|MIDDLE EAST UPDATES FROM JANUARY 30th 2011|
Friday, 4 February 2011
Egypt’s struggle against the Moslem Brotherhood.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser, and a senior research fellow at Tel Aviv
University's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), said,
"There's a reasonable chance that if a
revolution takes place in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would rise to power. That would be bad not just for
Israel but for all democracies."
The true struggle in Egypt was not between "Mubarak and pro-democracy
elements, but between Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood," Eiland said.
The Mubarak regime is based
on a huge ruling party present in every village and every city
What Have We Learned from the Holocaust? - Yuli Edelstein
In the spring of 1939 George the VI, King of England, instructed his private secretary to write to British
Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, having learned that "a number of Jewish refugees from different countries
were surreptitiously getting into Palestine."
The king was "glad to learn that steps are being taken to
prevent these people leaving their country of origin."
Halifax's office telegraphed Britain's ambassador
in Berlin asking him to encourage the German government "to check the unauthorized emigration" of Jews.
To prevent Jewish immigration to Palestine was an official government policy, they say, to pacify Arab
Muslim resistance to the Zionist movement. Indeed, this policy, as we know now, was a resounding success.
Millions of Jews didn't escape their "countries of origin," except with the smoke of the crematorium
Salafi-Jihadist Cleric: "Egypt on the Verge of an Historic Stage in the History of the Islamic Nation"
Prominent Salafi-jihadist cleric Abu Mundhir Al-Shinqiti has ruled that participation in the protests in Egypt
is permissible and recommended, since they might bring about the fall of the current Egyptian regime. Al-
Shinqiti's fatwa demonstrates the high expectations Salafi-jihadis have regarding the outcome of the current
uprising in Egypt. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak swore in a new cabinet on Monday January 31
Palestinians Jailed in Egypt Flee to Gaza (Ha'aretz)
34 members of Egypt's opposition Muslim Brotherhood, including seven members of the Brotherhood's
Guidance Council, walked out of prison Sunday January 30, after relatives of prisoners overcame the guards,
a Brotherhood official said.
Several thousand inmates were set free, helped by gangs of armed men who
attacked the prisons. Earlier Sunday, three Palestinian security prisoners, including at least one Hamas
member, escaped back to Gaza via a smuggling tunnel.
Israel Shaken as Turbulence Rocks an Ally - Ethan Bronner
Israelis worry that a successful overthrow in Egypt could spread to Jordan. And if the Muslim Brotherhood
were to gain power in Egypt, that would probably mean not only a stronger Islamist force in Gaza but also in
the West Bank, as well as in Jordan, meaning Israel would feel surrounded in a way it has not in decades.
Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser, said even if Egypt did not cancel its peace treaty with Israel
tomorrow or in five years, a government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood would mean "you can't exclude
the possibility of a war with Egypt." (New York Times)
House Leaders Push for Obama Pledge to Veto Palestinian UN Resolution - Bridget Johnson
Key House leaders sent a letter to President Obama on Thursday urging that the U.S. veto a resolution at
the UN Security Council that would declare any post-1967 Israeli settlements, including in east Jerusalem,
illegal. They asked Obama to "pledge in response to this letter to veto any UN Security Council resolution
that criticizes Israel regarding final status issues."
The letter said, "The passage of this resolution would
simply isolate Israel and embolden the Palestinians to focus on further such pyrrhic victories, immeasurably
setting back prospects for achieving real peace," the lawmakers wrote. (The Hill)
If the Muslim Brotherhood Takes Over, IDF Will Face Formidable Enemy - Yaakov Katz
If the Muslim Brotherhood grabs the reins in Egypt, Israel will face an enemy with one of the largest and
strongest militaries around, built on some of the most advanced American-made platforms.
are not isolated to Egypt.
One former senior Mossad official said on Saturday January 29, that Israel
needed to be more concerned with a potential revolution in Jordan.
"In Egypt, Israel has the Sinai as a
major buffer zone," the official said.
"This is not the case in Jordan, where there is a massive Palestinian
population that could directly threaten Israel through the West Bank." However, in Egypt, 59 % of people
back the Islamists ! (Jerusalem Post)
Heavy rain falls as government addresses water crisis
The weekend brought rain to several parts of Israel over the weekend of January 30, raising the level of the Sea
of Galilee but still leaving the country in a severe drought.
The cabinet recently approved a proposition
aimed to improve Israel's water crisis by expanding the capacities of the country's desalination plants, allowing
them to produce water 24 hours a day until the 15 of March, which will result in an additional 22-27 million
cubic meters of water a year.
Palestinians in Gaza Shell Israel with Rockets, Mortars - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
Palestinians in Gaza fired a barrage of powerful Grad rockets and mortar shells at Israel on Monday January 31.
One Grad rocket smashed into the town of Ofakim and a second rocket slammed into Netivot, not far from a
building where a wedding was taking place.
Four people were treated for shock from the attack on Netivot
and a vehicle was damaged.
U.S. Open to a Role for Islamists in New Egypt Government - Paul Richter and Peter Nicholas
The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim
Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government.
must reject violence and recognize democratic goals if the U.S. is to be comfortable with it taking part in the
government, the White House said.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and best-organized Egyptian
opposition group, advocates tearing up Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. (Los Angeles Time s)
Young Secularists Leading Egyptian Revolution Are Anti-Israel - Peter Clottey
The people in charge of the people's revolution now taking Egypt by storm are young secularist people, who
are not Islamists.
I think what the West is afraid of is that, for the past three decades, P resident Mubarak
and his governments have been the chief allies of the West in terms of keeping the peace with Israel," said
"What they are afraid of in the West, in Washington in particular, is that, if the people power
revolution reaches its logical conclusion, what we will see is a government that is not necessarily Islamist....It
is not just the Islamists that are anti-Israel; secularists, the left, socialists, youngsters who do not even identify
themselves as political activists are anti-Israel." (VOA News)
IDF Secures Egypt Border - Yaniv Kubovich, Zohar Blumenkrantz and Roy Arad
Israeli forces have been beefed up along the Egyptian border out of concern that terrorists could exploit the
situation to cross the border and perpetrate attacks inside Israel.
In addition, military planners are concerned
that masses of Sinai Bedouin might seek to flee Egypt for Israel, or tens of thousands of African asylum-seekers
could flood across the border into Israel. (Ha'aretz)
Israel Agrees to Additional Egyptian Troops in Sinai
With street protests threatening the Egyptian regime, Israel allowed the Egyptian army to move two battalions
- about 800 soldiers - into Sinai on Sunday January 30.
They were based in the Sharm el-Sheikh area on
Sinai's southern tip. (AP-Ynet News)
Former Mossad Head: U.S. Attitude toward Egypt Raises Questions for Israel - Herb Keinon
Former Mossad head Danny Yatom said in an Israel Radio interview that U.S. treatment of Egyptian President
Mubarak sent a dangerous message to Washington's allies in the region - including Israel - that they could not
rely on America.
"The way Obama and Hillary Clinton abandoned Mubarak at once is very problematic,
and I think hints to other allies - for instance Israel - that these things can happen under certain grave
circumstances to us as well, and to others."
Iranian parliament delivers rebuke to Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suffered a political setback on Tuesday February 1, as parliament
fired his transportation minister after a series of deadly plane crashes in the country.
The rebuke is the latest
from a parliament full of formally friendly conservative lawmakers who have recently accused Ahmadinejad
of overstepping his powers, not being transparent and mismanaging the economy
Egyptian Army declares it will not use force to disperse protests
Moslem Brotherhood poised to gain control
Egypt's powerful army declared on Monday January 31, that the demands expressed by protesters
are "legitimate" and the army would not obey orders to crush the massive street demonstrations planned for
Egypt: Please, Not ElBaradei
Claudia Rosett, Pajamas Media
It is not at all reassuring to see former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei emerging as a potential leader of the
Egyptian opposition, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood.
As head of the IAEA, ElBaradei often looked
like a shill for Iran - repeatedly glossing over obvious signs of Iran's nuclear weapons program, obfuscating the
realities, and delaying action.
His tenure spanned Pakistan's breakout nuclear test, North Korea's nuclear
buildup to its 2006 first nuclear test, and Iran's lively pursuit of the bomb
Peace Is in Egypt's Interest - - Avi Trengo (Ynet News)
In the Middle East there are no friends - all we have is interests - and peace with Israel is a supreme interest
for the Egyptian people and for the ruler who will succeed Mubarak. About a million babies are born in
Egypt every nine months. One third of Egypt's exports are in the form of tourism services, which have
now plummeted to zero.
Another 10% are exports to the U.S. that are mostly premised on the free trade
agreements via Israel.
Whoever rules Egypt will need these exports.
Leaked Cable Tells of 3 Undisclosed Members of 9/11 Plot- Peter Finn and Julie Tate (Washington Post)
A newly released U.S. diplomatic cable discloses the existence of previously undisclosed participants in
the Sep. 11, 2001, plot: a group of Qatari men who conducted surveillance of targets in New York and the
Washington area before leaving the U.S. on the eve of the attacks. The cable, sent on Feb. 11, 2010, from the
U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, and made public by WikiLeaks, recommended that Mohamed al-Mansoori from
the United Arab Emirates, who lived in Long Beach, Calif., in Sep. 2001, be added to a government watch list
as a threat to civil aviation in the U.S. and abroad.
Mansoori assisted the three Qataris - identified as Mesh
al Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid - while they were in the U.S.
Mubarak Pledges Not to Run for Reelection, Plans to Remain in Office to Transfer Power - Griff Witte
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt promised Tuesday February 1, that he would relinquish power after
elections this fall, his most significant concession yet to an extraordinary public uprising.
But the gesture
failed to quiet demands from Egyptian opposition leaders and pro-democracy demonstrators that Mubarak step
down immediately, while President Obama insisted that a transition to democracy in Egypt "must begin
now." (Washington Post)
Jordan's King Abdullah Shuffles Cabinet, But Few See an Egypt in the Making - Nicholas Seeley
After weeks of intermittent street protests, Jordan's King Abdullah II has sacked his cabinet and called for the
formation of a new government led by Maarouf Al Bakhit, a career military man.
Senators Reject Call to Cut Israel Aid
Six Senate Democrats are rejecting a deficit-driven proposal by freshman Republican Sen. Rand Paul of
Kentucky to cut U.S. aid to Israel. In a letter Tuesday February 1, to the top House Republicans on the
Appropriations and Budget committees, the Democrats said aid to Israel, the only democratic nation in the
Middle East, is imperative.
Is ElBaradei a "Donkey of the Revolution"? - Dore Gold
Initially, the Muslim Brotherhood was very low-key during the crisis in Egypt.
Yet since January 28,
its involvement has become more prominent with its support of Mohamed ElBaradei to lead the opposition
forces against the government.
In the streets of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators disdainfully
call people like ElBaradei "donkeys of the revolution" - to be used and then pushed away - a scenario that
sees the Muslim Brotherhood exploit ElBaradei in order to hijack the Egyptian revolution at a later stage.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) If the Brotherhood has its way,
Egypt will become a Sunni theocracy modeled on Iran.
If the democracy activists have theirs, it'll be a weak
parliamentary system, incapable of exercising authority over the army and a cat's paw for a Brotherhood that
knows its revolutionary history. (Wall Street Journal)
Israel, Alone Again? - Yossi Klein Halevi (New York Times)
The Muslim Brotherhood has long stated its opposition to peace with Israel and has pledged to revoke the 1979
Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty if it comes into power.
An Islamist Egypt could produce the ultimate Israeli
nightmare: living in a country surrounded by Iran's allies or proxies.
The Brotherhood and its offshoots have
been the main purveyors of the Muslim world's widespread conspiracy theories about the Jews.
WikiLeaks: Al-Qaeda on the Verge of Producing Radioactive Weapons (Telegraph-UK)
Al-Qaeda is on the verge of producing radioactive weapons after sourcing nuclear material and recruiting rogue
scientists to build "dirty" bombs, according to leaked diplomatic documents.
A leading atomic regulator
has privately warned that the world stands on the brink of a "nuclear 9/11."
Security briefings suggest that
jihadi groups are also close to producing "workable and efficient" biological and chemical weapons that could
kill thousands if unleashed in attacks on the West.5
Mubarak Supporters Strike Back - Will Englund and Leila Fadel
Whipped up by state television and spoiling for a fight, thousands of supporters of President Hosni Mubarak
flooded into the center of Egypt's capital Wednesday February 2, sparking violent clashes that shifted the
momentum in the political confrontation.
The president's supporters fueled the showdown with a charge by
men riding camels and horses, wielding whips and clubs. Both sides then went at it with rocks, sticks and
Mubarak Still Has Support from Rich and Poor - Griff Witte
There are many in Egypt who are deeply invested in the current system and will fight to preserve it -
businessmen with rich government contracts, civil servants, security officers, ruling-party activists and poor
Egyptians who fear instability.
The country may be rich with revolutionary fervor, but Wednesday's events
(February 2) proved that the guardians of the existing order still wield tremendous clout.
Egyptians, who constitute the majority, say they cannot afford the unrest, and they blame the protesters for
sparking it. (Washington Post)
Key U.S. Military, Intelligence Assets Imperiled in Egypt - Rowan Scarborough
U.S. military and intelligence agencies would lose vital air, land and sea assets if Egypt falls into the hands
of radical Islamists, as Iran did in 1979, foreign policy analysts say.
The U.S. armed forces are entwined
with Egypt's military more than with any other Arab country.
The U.S. Navy would not be able to use the
Egyptian-run Suez Canal.
The waterway sharply reduces sailing time for Atlantic-based carriers and other
warships going from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, and to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Air Force likely would lose overflight rights into the Middle East, and the Army would lose a partner in
building the M1A1 tank.
Egypt receives more t han $1 billion in U.S. military aid each year and uses it to
buy tanks, F-16 fighters, Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons systems
Israel Seeks UN Condemnation of Attacks from Gaza - Jordana Horn
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Maria
Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, president of the Security Council, on Tuesday February 1, to ask the Security Council,
the secretary-general and the international community to "firmly condemn" continued terror attacks on Israel
Three long-range rockets were launched from Gaza on Monday, January 31 and 15 rockets and
17 mortars have been launched into Israel in the past month.
Wheat Prices and Egyptian Instability - Spengler
Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer, beholden to foreign providers for nearly half its total food
consumption. Half of Egyptians live on less than $2 a day. Food comprises almost half the country's consumer
price index, and much more than half of spending for the poorer half of the country. This will get worse,
not better. 35% of all Egyptians, and 45% of Egyptian women, can't read. To expect Egypt to leap from the
intimate violence of traditional society to the full rights of a modern democracy seems whimsical.