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Why is the Egyptian regime demonizing Palestinians?

Israel/PalestineMiddle East
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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.

The Mubarak regime’s policy towards Gaza was generally repressive. It participated in Israel’s draconian siege of the enclave, underway since 2006, and was fully complicit in Israel’s brutal offensive against Gaza in 2008-9. Former Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit was standing next to his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni when she declared war on Gaza during her visit to Cairo in 2008.

Aboul Gheit went so far as to threaten to break the legs of the Palestinians of Gaza if they “encroached on Egypt’s national security” after they breached the border wall with Egypt, seeking to buy medicines and other necessary supplies in Al-Arish City. Naturally, such a repressive policy had to involve demonization of the Gaza Palestinians, painting them all as members of Hamas.

Hamas had great expectations of change after the downfall of the Mubarak regime, including the permanent opening of the Rafah Crossing and the free passage of people and goods, thus eliminating the need for the tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt. Some optimists further hoped that the efforts for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah would finally bear fruit, given that the Mubarak regime had been biased towards Fatah.

However, the transitional rule by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that took power after Mubarak’s downfall did not lift the siege on Gaza or change the Egyptian political approach to Palestine. The tunnels continued to ply their trade to compensate for the massive shortage of supplies blocked by Israel. The Rafah Crossing was partially opened for very limited periods of time, depriving 1.7 million Palestinians of the basic right of freedom of movement.

The high hopes were therefore deferred until the Egyptian presidential elections. Palestinians believed that a democratically elected president would have the power to take sovereign decisions and implement the nationalist and Islamist position of ending the blockade on the Gaza Strip, revisiting the Camp David Accords, and responding to the Palestinian Call For Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions until Israel abided by international law. Some even believed that the newly elected president’s first trip abroad would be to Gaza. Ironically, the first visit Mohamed Morsi made after his election was to Saudi Arabia, which had been hostile to the Egyptian revolution; a visit to Gaza was never in the cards.

In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood was unable to rise to the challenge of government. They came late to the January 25 revolution, seeking first to appease the Mubarak regime. They then forged a temporary alliance with the SCAF and endorsed some of its most violent actions, including the October 2011 assault on peaceful demonstrators, many of them Egyptian Copts, protesting the demolition of a church in Upper Egypt. Once in government, they lacked a clear political vision; one could have easily mistaken the president’s speeches for a Friday sermon or an address by a tribal leader.

On the home front, the Brotherhood failed to make even limited progress in realizing the demands of the January 25 revolution for bread, freedom, social justice, and human dignity. The economy nearly collapsed and security worsened. Radical Islamist Takfiri groups increased their hold in the Sinai and Israel appears to freely wander through the area, to the extent of reportedly abducting a Palestinian there this June. Despite this reality, the Gaza Palestinians are forced to pay the price of any criminal act that takes place in Sinai.

The Brotherhood’s slogans against Israel – such as “we shall march to Jerusalem in our millions” – and the United States disappeared after they came to power. Instead, it adopted a pragmatic position well to the right of the political spectrum. Pragmatism meant a commitment to international agreements, a special relationship with the U.S., loans from the International Monetary Fund, and diplomatic ties with Israel.

There was no attempt to abrogate the 1979 peace treaty nor even to put it to a popular referendum. On the contrary, a few months into his term, Morsi sent a very friendly letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres regarding the appointment of the new Egyptian ambassador to Tel Aviv. He described Peres as his “great and good friend” and expressed his “strong desire to develop the cordial ties” between the two countries. Meanwhile, the blockade against Gaza was tightened: Almost all the tunnels were shut down and the Rafah Crossing functioned at a snail’s pace.

The Morsi presidency took credit for brokering a ceasefire agreement between Palestinian factions and Israel in November 2012 but failed to intervene to hold Israel to its commitments, including lifting the blockade against Gaza. The fact that Morsi’s Egypt did not stand by Gaza during that short but ruthless war that killed more than 200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, was a bitter disappointment to the Palestinian leadership in Gaza, especially as Palestinian fighters had successfully stood their ground against the Israeli onslaught and had expected political gains as a result.

Instead, Morsi capitalized on his “victorious” mediator role to achieve his aims at home. Just three days after the war on Gaza ended he issued his notorious Constitutional Declaration giving himself powers unprecedented in Egypt’s modern history.

In short, Mubarak’s policy toward the Palestinian cause and especially toward Gaza was passed on to the Brotherhood, which did not dare challenge the crime against humanity taking place on Egypt’s border – a crime that human rights organizations and the United Nations have condemned as collective punishment with some saying it amounted to slow genocide. The victimized Palestinians were asked to be “understanding” of the transitional period that the Brotherhood needed and not to demand the impossible, as if opening the Rafah Crossing for the passage of people and goods was an impossibly heroic act.

The Egyptian military regime in power since July 3, 2013 is now demonizing everything Palestinian. The Gaza Strip is facing a far harsher blockade affecting all the crossings, including an almost complete closure of the Rafah Crossing and destruction of the tunnels. An unprecedented incitement campaign is underway in several Egyptian media outlets, especially those financed by businessmen affiliated to the Mubarak regime and some Gulf countries hostile to the January 25 revolution. Palestinians are regularly excoriated on Egyptian TV. Some commentators are gleeful over the fate awaiting Gaza’s Palestinians while others assert Hamas’s involvement in Egypt’s internal affairs and call on the Egyptian Army to launch a military attack against the Gaza Strip. Some even “accuse” Morsi of being of Palestinian origin.

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. They are regularly harassed at and deported from Egyptian airports and crossings, even if they are simply transiting to and from Gaza. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has issued no statement calling on the Egyptian government to alleviate the stifling blockade or ensure decent treatment of Palestinian passengers. On the contrary, the PLO and particularly Fatah are rejoicing over the Brotherhood’s downfall and the difficulties this will pose for Hamas. Meanwhile, the Gaza government now faces an impasse and has no idea how to respond.

There is no doubt that this chauvinistic campaign to hold Gaza responsible for all of Egypt’s ills – from the fuel shortages to terrorism in Sinai – serves the feloul (remnants) of Mubarak’s regime, who are now in full resurgence. It is very disturbing that Egypt’s progressive voices have been silent in this regard, with some notable exceptions, even though all Palestinians, at both the official and popular levels, have condemned the terrorist acts in Sinai.

Moreover, no evidence has been found of Palestinian involvement in Egypt, including Sinai. Even if there had been, the collective punishment the Egyptian authorities are applying against the Palestinians of Gaza violates international law. By contrast, Egypt did not cut diplomatic ties with Israel, threaten military intervention, nor impose any restraints on Israelis visiting Egypt despite the many Israeli crimes against Egypt since the Camp David Accords, including the killing of five Egyptian soldiers in an Israeli airstrike in 2011.

Besides, isn’t Sinai a problem of Egypt’s making? Everyone knows that Mubarak’s regime neglected the Sinai, treating its population as second-class citizens and denying them essential services even though they are Egypt’s first line of defense. Gaza is a natural extension of the Sinai Peninsula and is therefore also part of Egypt’s national security. It is vital that the valiant Egyptian revolutionaries that brought down the Mubarak regime stand up to that regime’s feloul and their counter-revolution, which is using Palestine as a scapegoat.

There is no question that the Egyptian people as a whole remain passionately committed to Palestine and its people, despite the best efforts of the feloul. This spirit was captured in the statement issued by several intellectuals and politicians protesting the media campaign targeting the Palestinian people, demanding that the government clarify “Egypt’s policy and commitments toward the Palestinian people,” and calling on the government to preserve “all the rights of Palestinians in Egypt.”

The Egypt we want and the Egypt we need is a pluralistic, democratic and free Egypt with full sovereignty over its territory from its western border with Libya to its eastern border with Palestine, an Egypt that honors the principles for which so many laid down their lives in the January 25 revolution.

This article was first published by Al Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.

Haidar Eid
About Haidar Eid

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.

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56 Responses

  1. Walid
    Walid
    August 19, 2013, 12:03 pm

    “Why is the Egyptian regime demonizing Palestinians?”

    Hamas’ Mashaal’s move to Doha may have something to do with it. In the ongoing rumble for the hearts and minds of the Arabs between Doha and Riyadh, as far as Egypt is concerned, Riyadh backing the Salafists and the military won the round and Gaza (Hamas) had sided with the loser. It’s now paying the price.

  2. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    August 19, 2013, 12:22 pm

    This seems to be a commendably objective account, particularly in its clear statement that the MB government was unable to improve lives or collect support. Moreover, with the aid of this essay and of Robert Fisk’s in today’s Independent it seems increasingly clear that we are facing a Saudi-financed programme of finally breaking Hamas and putting a 2ss in place.

  3. August 19, 2013, 1:30 pm

    I am going to copy this article and post it on pro israeli FB pages. Wonderfully sincere. Turns out MB also was pro Israel after all. But what it really means is that maintaining peace with Israel is really a vital interest of Egypt. No illusions here – they dont like us but the economic situation is so fire that they just cant efford hostilities. Wars cost money you know.

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 19, 2013, 3:11 pm

      “Turns out MB also was pro Israel after all.”

      Don’t flatter yourself, the only pro-anything for the MB is Islamic fundamentalism but it would sing any tune (including Israel’s) if it felt that this would help it achieve its vocation. It was the US that allowed it to end its 60-year exile in Egypt’s cellar and for that, it showed its gratitude by playing nice to Israel and nasty to Gaza. Fundies despise other Muslims that don’t share their views, Christians, Jews, atheists and anything else that moves. It must give you a warm feeling to aspire for the MB and friends to win in Syria and replace Assad as Israel’s neighbour.

      • August 20, 2013, 5:55 am

        All you say about MB is true about Hamas. Only Hamas was stupid enough to fight with Israel without worrying about its own population which clearly was going to suffer (and indeed is). All I wanted to point out is that MB was smarter and was not looking to fight as Hamas was and is.
        In my view Hamas belligerent actions after Israel withdrawal were the last straw (second intifada and Hezbollah reaction to our complete withdrawal from Lebanon were the begining) which caused Israeli electorate to give up on the great hopes we had after Oslo and to move sharply to the right.
        So now there is absolutely no trust that withdrawal will improve anything. On the contrary – many believe that we will get rockets at 10 km range from our hearland, our airports and they will be fired at us by various groups which will be financed by our “friends” in Iran or others. Al this at a border which is impossible to defend.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 21, 2013, 6:43 am

        “In my view Hamas belligerent actions after Israel withdrawal were the last straw (second intifada and Hezbollah reaction to our complete withdrawal from Lebanon were the begining) which caused Israeli electorate to give up on the great hopes we had after Oslo and to move sharply to the right.”

        fmlevit, a couple of corrections to what you have been told:

        1. Israel left Gaza in 2005 but it never left it alone. The seige was never lifted.

        2. Israel did not pull out of Lebanon in May 2000. It’s still occupying Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms hamlet, its Kfarshouba Heights and half of the Lebanese village of Ghajjar. in time, Hizbullah will also liberate them.

      • August 21, 2013, 5:06 pm

        You yourself do not believe this Shebaa Farms nonsence. We do not needed that but it was a complicated story involving Syria vs Lebanon dispute not Israel and when Israel wanted to withdraw completely it was not OKed by UN or something like that. I can even start repeating all the details but the end point is that it was somehow UN decision what is the line behind which Israel must withdraw and Israel did. Barak was very particular to get an official approval and agreement that it was a full withdrawal. Hizboullah is just using this as pretext to keep tension on. All these unfair arguments make me sick. That is exactly why we do not believe you, people. We will withdraw to some mutually agreed line and some group will decide that NO, it is not enough
        there is some half village or what ever and that will justify accumulating 80000 (eighty thousand) missiles like Hezboulah has now to get ready to bomb all the civilians because of this half a village which everyone else agree that is not a problem.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 21, 2013, 9:05 pm

        You yourself do not believe this Shebaa Farms nonsence.

        Why not? Israel refuses to provide the maps fo it’s landmines, as it was required to under the ceasefire agreement.

        it was a complicated story involving Syria vs Lebanon dispute not Israel

        Rubbish. There is no dispute, Syria says it belongs to Lebanon and there is still the matter of Israel’s land mines.

        Barak was very particular to get an official approval and agreement that it was a full withdrawal.

        No, the UN has not declared it a full withdrawal. What’s more, is that the withdrawal is only according to the blue line, not the border.

        It makes me sick how Israel refuse to stick to any agreement they sign. I am sure Israel would complain if Hezbollah had mined Northern Israel and refused to provide maps.

        We will withdraw to some mutually agreed line and some group will decide that NO, it is not enough
        there is some half village or what ever and that will justify accumulating 80000 (eighty thousand) missiles like Hezboulah has now to get ready to bomb all the civilians because of this half a village which everyone else agree that is not a problem.

        You have no justification for your wining. Israel is the aggressor in the conflict and has ten times as many missiles and far deadlier. And Israel are the masters of changing the goal posts after signing agreements.

        You people are pathetic, which is why no one trusts or believes a thin you say.

      • Ziv Galant
        Ziv Galant
        August 21, 2013, 12:36 pm

        Aspire for Assad to be replaced? What are you talking about? While clearly not being friendly to Israel, Assad had a stern “keeping the status queue” policy with Israel, not not ones since the 1973 war has Israel and Syria engaged in combat, most Israelies are dreading what could happen to their regions stability if Muslim extremists take over Syria ,compare to them Assad is considered a moderate leader in Israel, and most people favor him in the ongoing civil war

    • just
      just
      August 19, 2013, 11:44 pm

      fnlevit, what do you do for a living?

      • MLE
        MLE
        August 20, 2013, 2:32 pm

        He’s an Internet hasbraist. Couldn’t you tell?

    • ziusudra
      ziusudra
      August 21, 2013, 3:03 am

      Greetings fnlevit,
      Your zio braggadacio shows clearly.
      Zionistan is a major ally of the US
      & winning the spoils.
      According to Hegel:
      Thesis, antithesis, Synthesis.,
      The globe doesn’t have that systhesis yet.
      We remember all Empires of the past,
      when they finally lose out, they pay the
      price. It took Rome 400 yrs to fall, but
      it did. So will Zionistan & the US.
      Political winds change & Zionistan is but
      a vassal of the US. The US will sacrifice Z.
      before it tumbles.
      You are a fool to believe that a puny entity
      can fight on its Turf just because it has the
      Military might. Show me a precedence in
      history where it succeeded.
      …. Smart People in Zionistan……
      Show me your smarts of the past before the
      Kharzarians & Sephardi miscegenized with
      the Euros after the 12th C.?
      Pssst, who’s filling the the unprofessional Jobs
      in Zionistan & the US? Normal working stiff
      Israelis!!
      ziusudra

  4. American
    American
    August 19, 2013, 2:01 pm

    ”The Egypt we want and the Egypt we need is a pluralistic, democratic and free Egypt with full sovereignty over its territory from its western border with Libya to its eastern border with Palestine, an Egypt that honors the principles for which so many laid down their lives in the January 25 revolution.”

    (groan..sigh..) ….. so how are Egyptians or Palestines going to get that? Maybe Egyptians better start thinking outside the box of popular revolts that end up killing everyone but the ones that need killing. If I were a revolutionary up against a ‘elite’ machine I think I’d be thinking about a way to ‘permanently’ remove the individual cogs in the machine that keep it running first.

    • OlegR
      OlegR
      August 20, 2013, 9:17 am

      /Maybe Egyptians better start thinking outside the box of popular revolts that end up killing everyone but the ones that need killing. /
      Once you start deciding who needs killing and who isn’t you have already made yourself a monster.

      / If I were a revolutionary up against a ‘elite’ machine I think I’d be thinking about a way to ‘permanently’ remove the individual cogs in the machine that keep it running first./
      The Russians did just that with their aristocratic elites in the aftermath of the revolution. Didn’t work out so well in the end.

      And if you refer to individual terrorism then the eser’s and the anarchists tried that before also didn’t work.
      In one occasion removing a cog in the machine sparked a spectacular act of manslaughter known as WWI.

      • American
        American
        August 20, 2013, 1:59 pm

        OlegR says:
        August 20, 2013 at 9:17 am
        /Maybe Egyptians better start thinking outside the box of popular revolts that end up killing everyone but the ones that need killing. /

        Once you start deciding who needs killing and who isn’t you have already made yourself a monster.>>>>>

        Thanks dumbo……for invertently admitting that Israel is a monster wth it’s ‘Assassination Programs’.

        LOL….hypocrites are so easy.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        August 21, 2013, 4:57 am

        So are you buddy , American the couch executioner .

  5. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 19, 2013, 2:20 pm

    No matter who gains power in any Arab state, they will always be drones of Israel via the USA/AIPAC. It’s been that way for many decades; I see no change in sight. The last thing the USA, any Arab regime, or Israel, care about is the Arab Street. Why should it be different over there than it is the USA, where Dick and Jane are treated like open purses and blood donors for Israel?

    • August 19, 2013, 3:25 pm

      Let me repeat again – US aid to Israel is $3.1 bln a year. It is strictly military and MUST BE SPENT in US i.e. to purchase US MILITARY EQUIPEMENT, supporting emplyment, R&D etc. (apart from rare case where special “permission” is needed by US legislature). To understad how much it is -Israel annual budget is around $100 bln. So it is 3%. By the way – the sign % means per cent, one part of a hundredth … These are important 3 parts of a hundredth of our budget but still smal part. And please tell Dick and Jane that it is money well spent. Would cost them much much more to develope all those improvements in US equipement which our Ziojewish minds managed to think off and share back to your guys. Anythin else to calm you down?

      • chinese box
        chinese box
        August 19, 2013, 7:53 pm

        “And please tell Dick and Jane that it is money well spent. ”

        This is an oft repeated claim. Sure, it does provide some employment, I suppose. But I would assume it also promotes rent-seeking behavior and cozy triangles in the US firms that supply Israel, the US gov’t, and Israel itself. Also I would ask what the opportunity cost of propping up the the “defense” industry (as opposed to some other sector/activity) in this manner is for the US, and what exactly is the benefit of taking the long way home by circulating this aid money through Israel back into the US if the US gov’t was presumably going to spend it on something regardless?

      • August 20, 2013, 3:30 pm

        US arms trade is around $9 bln a year, US defence budget is around $720 bln. All such expenditures “promote rent-seeking behavior and cozy triangles” which you mention. And no doubt the aid is there. All I was saying was
        1. It was not at the level mentioned in some of the posts ($20 bln)
        2. It is not one way street (like with say Egypt). Here are several qoutes :

        ” A major purchaser and user of U.S. military equipment, Israel is also involved in the joint development of military technology “. “The U.S. and Israel are cooperating closely in areas such as missile defense technology, the Joint Strike Fighter, and in training exercises such as Juniper Stallion…our bilateral relationship and this dialogue is so critical because Israel lives at the focal point of some of the biggest security challenges facing the free world: violent extremism, the proliferation of nuclear technologies, and the dilemmas posed by adversarial and failed states.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_%E2%80%93_United_States_military_relations

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        August 19, 2013, 8:51 pm

        US aid was rather more than $3.1bn last year, a few hundred million more due to Israeli demands from ‘their’ congresscritters. There’s also the fact that it isn’t doled out in chunks, but banked and earning interest for Israel, not US taxpayers, until it is spent. There’s further billions annually in loan guarantees. And what about the reverse engineering Israel practices in order to steal the technology – then selling it on to countries the US bars from buying such tech? How many millions do you and yours steal in that way?
        The $3.4bn or so in military aid represents some $500 for every single Israeli. No other developed country receives ‘aid’ of that nature, or amount.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 20, 2013, 5:35 am

        @ Bumblebye

        Total Aid to Israel per year is minimally $20 Billion. Much of it is piecemeal, and/or disguised/under the table, so to say: http://thebilzerianreport.com/how-much-does-israel-cost-the-average-american/

      • August 20, 2013, 6:01 am

        Guarantees are not grants — not one penny of U.S. government funds are transferred to Israel. The U.S. simply cosigns loans for Israel that give bankers confidence to lend Israel money at more favorable terms: lower interest rates and longer repayment periods — as much as 30 years instead of only five to seven. These loan guarantees have no effect on domestic programs or guarantees. Moreover, they have no impact on U.S. taxpayers unless Israel were to default on its loans, something it has never done. In addition, much of the money Israel borrows is spent in the United States to purchase American goods.
        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/loan_guarantees.html

      • talknic
        talknic
        August 20, 2013, 7:05 pm

        fnlevit ” not one penny of U.S. government funds are transferred to Israel. ..”

        Israel gets the goods. FREE!

        ” …. they have no impact on U.S. taxpayers .”

        It’s US tax payers money paying for goods Israel takes home

        “In addition, much of the money Israel borrows is spent in the United States to purchase American goods.”

        Which Israel takes home.

        IOW The US tax payer pays for arms for Israel.

      • radkelt
        radkelt
        August 20, 2013, 8:22 pm

        ” THE STRATEGIC FUNCTIONS OF U.S. AID TO ISRAEL
        By Stephen Zunes

        Dr. Zunes is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at the University of San Francisco

        Since 1992, the U.S. has offered Israel an additional $2 billion annually in loan guarantees. Congressional researchers have disclosed that between 1974 and 1989, $16.4 billion in U.S. military loans were converted to grants and that this was the understanding from the beginning. Indeed, all past U.S. loans to Israel have eventually been forgiven by Congress, which has undoubtedly helped Israel’s often-touted claim that they have never defaulted on a U.S. government loan.”
        http://www.wrmea.com

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 19, 2013, 8:51 pm

        @ fnlevit
        Caveat. 75% of military aid to Israel must be spent on US military equipment, the rest goes to fund direct competition with US industrial military complex, plus the interest, and it remains the biggest single chunk of US foreign aid, and along with military aid to Egypt, a good 20% of all US foreign aid. And we all know aid to Egypt is a form of aid to Israel. It’s not money well spent when Americans consider the wreck of our soft power due to our rubber-stamping of Israel, and you can add in our War on Iraq, and soon Iran, all for Israel, not Dick and Jane, nor the Arab masses either.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 20, 2013, 4:33 am

        Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $118 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance. Strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel receiving benefits not available to any other countries; for example, Israel can use some U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers. In addition, U.S. assistance earmarked for Israel is generally delivered in the first 30 days of the fiscal year, while most other recipients normally receive aid in installments. In addition to receiving U.S. State Department- administered foreign assistance, Israel also receives funds from annual defense appropriations bills for rocket and missile defense programs. Israel pursues some of those programs jointly with the United States.
        In 2007, the Bush Administration and the Israeli government agreed to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package spanning from Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 to Fiscal Year 2018. During his March 2013 visit to Israel, President Obama pledged that the United States would continue to provide Israel with multi-year commitments of military aid subject to the approval of Congress. P.L. 113- 6, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (informally referred to as the full-year Continuing Resolution or CR) provides the full FY2013 Administration request for Israel of $3.1 billion in FMF, of which Israel is permitted $815.3 million in Off-Shore Procurement. The Act also provides for $479.736 million in joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs, including $211 million for Iron Dome, $149.679 million for David’s Sling, $74.692 million for Arrow III, and $44.365 million for Arrow II.
        For FY2014, the Administration is requesting $3.1 billion in FMF to Israel and $15 million in Migration and Refugee Assistance. The Missile Defense Agency’s FY2014 request for Israeli Cooperative Programs is $95.782 million, including $52.607 million for Arrow III, $32.512 million for David’s Sling, and $10.663 million for Arrow II. The Department of Defense also is requesting $220 million in FY2014 Procurement, Defense-wide funds for Iron Dome.
        Recent legislation on U.S. foreign assistance to Israel proposed in the 113th Congress includes:
        • H.R. 938 (S. 462), the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013—a bill that would, among other things, exempt Israel from regulations that require it to obtain U.S. permission to sell some American-controlled technology to third countries. The bill also would extend the authorization of U.S.-Israeli energy cooperation, among other things.
        • H.R. 1130, the Iron Dome Support Act— a bill that would authorize the procurement of the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system.

        Congressional research Service Report for 2013: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

      • just
        just
        August 19, 2013, 11:53 pm

        It’s just a piddly bunch of pennies to your enterprise.

        Got it fnlevit. I’m sure that you’ll celebrate when it disappears, eh?

        oh, and by the way, “Dick and Jane” are waking up. If you are an Israeli, the US makes possible your free health care, your war machine that kills innocents, your “innocence” @ the UN, your “buy” of our Congress, your theft of the Palestinians lands, resources and lives.

        I could go on and on, but you are still on your “pink cloud” of Ziodrama.

        btw fnlevit, what do you do for a living?

      • August 20, 2013, 3:52 pm

        Every time you get personal I win. Oh, yes, what do I do? Well I with my collegues educate all those brilliant minds which make this country so special and attractive that they call it a Start up Nation and compete to buy our inventions.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 20, 2013, 5:48 pm

        “Every time you get personal I win. ”

        Childish. You can’t “win” on moral grounds, but you can strut and boast about Israel’s technical accomplishments,which personally, I have no wish to deny. I don’t know to what extent Israel deserves praise, but of course there are smart people there. The policies towards the Palestinians are neither smart nor moral, but then nobody ever said smart people were necessarily moral people.

      • American
        American
        August 20, 2013, 6:07 pm

        Could everyone just please the ignore the lttle fnlevit guy and not clutter up wth response to this nitwit?
        We seem to be cluttered lately wth the uneducated teenage hasbara bots who just pull stuff out of the sky and throw it on threads—-like his claim upstream that US arms sales are 9 B a year..they are 28 to 31 B a year—-Isr’s are 7 B a year…something that would have taken a grown-up 120 seconds to find in the many arms data bases.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 20, 2013, 6:17 pm

        Well I with my collegues educate all those brilliant minds which make this country so special and attractive that they call it a Start up Nation and compete to buy our inventions.

        There’s nothing special about your country. As the author of ‘Startup Nation’ conceded, Israel was in an economic black hole before the migration of several thousand Russian-trained scientists and engineers. Russian taxpayers laid out the resources and brainpower to teach and train those people; Israel reaps the benefits.

        If Israel ever has to pay its own way in the world, it will go the way of Greece.

      • talknic
        talknic
        August 20, 2013, 7:11 pm

        fnlevit “I with my collegues educate all those brilliant minds which make this country so special and attractive that they call it a Start up Nation and compete to buy our inventions”

        Very funny, especially coming from someone who tries to justify US funding Israel by saying it doesn’t effect US tax payers

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 20, 2013, 8:33 pm

        fnlevit:

        Every time you get personal I win. Oh, yes, what do I do? Well I with my collegues educate all those brilliant minds which make this country so special and attractive that they call it a Start up Nation and compete to buy our inventions.

        This is curious:

        “National IQ Scores – Country Rankings”

        http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

        See Israel’s rank.

        Any thoughts?

        Also see this:

        Wikipedia: Education Index

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_Index

        Israel is producing quite a bit of technological innovation — but so too are quite a few other nations that wisely maintain a much lower and more quiet profile on the world stage.

        Some Israeli boasting about its achievements has the ring of ethnic triumphalism at best, raw racism at worst.

      • August 22, 2013, 8:47 am

        All the numbers are from here
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry
        And yeah, you are right, grown up could confirm my numberd check in no time while you apparently cant.

      • Qualtrough
        Qualtrough
        August 20, 2013, 3:28 am

        If this was the pittance you suggest, Israel would not be fighting so hard every year to not only keep it, but to increase it. In any case, thank you for so clearly describing this as the corporate welfare scheme that it is, which provides anothe reason for ending it.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 20, 2013, 4:24 am

        @ fnlevit

        Top Israeli official said US taxpayers pay more to Israeli Defense Budget that Israelis:
        http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2012/09/17/us-taxpayers-paid-more-to-israeli-defense-budget-than-israelis/

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 20, 2013, 4:37 am

        I meant to say US taxpayers pay more for Israeli Defense than Israelis do.

  6. xanadou
    xanadou
    August 19, 2013, 4:20 pm

    Between this article and the recently published one in Debkafile:
    http://debka.com/article/23199/New-Centcom-underground-war-room-in-Amman-for-US-intervention-in-Syria
    the increased and confident noise about greater Israel: from the Euphrates to the Nile, makes sense.

  7. piotr
    piotr
    August 19, 2013, 6:53 pm

    I once wrote about “morality versus ethics” division which makes it hard to conduct discussions. Item: “It must give you a warm feeling to aspire for the MB and friends to win in Syria and replace Assad as Israel’s neighbour.”

    MB to its secular detractors is like masonry to a certain type of Catholic fascists — a secretive demonic force. All too often, the hallmark of “demonic forces” is that they are being killed. Supporters of Morsi (or legitimacy of Morsi, many do not support Morsi the politician) are declared to be “terrorists” and duly killed as such. As the hysteria increases, the body count approaches 1000.

    One does not need to study political programs etc. to consistently oppose coups and terrorists. At this time, Gulf monarchs are funding both the coup in Egypt and the terrorists in Syria. In part, their hatred of MB stems from the role of MB as opposition in their own countries. However, it is quite clear that MB in different countries consists of different people and it is hard to see symptoms of international coordination.

    “Seculars” may be fascists or have ugly inclinations. For example, after a Russian athlete publicly defended Russian law disallowing public advocacy of “gay lifestyle”, an Italian politician said that she should be “kidnapped and raped”. Both issued apologies later, but make no mistake: tolerance can be a good slogan to justify mass slaughter.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 19, 2013, 10:19 pm

      ‘I once wrote about “morality versus ethics” division’

      I have never understood why people want to make a distinction between morality and ethics. Even the fine scholarly distinction between morality as “right and wrong” and ethics as “how should we live” seems pointless, since there is so much overlap between the concepts.

  8. Donald
    Donald
    August 19, 2013, 8:22 pm

    “MB to its secular detractors is like masonry to a certain type of Catholic fascists — a secretive demonic force. All too often, the hallmark of “demonic forces” is that they are being killed.”

    “One does not need to study political programs etc. to consistently oppose coups and terrorists.”

    ““Seculars” may be fascists or have ugly inclinations”

    “make no mistake: tolerance can be a good slogan to justify mass slaughter.”
    ——————————————————————-
    That was a great post, piotr. I almost copied the whole thing.

    Anyway, anyone familiar with Western Islamophobia amongst “liberals” should know what you’re talking about. There’s no reason to think it would be limited to Westerners. It’s an unfortunate human trait–first you demonize your enemies (who in fact might be a group that really is doing bad things) and then you have a reason to use violence in “self defense”, but if you’re not careful, pretty soon you’re justifying or at the very least excusing mass murder in the name of all that is good and holy (so to speak). And secularists, or some of them, are as quick to do this as anyone.

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 19, 2013, 10:57 pm

      “It’s an unfortunate human trait–first you demonize your enemies (who in fact might be a group that really is doing bad things) and then you have a reason to use violence in “self defense”, but if you’re not careful, pretty soon you’re justifying or at the very least excusing mass murder in the name of all that is good and holy (so to speak). ”

      Egyptian state TV has been calling the ongoing military campaign against the MB as “Egypt Fighting Terrorism”. Makes you think that Israel must have sent in help with the PR.

      Margaret Atwood in describing what Israel was doing to the Palestinians said just about the same thing:

      Once you start calling other people by vermin names such as “vipers,” you imply their extermination. To name just one example, such labels were applied wholesale to the Tutsis months before the Rwanda massacre began. Studies have shown that ordinary people can be led to commit horrors if told they’ll be acting in self-defense, for “victory,” or to benefit mankind.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        August 20, 2013, 3:20 pm

        . http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1c5f1352-79d5-11e2-9015-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2MqB5G9G3

        “I recalled a conversation in 1991 with Professor Stanley Cohen, the eminent sociologist who died last month. We were discussing IDF human rights abuses, which Cohen worked tirelessly to expose. He turned to talk instead about his profound concern for young Israelis, specifically the brutalising effect that militarisation was having, and would have, on successive generations of young men and women. At the time his concerns seemed misdirected; on reflection what struck me was their prophetic accuracy”

  9. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 19, 2013, 9:10 pm

    Rachel Maddow just delivered a piece arguing apropos Glen Greenwald/Snowden that “journalism is not terrorism.” And by striking at Greenwald, the media just enhances his POV. So why doesn’t she ever talk about the plight of the Palestinians, Israel, and the US ‘special relationship’?

  10. gingershot
    gingershot
    August 19, 2013, 9:37 pm

    The brilliant Hanne Zobai weighs in: ‘ “Al-Sisi must be overthrown immediately’

    ‘Israeli-Palestinian MK Hannen Zoabi: Al-Sisi must be overthrown’

    (MK Hannen Zoabi was arrested on Gaza Flotilla/Mavi Marmara – listen to the below!)

    As reported at YNET news
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4419747,00.html

    “We are talking about a very serious deterioration of the Egyptian revolution,”said MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad), who reiterated the fact that the incentive behind the revolution was to create a democracy. “The army is massacring civilians and backed by the legitimacy of a large part of the Egyptian street.”

    The Balad MK added, “The Muslim Brotherhood came to power in a democratic way, but they did not internalize the principles of the revolution and did not act according to them. Thus came the popular rage which gave legitimacy to the military. I am against their insistence to control. They should have let go of the government before it came to bloodshed.”

    Zoabi’s solution is simple, “Al-Sisi must be overthrown immediately and the military and police personnel responsible for the killing and slaughter, prosecuted. Morsi does not need to be returned to power, but the tasks of the revolution and preparing for elections must be continued.”

  11. just
    just
    August 19, 2013, 10:58 pm

    It’s impossible not to see the collective hands of the US, Israel and the Egyptian military mass murderers all over this horror. One has to be willfully blind.

    The Palestinians are blamed, the Egyptian people suffer and mourn their dead– democracy dies a premature death. It’s a ‘late-term abortion’, to use the moniker that warmongers who shroud themselves in religiosity and piety have coined.

    Nice touch/not.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 20, 2013, 3:28 pm

      The Egyptian people are heading in the direction of
      Gaza style living by the looks of things. Things are already bad in Egypt but they can get a lot worse.

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      August 20, 2013, 7:29 pm

      Brings to mind Condoleeza and her “birth pangs of Democracy” …..

  12. just
    just
    August 19, 2013, 11:30 pm

    “Why is the Egyptian regime demonizing Palestinians?”

    Because the Egyptian military massacrists are following the lead of the US and Israel– the conjoined ‘Pied Pipers’.

    Or, just because they “can”– they will hold power as long as it suits them and their agenda.

    Power and $$$$$ and an obstinate refusal to look in the mirror (much less walk a meter/yard/foot/inch/centimeter in somebody else’s shoes.) Same old, same old.

  13. Truthbug
    Truthbug
    August 20, 2013, 8:08 am

    I may have missed it, but did the author answer the question posed in the title?

  14. American
    American
    August 20, 2013, 11:13 am

    Why is the Egyptian regime demonizing Palestines? (Hamas)

    Let’s try this theory.

    Wthout Hamas’s resistence, unequal to Israel’s military as it is, it is likely that Palestine leadership would have capitulated to US-Isr and given away too much of the farm to Israel long ago. Hamas has kept it a conflict, otherwise Isr would have quietly rolled over Palestine wthout as much world attention to Israel’s occupation and land grabs. And the pounding Isr gives Gaza because of Hamas keeps the ME street everywhere outraged.

    So what party currently ‘assisting’ or supporting Egypt’s new regime besides Israel might have a reason to want Hamas taken out of the equation in order to force a I/P settlement, any kind of settlement at all, whether entirely ‘fair’ to Palestine or not?
    I think it’s possible that the Saud thronedom might see the removal of Hamas as a help in forcing an end to I/P and getting a settlement. It appears to me that the Sauds are very ,very spooked by the unrest in the ME, which I/P contributes to—–Iraq stll a bloody mess, Lybia, Barhain, the Arab Springs, Iran, their Sunni revolt effort in Syria failing.
    So I wouldnt discount the idea of Saud influence -thru Egypt–in setting up Hamas as a group that has to be removed to settle I/P—a I/P settlement gettng rid of at least one thorn in the Saudi paw–in their efforts and need to keep the old status quo and their kingdom secure.

  15. mcohen
    mcohen
    August 20, 2013, 6:59 pm

    Why ,because,why,because,why ,because

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_2012_Sinai_attack

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 21, 2013, 8:59 pm

      Why ,because,why,because,why ,because

      And the perpetrators were never identified as Palestinians or Hamas. Hamas had nothing to gain from this attack. Only Israel did.

  16. JustJessetr
    JustJessetr
    August 22, 2013, 11:14 pm

    Thank you to Mr. Eid for saying what we’ve known all along: Israel is not the only, nor even the worst, offender of Palestinian rights. And by way of implication, that Israel is not the cause of all it’s neighbor’s problems. Rather they cause enough of their own (dictatorships, political-Islamofascism, religious hatred) to deal with. Though it’s telling that 90% of the comments here go right ahead and bash Israel anyway.

    And if Saudi Arabia wants to push Hamas out to somehow influence the birth of a 2SS, well, Saudi Arabia is finally doing something right. Maybe it’ll stop funding Wahabbi Islam centers next.

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