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Category Archives: Egypt
U.S. officials have announced that a chunk of the $1.3 billion in annual aid delivered to the Egyptian military will be suspended. In response, Israeli officials have cried foul, and say that they are worried about the impact the move will have on the peace treaty with Egypt. But a close look at the announcement reveals that Israel has little reason to worry.
The furor over the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria has overshadowed disturbing events to the south, as Egypt’s generals wage a quiet war of attrition against the Hamas leadership in Gaza. And, as ever, Israel is far from an innocent bystander. Above, an empty tunnel connecting Egypt and Gaza.
With the window on the Two State solution already closed, the Three State solution seems absurd. After the laughter subsides, though, take a look at the geopolitics in the evolving Middle East.
Two Canadian citizens who were imprisoned by Egyptian security forces last month have now launched a hunger strike to protest their detention.
Containment allows Israel to keep everything it has taken in Jerusalem and the West Bank – with more to come — Marc Ellis, at Mondo
Canadian citizens John Greyson and Tarek Loubhani remain locked up in Egyptian jail, and it remains unclear when they will be released. The pair had planned to go to Gaza via Egypt to work on an academic and medical project in partnership with al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and Greyson had planned to conduct research in Gaza for a film project. The two were taken into custody by Egyptian police last week. Supporters of the two men are working hard to get them released.
Several hundred Egyptians and Egyptian-Americans hit the streets of Washington DC yesterday to show their support for General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and the regime that overthrew the elected President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup on July 3. The rally took on a festive atmosphere, with demonstrators hailing Sisi as their hero, and chanting against the “terrorist” Muslim Brotherhood and the man simultaneously funding them and receiving their millions: Barack Obama. The protesters also claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal.
Gaza Witnesses: Israeli navy fires at Gaza fishing boats GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 Aug — Israel’s navy opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the northern coast of Gaza on Tuesday, witnesses said. Israeli ships fired several shells at the boats, … Continue reading
European and foreign citizenship has become a dream for the people of Gaza, who are suffering while traveling from or arriving to the Gaza-Egypt border. Foreign citizenship has become all the more coveted in the wake of Egyptian restrictions at the Rafah border, which have intensified in recent days.
Israel and AIPAC are working hard to save Western aid to Egypt. The lobbying comes as reports emerge about the Obama administration potentially cutting off some aid to the Egyptian armed forces. But any suspension of aid this year would be largely symbolic: the vast majority of the $1.3 billion in annual military aid has already been disbursed. The real question is whether the full package of U.S. military aid will be disbursed next year.
Can President Obama’s secret aid plan and Europe’s constructive engagement trump the will of alliance between Israel and Middle Easter dictators? Stay tuned – with little hope.
Palestinians know that if Cairo sneezes then Palestine, especially Gaza, is first to get the flu. Indeed, Gaza often serves as a tool of regime policy, as was the case during the Mubarak years and during the short-lived government led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, and is still the case with the current regime since July 2013. Once again, the Palestinians have become the target of the Egyptian authorities’ security complex: They are the weakest link in the Arab chain and have no strong government to represent them.
When we get to the last person standing the challenge is to survive. In a war of survival every ethical code is suspended – on all sides. Right now Egypt’s situation is worse than civil war where sides are clearly delineated. On the streets no one knows which side the other is on. Chaos is the result.
The intrigue grows in Egypt. And the clock is ticking. The squares are still full. Muslim Brotherhood officials remain in jail or on the run. The 15 day charging period for former President Morsi is coming to an end. This raises another issue about formers. What to do with ex-Presidents who have been ousted by military coups?
There he said it, Secretary of States John Kerry, commenting on the Egyptian coup: “The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people. The military did not take over, to the best of our judgment – so far.” Where did Kerry make his pronouncement? In another “democratic” country run by the military with the help of US aid – Pakistan.
Secretary of State John Kerry actually believes that this latest iteration of the decades-old industry known as the “peace process” might really succeed. But unfortunately for him, Kerry’s political calculations are about to run aground on the unforgiving shoals of political reality. These talks are doomed to the same failure as the 22 years of failed diplomacy that precedes them.
With Egypt on the brink we continue to learn a lot about Egypt and ourselves. Yesterday the Obama administration decided to call it a day on whether the ouster of the democratically elected president of Egypt was a coup or not. The Obama administration decided not to decide.
Vigilantism is American as apple pie but is found far from our shores as well. The Egyptian army is vigilante behavior – organized. The Muslim Brotherhood isn’t above vigilantism either.
Now that the Egyptian army and security services have seized power from the elected Muslim Brotherhood government, the punishment of Palestinians has begun in earnest. While Palestinians are detained or deported en masse at Cairo International Airport, hundreds have been stranded at the Rafah Crossing, which was recently closed by the Egyptian army, compounding a deepening fuel and food crisis. Above, a picture taken today of Palestinian kids waiting at the Rafah Crossing.
The reality is that the post-Mubarak era is looking more like the pre-Mubarak era that crystallized in the Mubarak era. Whether in the post-Mubarak Mubarak-like era there will be less repression and more freedom is yet to be seen. So far – not so good. Under martial law, on the brink of civil war, the Presidential elections are a horizon that seems suspended in the distance. How much blood will be shed in the interim and what that bloodshed will mean for the future of Egypt is the great unknown.
In response to the ongoing news out of Egypt, author Joyce Carol Oates tweeted a rhetorical question about whether the country’s “predominant religion”, Islam, is responsible for the rate of sexual harassment and rape.
Though yesterday’s debate in the American press yesterday was about whether the removal of President Morsi was a military coup, the facts on the ground point to an even more troubling state of affairs. Egypt is under martial law.
American law stipulates that foreign aid is cut-off in the event of a military coup–but in the case of Egypt, that won’t happen. Too much is at stake for U.S. elite interests–namely Israel, the Suez Canal and influence in the Middle East–for a military aid cut-off to actually go through. In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry already signed off on $1.3 billion in aid to the Egyptian armed forces this year. Above, Egyptian protesters celebrate after Mohamed Morsi was deposed from power.
Until last week the Arab world’s position on Israeli borders was firm. Then Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Middle East and the Arab League reversed its stance on settlements, backing “land swaps” between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.