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13 September 2011

New Phase of Egypt-Israel Relations

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By Dr. Abdul Ruff

For many years now both Israel and Egypt, under able terror guidance from USA and Europe, have crippled Palestinian economy and security by blockades and incessant terror attacks. Although Egypt has not killed as many Palestinians as Israel has, they have enormously helped Israel in its massacres through blockades, crippling Palestine economy and harming genuine interest of besieged people.

Relations between Zionist regime and post-Mubarak Egypt governed by military interim regime with a seemingly new foreign policy have been strained. Under Mubarak, ties between the two nations had been stable after a history of conflict. But Mubarak's ousting in a popular uprising has sparked fears among Israeli officials that a less amenable government could take charge in Cairo.

The latest violence began when Israeli gunmen attacked buses near the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, killing eight Egyptian people. Egyptian officials say Israeli forces chased what Tel-Aviv says as the “suspected militants” across the border, and a number of people were killed - including the policemen. Cairo said it regarded the attack as a breach of the 1979 peace treaty between the two nations, and blamed Israel for lax border controls. And, recently, hundreds of Egyptians protested outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo overnight, burning the Israeli flag and demanding that the Israeli ambassador be expelled from the country. Some protesters carried pictures of the late Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, known for his open anti-Israeli stance. As the numbers of protesters grew outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo, the chants grew louder. Protesters called for the embassy to be closed and the ambassador expelled. They burned the Israeli flag and tore down the metal barriers at the entrance of the embassy. Such scenes were unheard-of during the Mubarak era. Security is tight around the embassy, two military vehicles could be seen in front of the building, and armored emergency vehicles were also at the scene.

On last Friday, in Egypt's second city, Alexandria, a protester managed to take down the Israeli flag from the consulate there and replaced it with Egyptian and Palestinian flags. After the initial Eilat attack, Israel expressed concern about security in the Sinai Peninsula and said Palestinian attackers had reached Eilat after entering Egypt from Gaza and traveling through the Sinai desert. But the Egyptian cabinet issued a statement denying it had lost control of the Sinai and demanding an apology from the Israeli leadership over "the sad and hasty remarks about Egypt".

By protesting outside the embassy “we're sending them a clear message. This is not Mubarak's Egypt anymore. If you kill our soldiers, there will be consequences." This the voice of new Egypt!

Egypt quickly dismissed Israeli ambassador and withdrew its ambassador to Israel and also freezed all military ties with Israel forthwith in protest at the deaths of five policemen, reportedly shot by Israeli forces on August 17. It is the first time in a decade that Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador. It marks a sharp escalation in tensions between Israel and Egypt. The 30-year-old peace treaty was already being tested after the long-time Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office earlier this year.

Many Egyptians say they don't want any ties with Israel. Israel is only interested in a subservient Egypt, not a free Egypt. Cairo held Israel politically and legally responsible, and demanded an investigation and an apology. Israel has promised to investigate the deaths, amid claims that Israeli forces killed the officers while chasing suspected Palestinian militants. Cairo’s action will stay until they are notified about the results of an investigation by the Israeli authorities.

And Israel sys the Sinai desert region of Egypt has become increasingly lawless since Mubarak was ousted, with a rise in militant activity inspired by al-Qaeda. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev warned there had been an "erosion of law and order in some parts of Sinai in the last few weeks. He says Israel and Egypt have a common interest in the border remaining quiet and not allowing extremist elements to establish a platform in Sinai. "I understand that the Egyptians have no interest whatsoever in once again extremist elements escalating violence along the border."

Israel feels more and more isolated because of its own making. Already Turkey has warned Israel against arrogance against Palestinians and also sought apology for its attack on Turkish aid ship for Gaza with essentials. Israeli aircrafts have since repeatedly attacked targets in the Gaza Strip, killing and wounding many. Israel's 'social protests' rattle Netanyahu government. Demanding change, they were fed up with the ruling elite and said their government was no longer listening to its people. After Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia Syria and Libya, now the “uprisings” have penetrated the iron walls of fascist Israel as well.

An Observation

There is a great deal of concern about the spontaneous spiraling but natural anti-Israel sentiments gripping Egypt. Egyptian military regime, now controlled by USA, is being bullied by Israel through Washington to tae punitive steps against the anti-Israeli Egyptians. So, more than 100 Egyptians have been detained by security forces investigating this past weekend’s storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The re-instating of the emergency laws in Egypt that were symbolic of former president Hosni Mubarak’s repression of the people and a key target for demonstrators who brought down his regime does not indicate any re shift in Egyptian policy.

So far, Israel does not treat Palestine as a sovereign state and does not consider the people of Palestine as human beings requiring human status. But the Israeli rogues look at the besieged Palestinians as a threat to its continued occupation of Palestine lands.

Israel has exploited the divisions among Arabs along Sunni-Shii'a lines and the US weakness agaisnt Islam to its own terror advantage and ongoing global state terror wars by USA has benefited Tel- Aviv greatly in crushing Palestinians further. But now the USA is slowly changing as much as Turkey has been and as the time is also changing in favor of Palestine and Israel is getting more and more isolated. Only a new Palestine policy by Egypt can help the Zionist regime with fascist mentality to survive. It is not a warning exactly, but a firm persuasion move.

Obviously, then, Zionist must infuse some positive thinking into its core policy and accordingly correct its anti-Arab and anti-Palestine attitude in favor a constructive diplomacy and establishment of Palestine state.

Of course, Israel has choice: it could accommodate the legitimate dreams for a home land to live in peace; or, it could actively pursue a make shift policy to resettle themselves in USA or Europe where the Jews feel pretty safe - after all the west the safe sanctuary for all state terrorists and international criminals.

The issue here is not why Israel finds itself isolated, but rather how better Egypt could serve the Palestinian cause by a suitable foreign policy - more assertive and forthright with Israel and more humane toward the besieged Palestine Muslims. More importantly, Cairo should have the courage to withstand the US pressure tactics to promote Israeli fascism in the region by killing Palestinians and boldly stand behind the Palestinians. That is exactly what the Egyptians want and Americans do not!

Obviously, Egyptian regime will want what its people want - the popular demand to free Palestinians!

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism. He is Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA). He is former university Teacher, Analyst in International Affairs and an Expert on Middle East. He can be contacted at abdulruff@gmail.com]

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