السيسي جزء من العقوبات الأميركية؟

أبريل 19, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

مسألة معدودة ويصبحُ الرئيس السيسي فرعوناً مصرياً بصلاحيات مطلقة وبولايات رئاسية ممتدة حتى العام 2030.

ولم لا؟ فالرجل أثبت مهارة في تبديد قوة مصر وتجميدها عند حدود معاهدة كمب دايفيد، لا بل تعداها بتأييده لسياسات أميركية جديدة تحمل في مضامينها صفقة القرن التي تنهي قضية فلسطين، ومجمل الدور العربي في الشرق الاوسط.

فماذا فعل السيسي حتى يستحق هذه المكافآت الأميركية؟ نجح في القضاء على الاخوان المسلمين في مصر، راكباً موجة تظاهرات شعبية ضخمة كانت تعترض على حكمهم، فاستفاد منها لتلبية تعليمات أميركية طلبت منه تحريك الجيش وإنهاء حكم الرئيس مرسي.

فلبّى الطلب دون ان يعرف أن الأميركيين لم يعودوا يريدون جناح الاخوان المسلمين في الارهاب الاسلامي.

لقد بدا الرجل بدائياً في السياسة ومتمكناً في اساليب القمع وملتزماً الاستسلام الكامل لما يريده الأميركيون، ابتداء من العلاقات العميقة مع «إسرائيل» وصولاً الى الحلف الاساسي مع السعودية والإمارات.

لكن الدور الجديد المتسع المدى المطلوب منه من قبل اصدقائه الأميركيين يشمل الشرق الاوسط وأفريقيا العربية، ما يفترض تحويله «فرعوناً» لمدة رئاسية كافية، خصوصاً أن المشروع الأميركي في سورية والعراق يتراجع مقابل استبسال فلسطيني برفض صفقة القرن.

بالإضافة الى ان الدور التركي الاطلسي يسجل تمرداً ويحتمي بروسيا وإيران في بعض الحالات.

ما هي الادوار المطلوبة من الفرعون الجديد؟

الحاجة الدولية الماسة إليه، تتبدّى في سرعة إقرار التعديلات الدستورية التي وافق عليها البرلمان المصري قبل ثلاثة ايام وينتظر أن يؤيدها استفتاء شعبي بعد ثلاثة أيام أيضاً بمعدلات مرتفعة وخيالية، ألم يحزّ السيسي في استفتاءات سابقة على 99,50 في المئة علماً ان مناوئيه من الاخوان المسلمين كانوا يشكلون في ذلك الوقت «نصف مصر» على الأقل.

لقد قضت هذه التعديلات بتمديد الولاية الرئاسية الى 6 سنوات ويحق للرئيس بولايتين الامر الذي يتيح للفريق السيسي البقاء في الموقع حتى العام 2030، للاشارة فإن اقتراح هذه التعديلات أعقب زيارة أميركية للسيسي التقى خلالها صديقه الأميركي دونالد ترامب، فهل هي مصادفة ام ان الأميركيين اصيبوا بسرور من ادائه الرئاسي الملائم لحاجاتهم فقرروا تمديد ولاياته لتواكب أيضاً الاضطرابات في بلدين مجاورين لمصر هما ليبيا والسودان، فبذلك يستطيع تعميم خبراته الرئاسية على هاتين الدولتين الشقيقتين.

يبدو ان السياسة الأميركية المتراجعة في الشرق تحاول إعادة تعويم وضعها بحركتين سريعتين: صفقة القرن بما تعنيه من تغيير جذري في المنطقة من مرحلة عداء لـ«إسرائيل» الى حالة حلف معها في وجه إيران وكل أعداء الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

اما الحركة الثانية فهي ناتجة من الاولى وتسارع لتسليم السودان الى جيشها وكذلك في ليبيا، ما ينتج فوراً ثلاث دول متجاورة هم مصر والسودان وليبيا فيهما أنظمة عسكرية بالإمكان تغطيتها بعباءات قانونية مفبركة على شاكلة انتخابات السيسي واستفتاءاته.

وبإمكان هذا الحلف العسكري السياسي ان يمارس دوراً أساساً في مدى يبدأ من إثيوبيا وحتى الصومال مروراً بكامل القرن الأفريقي، الى جانب تأثيره في شمال أفريقيا من الجزائر حتى موريتانيا وتشاد مروراً بالمغرب.

أما لجهة تأثيره على بلاد الشام والعراق، فيستطيع بتحالفه مع السلطة الفلسطينية والاردن ودول الخليج ان يمارس ضغوطاً كبيرة لتغطية صفقة القرن بتوطين قسم من الفلسطينيين في دوله الثلاث مقابل تعويضات ضخمة من الخليج، اما لجهة الأطراف المعترضة على صفقة القرن فيتعهد هذا الحلف الثلاثي الخليجي مجابهتها سياسياً واقتصادياً وحتى عسكرياً اذا كان الأمر يتطلب تغطية هجمات أميركية إسرائيلية على إيران وسورية وحزب الله.

بذلك يوقف الأميركيون تراجعاتهم في الشرق الاوسط مجهضين الدور الروسي والتحالفات الإيرانية والطموح الصيني واضعين حدوداً هم الذين يرسمونها لمحاولات اوروبا الدخول الاقتصادي الى بلاد العرب وإيران وصولاً الى الحدود السورية اللبنانية.

من هنا تنبعُ اهميات السيسي المنقطعة النظير والمرتبطة بالمصالح الأميركية في العالم، ولا علاقة لها بآلام المصريين أهل أم الدنيا الذي يصيب الفقر وحالة دون الفقر نحو 75 في المئة منهم.

يكفي أن الأميركيين وعَدوهم سابقاً بازدهار اقتصادي لا مثيل له وبعد موافقتهم مباشرة على معاهدة كمب دايفيد، الآن وبعد اربعين عاماً على توقيعها، ازداد المصريون فقراً وخسرت مصر موقعها الاساسي في العالمين العربي والاسلامي.

كما فقدت إمكاناتها الصناعية التي كانت متواضعة وتعد بمستقبل مشرق لم يحدث اي شيء من هذا، بل تعرّضت لتواطؤ من دول أميركية ونفطية تحالفت مع «إسرائيل» لتقليص حصة مصر من نهر النيل وضرب الزراعة فيها، على محدوديتها.

السيسي اذاً أداة أميركية بثياب فرعون يحلم بمعونات خليجية وأميركية تنقذ حكمه السياسي.

انما من دون جدوى لأن الازدهار الاقتصادي لا يقوم على هبات خارجية، قد تَسدُ جزءاً من الكبوات الاقتصادية لمدة محدودة، لكنها ليست دائمة، ووحده الاقتصاد المنتج هو الذي يؤسس لمجتمع مستقر.

لذلك فإن ارض الكنانة بحاجة لحركتين متزامنتين: التأسيس لبنى إنتاجية داخلية بمواكبة تشجيع الزراعة والصناعة الى جانب انفتاح سياسي واقتصادي مع بلاد الشام والعراق وشمال أفريقيا والسودان من دون نسيان التنسيق العسكري.

هذه هي مصر التاريخية التي تحتاج الى فرعون أصلي يؤمن بأهمية التحالف مع بلاد الشام ولا يجسد جزءاً من العقوبات الأميركية المفروضة على سورية والتي لا ترحم ايضاً حتى المصريين أنفسهم.

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Where to, Egypt?

An Egyptian street vendor sells the country’s national flag and masks of the Egypt’s Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as voters queue outside the polling station during the second day of voting on a new constitution on January 15, 2014 in the southern Cairo Giza district. (Photo: AFP – Khaled Desouki)

Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The Egyptians worship two deities, God and State: the creator of life and its organizer. Both often met in the form of a pharaoh, then separated, but their placenta kept them firmly tethered. The state is needed to organize and maintain the flow of the Nile. Egypt, first and foremost, was “the gift of the Nile.”
Then, Egyptians discovered on June 30, 2013 how leaving the bosom of the state to those who remained outside it for eight decades would be an uncalculated adventure. Returning to the state – despite the corruption of its institutions and its tyranny – would be safer and more reliable than following unknowledgeable crowds.
The fall of the Muslim Brotherhood from its pinnacle in early 2011, to its darkest depths two and a half years later, can only be accounted for by its inadequacy and fragility. The interpretation is not helped by saying the media sullied its image, or the Gulf – except Qatar – funded a war against it. Above all, the Brotherhood’s failure to provide a convincing alternative was the main reason behind its seismic tumble; it became a near acolyte to the West. It had abundant cadres but weak quality. It lacked a socioeconomic model, except that of the capitalist with a beard. It lacked a collective revival project.
The Brotherhood spent four decades building a wide and securely financed organization within the confines of counter-revolutionary regimes. It contributed greatly to sealing the image of Egypt of the July Revolution in the collective consciousness. This guaranteed its spot as the power ready to replace Hosni Mubarak. And so it was: Mubarak fell and the Muslim Brotherhood was ready. This was coupled with Washington adopting an approach of empowering the Brotherhood as an antidote to three poisons: Sunni jihadism, Iran and the Shia, and Arab nationalism. The Brotherhood was the most able to push ahead with an “American” mediation with Israel.
Washington was not aware that the Brotherhood’s image from the outside did not reflect its insides. It started to get this feeling in early 2013, yet it fought it. Society as a whole could not wait for the the state, so it came out in masses on June 30.
Ever since, a strange sight began to appear on the horizon: a Nasserite street and an elite, which mostly looks up to Sadat. They formed an odd mixture, which is impossible to sustain. Between the two, the army sits waiting and trying to avoid the “strife” of having to choose, keeping its options open. In particular, it is because the economy of Egypt is about to fall into a ditch without bottom. Its security is breached in Sinai, which is about to become an Egyptian Kandahar, and across its western borders, brimming with arms. This is on top of the Brotherhood’s disruptions in the streets, where it has reverted to arms.
The army’s deviation from the US scenario, which hoped for coexistence with the Brotherhood, found it tactical allies in the region: those who saw the Brotherhood’s rule over a central Arab country to be an existential threat, especially the rulers of Saudi, the UAE, and Kuwait. These countries only want Egypt to float, not to rise or sink, since both will cause danger. Therefore, the army will walk with them to the crossroads.
By voting yes on the constitution, the Muslim Brotherhood would have been completely defeated. The Brotherhood’s defeat will not be in security, despite its blatant appeal, but with society spitting it out and sending it back to its previous situation of decades prior, when saying someone was part of the Brotherhood was an insult.
With Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s advance to the presidency, the military elite – which controls half the economy and realizes its monopoly on violence – is threatened by jihadists and, now, the Brotherhood’s call to arms. It will face difficult choices: Where to get the money to rise? What shall we do with those who carry arms? What is Egypt’s position in the tremors hitting the region? Who do we latch onto internationally, and how do we face our fate?
The Nasserist-Sadatist alliance will break up. The question is: To whose benefit? Logic dictates that Egypt’s safe exit into the wide space of immunity could only occur through a modern Nasserism. However, the remnants of dependency interests will fight this to the end.
The answer remains with Sisi.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Morsi’s Power Grab Should Be No Surprise

Comment:


While reading the following article about Muslim Brotherhood’s Pragmatism, I remembered my battle at deliberation with sectarian Khalid Hamayreh, a brotherhood mouth piece, who believe that Shea = LIARS because they practice Taqiyya

Taqiyya and Jihad are among many terms misunderstood by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Anti-Muslim and anti-shiites Muslims love to talk about the so called, rule that permits Muslims to lie to spread Islam or spread Shiism. They manipulate their meanings to their convenience.
Anti-Muslims presume Muslims are guilty, claiming innocence is an aditional evidence of their quilt, anti-shiites sunnis do the same, a shiite is a Liar while telling the truth
 
 
In real life the whole mankind practice Taqiyya naturally, calling it other names like: “Kittman” `tolerance’, `diplomacy, ‘deception’ and `common sense’, pragmatism.
Deception is a daily bussiness praticed by leaders, states, spies, media..
It is the basis of international relations.
“In the Biblical account of Abraham, Sarah and Pharaoh we notice Abraham (and Sarah) concealed the fact Sarah was his wife as he feared death:

When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live.
Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
[Genesis 12:12-13 NIV”

In Quran we have the verses 16:106 about Ammar Ibn Yasser’s famous case of Taqiyyah read by Brotherhood, without comprehending, millions of times.
 
مَن كَفَرَ بِاللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ إيمَانِهِ إِلاَّ مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإِيمَانِ وَلَكِن مَّن شَرَحَ بِالْكُفْرِ صَدْرًا فَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (106)
Who so disbelieveth in Allah after his belief – save him who is forced thereto and whose heart is still content with the Faith – but whoso findeth ease in disbelief: On them is wrath from Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom. [Quran 16:106]
 
So, while reading the following article, replace Replace Pragmatism with Taqiyya, and note that Shea and all Muslims practiced  and conceal their faith when they were under threat.
 
In Egypt Muslim brotherhood used Taqiyya as a tool for deception, calling it Pragmatism
 
First: to highack the Egyptian Revolution,
Second: to cheat Egyptians and get elected.
Third: to Turn against the military junta
Fourth: to crown their Pharaoh
 
In Syria the brotherhood are comitting war crimes against humanity and call their crimes JIHAD
 

Morsi’s Power Grab Should Be No Surprise

Tahir Square Now
By:Nervana Mahmoud
 
Posted on Mon, Nov 26.
Following his recent edict granting himself unprecedented powers, President Mohammed Morsi addressed his supporters in front of the presidential palace — the place originally chosen by Mubarak to serve as the formal presidential building — declaring that he would “cure Egypt from the woodworms.” This particular remark sums up his attitude toward the current crisis: the president and his ruling party view their opponents as woodworm beetles in need of removal.

For anyone who is following closely and understands the history of the country and the ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, the recent events should not come as a huge surprise. It should be seen as an inevitable outcome in a country that is still seduced by selfish politics that aim for dominance rather than unity. Although the Brotherhood has undergone many changes to recast their image as “moderates” who support a democratic society, the group did not embrace any serious transformation of their way of thinking. The concept that “It is either me or them” is entrenched inside their mindset. There are some basic rules that have continued to govern its decision-making processes:

First, pragmatism is a tool that protects, rather than replaces, ideology. The pragmatism that Morsi has shown in negotiating the Gaza cease-fire between Israel and Hamas may have surprised many, particularly in the United States. This pragmatism is one of the Islamists’ tools to protect their beliefs when they sense that current conditions are not ripe to force a more preferable outcome. Their aim is rather to secure their basic foundation; pragmatism is the fleece that protects the ideology without compromising it.

Second, the Brotherhood is a monolithic entity. Many analysts argue passionately that the Brotherhood is not a monolithic group and that there are a variety of principles and beliefs among its members. That is true but with clear limits to this diversity. The group can accept differences in opinion but only within certain boundaries. Individualism is not allowed in a group founded on obedience. Those who express strong opinions may be forced to leave the group.

Third, ambiguity is a policy. Since the revolution, the Brotherhood has adopted an approach of deliberate ambiguity in their dealings with the general public and with other political parties. They are always clear about what they are against but are much more elusive as to what they endorse. The phrase “civil state” is one example: the choice of words clearly rejects secularism, yet it does not specifically invoke the notion of an Islamic state. Their ambiguity was reflected in the deliberations over the new constitution, which is precisely why many non-Islamists group who wanted clear protection of liberties and rights within the new constitution were forced to quit the constitutional assembly.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, is hidden insecurity. Years of oppression have earned the group tenacity, but also a chronic suspicion of the wider society. The group always boasts about their strength yet their actions reveal their insecurity. Their persistent claim of conspiracy — even by hints by Morsi in his last speech that some are plotting against the revolution and seeking outside help, and his hints of phone tapping of those alleged plotters — reflect a rattled party, utterly uneasy with their new position as rulers. Their desire for power grabs is, in fact, part of self-protection strategy against an outside world that, in their eyes, is full of enemies and non-friends.

Understanding the above points is essential in explaining the unfolding events in Egypt.

Morsi was pragmatic when pragmatism was needed. He happily made deals with other groups, like the Sixth of April Movement, to secure victory in the election. Deliberate ambiguity has helped him in abandoning that to which he never clearly commits. His united party allows him to consistently mobilize supporters and create an illusion of a majority by using what Egyptians now describes as “buses democracy” by mobilising crowds from various regions to fill the squares in a matter of hours. Now, his insecurity has tempted him to fast track his plan to cleanse the political sheet.

In his mind, Morsi views Egypt as a malfunctioning machine that must be restored back to its factory settings with Islamic instruction and an Islamist semi-monopoly that is geared to produce law-abiding citizens who agree rather than oppose, and worship rather than reject. An Islamic constitution and restoring a majority in the next parliament are musts, and for them, any path or actions are justified. Morsi’s desired transformation is aimed to achieve a made-to-measure democracy, with some elements autocracy that is deemed by him as necessary.

The problem with the “woodworms” approach to politics is that it was tried before in Egypt and failed drastically. Gamal Adbel Nasser, Egypt’s president from 1956 till his 1970 death, treated them as Muslim Botherhood as a dangerous worm — yet despite his ruthless oppression, he failed to prevent their spread in the Egyptian society.

Regardless of the outcome of the current crisis, and whether the president choses to compromise or persevere, a serious transformation in the mindset of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is much needed if they are seriously willing to move the country and break with old attitudes.

However, and to be honest, I am not holding my breath, Egypt has not had successful revolutions in two consecutive years, the Brotherhood seems to be firmly in control, while their opponent still have no clear plan for the day after, both are not willing to look back at the history books and learn from it.

Nervana Mahmoud is a blogger and writer on Middle East issues. You can follow her on Twitter: @Nervana_1

Mursi’s Declaration Provokes Unrest in Tahrir Square

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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’s Morsi the New Mubarak

Is Egypt’s Morsi the New Mubarak?

By:Alaa al-Aswani posted on Sunday, Sep 30, 2012

I did not vote for President Mohammed Morsi. Before the elections, I appealed to the Egyptians through As-Safir to boycott in protest of Ahmed Shafiq’s nomination for the presidency before the 35 corruption cases against him were investigated. The boycott failed.

Millions of Egyptians saw that they had no choice but to vote for Morsi, not because they agreed with his ideas or those of the Muslim Brotherhood, but simply to prevent the restoration of Mubarak’s regime at the hands of Shafiq. So Morsi became president and I said that the will of the people must be respected. I thought it unfair to attack President Morsi before he was given a chance.
But three months after he took office his political orientation has become clear. Unfortunately, his actions and decisions have been disturbing, as exemplified by the following:
 1) One of the most important causes of the revolution was the Interior Ministry’s brutal repression. The people demanded that the state security apparatuses be eliminated, that the Interior Ministry be cleansed of Mubarak’s corrupt men and that those responsible for torture be held accountable.
However, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) refused to make any changes to the Interior Ministry during the transitional period. Then, after Morsi became president, we were surprised that he too refused to cleanse the Interior Ministry. Instead, he made use of the old leadership, such as Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal al-Din.
It seemed as though a bargain had been struck between the Brotherhood and the Interior Ministry’s men whereby the latter would retain their posts and privileges and remain exempt from accountability for their crimes in exchange for them restoring security and protecting the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Security was somewhat restored but acts of repression have also come back. Egyptians are again being humiliated in police stations.
Last week, an engineer named Mohammad Fahim was driving in Mansoura. A police officer stopped him and asked for his driver’s license. Mohammad noticed that he had forgotten it at home so he politely asked the officer to permit him to go home with a police officer to get the license.
The officer said: “That kind of conversation is more appropriate with your mother.”
When Mohammad objected to this slight, the officer beat him, had his men lay Mohammad on the ground for a while, then took him to the police station, where they tortured him, fabricated a charge against him and transferred him to the prosecution. He was then remanded in custody pending further investigation.
There have been many similar incidents, which indicates that President Morsi — like President Mubarak — doesn’t mind that citizens are being tortured and are having their dignity violated.
In fact, the dignity of the Egyptians abroad is not better than the ones at home. It is well known that the Saudi legal system does not conform to international standards of justice. But even though the Saudi legal system does not touch foreigners, hundreds of Egyptians are held in Saudi prisons either without trial or as a result of unfair trials.
Among them is Ms. Najla Wafa, who is being flogged every week because she had a fallout with one of the many princesses from the Saudi royal family.
There is also the case of Ahmed al-Gizawy. This lawyer is being tried on trumped-up charges because he dared to speak about human rights violations against Egyptians in Saudi Arabia.
During President Morsi’s first visit there, he exchanged hugs and had his picture taken with Saudi officials. Yet he did nothing to help his citizens who are detained in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, in Egyptian military prison there are thousands who have been detained during protests on false charges.
The 8 April officers were arrested for taking part in a demonstration on 8 April 2011, to protest an attack on a sit-in.
There also the “April 8 officers” who joined the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. They were arrested and subjected to severe torture. They are still locked up. Before he was elected, President Morsi promised to release them as soon as he took office, but so far he has not done so.
2) When President Morsi formed the government, we were surprised to see that it included several ministers from the former regime. This indicates that Mubarak and Morsi’s policies are not very different.
egyptian, workers, demand, a, say, in, the, new, egypt, under, president, morsi,
 
President Mubarak was partial toward the rich, whom he tried to please and help increase their wealth, while he didn’t care about the poor’s suffering. Morsi is unfortunately no different than Mubarak in that regard. Morsi is now close to the businessmen who belonged to Mubarak’s regime. When he visits foreign countries, he takes them with him aboard his plane.
As he tries to deal with the economic crisis, Morsi is not considering cutting state spending nor laying off advisers who are unduly being paid millions. He is not considering imposing a progressive tax on the rich nor stopping gas and electricity subsidies to factories that sell their goods at international rates. President Morsi is not considering making such moves because they threaten the interests of the rich.
He borrows like Mubarak: he requested $4.8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) without revealing the loan’s terms to the public.
We should mention that former Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri also wanted to borrow from the IMF but at the time the Brotherhood strongly objected, saying that borrowing would increase Egypt’s debt and that paying interest is against Islamic law.
But now, here they are cheering president Morsi’s loan request, which they suddenly discovered to be in conformity with Islamic law because “it is a necessity,” and the ends justify the means. It seems the Brotherhood has multiple doctrines from which it picks and chooses whatever suits its interests.
 
3) The Mubarak regime used to control the media and the national newspapers, which it utilized to spread lies and depict Mubarak as an inspiring and wise leader. Rather than make the newspapers independent and eliminate the Information Ministry, President Morsi appointed a Brotherhood member as Information Minister and the Brotherhood-dominated Shura Council appointed atop the national newspapers new editors who are well aware that they owe their positions to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt’s Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsood tells
Lebanese TV host
“I wish your questions are not as hot as you are,”

The Brotherhood’s influence over the media is becoming clearer by the day. As it did with Mubarak, state television keeps broadcasting images of President Morsi.
Even the private channels want to solidify their relationship with the Brotherhood. They have started replacing journalists who oppose the Brotherhood with ones who are more friendly to it. Morsi’s recent television interview was an exact copy of Mubarak’s:
 
The president sits majestically and full of confidence, and in front of him sits a TV announcer who is shuddering with fear because he knows that one wrong word could end his career or even his life.
The TV announcer asks the president softball questions and the latter answers with hollow and meaningless slogans. Then suddenly, the announcer looks at the president’s face in wonderment and says:

“Your Excellency works tirelessly for the sake of Egypt. When do you get to rest?”

President Morsi has maintained Mubarak’s corrupt media, which he is now using to his advantage.
 
4) The Constituent Assembly is now controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. This means that no matter how many hearings and discussions they hold, the Brotherhood’s “supreme guide” will have the final say in determining Egypt’s constitution.
Before he was elected, Morsi promised to make the Constituent Assembly representative of all parts of society. But as usual, he broke that promise and kept the assembly unchanged. The assembly is writing unacceptable articles that limit public freedoms, women’s rights and the freedom of the press.
 
It is likely that the assembly will write a constitution that serves the interests of the Brotherhood and then call for a quick referendum whereby the Brotherhood’s mighty political machine in the mosques would convince the ordinary people that they must approve the constitution to ensure their entry into heaven.
5) President Morsi promised that public freedoms would flourish under his reign. But the opposite has happened.
 
Newspapers were seized and al-Faraeen channel was closed. Regardless of how we felt about that channel, we do not accept that it be closed by an administrative order because then any channel that Morsi does not like can also be closed.
Islam Afifi is accused of insulting Prophet Mohammed .
SORRY, I mean President Mohammed Morsi
There is an Egyptian citizen named Bishwi al-Buhairi who will spend two years in prison for insulting President Morsi on Facebook. There are also senior journalists being tried on the same charge. The charge of “insulting the president” does not exist in a democracy, but president Morsi seems to want to put his opponents in prison. He refuses to decriminalize the so-called “publishing crimes.”
Brotherhood official Mahmoud Ghozlan said that journalists will not be exempt from imprisonment because they are not better than others.
 
This statement betrays Ghozlan’s ignorance on what happens in civilized countries, where writers and journalists are not imprisoned because of their opinions or writings but are punished by paying a fine, if convicted.
Freedoms may not be better under Morsi than under Mubarak. In fact, they could get worse.
6) President Morsi was elected by the people but he also belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a secret organization and no one knows its rules, regulations or funding sources.
 
We have repeatedly demanded that the Brotherhood’s status be codified and that its funding sources be placed under state supervision.
But it seems that President Morsi prefers to keep the Brotherhood a secret group that supports him from behind the scenes.
The president’s connection with the group has resulted in behavior unacceptable in any democracy.
 
Brotherhood official Khairat Shater behaves as if he were the prime minister. He makes statements on government projects. He travels abroad and meets with foreign officials with which he negotiates and signs agreements. But under what capacity is he doing that?
 
We really don’t know who rules Egypt: President Morsi or the Brotherhood’s supreme guide?
The situation has become worrisome. It seems that after the revolution nothing changed except the president. Mubarak was simply replaced with Morsi.
 
President Morsi moves around guarded by 3000 troops. When he prays at the mosque he prevents police officers from entering the mosque in order to keep the president secure.
When Morsi traveled to Rome he stayed at the same luxury hotel where Mubarak used to stay, costing the state thousands of pounds per night.
The revolution made a great achievement when it deposed Mubarak, tried him and threw him in prison with his followers. The revolution’s task now should be to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from controlling the state.
If the national forces do not immediately unite to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from fully controlling the state then we and our children will pay a high price.
 
On the 42nd anniversary of Nasser’s Death: 4 Nasserist Parties merge to stop selling out Egypt
 
The people who made this great revolution are capable of protecting it, God willing.
Democracy is the solution.

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

Gaza: Mursi Disappoints

“the situation of the crossing under Hosni Mubarak was better. The situation today is somewhat chaotic.” Iki is surprised by “Hamas’ silence regarding this decision.”

“Hamas does not want a tense relationship with Egypt’s rulers, the MB. It knows that if it loses its relationship with the MB, it will lose an ally and its situation would get worse.” Political analyst, Ibrahim Abrash, told Al-Akhbar

 
Khalid Hamayreh who failed in turning deliberation into a sectarian mouth outlet, he returned to his PIC to spread is sectarian poison.
 
In his latest “Final ANAL-ysis” he called

“the Islamic movements should see to it that alternative and effective media outlets be founded in order to help shape an Islamic public opinion which can be mobilized when necessary. This is a paramount matter since the existing public-sector media in countries such as Egypt and Jordan is decidedly anti-Islamist if not anti-Islamic.”


He urged Islamic movements

“to create as many new satellite TV stations as possible along with a large number of attractive and versatile internet sites in various languages in order to communicate the Islamic message and accurate information to the largest possible audience.”

 
The Big Filthy mouth who ignored the inhuman siege on Gaza, the destruction of Gaza life lines ended his call saying:  

This is not to say, of course, that the Islamic movements should scale down its devotion to the Palestinian cause and confrontation with Zionism and Israel. 

In the final analysis, the Islamic movement’s commitment to the Palestinian cause is the single most important factor contributing to Islamists’ popularity among the masses.

Thus, revealing that his main concern is not the Palestinian cause, but the Isalamists popularity among the masses.
Alex.

Gaza: Mursi Disappoints

Palestinian men transport bags of cement through tunnels used for smuggling goods, including food, fuel and building materials, along the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on 23 August 2012. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abed)
 
Published Sunday, August 26, 2012
 
When Mursi won the presidency in Egypt, Gazans were ecstatic and publicly celebrated their expectations of better times to come. Today, their disappointment is just as immense as their previous elation.
Palestinians were feeling frustrated with the Egyptian decision to only open the Rafah border crossing south of the Gaza Strip for three days a week. They had hoped that their situation would improve dramatically after Mohammed Mursi’s victory in the presidential election. After all, Mursi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Hamas’ ally.
 
Greetings in Egypt (MB Days VS Mubarak Days)

Al-Akhbar visited Gaza to speak to the residents about their situation. Amani Shnino said:

“I think it’s unfair to only allow three days for travel. The whole of Gaza is a humanitarian crisis and we were deceived by Mursi.”

Walid Iki (24 years old) expressed his wish that “the Rafah crossing would be open for longer, allowing any Gazan citizen to travel freely.” He pointed out that “the situation of the crossing under Hosni Mubarak was better. The situation today is somewhat chaotic.” Iki is surprised by “Hamas’ silence regarding this decision.”
After the Sinai incident in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed on August 6, the Egyptian authorities closed down the Rafah crossing. The Hamas government announced it would close the tunnels along Gaza’s southern borders, stopping citizens from leaving the country and stopping the entry of food items and fuel into Gaza.
As a result, people panicked and flocked to gas stations to store up on fuel and queues of cars were seen lining up. Closing the tunnels led to a gas shortage and a price hike and to scarcity in some items in Gaza’s markets.
Gazans were deeply disappointed after all their elation at Mursi’s victory.
The health sector was hit the worst by the repercussions of the crossing’s continued closing. Scores of patients have been unable to travel for operations and treatment outside Gaza.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip Hamas government, Ashraf al-Qudra, said that

“each day the crossing is closed, the waiting lists of patients supposed to travel to Egypt increases by 40 patients. This requires the immediate opening of the crossing for a whole week so that patients can travel for treatment.”

He added: “Any delay in these cases exacerbates their medical conditions.” Qudra asked Egypt to “open the crossing all week long.”
Hamas has denied any relation to the incident in Sinai, accusing Israel of standing behind the attack. Its security agencies declared their willingness to cooperate fully with the Egyptian leadership to reveal the perpetrators and asked for the reopening of the crossing and the tunnels.
The deputy prime minister and foreign minister in the Gaza government, Muhammad Awad, told Al-Akhbar:

“We are hoping that the Egyptian decision will not be permanent or long-term. We need the Rafah crossing to be open at all times and to implement the agreement that was signed a month ago to open the crossing. Otherwise the Gaza Strip will face a real crisis and a health disaster.”

Political analyst, Ibrahim Abrash, told Al-Akhbar:

This Egyptian measure under the Mursi presidency is no different from previous measures under Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian national security takes priority regardless of the president or the party in charge. Egyptians give priority to their interests and their national security over any other ideological considerations. It appears that Egypt took this decision while awaiting the results of the Rafah investigations fearing that some Palestinians were involved in the Sinai incident.”

When asked about Hamas’ silence concerning this decision, Abrash said, “Hamas does not want a tense relationship with Egypt’s rulers, the MB. It knows that if it loses its relationship with the MB, it will lose an ally and its situation would get worse.”
 
After all, Hamas is an offshoot of the MB.” Abrash pointed out that Hamas received assurances that opening the crossing is connected to closing the Rafah investigations.
In the meantime, the office of the prime minister of the Hamas government, Ismail Haniya, announced that the prime minister ended consultations regarding a cabinet reshuffle in his government, though no details were released. A statement said that: “Haniya ended his consultations after an adequate period of time,” and he is expected to present the new cabinet before the parliament soon for a vote of confidence.
Haniya’s expected decision is considered a new attempt at Palestinian reconciliation taking place with Egyptian sponsorship. The cabinet reshuffle comes as a response to a similar reshuffle in Salam Fayad’s government in the West Bank.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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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 just annulled Mubarak’s natural gas giveaway- Will Sadat’s Camp David and the Zionist Embassy be next?

Franklin Lamb


Egypt just annulledMubarak’s natural gas giveaway
the gas line to Israel was severed 14 times in 12 months
Will Sadat’s Camp David and the Zionist Embassy be next?
Milestone 1
Milestone 2
Milestone 3
During Mubarak’s presidency, billions were lost due to corruption,
Milestone 4



The Egyptian people are demanding the return of their sovereignty. According to recent opinion surveys they believe it was partially ceded to Israel by the two post-Nasser dictators, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, at the behest of American administrations, from Nixon to Obama.

The removal of three humiliating shackles for Egyptians, the gas give-away scheme, the 1979 Camp David Accords and the US forced recognition of Israel, constitute a strategic national security objective for most of Egypt’s 82 million citizens. 

Egyptian hold pictures of Hassan Nasrallah
and Egyptian flags with Arabic writing
“No for gas deterioration, stop exporting Egyptian gas”
during a protest in Cairo on Feb. 2, 2009.
(AP file photo)



According to the results of an opinion poll, conducted for Press TV and published on October 3, 2011, 73 percent of the Egyptian respondents opposed the terms of the agreement. Today the figure is estimated at 90%.
For the past eight years, the 2004 gas deal has been widely unpopular, and one of the charges in the current indictment against Mubarak is that the deposed President sold Egypt’s gas as part of a sweetheart deal involving kickbacks to family members, associates and Israeli officials.

In the recent parliamentary elections and now during the presidential campaign, Egyptians have been debating relations with Israel publicly for the first time. Previously Mubarak was Israel’s protector and like some other Arab leaders still clinging to power, ignored his people’s demands for actively supporting for the liberation of Palestine.

In late January 2012, an Alexandria University student briefed this observer and a small group of Americans and Europeans sitting on benches opposite the wonderful ancient city’s majestic Great Library.  
A free Palestine
Free from the River to the Sea

 He explained, recalling the demands of the Tahrir Square protests on January 25, 2011,

“Our slogans at Tahrir Square were bread, freedom, dignity, and social justice. That was almost exactly one year ago. God willing, we will soon achieve the demands of our historic revolution which includecanceling Camp David and withdrawing recognition of the Zionist regime still occupying Palestine. Egypt must again lead the Arab Nation’s sacred obligation to liberate Jerusalem and all of Palestine from the river to the sea.”

A stunning hijabed female student continued the dialogue, giving us her opinion:

“The USA bought some of our leaders with billions in generous cash from your people but without any real benefit to ours. Camp David was essentially a private agreement by Sadat and then Mubarak. Our people had no say and were never asked whether we agreed. If we protested, we were jailed or worse. Now, the Egyptian people are gaining power despite a likely military coup by the SCAF military junta before the scheduled June elections.”
Israeli officials, in tandem with the US Zionist lobby are claiming that the abrogation of the gas agreement constitutes an “existential threat”. According to a researcher at the US Congressional Research Service in the Madison Building on Capitol Hill whose job includes keeping track of Israeli claims, it’s the 29th“existential threat” the Zionist colony has identified in its 64 year history.

These perceived existential threats range from the internationally recognized Right of Return for Palestinians ethnically cleansed from their homes during and since the 1948 Nakba, to various Palestinian groups, more than two dozen UN Resolutions including, 194 and 242, Hezbollah naturally, international solidarity movement projects, a Jewish academic or two, Iran for sure, the rise of internet blogs, and potentially virtually every Christian, Arab and Muslim on the planet, not to mention the claimed rise of global anti-Zionism which the US Zionist lobby has recently decreed was always just another form of virulent anti-Semitism.


Despite all these perceived “existential threats”including recently the so-called “Road Map”, Israeli leaders continue to eschew any substantive negotiations which could mean Arabs and Jews sharing Palestine as part of one democratic, secular state on the basis of one person one vote, minus any ‘chosen people’ lunacy.

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s finance minister warned that Egypt’s questioning its relations with Israel was “a dangerous precedent that threatens the peace agreements between Israel and Egypt.”

Ampal, the Israeli company which buys the gas, said that it considers the termination of the contract “unlawful and in bad faith”, and demanded its full restoration. Ampal, is planning to use international arbitration to attempt redress and is sending a corporate delegation to Washington to meet with AIPAC and administration officials to ask them to get the Egyptian action nullified and to force Egypt to keep selling its natural gas at below market prices. One congressional staffer joked in an email that Israeli companies get way better constituent services out of Congress than American companies, or even the voters who elect its members.
Israeli political analyst Israel Hayom wrote last weekend:

” The painful conclusion from the collapse of the gas agreement with Egypt is that we are regressing to the days before the peace agreement with Egypt and the horizon does not look rosy at all. Camp David is in mortal danger. The painful conclusion is, once again, that we have no genuine friends in the region. Certainly not for the long term.”
The ADL’s Abe Foxman lamented,

“Israel gave Egypt a great deal in exchange for the Camp David peace agreement, much more than we should have. Among other things, a free trade zone, in which we veritably pushed for the establishment of sewing workshops and an Egyptian textile industry so that they would be able to easily export cheap cotton and other goods to the United States as well as to Israel. We made the Egyptians a respectable people in the eyes of the American public. And this is how we are repaid what they owe us?”

Never idle for long, AIPAC began circulating a draft resolution this week to its key Congressional operatives aimed at having the US Congress condemn the cancellation of the gas giveaway and demanding its immediate renewal under threat of the US terminating aid to Egypt. The lobby has also begun to squeeze the Obama administration, threating a cut off of Jewish donors if nothing is done to convince Egypt “to get real” in the words of ultra Zionist Howard Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The political reality is that American diplomats, AIPAC, and Israeli officials, sometimes difficult to distinguish from one another, have been bracing for a breach in Egyptian-Israeli relations since last spring’s demonstration in Tahrir Square. They rightly fear that Camp David and the Israeli embassy in Cairo will be next on the chopping block as the Egyptian people stand up.

Regarding the expected closing of the Israeli embassy, according to the daily Yedioth Ahronoth:

“What we have at the moment is a swift deterioration in relations: Israelis can no longer set foot in Egypt, and the Egyptian consulate in Tel Aviv does not have a mandate to issue entry visas. Anyone who insists on going to Egypt from Israel even with a foreign passport can expect to get into trouble. His name could join the list of spiesandMossad agentsThey dont want us. It’s that simple and it is very dangerous now for Israelis to be in Egypt.”

According to Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev,

There is also no one who will rent a building to the Israeli embassy in Cairo, for the small embassy staff headed by Ambassador Yaakov Amitai. Due to security considerations, we have cut drastically their work week. The staff lands every Monday afternoon and leaves early Thursday. Every time an address is found for the embassy (at an exorbitant price), the local security officials shoot down the deal. As far as the Egyptians are concerned, the Israeli diplomats can stay in Jerusalem until their next president is elected and then we will see what happens.”

Franklin LambFranklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He is reachable c\o fplamb@gmail.com

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Egyptian Presidential Candidates Discover Sinai

 

Published Friday, April 27, 2012
People attend Friday prayers in Tahrir square in Cairo 20 April 2012.
Tens of thousands of Egyptians demanded on Friday that their
military rulers stick to a pledge to hand over power by mid-year
after a row over who can run in the presidential election raised
doubts about the army’s commitment to democracy.
The banner reads, “military council has no role.”
(Photo: REUTERS – Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
Pledges to put an end to years of marginalization under Mubarak have fallen on skeptical ears in an area of Egypt that is used to hearing scores of unfulfilled promises.

Abd al-Halim Hafez’s song “Good Morning Sinai,” adapted from the poem by Abd al-Rahman al-Abnoudi, is always sung on the anniversary of the liberation of the Sinai Peninsula from Israeli occupation. Egyptians celebrated the 30th anniversary on Thursday.

For the past 28 years, the celebration was accompanied only by images splashed over TV screens and newspapers of deposed president Hosni Mubarak laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and another on the grave of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat.

This year was different. Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi assumed Mubarak’s wreath-laying role. Meanwhile, Sinai was treated to an unprecedented series of campaign visits from candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections, led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Mursi and the revolutionary forces’ nominee, Hamdeen Sabahi. All hopefuls voiced their commitment to developing the region and addressing its people’s numerous grievances, making promises that sounded familiar to those frequently made but never delivered during the Mubarak years.

The “Country of Turquoise,” for which thousands of Egyptians gave their lives, was never a development priority under Mubarak. He always appointed trusted retired generals as its governors. Sinai’s economic resources – whether real estate, oil, or the gas that supplied 40 percent of Israel’s needs – were meanwhile placed at the disposal of Mubarak’s friend, Hussein Salem, now a fugitive.
 

Mubarak and Salem viewed Sinai purely as the territory of the Camp David agreement with Israel. Everything they did there was related to bolstering that accord, under which Sinai was divided into three zones, each demilitarized to different degrees to ensure that Israel faced no threat from the Egyptian army. The official media scarcely mentioned Sinai other than in the context of “security campaigns,” illegal weapons, smuggling, the tunnels to Gaza, or Israel – whose citizens filled the region’s hotels.

The January 25 revolution brought little more to Sinai than a visit from former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf last April. This initially raised hopes that the peninsula might finally be freed from the siege and exclusion imposed on it by Mubarak’s regime and his close ties with Israel. But only empty promises followed. Although Sharaf pledged that those living in Sinai would be accorded land ownership rights, nothing has been done.

There were abundant promises, too, from the presidential hopefuls who flocked to Sinai ahead of the second liberation anniversary after the revolution.

They were preceded by their published election programs, in which most acknowledged the need to address Sinai’s problems, though rarely devoting more than a couple of lines to the matter.

Sabahi’s program sufficed with saying that he would be committed to the development of Sinai if elected president, without specifying how his vision of the region’s development differs from the one which Mubarak always claimed to have.

Independent Islamist candidate Abd al-Moneim Abul-Futouh’s program included Sinai as one of several border areas in which he promised to increase state investment, along with outlying regions in the west and south of the country.

Mubarak’s former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa echoed his ex-boss’ approach to solving Sinai’s problems by affirming in his election manifesto that he would give top priority to restoring security in Sinai. It also said that he would enable local people to acquire ownership rights over their lands, overcome discrimination against them in obtaining public sector jobs and joining the army, police and judiciary, and bring an end to the decades of marginalization, exclusion, and injustice they have suffered.

Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, outdid all the others by not just visiting Sinai and discussing its problems with local people, but also devoting a special section in his election program to it. Titled “Sinai Development Plan,” it envisaged dividing Sinai into five economic zones, and focusing development efforts on specific sectors in each (agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, and livestock herding in the northern zone around the provincial capital at al-Arish; mining and small industry in the central zone; agriculture, commerce, and livestock in the west; tourism in the southeast; and tourism along with mining and petroleum extraction in the southwest). Railways would also be built linking Sinai to Suez and Ismailia under the plan, which Mursi estimated would cost Egyptian Pounds (LE) 20 billion (US$3,300,000,000) over a period of five years.
 

Nevertheless, local observers saw the presidential candidates’ visits as little more than electioneering, pointing out that their proposals for aiding the region’s development and addressing its grievances were vague and not properly thought out – reminiscent of the Mubarak-era promises.

According to writer Masaad Abu-Fajr, what the people of Sinai want from Egypt’s forthcoming president is something altogether different. Numbering over half a million, they only have one representative in parliament. Mubarak treated them as traitors or agents, and did not even acknowledge many of them as Egyptian. In all his years in power, all Mubarak did for Sinai was divide it administratively from one governorate into two. The next president, says Abu Fajr, must firmly re-establish the sense of Egyptian identity for those living in Sinai.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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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!

PASSOVER: Remembering The Holocaust of Ancient Israelites

The Exodus from Egypt, a story refuted
by historians and archeologists.
April 22, 2011 posted by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

“Even With archeology aside and relying only on your sane mind you would still reach the same conclusion; the exodus never happened”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

History is passed over at the Jewish Passover

What is Passover?

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is an eight-day spring holiday that celebrates the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt.

What is the Exodus?

It is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.
The Hebrew Bible is the pride and joy of every Jew. It is the book of Yahweh, their chosen God, as they are his chosen people.

In Judaism, all the tales of kings and prophets, of conquests and defeats, of captivity and Diaspora and of a united kingdom and some holy temple, it all depended on this ancient story of enslavement and suffering of the ancient Israelites in Egypt under an allegedly ruthless and heathen Egyptian king, or what the Hebrew Bible mistakenly called Pharaoh.

But strange enough, and according to historians of the ancient Near East, Egypt was no land of the heathens, On the contrary, it was exactly in Egypt where the human conscience dawned on earth. The ancient Egyptian civilization which sprouted along the banks of the river Nile, had been mostly of religious and ethical legacy that heavily influenced the way religion had evolved on earth.

This story of exodus is the corner stone of the Israelites’ narrative throughout history; it is their favorite ancient melodrama upon which they claimed divine rights to the land of ancient Canaan.

They simply stripped the fertile portion of the land from its indigenous Canaanites and proclaimed it theirs by Yahweh’s decree. This has gloomy echoes of the present day story of the land grip and the ethnic cleansing of the descendants of Canaanites, the Palestinians, by the modern Jews, the Israelis.

Following the WWII, the modern Jews used, or rather exploited, the story of the calamity of the mass killing and the concentration camps as a non- negotiable pretext to displace the Palestinians and take their land to be their new Zionist state declared by a biased UN decree.

Likewise, the ancient Israelites embarked on their imaginary narrative of an ancient kingdom after they had successfully fled out of the horrors and years of alleged torture and persecution in ancient Egypt.

Two million Israelites exited Egypt without
leaving any archeological trace

Ancient holocaust

In a way, the Exodus after years of unbearable suffering and humiliation on the hands of the Egyptian empire seemed as if it was the Holocaust of the ancient Israelites but with sparing the ovens’ part.

But while we have historical evidence of the holocaust, which the Zionist media managed to augment dramatically, the suffering of the Israelites in ancient Egypt and the exodus stand refuted and totally unsubstantiated as far as history is concerned.

A century of research by renowned archaeologists and Egyptologists has found no evidence, what so ever, which can be directly related to the Exodus narrative of an Egyptian captivity and the escape and travels, for 40 years, through the wilderness of Sinai.

Even more, throughout the entire and long span of the ancient Egyptian kingdom (3100-332 BC) there had been absolutely no mention or any evidence of Egyptians mistreating or isolating foreigners in certain ghettoes. On the contrary Egypt was the world trade center of the ancient times with its markets and trade routes replete with foreigners from the Far East, the Mediterranean coast and the African horn in the south.
According to Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered “about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children,” plus many non-Israelites and livestock. Numbers 1:46 gives a more precise total of 603,550. The 600,000, plus wives, children, the elderly, and the “mixed multitude” of non-Israelites would have numbered some 2 million people.

A crowd of that multitude couldn’t have passed through the peninsula of Sinai at the eastern Egyptian borders uncommented upon or without leaving an archeological trace. But that what we have on hand, as modern archeologists- including Israelis– have declared after failing to find any shred of historical evidence of the exodus or the encampment for 40 years in Sinai. They found not a piece of broken pottery or a small bone or even a left behind vessel, absolutely nothing.

And while history is unable to recall any memories of the Exodus and archeology refutes it ever happened in the first place, the Hebrew Bible laden with historical anachronisms remains the only source of information behind this imaginary mega-event.

Even With archeology aside and relying only on your sane mind you would still reach the same conclusion; the exodus never happened.

Zombie revenge

Playing back the catastrophic scenes of the unbelievable ten plagues that hit Egypt by the avenging god of the israelites, you would wonder how such a horrendous scale of devastation could have taken place without being mentioned in the scrolls of ancient Egypt, which apart from all ancient world civilizations, is recognized for its meticulous documentation of its history and state affairs.

Egyptian scribes with their inscriptions on the temples and papyri kept a fairly accurate record of the chronicles of ancient Egypt.
But never a reference to such alleged Exodus had been mentioned in the Egyptian records.

Not even once, the Exodus or the ancient Israelites were mentioned in the Egyptian documents while the Exodus is referred to around 150 times in the Bible with pharaoh mentioned alone around 20 times.
What does that tell us?

May be the Israelites were so insignificant and unessential the Egyptians never noticed their existence or bothered to. As a matter of fact, and according to modern archeology, the Israelites were a bunch of herders at the eastern borders of the kingdom with the Egyptians referring to them as the filthy and impure Asians for they were known for their unhygienic outlook and practices and by their notorious reputation as plunderers.
According to the zombie revenge type of Yahweh, the river Nile turned into blood, the land of Egypt had been menacingly fraught with the perils of flocks of frogs, lice, flies, locusts and wild animals and under the abrupt and total shutdown of daylight the first-born of all humans and animals were mercilessly killed by the passing over angel of death.

And amidst that horror and disaster the Israelites were busy looting Egyptian treasures while their god was joyfully watching. They had to leave Egypt in a hurry before the pharaoh and his army could catch them and impede their majestic exit.

Egyptian empire at the time of the Exodus.
Egyptian empire at the time of the Exodus.



The exodus from and into Egypt

And now to the funny part of this exodus story.
Due to the Hebrew scribes’ lack of geographical knowledge concerning the borders of the Egyptian empire and its sovereignty at the time, and lacking any GPS satellite technology, it somehow slipped their attention that going out of Sinai and entering Canaan did not necessarily mean exiting Egypt, as Canaan was just another Egyptian territory with fortified Egyptian garrisons and check points everywhere.

Reviewing that horror stories of the Passover you can’t help but to wonder how ancient Egypt – in the absence of anything like the UN relief efforts in our modern times- ever managed to escape total annihilation and collapse.
If those natural disasters ever stroke the land of the Nile simultaneously and in that extreme manner that had been depicted in the Hebrew bible, ancient Egypt would have been wiped off the map permanently or at least collapsed as an economical, military and political power.

Historians are inclined to place the exodus at the middle 15 century BC, but curiously enough, Egypt at that time- the new kingdom time- was at its pinnacle of strength and prosperity. During that period of time, ancient Egypt with great kings like Thutmose III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun reigned over an empire reaching eastward to the borders of Iran and Syria and southward to the sources of the Blue Nile in Sudan.

Simply, Egypt was the super power of the ancient world at that time and for centuries to follow.

To cut a long story short, and according to archeologists and geologists; the Passover environmental disasters along with the presence of those hundreds of thousands afflicted Israelites is nothing but a myth that runs counter to the archeological truth, environmental geology facts and chronicles of ancient Egypt.
And if history stands skeptical about this tale of the Exodus from ancient Egypt, what does that say about the rest of the ancient Israelites’ narrative that happened to depend primarily on this story and regard it as self-evident and totally axiomatic.

After thousands of years, the exodus memory had transformed, for modern Jews, into matzah snacks and gathering around the Seder meal while telling the story of the exodus to the children so that it would grow up with them to be retold again to their children.

And this is how historical authority is being systematically undermined every passing year at the Passover. And this is why the Jews are absolutely the best storytellers ever.

For more articles by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat visit his website

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– DR. ASHRAF EZZAT: The Egyptian Torah

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From Nasser to Mubarak

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Posted on March 2, 2011 by Ikhras
“The Difference…Dignity”

[Ikhras Note] An excellent article on the development of the Mubarak regime, its relationship with the US and Israel, and the role it played in the region.
SocialistWorker.org journalist Eric Ruder explains how the repressive regime that Hosni Mubarak presides over arose out of a history of nationalist rebellion. This article was written for the March-April 2010 issue of the International Socialist Review.

How did Egypt, once considered a leader of progressive Arab nationalism and a defender of Palestinian national rights, become an open collaborator with the United States and Israel in imposing a siege that defies international law as well as justice to a fellow Arab nation? This collaboration has today made Egypt into an object of scorn, in particular because it seems that the United States has managed to buy its services so cheaply…Egypt’s role in maintaining the siege of Gaza is an extension of its subservience to the overall agenda of the United States. But despite broad support of the Egyptian populace to the national rights of the Palestinian people, the Egyptian regime has always exhibited ambivalence toward the Palestinian cause.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

What is bad for Israel, is bad for Jews

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Posted on February 15, 2011 by rehmat1|
Before the state of Israel was planted in British mandated Palestine – Jews had a history of being expelled from almost every European country. However, the World Zionist movement using Western guilt of Holocaust – have succeeded in convincing the westerners that Israel, having far less Jewish population than the Jews in United States, represents the entire world Jewish population of 12.7 million.

Zvi Mazael, former Israeli Ambassador in Cairo (1996-2001) told the world on Israeli ‘Channel One’ on January 28, 2011: “This (Egyptian protests) is bad for the Jews; very bad”. Zvi Mazael, while Ambassador in Sweden, had called several government ministers ‘anti-Semite’ for criticizing Israel’s Zionazi policies.

Interestingly, many Israeli and western Jews have even questioned the the very establishment of Israel to acommodate the Jews who were not welcomed in Europe in the past. For example, Israel-born writer and jazz-player Gilad Atzmon wrote on December 13, 2010: “Giving a State to the Jews was a stupid idea. But to keep supporting it is no less than sinister! The world better wake up and face the Israeli crimes”.

Israel-born Professor IIan Pappe (Haifa University and University of Exeter) in his latest article entitled Egypt’s revolution and Israel: “Bad for the Jews wrote:
The view from Israel is that if they indeed succeed, the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions are bad, very bad. Educated Arabs – not all of them dressed as “Islamists,” quite a few of them speaking perfect English whose wish for democracy is articulated without resorting to “anti-Western” rhetoric – are bad for Israel.

The gist of the Israeli narrative is simple: this is an Iranian-like revolution helped by Al Jazeera and stupidly allowed by US President Barack Obama, who is a new Jimmy Carter, and a stupefied world.

In Israel of course when you say “bad for the Jews,” you mean the Israelis – but you also mean that whatever is bad for Israel is bad for the Jews all around the world (despite the evidence to the contrary since the foundation of the state).

The army did not shoot at the demonstrators; and even before the departure of Mubarak, already seven days into the protests, the minister of interior who directed his thugs to violently crash the demonstrations had been sacked and will probably be brought to justice. Israel is a place where all the generals who ordered the shootings of Palestinian and Jewish anti-occupation demonstrators now compete for the highest post of Chief of the General Staff.

Not one Israeli general or politician has or is going to spend one day in jail for ordering the troops to shoot at unarmed demonstrators, innocent civilians, women, old men and children. The light radiating from Egypt and Tunisia is so strong that it also illuminates the darker spaces of the “only democracy in the Middle East.”

Wherever Egypt Goes Most Arab Nations Go

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Israel lost its most important Arab ally and ruthless partner. 

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan

We are lucky to be alive to witness how the people of Egypt toppled the regime of a ruthless and corrupt tyrant who ruled them and squandered their country’s resources for decades. By reclaiming their country, the Egyptian youth made history. The Egyptians’ popular uprising that lasted eighteen days proved wrong the myth that the Egyptians tolerate their tyrant rulers as long as they provide protection and security. Because of its location, Egypt was invaded all too frequently and ruled by many foreign forces through the centuries but its society retained its strength. The first nation-state in history adorned with a sophisticated civilization appeared in the Nile Valley and the Egyptians have protected the borders of their country since the Early Bronze Age. During its recorded history that covers five millenniums, Egypt’s inhabitants have produced a way of life, so powerful and enduring that it lasted thousands of years and survived many interruptions including the last thirty years under Mubarak regime.

Now, the Egyptian people are on their way to join the world’s communities that won their civil rights in the last century using non-violent protest. Their uprising will be remembered as the spark of the Arab Nations’ democracy renaissance.

The impact of Egypt’s dictatorship fall on the world order is similar to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Its immediate effect is being felt in the rest of the Arab World, in the US relations with its allies in the region; and it will certainly be felt in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. After what happened in Egypt and Tunis, the US may need a foreign policy that not only supports freedom in the abstract but is guided by long-range practical principles to achieve it. The Egyptians who are demographically young but culturally ancient can teach the US and the West that there is a better way than war for spreading democracy.

Tony Blair, George W. Bush and American neo-conservative ideologues claim that overthrowing Saddam’s regime was worth the cost of invading and even destroying the country they came to liberate, dispersing its population all over the world, wasting hundreds of billions of dollars and losing and injuring thousands of the invading young military soldiers in the process. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian casualties at over 600,000.

The Egyptian people, the Israeli establishment, and the children of Gaza are the first to feel the impact of the change in Egypt. Israel lost its most important Arab ally and ruthless partner in the crippling siege of Gaza; and now, the children of Gaza can buy bread from Egypt across the border. For those who do not know or forgot, Israel and Mubarak’s regime placed Gaza under all-out siege with the blessing of the US since mid-June 2007, claiming it was preventing alleged dangers posed by the Palestinian resistance movement. The blockade deprived Gaza’s 1.5 million residents of food, fuel and other necessities. Egypt even maintained the siege during the 2008 Israeli war against Gaza that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and ruined the Strip’s infrastructure. “More than 10 percent of Gazans mostly children, are physically stunted due to malnutrition”, according to several studies.

Mubarak and Omar Sulaiman were the key bridge of Israel to the Arab world, frequently mediating between the Palestinians and Israel. But the fall of Mubarak’s regime will have no effect on the Palestinian-Israeli peace process because the peace process is already dead and the US is pre-occupied with the 2012 national elections, the budget and the economy.

After being embarrassed by the 1,600 leaked documents about peace talks with Israel where Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiators offered unacceptable compromises on the basic rights of their people, the PA lost credibility, and the Palestinian chief negotiator had to step down. Israel is not prepared to give up Palestinian land for peace. It is expanding settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem; and it has already rejected the Arab Peace Initiative.

Israel and the US are concerned that pro-Palestinian groups in Egypt, including Muslim Brothers might gain a larger voice in Egyptian decision making. The Muslim Brothers have a large constituency in Egypt but the Egyptian people never supported Mubarak’s stand against the Palestinians in Gaza; and once the Egyptian people control their destiny, they will not continue Mubarak’s policy toward the Strip even if the US threatens to cut its financial aid. The Egyptian people are too proud to trade principles for cash!

The recent Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia triggered Egypt’s uprising that ousted Mubarak, and wherever Egypt goes most Arab nations go. If liberal democracy is established in Egypt, the rest of the Arab people will demand it. Egypt’s influence in the Arab World is derived from its stature as the most populous.

Popular movements in the Middle East are contagious. Many Arab countries followed Egypt’s example when Nasser staged the 1952 military coup that ended the monarchy. There were many coups in Iraq including the one against the Hashemite royal family, in Yemen against Imam Ahmed bin Yahya, and in Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi staged a bloodless military coup against King Idris in 1969. There were four military coups in Syria, and in Jordan, there were many failed attempts against the life of King Hussein. President Nasser is credited for laying down standards of Pan-Arab political agenda that forced even the moderate Western-supported regimes in the region to adopt.

The Pan-Arab movement was defined as a defense against the threat of outside forces, but it did not talk about the relationship between the individual and the state. And once nationalists were in power, they have successfully redefined nationalism as the defense of their regimes against internal and external threat. Regimes of Mubarak in Egypt, Libya’s al-Qaddafi, Hafez al-Assad in Syria, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Abdallah Saleh of Yemen, Ibn Ali of Tunis are examples.

Democracy is not only voting and dipping fingers in ink. According to the theorist Guillermo O’Donnell, democracy is a political system with three central components- free and fair elections, civil liberties and institutions which should guarantee separation of powers and hold everybody equal before the law. Power should be filled through regular, free, fair, and competitive elections with universal suffrage and secrecy of ballots. There should be freedom of organization and for parties and candidates to campaign, speak and publish peacefully anywhere in the country and solve electoral disputes by legal procedures.

Some scholars suggest that certain level of economic development is a requirement for the establishment of democracy. But none of the Arab states is classified as democratic even if the average income per capita in states that do not depend on oil, excluding Yemen, ranged from $3,419 to $6000 according to the UNDP, well above the suggested minimum threshold. For those states that rely on oil as their primary revenue source, the average per capita income exceeds $24,000.

Some Westerners including many politicians in the US argue that Islamic tradition is inconsistent with democracy, and democracy can succeed only in a Judeo-Christian culture. James Zugby from Arab American Institute once described these politicians as “either display ignorance of facts or shaped more by political needs than reality, or are just plain dumb.” Their claim fails to explain the seven non-Arab democracies with a Muslim majority. Democracy has emerged in Mali, among the world’s ten poorest countries, a non-Arab Muslim majority population and only $700 GDP per capita in 2006, adult literacy of 39.8% and 50.9 years of life expectancy at birth.

Parliamentary democracy has survived in Bangladesh, another non-Arab, Muslim state with $1,500 in GDP per capita, adult literacy of 40.8%, and 48.1 years of life expectancy. Bangladesh even elected a woman prime-minister, Begum Khaleda Zia, in 1996 and 2001 general elections.

Turkey is another non-Arab country with an overwhelming Muslim majority and a democratic secular constitution since 1945. Democracy was interrupted in 1997 by the extreme secular military elites when the Islamic Welfare (Refah) Party won enough seats in the parliament to form the first government under the Islamic prime-minister Necmettin Erbacan. The Refah Party proved its compatibility with democracy when it won a majority in the 2002 elections and formed a democratic secular government. The political objectives of the mainstream Muslim movements seem to integrate rather than overthrow governments.

Despite these democratic success stories in non-Arab Muslim majority countries, the Arab World remains mired in authoritarianism, clientelism and nepotism. Most Arab countries have a large educated middle class, yet there is no equal opportunity, the positions of power have been distributed among a few individuals, and the opposition has no chance to unseat the incumbent.

This has to change if the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts are to succeed.

– Hasan Afif El-Hasan is a political analyst. His latest book, Is The Two-State Solution Already Dead? (Algora Publishing, New York), now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Under the (Egyptian) volcano

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The party – and what a party – is over. Now it’s hangover time – and what a hangover.

Meet the new boss, or the Pharaoh rebuilt as Shiva; the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. If this was Southeast Asia, people would say “same same – but different”.

Instead of a police state, it’s communique time (talk about a throwback to the 1970s). President and vice president dissolved. Parliament dissolved (but with Pharaoh-appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq insisting the current kangaroo cabinet will be in place for that “orderly transition”.) Constitution suspended. The army trying to impose the notion it will run Egypt for the next six months. Vaguely sinister expected curbs on strikes and “chaos and disorder”.

What can a Democrat, Nobel Peace Prize President of the United States do, except to support a military coup? (Yet another throwback to the 1960s and 1970s). Recap: the White House and the State Department wanted Hosni Mubarak gone.

But Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) badly wanted him to stay. While Mubarak – like a trashy dyed-hair version of Louis XVI – fought for his own survival, Vice President Omar “Sheikh al-Torture” Suleiman, endorsed by Washington and Brussels, fought for the survival of the regime (as in “orderly transition”), and Washington fought for the survival of one of the crucial pillars of “stability” in the Middle East. The street was fighting for their lives.

It’s easy to explain why the CIA never saw it coming. The agency may have excelled in doing extraordinary rendition business with Sheikh al-Torture, but overall it has been imprisoned by a major ideological strait jacket since the Ronald Reagan years. The CIA simply does not talk to anybody who’s not a vassal – from Iran to Hamas to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).

Thus they cannot gather quality, on the ground, actionable intelligence. Egypt was bubbling underneath since at least 2005. The US Embassy in Cairo did not even have a liaison officer with the MB. And now their asset, Suleiman, is a non-entity (picture Langley submerged by a deluge of tears).

In the end, the Egyptian street did it. Miserably paid conscripts ready to raise hell if ordered to fire on ordinary citizens did it. Discreet union organizers active for years did it. Judges demonstrating on the streets did it. And youth groups did it. The January 25 young revolutionaries soon woke up to reality.

Now they clearly see Washington finally decided to cut its losses and give the green light for the onanism-plagued concept of a military coup against a military dictatorship. OK, as bright outlooks go, at least there is one hopeful precedent, the 1974 revolution in Portugal that ended up, within one year, in a solid, socialist-leaning democracy.

My communique is bigger than yours

What’s with these communique junkies of the Supreme Council? The street knows they are all Mubarak cronies, mostly in their 70s – starting with coup leader, Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, 75 – very close to the Pentagon’s Robert Gates (crucial; Tantawi got to the top after being the commander of Mubarak’s private army, the Republican Guards).

They are all US-enabled stakeholders (via billions of dollars of “aid” year after year) of a vast military-owned business dynasty controlling entire sectors of the Egyptian economy. There’s no way a new Egypt may be born without overthrowing this whole system. Ergo, the street has to take on the army.

Expect major fireworks ahead. For the moment, the potential adversaries are studying each other. Exit “orderly transition”; enter – according to General Mohsen el-Fangari – “a peaceful transition of power” to allow “an elected civilian government to rule and build a free democratic state”. It all sounds like Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix. Forget about the army swiftly handing over power to a civilian-led interim government.

In the battle of communiques, at least the January 25 leadership knows how to turn heads. Among its top demands – call it the road map of the street’s political desires – we find the immediate end to the state of emergency; immediate release of all political prisoners; creation of a transitional, collective governing council; formation of an interim government comprising independent nationalist trends to oversee free and fair elections; formation of a working group to draft a new democratic constitution to be voted in a referendum; removal of any restriction on the free formation of political parties; freedom of the press; freedom to form unions and non-governmental organizations without government permission; and the abolition of all military courts.

Anyone who believes the Supreme Council generals will hand this all over to the people on a plate must be living in the Tibetan plateau.

Bomb me to democracy, babe

This has been not only a youth-driven revolution, but is now also a mass working class-driven movement. In the next stage, the working class – and the peasantry – will be increasingly crucial. As blogger Hossam El-Hamalawy has put it, “We have to take Tahrir to the factories now.” The regime’s final crackdown happened when strikes spread like wildfire. There’s increased conceptualization of direct democracy from below leading to a state of permanent revolution. The “West” is quaking in its Ferragamos.

At the same time, the January 25 leadership is aware that Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh – plus Mubarakism’s comprador classes – will do absolutely anything to derail Egyptian democracy. Everything will apply – from a Walhalla of bribes to shady manipulation of laws and the electoral process. Expect at least one general to run for president; certainly not the incredibly vanishing CIA asset “Sheikh al-Torture” Suleiman, but most probably army chief of staff Sami Anan, 63, who has also spent a lot of time in the US and is closer to many in the Pentagon than Tantawi.

Very soon, expect everyone and his neighbor to court the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) like there’s no tomorrow; Turkey (to advance its role as a beacon of moderation in the Middle East); Iran (even though they’re Shi’ite, to remind the MB of their struggle for Palestine); the US (so they can believe to control a jihadist streak the MB does not have anyway); and Saudi Arabia (with tons of cash, to jam US machinations).

The New York Times has quaintly described how “the White House and the State Department were already discussing setting aside new funds to bolster the rise of secular political parties” – as in trying to corral every nook and cranny of the opposition to an US agenda.

Apart from the fact the Egyptian revolution – still in its infancy – is the most earth-shattering strategic shift in the Middle East for the past three decades (since Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982), what stands out is the abject fallacy of everything from Islamophobia to the reductionist “clash of civilizations” theory to the neo-con chimera of a Greater Middle East. The Egyptian street opened a highway to democracy in only two-and-a-half weeks. Compare it to the Pentagon democratizing Afghanistan in nine years and Iraq in seven.

At this stage, no one knows whether Mubarakism will survive with a minimal facelift; whether Mubarakism will co-opt the next elections while the army stays in the shade; or whether a real social and political revolution will radically, eventually reorganize all the structure of wealth and power in Egypt.

Way beyond the inevitable clash in Egypt of demographic explosion and economic crisis, what is literally freaking out the West is that its elites know what the vast majority of Egyptians don’t want. A truly democratic, sovereign Egyptian government cannot possibly remain a slave of US foreign policy.

Things may start at a minimum with lifting the siege of Gaza and re-examining the export of natural gas to Israel at subsidized rates; then they will move to reconsidering the safe passage of the US Navy in the Suez Canal and finally rediscuss the holy of holies – the 1979 Camp David accords with Israel.

From now on, any increasing degree of freedom enjoyed by Egypt will be directly proportional to the increasing degree of fear felt by Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh.

It’s fair to say that at this stage the Egyptian street keeps close to its heart those that supported it – from al-Jazeera and assorted Arab nationalists to Hezbollah in Lebanon. And knows very well those that despised it – from the House of Saud and assorted Wahhabi extremists to Israel. No one will forget that Saudi King Abdullah accused the street of “meddling in the security and stability of Arab and Muslim Egypt”.

The key slogan of the revolution has been “The people want the downfall of the regime”. It has already generated a spin-off; “The people want the liberation of Palestine”. Stay glued to the weather reports; the real volcano has not even erupted.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

(Copyright 2011 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The revolution continues after Mubarak’s fall

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Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 12 February 2011

Egyptians protest at Tahrir Square on the day Mubarak left office, 11 February. (Matthew Cassel)

Yesterday evening, after it was announced that Hosni Mubarak had met the first demand of the revolution and left office, I headed toward the Egyptian embassy in Amman. The joy on the streets was something I had never experienced before.

From all directions people came, pouring out of cars stuck in gridlocked traffic on Zahran Street and into the side street where the embassy sits. They were young and old and families with children. Egyptian laborers — the unacknowledged back bone of much of the Jordanian economy — sang, carried each other on their shoulders and played drums. Egyptian flags waved and signs were held high.

The chants were as varied and lively as the crowd which grew to thousands: “Long Live Egypt!,” “The people overthrew the regime!,” “Who’s next?,” “Tomorrow Abbas!” Some people showered the crowd with sweets, as fireworks burst overhead. Everyone took pictures, recording a moment of victory they felt was made by the Egyptian people on behalf of all of us.

After Tunisia, a second great pillar of oppression has been knocked down, at such great cost to hundreds who gave their lives, and many millions who saw their lives destroyed for so many years. It was a night for joy, and the celebrations continue today.

After the celebrations are over, the revolution too must go on, because it will not be complete until the Egyptian people rebuild their country as they wish it to be.

But standing in the streets of Amman there was no mistaking that the Egyptian revolution will have a profound impact on the whole region. Arab people everywhere now imagine themselves as Tunisians or Egyptians. And every Arab ruler imagines himself as Ben Ali or Mubarak.

The revolution has reawakened a sense of a common destiny for the Arab world many thought had been lost, that seemed naive when our mothers and fathers told us about it from their youth, and that Arab leaders had certainly tried to kill. The Arab dictators, who are as dead inside as Mubarak showed himself to be in his awful televised speeches, thought their peoples’ spirits were dead too. The revolutions have restored a sense of limitless possibility and a desire that change should spread from country to country.

Whatever happens next, the Egyptian revolution will also have a profound effect on the regional balance of power. Undoubtedly the United States, Israel and their allies are already weaker as a result. First they lost Tunisia, and then suffered a severe setback with the collapse of the US-backed Lebanese government of Rafiq Hariri, and now Mubarak and Omar Suleiman, the closest and most enthusiastic collaborators with Israel except perhaps for Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies in Ramallah.

On many minds — especially Israeli and American ones — has been the question of whether a new democratic Egyptian government will tear up the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. That of course, is up to the Egyptian people, although the transitional military government confirmed in its fourth statement Egypt’s adherence to “all international and regional treaties.”

But the treaty is not really the issue. Even if democratic Egypt maintains the treaty, the treaty never required Egypt to join Israeli and American conspiracies against other Arabs. It never required Egypt to become the keystone in an American-led alliance with Israel and Saudi Arabia against an allegedly expansionist Iran. It never required Egypt to adopt and disseminate the vile “Sunni vs. Shia” sectarian rhetoric that was deliberately used to try to shore up this narrative of confrontation. It never required Egypt to participate in Israel’s cruel siege of Gaza or collaborate closely with its intelligence services against Palestinians. It never required Egypt to become a world center of torture for the United States in its so-called “War on Terror.” The treaty did not require Egypt to shoot dead migrants crossing Sinai from other parts of Africa just to spare Israelis from seeing black people in Tel Aviv. No treaty required or requires Egypt to carry on with these and so many more shameful policies that earned Hosni Mubarak and his regime the hatred of millions of Arabs and others far beyond Egypt’s borders.

There is no doubt that the United States will not give up its hegemony in Egypt easily, and will do all it can to frustrate any Egyptian move toward an independent regional policy, using as leverage its deep ties and enormous aid to the Egyptian military that now rules the country. The regional ambitions of the United States remain the main external threat to the success of Egypt’s revolution.

Whatever break or continuity there is with Egypt’s past policies, the calculations have changed for remaining members of the so-called “alliance of moderates,” particularly Saudi Arabia — which allegedly offered to prop Mubarak up financially if the US withdrew its aid — Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

For many years, these regimes, like Egypt, bet their security and survival on a virtually unconditional alliance with the United States: they abandoned all dignified, independent and principled positions and adopted America’s hegemonic aspirations as their own, in exchange for assistance, and what they hoped was a guarantee that the US would come to their rescue if they got in trouble.

What the revolutions demonstrate to all Arab regimes is that the United States cannot rescue you in the end. No amount of “security assistance” (training, tear gas, weapons), financial aid, or intelligence cooperation from the United States or France can withstand a population that has decided it has had enough. These regimes’ room for maneuver has shrunk even if the sorts of uprisings seen in Egypt and Tunisia are not imminent elsewhere.

After the revolutions, people’s expectations have been raised and their tolerance for the old ways diminished. Whether things go on as they have for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few more years in this or that country, the pressures and demands for change will be irresistible. The remaining Arab regimes must now ask not if change will happen but how.

Will regimes that relied for so long on repression, fear and the docility of their people wait for revolution, or will they give up unearned power and undertake real democratization willingly, speedily and honestly? This will require not just a dramatic change of internal policies which regimes may or may not be capable of making voluntarily, but also a deep reexamination of external alliances and commitments that have primarily served Israel, the United States and the regimes at the expense of their people.

Jordan is now a prime case where such a reexamination is urgently due. Regardless of whether or not (and I think almost certainly not) the newly-appointed cabinet will be able to meet public expectations for democratization, fighting corruption, and ending the worst neo-liberal policies that have put so many of the country’s resources and companies in unaccountable private hands, the country’s foreign policy must undergo a full review.

This includes the overly dependent relationship on the United States, relations with Israel, participation in the sham “peace process,” the training of the security forces used by Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank against other Palestinians, and the deeply unpopular involvement in the NATO war and occupation in Afghanistan. Up until now, these matters have all been decided without any regard to public opinion.

And in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas is in a more precarious situation than ever. Its loss of legitimacy is so thorough — especially after the revelations in the Palestine Papers — that it exists only thanks to the protection of the Israeli occupation, US and EU training of its repressive security forces, and massive EU funding to pay the salaries of its bloated bureaucracy.

The PA’s leaders are as dead to the just cause and aspirations for liberation of the Palestinian people for which so much has been sacrificed, as Mubarak was to the Egyptian people’s rights and hopes. No wonder the PA relies more and more on the thuggery and police state tactics so reminiscent of Mubarak and Ben Ali.

The revolutions in the Arab have lifted our horizons. More people can now see that the liberation of Palestine from Zionist colonialism and US- and EU-funded oppression, to make it a safe, humane place for all who live in it to exist in equality, is not just a utopian slogan but is in our hands if we struggle for it and stick to our principles. Like the people power, against which the Egyptian and Tunisian police states were powerless in the end, Palestinians and their allies (particularly those supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement) have the power to transform reality within the next few years.

In whatever form the revolution continues, the people are saying to their rulers: our countries, our futures, don’t belong to you any more. They belong to us.

Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse and is a contributor to The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict (Nation Books).

Related Links

 

Hear O Israel: You have every right to Worry!

Posted: February 11, 2011 by attendingtheworld

Israel hopes peace accord will remain as Egypt changes to democracy – Haaretz

  

Don’t hold your breath!

The Arab world and People REJECT a peace treaty based on terrorizing, ethnic cleansing and uprooting Palestinians!

There’s no peace when thugs known as settlers cheerfully – supported by the Israeli Occupation Terrorists – evict Palestinians from their homes… throw them in the street and then have the audacity to bill them for the “cost of removing their belongings” from their own homes!

There’s no peace with Nazi-like government who kills and justify the killing of Palestininas through a corrupt violent Talmudic “religion.”

Long gone are the days of traitors you bought…

One by one, these dictators are falling.. and you will face the ugly truth that Arabs never supported their dictator’s “peace-treaties” with Nazi Israel.

Sooner or later you shall let Palestinians  return to their lands and homes.. else await your ultimate fall and demise. And just as the U.S. abandoned its “dictators and so-called allies,” the day will come when you, O’ Israel will be abandoned.

You’ve been served!

Ben-Eliezer: Mubarak Told Me He’s Looking for Way Out

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Author: WebsiteTeam Network

Israeli Labor MP Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said on Friday that embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had told him he was looking for an “honorable exit.”

Speaking to Israeli army radio, the Israeli lawmaker, who recently resigned as trade and industry minister, said he had spoken to Mubarak by phone shortly before his widely anticipated televised address on Thursday night.

“He knows it’s over, that it is the end of the road. He didn’t tell me anything before his speech, except that he was looking for a way out,” Ben-Eliezer, who has close ties with the Egyptian regime, said.

The former minister is considered as the Israeli with the closest ties to the Egyptian leader who is facing unprecedented calls to step down following 18 days of mass street protests.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Robert Fisk: As Mubarak clings on… What now for Egypt?

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Demonstrators wave their shoes in an insulting gesture during Mubarak's speech

Demonstrators wave their shoes in an insulting
gesture during Mubarak’s speech

Friday, 11 February 2011

To the horror of Egyptians and the world, President Hosni Mubarak – haggard and apparently disoriented – appeared on state television last night to refuse every demand of his opponents by staying in power for at least another five months.

The Egyptian army, which had already initiated a virtual coup d’état, was nonplussed by the President’s speech which had been widely advertised – by both his friends and his enemies – as a farewell address after 30 years of dictatorship. The vast crowds in Tahrir Square were almost insane with anger and resentment.

Mubarak tried – unbelievably – to placate his infuriated people with a promise to investigate the killings of his opponents in what he called “the unfortunate, tragic events”, apparently unaware of the mass fury directed at his dictatorship for his three decades of corruption, brutality and repression.

The old man had originally appeared ready to give up, faced at last with the rage of millions of Egyptians and the power of history, sealed off from his ministers like a bacillus, only grudgingly permitted by his own army from saying goodbye to the people who hated him.

Yet the very moment that Hosni Mubarak embarked on what was supposed to be his final speech, he made it clear that he intended to cling to power. To the end, the President’s Information Minister insisted he would not leave. There were those who, to the very last moment, feared that Mubarak’s departure would be cosmetic – even though his presidency had evaporated in the face of his army’s decision to take power earlier in the evening.

History may later decide that the army’s lack of faith in Mubarak effectively lost his presidency after three decades of dictatorship, secret police torture and government corruption. Confronted by even greater demonstrations on the streets of Egypt today, even the army could not guarantee the safety of the nation. Yet for Mubarak’s opponents, today will not be a day of joy and rejoicing and victory but a potential bloodbath.
But was this a victory for Mubarak or a military coup d’état? Can Egypt ever be free? For the army generals to insist upon his departure was as dramatic as it was dangerous. Are they, a state within a state, now truly the guardians of the nation, defenders of the people – or will they continue to support a man who must be judged now as close to insanity? The chains which bound the military to the corruption of Mubarak’s regime were real. Are they to stand by democracy – or cement a new Mubarak regime?

Even as Mubarak was still speaking, the millions in Tahrir Square roared their anger and fury and disbelief. Of course, the millions of courageous Egyptians who fought the whole apparatus of state security run by Mubarak should have been the victors. But as yesterday afternoon’s events proved all too clearly, it was the senior generals – who enjoy the luxury of hotel chains, shopping malls, real estate and banking concessions from the same corrupt regime – who permitted Mubarak to survive. At an ominous meeting of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Defence Minister Mohamed Tantawi – one of Mubarak’s closest friends – agreed to meet the demands of the millions of democracy protesters, without stating that the regime would itself be dissolved. Mubarak himself, commander-in-chief of the army, was not permitted to attend.
But this is a Middle Eastern epic, one of those incremental moments when the Arab people – forgotten, chastised, infantilised, repressed, often beaten, tortured too many times, occasionally hanged – will still strive to give the great wheel of history a shove, and shake off the burden of their lives. Last night, however, dictatorship had still won. Democracy had lost.

All day, the power of the people had grown as the prestige of the President and his hollow party collapsed. The vast crowds in Tahrir Square began yesterday to move out over all of central Cairo, even moving behind the steel gates of the People’s Assembly, setting up their tents in front of the pseudo-Greek parliament building in a demand for new and fair elections. Today, they were planning to enter the parliament itself, taking over the symbol of Mubarak’s fake “democracy”. Fierce arguments among the army hierarchy – and apparently between Vice-President Omar Suleiman and Mubarak himself – continued while strikes and industrial stoppages spread across Egypt. Well over seven million protesters were estimated to be on the streets of Egypt yesterday – the largest political demonstration in the country’s modern history, greater even than the six million who attended the funeral of Gamal Abdul Nasser, the first Egyptian dictator whose rule continued through Anwar Sadat’s vain presidency and the three dead decades of Mubarak.

It was too early, last night, for the crowds in Tahrir Square to understand the legal complexities of Mubarak’s speech. But it was patronising, self-serving and immensely dangerous. The Egyptian constitution insists that presidential power must pass to the speaker of parliament, a colourless Mubarak crony called Fatih Srour, and elections – fair ones, if this can be imagined – held within 60 days. But many believe that Suleiman may choose to rule by some new emergency law and then push Mubarak out of power, staking out a timetable for new and fraudulent elections and yet another terrible epoch of dictatorship. The truth, however, is that
the millions of Egyptians who have tried to unseat their Great Dictator regard their constitution – and the judiciary and the entire edifice of government institutions – with the same contempt as they do Mubarak. They want a new constitution, new laws to limit the powers and tenure of presidents, new and early elections which will reflect the “will of the people” rather than the will of the president or the transition president, or of generals and brigadiers and state security thugs.

Last night, a military officer guarding the tens of thousands celebrating in Cairo threw down his rifle and joined the demonstrators, yet another sign of the ordinary Egyptian soldier’s growing sympathy for the democracy demonstrators. We had witnessed many similar sentiments from the army over the past two weeks. But the critical moment came on the evening of 30 January when, it is now clear, Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.

Many of the senior tank commanders could be seen tearing off their headsets – over which they had received the fatal orders – to use their mobile phones. They were, it now transpires, calling their own military families for advice. Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people.

Thus when General Hassan al-Rawani told the massive crowds yesterday evening that “everything you want will be realised – all your demands will be met”, the people cried back: “The army and the people stand together – the army and the people are united. The army and the people belong to one hand.”
Last night, the Cairo court prevented three ministers – so far unnamed, although they almost certainly inc-lude the Minister of Interior – from leaving Egypt.

But neither the army nor Vice-President Suleiman are likely to be able to face the far greater demonstrations planned for today, a fact that was conveyed to 83-year-old Mubarak by Tantawi himself, standing next to Suleiman. Tantawi and another general – believed to be the commander of the Cairo military area – called Washington, according to a senior Egyptian officer, to pass on the news to Robert Gates at the Pentagon. It must have been a sobering moment. For days, the White House had been grimly observing the mass demonstrations in Cairo, fearful that they would turn into a mythical Islamist monster, frightened that Mubarak might leave, even more terrified he might not.

The events of the past 12 hours have not, alas, been a victory for the West. American and European leaders who rejoiced at the fall of communist dictatorships have sat glumly regarding the extraordinary and wildly hopeful events in Cairo – a victory of morality over corruption and cruelty – with the same enthusiasm as many East European dictators watched the fall of their Warsaw Pact nations. Calls for stability and an “orderly” transition of power were, in fact, appeals for Mubarak to stay in power – as he is still trying to do – rather than a ringing endorsement of the demands of the overwhelming pro-democracy movement that should have struck him down.

Timeline…
11.00 As demonstrators mass in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the Foreign Minister warns of a military coup if protests continue
15.15 The Egyptian Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, tells the BBC Arabic Service that Mubarak may step down
15.20 The secretary general of the ruling NDP party, Hossan Badrawy, says he expects Mubarak to make an announcement that will satisfy protesters’ demands
15.30 An Egyptian army commander tells protesters in Tahrir Square that: “Everything you want will be realised”
15.45 Egypt’s military council releases a statement saying it is in continuous session and the army will take necessary measures to “safeguard the homeland”, in the clearest sign that Mubarak will be on his way out soon
16.04 The Information Minister, Anas el-Fekky, says Mubarak is in fact not stepping down and remains Egypt’s President
16.15 Al Arabiya television station carries an unconfirmed report that Mubarak has travelled to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh with his army chief of staff
17.11 A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest opposition group, says he fears the army is staging a coup
20.50 Defying expectations Mubarak speaks on state TV, giving no indication that he will step down soon

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Wikileaks: Israel: "We are not certain how much longer Mubarak would live, …and Egypt would remain our friend.."

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Via Friday-Lunch-Club

¶6. (S) GOI interlocutors attempted to make the argument that moderate Arab countries could in the future become adversaries — and that this should be taken into account in the QME process. During a roundtable discussion led by the MFA’s Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs Alon Bar, the MFA’s Center for Policy Research gave intelligence briefs on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Lebanon to further support the argument that these countries could become future foes.
Policy Research Center interlocutors reviewed succession concerns in both Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Bar argued that a perceived closure in the capability gap between Israel and Arab states, coupled with a nuclear-armed Iran, could compel moderate Arab states to reassess the notion that Israel was a fixture in the region.

¶7. (S) Typically frank, MOD Political-Military Chief Amos Gilad was not certain how much longer Egyptian President Mubarak would live, and questioned whether his son Gamal was ready to assume command. Gilad said the Egyptian military led by Defense Minister Tantawi continues to train and exercise as if “Israel was its only enemy.” He added that there were disturbing signs on the Egyptian streets, as women are dressed more conservatively, and that peace with Israel “is too thin, too superficial.” On Saudi Arabia, Gilad said that King Abdullah does not hate Israel, but his chief priority is the survival of the regime…”

Posted by G, Z, or B at 1:49 PM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Ashraf Bayoumi: No Compromise, “Israel” Should Dissolve and We Demand An Independent Egypt

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Ashraf Bayoumi: A True Voice of revolution

Nour Rida

For the 15th consecutive day, the Egyptian people continue to pour into the Tashrir (Liberation) square in Cairo, and the squares and streets of Egypt joining tens of thousands spending their nights in open air, as they refused to leave the streets at night despite heavy military presence and overnight curfews.

The crowds will be addressed in the coming period by a unified leadership that was formed on Monday. Five major groups have formed “a revolutionary committee” and chosen individuals to represent them.

This morning, prominent Egyptian political analyst Ashraf Bayoumi told moqawama.org right before heading to the Tahrir square to stand along his Egyptian brothers that the streets are never empty since the 25th of January, and will remain to be the arena of revolution until the a new regime is formed, and not the same regime with new faces.

“I am heading towards Tahrir Square now, thousands are pouring to the Tahrir square because the revolution is not finished yet; and attempts to abort this revolution are ongoing from various sources,” said analyst Bayoumi.

US Dual Stances to Serve Its Goals

According to Bayoumi, foreign sources have been major players in the Egyptian game. “Let me begin with the United States, Europe and “Israel”. There is no question that this revolution is counter the objectives and policies of foreign dominant forces, or more explicitly, imperialism and Zionism,” he said adding “We have seen how the US have been saying Mubarak has to remain in office so that no constitutional void happens, which is nonsense.”

Then, again stances emerge from the US administration supporting the revolution and describing it as pro-democratic, the analyst highlighted explaining “, it is definitely a pro-democratic movement, but it is also more important than that.”

The dual stances of the US administration serve its goals, and that is why Bayoumi says the public should be aware and understand this two-face policy. “We should differentiate between public stances and real policy. This applies to the US administration issuing statements for local American and Arab consumption but in reality the intention of the US is to have the same corrupt regime but maybe with new faces. This is a colonic plan based on tourism, on services and also continuation of policies which support the American objectives and the Zionist entity,” he underscored.

Egyptian Figures, Puppets of US and “Israel”

So the protestors are steadfast and holding tight onto their demands of a new regime, a just regime that will bring reform and change. That is one part of the picture in Egypt.

The other is that of an alliance between the police, the portion that has been enjoying exorbitant wealth, who according to Bayoumi have gained billions of dollars, some organizations, the media, and a portion of intellectuals who have deceived the people for many years.

Bayoumi highlighted an important fact about two major figures that have emerged lately, and suddenly became pulpits to the Egyptian people.

THE ZIONIST MASTERS OF REGIME CHANGE now have the tables turned on them.


“In addition there are Nobel prize winners like Ahmed Zuel and Mohammad Al Baradei who are cast in the same US mold, trying to bind with the revolution,” Bayoumi said with rage on the Egyptians who he considers as betrayers to their people and country.

“We have to tell the people all over the world that Al Baradei has served the US imperialism for more than 12 years at the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

We cannot forget the scene when he met with Sharon and we cannot forget his statement that he understands the position of the Zionist state as far as its “nuclear arsenal”, he has not opened his mouth once in support of the Palestinians or Iraqis until very recently.”

Zuel (prominent Chemistry scientist), who visited “Israel” and got a prize from the Zionist entity called the Wolf prize, and gave a speech in the Knesset, he is also the official employ of Obama in the middle east region for Science and technology, who also suddenly said he separates between science and politics, projected himself as a leader and issues a statement as if he is about to be in office.”

On the PM caretaker government Mubarak assigned a week ago, Bayoumi said “Omar Suleiman is the person who spent a great deal of his time negotiating with the “Israelis” in Tel Aviv and the head of the security and intelligence. He is a genuine part of the regime the issue is not Mubarak alone, it is a complete system that has ruled, oppressed, and impoverished the Egyptian people and ruined the economy of Egypt and diverted the objectives of the Egyptians who aim to be an independent, developed and free state.”

Others like Ayman Nour, I quote him as he sent a letter to the wall street journal, “I support the peace treaty and strongly oppose any aggression against “Israel”.

Therefore, there are many players who are with this corrupt regime who aim at oppressing the peole and are puppets to the US and “Israel”.

Revolution to Continue Until Demands Met

Bayoumi said that today, tomorrow, Friday and every other day will remain to be days of revolution, with its primary objective to dismiss Mubarak and all his supporters who have been using various excuses like stability and avoiding violence to continue their oppression of the people.

“They (the regime and its allies) are the ones who promoted violence, released prisoners from the jails and who are instigating violence against the people as hundreds have been martyred and thousands wounded,” the analyst continued.

He assured on behalf of himself and the people that this revolution is a movement for attaining freedom, justice and national sovereignty. “We are not only demanding political freedom, we are asking for boycotting “Israel”, for destroying the separation wall across the Gaza borders and the sanctions against the Palestinian people, we are refusing the alliance and association with “Israel” and the United states,” Bayoumi said adding “In addition we are demanding social justice, which means a new economic philosophy based on industrial development, agricultural development, using science and technology for development that is how we can combat issues like unemployment and the tremendous gap between the wealthy and the poor. This regime has impoverished millions of Egyptians, so the government of Mubarak is the last to speak about stability and security.”

Egyptians Never to Accept Compromise, “Israel” Must Dissolve

Bayoumi highlighted that the current regime has compromised the national sovereignty of Egypt in favor of the American interests. “Let us not forget that this regime let the Egyptian army conduct maneuvers dubbed the Bright Star with the US army. We will not forget what happened in Iraq and how the (Egyptian) regime opened its airspace and the Suez canal for the US forces that attacked and occupied Iraq, this could not have happened if it were not for a regime like that of Mubarak, who was in full support of the US and “Israel”.”

He assured “The Egyptian people will never EVER accept a Zionist state in the Middle East, we are not speaking of compromises like West Bank and Gaza, and this Zionist entity must dissolve even if takes us years.”

At the end, he said “The Arab people must liberate themselves from this Zionist entity which is an agent of US and European imperialism.”

Related

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Wikileaks: "…A "hot line" set up between the MOD & Omar Soliman is now in daily use…"

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Via Friday-Lunch-Club

S E C R E T TEL AVIV SUBJECT: DEFENSE MINISTER BARAK’S DISCUSSIONS IN EGYPT FOCUS ON SHALIT, TAHDIYA, ANTI-SMUGGLING, AND IRAN

¶1. (S) Summary. Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s August 23 visit to Egypt was a success, according to MOD Arab Affairs Adviser David Hacham. Barak’s meetings with President Mubarak, Intelligence Minister Soliman, and Defense Minister Tantawi focused on reviving negotiations for the release of Corporal Shalit, the Israeli assessment of the Tahdiya (Calming) with Hamas in Gaza, and Egypt’s anti-smuggling efforts. Hacham said the Israelis were “shocked” by President Mubarak’s aged appearance; their most substantive exchanges were with Soliman….

¶3. (S) Regarding the Tahdiya, Hacham said Barak stressed that while it was not permanent, for the time being it was holding. There have been a number of violations of the ceasefire on the Gaza side, but Palestinian factions other than Hamas were responsible. Hacham said the Israelis assess that Hamas is making a serious effort to convince the other factions not to launch rockets or mortars. Israel remains concerned by Hamas’ ongoing efforts to use the Tahdiya to increase their strength, and at some point, military action will have to be put back on the table. The Israelis reluctantly admit that the Tahdiya has served to further consolidate Hamas’ grip on Gaza, but it has brought a large measure of peace and quiet to Israeli communities near Gaza.

 ¶4. (S) Turning to Egypt’s anti-smuggling efforts, Hacham said Barak had decided to praise Egypt’s performance publicly both in genuine acknowledgement of some improvements in destroying tunnels and in order to show the Egyptians that Israel was capable of praising as well as criticizing them. In private, however, Barak also pushed the Egyptians to do more, particularly in terms of stopping the smuggling well before the arms reach the Gaza border. The Israelis continue to believe that the principle smuggling routes are from the Red Sea coast across Sinai to Gaza, and Hacham complained that the Egyptians were still reluctant to tackle the entire smuggling chain.

¶5. (S) In terms of atmospherics, Hacham said the Israeli delegation was “shocked” by Mubarak’s aged appearance and slurred speech. Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however, and noted that a “hot line” set up between the MOD and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use. Hacham said he sometimes speaks to Soliman’s deputy Mohammed Ibrahim several times a day. Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated. (Note: We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman.)

¶6. (S) Iran reportedly was also on Barak’s agenda. Hacham did not provide details of the discussions, but said Barak and the Egyptian leaders agreed that Israel and Egypt have a common strategic interest in stopping the expansion of Iranian influence in the region, as well as a common view of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.

¶7. (S) Comment: Barak’s visit and especially his public praise of Egypt’s anti-smuggling efforts is evidence that MOD’s close cooperation with EGIS in negotiating the Tahdiya has resulted in a new atmosphere in Israeli-Egyptian relations. Barak’s visit was preceded by Israeli-Egyptian mil-to-mil talks in Cairo, and will be followed by a visit to Cairo by MFA Director General Aharon Abramovich next week.


Posted by G, Z, or B at 9:39 PM
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