The Egyptian coup, especially its propaganda component, had all the earmarks of an Israeli black op.
WITH GENERAL ABD AL-FATTAH AL-SISI PRESIDENCY IN EGYPT, EREZT YISRAHELL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.
Al-Sisi is called Israel’s man in Egypt.
Since the coup, Israel has been lavishing praise, money, and support on al-Sisi. Mossad agent al-Sisi has virtually declared war on Palestine by going all-out to close the Gaza border tunnels that keep the people of Gaza alive. Meanwhile, al-Sisi has taken billions of dollars from the Rothschild puppets and likely donmeh crypto-Jews who call themselves the “House of Saud.”
Al-Sisi has concealed his Jewish identity and Israeli connections from the Egyptian people…and destroyed their nascent democracy through deception and mass murder. Just like the Zionist Saudi royals. The Greater Israel Project – a long-standing Zionist scheme to steal all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates – is halfway there.
Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie accused Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of carrying out massacres “only likened by those carried out by enemy Zionists and their treacherous agents.”
In a message addressed to Sisi on Sunday, Badie said that Sisi is even worse than the Pharaoh who used to kill the children of the believers and let the women live. “You and your soldiers are worse, you kill everybody,” he said.
In his message, Badie held responsible for the Nasr City clashes political powers and figures whose “hatred of the Islamist current have blinded them such that they no longer can see the country’s interests or the goals of the revolution.”
The Health Ministry said 72 people were killed and 292 others injured in the clashes that broke out on Saturday between supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy and security forces.
Israel is an imperial outpost, an extension of Wall Street and the City of London in the Middle East. That’s the origin of “Israel.
Badie said that it is clear now that the battle is between what is right and what is wrong, like the case in the presidential runoffs between Mohamed Morsy and Ahmed Shafiq.
He said that the choice is now between the rule of democracy, freedom, and dignity on the one hand and bloodshed, suppression of freedom, and the imprisonment of Islamist and political figures, on the other.
Badie said that throughout the year of Morsy’s rule, the Brotherhood tolerated false accusations, insults, and smear campaigns by the media, yet nobody was imprisoned.
Badie also said that the current regime with its security, military, judicial, and media tools twists the truth such that communications with Gaza are portrayed a crime while communications with the Zionist enemy are considered an honor.
Morsy was ordered detained 15 days pending an investigation into the Wadi al-Natroun case on charges of intelligence collaboration with Hamas and attacking police establishments.
Badie accused “Zionist fingers” of meddling in the affairs of the Arab Spring countries the same way they are present in Egypt in order to build a Greater Israel.
He added that the Zionists have killers in Libya and Tunisia assassinate political activists opposed to the Islamist current to pave the way for the removal of Islamists from power.
UNEF was established after Israel conspired with Britain and France to wage a war of aggression against Egypt in 1956, following Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal.
UNEF’s purpose was not only to secure the cessation of hostilities and serve as a buffer to prevent future aggression, but also to supervise the required withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the occupied Sinai.
As Israel/US install a puppet government in Egypt as as currant, there are no more problems between Egypt and “Israel” as it occupies Palestine.
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens defends Israel’s occupation of Palestine by regurgitating Zionist propaganda about who started the 1967 Six Day War.
“In June 1967,” Bret Stephens writes in the New York Times for the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, “Arab leaders declared their intention to annihilate the Jewish state and the Jews decided they wouldn’t sit still for it. For the crime of self-preservation, Israel remains a nation unforgiven.
“Unforgiven, Israel’s milder critics say, because the Six-Day War, even if justified at the time, does not justify 50 years of occupation.”
Stephens disagrees, asserting that the view that Israel’s ongoing occupation is unjustified “is ahistoric nonsense.”
In fact, it is Bret Stephens who is demonstrably guilty of that charge, as his article, titled “Six Days and 50 Years of War”, does nothing more than regurgitate standard Zionist propaganda.
Distorting the 1967 War
Stephens proceeds to blame the “Six Day War” of June 1967 on the Arabs by noting that a UN peacekeeping force in the Sinai Peninsula was withdrawn at Egypt’s insistence and referring to an “Egyptian blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat.”
Then Stephens writes, “On June 5, the first day of the war, the Israeli government used three separate diplomatic channels to warn Jordan—then occupying the West Bank—not to initiate hostilities.
The Jordanians ignored the warning and opened fire with planes and artillery.”
By this means, Stephens disgracefully deceives his readers into believing that Jordan fired the first shots of the war.
In truth, the Six Day War was begun by Israel on the morning of June 5 with a surprise attack on Jordan’s ally Egypt that obliterated its air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.
It is true that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser had instructed the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) to evacuate Egyptian territory. The conclusion readers are evidently supposed to draw is that Egypt, in partnership with Jordan, was preparing to invade Israel.
The UN peacekeeping force was “intended as a buffer with Egypt”, Stephens states. This is true, but the implication, given his provided context, is that its purpose was to protect Israel from Egyptian aggression—which is a distortion of history.
What Stephens declines to inform readers is that UNEF was established after Israel conspired with Britain and France to wage a war of aggression against Egypt in 1956, following Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal. UNEF’s purpose was not only to secure the cessation of hostilities and serve as a buffer to prevent future aggression, but also to supervise the required withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the occupied Sinai.
To lead readers to the desired conclusion, Stephens omits additional relevant context, such as how Nasser had been accused by its allies Syria and Jordan of hiding behind UNEF—such as failing to come to Jordan’s assistance when Israel on November 13, 1966, invaded the West Bank to collectively punish the civilian population of the village of Samu for the killing of three Israeli soldiers by the Palestinian group al-Fatah two days earlier.
Israel’s assumption was that by terrorizing the villagers, they would appeal to King Hussein of Jordan—which administered the West Bank in the wake of the 1948 war and ethnic cleansing of Palestine—to clamp down on Fatah.
After rounding up villages in the town square, Israeli forces proceeded to engage in wanton destruction that included the razing, according to UN investigators, of 125 homes, a village clinic, and a school. Three civilians were killed and ninety-six wounded, and the UN Security Council condemned Israel for its “violation of the UN Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan”.
By omitting the context of Nasser’s humiliation in the face of such Israeli aggression, Stephens leaves his readers with the impression that Egypt was preparing to attack Israel—rather than Nasser ejecting UNEF to save face in the wake of accusations that he was hiding cowardly behind the UN peacekeepers.
In fact, UN Secretary-General U Thant, after Nasser requested its evacuation from Egyptian soil, proposed repositioning UNEF on the Israeli side of the border, but this proposalwas rejected by Israel.
It’s also true that Egypt had announced the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. In Egypt’s view, the straits were its territorial waters.
Israel considered this announcement a casus belli—a justification for war—but was repeatedly warned by the US government that its grievance with Egypt over the use of the straits would need to be resolved through diplomacy, not military force.
Stephens’ reference to Egypt’s closing of the straits occurs in the context of his characterization of France and the US as having abandoned Israel in its time of need: “France, hitherto Israel’s ally, had imposed an arms embargo on it; and … Lyndon Johnson had failed to deliver on previous American assurances to break any Egyptian blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat.”
While Stephens offers no explanation for France’s refusal to supply Israel with addition arms (it was already recognized as the most formidable military power in the region), it is relevant that France had been censured along with Israel by the international community—including the US—for their joint aggression against Egypt in 1956.
Presumably an oversight, Stephens does not mention the movement of Egyptian armed forces into the Sinai Peninsula prior to the June war—a fact usually cited in such Zionist propaganda accounts as proof of Nasser’s intent to invade Israel.
In fact, Israel’s own intelligence had assessed, following the Egyptian movement of troops, that Nasser had no intention of attacking Israel (they judged him not to be insane), which was an assessment shared by the US intelligence community.
The CIA observed that Egypt’s forces had taken up defensive positions after having received an intelligence report from the Soviet Union that Israel was amassing forces on the border with Egypt’s ally, Syria.
(“The Soviet advice to the Syrians [sic] that the Israelis were planning an attack was not far off,” State Department Middle East analyst Harold Saunders subsequently assessed, “although they seem to have exaggerated the magnitude. The Israelis probably were planning an attack—but not an invasion.”)
The CIA also accurately predicted and warned President Lyndon Johnson that the war was coming, and that it would be Israel who would start it. The documentary record of diplomatic cables during this time (i.e., the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States collection) is replete with warnings to Israel that it would not be politically feasible for the US to intervene on Israel’s side—as Israel was pushing the Johnson administration to do—if it was the party responsible for firing the first shot of the war.
“As your friend,” President Johnson wrote in a letter delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol on May 28, for example, “I repeat even more strongly what I said yesterday to Mr. [Abba] Eban [Israel’s ambassador to the US]. Israel just must not take any preemptive military action and thereby make itself responsible for the initiation of hostilities.” (Emphasis added.)
Having omitted all of this relevant context and deceiving readers into believing that the first shot of the war was fired by Jordan, Stephens proceeds to characterize Israel as the party seeking peace, while the recalcitrant Arabs rejected its reasonable overtures.
His evidence for this is the decision by the Israeli cabinet on June 19, nine days after the end of the war, to “offer the return of territories conquered from Egypt and Syria in exchange for peace, security and recognition.”
Had Israel wanted peace with its Arab neighbors, however, it could have simply chosen not to launch the six-day war in the first place and instead heeded the Johnson administration’s advice to seek a resolution to the escalating tensions through diplomatic means in accordance with Israel’s obligations under the UN Charter.
Cautioning his readers to not “fall prey to the lazy trope of ’50 years of occupation,’ inevitably used to indict Israel”, Stephens argues that “There would have been no occupation, and no settlements, if Egypt and its allies hadn’t recklessly provoked a war.”
Needless to say, there would be no ongoing occupation after 50 years, and no illegal Israeli colonization of the occupied West Bank, if Israel hadn’t started the 1967 war with its act of aggression against Egypt and used the opportunity to engage in land-grabbing in pursuit of the Zionist dream of establishing Jewish control over all of the territory of historic Palestine.
“In 1967”, Stephens concludes, “Israel was forced into a war against enemies who then begrudged it the peace.”
In 1967, rather, Israel chose to wage war against its neighbors and then attempted to use occupied territory as a bargaining chip to draw concessions from Egypt and Syria, such as acquiescence to Israel’s rejection of the right of Palestinians who were made refugees by the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine to return to their homeland.
In the words of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, just as in 1956, “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
Defending Israel’s Occupation Regime
Stephens rounds out his retelling of how the 1967 war was begun by summarizing the history since then with repetition of additional standard talking points of Zionist propaganda.
“In 1973 Egypt and Syria unleashed a devastating surprise attack on Israel,” he writes—by which he means that Egypt and Syria attacked Israeli forces occupying, respectively, the Egyptian territory of the Sinai Peninsula and of the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights.
He then rolls out the lazy trope (to borrow his phrase) that the Palestinians have nobody to blame but themselves for Israel’s ongoing occupation because they have rejected repeated Israeli offers of statehood under what is euphemistically dubbed the “peace process”.
Stephens characterizes “the Oslo Accords of 1993”—(the second Oslo Accord was signed in 1995, actually, not the same year as the first)—as a “serious” effort to reach a peace agreement.
In reality, as I document in my book Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the US-led so-called “peace process” is the means by which Israel and its superpower benefactor have long blocked implementation of the two-state solution, in favor of which there is otherwise a consensus in the international community.
To illustrate, Stephens writes that, “In 2000, at Camp David, Israel offered [PLO leader Yasser] Arafat a state. He rejected it.”
In fact, what Israel “offered” the Palestinians at Camp David fell far short of sovereignty and Israeli respect for their right to self-determination.
Within the proper framework of what each party has a right to under international law—as opposed to the framework adopted under the “peace process” of rejecting the applicability of international law and replacing it with what Israel wants—Israel made precisely zero concessions at Camp David.
Every single concession demanded and made rather came from the Palestinian side, which had already conceded to Israel the 78 percent of the former territory of Palestine on the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice lines (also known as the pre-June 1967 lines or the “Green Line” for the color with which it was drawn on the map).
What Arafat was seeking at Camp David was an agreement that would allow the Palestinians to establish their state in the remaining 22 percent of the territory comprising the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
(Israel’s moves to annex East Jerusalem have been repeatedly recognized by the UN Security Council as illegal, null and void; and it remains under international law “occupied Palestinian territory”, to quote the International Court of Justice on the matter.)
Israel’s “offer” at Camp David included the demand that the Palestinians give up even more of their land by acquiescing to Israel’s annexation of about 9 percent of the occupied West Bank—including East Jerusalem and some of the best land where Israel had established settlements in violation of international law.
“Our people will not accept less than their rights as stated by international resolutions and international legality”, a frustrated Arafat told US President Bill Clinton.
Contrary to Stephen’s characterization, Israel’s supposedly generous offer at Camp David fell far short of Israeli compliance with international law and respect for Palestinians’ rights.
In the same vein, Stephens writes that, “In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered a Palestinian state in Gaza and 93 percent of the West Bank. The Palestinians rejected the proposal out of hand.”
He doesn’t bother to explain to readers why the Palestinians should have agreed to accept Israeli annexation of 7 percent of the occupied West Bank, including of course East Jerusalem, as well as the surrender of Palestinian refugees’ internationally recognized right to return to their homeland.
(Olmert’s “offer” also consisted of the demand that the Palestinian Authority—the administrative body established under the Oslo Accords to effectively serve as Israel’s collaborator in enforcing the occupation regime—oust Hamas and regain control of Gaza.
Limited in the extent of his own collaboration with Israel by the will of the people he claimed to represent, Mahmoud Abbas justifiably dismissed the series of ultimatums dubbed an “offer” as a “waste of time”.)
“In 2005,” Stephens continues, “another right-wing Israeli government removed its soldiers, settlers and settlements from the Gaza Strip. Two years later Hamas seized control of the territory and used it to start three wars in seven years.”
In reality, Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, masterminded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was simply a means of gaining the political leverage required to expand and further entrench its illegal settlement regime, including the illegal construction of an annexation wall within the occupied West Bank.
It’s true that Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, but what Stephens declines to inform Times readers is that this was a consequence of a joint effort by the US and Israel to overthrow the Hamas-led government after it legitimately gained power through democratic elections the previous year.
To punish the civilian population of Gaza for having voted the wrong way, Israel then implemented a siege of the territory, severely restricting the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza.
The purpose of Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza was summed up by Sharon’s senior advisor Dov Weissglass thus: “It’s like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”
The US government was well aware of Israel’s intent to collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza.
A cable from the US embassy in Tel Aviv to senior Bush administration officials including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice relayed that “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis”—with “humanitarian crisis” being used euphemistically to mean the point at which Gazans would begin to drop dead from outright starvation.
As for the three “wars” Stephens refers to, this is his euphemistic description for Israel’s military assaults intended to inflict further punishment on the defenseless civilian population of Gaza: Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
In fact, prior to each of these attacks on Gaza, it was Israel that violated ceasefire agreements with Hamas.
In 2008, for example, while Hamas strictly observed a ceasefire that had gone into effect that June, Israel routinely violated it with its continuation of the blockade, cross-border shootings, and a November 4 incursion that killed six Hamas members.
Its 2012 assault was launched the day after Hamas had again persuaded other military factions to abide by a ceasefire agreement, which Israel used to draw a senior Hamas official out of hiding in order to assassinate him at the start of its planned operation.
And in 2014, by the time the Hamas launched its first rocket attack against Israel, on July 6, Israel had already been bombing Gaza for a week (and rejected Hamas’s efforts through Egyptian mediators to reestablish a ceasefire).
In each of these military assaults on the defenseless Gaza Strip, Israel effectively implemented what its military establishment has dubbed the “Dahiya doctrine”—a reference to the leveling of the Dahiya district of Beirut to collectively punish its civilian population during Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon.
It requires a great deal of chutzpah for Brett Stephens to accuse others of “ahistoric nonsense” while himself doing nothing more than regurgitating standard Zionist propaganda and deliberately misleading readers of his New York Times column into believing that it was not Israel that started the June 1967 war.
He reinforces this deception by falsely characterizing Israel as also not having been the party responsible for violating ceasefire agreements with Hamas prior to its operations in Gaza in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014.
And while Stephens tries to defend Israel’s ongoing occupation by characterizing the Palestinians as unreasonably rejecting its supposed offers of peace, the reality is that the Palestinian leadership has long accepted the two-state solution, which has since its inception been rejected by Israel and its superpower benefactor, the government of the United States of America.
When the UAE and Bahrain officially normalized relations with Israel on 15 September, US President Donald Trump hailed “the dawn of a new Middle East”.
Egypt is today waking up to what this new era spells for it. There are two types of disaster for Egypt contained in the implicit bid of the UAE to become Israel’s main Arab trading partner – both prospective and immediate disasters.
Overnight, Sisi’s canal will be undercut by a cheaper means of getting oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean
To start with the long-term peril first, a desert oil pipeline that was once operated as a secret joint venture between the Shah’s Iran and Israel could play a big role in connecting the Arab pipeline grid to the Mediterranean.
The 254-kilometre Europe Asia Pipeline Company’s pipeline system runs from the Red Sea to the Israeli port of Ashkelon [occupied Palestine territory.]
Along with the pipeline, Dubai’s state-owned DP World is partnering with Israel’s DoverTower to develop Israeli ports and free zones, and to open a direct shipping line between the Red Sea port of Eilat and Dubai’s Jebel Ali port.
Neither the pipeline nor the port link-up is good news for the Suez Canal, which Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi just spent $8bn widening.
That includes the money he forced Egyptian businessmen and ordinary shareholders to put into the doomed project.
Overnight, Sisi’s canal will be undercut by a cheaper means of getting oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
There are other, more immediate perils for his regime. With the normalization deal, Cairo loses the role it enjoyed for decades of mediating relations between Arab states and Israel.
With that came ownership of the so-called Palestinian card as Egypt was the reference point for all Palestinian factions – arranging ceasefires between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, or reconciliation meetings between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo.
It is significant that the latest attempt to reconcile Fatah and Hamas took place in Ankara not Cairo.
For commentators such as Mohamed Ismat, writing in Shorouk News, the loss of Egypt’s status goes even further: “The entire Arab national security system, with all its military, political and economic dimensions, will be utterly dismantled.
All Arab world rhetoric about freedom, unity and independent development will be ossified and stored in warehouses,” he writes.
“Throughout the years of confrontation with Israel, Egypt played the main role in determining the Arab reactions despite its disagreements with this or that Arab state.
However, this situation will not continue. Israel aspires to replace Egypt and lead the Arab region according to new equations that will bring down all the institutions of common Arab action, foremost among them the Arab League itself.”
Along with status, Egypt is losing hard cash. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have stopped funding Sisi’s military dictatorship, into which they had poured billions of dollars.
Saudi Arabia has stopped funds and oil going to Egypt because of its balance-of-payments crisis, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed has found more inviting baubles to play with. Pouring money into the bottomless pit of Sisi’s pockets must seem so much like yesterday.
Of particular interest to Israel is the Mubadala Investment Company in Abu Dhabi, one of the UAE’s sovereign wealth funds worth $230bn. One Israeli academic who has spent time in Abu Dhabi called this fund a “game changer” for Israeli high tech.
UAE-Israel deal: The new hegemons of the Middle East
But the prospect of Emirati investment switching from Egypt to Israel is already changing the game for some businessmen in Cairo. Salah Diab, the founder of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, has been arrested before for the alleged violations of companies he owns. But his latest arrest was different: Diab is being held in jail pending further investigation, and there is every indication that prosecutors have been instructed to keep him there.
It has not been lost on Abu Dhabi that Diab is the maternal uncle of Yousef al-Otaiba, the Emirati ambassador who played a key role in pre-announcing the normalisation deal.
The last time Diab was arrested in 2015, Otaiba intervened and his uncle was soon released. Sisi is not listening this time.
Showing that Diab’s legal problems are more serious this time, the text of the tape of an alleged dinner conversation between Diab and one-time presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq was released on a social media site that bears the name of another former high-ranking general, Sami Anan. Anan was released on house arrest last December after serving two years of a nine-year prison sentence.
Both Shafiq and Anan fell foul of Sisi, the former being forced to withdraw as a candidate in the 2018 election and the latter serving a two-year prison sentence.
On the tape Shafiq, a former airforce pilot, is contemptuous of Sisi, whom he describes as “a naive army officer, one in charge of an infantry… he never learned how to deal cleanly”.
Diab replies, laughing: “You are also an army officer, Mr Lieutenant General… You certainly understand him.” Shafiq then says: “There is a difference… of course, and you know, Mr Salah, not all those in the army are the same.”
Now, Diab is in prison and Shafiq has a legal action against him reactivated, contrary to the agreement Egypt made with the UAE, where Shafiq fled when former president Mohamed Morsi took over in 2012.
For exiled Egyptian politicians who keep a close eye on battles back home, there is no doubt at which Gulf state Diab’s and Shafiq’s legal problems are aimed.
Ayman Nour, leader of the Ghad El-Thawra Party and a former presidential candidate, said the arrest of Diab “reflects the state of disagreement between Egypt and the UAE after normalisation [with Israel]”.
Middle East Eye has learned that another Emirati businessman who was trying to set up a media company in Cairo was detained by Egyptian authorities, and only released after the personal intervention of Tahnoun bin Zayed, Mohammed bin Zayed’s brother.
Forcing the poor to pay
The loss of Gulf billions has hit Sisi hard. He has already gone to the International Monetary Fund, instituted austerity, and shaken down his richest businessmen.
He is now left with no other choice but to tax his citizens. Being the man he is, he is making Egypt’s poorest pay first. Egypt’s national debt has nearly tripled since 2014, from about $112bn to about $321bn.
In Asyut governorate, 67 percent of inhabitants live under the poverty line of 736 Egyptian pounds ($47) a month. As economist Mamdouh al-Wali explains, that figure is unrealistic considering the soaring costs of living, and the real poverty rate is surely higher.
This figure was from the fiscal year 2017-18, at which time the poverty rate in the southern Sohag governorate reached 60 percent, while in Luxor and Minya it reached 55 percent.
Officials have admitted that the figures were modified twice, Wali says, amid government concerns over revealing the true scale of poverty.
It’s little wonder, then, that these villages have seen an unprecedented, but as yet peaceful, series of anti-government protests. People simply could not take any more
Despite the hardships in these provinces, Sisi ploughed on, raising prices for electricity, drinking water, natural gas and public transport.
Another lucrative ploy: demolishing houses with no planning permission – in some cases, family homes that have stood for decades.
Owners can avoid demolition if they pay the government a fee of 50 Egyptian pounds per square metre for residential homes in rural areas; in other areas, the fee for commercial buildings rises to 180 Egyptian pounds per square metre.
The downturn has led to a halt in construction, with many workers who seek day labour forced to stay at home.
Public transport has also become increasingly less accessible. On trains, the most frequently used method of transport between Upper and Lower Egypt, for example, passengers have seen fares of freight transport raised to between 12 and 140 Egyptian pounds per box, depending on the weight and the distance travelled by the train.
Waves of protest
It’s little wonder, then, that these villages have seen an unprecedented, but as yet peaceful, series of anti-government protests. People simply could not take any more.
When exiled whistleblower Mohamed Ali urged Sisi’s opponents in the country to take part in a “day of rage” to demand the president’s departure, he himself was surprised at what happened: six days of protest in more than 40 villages, despite a heavy security clampdown.
Egypt: Seven years after the coup, repression reigns as the economy tanks
Ali’s message was simple. A president who boasts about the number of palaces he had built for himself (with Ali’s help) will not even let the poor live in their houses without threatening to demolish them.
Egypt’s new protesters are – as yet – quite unlike the revolutionaries of 2011. They have no leader and no political slogans.
They are conservative and religious, but not organised by the Muslim Brotherhood. The brave revolutionaries of 2011 came from the city and largely, but not wholly, the upper middle class. Many had degrees.
Today’s protesters come from the ranks of the uneducated and poor, and many are younger than the 2011 wave. As Abdul Rahman Yusuf, the son of Sheikh Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood cleric in Qatar who is himself a secular liberal, wrote: “The regime is facing an enraged citizenry that does not see it as legitimate.
This is a direct confrontation. There’s hardly anyone negotiating on behalf of these simple commoners who are defending themselves against a herd of rabid hyenas.”
‘I’m going to die anyway’
Of the many interviews with villagers, one is particularly poignant. Nafisa Atiya Mohammed, who lives in a shack threatened with demolition, says: “Here you go, you can see the exposed ceiling beams. I can’t find anyone who can help me cover it with plastic sheets in the area. I sell scraps for one, five, 10 pounds until I get dizzy from the heat.”
Asked how much money authorities have requested, she responds: “They said 1,000, then over two to four years, 4,000. Where will I get it from?”
She does not have anyone who could lend her enough money to allow her to remain in the house, the report notes.
“I was going around yesterday, going from home to home, looking for someone to lend me money… I have a pension, but I swear to God it’s not enough,” Mohammed says. “Water is 150 and electricity is 550 a month. The receipts are inside, you can see. They can go and take my home. I’m going to die anyway. I’ll just leave it for them.” The interview ends with the journalist breaking down in tears.
U.S. President Donald Trump is joined by Egyptian dictator Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz at the opening of the so-called “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.” All three ARE extremist demons!
Egypt’s Morsi Dies During Trial
Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader, came to power following the 2011 popular revolution that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
He was removed from power in a 2013 military coup backed by US and Israel led by his defense minister, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who then replaced him as president.
In March 2018, a panel of British politicians and lawyers warned that Morsi’s prison conditions were poor and could lead to his early death.
The panel, which had been convened at the request of Morsi’s family, said he had been “receiving inadequate medical care, particularly inadequate management of his diabetes, and inadequate management of his liver disease”.
“The consequence of this inadequate care is likely to be rapid deterioration of his long-term conditions, which is likely to lead to premature death,” the panel said in a statement at the time.
From his previous role as head of military intelligence, al-Sisi is deeply familiar with the issue of Gaza’s tunnels. He declared war on them before Israel (the Egyptians say they have destroyed 1,630 tunnels), and the Egyptian army doesn’t make phone calls and doesn’t send warning missiles.*
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is recruiting Arab leaders to support the peace plan being laid down by the US administration, dubbed the “deal of the century”.
Previously, it was believed that Saudi’s Ben Salman to do the job, but Israel wanted El-Sisi for it.
Writing for Ynet News, Smadar Perry, said that what is clear about the “deal of the century” is “the extent of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi’s involvement in the agreement.”
He noted that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman was initially believed to be recruiting supporters for the deal, but, according to Perry, Trump’s “excellent friend” Al-Sisi recently found himself in the driving seat.
Perry argued that the Israeli government believes that Al-Sisi “is a neighbor and a partner who watches over the Sinai Peninsula – where thousands of Israelis are spending their Passover holidays – along with Israel.”
Although he does not know the exact details of the deal, his role is clear; “to recruit the moderate Arab world into supporting Trump’s peace plan.
Egypt’s declared intention to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia against Egypt’s interest.
“Here, here, Pasha, one island for a billion, a pyramid for two and I will throw two statues on top”
The Egyptian leader can potentially recruit Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states, and perhaps even Qatar, which despite being at odds with the Saudis, maintains a warm relationship with Egypt.”
Concluding his opinion about the deal, Perry said: “Netanyahu recommended, Trump placed the order, and Al-Sisi is the one getting the package.
Egypt will lead the Arab world to accept the so-called ‘deal of the century’, and will be asked for its input in the proposal before all the details are finalized.
In return, the Cairo administration will receive a massive economic aid package from the US government.”
He pointed out that Netanyahu’s “fingerprints are all over this peace plan, to the extent that it’s not clear who really formulated it” and stressed that “Egypt’s role” in the deal “is being given to the White House directly from Jerusalem”.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt set up $10B fund for planned mega-city in Sinai. How about dropping some of that now into Palestine? They are dying! Or, is that the point?
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Egypt to deepen alliance between two regional powerhouses • Mega-city is part of plan to wean Saudis off oil revenue • Egyptian court dismisses challenges to Red Sea island deal with Riyadh.
Known as Neom – from the Greek prefix “neo” (new) and the first letter of the Arabic word “mostaqbal” (future) – the mega-city is being billed as “the world’s most ambitious project” and is intended to become a transnational city and economic zone. Prince Mohammed’s stated objective for the project is to wean Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, off oil revenues.
Meanwhile in Gaza
Home to nearly two million Palestinians, the Gaza Strip has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007 and poisoning of agriculture and livestock, killing the fishermen shooting the children.
“Connected Gaza”, part of a megacity stretching from Amman to Tel Aviv through Jerusalem, with Haifa to the north and Gaza to the south, all bound together with infrastructure, trade, and specialization, with spatial focus around four centres called Gateway Gaza, Core Gaza, Wadi Gaza, and Beach Gaza. The idea is to consolidate to the north with strategic transport infrastructure (a port that relieves congestion in Israeli ports and allows interaction between Israeli and Arab goods and clients), serve from the east with trunk infrastructure, connect with history through improved local road networks, and recover natural systems- rehabilitating the depleted aquifer in particular.
Connected Gaza identifies 30 foundation projects, 7 integrated projects and 40 local projects – categorised as ‘Urgent’, ‘Early Win’, ‘Low-Cost’, ‘Risk-Incentive’, ‘Iconic’, and ‘Symbiotic’ (i.e. fulfilling both Palestinian and neighbours’ needs). The overall plan, which integrates economic strategies such as de-emphasising food and agriculture as a job creator, lowering water imports, refocusing on high-value exports and consumption, and supporting a knowledge economy through ICT training and high-value services in education and back-office finance.
The initiative anticipates that it will be in the mutual self-interest for political and security conditions in the region to improve. A trans-national city-region, with a knowledge-based economy of 3.5 million people, 1.1 million new jobs, focused on trade and exchange will be both the incentive and the result. ‘Thinking way in the future and then stepping backwards allows policymakers to speak rationally and confidently about the future.