutionary and anti-Mubarak regime constituents.
2) Dr. Muhammad Mursi, 60, is the low-key and uncharismatic back-up MB candidate. He was qualified as the official FJP candidate in lieu of being the head of the party. Mursi would most likely garner the majority of the MB vote but it is not clear how much support he would attract outside that constituency in light of the controversial decision by the MB to reverse its decision and field a candidate, as well as their mishandling of the appointment of the constitutional assembly. Many observers believe that if Mursi wins he would share power with El-Shater as Prime Minister similar to the arrangement in recent years in Russia between Medvedev and Putin, with the latter being the power behind the throne.
3) Dr. Muhammad Salim Al-Awwa, 71, a well-known constitutional scholar and Islamic intellectual. He was qualified by collecting 30 signatures from members of parliament.
Although Al-Awwa is well respected by many Egyptian intellectuals and elites, he does not have large following among the grass roots revolutionaries or common Egyptians to have a realistic chance of getting enough support to go to the second round.

b) The fulool-supported candidates: There are two candidates that fit this group.

1) Ahmad Shafiq, 71, is the former Prime Minister appointed by Mubarak just twelve days before he was ousted. He is considered a Mubarak loyalist and likely has the support of the fulool business class and the counter-revolutionary forces within the security apparatus as well as many segments within the government, still largely run by former Mubarak loyalists.
2) Amr Mousa, 76, served as foreign minister under Mubarak for over a decade. He also served for another decade as Secretary General of the Arab League.
He is considered very popular among common Egyptians because at times he was critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians while Mubarak was following the dictates of the U.S. and Israel. His critics charge that he was an integral part of the Mubarak regime and was on record in 2010 of supporting the deposed president for another term.

c) Leftist and nationalist candidates: There are four candidates that belong to this group, but none are considered likely to finish among the top two contenders in the first round of the elections.

The most prominent among this group is Hamdein Sabbahi, 59. He is a former journalist and is considered among the most respected Nasserite in the country. He collected more than 30,000 signatures and thus qualified as an independent candidate.
Another candidate is labor union organizer and civil rights attorney Khaled Ali, 41, the youngest among all presidential candidates. He was qualified by garnering the support of 32 members of parliament. He is articulate and considered by many youth groups as the most authentic revolutionary candidate. Yet his chances are very slim because he is not well known outside the labor unions and activist circles.
The two other candidates are former Judge Hisham Bastawisi and political veteran Abol-Izz Al-Hariri. They represent minor leftist groups and are also considered extremely unlikely to receive large support.

d) The remaining four candidates represent minor parties. They are virtually unknown to the public and are unlikely to receive any meaningful support.

The Presidential Elections Scenarios

The first round of the presidential race is scheduled for May 23 and 24. If no candidate receives more than fifty percent of the vote, then a run-off between the top two contenders would take place on June 16 and 17. Most experts predict that absent massive elections’ fraud sanctioned by the military and ignored by the Elections Committee, no candidate would actually receive a majority after the first round.
Since there are no reliable polls in Egypt, it is not clear what the popularity or electability of each candidate might be. Prior to the parliamentary elections, most polls were widely inaccurate. For instance, the quasi-governmental Al-Ahram sponsored poll predicted prior to the parliamentary elections last November that the FJP and the Wafd parties would each receive 30 percent of the votes, while the Noor party would receive less than 10 percent. In the end, the FJP, Noor and Wafd received 47, 25, and 10 percent respectively, a whopping difference of over 15 points from each prediction.
So what are the most likely scenarios?

Scenario 1: The top two finishers belong to the Islamist camp. In this scenario the two final contenders would be the independent Abol Fotouh and the MB candidate Mursi. In such a two-man race, the majority of Egyptians would likely vote for the independent candidate over the MB contender out of fear of concentrating all political power in the hands of a single political party.

Scenario 2: One of the top two finishers is from the Islamist candidates while the other belong to the fulool. In this scenario the fulool candidate would be Amr Mousa facing either Abol Fotouh or Mursi. In such two-man race in the second round the Islamist candidate would most likely win over Mousa, since a majority of Egyptians consider Mousa as part of Mubarak’s underlings.

Scenario 3: The Elections Committee declares that top two contenders are from the fulools. This scenario is very unlikely and would only come to pass if through low voter turnout (very unlikely), while massive fraud for the benefit of Shafiq occurs undetected (also unlikely), followed by a muted electorate (extremely unlikely). As unlikely as this scenario might be, many political observers are concerned that this might be SCAF’s endgame since both candidates are acceptable to the military.
Many political observers are concerned that the decision of who the next president might be is determined by the five-member Elections Committee and cannot be appealed. Critics point out that the head of the committee was an obscure judge appointed by Mubarak to oversee his son’s succession. His deputy is the infamous judge that interfered in the judicial process overseeing the recent charges of illegal foreign financing of political groups and civil rights advocates, and secured the pre-trial release and flight from the country of the Americans accused in that case. Critics charge that he is susceptible to pressure from SCAF, which in that case was under tremendous pressure from U.S. officials to free the Americans.

Scenario 4: The youth and revolutionary groups have identified six candidates that have revolutionary credentials and are acceptable to them. They are Abol Fotouh and Al-Awwa from the Islamist camp, and Sabbbahi, Ali, Bastawisi, and Al-Hariri from the secular camp. Although Mursi is not considered part of the unacceptable fulools, these groups have demanded that the MB withdraw its candidate so as not to polarize the country if the MB ends up monopolizing all positions of power.

In this scenario, several candidates favored by the revolutionary groups would withdraw in favor of a single candidate so as not to splinter the votes among them. Two or three of these candidates would run on one presidential ticket as a president with one or several vice presidents. In all the different proposals circulated by the different groups, all agree that among all the candidates Abol Fotouh would be the consensus candidate to lead this ticket. If such a presidential ticket is eventually formed and the MB candidate actually withdraws (very unlikely), then such a ticket might actually receive more than fifty percent of the vote in the first round, making Abol Fotouh the first president of post-Mubarak’s Egypt.

Although in the parliamentary elections, 27 million Egyptians went to the polls, it is estimated that 35-40 million Egyptians out of the 45 million eligible voters may actually participate. But it is also difficult to predict whom the 8-13 million new voters would actually support. However, judging by the parliamentary elections, over seventy percent of Egyptians voted for an Islamist party or candidate, while twenty percent voted for a liberal or leftist candidate. Less than 3 percent actually voted for a fulool candidate.

Ultimately the real questions awaiting this process are: Would SCAF honor its pledge not to interfere in the elections and hand over power to a newly elected president? Would the new president of Egypt be the independent Abol Fotouh, thus starting a new dawn for a new Egypt? Or would it be Mursi, the MB candidate, consolidating the ascendance of power of the Brotherhood with possible political polarization in the country? Or would it be Mubarak-era loyalists Amr Mousa or even Ahmad Shafiq, thus returning Egypt back to square one, and unleashing a second revolution?

The answer to these questions by the Egyptian electorate in the next few weeks will certainly determine the future of post-revolutionary Egypt.
Esam Al-Amin can be contacted at alamin1919@gmail.com
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Egypt court upholds presidential ban on Suleiman, Shater & Abu Ismail

Updated

‘Egyptian panel confirms Suleiman, Shater & Abu Ismail can’t run for presidency’

“…The sudden departures of the three front-runners come just six weeks before voting begins, the latest snarl in a historic race that’s been entangled in controversies and conspiracy theories from the outset. With anger over the ruling, many Egyptians worry, the campaign season will get rougher still.
“The ouster of Shater, Abu Ismail and Suleiman is drawing a new map for the presidential elections. They owned the voters in all three fields they represent,” said Gamal Sultan, a Cairo-based researcher of Islamist movements and editor of the independent newspaper The Egyptians.

The remaining candidates _ among them former Arab League chief Amr Moussa and the pro-reform Islamist Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh _ had been viewed as weak and all but finished until the commission’s ruling. By contrast, the three disqualified candidates together represented constituencies that are millions strong. Some Islamist supporters already have begun a civil disobedience campaign as a show of force…”

Egypt court upholds presidential ban on Salafi, former VP

Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The commission overseeing Egypt’s presidential election has upheld rulings disqualifying eight candidates including former spy chief Omar Suleiman and Salafi preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper said on Tuesday.

The panel has yet to decide on appeals lodged by two other candidates including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater, al-Ahram’s online edition reported.

The commission said on Saturday it had disqualified 10 of the 23 candidates who had applied to run in the election, which starts in May and is the climax of the transition from military to civilian rule. Those disqualified had 48 hours to appeal.

Abu Ismail was ruled out because his mother held US citizenship, the commission said, though he has fiercely denied this and has accused the authorities of conspiring against him. His blend of hardline Islam and revolutionary zeal has won him an enthusiastic following.

Suleiman, one of Hosni Mubarak’s closest aides and his deputy in his last days in power, had been ruled out because he had too few of the voter endorsements candidates are required to present, according to the state news agency.

Shater had been disqualified because of a past criminal conviction. Like many other Brotherhood leaders, Shater had spent time behind bars for his association with a group that was officially outlawed under the Mubarak administration.

Al-Ahram reported that the committee also upheld its disqualification of Ayman Nour, a liberal who came a distant second to Mubarak in the 2005 presidential election.

The election has a first round of voting on May 23 and 24, and is expected to go to a run-off in June between the top two candidates. The ruling military council is due to hand power to the new president on July 1.
Other leading candidates are Amr Moussa, the ex-Arab League secretary general, and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, who was expelled from the Muslim Brotherhood last year when he defied its orders by deciding to run.

(Reuters)

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Global march to challenge ‘Judaisation’ of Jerusalem

Finally Khalid Amayereh got it

“Some Jewish circles are trying to ignite the flames of war in our region so that Israel will reap strategic benefits. Israel strives day and night to incite the West, particularly its guardian-ally the United States, to wage war on Iran. The draconian sanctions against Iran must be understood in the context of the overall Zionist entity to Muslim peoples.” He finally admitted, but failed to tell his reader why the Jewish circles ignite the flames of war in our region and why against Iran?

I have to remind him that the Zionist global war is already waged against Iran, Hezbollah and Syria and in Syria using him and his brothers in Turkey and Islamists in every Arab country.

“Pro-Israeli circles are also instigating Washington against the Arab Spring, including recently-elected Islamic movements in Egypt and Tunisia.” he claimed, while his Islamists “Spring” are preparing to meet tomorrow in Tunis not for Jerusalem but to conspire against Iran and Syria.

“The same Zionist circles have been communicating a virulent and vindictive message to Western governments that as far as Israel is concerned, maintaining secular but tyrannical governments in the region in power, even if they fill the ether with anti-Israeli rhetoric (HE MENT SYRIA) is much preferable to Islamic democratic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood” he added
“This is why Israel , not Iran or any other country, should be viewed as Islam’s and Muslim’s ultimate enemy.” he said “I am not saying that Iran is perfect, but at the very least the Iranians are not trying to demolish the Aqsa Mosque and ethnically cleans the Palestinians from their ancestral homeland.”

Iran is not perfect, not trying to demolish the Aqsa Mosque,

Should I remind this Islamist shitty head that the first thing Iran did after the revolution? The Israeli Embassy in Tehran, who launched Alquds day…..

Turkey is perfect, his Brothers are perfect, at the very they are keeping Palestinians under siege and in the dark to prevent Israel from ethnically cleansing them from their ancestral homeland

“Having said that, I believe that the protection of Islam’s holy places in Jerusalem is the direct responsibility of every Muslim under the sun. Muslims, governments and individuals, must always do their part in shouldering this immense responsibility”

“Key Muslim governments must put this issue at the forefront of their foreign policy priorities. Muslim governments, especially those having diplomatic relations with the apartheid Israeli regime, such as Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and others are urged to seriously raise the matter with Israeli ambassadors.”

LOL, Khalid Amayerh, is not uring his Muslim government having diplomatic relations with the apartheid Israeli regime to raise the matter with Israeli ambassadors and if they don’t, Burhan Ghalyoun and his Syrian Brothers will do it, they will establish diplomatic relations with Israel and will raise the Matter with the Israel Ambassador.

Mr Amayereh is not “talking about mere chummy chats and diplomatic pleasantries that would take us nowhere. We rather expect serious and strongly-worded protests against the recurrent Zionist provocations against one of Islam’s most important holy places. Zionist ambassadors must be given the impression that Muslim countries can’t and won’t maintain diplomatic relations with the apartheid entity while aggressions of various forms continue unabated against Muslim holy places.”

Mr. Amayereh is not so optimistic “Unfortunately, the Muslims’ record in this regard is not very encouraging. This is why Israel never really got the impression that Muslim governments,” He admitted “especially secular” Muslim” governments, don’t really accord paramount attention to the issue.”

Khalid Ameyereh is talking about Secular “Muslim” Syria, who in fact consider that evey square centimeter of Arabic land is holy as Al-aqsa.

However, Amayereh, still “hope that “the new Islamist-dominated parliaments in both Tunisia and Egypt would at least devote a special session to discuss Jewish threats to the Aqsa mosque.”

The Islamist-dominated parliament in Egypt will devote a session to discuss (What?) the American threat to cut the USAID, the bribe given to Sadat for Egypt independence and Palestinian rights.

MR. Ameyereh “still hope that Islamist or quasi-Islamist governments in the region will display real vigilance in this regard.”

They, the congress of Syria ENEMIES, will. What? Display tomorrow real vigilance in regime change in Syria.

Amayereh, ended is piece of shit saying: “We have to raise our voices because the world doesn’t hear let alone listen to those who are silent or have feeble voices”

The world never heard and will never hear your prey whether strong or feeble.
The world only listens to resistance. YES, “we have to be strong because our world has been transformed into a virtual jungle” using you and your brothers to crush the respected resistance axis and last Arab fort.

While your brothers are meeting to arrange a global march to Damascus, descent people, Muslims and no-Muslims are calling for a Global march to challenge ‘Judaisation’ of Jerusalem.

Global march to challenge ‘Judaisation’ of Jerusalem

by The Editor

from Paul Larudee

Today, the world has a chance to stop an ethnic cleansing project in Jerusalem that has been under way since at least 1967, and, in the larger context, for more than a century. The fact that the city is sacred to 4 billion Christians, Muslims and Jews seems to have made little difference. In fact, the West – and especially the U.S. – have been accomplices in this crime.



It is called “Judaisation,” which apparently does not carry the same stigma as “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “segregation,” and other terms that have been used to describe the elimination of one people in favour of another. It should. Racist policies by any name are equally despicable.

Unfortunately, racism against Palestinians is protected by law and even encouraged in Jerusalem today. Most of the city’s housing is off limits to them, and the remaining Palestinian property is routinely denied building permits and adequate public services. Many of the existing homes are under demolition orders.

Israel makes no secret of its definition of “Judaisation.” Its stated goal is to reduce the percentage of Palestinians in Jerusalem from 37% to 30%, and preferably even less.

Population reduction? Ethnic cleansing? The difference isn’t even semantic, and there’s no way to do it that respects human decency.

Thus, when “archaeological digs” undermine the foundations of Palestinian homes in the Silwan section of the city, demolition orders are issued, rather than building permits to shore up the houses. No need to reflect on where the inhabitants will go, as long as the Palestinian presence is diminished.
Besides, Israel considers Palestinian inhabitants merely “residents” and not citizens, whether the families have lived in the city a hundred or a thousand years, while Jewish immigrants are welcome if they came only yesterday. It then expels thousands of these unwanted “residents” every year by denying them work and education and then finding that their work and education outside the area no longer entitles them to live in the city.

Israel also builds illegal subsidized Jewish-only housing on Palestinian land by first confiscating the land, then offering it to Jews on attractive terms, while denying it to Palestinians. Next, a wall is built, effectively separating the preexisting Palestinian communities from the rest of the city, and making it difficult or impossible for them to go to the jobs, schools and family members that used to be only a few steps away.

Finally, the mayor of the city, Nir Barakat, announced on Dec. 26, 2011 that he was effectively disenfranchising 70,000 Palestinians living on the “wrong” side of the wall, by revoking their Jerusalem “residency” with the stroke of a pen. Such is the creativity of Israel’s ethnic cleansing techniques (and of the choice of date for such announcements).

In this case, however, the world has decided not to look the other way. Hundreds of community organizations in dozens of countries spanning the globe have decided to participate in a massive Global March to Jerusalem on March 30, 2012. The march is being organized by Palestinians and their supporters representing communities throughout all of Palestine, the surrounding countries and the diaspora, with participation by solidarity organizations around the world. It commemorates Palestinian Land Day, when Israeli forces killed six Palestinians, wounded more than 100, and arrested hundreds more in 1976, while they were peacefully protesting the confiscation of thousands of dunams of Palestinian land from Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The intention is to march from many starting points and converge on Jerusalem, either reaching that destination or getting as close to it as possible. Although nonviolent resistance has a long history in Palestine, this is the first time the entire Palestinian community has mobilized in a massive nonviolent action since the Palestinian general strike of 1936.

Is this the equivalent of a Palestinian Tahrir Square? Or a civil rights March on Washington? History will be the judge, but a key element will be the support and participation of solidarity groups throughout the world. Accordingly, regional associations have been formed in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and other regions. These associations are helping to form delegations that will participate side by side with the marchers in Palestine and neighboring countries, and will facilitate marches and demonstrations in the major cities of their home countries. Many of them have established regional websites and social media to coordinate these functions.

The dream of the Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement has been an irresistible sea of humanity exercising its rights in defiance of all efforts to stop it. Neither the organizers nor the participants expect that all of the participants will reach Jerusalem on the first try, nor that Palestinian rights will suddenly be realized on the day following the march. However, we are hopeful that it will mark a major shift toward an inexorable popular demand to restore all human rights for all Palestinians and to put an end to the “Judaisation” ethnic cleansing project in Palestine that has stained human history for more than a century.

About Paul Larudee

Dr. Paul Larudee is a co-founder of the movement to break the siege of Gaza by sea and a founding member of the Global March to Jerusalem. For more information, go to gm2j.com or www.gmj-na.org.
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Amr Moussa Urges Arab League to Mull Sending Troops to Syria

Local Editor

The shortest way to presidency

Arab League former Secretary General, Amr Moussa, called on Sunday for discussing the Qatari proposal to send troops to Syria.

Moussa, who is also an Egyptian Presidential hopeful, described the Qatarai proposal as “very important”.

“The Arab League should begin to study this possibility and begin consultations on this issue”, Moussa said in Beirut on the sidelines of a U.N.-organized conference on democracy in the Arab world.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left,
and Arab League Secretary-General
Amr Moussa during a crisis summit on
Libyain in Paris. (AP Picture)

Speaking to reporters at the “Reform and Transitions to Democracy” organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Moussa reiterated the widespread call for an end to violence in Syria.

“We are all against the use of force against citizens. Bloodshed does not bode well,” he said, describing the situation in Syria as “dangerous”.

A day earlier, Qatar’s emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said he favors sending Arab troops to Syria to stop the unrest.

Sheikh Hamad is the first Arab leader to publicly call for Arab troops to be deployed in Syria, where the UN estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed in the crackdown since mid-March last year.

The comments by the emir, whose wealthy nation once enjoyed cordial ties with Damascus, come with the Arab League set to review the work of its Syria monitoring mission later this month, amid increasing concern about its failure to end the violence.

Source: Agencies

Qatar Emir Call For Troops In Syria Is Two Month Old

NATO denies military intervention plans in Syria, January 13 2012
“At present, there is no discussion at all of a NATO role with respect to Syria,” NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero told Xinhua by phone.
Haven’t we seen such before? Oh, yeah:
NATO has no plans to intervene in Libya: Rasmussen, February 24 2011
“I would like to stress that NATO has no plans to intervene and we have not received any request,” Rasmussen said after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

We documented the Rassmussen/NATO headlines which followed after the one above.
But there is another more curious headline that ran yesterday: Emir of Qatar calls for Arab troops in Syria

The Emir of Qatar says that Arab troops should be sent to Syria to stop a deadly crackdown that has claimed the lives of thousands of people in the past ten month.Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s comments to CBS “60 Minutes”, which will be aired Sunday, are the first statements by an Arab leader calling for the deployment of troops inside Syria.

That dictator emir was also the one who pressed arranged for the Arab League to invite NATO to attack Libya.

But what is really curious here (and what only Qatar’s AlJazeera(!) reports) is that the CBS interview is old:

In an interview due to be aired on Sunday with US broadcaster CBS for the news programme 60 Minutes, Sheikh Hamad was asked if he was in favour of Arab nations intervening, to which he replied: “For such a situation to stop the killing … some troops should go to stop the killing.”The interview was recorded in mid-November.

Why and on who’s request did CBS hold back this interview for two month?
Were the preparations not yet finished for the NATO intervention in Syria? Was some additional time needed to make the Arab League observer mission fail to convince other Arab states to agree to the next war phase?

The interview was given after Syria in early November agreed to an Arab league cease fire plan which the rebels immediately rejected. “Western” news by now is always forgetting that last point. Despite continuing attacks from the opposition the Syrian government has largely followed the agreement, pulled back tanks, released prisoners and is implementing reforms. The observer mission was agreed to on December 19. Unless renewed it will run out in five days.

But it seems that all along the plan was not to allow for a peaceful solution for Syria. Why else would the Emir of Qatar, in an interview for the U.S. public, call for troops to attack Syria back in mid November?

Russia now anticipates an imminent wider war in the Middle East and is preparing its options.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Moussa: Camp David Accords have expired

<p>File photo of Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa during a meeting with Arab League's permanent members on Egyptian and Tunisian situation after revolution, Cairo, 14 February, 2011.</p>

Photographed by Amr Abdalla
The Camp David Accords signed between Egypt and Israel have expired, Arab League chief and potential Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa has said.
According to an Egyptian news website, Masrawy, Moussa, who participated in the negotiations with Israel in 1978, gave these statements during a discussion with Egyptian youth sponsored by Masrawy.

The Camp David Accords have expired and they do not govern the situation now, he said.
“What governs the relationship between the two countries is the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 and the Egyptian-Israeli treaty,” he continued.

Saudi Arabia launched an Arab peace initiative in 2002 that called for the establishment of an internationally-recognized Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, the return of  Palestinian refugees and Israel’s withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for Arab normalization with Israel.

Moussa was not clear about which treaty he referred to, but he most likely meant the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty signed on 26 March 1979 in Washington D.C., which is a development of the broader framework agreed upon in the Camp David Accords.

This peace treaty stipulates that each state recognize the other, that the extended war between Arabs and Israel should stop and that Israel withdraw its troops, machinery and settlers from the Sinai Peninsula.
Former President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords on 17 September 1978, 13 days after secret negotiations at the US presidential retreat in Maryland.

Egypt and Israel have since had what analysts describe as “cold peace.”

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Egyptleaks: "Amr Mussa gets ‘directives’ from Mubarak’s Sate Security!"

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Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Posted by G, Z, or B at 12:02 PM

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