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March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

2015 IDF Military Intelligence ‘Crystal Ball’ Report

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

The upcoming calendar year will be filled with changes in the Arab world and new challenges for Israel to face, according to the IDF annual ‘crystal ball’ report from military intelligence. None of that is news to anyone living in this region.

But the more problematic part in the IDF MI annual assessment document is in the acknowledgement that beyond the first few months of 2015, it is really not possible to predict with any accuracy what the next year will bring.

Israel’s entire leadership is in flux; a new IDF general chief of staff, Gadi Eizenkot, is taking the helm at the same time early elections are being held.

Any emerging victorious party chairman will be asked by President Reuven Rivlin to form a new coalition, at a time that Israel is facing potentially serious threats on at least three (Lebanon, Syria, Gaza) of its five borders. A fourth border, that with Sinai, is questionable due to terror bases nestling in the region.

That’s not including the internal threat Israelis face from the rising third intifada and the rabid anti-Israel media and government incitement encouraged by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, so beloved and lauded by international leaders. The United Nations Security Council is to vote Monday (Dec. 29, 2014) on a proposed deadline to force the expulsion of Israeli military forces from post-1967 territory. Either way the vote goes, the outcome and its fallout is not yet clear.

Meanwhile, there are other issues to consider when gazing into the Crystal Ball. The jostling for post-election ministerial portfolios, coalition bargaining and acclimation of new ministers and their seconds to their roles will be taking place at the same time new Knesset members will be learning their new jobs and jockeying for committee spots too. Many more experienced and savvy leaders are leaving the government, having had their fill of the bickering, vindictiveness and stupidity. Who will mind the store while all this is going on?

Folks, there’s a war going on. We’re not in the bomb shelters on a daily basis yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods either. The sunny skies have a few clouds.

According to the MI report, it is clear that chemical weapons still exist in Syria, what is left of it, that is, and are being used by someone. What is not clear is the extent of control exercised over that supply by President Bashar al-Assad.

“Greater Syria” is no longer; Assad today refers to “Little Syria,” the 20 to 30 percent of the country he still controls, hence his belated attempt to “negotiate” with rebel leaders. Too little, too late, naturally. Syria has fallen apart, as has Libya – split into three states – and Sudan, now cut into two.

There are no real “Syrian rebel leaders” today either. Instead there are “emirates” and “emirs” in the developing caliphate being created by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the rapidly spreading ISIS terror organization.

ISIS has already taken over much of Iraq, and has done the same in Syria. The spoils of the land are divided up with its rebel partners in the civil war against Assad – Jabhat al Nusra, the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front and other terror groups. But they tend to fight against each other when they’re not banding together to fight against Assad’s forces – a bit like some of the Middle Eastern countries they have grown up in.

Meanwhile, it’s not clear where the Free Syrian Army stands in all this: the more moderate, Muslim rebel force is as ruthless as any other, but not enslaved to anyone but its own leadership at least. For that reason, perhaps, it is this force the West has chosen to support, albeit grudgingly, fearfully, and surreptitiously.

Egypt Bans ‘Exodus’ as a ‘Zionist film’

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Egypt has banned the Hollywood Biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” slamming the movies as a “Zionist film” and criticizing it for a number of historical inaccuracies.

The film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale as Moses, retells the epic Biblical story from the “Book of Exodus” of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.

However, Egyptian Cultural Minister Gaber Asfour slammed the film, saying that it was filled with historic inaccuracies, including making the claim that “Moses and the Jews built the pyramids,” AFP reported.

“This totally contradicts proven historical facts,” Asfour said.

“It is a Zionist film,” he said. “It gives a Zionist view of history and contains historical inaccuracies and that’s why we have decided to ban it.”

The film has also garnered controversy in the U.S. with some who have criticized Scott for taking too many liberties with the Biblical story and also for casting Western actors in Middle Eastern roles.

Morocco has also reportedly banned the film just days before it was slated to premiere, AFP reported.

The film has opened to negative reviews and took in a disappointing $24.5 million during its opening weekend. The film cost around $140 million to make.

Islamists Help Israeli Exports and Blow Up Egyptian Gas Pipeline

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Islamists blew up Egypt’s natural gas pipeline in northern Sinai Tuesday morning.

All roads to the area have been closed.

The “Champions of Israel,” known in Arabic as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, previous has claimed responsibility for numerous bombings and attacks on Egyptian forces and has pledged its allegiance to the ISIS.

Every time the terrorists blow up the Egyptian gas pipeline, it benefits Israel, a more dependable source for natural gas that is being pumped from off-short energy fields discovered in recent years.

However, Israeli authorities still can’t make up their minds over an agreement what Israel’s Delek Group and its partner Noble Energy, based in the United States, can buy the Leviathan off-short energy field.

Anti-trust officials said Tuesday morning they told representatives of Delek and Noble they are ”considering” whether the purchase establishes them as an illegal cartel.

Egypt Reopens Rafah Crossing

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

After closing the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Sinai/Egypt for the past 2 months, Egypt opened it up on Sunday for the first time.

Egypt transferred medical supplies to Gaza, and 250 Gazans exited to Egypt for medical treatment.

Egypt closed the crossing due the ongoing terror attacks against Egypt emanating from the Gaza Strip.

Canada and UK Close Cairo Embassies Citing Security Reasons

Monday, December 8th, 2014

On Monday, Canada closed the doors to its embassy in Cairo, Egypt, citing security concerns.

The Canadian Embassy’s website only states:

The ability to provide consular services may occasionally be limited for short periods due to unsettled security conditions.

Two days ago, Britain closed its embassy in Cairo, also citing security concerns.

The office of the British Consulate-General in Alexandria is operating as normal, according to the UK’s government website.

The US Embassy in Egypt remains open, but embassy employees have reportedly been told to not wander too far away from their homes.

There is concern that terrorists may try to attack the foreign embassies.

Arab media reports that suspects connected to ISIS were arrested in relation to threats on the UK embassy.

State Dept. Spokeswoman’s Blooper: “US Position on Egypt ‘Ridiculous’

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

U.S. State Dept. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki showed exhaustion from having to parrot absurd American policy and was caught on a “hot mike” last week saying that her department’s lack of reaction to an Egyptian court acquittal of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on murder charges was “ridiculous.”

Psaki and her sidekick Marie Harf entertain reporters every weekday with non-answers to questions, which is the job of spokesmen. Their function is to defend their bosses, no matter how stupid they sound.

That is why Psaki constantly ignores incitement by the Palestinian Authority and constantly calls on Israel not to take any action that would “inflame tensions” after terrorist attacks.

That also is why she kept a straight face when questioned by reporters about the Egyptian decision. She set a near record for then number of times saying “no comment” in several different ways.

One reporter opened the issue by asking, “Do you have any reaction to the court’s decision dropping the charges against former President Mubarak?”

Psaki answered, “Generally, we continue to believe that upholding impartial standards of accountability will advance the political consensus on which Egypt’s long-term stability and economic growth depends,” she said. “But beyond that, I would refer you to the Egyptian government.”

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, one of the few daily briefing reports who asks Psaki and hardball questions, couldn’t restrain himself.

 But I – wow. I don’t understand that at all. What does that mean? You believe that – of course you do. But was that – were those standards upheld in this case?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything – any specific comment on the case. I’d point you to the Egyptian Government.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) justice was served? Do you think justice was served in this case?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything specific on the case…..

QUESTION: — to argue with you or ask about the comment. Are you trying to understand what is – does – this decision means?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything more for you.

Do we have anything more on Egypt?

QUESTION: Do Egyptians explain to you what’s going on?

MS. PSAKI: We obviously remain in close touch with the Egyptians, but I don’t have anything more to peel back for you….

QUESTION: Yeah, but I mean, Transparency International is basically disappointed with that. And some international organizations have also expressed concern over, like, dropping all the charges against Mubarak, who’s accused of having murdered – having ordered the murder of protestors…and also corruption, other things. And so you’re not willing to show your concern over that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we speak frequently, including in annual reports, about any concerns we have about – whether its rule of law or freedom of speech, freedom of media, and we do that on a regular basis. I just don’t have anything more specifically for you on this case.”

Lee persisted and said, “You call for accountability and transparency all the time from any number of governments. And so if no one is held to account, if no one is being held accountable for what happened, it would seem to me that you would have a problem with that and “

Psaki assured him, “If there’s more we have to say, Matt, we will make sure you all know.

Lee tried again:

But I mean, what you have said, that the – what you said says nothing. I mean, it just – it’s like saying, “Well, we support the right of people to breathe.” Well, that’s great, but if they can’t breathe –

MS. PSAKI: If we have a further comment on the case, I will make sure all of you have it. ”Al Quds correspondent Said Arikat persisted, “I mean, aren’t you a little bit annoyed that the person who was elected by the Egyptian people, Morsi, is languishing in prison while the person who is accused of murdering hundreds of people is actually out on –

Psaki, obviously a bit fed up with having to parrot the insane American policy, tried to smile while saying, “I appreciate your effort, Said. I don’t have anything further on this case.”

Deposed Former Egyptian President Mubarak Acquitted of Murder

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Three years after Egypt’s January 25 Revolution removed him from power, former President Hosni Mubarak has been acquitted of murder. The nationwide riots began in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square as part of the Arab Spring movement that swept numerous Arab leaders from their posts throughout the Middle East.

The former Egyptian leader who ruled his nation with an iron hand for decades was summarily deposed in early February 2011. Within weeks he was charged with the murders of hundreds of anti-government protesters by security forces and thrown into prison, where he remained for the past three years.

Following Saturday’s acquittal, Egyptian police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse more than a thousand protesters.

At least two demonstrators were killed and nine others were wounded in the melee that followed the 1,430-page decision handed down by Judge Mohamed Rashidi.

Although Mubarak was acquitted on the charges of murder — as well as charges of corruption that he faced with sons Ala’a and Gamal — he continues to serve a three-year sentence on a separate embezzlement charge.

Mubarak, age 86, was returned by stretcher to the military hospital where he currently is serving his term on house arrest.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/deposed-former-egyptian-president-mubarak-acquitted-of-murder/2014/11/30/

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