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April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Mubarak’

Egypt: What Happened?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

The recent political developments in Egypt since the fall of its president, Hosni Mubarak, on February 11, 2011 have been stressful and troublesome. Mubarak’s fall was unavoidable, mainly because of his determination to have his son, Gamal Mubarak, succeed him. Gamal Mubarak’s succession was refused my most the Egyptians not only because of its humiliating nature — a son of the President of the Republic inheriting Egypt as if it was a private property — but equally because of Gamal Mubarak’s oligarchic power and wealth that dominated political life in Egypt. In November, 2010, the Gamal Mubarak faction made its fatal mistake when they monopolized 98% of the seats of the Egyptian Parliament.

Since the fall of Mubarak, Egypt’s military rulers – the SCAF – have made a number of fatal mistakes that strengthened the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] and weakened liberals. The first grave mistake was to delegate an Islamist, Tarek al Bishry, to draft the constitutional amendments that were endorsed by a popular referendum on March 19, 2011. Instead of starting democratic reform by drafting a new democratic constitution, the committee decided to start the process not only by electing a new parliament that was overwhelmingly Islamist, but by giving this new parliament the right to draft the constitution. The plea by Egyptian intellectuals to have the constitution drafted by a committee of educated, intellectual figures was ignored by the ruling SCAF, which incorrectly calculated that members of the Ikhwan, who had far more outreach and popularity, would accept playing whatever role the SCAF designed for them.

The victory of the Islamic groups in the parliamentary election of November 2011 was a natural result of the following factors: A) the 19/3/2011 constitutional amendments, B) reliance on a number of Islamist advisers, including Essam Sharaf, who was Prime Minister for a number of months, and C) the unjustified rush, driven by the Islamist advisers, that was characterized by early parliamentary elections, and also by totally disregarding the article in the constitution that bans political parties that have a religious agenda.

Since the Islamists’ triumph in November, 2011, the battle stood mainly between the Ikhwan, who became excessively confident that Egypt would ultimately fall into their hands, and the members of the military SCAF, who were focused mainly on protecting the military establishment’s various assets, benefits, merits and immunity. For instance, the Ikhwan announced their intention to give the leadership of the army, intelligence service, security services, and the Ministry of Interior to MB figures – certainly not on SCAF’s recommendation, but mainly to figures known for their sympathy with the MB.

The Ikhwan benefited enormously when SCAF pressed Ahmed Shafeeq to run for Egypt”s Presidency. It was not difficult for the Ikhwan to launch a campaign of character-assassination against Shafeeq, who was a member of Mubarak’s narrow circle as well as Mubarak’s last Prime Minister.

The Obama administration’s support for the Ikhwan was of immense value to its candidate. In parallel to the strong support of the Obama administrating, huge Qatari funds were also instrumental.

Although there were rumors that Ahmed Shafeeq won more votes, the SCAF chose to announce Morsy’s victory, probably to avoid consequences similar to what happened in Algeria slightly more than 20 years ago, when a civil war broke out after the Algerian president cancelled the results of the parliamentary elections when they seemed to be overwhelmingly in favour of the Islamists. It is rumored that in case Ahmed Shafeeq were to be announced as victorious, a violence would have exploded all over Egypt.

The Obama administration’s support for the Ikhwan emanates from an extremely flawed understanding of the Ikhwan‘s agenda, which has been unchanged since its inception in 1928. The two pillars of this project have been: First, abolishing the entire judicial and juridical system that had been introduced in Egypt in 1883 and was based on the French legal system, the Napoleonic Code. Instead, the Ikhwan would introduced a legal system based on Islamic Sharia law, including amputating hands, stoning and whip-lashing. Second, reviving the political vision of a Caliphate, which aims at uniting all Muslim societies under a single ruler, similar to the Ottoman Empire abolished by Kemal Ataturk ninety years ago.

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

Muslim Brotherhood Victory Upends Mubarak Legacy

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

WASHINGTON – Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi is the declared winner of Egypt’s presidential race and his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, continues to lie near death in a coma – just like the legacy he tried to craft for himself and his country.

Mubarak, 84, once the entrenched leader of his land, was supposed to be leaving behind an Egypt preeminent in the region and at peace with its neighbors. The final moments of his public career, however, are now another dramatic episode of the so-called Arab Spring, which began in late 2010 when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire to protest his country’s government.

Since then, popular uprisings have threatened or toppled Arab leaders once firmly in power not only in Egypt and Tunisia but also in Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

For his part, Mubarak once wielded the type of power that ultimately did him in when early last year his country’s powerful military – whose air force he once commanded – sided with throngs of protestors across the nation, but particularly in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Mubarak subsequently was sentenced to prison for the deaths of hundreds of those protesters.

Despite new demonstrations in recent weeks – this time against the military – the grip of the armed forces on the country does not seem threatened for now. The Egyptian military has rewritten the country’s constitution and persuaded judges to strip much of the power of the presidency. The judges have dissolved the country’s parliament, which had a Muslim Brotherhood majority following last year’s elections.

During Mubarak’s reign from 1981, just after Anwar Sadat’s assassination, until early last year, the Muslim Brotherhood was a target of the now-ailing leader’s security apparatus. But on Sunday, Egypt’s electoral commission said Morsi would be sworn in as the president, having bested Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister and reportedly the favored candidate of the country’s powerful military.

Israel’s government reacted cautiously.

“Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential elections,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. It added, “Israel looks forward to continuing cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty between the two countries, which is a joint interest of both peoples and contributes to regional stability.”

Israeli and American leaders are clearly nervous; the Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders have said they would honor but reexamine the landmark 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

News of Mubarak’s deteriorating condition prompted renewed consideration of what the deposed president bequeathed Egypt. Gabi Ashkenazi, the former chief of staff of the Israeli military, spoke last week in Jerusalem at the President’s Conference of Mubarak’s importance not just in upholding the peace treaty with Israel, but in encouraging other Arabs to do the same.

“When Arafat was slow to sign the Oslo Accords, Mubarak was the one who forced him to the table to sign – even using undiplomatic language,” Ashkenazi recalled, referring to Oslo II, signed in September 1995 in Egypt.

Mubarak, in a televised ceremony, literally nudged then-Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat to the table as a bemused Yitzhak Rabin, then the Israeli prime minister, looked on. Israelis present insisted they heard Mubarak whisper to Arafat, “Sign, you dog.” “Try to think of an Egyptian president today doing that,” Ashkenazi said.

It was a concern echoed across the ocean, where Shaul Mofaz, the Kadima Party leader, inaugurated his first Washington visit in his new role as deputy prime minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recently formed national unity government.

“Whatever happens, we will be facing a more radical regime,” Mofaz told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank ahead of a series of meetings with top U.S. officials. He called the need to preserve his country’s peace with Egypt the “highest Israeli goal.”

Joel Rubin, the director of government policy at the Ploughshares Fund, a body that promotes peace initiatives, said the very autocracy that spooked Arafat and others into heeding Mubarak ultimately turned on his enterprise.

“Mubarak’s legacy is that he created a state system that collapsed underneath him,” said Rubin, a former Senate staffer and State Department Egypt desk officer who has visited Egypt multiple times. “He certainly maintained peace with Israel – a cold peace, but he kept the border relatively calm and fought against extremist groups in the country. But he left a crushing legacy on the economy and political system. Stability under strongmen is never really stable.”

Losing Candidate Shafiq Fleeing Egypt Ahead of Corruption Charges

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Ahmed Mohamed Shafik Zaki, who came second in Egypt’s presidential runoff election last week, is reported to have boarded a flight to Abu Dhabi Early Tuesday morning. He was seen off along with his three daughters to the Cairo airport VIP section by two employees of his campaign, then took a bus to the old terminal.

According to Al Ahram, several corruption complaints have been filed with the Office of the Prosecutor against Shafiq, who served as Mubarak’s last prime minister.

A high-level judicial source told Al Ahram that a Justice Ministry investigator, will receive this week the report prepared by experts in the Illicit Profiteering and Real Estate Agency who have examined procedures for the allocation of land sold by the Cooperative for Construction and Housing for Pilots, which was headed by Ahmed Shafiq in the 1990’s.

Former MP Essam Sultan of Al-Wasat Party issued a complaint against Shafiq as the former head of the cooperative, accusing him of selling a large piece of land to Alaa and Gamal Mubarak in 1993, at an extremely low price of only 75 piasters (about 12.5 cents) per square meter (about 10.5 sq. ft.).

The office of the prosecutor general Abdel Meguid Mahmoud has also transferred a complaint to El-Seidi against former president Hosni Mubarak Ahmed Shafiq, and former agriculture minister Youssef Wally, for illegally seizing 119 feddans of land (about 125 acres).

According to the complaint, the defendants seized land that belongs to fish farms, and illegally allocated it to the Pilots’ Association for Land Development, which was headed by Shafiq.

In the months following the ousting of Mubarak, more than 30 separate lawsuits of corruption were filed against Shafiq.

Bon voyage.

Mubarak on Life Support

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Doctors reportedly have put former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak on life support as turmoil once again threatens to sweep the country.

The state news agency Mena said Mubarak was “clinically dead” when he arrived at the hospital and that doctors used a defibrillator on him several times. The initial report said the efforts were not successful.

Mubarak, 84, has been ailing since early 2011, when he was ousted by the army after mass protests.

The worsening of his condition on Tuesday, reported by various media citing unnamed military officials, comes two weeks after his life sentence for his role in ordering the deadly quelling of the 2011 protests, when hundreds were killed by pro-government militants.

Thousands Protest Egyptian Election Results, Set Ablaze Establishment Candidate’s HQ

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Thousands gathered overnight in Tahrir Square, Cairo, to demonstrate against Egypt’s election results which will pit deposed ruler Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi in a runoff election on June 16 and 17, al Ahram reports.

According to Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) officially announced on Monday the results of the first round, with Mohamed Mursi at the head of the pack with 5,764,952 votes, and Ahmed Shafiq second with 5,505,327 votes.

46.42 per cent of eligible voters participated in the first round.

On Monday night, Shafiq’s presidential campaign headquarters in the upscale Dokki neighborhood in Cairo were ransacked and set on fire.

“They seemed to know what they were after and they went directly to the storage rooms and set them on fire using petrol bombs,” Ahmed Abdel Ghani, 30, a member of Shafiq’s campaign, told Reuters.

The main headquarters villa did not burn, but protesters destroyed computers inside.

Graffiti on the wall outside the villa read: “No to Shafiq, no to feloul” (an Arabic word referring to the “remnants” of Mubarak’s era).

“We are sending a message to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) that we will never accept Ahmed Shafiq as our next president. He is the second Mubarak and was even in the Air Force like the ousted leader,” Aly, 24, a pharmacist, told al Ahram. “Personally I think the elections were rigged to put Mursi first, as it would have been a crisis if Shafiq was top – but, make no mistake, Shafiq is the military’s man.”

Soon the number of protesters in the square grew to thousands, led by former presidential contender and a left-wing labour lawyer Khaled Ali, who marched to Talaat Harb Square and around downtown Cairo before coming back to Tahrir Square.

“Smash Shafiq on his head,” the marchers chanted, holding Mubarak’s prime minister’s presidential campaign posters upside down with his face crossed out.

Others chanted “Down with the dogs of the military regime” and called on bystanders in balconies to join them.

One protestor held a poster saying “If Shafiq wins, we are all dead.”

Egyptian Grand Mufti in Jerusalem

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, a top Egyptian Islamic cleric, came to Jerusalem to show support for Palestinian claims to eastern Jerusalem on Wednesday, breaking a long-standing taboo imposed by Muslim clerics, professional and private organizations against visiting Israel.

Gomaa, who prayed in the Al-Aqsa mosque situated on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, wrote on his Twitter account that he made the trip to show solidarity with the Palestinians, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Despite a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt under Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Gamael Abdel Nasser, Egypt and Israel share cold relations.  In September, a mob of several thousand rioters threatened to lynch the diplomatic corps at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, leading to the evacuation of the majority of workers and staff.

The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the visit on Thursday, with Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozian saying “Muslim clerics have taken a position that there is no visiting Jerusalem under continued Israeli occupation.  He violated this opinion of the majority of clerics.  Why, I don’t know.”  Abdel-Akher Hamad, the leader of the fundamentalist Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya associated Gomaa with the ousted regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and said Gomaa would not enjoy his position for much longer.

Though Gomaa’s position on Israel is unclear, a 2007 report in the Egyptian daily al-Ahram newspaper stated that he considered the famous Jewish blood libel, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to be a forgery, and took a publisher who falsely put his name on an introduction to its Arabic translation to court.

Gomaa was appointed by Mubarak in 2003 to serve as Egypt’s top religious law authority.

Since the expulsion of Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood influence has increased throughout the country, and with it, a decline in sentiment toward Israel.

Another Explosion Rocks Egypt-Israel Gas Pipeline

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Egyptian state television reported that another explosion has hit the Egypt-Israel gas pipeline on Sunday.

This pipeline has been attacked at least a dozen times since Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was deposed in February 2011.

According to Reuters, the explosion occurred in the Sinai peninsula, near the coastal town of al-Arish.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/another-explosion-rocks-egypt-israel-gas-pipeline/2012/02/05/

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