Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rolling Back the Sadat-Mubarak Legacy

"Egyptians appear prepared to overturn the 3-decade-old peace agreement that has been a cornerstone of the country's relationship with Israel. By a margin of 54% to 36% Egyptians say their country should annul the treaty with Israel. One-in-ten offer no definite opinion." (Egyptians embrace revolt leaders, religious parties & military, as well,, 25/4/11)

"March & Stand-In in front of the Embassy of the Zionist Entity: The Supporters of the Palestinian Revolution invite you to a march and stand-in in front of the embassy of the Zionist entity, starting from the main gate of Cairo University on Wednesday 27 April, 2.30pm. We make the following demands: 1) Condemn the Zionist occupation of our land, which is Arab in flesh, blood, roots and history. 2) Annul normalization with Israel in all its forms. 3) Halt the export of natural gas to the Zionists immediately and return everything they have stolen from us during this period of normalization. 4) Halt the construction of the steel Wall of Shame immediately. 5) Treat Palestinians in the same way as Egyptians are treated in Egypt, granting them the same rights to residency, education, work and health as Egyptians. Shimon Peres has called on Egyptian youth to embrace normalization. This, therefore, will be our response to him in front of his embassy." (Cited at, 23/4/11)

"Persistent public suspicions about corruption and mismanagement that swirl around Egypt's secretive deal to sell natural gas to Israel prompted Egypt's public prosecutor on Friday to extend the questioning of former President Hosni Mubarak for 15 days, judicial officials said... Adel el-Saeed, the prosecutor's spokesman, issued a statement saying that among other issues Mr Mubarak was being questioned about gas exports to Israel at a low price that amounted to 'hurting the country's interests'. Egypt lost more than $714m in the deal, the prosecutor said... Selling gas to Israel was deeply unpopular in Egypt from the time the pipeline opened in 2008, given the sour public mood toward its neighbor, and it was a rallying point for the Tahrir Square protest movement since its start in January. But the deal was protected at the highest levels as long as Mr Mubarak was in power." (Mubarak faces more questioning on gas deal with Israel, Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times, 22/4/11)

"Egypt's foreign minister said in an interview with Al-Jazeera on Thursday that preparations were underway to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on a permanent basis. Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi told Al-Jazeera that within 7-10 days, steps will be taken... to alleviate the 'blockade and suffering of the Palestinian nation'. The announcement indicates a significant change in the policy on Gaza, which before Egypt's uprising, was operated in conjunction with Israel. The opening of Rafah will allow the flow of people and goods in and out of Gaza without Israeli permission or supervision, which has not been the case up until now. Israel's blockade on Gaza has been a policy used in conjunction with Egyptian police to weaken Hamas, which has ruled over the Strip since 2007. The policy also aims to reduce Hamas' popularity among Gazans by creating economic hardship in the Strip. Rafah's opening would be a violation of an agreement reached in 2005 between the United States, Israel, Egypt and the European Union, which gives EU monitors access to the crossing. The monitors were to reassure Israel that weapons and militants wouldn't get into Gaza after its pullout from the territory in the fall of 2005. Before Egypt's uprising and ousting of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, the border between Egypt and Gaza had been sealed. It has occasionally opened the passage for limited periods." (Egypt FM: Gaza border crossing to be permanently opened, Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz, 28/4/11)

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