Tag: Mohamed Morsi



Showtime for the Egyptian President: Zvi Mazel, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2016— Western media have been quick to speculate about the end of the road for Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, pointing out a rapidly dropping approval rate.

Save Egypt Before it’s Too Late: P. David Hornik, Frontpage Magazine, Nov. 17, 2016— Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, reports that Egypt is in trouble.

Egypt and Israel: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 25, 2016   — The cold peace that has characterized Israel’s relations with Egypt since the signing of the 1979 peace treaty is warming up on the diplomatic and military levels.

The Truth About Egypt’s Revolution: Oren Kessler, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2016 — The usual account of Egypt’s revolution goes like this: In February 2011, Hosni Mubarak resigned after 18 days of protests led by the tweeting revolutionaries of Tahrir Square, ending his nearly 30-year presidency.


On Topic Links


Egypt Court Overturns Death Sentence for Ousted Leader Morsi: Times of Israel, Nov. 15, 2016

Egypt on the Verge of Crisis?: Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, Oct. 25, 2016

Egypt Juggles Its Friendships as Russian Influence Surges: Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 13, 2016

Russian-Egyptian Cooperation in the War on Terror: Dr. Shaul Shay, Israel Defense, Nov. 9, 2016




Zvi Mazel

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2016


Western media have been quick to speculate about the end of the road for Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, pointing out a rapidly dropping approval rate. Above 90% a few weeks ago, it now stands at “a mere” 68% – a rating that many a Western leader would be ecstatic about. Nevertheless the Egyptian president is doggedly pursuing his objective of reforming the economy and putting his country squarely on the road to sustainable growth.


He has achieved a lot so far, launching or completing a number of mega projects. There is the doubling of the Suez Canal carried out within one year by the army – no mean feat – and a source of great pride to the Egyptian people. He has initiated the building of a new capital east of the present one. It will be the seat of the huge Egyptian administration, easing the congestion of the old capital, now slated to become a touristic and commercial hub.

An estimated 3,000 km of new highways are at various stages of planning. Reclaiming one and a half million feddan (about 1.5 million acres) will extend agriculture lands into the desert. More prosaic but no less vital was the cleaning and rehabilitation of silos, where every year 30% of the wheat, main staple for the Egyptians, rot because of dirt and negligence. Sisi has also boosted research and development of oil and natural gas resources; once an exporter, Egypt now needs to import at great cost the oil and natural gas it needs. Improving the situation can take a few years. The process could be greatly accelerated if the West decided at long last to help Egypt. It has not happened so far.

Western countries led by US President Barack Obama still see in president Sisi a military dictator who grabbed power from a “democratically elected president.” They do not want to admit that Morsi was toppled by a popular uprising – admittedly with the help of the army – just in time to prevent him from creating an Islamic dictatorship. Deprived of Western backing, Egypt turned to Russia and China for political support and economic cooperation. The two countries promised to invest in industrial and tourist projects, including the construction of a nuclear power plant by Russia in northern Egypt. Russia also pledged to supply Egypt with advanced weapons.

This new alliance put Cairo on a collision course with Saudi Arabia, which opposes Russian assistance to president Assad of Syria. To mark its displeasure, Riyadh announced it was halting shipments of oil to its former ally. A drop in popularity is a small price to pay for the successful completion of long and difficult negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. Egypt is about to receive a $12 billion loan at very low interest. This much needed injunction of foreign capital should help it over the coming months.

The loan comes at a price. Sisi had pledged to take drastic steps to reform an ailing economy burdened by a bloated civil service and hampered at every turn by unending terrorism. While the Muslim Brotherhood is still carrying out low-grade warfare against local infrastructure inside the country, the Sinai branch of Islamic State has dealt a series of deadly blows which left Egypt still reeling.

The downing last year of a Russian plane has brought tourism to a near standstill. Supply of much needed foreign currency has all but dried out, hampering trade and severely inconveniencing the population. Faced with a black market out of control, and to comply with the exigencies of the IMF, Sisi announced that the pound would “float,” with the rate adjusting daily according to supply and demand. While the rate had been artificially pegged at 8.8 pounds for a dollar, it traded at 18 on the black market. It is now stabilized at about 13, hopefully marking the end of the black market. The move was welcomed by traders and businessmen.

Other measures dictated by the IMF were not as popular. For the first time in history there is a VAT in Egypt. Set at 13% at present, it may not be easily implemented in a country where lots of transactions are still in cash, but it was another of the IMF requests. So was cutting down subsidies drastically for oil and natural gas. There was a corresponding rise in the cost of living, leading to a lot of muttering and general dissatisfaction. Hence the drop in approval rate. Unfortunately, the government felt threatened and tightened security measures as well as pressuring the media.

So it is now show time for the Egyptian leader. The next few months will be critical. On the one hand, most Egyptians understand that their president has no other choice; should his reforms fail, the country could very well plunge into chaos. On the other hand, his drastic measures are taking their toll on the poorest of the poor, while the Muslim Brotherhood is busy fanning the flame. Hopefully the new administration in Washington will reverse course and at long last provide much needed relief in the form of investments and transfers of technology. Meanwhile, Israel is quietly helping wherever it can. It could undoubtedly do much more were the Egyptian leadership ready to defy the Islamic establishment and the old Nasserist circles, still bitterly opposed to any form of normalization.





                                                 P. David Hornik                                                                                                 

Frontpage Magazine, Nov. 17, 2016


Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, reports that Egypt is in trouble. On the one hand, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is pursuing ambitious economic reforms. He’s doubled the size of the Suez Canal, bringing a major spike in revenue. He’s building a new capital south of Cairo, aimed at relieving congestion and pollution in Cairo and making it a commercial and tourist hub. Sisi has also launched processes of building about two thousand miles of new highways, cleaning and rehabilitating wheat silos where wheat—the main Egyptian staple—rots because of negligence, and developing oil and natural gas resources. That oil and gas development, Mazel notes, “could be greatly accelerated if the West decided at long last to help Egypt. It has not happened so far.”


Indeed it’s well known that since Sisi—then the defense minister—overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the Obama administration and other Western governments have turned Egypt a cold shoulder. They have done so even though that overthrow was backed by the most massive popular protests in history, with 14 million Egyptians taking to the streets. They were protesting a regime that was radical, incompetent, and—in office for a year—already taking steps to abrogate Egypt’s constitution and strangle the country in sharia legislation.


Yet “Western countries led by US President Barack Obama,” Mazel notes, “still see in president Sisi a military dictator who grabbed power from a “democratically elected president.” They do not want to admit that Morsi was toppled by a popular uprising—admittedly with the help of the army—just in time to prevent him from creating an Islamic dictatorship. Jilted by the West, Sisi has had to turn elsewhere. China is underwriting his building of a new capital. More problematically, Egypt has already signed major arms deals with Russia, and Russia has pledged $25 billion toward the building of a nuclear power plant in northern Egypt.


It might all be less troubling if Egypt were mainly suffering from economic problems. But, in addition, it remains under assault by radical anti-Western terrorist forces. “The Muslim Brotherhood,” Mazel reports, “is still carrying out low-grade warfare against local infrastructure in the country.” And a branch of Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula has kept up a string of deadly attacks. The most devastating was its downing one year ago of a Russian plane, which, says Mazel, “has brought tourism to a near standstill.” And as the economy keeps struggling and Sisi institutes reforms—some of them, like a VAT increase, widely resented—the potential for popular insurrection, driven by or at least exploited by the Islamist forces, remains. Or as Mazel puts it, “It is now show time for [Sisi]. The next few months will be critical.”


Israel, for its part, is helping Egypt both in the security and economic spheres, but the assistance it can give is limited by ongoing popular hostility to Israel and Jews in Egypt. Another development in the next few months, however, offers the best hope of keeping Sisi’s government on its moderate, constructive course and keeping the jihadists at bay. An AP analysis notes that U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has already praised the “good chemistry” between him and Sisi when they met at the UN in September, suggesting a possibility of “closer ties after the chill between al-Sissi and Obama.” Indeed Egypt’s media cheered Trump’s victory, reflecting widespread resentment at Obama’s support for the short-lived but hated Morsi regime.


It is not that Egypt is an exemplary country or a Western democracy. As mentioned, hatred in the Israeli and Jewish direction is still pervasive decades after the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. Vigilante attacks on Christians continue. Sisi’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood and other radical forces hardly meets Western judicial standards. But in the real world, the Sisi government—which wants to align with the West, is nonbelligerent toward Israel, and at least aspires to curb Islamic extremism—is vastly preferable to the alternatives. Supporting Sisi would mean a shift to a sane policy.    




EGYPT AND ISRAEL                                       


Jerusalem Post, Oct. 25, 2016


The cold peace that has characterized Israel’s relations with Egypt since the signing of the 1979 peace treaty is warming up on the diplomatic and military levels. But it remains to be seen whether popular opposition among Egyptians to such warming – not to mention outright hostility and antisemitism – will roll back progress. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi rightly sees in Israel an important ally in the fight against political Islamism.


Working together, Israeli and Egyptian forces have taken on Islamist terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula, and have reined in Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The ratcheting up of cooperation in the intelligence and military fields has also had an impact on other aspects of Egyptian-Israeli ties. A number of high-profile visits and meetings have taken place since Sisi ousted the Muslim Brotherhood-ruled government and took control in 2013.

Former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold visited Egypt in June 2015; the Israel Embassy in Cairo was reopened, and a new Egyptian ambassador was dispatched to Tel Aviv. In April, Israel approved the Egyptian transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, a move that entailed reopening the security annex of the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Perhaps the most impressive showing of improved relations between Cairo and Jerusalem, however, was Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s July visit to Israel, which included a long meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Unfortunately, these gestures by high-ranking officials on the diplomatic and military level have not trickled down to the Egyptian people. This was apparent from the reactions to rumors that Israel intended to reopen its consulate in Alexandria, as reported by The Jerusalem Post’s Arab Affairs Correspondent Ben Lynfield.

According to the London-based Al-Araby al-Jadeed website, Israel’s ambassador in Cairo, David Govrin, visited Alexandria under heavy security, met with the city’s tiny Jewish community, visited the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue, and met with the governor of Alexandria. The website also quoted activists who were angered by the visit, seeing it as a “provocation.” A parliament member from Alexandria was quoted as saying there is “no justification” for closer relations with Israel.

A September 2015 poll by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research indicates that most of the Egyptian public view Israel as hostile. The survey assigned countries a rating ranging from 100 to -100, with the negative figures indicating hostility and the positive figures friendliness. Israel received -88 points in the survey, and is thus considered by Egyptians to be its most hostile nation. The US was ranked a distant second with a -37. China was ranked 41, thus receiving the highest “friendly” rank of any non-Muslim country.

According to a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a number of Egyptian books were on sale at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest, with blatantly antisemitic themes. A number of books claim that the Egyptian revolution of 2011 was part of a larger plot instigated by Israel to destabilize Egypt and other Arab countries, and relocate the Palestinian in Gaza to Sinai. Earlier this month, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture honored novelist Sherif Shaban for “enriching Egyptian cultural life” with his novel Daughter of Zion, which revisits claims made in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The miniseries “Horseman Without a Horse,” which is based on the Protocols, has regularly aired on Egyptian television channels in recent years.

Anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli sentiments clearly run deep in Egyptian society. This state of affairs generates dissonance. Egypt’s high-ranking officials have advanced policies and made gestures that signal a warming of relations with Israel. The Egyptian people, meanwhile, are largely antagonistic toward Israel and Jews.


As long as Egypt’s leaders do not take steps to prepare their people for improved relations with Israel, this dissonance will remain. Egypt and Israel share many common interests, but Egypt will be limited in its ability to take advantage of cooperation with Israel as long as popular opinion views this cooperation as a form of betrayal. As leaders, Sisi, Shoukry and others have an obligation to fight prejudice and hatred, not just because it is the right thing to do but because it will facilitate the cooperation which Egypt so desperately needs.                                     




THE TRUTH ABOUT EGYPT’S REVOLUTION                                                                               

Oren Kessler                                                                                                            

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2016


The usual account of Egypt’s revolution goes like this: In February 2011, Hosni Mubarak resigned after 18 days of protests led by the tweeting revolutionaries of Tahrir Square, ending his nearly 30-year presidency. Then the Muslim Brotherhood hijacked the revolution, prevailing in parliamentary elections and installing one of its own as president. A year after the Brotherhood’s win, Egyptians again hit the streets, this time demonstrating against the Brotherhood. The army staged a coup to remove Mohammed Morsi, and Egypt returned to the same condition it has known for six decades: military rule.


In “Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days,” Eric Trager upends this pat narrative. In his telling, the Brotherhood was a powerful, if quiet, presence from the start of the 2011 rallies. It didn’t hijack anything: The Brotherhood was, in fact, the only movement in Egypt organized and disciplined enough to challenge the old regime at the ballots. Finally, he suggests, the military’s move against Mr. Morsi was not the inevitable result of its determination to deny the Brothers their place in the political power structure. Instead, it was the Brotherhood’s own lack of vision and incompetence that drew Egypt’s largest-ever crowds to the streets demanding redress.


“Arab Fall” is based on dozens of author interviews with Brotherhood members and leaders that the author, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, conducted before, during and after the revolution. The book’s wealth of detail may challenge the lay reader, but it is indispensable not just for its account of how the Brothers failed so disastrously at governing Egypt but equally for its analysis of how Washington failed so completely to understand them.


The Muslim Brotherhood is the world’s oldest and largest Islamist organization, founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, a schoolteacher in Ismailia. At the time, Egypt was a nominally independent monarchy under de facto British rule, and Ismailia epitomized that reality. The city had been built on the Suez Canal by the Europe-obsessed Khedive Ismail Pasha, and it teemed with foreigners profiting from the British-controlled waterway. In Ismailia, Europe’s political, economic and scientific supremacy over the world of Islam was impossible to ignore.


This state of affairs tormented Banna. Islam, the pious teacher was convinced, offered all that its adherents needed for political, material and moral uplift. His motto—and the Brotherhood’s still today—insisted: “Islam is the solution.” Banna’s program was bottom-up. First would be the “reform of the individual.” These individuals would then foster model Muslim homes, which would collectively form a faith-based, God-fearing society—an “Islamic state,” in Banna’s words—that would eventually link up with similarly Islamized societies to restore the caliphate, the centuries-old Islamic super-state abolished by Turkey’s secularist government in 1924. The Brotherhood would be a vanguard to that end, carefully selecting only those whose commitment to its mission was absolute.


Today becoming a Brother is an arduous five-to-eight-year process of rising through highly stratified ranks. Upon achieving the last of these—akh ‘amal, or “active Brother”—the inductee declares himself a “loyal soldier,” vowing “not to dispute commands” and to expend his “efforts, money and blood in the path of God.” Christian Democrats these are not.


And yet the day before Mr. Mubarak’s resignation, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper assured a House committee that “the term Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular.” The White House too seemed unaware of the kind of movement that might replace Mr. Mubarak. On Feb. 1, 2011, just a week after the protests began, President Obama declared that a change of government in Cairo “must begin now.” (By comparison, it was five months before he said the same about Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.) When Mr. Mubarak stepped aside 10 days later, a U.S. diplomat later recalled that Mr. Obama’s advisers toasted with vodka and beer.


In the months after the revolution, the Brotherhood vowed not to seek the presidency or a majority in Parliament, lest these actions scare off Egyptians wary of its Islamizing mission. Both pledges ultimately faded away. When the group’s first choice for a presidential candidate was disqualified on a technicality, the honor fell to an uncharismatic functionary: Mohammed Morsi.


If the Obama administration knew little about the Brotherhood, it knew even less about Mr. Morsi. Mr. Trager, however, had interviewed him two years before in Cairo and knew him as an enforcer of internal dissent within the Brotherhood and a devotee of Sayyid Qutb, the Brotherhood ideologue who was executed by the nationalist regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser and whose message has inspired al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki. “Our program is a long-term one, not a short-term one,” Mr. Morsi told Mr. Trager. “Our goal is not to become governors. Our country should be governed . . . by Islam.” By the time of the summer 2012 elections, it was clear that the Brothers had shunted aside other opposition forces—the non-Islamist “liberals” that so enamored Western observers—who, in any case, were barely organized and enjoyed scant public support. With Mr. Morsi poised to take the election, Mr. Trager writes, U.S. officials began “beating a path to the Brotherhood’s door.” No one was more surprised by Washington’s embrace than the Brothers themselves.


Once elected in June 2012, Mr. Morsi took to governing with an ineptitude that shocked even the author. The Brotherhood, he writes, “had no real policy vision apart from stacking the Egyptian government with Muslim Brothers or like-minded officials.” To lift Egypt’s faltering economy, for example, Mr. Morsi’s government offered the “Renaissance Project,” which promised to cut inflation by half, “protect the dignity of the poor,” and double the number of families getting social security. How it would achieve these seemingly contradictory objectives was never explained. The economy thus neglected, Mr. Morsi proceeded to target the press, charging four times as many journalists with “insulting the president” in his first seven months as Mr. Mubarak had over 30 years. Then, in November 2012, Mr. Morsi made a power grab the likes of which even Mr. Mubarak hadn’t dared, placing his decrees above judicial scrutiny. Weeks later, he rushed through a constitution drafted by Brotherhood and Salafist MPs.


As dissent mounted over the following months, Mr. Morsi turned to the comfort of conspiracy theories: It was foreigners, Mubarak regime remnants or powerful business interests fomenting the unrest. Once the dissent had turned into mass rallies, bigger than anything in 2011, he dismissed them to anxious U.S. officials as inconsequential. In June 2013, when the Brotherhood equipped hundreds of its cadres with helmets, shields and sticks to “protect the revolution,” it foolishly confirmed fears of pro- and anti-Morsi mobs clashing in the streets, thereby bolstering the military’s mandate to intervene…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]


On Topic Links


Egypt Court Overturns Death Sentence for Ousted Leader Morsi: Times of Israel, Nov. 15, 2016—An Egyptian appeals court has overturned a death sentence handed down against ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in one of four trials since his 2013 overthrow, a judicial official said.

Egypt on the Verge of Crisis?: Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, Oct. 25, 2016—All is not well in Egypt, as the government implements unpopular austerity measures to shore up its floundering economy. As average citizens feel the pinch, they are increasingly blaming President al-Sisi as calls grow for mass street protests.

Egypt Juggles Its Friendships as Russian Influence Surges: Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 13, 2016 —Balancing acts are precarious by definition and, as Egypt is finding out, even a small move can have cascading consequences.

Russian-Egyptian Cooperation in the War on Terror: Dr. Shaul Shay, Israel Defense, Nov. 9, 2016— Exercise "Defenders of Friendship 2016," a joint Russian-Egyptian counter-terrorist exercise, took place in the territory of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the area between the city of Alexandria and El Alamein, on October 15-26, 2016.











Daniel Pipes et Cynthia Farahat

The Washington Times, 11 juillet 2012
Adaptation française: Anne-Marie Delcambre de Champvert

Que signifie le fait que Mohamed Morsi soit président de l'Egypte? Parlant au nom de l'opinion américaine largement répandue, Bret Stephens a récemment argumenté dans le Wall Street Journal contre l'attitude consistant à se consoler en pensant que la victoire des Frères musulmans «est purement symbolique, puisque l'armée a toujours les canons.» Il a conclu en disant «l'Egypte est perdue.»

Nous allons prouver le contraire: l'élection n'était pas seulement symbolique, mais illusoire, et l'avenir de l'Egypte reste en jeu.

Morsi n'est pas le politicien le plus puissant d'Egypte ou le commandant en chef. Sans doute n'a-t-il même pas dirigé les Frères musulmans. Son travail n'est pas défini. L'armée pourrait l'écarter. Pour la première fois depuis 1954, le président égyptien est un personnage secondaire, avec comme rôle celui de simple fonctionnaire qui depuis longtemps est celui que l'on associe au rôle de premier ministre.

Mohamed Tantawi est le véritable souverain de l'Egypte. Président du Conseil suprême des Forces armées (SCAF), maréchal et ministre de la Défense, il ne sert pas seulement en tant que commandant en chef, mais aussi en tant que chef effectif des trois branches gouvernementales de l'Égypte. Tantawi est un autocrate avec des pouvoirs quasi-absolus. En tant que représentant en chef de la junte militaire qui a gouverné l'Egypte depuis février 2011, sa mission est d'étendre la règle de la junte indéfiniment dans l'avenir, assurant ainsi aux officiers des avantages et des privilèges.

Le Conseil suprême des Forces armées (SCAF) exploite les Frères musulmans et d'autres mandataires comme ses couvertures civiles, un rôle qu'ils sont heureux de jouer, en permettant aux islamistes d'engranger un énorme pourcentage de vote parlementaire, puis de gagner la présidence. Au cours de la semaine de retard suspecte avant que les votes présidentiels n'aient été annoncés, le Conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF) a rencontré le véritable leader des Frères musulmans, Khairat El-Shater, et conclu un accord selon lequel Morsi devient président, mais le SCAF gouverne encore.

Pour comprendre le pouvoir du Conseil Suprême des Forces armées (SCAF), notons trois mesures qu'il a prises conjointement avec les élections présidentielles:

Imposition de la loi martiale: Le 13 juin, le ministre de la justice a autorisé les services des renseignements généraux et la police militaire à arrêter des civils comme ils le veulent et à les incarcérer pendant six mois s'ils expriment toute forme d'opposition écrite ou artistique contre le conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF), la police, ou leurs mandataires islamistes, tandis que protester contre ces mêmes institutions dans la rue peut conduire à la prison à vie.

Dissolution du parlement: Au motif que les élections législatives de novembre 2011-janv. 2012, avaient violé la Constitution (qui interdit aux candidats du parti de se présenter pour des sièges«individuels», la haute Cour administrative a statué sur leur validité en février 2012. Le 14 juin, la cour suprême constitutionnelle -que contrôle le conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF) [la cour suprême constitutionnelle (CSC), une cour composée de juges nommés par Moubarak, a statué qu'un tiers des sièges au parlement étaient invalides parce que les candidats des partis politiques avaient été élus pour des sièges réservés exclusivement aux indépendants non rattachés à un parti (NDLT)]- a confirmé cette décision et dissout le parlement. Rétrospectivement, il apparaît que le conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF), qui a supervisé ces élections, intentionnellement a laissé les islamistes violer la loi de manière à avoir une excuse à volonté pour dissoudre le parlement frauduleux de l'Egypte.

Mettre en place le principe de la loi martiale: le conseil suprême des Forces armées (SCAF) a publié une déclaration constitutionnelle le 17 juin qui a officialisé son intention de prolonger un règlement de l'armée datant de 60 ans. L'article 53/2 indique que, face à des troubles internes, «le président peut émettre la décision de diriger les forces armées – avec l'approbation du conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF) -pour maintenir la sécurité et la défense des biens publics». La base pour une prise en charge militaire complète ne pouvait guère être plus crûment affirmée, le plan de Morsi de reconvoquer le parlement dissous pourrait justifier une telle action.

Si les étrangers ne voient rien en général des jeux de pouvoir du conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF), les Egyptiens tiennent largement compte de cette réalité. Le mouvement libéral de la jeunesse du 6 avril a appelé ses actions récentes "un coup d'Etat léger." La journaliste Zaynab Abou al-Majd fait remarquer amèrement que "les coups d'état politiques, ces jours-ci, sont effectuées par des élections justes". Ziad Abdel Tawab de l'Institut du Caire pour les études des droits de l'homme appelle la dissolution du parlement un «coup d'Etat militaire flagrant.» Un journal égyptien a appelé Morsi "un président sans pouvoirs", tandis qu'un islamiste l'a comparé à la reine Elizabeth II de Grande-Bretagne.

Le conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF) se bat pour perpétuer le statu quo, selon lequel le corps des officiers profite de la bonne vie et le reste du pays sert à ses besoins. Faire de Morsi le président apparent de l'Egypte habilement lui refile la responsabilité alors que les problèmes économiques du pays s'aggravent. Mais les stratagèmes du conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF) font courir de graves dangers et ils pourraient se retourner contre lui, car une population qui en a marre de la tyrannie et de l'arriération se retrouve en pire dans la même situation. La prochaine explosion pourrait rendre le soulèvement de début 2011 fade en comparaison.

Pour tenter d'éviter l'explosion prochaine, les gouvernements occidentaux devraient adopter une politique faisant progressivement pression sur le conseil suprême des forces armées (SCAF) afin de permettre d'accroître la participation politique véritable.


Gil Hoffman

upjf.org, 18 juillet 2012

Il ne fait aucun doute que les carnages qui s’opèrent en Syrie sont atroces. Il ne fait aucun doute que l’armée de Bachar Al Assad est une armée barbare et criminelle. Il ne fait aucun doute, non plus, que les Casques bleus de l’ONU dépêchés sur place sont abominablement inutiles, et ne servent, comme partout où des Casques bleus sont dépêchés, qu’à compter les cadavres.

Campagne de riposte à la secrétaire d’Etat après son refus sans équivoque de la possibilité de libérer Pollard. Le Comité pour ramener Jonathan Pollard à la maison a exprimé son indignation mardi après les commentaires de la secrétaire d’Etat des USA Hillary Clinton rejetant la possibilité que la sentence à perpétuité de l’agent israélien soit commuée. « En ce qui concerne M. Pollard, il a été condamné pour espionnage en 1987, a dit Clinton. Il a été condamné à la prison à vie, il accomplit cette sentence et je ne m’attends en aucune manière à ce que cela change ». Une porte-parole du comité a dit que les remarques de Clinton ont stupéfié ses hôtes israéliens et gâché le chaleureux accueil qu’elle avait reçu du public.

Elle remarqua que Clinton n’avait donné aucune explication sur la raison pour laquelle les USA voulaient garder en prison Pollard, âgé et malade.

« [Clinton a dit que] Pollard a été condamné à la prison à perpétuité, dit la porte-parole. Dans ce que l’on ne peut que considérer que comme une impudence sans mélange, tout en repoussant les requêtes d’Israël pour la libération de Pollard, Mme Clinton a fait pression sur le Premier ministre Benyamin Netanyahou et le président Shimon Peres pour libérer nombre d’assassins et de terroristes condamnés en faveur de l’Autorité Palestinienne, qui dit-elle encore, ont été aussi condamnés à la ‘prison à perpétuité’ et ‘exécutent cette sentence’. « Des officiels qui oeuvrent à la libération de Pollard ont été rassurés du fait que Clinton n’a pas son mot à dire pour commuer la sentence d’un prisonnier.

Ils ont exprimé leur confiance que le président Barack Obama peut toujours répondre favorablement aux requêtes de clémence pour Pollard de la part de Peres et Netanyahou », poursuivit la porte-parole : « Les remarques de Clinton représentent une claque retentissante à la face du président Peres, à celle du Premier ministre Benyamin Netanyahou, et du Peuple d’Israël. Ses remarques sont aussi un affront au Peuple américain, et aux nombreux officiels américains de haut rang et aux représentants élus qui appellent à la libération de Pollard, à la communauté juive américaine et à ses dirigeants et aux honnêtes gens à travers le monde qui sont épris de justice pour Pollard. Cependant, Clinton n’est pas celle qui décide. Cela revient au président ».

En 2000, alors qu’elle faisait sa campagne électorale pour le Sénat, Hillary Clinton déclara qu’elle se souciait « des problèmes du procès concernant la sentence de Jonathan Pollard ».

La femme de Pollard, Esther, qui a refusé de répondre à Clinton, quittera Israël mercredi matin pour rendre visite à son mari dans sa cellule de Caroline du nord. La visite était prévue avant les remarques de Clinton à cause de sa santé chancelante.

Des membres de la Knesset de tout le spectre politique ont exprimé leur consternation après les commentaires de Clinton. La parlementaire MK du Parti Kadima, Ronit Tirosh, qui dirige le groupe de pression en faveur de Pollard à la Knesset, a révélé que les conseillers de Clinton l’ont empêchée de donner à la secrétaire d’Etat une lettre signée de 11 chefs de groupes de la Knesset plaidant pour la libération de Pollard.

« Les déclarations de Clinton ont été les plus sévères, les plus dures et les plus insensibles de la part d’un officiel américain depuis que le vice-président Joe Biden a dit que Pollard ne serait libéré qu’[en passant] sur son cadavre », a dit Tirosh. « Elle aurait pu faire une réponse neutre, mais au lieu de cela, elle n’a laissé aucune place à l’espoir que la vie de Pollard puisse encore être sauvée ».

Le député du Parti Likoud MK Danny Danon a dit que Clinton a nui à Obama auprès des électeurs Juifs américains, déjà peinés qu’il n’ait pas visité Israël comme président.

« Comme chef de la diplomatie américaine, elle aurait pu répondre diplomatiquement, dit Danon. Désormais, ce qu’elle a dit sur Pollard est la seule chose dont on se souviendra de sa visite ».

« Soit le gouvernement Obama ne comprend pas les Israéliens ou bien il s’en moque ».

Le ministre adjoint des affaires étrangères Danny Ayalon (Parti Ysrael Beytenu) a déclaré à la radio de l’armée qu’il espérait que Pollard ne mourrait pas en prison. Il a dit qu’aussi bien les gouvernements Démocrate et Républicain des USA avaient choisi une approche stricte qu’il ne parvenait pas comprendre et qui le décevaient.

« Nous n’abandonnerons pas, dit Ayalon. Nous poursuivrons nos efforts de persuasion ».


Guy Millière

menapress.org, 15 juillet 2012

Une campagne pro-palestinienne, initiée par le «Comité pour la Paix en Israël et en Palestine» va s’afficher, en grand, dans le métro de New York. Une cinquantaine de stations vont être couverts de panneaux publicitaires dévoilant quatre cartes de la « Palestine ». Des cartes apposées les unes auprès des autres et qui exposent, à croire ces panneaux, un rétrécissement graduel de sa superficie s’étalant de l’année 1946 à 2010. Sur le côté est indiqué : « 4,7 millions de Palestiniens sont classés par l'ONU en tant que réfugiés ».

Lorsque des auteurs évoquent les liens entre le mouvement palestinien et le nazisme, il se trouve toujours des bienpensants politiquement corrects pour soutenir qu’il s’agit là d’un amalgame injustifiable. Le nazisme, ajoutent-ils en général, est mort en 1945. Affirmer le contraire, poursuivent-ils, équivaut à remettre en cause la singularité abominable de la Shoah. 

Je suis et n’ai cessé d’être de ceux qui s’élèvent contre toute relativisation de la Shoah, dont je reconnais pleinement la singularité abominable. J’ai beaucoup écrit sur ce sujet. 

Je n’en affirme pas moins que le nazisme n’est pas mort en 1945, et que ses continuateurs les plus dangereux ne sont pas ceux que l’on nomme néo-nazis en Europe – ou ceux que l’on assimile hâtivement aux néo-nazis pour les disqualifier -, mais divers islamistes et adeptes d’un nationalisme arabe, teinté, depuis ses origines, de national-socialisme.

Et j’ajoute que le mouvement palestinien se situe au cœur de cette continuité.

Il est avéré que les divers élans du nationalisme arabe ont d’emblée été imprégnés du national-socialisme allemand. Ils ont, de surplus, entretenu des liens avec le Reich du temps où celui-ci s’évertuait à conquérir l’Europe et à éliminer les Juifs de la surface de la terre.

Les fondateurs du parti Baas, Michel Aflaq et Salah al-Din Bitar, l’ont défini en s’appuyant tout à la fois sur des idées marxistes, fascistes et nationales-socialistes. Et c’est de leur aligotage incertain qu’était issu Rashid Ali al-Kailani, l’organisateur d’un coup d’Etat pronazi contre la monarchie irakienne en 1941. C’est également dans ce courant politique que se sont illustrés Hafez al-Assad et, plus tard, Saddam Hussein.

Leurs idées ont aussi imprégné le mouvement dirigé par Gamal Abdel Nasser, qui s’est emparé du pouvoir en Egypte en 1952. Des chansons à la gloire d’Hitler ont circulé dans le monde arabe bien longtemps après la mort de ce dernier.

Nombre de dignitaires et d’officiers nazis de haut rang ont trouvé refuge et travail en Egypte et en Syrie après la chute du Reich, et y sont resté protégés et actifs jusqu’à leur mort.

Le principal mouvement islamiste en activité à ce jour, les Frères Musulmans, fondé par Hassan el-Banna en 1928, était lui-même imbibé, dès le départ, d’idées fascistes et nationales-socialistes, qui n’ont pas été abandonnées depuis.

Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, père « spirituel » du mouvement palestinien, nationaliste arabe et islamiste, n’a pas uniquement été un fervent compagnon de route du national-socialisme : il a activement collaboré avec l’Allemagne nazie, jusque dans la conception et la mise en œuvre de l’Holocauste, avant de retourner au Proche-Orient pour tenter d’y fomenter une deuxième Shoah.

Jusqu’au milieu des années 1960, le discours des nationalistes arabes et celui des islamistes n’évoquaient pas la libération de la Palestine, mais uniquement la destruction d’Israël et l’élimination des Juifs du Proche-Orient. Ce discours recelait explicitement un caractère antisémite et exterminationniste, le propre des propos tenus par des gens imprégnés de l’idéologie nationale-socialiste.

En ce temps-là, pour les Arabes, le mouvement « palestinien » n’existait pas, le « peuple palestinien » non plus.

Des officiers proches du KGB, des services du colonel Nasser, et de ceux du parti Baas syrien ont alors inventé le mouvement « palestinien », le « peuple palestinien » et une « lutte de libération nationale ». 

Des dirigeants palestiniens ont été sélectionnés et formés, notamment à Moscou, dont certains sont actifs jusqu’à ce jour, tel Mahmoud Abbas. Un manifeste palestinien a été rédigé et publié en 1968, et cela ne relève pas d’un hasard s’il ressemble de très près, comme l’a noté le journaliste italien Giulio Meotti dans un article récent, au manifeste du Parti National-Socialiste des Travailleurs Allemands publié en 1920.

Comme l’écrit Meotti, « le palestinisme n’est pas la construction d’une identité nationale, mais une construction idéologique au service d’un projet criminel totalitaire… C’est une utopie qui n’attend pas de concessions de la part d’Israël, mais cherche une solution finale ».

Nombre d’Israéliens discernent pleinement à qui ils ont affaire et ce qui est en jeu. Ce n’est malheureusement pas le cas de la gauche israélienne, au sein de laquelle l’aveuglement volontaire règne encore. On sait toutefois que l’aveuglement volontaire est une maladie qui touche toutes les gauches de la planète.


Michael Freund

Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2012

The Middle East took a sharp turn for the worse [last] week with the ascension to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. In what was perhaps the worst possible outcome for Israel and the West, Mohamed Morsy, the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, was declared the winner of Egypt’s elections.

This marks the first time that an avowed Islamist has been elected to lead an Arab state. And not just any Arab state, but Egypt—the largest, most powerful and influential country in the Arab world. Incredibly, some Westerners have greeted the news with inexplicable optimism bordering on childlike glee, cheerfully celebrating the free expression of the Egyptian public’s popular will while blithely ignoring the horrifying choice they have made.

But don’t let various pundits and talking heads fool you when they deploy loaded terms such as “moderate” to describe the Muslim Brotherhood or its leaders. Morsy and his comrades are a band of extremists and fanatics bent on religious, social and political domination whose agenda does not stop at the Egyptian border.

Their victory at the ballot box is nothing less than a strategic disaster, one which poses grave dangers to the national security interests of Israel and the United States. It will undermine the already tenuous stability of the region, further embolden radical forces throughout the world, and buoy Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Brotherhood and maintains close ties with the organization.

Consider the following. On June 15, two days before the [final] round of Egypt’s presidential vote, terrorists based in Sinai fired a Grad rocket into southern Israel. According to Israeli security officials cited by Haaretz, Hamas ordered the attack at the request of the Muslim Brotherhood, which presumably wanted a provocative anti-Israel action to stir up the Egyptian masses and rally them behind its candidate.

Egypt shares a 15 km.-long border with Gaza, and is likely to ease various restrictions on the movement of people and goods to the Hamas-controlled territory. This will strengthen Hamas’ grip on the area and provide it with an important pipeline for funding, personnel and perhaps even increased weapons transfers.

It is therefore no wonder that the terror group could barely contain its delight over the news of the Brotherhood’s victory, with Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar crowing that it was “a historic moment and a new era in the history of Egypt” as well as “a defeat for the program of normalization and security cooperation with the enemy [Israel].”

In the run-up to the vote, Morsy and his supporters made a number of chilling statements which give the lie to their alleged moderation. Back in May, when speaking to a gathering of Cairo University students, Morsy reportedly said, “The Koran is our constitution, the prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.” And in Morsy’s official biography, which appears on the Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb.com, it proudly lists him as a “founder-member of the Egyptian Resist the Zionist Project Committee.”

A brief glance at the site is all that is needed to see that the Brotherhood makes little effort to hide its hostility to the Jewish state. Take, for example, a post dated April 20, which quotes Dr. Farid Ismail, a member of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary commission, as saying the following: “We reject normalization under any name, and refuse to visit Jerusalem while it is under Zionist occupation.…” In a statement published on February 21, the Brotherhood declared that it “condemns Zionist attempts to strip Jerusalem of its Islamic identity and to completely Judaize the Holy City” and demanded “urgent action…to put an end to the Judaization of Jerusalem.…”

Israel woke up [last] week to a new outpost of radicalism along its southern border, the nascent Islamic Republic of Egypt. Don’t be surprised if within a decade, we once again find ourselves confronting the Egyptian army, as Cairo steadily drifts ever deeper into intolerance and zealotry.

There is no doubt that the Egyptian people have handed the Islamists a big victory at the ballot box and in the process condemned themselves to misery and defeat. The only question now is whether they will take the rest of the region down with them.


NY Post, June 30, 2012

There’s disturbing news out of Egypt…and it has worrisome implications for America. In a fiery speech [last week] to hundreds of thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Mohammed Morsi took the oath of office—and vowed to obtain freedom for the blind sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman.…

So much for those who insist that Morsi, the radical Muslim Brotherhood’s man, is a moderate—and that the group itself has moved beyond its Islamist origins. After all, we’re talking about the same blind sheik now serving a life term in US prison for masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and plotting attacks on other New York landmarks. The same blind sheik whose fatwa was cited by Osama bin Laden as religious justification for the 9/11 attacks. The same blind sheik whose terrorist movement, Gamaa Ismaliya, has elected members in Egypt’s new Islamist-dominated parliament.…

All of which raises troubling questions. The White House says it wants to work with Egypt’s new leadership.… [However], President Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, need to make it clear that they will not truck with terrorists—nor with their apologists in high places.

Robert Spencer

Pajamas Media, July 2, 2012

No sooner was Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi elected president of Egypt than he announced his determination to work for the freedom of an enemy of the United States: blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Not since Jimmy Carter helped usher in the Iranian Revolution has an American president done so much to aid those who are determined to destroy the United States.

In fact, the parallels are numerous. Carter betrayed the shah of Iran, a long-time U.S. ally who had a dismal human rights record but was generally loyal, and paved the way for the ascent to power of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian mullahcracy that quickly showed its gratitude to Carter by taking U.S. Embassy personnel hostage, and has maintained a war footing against the United States ever since.

Obama, for his part, betrayed Hosni Mubarak, another long-time U.S. ally with a record of repressive rule, paving the way for the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power. And now President Morsi has shown his gratitude to Obama by announcing his determination to free from prison a man who plotted to murder hundreds of thousands of Americans.

It is said that history repeats itself, but it doesn’t do so by means of some automatic, inexorable, deterministic process. History repeats itself because people refuse to study and learn its lessons, and to face the unpleasant facts it presents.…

The Obama administration didn’t have to be Carter’s second term, but both Carter and Obama are the products of a political culture that consistently discounts the importance of religious motivations. Informed sources have noted that at the time of the Iranian Revolution, only one book by the Ayatollah Khomeini could be found in the State Department, and no one had read it: no one thought the rantings of an obscure fanatic exiled to far-off France were important. That was the manifestation of a willful blindness to rival that of James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, who famously labeled the Muslim Brotherhood “largely secular.” In fact, it is the same willful blindness, and it has characterized the Washington establishment’s views on Islam and jihad from Carter’s day until now.…

Last week, Yasser Borhamy, a Salafi leader, declared that the Muslim Brotherhood was planning to implement Sharia as the main source for Egyptian law.… By “Sharia law revealed by God,” Borhamy meant the Sharia that stones adulterers, amputates thieves’ hands, mandates death for apostates from Islam, and institutionalizes subjugation of women and non-Muslims. If the Brotherhood does succeed in implementing this in Egypt, it will have Barack Obama to thank: his applause for the “Arab Spring” uprisings, coupled with the universal misrepresentation of them in the Western media as outpourings of a longing for democracy and pluralism, has brought us to the inception of an Egyptian regime that is almost certain to go to war with Israel and pursue a path of unrelenting hostility toward its erstwhile patrons in Washington.…

And so what was old is new again: a man who owes his seat of power to the United States demonstrates his hostility to the ones who put him in place. Then it was Khomeini, now it is Morsi, but in both cases it is the same. One wonders how many times Washington will have the luxury of making this same mistake before the consequences become too terrible to bear.

Giulio Meotti

FrontPage, July 3, 2012

It’s possible that in the coming years the Arab masses will revolt against their new Islamic rulers. But today, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, the Wahhabis and all the other followers of the Koran have the keys of the Arab world.

The new president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, is a pious revolutionary whose message has always been very simple: “Islam is the solution.” The real Egyptian people were not the secularists described by hypocritical Western journalists based in Tahrir Square. Instead, they are the people revealed in a recent Pew poll: 54% believe men and women should be segregated in the workplace; 82% believe adulterers should be stoned; 84% believe apostates from Islam should face the death penalty; 77% believe thieves should be flogged or have their hands cut off. That’s why the new Islamic rulers will try to impose the veil on women, ban alcohol and attack the cold peace with Israel. That’s why the most important Arab country will move toward a theocratic anti-Western scenario.

The Muslim Brotherhood…want[s] to change society and the individual in the name of a totalitarian ideology. They have waited 80 years to seize power, while their worldview was forged in the Arabian desert 1,300 years ago. To become a “Brother,” an Ikhwan, one must pass through eight years of training. It’s like joining Heinrich Himmler’s SS. And like the Hitlerist special forces that were at war with Judaism, cosmopolitism, communism and democracy, the Islamic Brothers are at war with individualism, modernism, consumerism, materialism, tolerance, subjectivism, rationalism, paganism, Judaism and Christianity.…

Islamists will take into account tourism and jobs. But on top of their agenda is the Koran, not Egypt’s gross national product. They want to build a haven for Muslim bearded men, which will turn out to be a hell for women, Jews, Christians, unbelievers, atheists, converts and all the free men and women. More and more Copts will leave the country, walking in the streets of Cairo will become increasingly dangerous and the border with Israel will be open to rockets.…

One year ago the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, proclaimed: “We will continue on the path of Qutb.” Few “experts” understood the deep meaning of this statement. The stories about the suffering of Qutb in Egyptian prisons are a kind of dark mythology of Islamism.… Badie was his cellmate. Qutb managed to get his manifesto, “Milestones,” smuggled out of jail. It’s the “Mein Kampf of Islamism.…”

Qutb vilified the Jews as “slayers of the prophets” and as “perfidious,” double-dealing and “evil.…” Qutb wrote that the only way to get rid of “corruption” is the imposition of a “just rule” at war with modernity, human rights, promiscuity, materialism and Zionism.… Like Hitler’s Aryanism, Qutb heralded the notion that Islam is superior. Like Hitler, Qutb saw the existence of the Hebrew people as the measure of the world’s moral bankruptcy.

After six decades of Arab kleptocracy, the Middle East is going to be engineered according to Qutb’s nightmare. Symbols help to understand the mindset. That of the Muslim Brotherhood is a Koran and two sharp swords. In 2005 they published a map of the world. In the center is a green area, the color of Islam. In a lower panel it said: “One hundred years from now.…”

The Nazis called it “Lebensraum.” The Islamists call it “Caliphate.”

Jake Meth

Egypt Independent, June 28, 2012

A taxi pulls up to the Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue on Adly Street in downtown Cairo. The driver has to wait for the manic traffic to calm down before he can unload a wheelchair from his trunk, unfold it, and help a frail, elderly woman into its seat.

The occasion is the Jewish holiday of Passover, and the woman is one the few remaining Egyptian Jews. The driver wheels the woman past some 20 security guards stationed in front of the synagogue. Entrants, with some exceptions, need to be on a list before being allowed into the seder, the ritual dinner that celebrates the holiday. According to two of the seder’s opening lines: “All who are hungry, let them enter and eat. All who are in need, let them come celebrate Passover with us.” But here, security concerns appear to take precedence.

The seder is held in a multipurpose room adjacent to the synagogue’s impressive, high-walled central courtyard. Almost all of the Egyptian Jews present are elderly women, sitting at two small, round tables at the back of the room. A long, white-clothed table runs down the center, at the head of which sits Rabbi Mark El Fassi, the president of Les Enfants d’Abraham (the Children of Abraham) organization in France, who has been imported to lead the seder.…

The primary force behind this seder, and the continued relevance of Egypt’s Jewish community, is the woman seated to Fassi’s left, Carmen Weinstein. As president of the Egyptian Jewish community, Weinstein has presided over the restoration of the Bassatine Cemetery—the second oldest Jewish cemetery in the world—and the synagogue at which the seder is held, among other projects. She maintains a website, Bassatine News, which bills itself as “the only Jewish newsletter reporting directly from Egypt.” That United States Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson attends the seder is a further testament to Weinstein’s clout.

But Weinstein’s efforts have only put off an inevitable reality: Egypt’s Jewish community—some 80,000 strong in the early twentieth century and now consisting of a few dozen elderly women—is dying out. “There’s not much of a community,” says Joel Beinin, a professor of Middle East history at Stanford University who wrote The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry. “I mean we’re talking about a few people here.…” As Beinin puts it in his book, “Between 1919 and 1956, the entire Egyptian Jewish community…was transformed from a national asset into a fifth column.” Most of Egypt’s remaining Jews left after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.…

Websites and organizations run by expatriate Egyptian Jews, such as Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA), Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, Harif (Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa) and the blog “Point of no return,” highlight what they describe as a history of Jewish persecution in the region. The sites exhaustively compile media stories and other reports documenting Jewish expulsions and continued expressions of anti-Semitism. They emphasize that Middle Eastern and North African Jews were made refugees.… Joseph Wahed, JIMENA’s founder and an Egyptian Jew, says Egypt’s Jews were “all ethnically cleansed between 1948 and 1970.…”

The voices of the remaining Egyptian Jews remain silent on the issue of their dwindling community.… Speaking in a telephone interview, Beinin says that the community today has found itself in a complicated position, which is why its members are reluctant to speak to the media. “There’s nothing they can say that can be safe for them,” he says. “They are under the intense scrutiny of the Egyptian government and Egyptian intelligentsia.…”

Despite the difficulties inherent to the task, Weinstein appears set on maintaining the Egyptian Jewish community.… “There is a very long history of Jewish life in Egypt; it goes all the way back to Abraham and Joseph, and permanent settlement as old as Jeremiah,” says Beinin. “So if someone is actually thinking about the past and future of this community, you don’t so easily say it’s done.…”


On Sunday, Egypt’s electoral commission released the official results of the country’s first ever—and possibly last—democratic presidential election: the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was declared winner, having garnered approximately 52% of the run-off vote against ex-military man Ahmed Shafiq.


Dore Gold

Israel Hayom, June 22, 2012

The announcement that the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohamed Morsi, had won the presidential elections in Egypt…caused many across the Middle East to consider the implications of an Islamist victory in the most important and influential Arab state. In the West, it is doubtful that foreign ministries are in a state of shock, since there has been a growing readiness to accept the Muslim Brotherhood in recent years.

In February 2011, James Clapper, U.S. President Barack Obama’s senior intelligence advisor made an embarrassing statement in front of the House Intelligence Committee, when he said: “The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam.” Three months later on its official website, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood condemned the U.S. for eliminating Osama bin Laden.…

Clapper’s assessment about the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to reflect a growing shift in the U.S. foreign policy establishment that…became more prominent…after the fall of Mubarak. Thus at the end of June 2011, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained that the Obama administration was “continuing the approach of limited contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood…[as] it was in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to non-violence.…”

But how was the Muslim Brotherhood seen in the Middle East? In 2005, a former Kuwaiti Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmad al-Rabi’, wrote in the Saudi-owned Asharq Alawsat: “The beginnings of all the religious terrorism that we are witnessing today were in the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology.” He added that “all those who worked with bin Laden and al-Qaida went out under the mantle of the Muslim Brotherhood.…”

Shabokshi’s analysis was correct: bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam, came out of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood; Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy (and current head of al-Qaida) came from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; and the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, grew up in the Kuwaiti branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.…

Without a doubt, the Middle Eastern understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood is more accurate. The rhetoric of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood is the best proof that it still remains an organization advocating violence. Its General Guide in Egypt, Muhammad al-Badi’, published a weekly message on the Muslim Brotherhood website on December 23, 2010 opposing negotiations with Israel and adding that “Palestine will not be liberated by hopes and prayers, but rather by Jihad and sacrifice.” When al-Badi’ became the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in January 2010, contrary to the analysis in Washington and London, many Middle Eastern commentators in fact said that the movement was moving in a more radical direction; the same was true of the leadership changes in the Syrian and Jordanian branches of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well.

Given these regional trends with the Muslim Brotherhood, it should then have come as no surprise that when Morsi’s campaign for the presidency was formally launched on May 1, 2012, an Egyptian cleric, Sawfat Higazi, who shared the stage with Morsi announced: “we can see how the dream of the Islamic Caliphate is being realized, Allah willing, by Dr. Mohamed Morsi.…” He added “Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca, or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, Allah willing our cry shall be: ‘Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.…’” Morsi did not challenge this message.…

There remains the question of whether the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood will moderate its policies should it come to power, given that any Egyptian government first and foremost has tens of millions of mouths to feed. In the past, other Muslim Brotherhood regimes in Sudan and in Gaza rigidly adhered to their Islamist agenda. Indeed, the regime in Khartoum, under Hassan Turabi, hosted dozens of terrorist organizations from Hamas to al-Qaida in the early 1990s. It was at that time that Osama bin Laden made Sudan the center of his operations prior to his move to Afghanistan. Will the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood do the same with Sinai in the future?

The answer to this question depends on the future relations between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian army which is trying to retain certain powers for itself. But it will also depend to a great extent upon what it hears from the international community…[and] spokesmen for the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon [are] press[ing] the Egyptian Army to relinquish the governing role it is seeking to carve out for itself.…

[In fact], according to the Los Angeles Times, U.S. officials…were “deeply concerned by an Egyptian military decree giving the generals sweeping powers to pass laws and decide whether to go to war.” This was a stunning statement…given the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ties to its Palestinian branch, Hamas. Leaving Egypt’s war-making powers with the Egyptian military is far safer for the world than transferring them to a Muslim Brotherhood government.…

If the West continues down this course and uncritically embraces the Muslim Brotherhood, then it will be extremely unlikely that it will temper its confrontational political program in the future and become a more moderate movement as many in the West presently hope.

(Dore Gold, a former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations,
is President of the
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.)

Bret Stephens

Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2012

Egypt is lost.

Don’t console yourself with the belief that the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country’s first free presidential election is merely symbolic, since the army still has the guns: The examples of revolutionary Iran and present-day Turkey show how easily the conscripts can be bought, the noncoms wooed and the officers purged.

Don’t console yourself with the idea that now the Islamists will have to prove themselves capable of governing the country. The Brotherhood is the most successful social organization in the Arab world. Its leaders are politically skillful, economically literate and strategically patient. Its beliefs resonate with poor, rich and middle class alike. And it can always use the army as a scapegoat should the economy fail to improve.

Don’t console yourself with the expectation that the Brotherhood will play by the democratic rules that brought it to power. “Democracy is like a streetcar,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist prime minister, observed long ago. “When you come to your stop you get off.” Any party that rules street and square makes its own “democratic” rules.

Don’t console yourself, finally, with hope that Egypt will remain a responsible, status quo player on the international scene. By degrees, Egypt under the Brotherhood will seek to arm Hamas and remilitarize the Sinai. By degrees, it will seek to extract concessions from the U.S. as the price of its good behavior. By degrees, it will make radical alliances in the Middle East and beyond.

Who lost Egypt?The Egyptians, obviously. This was their moment, opportunity, choice. They chose…a party that offers Islamic stultification as the solution to every political and personal problem. By the time they come to regret their choice, they won’t be in a position to change it.

But there are other players in this debacle, too.

First, the Obama administration. “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable,” said Hillary Clinton as protesters began descending on Tahrir Square in January 2011. President Obama didn’t help matters by calling instantly for Mr. Mubarak’s removal—thereby demonstrating how foolish it can be to be an ally of the U.S.—after doing nothing in the previous two years to pressure Mr. Mubarak to relinquish power while he still had a chance. As a result, the U.S. has no credibility with Egyptians, secular or religious, and just 19% of Egyptians approve of Mr. Obama’s leadership, according to Gallup. So much for the Cairo Speech.

Next, the Bush administration. “Naturally, here in Egypt as in the U.S., there is freedom of speech, so it is possible for anyone to complain about any personal or social problem.…” This bit of sycophancy was uttered in March 2006 by Frank Ricciardone, then U.S. ambassador in Cairo, just as the Mubarak government had imprisoned Ayman Nour, its only challenger in the 2005 election.… What did it suggest to Egyptians about the sincerity of Mr. Bush’s freedom agenda? The question [is] self-answering.

Third, the liberal abdicators. That’s a catch-all term for anyone who believes the result of any free election is ipso facto legitimate and that the world’s responsibility toward Egyptians’ democracy is to preserve a studied neutrality about their political choices. But a democratic election that yields a totalitarian result isn’t “legitimate,” except in the most cramped sense of the word. In reality, it’s a double-barreled catastrophe: a stain on democracy’s good name and a recipe for turbocharged political extremism.

Yet the deeper liberal abdication is the abdication of the idea that freedom is more than simply an end in itself. If you believe that any use of freedom is a legitimate use of freedom—that Larry Flynt inhabits the same moral plane as, say, Vaclav Havel—then what you have mainly succeeded in doing is destroying the attractiveness of freedom to a large segment of the world.…

What is to be done?

In 1979, the U.S. lost Iran as an ally but formalized an alliance with Egypt. Perhaps we might get lucky should the Assad regime fall to Syrians better disposed to the U.S., not that we’re giving the Syrian people much cause to like us.…

We could also spell out to the new Egyptian government our terms for maintaining financial support and diplomatic favor. The Egyptian economy is in enough distress that the new government could be pliant. But that window won’t be open for very long.…

So prepare for an Egypt that likes us about as much as Nasser’s did and behaves accordingly. It’s going to be a long and ugly haul. And it’s just beginning.

Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2012

You have to hand it to the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. They know how to play power politics. They know how to acquire power. And they know how to use power.

[Two Friday’s ago], the day before voters…elected the Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsi to serve as Egypt’s next president, The Wall Street Journal published a riveting account by Charles Levinson and Matt Bradley of how the Brotherhood outmaneuvered the secular revolutionaries to take control of the country’s political space.

The Brotherhood kept a very low profile in the mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square in January and February 2011 that led to the overthrow of then-president Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood’s absence from Tahrir Square at that time is what enabled Westerners to fall in love with the Egyptian revolution. Those demonstrations led to the impression, widespread in the US, that Mubarak’s successors would be secular Facebook democrats.…

In their report, Levinson and Bradley showed how the Brotherhood used the secularists to overthrow the regime, and to provide them with a fig leaf of moderation through March 2011, when the public voted on the sequencing of Egypt’s post-Mubarak transformation from a military dictatorship into a populist regime. The overwhelming majority of the public voted to first hold parliamentary elections and to empower the newly elected parliament to select members of the constitutional assembly that would write Egypt’s new constitution. As Egypt’s largest social force, the Brotherhood knew it would win the majority of the seats in the new parliament. The March 2011 vote ensured its control over writing the new Egyptian constitution.

In July 2011, the Brotherhood decided to celebrate its domination of the new Egypt with a mass rally at Tahrir Square. Levinson and Bradley explained how in the lead-up to that event Egypt’s secular revolutionaries were completely outmaneuvered. According to their account, the Brotherhood decided to call the demonstration “Shari’a Friday.” Failing to understand that the game was over, the secularists tried to regain what they thought was the unity of the anti-regime ranks from earlier in the year.

“Islamists and revolutionary leaders spent three days negotiating principles they could all support at the coming Friday demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. They reached an agreement and the revolution seemed back on track.” One secularist leader, Rabab el-Mahdi, referred to the agreement as “The perfect moment. A huge achievement.” But then came the double cross. “Hours before the demonstration, hard-line Salafi Islamists began adorning the square with black-and-white flags of jihad and banners calling for the implementation of Islamic law. Ms. Mahdi made frantic calls to Brotherhood leaders, who told her there was little they could do.” Checkmate.

The difference between the Brotherhood and the secularists is a fundamental one. The Brotherhood has always had a vision of the Egypt it wants to create. It has always used all the tools at its disposal to advance the goal of creating an Islamic state in Egypt. For their part, the secularists have no ideological unity and so share no common vision of a future Egypt. They just oppose the repression of the military. Opposing repression is not a political program. It is a political act. It can destroy. It cannot rule.…

While instructive, the Journal’s article fell short because the reporters failed to recognize that the Brotherhood outmaneuvered the military junta in the same way that it outmaneuvered the secularists. The article starts with the premise that the military’s decision to stage an effective coup d’etat last week spelled an end to the Egyptian revolution and the country’s reversion to the military dictatorship that has ruled the state since the 1950s.

Levinson and Bradley claim, “Following the rulings by the high court [which canceled the results of the parliamentary elections and ensured continued military control over the country], the Brotherhood’s strategy of cooperation with the military seems failed.” But actually, that is not the case. By permitting the Brotherhood to participate in the elections for parliament and the presidency, the military signed the death warrant of its regime. The Brotherhood will rule Egypt. The only thing left to be determined is whether its takeover will happen quickly or slowly.

To understand why this is the case, it is important to notice what happened in Turkey. When the Islamist AKP party won the 2002 elections, the Turkish military was constitutionally authorized to control the country. As the guardians of Turkey’s secular state, Turkey’s military was constitutionally empowered to overthrow democratically elected governments.

Ten years later, Turkey is a populist, authoritarian, Islamic state. Half the general officer corps is in prison, held without charge or on trumped up charges. Turkey’s judiciary and civil service are controlled by Islamists. The AKP is filling the military’s officer corps with its loyalists.…

The Egyptian military today is far weaker than the Turkish military was in 2002.… The only way for it to secure its hold on power is through brute force. And the generals have already shown they are unwilling to use sufficient force to repress the Brotherhood.… The regime’s decision to outlaw the parliament and decree the military above the president was not a show of strength. It was a panicked act of desperation by a regime that knows its days are numbered.…

The inevitability of the Islamic takeover of Egypt means that the peace between Israel and Egypt is meaningless. Confrontation is coming. The only questions that remain are how long it will take and what form it will come in. If it happens slowly, it will be characterized by a gradual escalation of cross-border attacks from Sinai by Hamas and other jihadist groups. Hamas’s sudden eagerness to take responsibility for the [recent] mortar attacks against southern Israel as well as [last week’s] murderous cross-border attack are signs of things to come.

With the Brotherhood ascending to power, the security cooperation Israel has received from the Egyptian security forces in Sinai is over. And the regime won’t suffice with doing nothing to stop terror. It will encourage it. Just as the Egyptian military sponsored and organized the fedayeen raids from Gaza in the 1950s, so today the regime will sponsor and eventually organize irregular attacks from Sinai and Gaza.

In the rapid-path-to-confrontation scenario, the Egyptian military itself will participate in attacks against Israel. Egyptian troops may take potshots at Israelis from across the border. They may remilitarize Sinai. They may escalate attacks against the US-commanded MFO forces in Sinai that are supposed to keep the peace with the goal of convincing them to withdraw.

Whether the confrontation happens tomorrow or in a year or two, the question of whether the military remains the titular ruler of Egypt or not is irrelevant to Israel. In their attempt to maintain their power and privilege, the first bargaining chip the generals will sacrifice is their support for the peace with Israel. With the US siding with the Brotherhood against the military, maintaining the peace treaty has ceased to be important for the generals.

This dismal situation requires Israel’s leaders to take several steps immediately. First, our leaders must abandon their diplomatic language regarding Egypt. No point is served by not acknowledging that the southern front—dormant since 1981—has reawakened and that Israel’s peace with Egypt is now meaningless.…

At a minimum, frank talk will ensure that the steps we take on the ground to meet the challenge of Egypt will be based on reality and not on an attempt to ignore reality. Straight talk is also important in the international arena. For the past 30 years, in the interest of protecting the peace treaty, Israel never defended itself against Egypt’s diplomatic assaults on its very right to exist. Now it can and must fight back with full force. This will enable Israel to wage a coherent diplomatic defense of whatever military action it will eventually need to take to defend itself against Egyptian aggression.

As to that aggression, we don’t have any good options on the ground. We cannot operate openly in Sinai. If we retaliate against missile attacks with air strikes, the Brotherhood-led Egyptian government will use our defensive action to justify war. So we need to massively expand our ability to operate covertly. Aside from that, we must equip and train our military to win a war against the US-trained and-armed Egyptian military.… The die has been cast. We must prepare for what is coming.