Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

Ynetnews News – Egypt

The Arab Republic of Egypt is one of the most populated countries in Africa and a land bridge to Asia. Spanning some 386,560 square miles, it borders Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel and the Gaza Strip the east. Its northern coast borders the Mediterranean Sea and its eastern one the Red Sea.

Government: Egypt is considered the most prominent among Arab nations. The Egyptian Republic was declared on 18 June 1953 with General Muhammad Naguib as its first president. Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who declared the full independence of Egypt from the United Kingdom on June 18, 1956. He was succeeded by Anwar Sadat in 1970 and the latter was followed by Egypt’s ousted ruler, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, who came to power in 1981.

A Tale as Old as Time

Possibly the oldest civilization known to man, Egypt’s influence is evident in almost every aspect of human history; as such its journey from ancient times to modern ones captivates the imagination

Birdseye view of Cairo at night (Photo: CD Bank)

The Arabs first came to the area now known as Egypt in 642 AD. Considered by the local residents as emancipators from the oppression of The Byzantine Empire, they and their religion of Islam were welcome. In 969 AD the Shiite Fatimid Dynasty took over the country.

The Fatimids established the new Egyptian capital of al-Caira (the victorious) and during their 200-year rule the country flourished, expanding its bordered to the coast of Sicily.

The year 1169 saw Salah a-Din come to power. Hailed as a champion of Orthodox Islam, he returned to the religion’s Sunni fundamentals in 1171, but never claimed the religious title of Caliph opting for the secular title of Sultan instead. Under his rule Egypt regained control of Jerusalem and eventually expanded its borders to Mesopotamia.

A 4000-mile long waterway. The River Nile (Photo: AP)

In 1922 Egypt declared itself independent and King Fuad ascended the thrown. The UK retained the right to keep troops in the country until 1936. In May of 1948 Egypt, along with her neighboring Arab nations, invaded the newly formed State of Israel. When Israel’s War of Independence was over, the two signed a ceasefire agreement.

In 1956, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, causing Egypt’s relations with the UK and France which were co-owners of the sailing rights to spiral. France and the UK ordered Egypt to remove its forces from the Canal, and when it refused, the British and French air forces launched an aerial assault on Egyptian airports and strategic military facilities built in the Canal’s vicinity. Israel was soon drawn into the fighting, which turned into the Israeli-Egyptian Sinai War.

In November 1956, the British and French launched Operation Musketeer: Joint forces invaded Port Sa’id by air and by sea, taking hold of part of it before a ceasefire was called. The UN soon ordered the UK, Israel and France to retrieve their forces and leave Egyptian soil.

A staple of Egyptian economy. The Suez Canal (Photo: Visual Photos)

Sadat’s Egypt: following Nasser’s death in 1970, Muhammad Anwar El Sadat became the Egyptian president. Soon after taking power, Sadat began trying to restore Egyptian control over the Suez Canal and the Sinai Peninsula, including laying out military options to that effect. In 1971 Sadat reshuffled Egyptian politics, when he accused leading figures in the country’s Left and many of Nasser’s loyalists of conspiracy, trying them for treason and forcibly removing them from power.

Making history. Signing the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty (Photo: AP)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came to power in the aftermath of Sadat’s assassinations. Unlike Sadat, Mubarak halted the financial liberation and free-market mode and reinstated strict government monitoring of the economy on one hand and allowed more political freedoms on the other.

Mubarak was able to rehabilitate Egypt’s standing among the Arab nations, repairing the so-called damage signing a peace agreement with Israel caused to its ranking in the Arab world, making it a political force to be reckoned with once more. His foreign policies made for stronger relations with the US and Russia, and he led a battle againt the radical Islam movements within Egypt.

A force to be reckoned with (Photo: Reuters)

Hosni Mubarak was elected Egypt’s president four times in 1987, 1993, 1999 and 2005. Although Mubarak always denied the possibility of any succession of power in Egypt, it was widely speculated that when he decided to step down, or in the event of his death while still in office, his son Gamal Mubarak who served as currently the NDP’s deputy secretary general would be sworn in as president.

Mubarak resigned as president and transferred authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on February 11, 2011, after 18 days of violent protests calling for his resignation. Mubarak and his family left the presidential palace in Cairo and moved to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Excerpt from:
Ynetnews News – Egypt

Fair Usage Law

February 15, 2017   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Foreign relations of Israel – Wikipedia

The term “foreign relations of Israel” refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on 11 May 1949. Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries.[1] Israel maintains full diplomatic relations and open borders with two of its Arab neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, after signing peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

The close friendship with the United States has been the linchpin of Israeli foreign policy for decades. From the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 until the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation after Turkey.[2][3] In the mid-20th century, Israel ran extensive foreign aid and educational programs in Africa, sending experts in agriculture, water management and health care.[4]

During the 2000s, the foreign ministry warned that the increasing influence of the EU would further isolate Israel in global affairs.[5][6] In the wake of a series of diplomatic rifts with Turkey and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2011, Israel has had less than friendly relations with those countries.[7] During roughly the same period, Israeli relations with many countries in Europe including Greece and Cyprus in the context of the Energy Triangle and in Asia, including China and India, were enhanced, largely on account of the growth of Israel’s high-tech economy.[8] Israeli ties with Egypt have improved since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power there, while ties to Turkey have been uneven since their 2010 nadir but less dismal than that point.

The first international organization which the Israeli government joined was the International Wheat Council, established as part of Point Four Program in early 1949. Since 11 May 1949, the State of Israel has been a member of the United Nations.

Israel is a member of many agencies within the UN, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Israel also participates in other international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).[9]

Within the UNESCO, Israel is a member in many international programmes and organizations. In the area of science Israel is an active member of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), and the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP). Other notable organizations Israel is an active member of include the Education For All movement, the European Centre for Higher Education (CEPES), the World Heritage Committee (WHC), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).[10] Relations are carried out through the Israeli National Commission for UNESCO.[11]

Israel has joined the European Union’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP) in 1994,[12] and is a member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN),[13] the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).[14] It is also a member of the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) since 2003.[15]

On 10 May 2010, Israel was invited to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).[16] Israel is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue forum.[17] In 2014 Israel joined the Paris Club.[18]

After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Israel was subjected to Arab League boycotts and attempts to diplomatically isolate the state. Today, Israel has diplomatic ties with 157 out of the other 192 member states of the United Nations as well as with non-member Holy See (Vatican City) and the European Union.[1] Some states recognize Israel as a state, but have no diplomatic relations. Several countries once had diplomatic relations with Israel, but have since broken or suspended them (Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela in Latin America; Mauritania in the Arab League; Chad, Mali and Niger in non-Arab Africa; and Iran until the Islamic revolution). Some of these countries have since resumed relations. In addition, a number of countries (all members of the Arab League) that at one time had formal economic ties (primarily trade offices) with Israel that fell short of full diplomatic relations, have severed such ties (Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Tunisia).

At present, a total of 31 United Nations member states do not recognize or generally / partially do not maintain diplomatic relations with the State of Israel: 18 of the 21 UN members in the Arab League: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen (the exceptions are bordering countries Egypt and Jordan); a further 10 members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Chad, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Mali, Niger, and Pakistan; and Bhutan, Cuba, and North Korea.[19] Some of these countries accept Israeli passports and acknowledge other indications of Israeli sovereignty. The following are the UN member states with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations (period of former relations marked in parenthesis):

Israel has no diplomatic relations with the following states or entities:

Comoros has no official diplomatic ties with Israel but the countries engage in mutual trade.[42]

Although the Israeli diplomatic missions in Bahrain, Morocco, and Oman were closed in 2000, trade and economic ties continue.[citation needed] Israeli tourism to Morocco is encouraged by the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry, a non-governmental private Jewish organization.[43]

Israeli citizens are admitted into North Korea with Israeli passports, but like other foreign visitors they are asked to deposit their passport with the local authorities and use specially issued local documents for tourists.[44]

On 1 October 1994, the Persian Gulf states announced their support for a review of the Arab boycott, abolishing the secondary and tertiary boycotts against Israel.

In the mid-1990s, while Israel and North African states slowly started diplomatic relations, Algeria remained one of the last countries to consider such a move. It was only when Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the funeral of the Moroccan King Hasan II on 25 July 1999 that comments about rapprochement were made.

Algeria and Israel do not have diplomatic relations.

Relations are generally tense and the two states do not have diplomatic relations. Like other Arab states, Bahrain does not recognize Israel. A brief period of warming in relations occurred in the mid-1990s.

In 2011, amid Arab spring uprising, Wikileaks cables published on Haaretz revealed some of the hidden relations between Bahraini and Israeli officials. In a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in February 2005, Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had bragged about having contact with Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad. He indicated that Bahrain is ready to develop relations in other fields as well. The king reportedly gave orders that official statements don’t use phrases such as “enemy” and “Zionist entity” when referring to Israel anymore. However, he refused the idea of having trade relations, saying it was “too early” and would be postponed until the establishment of an independent Palestine state.[45]

Israel has had full diplomatic relations with Egypt since the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in 1979. Following the end of the regime of Hosni Mubarak during the 2011 Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood announced that the peace treaty with Israel may be put to a referendum.[46]

According to an Egyptian Government 2006 poll of 1000 Egyptians (taken at the time of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict), 92% of Egyptians view Israel as an enemy nation.[47][48] In Israel, the 1978 Camp David Accords were supported by 85% of Israelis, according to a 2001 poll taken by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, based in Israel.[49]

Egypt has mediated several unofficial ceasefire understandings between Israel and Palestinians.

Relations between Israel and Iran have alternated from close political alliances between the two states during the era of the Pahlavi dynasty to hostility following the rise to power of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. While Iran was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel,[50] the two states do not currently have diplomatic relations with each other, due to Iran’s withdrawal of its recognition of Israel. The post-1979 Iranian authorities avoid referring to Israel by its name, and instead use the terms “the Zionist regime” or “occupied Palestine”. Iranian passports bear an inscription that says, “The bearer of this passport is forbidden from traveling to occupied Palestine.”[51]

Due to recent rhetoric between Iran and Israel, development of nuclear technology, and funding of the groups Hamas and Hezbollah, tensions have risen dramatically between the State of Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran,[52] especially after the election of the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. Comments made by Ahmadinejad[53][54][55][56][57][58][59] were perceived by Israel as threat of destruction.[60][61][62][63]

A large population of Iranian Jews reside in Israel, among them former President of Israel Moshe Katsav, former Chief of Staff / Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, and former Chief of staff Dan Halutz.

Following the American-British led invasion of Iraq in 2003, diplomats had been discussing the possibility of improved relations between Israel and Iraq. However, then-Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi said in 2004 that Iraq would not establish ties with Israel.[64]

In 2006, the president of KRG Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani said: “It is not a crime to have relations with Israel. If Baghdad established diplomatic relations with Israel, we could open a consulate in Hewlr (Kurdistan).” Israeli television broadcast photographs from the 1960s showing Mustafa Barzani embracing then Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan. In 2004, Israeli officials met with Kurdish political leaders. In 2006 the BBC reported that Israel was training Kurdish militias in Iraqi Kurdistan.[65] In April 2012, it was alleged that high-ranking Kurdish officials had collected the revenues of Iraqi oil that had been smuggled to Israel via the Kurdistan Region.[66]

Israel has full diplomatic relations in peace with Jordan since the signing of the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace in 1994, but relations remain somewhat tense.

Relations between Israel and Kuwait are generally hostile, mainly as part of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kuwait does not recognize Israel and refuses entry to any person who holds an Israeli passport or Israel travel documents. Like many Arab countries, Kuwait opposes normalizing ties with Israel.[citation needed]

According to Laura Zittrain Eisenberg, the author of “My Enemy’s Enemy”, the pre-state Zionist attention to Lebanon consisted primarily of repeated attempts to establish a political alliance between the Jewish community in Palestine and the Maronite Catholic Community in Lebanon. Largely neglected by traditional scholarship on the Arab-Israeli condition, the Zionist-Lebanese relationship from 1900 to 1948 was surprisingly active and amicable. Zionist curiosity was naturally piqued by Lebanon, an Arab country with a sizable non-Muslim population enjoying political predominance.

During the war of 19751990, some right-wing militias were Israel’s allies, and after the assassination of President Bachir Gemayel, Israel and Lebanon signed an agreement on May 17, 1983 which was a peace treaty in all but name. The Lebanese legislature ratified the treaty by a margin of 80 votes, but in a very weak and unstable domestic position president Amine Gemayel abrogated the peace treaty on March 5, 1984 under unrelenting Syrian pressure, after the U.S. Marines withdrew and after Israel had begun withdrawing from Lebanon.

During the Syrian Occupation of Lebanon (19762005), it was highly unlikely that Lebanon would sign a peace treaty with Israel before Syria, as Syria’s influence on Lebanese politics was strong; however, the Syrian Occupation withdrew from Lebanon, yet the IranSyriaHezbollah axis remained through the heavy arms presence.

During the 90’s, the success of the First Persian Gulf War created new opportunities for Middle East peacemaking. However, Lebanon was under the Syrian Occupation, which took over the treaties and negotiations.

In August 2006, after the clash between Hezbollah and Israel, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that Lebanon would be the “last Arab country to make peace with Israel” because of the large number of civilians that were killed in the 2006 Lebanon War.[67]Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy in Lebanon, proclaims “Death to Israel” and promises the “liberation” of Jerusalem, even though many Lebanese social fractions and political parties in Lebanon neither agree with his vision nor with the strategy and practices of his armed party.

Since the year 2000, and due to many wars with Hezbollah, Israel treats Lebanon as an “enemy state”,[68] although it is considering the possibility of a non-aggression pact.

In 2008 A Pew Research Center survey found that negative views concerning Jews were most common in Lebanon, with 97% of Lebanese having unfavorable opinion of Jews.[69] In a 2011 survey again by the Pew Research Center, all of the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern countries polled held strongly negative views of Jews. In the questionnaire, only 3% of Lebanese reported having a positive view of Jews.[70]

Moroccan expeditionary forces fought alongside a coalition of Arab countries in the Yom Kippur War against Israel.[71] In 1986, King Hassan II invited then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres for talks, becoming the second Arab leader to host an Israeli leader after Anwar Sadat. Following the September 1993 signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, Morocco accelerated its economic ties and political contacts with Israel. In September 1994, Morocco and Israel announced the opening of bilateral liaison offices.[citation needed] When the king died in 1999, then-prime minister Ehud Barak and the Moroccan-born foreign minister David Levy flew to Rabat for his funeral.[72] The foreign offices were closed in 2000 following sustained Israeli-Palestinian violence.

There is a Postage stamp with picture of a King of Morocco in collection of State of Israel.

Qatar and Israel do not currently have diplomatic relations, although they maintained economic relations between 1996 and 2000. Qatar is a major financial supporter of the anti-Israel militant group Hamas.

In 2005, Saudi Arabia announced the end of its ban on Israeli goods and services, mostly due to its application to the World Trade Organization, where one member country cannot have a total ban on another. However, as of August 2006[update], the Saudi boycott was not cancelled.[73][74][75]

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has changed its viewpoint concerning the validity of negotiating with Israel. It calls for Israel’s withdrawal from territory occupied in June 1967 in order for peace with the Arab states; then-Crown Prince Abdullah extended a multilateral peace proposal based on withdrawal in 2002. At that time, Israel did not respond to the offer. In 2007 Saudi Arabia again officially supported a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict which supported a full right of Palestinian refugees to move to Israel, which generated more official negative reactions from Israeli authorities.

Syria’s relations with Israel are very poor, due to Syria’s close ties with the anti-Israel militant group Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Since 2004, Syria has accepted the import of apples from farmers in the Golan Heights, territory that it claims, through the Quneitra crossing. This was a result of the ongoing Israeli refusal to accept apples from Golan farmers (reportedly due to over-supply), which led to a plea by the farmers to the Syrian government to accept their produce before it became spoiled in order to prevent economic collapse. In 2010, some 10,000 tons of apples grown by Druze farmers in the Golan Heights were sent to Syria.[76]

Tunisia participated in the Yom Kippur War, sending 1,000-2,000 troops to fight alongside a coalition of Arab countries against Israel.[77] The relations worsened further in the early 2000s when the Second Intifada began, and on 22 Oct 2000, the state radio of Tunisia declared that President Ben Ali had decided to break all diplomatic ties with Israel following the “violence in the Palestinian-controlled territories”.[78] On 21 Oct, Ben Ali had issued a strong condemnation of “the violation of the holy shrine of Al Quds Al Sharif, the repeated Israeli provocations, the use of weapons against innocent children and defenseless people, and the racist persecution of Arab Palestinian citizens”, which “constitute flagrant violations of sanctities and human rights, and a blatant aggression against all human values and practices”. On 22 Oct itself Israel expressed its disappointment at the Tunisian decision to sever relations and to close the Tunisian Interest Office in Tel Aviv and the Israeli Interest Office in Tunis. Expressing “surprise”, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said: “It appears that Tunisia has elected to renounce its potential role as a bridge for dialogue between Israel and its neighbours, thereby harming the critical effort to promote regional peace”.[79]

Turkey was the first Muslim-majority nation to formally recognize the State of Israel,[50] only one year after the Declaration of the Jewish State (28 March 1949). Israel was a major supplier of arms to Turkey. Military, strategic, and diplomatic cooperation between Turkey and Israel were given high priority by the governments of both countries, which shared concerns with respect to regional instabilities in the Middle East.

Relations have been strained since the turn of the 20th to 21st century as a result of the political decline in Turkey of forces based on the secular Kemalist ideology and the corresponding rise of the Justice and Development Party (AK party) of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan.

In February 2006, relations between Turkey and Israel suffered when Turkey hosted a delegation from the Palestinian group Hamas, although on a formal visit to Turkey in 2006, the Israeli then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated that “Bilateral relations [between Turkey and Israel] are excellent. Not only on a leader-to-leader level but also on a people-to-people level”.

In January 2009, the Turkish government’s condemnation of the 200809 Gaza War severely strained relations between the two countries. Erdoan harshly criticized Israel’s conduct in Gaza at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland in early 2009[80][81]

Relations between the two countries were further strained after the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid.[82] On 2 September 2011, Turkey downgraded ties with Israel to second secretary level and suspended military co-operation between the countries.[83] Turkey has demanded an apology from Israel over the flotilla incident, which Israel has shown interest in providing, but Turkey has also demanded Israel end its blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, which Israel has stated is a non-possibility. The chances of any improvement in relations is unlikely in the near future as it appears the political leadership in both countries, and their mutual dislike, will remain in place for a while.

The Leviathan gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean is a further source of friction. Israel is planning its exploitation in partnership with Cyprus, a state that Turkey does not recognize because of the Cyprus dispute. However, in 2015, Turkey and Israel began to work on diplomatic relations by holding a secret meeting.

Relations are typically tense. No Israeli citizens allowed entry following the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh even if entering using a foreign passport. United Arab Emirates does not recognize Israel as a state, and the two countries do not have diplomatic and economic relations. More recently, they have improved to the extent that Israel has decided to open an office in Abu Dhabi, albeit only as a mission to the International Renewable Energy Agency.[84][85]

They do not have diplomatic relations and relations between the two countries are very tense. People with an Israeli passport or any passport with an Israeli stamp cannot enter Yemen, and Yemen is defined as an “enemy state” by Israeli law.

Israel has diplomatic relations with 41 of the 44 Sub-Saharan African states that are not members of the Arab League, including a number of Muslim-majority states.

Relations between Israel and Angola are based on trade and foreign policy. In 2005, President Jos Eduardo dos Santos visited Israel. In March 2006, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to $400 million. The Israeli ambassador to Angola is Avraham Benjamin.

The two countries established relations in 1993. Neither has a formal consulate or embassy in the other country, but the two governments have cooperated on several development initiatives. Six Israeli-centered diamond companies have operations in Botswana.[86]

H.E. Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Ambassador of Cameroon to Israel in 2012, serves as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel[87]

Relations were cut off in the wake of the Yom Kippur war, but restored in 1986, and Cameroon and Israel now have many military and political ties, with Israel training and arming Cameroon’s rapid reaction forces[88] and Cameroon voting against many anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.[89]

Although Israel does not have diplomatic or official trade relations with Djibouti (a member of the Arab League), following a meeting between officials of both countries in September 1995, plans were then announced to open liaison offices in the respective countries’ capitals, prior to the possible establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states.[90] However, such relations did not materialize.

Eritrea developed relations with Israel shortly after gaining its independence in 1993, despite protests among Arab countries. Israeli-Eritrean relations are close. The president of Eritrea has visited Israel for medical treatment.[91] However, Eritrea condemned Israeli military action during the 20082009 IsraelGaza conflict.[92] Israeli-Eritrean ties are complicated by Israel’s close ties to Ethiopia.

In Africa, Ethiopia is Israel’s main and closest ally in the continent, due to common political, religious and security interests.[93] However, relations were severed between the years 1973 and 1989. Many towns in Ethiopia are named after biblical Israel settlements, including Ethiopia’s third largest city of Nazret (Adama). Israel also provides expertise to Ethiopia on irrigation projects. Thousands of Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) live in Israel.

Diplomatic relations with Ghana were established immediately following Ghanaian independence in 1957. Agreement on technical cooperation was concluded on 25 May 1962. On 24 May 1968, a trade agreement was concluded. A cultural cooperation agreement was concluded on 1 March 1973.

Relations were broken at the initiative of the government of Ghana on 28 October 1973, following the Yom Kippur war.[94] Improvement in relations followed Israeli attempts to prevent Ghanaian support for the Palestinian Authority, which led to a state visit to Ghana by Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman in September 2009. During that visit, a bilateral agreement for agricultural cooperation was signed.[95][96] Diplomatic relations were restored in September 2011.[97]

Diplomatic relations between Israel and the Republic of Guinea were established in 1958, and were strained due to the Cold War, as the Israeli government supported US policy while the government of Guinea took a pro-Soviet line. These relations were broken on June 5, 1967 when war broke out between Israel and Egypt in the Six Day War. After Israel’s support to Guinea during its fight against the Ebola virus,[98] relations between the two states were restored on July 20, 2016.[99]

Diplomatic relations were established in December 1963. Israel has an embassy in Nairobi and Kenya has an embassy in Tel Aviv. In 2003, Kenya requested Israel’s help in developing a national solar energy program.[100] In 2006, Israel sent an 80-person search-and-rescue team to Kenya to save people trapped in rubble when a multistory building collapsed.[101] Following the 2007 Kenyan presidential election Israel donated medicine to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.[102]

Lesotho was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Malawi and Swaziland) that maintained full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.[103]

Liberia was one of the African nations to vote ‘yes’ to Israel becoming an independent and sovereign nation and Jewish state.

Israel established diplomatic relations with Malawi in July 1964,[1] immediately following that country achieving independence from the United Kingdom. Malawi was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Lesotho and Swaziland) that continued to maintain full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and has never severed such ties.[103]

Mauritania declared war on Israel as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War,[104] following the Arab League’s collective decision (Mauritania was not admitted to the League until November 1973[105]), and did not reverse that declaration until at least 1991[104] and, for some 32 years in about early-mid-1999. Israelis were seemingly oblivious to the ongoing state of war.[104]

Mauritania did not abide by moves to recognise Israel’s right to exist in the same way as most other Arab countries, after the earlier 1967 Khartoum Resolution.

Little public information exists, and it must be inferred from behind the scenes meetings between Mauritania and Israel in 1995 and 1996 said to be at the instigation of Mauritania’s President Ould Taya;[106] the establishment of unofficial “interest sections” in the respective Spanish embassies in 1996 in the two capital cities,[106] leading to; the exchange of diplomatic representatives in each other’s countries from 27 October 1999;[107] that Mauritania had reversed its declaration by then.

On 6 March 2009, the Israeli diplomatic delegation to Mauritania left after nine years of diplomatic ties, following a demand from the Mauritanian authorities to close the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott within 48 hours.[108] The Mauritanian delegation to Israel left earlier without sending official notice to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[109]

Israel and Nigeria established diplomatic relations in 1960 .[citation needed] In 1973, Nigeria broke off contacts with Israel, but in May 1992, bilateral relations were restored.[1] Since April 1993, Israel has maintained an embassy in Abuja, and Nigeria has maintained an embassy in Tel Aviv.[1] Many Nigerians go on religious pilgrimage to Israel.[citation needed]

Relations with Rwanda were established soon following independence of the African state. They were broken by the government of Rwanda on 8 October 1973, during the Yom Kippur war.[110]

Relations with Senegal were established soon following independence of the African state. They were broken by the government of Senegal on 28 October 1973, following the Yom Kippur war.[94] In a trilateral partnership between Israel, Italy and Senegal, Israeli drip irrigation systems are being installed to help farmers in 12 districts of rural Senegal.[111]

The Union of South Africa was one of only four Commonwealth nations to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution, which led to the establishment of the State of Israel. South Africa was one of the first states to recognize Israel; diplomatic relations between Israel and South Africa were established in 1948. After the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, Israel became a harsh critic of apartheid, leading to a break in its relations with Pretoria. After 1967, Israel and South Africa became strategic partners again, and this lasted until 1987 when Israel joined the West in forcefully opposing apartheid.

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa’s new government has been cold toward Israel and critical of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians but has nevertheless ignored calls from pro-Palestinian South African groups to sever relations between the two countries.

Israel recognized the Republic of South Sudan on 10 July 2011, and offered the new state economic help, following its declaration of independence the previous day from the mainly Arab Muslim north Sudan.[112] On 15 July 2011, South Sudan declared its intention to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel[113] and, on 28 July 2011, it was announced that full diplomatic ties had been established between the two countries.[114] On 28 July 2011, Israel and South Sudan announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations.[114]

Israel established diplomatic relations with Swaziland in September 1968,[1] immediately following that country achieving independence from the United Kingdom. Swaziland was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Lesotho and Malawi) that continued to maintain full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and has never severed such ties.[103]

In May 2009, Israel and Togo signed a “pact for cooperation in the economic, agricultural and educational fields” with each other.[115]

In a joint Israeli-Ugandan project, a professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Agriculture conducted a survey of Lake Victoria with a Ugandan colleague from Makerere University. They found that Nile perch, introduced by the British sixty years ago, have decimated native fish populations, leading to malnutrition in the lakeside communities.[116] She helped to set up artificial fish ponds to raise carp, which had disappeared from the local diet. The United States Agency for International Development sponsored the digging of the ponds and sent villagers to Kibbutz HaMa’apil in Emek Hefer to learn spawning techniques. Graduates of the training program established carp farms.[116]

Abel Muzorewa, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, visited Israel on 21 October 1983. He urged Robert Mugabe to establish diplomatic relations, saying his political policies hurt Zimbabwe’s agriculture and technology industries. In March 2002 an Israeli company sold riot control vehicles to the Mugabe government, shortly before the nation’s 2002 elections.[117]

In addition to Turkey, Israel has diplomatic relations with 6 non-Arab Muslim states in Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).

Afghanistan, currently, has no relations with Israel. The Monarchy of Afghanistan did have spiritual relations with Israel, whether in secret or Tribal rules in place. The Afghan Royal Family trace their origins to King Saul of Israel. Afghanistan was the Only Muslim country that did not revoke citizenship when Jews, also known as descendants of Judah, migrated to Israel. Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail has published numerous books linking the Afghans to the Lost Tribes of Israel.

Both the Israeli government and general public supported the Bangladesh Liberation War. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 the new born country was recognised by Israel in as early as 1972 before any Arab country although Bangladesh “categorically rejected” the recognition.[118]

Bangladesh does not recognize Israel as legitimate and officially forbids its citizens to travel to Israel by putting ‘Valid for travel to all countries except Israel’ on Bangladeshi passports. Bangladesh supports a sovereign Palestinian state and an end to Israel’s “illegal occupation of Palestine”.[119]

Burma (otherwise known as Myanmar) was one of the first countries to recognize Israel and establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Burma has also become one of Israel’s strongest allies in the region, in terms of both technical assistance and also the much debated and rumored military links. Premiers from both sides such as U Nu and David Ben-Gurion made state visits to each other’s countries in the 1950s.[120][121] Burma sends agriculture researchers to Israel for training. This was further cemented in Israel’s aid assistance during the Cyclone Nargis disaster of May 2008.

Israel established diplomatic ties with Cambodia in 1960. Ties were cut in 1975 due to the rise of the Khmer rouge. The ties were restored in 1993. Israel has no embassy in Cambodia and Cambodia has no embassy in Israel. Instead, the Israeli embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, is accredited to Cambodia. Cambodian students study agriculture in Israel.

On 9 January 1950, the Israeli government extended recognition to the People’s Republic of China, but diplomatic relations were not established until January 1992.

Israel has provided China with technological assistance in the areas of advanced agriculture and irrigation. Bilateral R&D projects, supported by the China-Israel Agricultural Research Fund, are focused on the development of new varieties of fruit and vegetables, agricultural biotechnology and applying modern technologies for processing fresh produce. Israel has built three major demonstration farms in China and several training centers which are supported by both Chinese and Israeli ministries of agriculture.

Israel has also provided China with military assistance, expertise and technology. According to a report from the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, “Israel ranks second only to Russia as a weapons system provider to China and as a conduit for sophisticated military technology, followed by France and Germany.” Israel was ready to sell China the Phalcon, an Israeli airborne early-warning radar system (AWACS), until the United States forced it to cancel the deal.[122][123]

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, cultural exchange has been a major component of the bilateral relations, as both sides recognise the importance of creating a strong foundation based on their ancient and rich histories.[124] In 2007, China launched a countrywide Festival of Culture in Israel to mark 15 years of relations.[125]

Israel and Hong Kong have full diplomatic ties as part of Israel’s diplomatic ties with China. Israel has a consulate in the city, while Hong Kong is represented in Israel by the Chinese embassy in Tel Aviv.

India established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel in 1992 and has since become Israel’s strongest ally in Asia.[126][127] The two countries cooperate in anti-terrorist activities in the Middle East and Southern Asia. Israel is India’s second largest arms provider and India is Israel’s principal arms market, and the trade volume between the two countries has increased significantly in the past few years.[128] Co-operation has taken place in the space sector as well with India launching Israeli satellites. India became the top source market for Israel from Asia in 2010 with 41,000 tourist arrivals in that year.[129]

Israel and India share intelligence on terrorist groups. They have developed close defense and security ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1991. In 2009, Israel overtook Russia as India’s biggest arms supplier; the U.S. even gave Israel approval to sell the Phalcon to India after earlier forcing Jerusalem to cancel a similar deal with China. India has bought more than $5 billion worth of Israeli equipment since 2002. In addition, Israel is training Indian military units and discussing an arrangement to give Indian commandos instruction in counter-terrorist tactics and urban warfare.[130] In December 2008, Israel and India signed a memorandum to set up an Indo-Israel Legal Colloquium to facilitate discussions and exchange programs between judges and jurists of the two countries. According to an international opinion survey conducted in 2009 on behalf of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, India is the most pro-Israel country in the world.[131][132]

In 2012, Indonesia agreed to informally upgrade its relations with Israel and to open a consulate in Ramallah, headed by a diplomat with the rank of ambassador, who will also unofficially serve as his country’s ambassador for contacts with Israel. The move, which was agreed upon after five years of sensitive deliberations, represents a de facto upgrading of relations between Israel and the world’s most populous Muslim country. Indonesia has formally presented the move to open a West Bank consulate as a demonstration of its support for Palestinian independence. In fact, while the ambassador-ranked diplomat will be accredited to the Palestinian Authority/PLO, a significant portion of his work will be in dealings with Israel, and the office will fulfill substantial diplomatic duties as well as consular responsibilities. Israel and Indonesia quietly maintain trade, security and other relations. Israelis can get visas for Bali in Singapore, while many Indonesians come to Israel as pilgrims. [134]

On 15 May 1952, diplomatic relations were established with Japan at a Legation level. However, the Japanese government refrained from appointing a Minister Plenipotentiary to Israel until 1955. Relations between the two states were distant at first, but after 1958, no break occurred, despite the Arab oil embargo on several countries, including Japan.

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 April 1992. The embassy of Israel in Kazakhstan opened in August 1992. The embassy of Kazakhstan in Israel opened in May 1996. Israel has an embassy in Astana and Kazakhstan maintains an embassy in Tel Aviv.

Israel and Malaysia do not maintain diplomatic relations and Malaysian passports do not allow entry into Israel. However, Malaysia and Israel has been engaged in trade relations, in 2011 Israel had exported goods to Malaysia worth $716.4 million and import goods worth $93.6 million.[135] A report compiled by the European Commission indicated that in 2010 Malaysia ranked 15th among Israel’s major trade partners, accounting for 0.8% (667.6 million) of Israel’s trade in that year.[136]

Relations between Israel and Maldives were not very strong until the new government of the Maldives came into power in 2008. From 1978 to 2008 there were no official relations between Israel and the Maldives. The president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed announced that he would like to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. In September 2009, Maldives restored diplomatic relations with Israel, 15 years after suspending them.[137]

On 21 July 2014, Maldives announced plans to ban the import of goods made in Israel and dissolved three agreements between the two countries, as Israel underwent a military operation in Gaza. A large Palestinian death toll led Maldives Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon to announce that the Maldives would join other Arab nations in co-sponsoring a resolution at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) calling for the protection of an independent Palestinian state and the extension of humanitarian aid.[138] Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon then said that the three agreements made between the Maldives and Israel by former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government have been abolished.,[139] indicating “I do not think Maldivians want any help from Israel or want to keep up relations with Israel. So from now on, the agreements have been annulled”.[138]

Link:
Foreign relations of Israel – Wikipedia

Fair Usage Law

January 16, 2017   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt, Israel, Palestine | Brookings Institution

As the world continues to be transfixed by the political soap opera unfolding in Egypt, perhaps none in the region have looked on more closely than the Israelis and Palestinians. While there is much that divides the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships, they share an enormous stake in the shape of Egypts future as well as a growing unease about much of what they have seen so far.

For Israeli officials, the toppling of Hosni Mubarak has led to the rise of Islamist forces hostile to Israel and an increasing security vacuum along its southern border, which casts doubt on the long-term durability of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The fall of Mubarak and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood is equally troublesome for Palestinian officials in Ramallah, as it eliminates their most powerful Arab ally and emboldens their Hamas rivals in Gaza (Hamas being an off-shoot of the Brotherhood). The election of the Muslim Brotherhoods Mohammed Morsi to be the first civilian president since the formation of the Egyptian republic sixty years ago has only intensified anxiety in Tel Aviv and Ramallah.

Though it is too early to say exactly what shape Egypts foreign policy will take, we are unlikely to see any time soon either a continuation of the accommodationist policies of Mubarak or a radical shift in Egypts dealings with Israel and the Palestinians. Deeper changes in Egypts regional posture are likely over the long-term but will depend on a host of internal and external factors, including the relative success of political and economic reforms currently underway, trends in U.S.-Egyptian ties, and developments on the Israeli-Palestinian front and other regional dynamics. Despite the inevitable cooling in Egyptian-Israeli and U.S.-Egyptian ties, however, the period ahead may not be all doom and gloom in terms of Arab-Israeli peace, provided that Israel and the United States can recognize and capitalize on an existing but narrow window before it closes.

Foreign Policy Grievances

The virtual absence of anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans throughout the eighteen-day uprising in Tahrir Square is often cited reassuringly as evidence that the Egyptian revolution was not about Israel or the United States. Such assertions are not entirely accurate, though. While popular rebellions are seldom propelled by foreign policy concerns, as opposed to domestic grievances, the Egyptian uprising and the ensuing transition cannot be de-linked entirely from Israel and the United States. The changes associated with Egypts ongoing political transition will have a profound impact on Egypts relations with both countries in the years to come.

Support for Palestine and antagonism toward Israel are deeply ingrained in Egyptian political culture and national consciousness. An issue that transcends partisan politics and commands broad national consensus across all ideological and demographic lines, the Palestinian cause is as much a matter of identity as it is a question of public policy. Beyond sympathy for the plight of Palestinians, hostility toward Israel is also fueled by Egypts own past sacrifices in blood and treasure; four wars with Israel led to tens of thousands of Egyptian deaths and billions of dollars in destruction. Even after three decades of formal peace, most Egyptians still view Israel as a threat to national security and as an enemy, not only of Palestinians but of all Arabs.

The Mubarak regime did little to combat such sentiment. In fact, it frequently stoked populist antipathy toward Israel as a way to boost its own domestic legitimacy. In an environment where most forms of political expression were either severely curtailed or banned altogether, the regime generally tolerated anti-Israel and pro-Palestine activities, so long as they steered clear of criticism of the regime itself. This balancing act became increasingly untenable during the 2000s and the so-called war on terror.

In the decade after the September 11, 2001, attacks, Mubarak made Egypt a cornerstone of two key pillars of American policy, U.S. counterterrorism efforts and the Arab-Israeli peace processwhich by the close of the decade had become virtually interchangeable. Trilateral security coordination and intelligence sharing reached unprecedented levels following the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority election in 2006. By making himself an indispensable asset to the United States and Israel, however, Mubarak also fueled perceptions that his regime was little more than an extension of American and Israeli policy.

Israels crackdown against the Palestinian uprising (the Al-Aqsa Intifada) that began in September 2000 and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq galvanized Egyptians and other Arabs like rarely before. The proliferation of Palestine solidarity initiatives, anti-normalization and boycott campaigns against Israel, and mass demonstrations against Israel and the United States steadily increased into the latter half of the decade in response to the 2006 Lebanon war, the Gaza blockade, and the 2009 Gaza war (Operation Cast Lead). This decades events served as a training ground and inspiration for proto-revolutionary groups like the Kifaya! (Enough!) movement and the April 6 Youth Movement.

Thus, somewhat ironically, Palestine activism became a sort of incubator for the protest movement that eventually led to the January 25, 2011, uprising. On one level, Egyptians identification with Palestinian subjugation (and struggle for eventual liberation) was a vicarious expression of their own yearning for freedom. At the same time, pro-Palestinian activism along with anti-Israeli and anti-American sentiment in Egypt became surrogates for anti-regime politicsepitomizing the ever-widening divide between the ruler and the ruled.

Instead of working to level the playing field on behalf of the Palestinians in the U.S.-led peace process, as most Egyptians would have preferred, the U.S. expected Mubarak to further pressure the beleaguered Palestinian leadership into participating in (failed) negotiations and to refrain from reconciling with Hamas. Of all the issues on the Israeli-Palestinian scene, however, none was more universally unpopular or more damaging to Mubaraks domestic standing than Gaza, which became a rallying cry for established opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the newly formed protest movements. By closing off the Egyptian side of the border to Gazan trade, civilian traffic, and humanitarian access, the Mubarak regime became complicit in the Israeli-imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip and the 2009 Gaza war.

Egypts historic peace treaty with Israel did more than just reconcile two former foes; it consummated Egypts strategic reorientation toward the United States. While Anwar Sadat may have signed the historic treaty, it was Mubarak who implemented it, preserved it, and made it a pillar of Egypts strategic posture in the region. Officially, Mubarak maintained a cool, arms length, and occasionally confrontational stance toward Israel, while quietly deepening security cooperation with Washington and Tel Aviv at all levels. Thus, despite the notoriously cold peace kept by Mubarak, Israeli leaders considered him a strategic prize.

Fairly or unfairly, it is impossible to separate Mubaraks growing unpopularity and waning domestic legitimacy from his relationships with the United States and with Israel. On one hand, much of Mubaraks behavior in the region was seen as being at the behest of both countries. And on the other hand, the invaluable political, diplomatic, and especially military support provided by the United States (largely in response to Israels needs) played no small role in sustaining the Egyptian dictatorship.

Israel, Palestine, and the New Egypt

Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel sentiment has continued to animate Egyptian politics after the uprising. Anti-Israel protests are commonplace and Tahrir demonstrations regularly feature Palestinian flags and other symbols. Israel became a convenient punching bag for populist politicians from across the ideological spectrum, while Egyptian presidential candidates competed over who was more pro-Palestinian.

Two events stand out as particularly noteworthy. The storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo on September 9, 2011, by Egyptian protesters angry at the killing of Egyptian border guards during an Israeli operation against militants in the Sinai weeks earlier marked a turning point for all sides. The embassy attack, which prompted an emergency evacuation of the ambassador and his staff out of the country, was a signal to Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans alike that change was coming. The Muslim Brotherhood and other political parties condemned the embassy attack as an act of vigilantism unbecoming of a civilized state rather than for the sentiment behind it.

Then, in March 2012, Egypts first freely elected parliament voted unanimously to expel Israels ambassador in Cairo, a rare show of consensus in Egypts notoriously fractious politics and a clear signal as to where Egypts political class stood vis–vis Israel. In doing so, parliamentarians also approved a text declaring, Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner, or ally of the Zionist entity, which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation, and further urging the government, to review all its relations and accords with that enemy. Although purely symbolic, given the parliaments lack of authority in diplomatic matters, the vote could not have been reassuring for Israel.

Despite the harsher tone coming out of Cairo, very little has actually changed in Egyptian policy toward Israel and the Palestinians since Mubaraks ejection in February 2011. The countrys interim rulers, the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF), have said they will uphold Egypts international obligations, including the treaty with Israelas have most Egyptian political parties, both secular and Islamist. Egypt also continues to support the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (such as it is) and a two-state settlement of the conflict, and remains the primary backer of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

The only new developments to emerge since Mubaraks removal have been Egypts brokering of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement in April 2011 and the growing security vacuum in the Sinai, neither of which is irreversible. Even the highly unpopular closure of Gaza, despite some changes in the management of the Rafah border crossing, is largely the same as it was under Mubarak. More crucially, Egyptian-Israeli security coordination has continued throughout Egypts tumultuous political transition and despite the heightened tensions on both sides of the border.

In fact, Egypts overall foreign policy orientation remains remarkably similar to what it was under Mubarak, including Egypts close strategic partnership with the United States and its cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states (despite the latters open hostility toward the Egyptian uprising). This should come as no surprise given that the military in general and the intelligence apparatus in particular have continued to control Egyptian foreign and national security policy. Islamists have had little say in governing the country during the transition much less in formulating foreign policy.

Perhaps the most fundamental change to come out of the Egyptian uprisingand which will be among the most difficult to roll backis the increased importance of public opinion, which is now a force in domestic politics and even policy-making like never before. The weight of public opinion was evident throughout the transition. In addition to the vote to expel the Israeli ambassador, for example, there were the populist positions adopted by the unelected government installed by SCAF such as the decision to turn down International Monetary Fund loans and the uproar over the release of American non-governmental organization workers. The attitudes of ordinary Egyptians are likely to have an even more pronounced impact on politicians now that they are accountable before their constituents.

Peace Treaty Inertia

The ascendancy of the Islamists, who now hold the presidency of the Arab worlds most important country, could result in a reorientation of foreign policy in due course. But there are three reasons to expect more continuity than change in Egypts foreign policy over the next several years, regardless of who holds the levers of power.

In the first place, Egyptians are simply too consumed with domestic issues to pursue an ambitious foreign policy agenda at this time. Despite the supposed handover of power to an elected president on June 30, the countrys turbulent transition is anything but complete. On the contrary, the election of a highly polarizing figure like Morsi and SCAFs rather brazen attempts to hold on to power, suggest that the democratic transition is at best just beginning and at worst put off indefinitely.

Meanwhile, with the fate of the parliament and constitution-drafting process still largely up in the air, Egypts three-way power struggle between the military, the Islamists, and revolutionary forces is likely to continue for some time. This uncertainty and the continued potential for instability are exacerbated by the ever-present threat of popular unrest and an economy teetering dangerously close to collapse. As a result, foreign policy matters will continue to take a backseat to domestic issues such as the economy and security. Like many unfulfilled aspirations of the Egyptian revolution, Egypts re-emergence as a dynamic actor in the region and a leader of the Arab world will clearly have to wait.

The absence of major differences of opinion among Egyptians, whether at the popular or political levels, also favors continuity. Despite the fractious nature of Egyptian politics, there is a fairly broad consensus across social, political, and ideological lines on foreign policy matters in general and on Israel and Palestine in particular. Several recent polls also show that, while Egyptians are generally split over whether the Camp David peace process was positive or negative for Egypt, there remains support among the main political forcesincluding Islamists, nationalists, leftists, and revolutionariesfor maintaining the treaty, if with greater reciprocity and balance. The main changes Egyptians would like to see in the relationship have to do with security arrangements in the Sinai, natural gas sales to Israel, and Israels overall treatment of Palestinians.

In the end, the most important determinant of Egyptian policy toward Israel/Palestine in the short- to medium-term remains the role of Egypts military. SCAFs muscular role in politics will persist for some time. In addition to preserving their vast economic interests, the ruling generals have repeatedly sought immunity from government oversight, budgetary scrutiny, and even prosecution, while continuing to control key government functions. Whether or not such exemptions are ultimately codified in the constitution, SCAF has made it clearmost recently in its unilateral constitutional addendumthat it seeks to retain control over areas that bear directly or indirectly on Egypts foreign policy, including defense, national security, and intelligence, as well as other sovereignty portfolios such as the justice and interior ministries. It is this fact more than any other that has prevented a full-blown panic on the part of the Israelis, even after the election of a Muslim Brotherhood leader to the presidency.

Yes to Camp David, But with Changes

Egyptian policy toward Israel and Palestine in the coming years is likely to focus on three points. First, Egypt will maintain the peace treaty with Israel but will eventually seek certain adjustmentssomething most Egyptian political parties, secular and Islamist, have already called for. The most likely candidate in this regard relates to the status of the Sinai, a matter of intense concern for Israelis and Egyptians alike. Camp David-imposed restrictions on the ability of Egyptian forces to deploy in the Sinai are seen across the boardby SCAF, Islamists, and secular political groups alikeas an affront to Egyptian sovereignty and national pride. At the same time, there is a longstanding fear that Israel seeks to permanently push Gaza, demographically and politically, onto Egypt. For their part, Israelis fear an increasingly lawless Sinai is becoming a haven for jihadi extremists on its southern flank and for weapons smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Egyptian authorities acknowledge the security problems in Sinai and have recently begun to crack down on jihadi militants there, but are equally worried about the prospect of unilateral Israeli actions in the Sinai. Despite their shared concerns regarding the region, Israeli leaders are disinclined to consider changes to the peace treaty for fear of establishing a precedent. Even so, renegotiating aspects of the treaty could be in Israels long-term interests, not only for addressing a key security concern but, perhaps more important, by making Egypts current rulersincluding previously rejectionist Islamistsdirect stakeholders in the treaty.

Second, Egyptian policy is likely to focus on reconciliation of Palestinian factions rather than on the peace process. To the extent that Egypt does engage in Israeli-Palestinian affairs it will be limited to areas where its own national security is directly affected. Thus, we are likely to see less emphasis on negotiations with Israel and more emphasis on preventing Israeli-Palestinian violence and on promoting internal Palestinian reconciliation. There are practical as well as political reasons for this. The palpable absence of any meaningful peace negotiations has already led to a focus on crisis-prevention over conflict-resolution by many of the parties concerned. For their part, Egyptians will be even less inclined to deal with distractions much less crises on their eastern borders.

Even the Muslim Brotherhood, which may find itself facing new pressures from both the military and angry revolutionaries, will find it hard to do more than pay lip service to the cause of Palestinelet alone that of Hamas. Although Hamas remains the biggest beneficiary of the Brotherhoods success, its current sense of triumphalism may be short-lived. A protracted and difficult transition in Cairo will leave Egyptians in general and the Brotherhood in particular more inclined to keep things quiet along its eastern border. More important, while a further easing of the Gaza closure is certainly possible, a full-blown opening of the border as Hamas officials have been calling for is probably not in the offing.

The Brotherhood has already signaled a move in this direction. Despite organic ties with Hamas, it has adopted a relatively neutral position regarding the latters feud with Fatah during the transition. This may be due to a desire to avoid confrontation with SCAF, as well as with the United States, or may be part of a calculated attempt to establish its credibility as a future interlocutor. The Brotherhoods neutrality comes at a time when the military regime, specifically Egyptian intelligence, is playing a more evenhanded (or at least less overtly pro-Fatah) role in reconciling the two Palestinian factions. In his inaugural speech, President Morsi pledged not only to support Palestinian rights but also made clear that Palestinian national reconciliation was a prerequisite for the Palestinian people to recover its territory and sovereignty.

Calm in Gaza requires a political arrangement on both the Hamas-Israel and the Hamas-Fatah tracks. The prospect of an Egyptian-mediated reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah does not sit well with Israel, which considers Hamas a terrorist group and opposes its inclusion in Palestinian governance. On the other hand, Israel could stand to benefit from the fact that Egypt is keen on preventing war and containing conflicts along its eastern border. This was evident in Egypts brokering of the March 2012 Gaza truce, which ended four days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants, as well as the deal that ended a potentially explosive mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in May 2012.

The fact that the Brotherhood may be inclined to push Hamas to reconcile with Fatah and maintain a ceasefire with Israel does not mean Hamas will necessarily comply. While the Brotherhood clearly has influence over its Islamist allies in Palestine, perhaps even inordinate sway, it is not in a position to issue orders to Hamas leaders either inside or outside Gaza. The willingness of Hamas to go along with Egyptian preferences, however, may depend on what Morsi and the Brotherhood can deliver for Hamas politically. Since a total opening of the border is unlikely at this time, Hamas may seek the assistance of Egyptian Islamists.

A third area of focus related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves Egyptian relations with the United States. Although the alliance will remain intact, tensions that began well before the 2011 uprising have accelerated throughout the transition. Egyptian efforts to push for Palestinian unity or changes in the peace treaty with Israel could strain relations even further. Either way, security coordination with both the United States and Israel is likely to continue in the coming years.

In the meantime, the delicate balance the United States now maintains with Egypts military rulers on the one hand and its elected civilian (and thus far mainly Islamist) officials on the other is likely to grow even more complicated and uncomfortable in the years to come. Not only must each side contend with domestic constituencies that remain staunchly opposed to any U.S.-Islamist dialogue, they must also tread lightly so as not to alienate political actors in both countries. This will be particularly difficult for the U.S. administration, which must strike a balance not only between the military and an Islamist president but between these two power centers and more secular, liberal groups as well.

Looking Forward

Over the long term, we should expect to see much deeper changes in Egyptian dealings with Israel and the Palestinians, though it will take time for the gap between public sentiment and government policy to narrow. This assumes, of course, that some kind of democratic transition is still occurringwhich is by no means assured, especially given recent developments, but neither is it entirely precluded. In any event, to the extent that such a shift does occur, it will most likely involve movement from both ends toward the middle. In other words, we can expect to see gradual changes in public opinion and government policy simultaneously rather than sudden, dramatic shifts in one or the other.

Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-conservative Salafis have shown a capacity for compromise, particularly the former. In fact, the Brotherhoods discourse with regard to Israel and the Palestinians underwent a major transformation during the transitioneven before it won a majority in the parliament. The apparent overhaul of the Brotherhoods electoral program from 2010 to 2011 is especially striking. Whereas both programs contain the standard references to the Zionist enemy, the 2011 program of its newly created Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is considerably more tame, dropping the most incendiary references to Israel, such as the rapists of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and eliminating the section on the Palestinian cause altogether. Even the anti-blockade language was heavily watered down, to the point that it no longer even mentions Gaza by name.

Whether such changes are indicative of a genuine political evolution or are merely cosmetic and tactical, only time will tell. More importantly, the evolution of Egyptian policy toward Israel/Palestine, over say the next five to twenty years, will depend on numerous factors, including the results of Egypts economic reform.

The extent to which the military remains involved in the political sphere, and the manner in which it may eventually be eased out, will certainly affect Egypts long-term posture toward Israel/Palestine. Having already witnessed a major set-back in the transition to democratic civilian rule, the prospects for pushing the military from politics in the near future are not promising, though not impossible further down the road. While continued military rule may seem good for Israel in the short-term, it is ultimately unsustainable. Although a civilian-led government will undoubtedly reflect anti-Israel populism as a factor, it is also more likely to pursue a rational course of action.

The success or failure of Egypts economic recovery will also affect future relations with Israel and Palestine, which of course is also bound up with its own interminable transition. Economic improvement will afford Egypt the space to play a more active diplomatic role in the region and beyond, and could reduce its overall dependence on U.S./Western and Saudi/Gulf assistance. On the other hand, continued economic hardship will prolong Egypts diplomatic stagnation and perhaps further fan the flames of populism and xenophobia.

Egypts posture in regard to Israel/Palestine will of course also depend on the future of U.S.-Egypt relations. Despite recent strains, and growing calls in both Washington and Cairo for phasing out the strategic partnership, the alliance is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Over time, however, irrespective of who rules Egypt or which party comes to power, Egyptian foreign policy is likely to become more independent and more assertive, making some sort of parting of the ways inevitable. In which case, it would be reasonable to expect the military-military aspect of U.S.-Egyptian ties to be the last to go.

The political evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood (or any successor movements or parties that may emerge from it) and other Islamist forces, including in the diplomatic realm, is likely to continue over the long term. However, this will largely depend on the success or failure of Egypts democratic experiment as well as Western and Israeli responses to Islamist success. Since democratic backsliding would likely have a disproportionate effect on Islamists (as with the recent dissolution of parliament), a return to autocracy, or a prolonging of military rule, is likely to radicalize them on a greater scale than other political trends. Likewise, a resumption of American hostility to Islamism of the kind witnessed in the previous decade, or an escalation in Israeli rhetoric, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus references to Islamism as the insatiable crocodile, can only fuel anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment.

Finally, developments on the Israeli-Palestinian front will also help shape Egypts outlook on the matter. The continued absence of progress toward a comprehensive resolution of the conflict will likely harden Egyptian antipathy and distrust at the public and political levels toward the United States and Israel. Moreover, a resumption of large-scale Israeli-Palestinian violence, particularly if it involves heavy Palestinian casualties, will inflame public sentiment and put pressure on Egyptian politicians to respond. Such a scenario might even re-entrench military rule (perhaps with U.S./Western acquiescence), undercut economic recovery, and radicalize large segments of the Egyptian political class. While even the most just Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will not compel Egyptians to love Israel or Israelis, it will help to stem the growing reservoir of hostility and even hatred as well as restore Egyptian trust in the United States.

Opportunity for Peace?

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process had stagnated well before the dramatic Arab Spring. With the exception of a brief period in the final year of the George W. Bush administration, no serious negotiations have taken place between the parties throughout the preceding decade. The loss of Mubarak and the rapid rise of Islamists in Egypt and elsewhere have made a negotiated settlement less appealing to Netanyahu and more urgent for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

While an Islamist president in Egypt, a hardline government in Israel, and a divided Palestinian leadership may not seem like the ingredients for a diplomatic breakthrough, particularly against the backdrop of declining American influence and generalized turmoil in the region, the prognosis need not be completely negative. This notion is not based on an optimistic reading of present realities, but on a realistic view of future possibilities. Namely, if from an Israeli point of view the region looks bad today, there is no reason to believe it will look any better in the future, even when things settle down. Such a reading should be an incentive to more seriously explore the possibilities that exist.

Although Morsis election hardly represents a mandate for the Islamic project, Islamists are likely to remain key players in Egyptian politics for some time. Regardless of his Islamist ideology, the current presidents views on foreign policy, and particularly on Israel and Palestine, are squarely with those of mainstream Egyptian society. In any case, regardless of who is in power (again, assuming a democratic transition has not been foreclosed), Egyptian policies are likely to become more responsive to public opinion, not less. Likewise, as Egypt stabilizes politically and economically over time, its involvement in foreign engagements is likely to increase rather than decrease, as will the eventual easing of the military from its political role. Nor do trends elsewhere in the region favor Israeli delays in achieving a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians. Any future political configuration in a post-Assad Syria, for example, is likely to include a strong contingent from the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, already a major force within the countrys opposition movement.

None of this is to say that a Palestinian-Israeli breakthrough is imminent or even likely, only that initiating a credible peace process between Palestinians and Israelis is possible even under present conditions. Any serious initiative on this front, however, would require substantial political will and investment on the part of the United States as well as a modicum of stability in Egypts transition. Although neither of these conditions currently exist, it is not inconceivable that one or both could come about by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

At a minimum, the current hiatus presents an opportunity for the United States, in conjunction with its international and regional partners, to re-think a deeply flawed and severely outdated approach to Arab-Israeli peacemaking. This will require a willingness to go beyond failed mechanisms like reliance on the Quarteta mediation bloc consisting of the U.S., the European Union, Russia, and the UNand a recognition that regional players, including Egypt, have a leading rather than supporting role to play. More importantly, it will also require the United States and Israel to adapt to new realities not just in Egypt but in Palestine as well. The notion that a meaningful peace deal could be reached in the absence of Palestinian unity was always questionable. In the wake of the Arab Spring, however, it is totally untenable.

See the rest here:
Egypt, Israel, Palestine | Brookings Institution

Fair Usage Law

June 17, 2016   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt Tours & Holidays | Intrepid Travel

Recent History

Napoleon Bonaparte, the infamous pint-sized French leader, invaded Egypt in 1798, seeking to set up a French colony. However, not long after, the French were repelled, and Egypt became a part of the Ottoman Empire once again.

From 1882, the British Army occupied Egypt to protect the Suez Canal. Muhammad Ali officially ruled from the early 1800s, and his family and successors continued to rule for decades (alongside and during British occupation) until overthrown by a military coup in 1952.

During World War II, Egypt became a crucial element in Britain’s defence. The Italian Army tried to advance into Egypt in 1940 but was stopped by the British Army at Mersa Matruh. Egypt continued to serve as a vital base for British troops during World War II and despite the disruption, Egypt’s shopkeepers and retail trade benefitted from the thousands of Allied troops staying in Egypt.

In 1953, Egypt was officially declared a republic and a year later, Colonel Nasser was declared Prime Minister, then President. In 1979, after decades of confrontation with neighbouring Israel, the historic Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed. This agreement made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognise Israel as a country – a significant step in the peace process. More recently, in February 2011, large scale protests and mass demonstrations resulted in the removal of President Mubarak after decades of autocratic rule.

Ancient Egypt has been the focus of much fascination, investigation, speculation and intrigue. It’s hard to escape the education system without having studied Ancient Egypt in some way. Drawn in by the mighty pyramids, mysterious hieroglyphics, distinct burial rituals and animal-headed gods – scholars, students, historians and travellers are all amazed by this civilisation which has endured cycles of dynastic rule, invasion and natural disasters.

Through key archaeological finds, historians have been able to unravel some of the mysteries of this great land. What is known is that the daily life of the average Egyptian usually involved working in agriculture with the waters of the Nile providing fertile ground for planting of crops. Egyptians usually lived in modest homes with children and domestic pets. Professions were usually inherited – so if your father was a farmer, then so were you.

While most Egyptians led simple lives, dynasties of Pharaohs led lavish lifestyles, with the most well-known being Ramses II, Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Cleopatra. Huge monuments, imposing pyramids, golden artefacts and detailed paintings all hold details about pharaonic rule and succession, as well as commonly held beliefs about religion and the afterlife.

Spanning centuries and full of drama worthy of a soap opera, the epic history of Ancient Egypt is complex and we suggest you read about it before visiting.

Show More

See the original post:
Egypt Tours & Holidays | Intrepid Travel

Fair Usage Law

November 22, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

EgyptIsrael relations – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

EgyptIsrael relations are foreign relations between Egypt and Israel. The state of war between both countries which dated back to the 1948 ArabIsraeli War culminated in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and was followed by the 1979 EgyptianIsraeli Peace Treaty a year after the Camp David Accords, mediated by US president Jimmy Carter. Full diplomatic relations were established on February 26, 1980. Egypt has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consulate in Eilat. Israel has an embassy in Cairo and a consulate in Alexandria.

Their shared border has two official crossings, one at Taba and one at Nitzana. The crossing at Nitzana is for commercial and tourist traffic only.

Peace between Egypt and Israel has lasted for more than thirty years and Egypt has become an important strategic partner of Israel. In January 2011, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former defence minister known for his close ties to Egyptian officials, stated that “Egypt is not only our closest friend in the region, the co-operation between us goes beyond the strategic.”[1]

Nevertheless, the relationship is sometimes described as a “cold peace”,[1][2] with many in Egypt skeptical about its effectiveness.[3][4] The Arab-Israeli conflict kept relations cool and anti-Israeli incitement is prevalent in the Egyptian media.[5][6][7]

In 2003, Egyptian Air Force UAVs entered Israeli airspace and overflew the nuclear research facilities at Nahal Sorek and Palmachim Airbase. Israel threatened to shoot the drones down.[8]

Although diplomatic relations were established in 1980, the Egyptian ambassador to Israel was recalled between 1982 and 1988, and again between 2001 and 2005 during the Second Intifada.[9]

During the final years of the Mubarak administration, the leading Egyptian official conducting contacts with Israel had been the head of Egyptian intelligence Omar Suleiman. Suleiman was ousted from power at the same time as Mubarak, and Israel was said to have very few channels of communication open with Egypt during the events of 2011.[10]

Egypt undermined the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip by opening the Rafah border to persons in May 2011.[11] The Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian parliament wished to open trade across the border with Gaza, a move said to be resisted by Egypt’s Tantawi government.[12]

After an exchange of rocket fire between Gaza and Israel in March 2012, the Egyptian parliamentary committee for Arab affairs urged the Egyptian government to recall its ambassador to Israel from Tel Aviv, and deport Israel’s ambassador in Egypt.[13] This was largely symbolic since only the ruling military council can make such decisions.[14][15]

Relations have improved significantly between Israel and Egypt after the 2013 Egyptian coup d’tat,[16] with close military cooperation over the Sinai insurgency.[17][18] Notably, Israel has permitted Egypt to increase its number of troops deployed in the Sinai peninsula beyond the terms of the peace treaty.[19] These developments, along with deteriorating Israel-Jordan relations, have led some to brand Egypt as Israel’s “closest ally” in the Arab world.[20]

On November 3, 2015, Egypt voted for Israel joining the UNOOSA, marking the first time in history that Egypt has ever voted in Israel’s favor at the United Nations.[21]

The Egyptian Revolution of 2011, part of the Arab Spring, led to fears in Israel about the future of the treaty.[22] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated initially that he expected any new Egyptian government to adhere to the peace treaty with Israel, as it had served both countries well.[23] After the Egyptian Army took power on 11 February 2011, it announced that Egypt would continue to abide by all its international and regional treaties.[24] Yet Israeli-Egyptian relations reached their lowest level since the 1979 EgyptIsrael Peace Treaty. The Israeli-Egyptian border became a region of conflict and instability following the rise of terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula and following hostility manifestation from masses of Egyptian protesters against Israel in the streets of Cairo.[citation needed]

In the 2011 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, thousands of Egyptian demonstrators broke into the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday, September 9. The Egyptian police stationed at the site attempted to bar entry, firing tear gas into the crowd. After demonstrators entered the first section of the building, the Israeli ambassador and the staff of the embassy were evacuated by Egyptian commandos. After the attack, Israel flew out the Israeli ambassador and about 85 other diplomats and their family members.[25] Following the attack, the Egyptian army declared a state of emergency in the country. Egyptian officials condemned the attack and said that the events were part of an external conspiracy to hurt the stability and foreign relations of Egypt.[26]

In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood declared their support for the peace treaty,[27][28] and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu affirmed he had no problem dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood so long as the peace treaty was respected.[29] Post Mubarak, the Egyptian authorities continued to protect an IDF memorial in the Sinai in keeping with their treaty obligations.[30] The Israelis remained positive about the treaty after MB candidate Mohammed Morsi was elected president in June 2012.[31]

In August 2012, the Egyptian Military entered the de-militarized zone without Israeli approval in violation of the peace treaty terms.[32] Egypt has also been reported to have deployed Anti-Air Missiles on the Israeli Border, a move which clearly targets Israel, as the Bedouin groups in the Sinai have no aircraft. In the 1970s, moving anti-aircraft missiles close to the Suez Canal was the first step Egypt took in the lead up to its launching of the October war.[33]

However Other news agencies had reported that the Egyptian military had actually seized anti-aircraft, anti-tank and anti-personnel weaponry which was destined to be smuggled into the Hamas held Gaza strip.[34][35] This was in addition to destroying over 100 tunnels used for smuggling.[36][37]

The 2011 southern Israel cross-border attacks took place in August; attackers from Egypt killed eight Israelis. Eight attackers were reportedly killed by Israeli security forces, and two more by Egyptian security. Five Egyptian soldiers were also killed. In response, protesters stormed the Israeli embassy. During the protests, Ahmad Al-Shahhat climbed to the roof of the Israeli Embassy and removed the Israeli flag, which was then burned by protesters.[38][39][40]

On 5 August 2012, the 2012 EgyptianIsraeli border attack occurred, when armed men ambushed an Egyptian military base in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 16 soldiers and stealing two armored cars, which they used to infiltrate into Israel. The attackers broke through the Kerem Shalom border crossing to Israel, where one of the vehicles exploded. They then engaged in a firefight with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, during which six of the attackers were killed. No Israelis were injured.[41][42][43][44]

Israel is building a 5-meter-high fence along its border with Egypt known as the Israel-Egypt barrier. The fence will stretch along 240 kilometers, from the Kerem Shalom passage in the north to Eilat in the south. The fence was planned to block the infiltration of refugees and asylum seekers from Africa, but took on heightened urgency with the fall of Mubarak’s regime.[45]

Security cooperation was increased as a result of the 2012 EgyptianIsraeli border attack and the ensuing Operation Eagle against Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai. Egyptian Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali said that “Egypt is co-ordinating with the Israeli side over the presence of Egyptian armed forces in Sinai. They know this. The deployment of the armed forces on all the territory of Sinai is not a violation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.”[46]

Egypt’s post-Mubarak rulers were instrumental in mediating between Hamas and Israel for the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange that led to the liberation of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners between October and December 2011.[47]

According to the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, there were 117 exporters to Egypt active in Israel in 2011 and exports of goods from Israel to Egypt grew by 60% in 2011, to $236 million.[48]

The pipeline which supplies gas from Egypt to Jordan and Israel was attacked eight times between Mubarak’s ousting on February 11 and November 25, 2011. Egypt had a 20-year deal to export natural gas to Israel. The deal is unpopular with the Egyptian public and critics say Israel was paying below market price for the gas.[49] Gas supplies to Israel were unilaterally halted by Egypt in 2012 because Israel had allegedly breached its obligations and stopped payments a few months prior.[50] Critical of the decision, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also insisted the cut-off was not to do with the peace treaty but rather “a business dispute between the Israeli company and the Egyptian company”; Egyptian Ambassador Yasser Rida also said the Egyptian government saw it as a business disagreement, not a diplomatic dispute.[51] Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the same, adding that perhaps the gas supplies were being used as campaign material for the Egyptian presidential election.[52] Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau dismissed claims that the dispute was purely commercial in nature.[52]

Read the rest here:
EgyptIsrael relations – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fair Usage Law

November 22, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt, Israel and ISIS | Dr. Josef Olmert

The Sinai peninsula was supposed to be a zone of peace, ever since the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, which has long been a linchpin of regional stability. In fact, the region fulfilled expectations for most of the last 35 years, but no more. Ever since the downfall of the Mubarak regime and the reemergence of the Muslim Brotherhood on the scene, particularly the ill-fated short presidential term of Mohammed Morsi, the region has become a zone of war. Yesterday’s events in Sheikh Zuweid in Northern Sinai brought the situation to a head, and with it, to a point of no return.

With scores of dead Egyptian soldiers, and in the aftermath of the assassination of the State Attorney General, President Al-Sisi is left with no choice. He declared an all-out war against the Jihadists; he will pursue it to the end and he and Egypt will win. The terrorists and those who pull the strings and send them to sow death and destruction will pay the ultimate price, and it will be in blood, a lot of it.

First, some necessary background. The organization behind the attack is called “Ansar Bayit al Makdas,” the Guardians of the Temple, a strange name to an Islamic Jihadist organization, as they simply translate to Arabic the Hebrew name of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which the Jihadists claim has always been only Muslim. Second, the organization declared its loyalty to ISIS, and here it is important to explain that many Jihadist movements, including outside of the Middle East, give the pledge of allegiance to ISIS not necessarily being under its strict, direct command, but more out of admiration for their achievements and dedication, much the same as many of these groups pledged their allegiance to Al-Qa’ida after 9/11. Third, in the case of the Sinai Jihadists, their immediate loyalty is to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt, and to the Palestinian section of the Brotherhood, AKA Hamas in Gaza.

The Egyptians are the ones who know it better than others, hence their announcements since yesterday pointing in the direction of the MB and Hamas as being responsible, the threat to go ahead with the execution of Morsi and other MB leaders and the partial siege on Gaza. Go and explain simple facts of life to the flotilla crowd, these fanatic anti-Israel and anti-peace activists who are engaged in playing games on the high seas of the Mediterranean.

Dealing with terrorism emanating from Gaza and what is left of the MB chain of command in Egypt is no game at all, and President Al-Sisi knows it and so do the Israelis, the Saudis and others. The Israeli connection here is of great importance. The Jihadists, who have no qualms about killing Muslims, will not hesitate to attack targets in Israel — Eilat in the South, for example. The IDF is already taking precautions, but the bitter lesson of the past is that the Jihadists usually strike first, and only then do they get their due in retaliation. Jordan and Saudi Arabia should also be on the alert on this front, and according to some reports, the Saudis sent attack helicopters to support the Egyptian Air Force in Sinai. The Egyptians will not ask Israel to interfere directly in the Sinai fighting, surely not on the Egyptian side of the border, but they may encourage an Israeli campaign in Gaza should Hamas continue to cause provocations there. The likelihood of that happening is not high, but never say never in the Middle East. Hamas may be aware of such a scenario, and they must be worried about the lack of any worldwide and Arab interest in the pathetic “freedom Flotilla” of few days ago. There are talks about Hamas looking for a long-term cease fire arrangement with Israel (Hudna in Arabic); not a bad idea, but Israel will not enter any deal, whether formal or informal, while Hamas and the MB continue to terrorize Egypt. PM Netanyahu just declared that Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with Egypt against ISIS. He said ISIS, but meant Hamas.

Beyond the immediate question of dealing with the threat in Sinai, the greater story really is the growing cooperation between Israel and Egypt. This is a potentially significant story, because it is Egypt, the largest and strongest Arab country. It is significant, because it enables Israel to become an actor within the inter-Arab Middle East regional power game — something that can encourage other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, not a minor player in this game. This is one very likely direction, but it still is not Israel’s Shangri La in the Middle East. President Al-Sisi, the Saudis, Jordanians and others will be happy to be assisted by Israel in ways of their choosing, but the fuller realization of Israel’s stabilizing role will come ONLY with real progress with the Palestinian Authority (PA). A challenge for Israel, but also for these Arab countries, the PA and also those in the West who are really interested in peace.

Read the rest here:
Egypt, Israel and ISIS | Dr. Josef Olmert

Fair Usage Law

July 2, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in …

The fading power of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government leaves Israel in a state of strategic distress. Without Mubarak, Israel is left with almost no friends in the Middle East; last year, Israel saw its alliance with Turkey collapse.

Click here for more Haaretz coverage of events in Egypt

From now on, it will be hard for Israel to trust an Egyptian government torn apart by internal strife. Israel’s increasing isolation in the region, coupled with a weakening United States, will force the government to court new potential allies.

Israel’s foreign policy has depended on regional alliances which have provided the country with strategic depth since the 1950s. The country’s first partner was France, which at the time ruled over northern Africa and provided Israel with advanced weaponry and nuclear capabilities.

After Israel’s war against Egypt in 1956, David Ben-Gurion attempted to establish alliances with non-Arab countries in the region, including Iran, Turkey and Ethiopia. The Shah of Iran became a significant ally of Israel, supplying the country with oil and money from weapons purchases. The countries’ militaries and intelligence agencies worked on joint operations against Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule, which was seen as the main threat against Israel and pro-Western Arab governments.

Israel’s next alliances were forged with Jordan’s King Hussein and Morocco’s King Hassan. These ties were operated in secret, as well as ties with leaders in Lebanon’s Christian community. The late 1970s saw the fall of the Shah of Iran, with an anti-Israel Islamic republic created in his stead.

Around the same time, Egypt and Israel broke their cycle of conflict by signing a peace agreement. Egypt positioned itself on the side of Saudi Arabia, as head of the pro-American camp.

Mubarak inherited the peace agreement after President Anwar Sadat’s assassination. Mubarak was cold in his public relations with Israel, refusing to visit the country except for Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral, which decelerated normalization between the countries.

Relations between the Israel Defense Forces and the Egyptian army were conducted on a low level, with no joint exercises. Egyptian public opinion was openly hostile towards Israel and anti-Semitic terminology was common. Civil relations between the countries were carried out by a handful of government workers and businessmen.

Despite all of this, the “cold peace” with Egypt was the most important strategic alliance Israel had in the Middle East. The security provided by the alliance gave Israel the chance to concentrate its forces on the northern front and around the settlements. Starting in 1985, peace with Egypt allowed for Israel to cut its defense budget, which greatly benefited the economy.

See the original post here:
Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in …

Fair Usage Law

May 13, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt arrests 16 over attacks on gas pipeline to Israel …

Egyptian security forces have arrested 16 suspects in connection with recurrent attacks on a pipeline for the supply of gas to Israel and Jordan, a security source said on Sunday.

The head of security in North Sinai, Saleh al-Masri, told DPAthat the search for suspects began Saturday with police and the army deployed in Sinai.

The pipeline has been attacked seven times since a popular uprising forced former president Hosni Mubarak to step down in February. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

There is little support among Egyptians for the export of gas to Israel, which has been running since 2008 under a 15-year deal with preferential terms.

Those detained were also suspected in the killing of a police officer who had been guarding a bank and an attack on a police station in the city of al-Arish, al-Masri said.

Security forces were also searching for those behind the kidnapping of women and children in the city.

Security has been a major concern since Mubarak was ousted, with crime soaring despite promises by the government to plug a nationwide security vacuum.

Go here to read the rest:
Egypt arrests 16 over attacks on gas pipeline to Israel …

Fair Usage Law

April 11, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt acquits ex-minister over Israel gas deal | The Times …

CAIROAn Egyptian court acquitted on Saturday an oil minister who served under former president Hosni Mubarak in a retrial after a 2012 conviction for selling Israel natural gas at below-market price.

The Cairo court acquitted former oil minister Sameh Fahmy along with five other petroleum officials.

An appeals court ordered a retrial in March 2013 for the defendants after they were initially found guilty in 2012 and sentenced to between threeand 15 years in jail.

Several Mubarak-era figures including the ousted autocrat have been acquitted in retrials after being initially indicted.

In November, Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were cleared of charges of killing peaceful protesters during the 2011 uprising that unseated him.

Mubarak was also cleared in that trial of exporting gas to Israel at below-market price.

The sale of gas to Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979 after four wars, was always controversial in the Arab worlds most populous country.

Sinai-based militants have continuously sabotaged the pipeline after Mubaraks ouster in 2011 until the export deal was halted in April 2012.

See original here:
Egypt acquits ex-minister over Israel gas deal | The Times …

Fair Usage Law

April 5, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Ynetnews News – Egypt

The Arab Republic of Egypt is one of the most populated countries in Africa and a land bridge to Asia. Spanning some 386,560 square miles, it borders Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel and the Gaza Strip the east. Its northern coast borders the Mediterranean Sea and its eastern one the Red Sea. Government: Egypt is considered the most prominent among Arab nations. The Egyptian Republic was declared on 18 June 1953 with General Muhammad Naguib as its first president. Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who declared the full independence of Egypt from the United Kingdom on June 18, 1956. He was succeeded by Anwar Sadat in 1970 and the latter was followed by Egypt’s ousted ruler, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, who came to power in 1981. A Tale as Old as Time Possibly the oldest civilization known to man, Egypt’s influence is evident in almost every aspect of human history; as such its journey from ancient times to modern ones captivates the imagination Birdseye view of Cairo at night (Photo: CD Bank) The Arabs first came to the area now known as Egypt in 642 AD. Considered by the local residents as emancipators from the oppression of The Byzantine Empire, they and their religion of Islam were welcome. In 969 AD the Shiite Fatimid Dynasty took over the country. The Fatimids established the new Egyptian capital of al-Caira (the victorious) and during their 200-year rule the country flourished, expanding its bordered to the coast of Sicily. The year 1169 saw Salah a-Din come to power. Hailed as a champion of Orthodox Islam, he returned to the religion’s Sunni fundamentals in 1171, but never claimed the religious title of Caliph opting for the secular title of Sultan instead. Under his rule Egypt regained control of Jerusalem and eventually expanded its borders to Mesopotamia. A 4000-mile long waterway. The River Nile (Photo: AP) In 1922 Egypt declared itself independent and King Fuad ascended the thrown. The UK retained the right to keep troops in the country until 1936. In May of 1948 Egypt, along with her neighboring Arab nations, invaded the newly formed State of Israel. When Israel’s War of Independence was over, the two signed a ceasefire agreement. In 1956, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, causing Egypt’s relations with the UK and France which were co-owners of the sailing rights to spiral. France and the UK ordered Egypt to remove its forces from the Canal, and when it refused, the British and French air forces launched an aerial assault on Egyptian airports and strategic military facilities built in the Canal’s vicinity. Israel was soon drawn into the fighting, which turned into the Israeli-Egyptian Sinai War. In November 1956, the British and French launched Operation Musketeer: Joint forces invaded Port Sa’id by air and by sea, taking hold of part of it before a ceasefire was called. The UN soon ordered the UK, Israel and France to retrieve their forces and leave Egyptian soil. A staple of Egyptian economy. The Suez Canal (Photo: Visual Photos) Sadat’s Egypt: following Nasser’s death in 1970, Muhammad Anwar El Sadat became the Egyptian president. Soon after taking power, Sadat began trying to restore Egyptian control over the Suez Canal and the Sinai Peninsula, including laying out military options to that effect. In 1971 Sadat reshuffled Egyptian politics, when he accused leading figures in the country’s Left and many of Nasser’s loyalists of conspiracy, trying them for treason and forcibly removing them from power. Making history. Signing the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty (Photo: AP) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came to power in the aftermath of Sadat’s assassinations. Unlike Sadat, Mubarak halted the financial liberation and free-market mode and reinstated strict government monitoring of the economy on one hand and allowed more political freedoms on the other. Mubarak was able to rehabilitate Egypt’s standing among the Arab nations, repairing the so-called damage signing a peace agreement with Israel caused to its ranking in the Arab world, making it a political force to be reckoned with once more. His foreign policies made for stronger relations with the US and Russia, and he led a battle againt the radical Islam movements within Egypt. A force to be reckoned with (Photo: Reuters) Hosni Mubarak was elected Egypt’s president four times in 1987, 1993, 1999 and 2005. Although Mubarak always denied the possibility of any succession of power in Egypt, it was widely speculated that when he decided to step down, or in the event of his death while still in office, his son Gamal Mubarak who served as currently the NDP’s deputy secretary general would be sworn in as president. Mubarak resigned as president and transferred authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on February 11, 2011, after 18 days of violent protests calling for his resignation. Mubarak and his family left the presidential palace in Cairo and moved to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Fair Usage Law

February 15, 2017   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Foreign relations of Israel – Wikipedia

The term “foreign relations of Israel” refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on 11 May 1949. Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries.[1] Israel maintains full diplomatic relations and open borders with two of its Arab neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, after signing peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively. The close friendship with the United States has been the linchpin of Israeli foreign policy for decades. From the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 until the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation after Turkey.[2][3] In the mid-20th century, Israel ran extensive foreign aid and educational programs in Africa, sending experts in agriculture, water management and health care.[4] During the 2000s, the foreign ministry warned that the increasing influence of the EU would further isolate Israel in global affairs.[5][6] In the wake of a series of diplomatic rifts with Turkey and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2011, Israel has had less than friendly relations with those countries.[7] During roughly the same period, Israeli relations with many countries in Europe including Greece and Cyprus in the context of the Energy Triangle and in Asia, including China and India, were enhanced, largely on account of the growth of Israel’s high-tech economy.[8] Israeli ties with Egypt have improved since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power there, while ties to Turkey have been uneven since their 2010 nadir but less dismal than that point. The first international organization which the Israeli government joined was the International Wheat Council, established as part of Point Four Program in early 1949. Since 11 May 1949, the State of Israel has been a member of the United Nations. Israel is a member of many agencies within the UN, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Israel also participates in other international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).[9] Within the UNESCO, Israel is a member in many international programmes and organizations. In the area of science Israel is an active member of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), and the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP). Other notable organizations Israel is an active member of include the Education For All movement, the European Centre for Higher Education (CEPES), the World Heritage Committee (WHC), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).[10] Relations are carried out through the Israeli National Commission for UNESCO.[11] Israel has joined the European Union’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP) in 1994,[12] and is a member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN),[13] the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).[14] It is also a member of the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) since 2003.[15] On 10 May 2010, Israel was invited to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).[16] Israel is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue forum.[17] In 2014 Israel joined the Paris Club.[18] After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Israel was subjected to Arab League boycotts and attempts to diplomatically isolate the state. Today, Israel has diplomatic ties with 157 out of the other 192 member states of the United Nations as well as with non-member Holy See (Vatican City) and the European Union.[1] Some states recognize Israel as a state, but have no diplomatic relations. Several countries once had diplomatic relations with Israel, but have since broken or suspended them (Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela in Latin America; Mauritania in the Arab League; Chad, Mali and Niger in non-Arab Africa; and Iran until the Islamic revolution). Some of these countries have since resumed relations. In addition, a number of countries (all members of the Arab League) that at one time had formal economic ties (primarily trade offices) with Israel that fell short of full diplomatic relations, have severed such ties (Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Tunisia). At present, a total of 31 United Nations member states do not recognize or generally / partially do not maintain diplomatic relations with the State of Israel: 18 of the 21 UN members in the Arab League: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen (the exceptions are bordering countries Egypt and Jordan); a further 10 members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Chad, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Mali, Niger, and Pakistan; and Bhutan, Cuba, and North Korea.[19] Some of these countries accept Israeli passports and acknowledge other indications of Israeli sovereignty. The following are the UN member states with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations (period of former relations marked in parenthesis): Israel has no diplomatic relations with the following states or entities: Comoros has no official diplomatic ties with Israel but the countries engage in mutual trade.[42] Although the Israeli diplomatic missions in Bahrain, Morocco, and Oman were closed in 2000, trade and economic ties continue.[citation needed] Israeli tourism to Morocco is encouraged by the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry, a non-governmental private Jewish organization.[43] Israeli citizens are admitted into North Korea with Israeli passports, but like other foreign visitors they are asked to deposit their passport with the local authorities and use specially issued local documents for tourists.[44] On 1 October 1994, the Persian Gulf states announced their support for a review of the Arab boycott, abolishing the secondary and tertiary boycotts against Israel. In the mid-1990s, while Israel and North African states slowly started diplomatic relations, Algeria remained one of the last countries to consider such a move. It was only when Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the funeral of the Moroccan King Hasan II on 25 July 1999 that comments about rapprochement were made. Algeria and Israel do not have diplomatic relations. Relations are generally tense and the two states do not have diplomatic relations. Like other Arab states, Bahrain does not recognize Israel. A brief period of warming in relations occurred in the mid-1990s. In 2011, amid Arab spring uprising, Wikileaks cables published on Haaretz revealed some of the hidden relations between Bahraini and Israeli officials. In a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in February 2005, Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had bragged about having contact with Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad. He indicated that Bahrain is ready to develop relations in other fields as well. The king reportedly gave orders that official statements don’t use phrases such as “enemy” and “Zionist entity” when referring to Israel anymore. However, he refused the idea of having trade relations, saying it was “too early” and would be postponed until the establishment of an independent Palestine state.[45] Israel has had full diplomatic relations with Egypt since the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in 1979. Following the end of the regime of Hosni Mubarak during the 2011 Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood announced that the peace treaty with Israel may be put to a referendum.[46] According to an Egyptian Government 2006 poll of 1000 Egyptians (taken at the time of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict), 92% of Egyptians view Israel as an enemy nation.[47][48] In Israel, the 1978 Camp David Accords were supported by 85% of Israelis, according to a 2001 poll taken by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, based in Israel.[49] Egypt has mediated several unofficial ceasefire understandings between Israel and Palestinians. Relations between Israel and Iran have alternated from close political alliances between the two states during the era of the Pahlavi dynasty to hostility following the rise to power of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. While Iran was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel,[50] the two states do not currently have diplomatic relations with each other, due to Iran’s withdrawal of its recognition of Israel. The post-1979 Iranian authorities avoid referring to Israel by its name, and instead use the terms “the Zionist regime” or “occupied Palestine”. Iranian passports bear an inscription that says, “The bearer of this passport is forbidden from traveling to occupied Palestine.”[51] Due to recent rhetoric between Iran and Israel, development of nuclear technology, and funding of the groups Hamas and Hezbollah, tensions have risen dramatically between the State of Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran,[52] especially after the election of the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. Comments made by Ahmadinejad[53][54][55][56][57][58][59] were perceived by Israel as threat of destruction.[60][61][62][63] A large population of Iranian Jews reside in Israel, among them former President of Israel Moshe Katsav, former Chief of Staff / Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, and former Chief of staff Dan Halutz. Following the American-British led invasion of Iraq in 2003, diplomats had been discussing the possibility of improved relations between Israel and Iraq. However, then-Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi said in 2004 that Iraq would not establish ties with Israel.[64] In 2006, the president of KRG Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani said: “It is not a crime to have relations with Israel. If Baghdad established diplomatic relations with Israel, we could open a consulate in Hewlr (Kurdistan).” Israeli television broadcast photographs from the 1960s showing Mustafa Barzani embracing then Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan. In 2004, Israeli officials met with Kurdish political leaders. In 2006 the BBC reported that Israel was training Kurdish militias in Iraqi Kurdistan.[65] In April 2012, it was alleged that high-ranking Kurdish officials had collected the revenues of Iraqi oil that had been smuggled to Israel via the Kurdistan Region.[66] Israel has full diplomatic relations in peace with Jordan since the signing of the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace in 1994, but relations remain somewhat tense. Relations between Israel and Kuwait are generally hostile, mainly as part of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kuwait does not recognize Israel and refuses entry to any person who holds an Israeli passport or Israel travel documents. Like many Arab countries, Kuwait opposes normalizing ties with Israel.[citation needed] According to Laura Zittrain Eisenberg, the author of “My Enemy’s Enemy”, the pre-state Zionist attention to Lebanon consisted primarily of repeated attempts to establish a political alliance between the Jewish community in Palestine and the Maronite Catholic Community in Lebanon. Largely neglected by traditional scholarship on the Arab-Israeli condition, the Zionist-Lebanese relationship from 1900 to 1948 was surprisingly active and amicable. Zionist curiosity was naturally piqued by Lebanon, an Arab country with a sizable non-Muslim population enjoying political predominance. During the war of 19751990, some right-wing militias were Israel’s allies, and after the assassination of President Bachir Gemayel, Israel and Lebanon signed an agreement on May 17, 1983 which was a peace treaty in all but name. The Lebanese legislature ratified the treaty by a margin of 80 votes, but in a very weak and unstable domestic position president Amine Gemayel abrogated the peace treaty on March 5, 1984 under unrelenting Syrian pressure, after the U.S. Marines withdrew and after Israel had begun withdrawing from Lebanon. During the Syrian Occupation of Lebanon (19762005), it was highly unlikely that Lebanon would sign a peace treaty with Israel before Syria, as Syria’s influence on Lebanese politics was strong; however, the Syrian Occupation withdrew from Lebanon, yet the IranSyriaHezbollah axis remained through the heavy arms presence. During the 90’s, the success of the First Persian Gulf War created new opportunities for Middle East peacemaking. However, Lebanon was under the Syrian Occupation, which took over the treaties and negotiations. In August 2006, after the clash between Hezbollah and Israel, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that Lebanon would be the “last Arab country to make peace with Israel” because of the large number of civilians that were killed in the 2006 Lebanon War.[67]Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy in Lebanon, proclaims “Death to Israel” and promises the “liberation” of Jerusalem, even though many Lebanese social fractions and political parties in Lebanon neither agree with his vision nor with the strategy and practices of his armed party. Since the year 2000, and due to many wars with Hezbollah, Israel treats Lebanon as an “enemy state”,[68] although it is considering the possibility of a non-aggression pact. In 2008 A Pew Research Center survey found that negative views concerning Jews were most common in Lebanon, with 97% of Lebanese having unfavorable opinion of Jews.[69] In a 2011 survey again by the Pew Research Center, all of the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern countries polled held strongly negative views of Jews. In the questionnaire, only 3% of Lebanese reported having a positive view of Jews.[70] Moroccan expeditionary forces fought alongside a coalition of Arab countries in the Yom Kippur War against Israel.[71] In 1986, King Hassan II invited then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres for talks, becoming the second Arab leader to host an Israeli leader after Anwar Sadat. Following the September 1993 signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, Morocco accelerated its economic ties and political contacts with Israel. In September 1994, Morocco and Israel announced the opening of bilateral liaison offices.[citation needed] When the king died in 1999, then-prime minister Ehud Barak and the Moroccan-born foreign minister David Levy flew to Rabat for his funeral.[72] The foreign offices were closed in 2000 following sustained Israeli-Palestinian violence. There is a Postage stamp with picture of a King of Morocco in collection of State of Israel. Qatar and Israel do not currently have diplomatic relations, although they maintained economic relations between 1996 and 2000. Qatar is a major financial supporter of the anti-Israel militant group Hamas. In 2005, Saudi Arabia announced the end of its ban on Israeli goods and services, mostly due to its application to the World Trade Organization, where one member country cannot have a total ban on another. However, as of August 2006[update], the Saudi boycott was not cancelled.[73][74][75] In recent years, Saudi Arabia has changed its viewpoint concerning the validity of negotiating with Israel. It calls for Israel’s withdrawal from territory occupied in June 1967 in order for peace with the Arab states; then-Crown Prince Abdullah extended a multilateral peace proposal based on withdrawal in 2002. At that time, Israel did not respond to the offer. In 2007 Saudi Arabia again officially supported a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict which supported a full right of Palestinian refugees to move to Israel, which generated more official negative reactions from Israeli authorities. Syria’s relations with Israel are very poor, due to Syria’s close ties with the anti-Israel militant group Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since 2004, Syria has accepted the import of apples from farmers in the Golan Heights, territory that it claims, through the Quneitra crossing. This was a result of the ongoing Israeli refusal to accept apples from Golan farmers (reportedly due to over-supply), which led to a plea by the farmers to the Syrian government to accept their produce before it became spoiled in order to prevent economic collapse. In 2010, some 10,000 tons of apples grown by Druze farmers in the Golan Heights were sent to Syria.[76] Tunisia participated in the Yom Kippur War, sending 1,000-2,000 troops to fight alongside a coalition of Arab countries against Israel.[77] The relations worsened further in the early 2000s when the Second Intifada began, and on 22 Oct 2000, the state radio of Tunisia declared that President Ben Ali had decided to break all diplomatic ties with Israel following the “violence in the Palestinian-controlled territories”.[78] On 21 Oct, Ben Ali had issued a strong condemnation of “the violation of the holy shrine of Al Quds Al Sharif, the repeated Israeli provocations, the use of weapons against innocent children and defenseless people, and the racist persecution of Arab Palestinian citizens”, which “constitute flagrant violations of sanctities and human rights, and a blatant aggression against all human values and practices”. On 22 Oct itself Israel expressed its disappointment at the Tunisian decision to sever relations and to close the Tunisian Interest Office in Tel Aviv and the Israeli Interest Office in Tunis. Expressing “surprise”, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said: “It appears that Tunisia has elected to renounce its potential role as a bridge for dialogue between Israel and its neighbours, thereby harming the critical effort to promote regional peace”.[79] Turkey was the first Muslim-majority nation to formally recognize the State of Israel,[50] only one year after the Declaration of the Jewish State (28 March 1949). Israel was a major supplier of arms to Turkey. Military, strategic, and diplomatic cooperation between Turkey and Israel were given high priority by the governments of both countries, which shared concerns with respect to regional instabilities in the Middle East. Relations have been strained since the turn of the 20th to 21st century as a result of the political decline in Turkey of forces based on the secular Kemalist ideology and the corresponding rise of the Justice and Development Party (AK party) of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan. In February 2006, relations between Turkey and Israel suffered when Turkey hosted a delegation from the Palestinian group Hamas, although on a formal visit to Turkey in 2006, the Israeli then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated that “Bilateral relations [between Turkey and Israel] are excellent. Not only on a leader-to-leader level but also on a people-to-people level”. In January 2009, the Turkish government’s condemnation of the 200809 Gaza War severely strained relations between the two countries. Erdoan harshly criticized Israel’s conduct in Gaza at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland in early 2009[80][81] Relations between the two countries were further strained after the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid.[82] On 2 September 2011, Turkey downgraded ties with Israel to second secretary level and suspended military co-operation between the countries.[83] Turkey has demanded an apology from Israel over the flotilla incident, which Israel has shown interest in providing, but Turkey has also demanded Israel end its blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, which Israel has stated is a non-possibility. The chances of any improvement in relations is unlikely in the near future as it appears the political leadership in both countries, and their mutual dislike, will remain in place for a while. The Leviathan gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean is a further source of friction. Israel is planning its exploitation in partnership with Cyprus, a state that Turkey does not recognize because of the Cyprus dispute. However, in 2015, Turkey and Israel began to work on diplomatic relations by holding a secret meeting. Relations are typically tense. No Israeli citizens allowed entry following the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh even if entering using a foreign passport. United Arab Emirates does not recognize Israel as a state, and the two countries do not have diplomatic and economic relations. More recently, they have improved to the extent that Israel has decided to open an office in Abu Dhabi, albeit only as a mission to the International Renewable Energy Agency.[84][85] They do not have diplomatic relations and relations between the two countries are very tense. People with an Israeli passport or any passport with an Israeli stamp cannot enter Yemen, and Yemen is defined as an “enemy state” by Israeli law. Israel has diplomatic relations with 41 of the 44 Sub-Saharan African states that are not members of the Arab League, including a number of Muslim-majority states. Relations between Israel and Angola are based on trade and foreign policy. In 2005, President Jos Eduardo dos Santos visited Israel. In March 2006, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to $400 million. The Israeli ambassador to Angola is Avraham Benjamin. The two countries established relations in 1993. Neither has a formal consulate or embassy in the other country, but the two governments have cooperated on several development initiatives. Six Israeli-centered diamond companies have operations in Botswana.[86] H.E. Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Ambassador of Cameroon to Israel in 2012, serves as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel[87] Relations were cut off in the wake of the Yom Kippur war, but restored in 1986, and Cameroon and Israel now have many military and political ties, with Israel training and arming Cameroon’s rapid reaction forces[88] and Cameroon voting against many anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.[89] Although Israel does not have diplomatic or official trade relations with Djibouti (a member of the Arab League), following a meeting between officials of both countries in September 1995, plans were then announced to open liaison offices in the respective countries’ capitals, prior to the possible establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states.[90] However, such relations did not materialize. Eritrea developed relations with Israel shortly after gaining its independence in 1993, despite protests among Arab countries. Israeli-Eritrean relations are close. The president of Eritrea has visited Israel for medical treatment.[91] However, Eritrea condemned Israeli military action during the 20082009 IsraelGaza conflict.[92] Israeli-Eritrean ties are complicated by Israel’s close ties to Ethiopia. In Africa, Ethiopia is Israel’s main and closest ally in the continent, due to common political, religious and security interests.[93] However, relations were severed between the years 1973 and 1989. Many towns in Ethiopia are named after biblical Israel settlements, including Ethiopia’s third largest city of Nazret (Adama). Israel also provides expertise to Ethiopia on irrigation projects. Thousands of Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) live in Israel. Diplomatic relations with Ghana were established immediately following Ghanaian independence in 1957. Agreement on technical cooperation was concluded on 25 May 1962. On 24 May 1968, a trade agreement was concluded. A cultural cooperation agreement was concluded on 1 March 1973. Relations were broken at the initiative of the government of Ghana on 28 October 1973, following the Yom Kippur war.[94] Improvement in relations followed Israeli attempts to prevent Ghanaian support for the Palestinian Authority, which led to a state visit to Ghana by Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman in September 2009. During that visit, a bilateral agreement for agricultural cooperation was signed.[95][96] Diplomatic relations were restored in September 2011.[97] Diplomatic relations between Israel and the Republic of Guinea were established in 1958, and were strained due to the Cold War, as the Israeli government supported US policy while the government of Guinea took a pro-Soviet line. These relations were broken on June 5, 1967 when war broke out between Israel and Egypt in the Six Day War. After Israel’s support to Guinea during its fight against the Ebola virus,[98] relations between the two states were restored on July 20, 2016.[99] Diplomatic relations were established in December 1963. Israel has an embassy in Nairobi and Kenya has an embassy in Tel Aviv. In 2003, Kenya requested Israel’s help in developing a national solar energy program.[100] In 2006, Israel sent an 80-person search-and-rescue team to Kenya to save people trapped in rubble when a multistory building collapsed.[101] Following the 2007 Kenyan presidential election Israel donated medicine to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.[102] Lesotho was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Malawi and Swaziland) that maintained full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.[103] Liberia was one of the African nations to vote ‘yes’ to Israel becoming an independent and sovereign nation and Jewish state. Israel established diplomatic relations with Malawi in July 1964,[1] immediately following that country achieving independence from the United Kingdom. Malawi was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Lesotho and Swaziland) that continued to maintain full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and has never severed such ties.[103] Mauritania declared war on Israel as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War,[104] following the Arab League’s collective decision (Mauritania was not admitted to the League until November 1973[105]), and did not reverse that declaration until at least 1991[104] and, for some 32 years in about early-mid-1999. Israelis were seemingly oblivious to the ongoing state of war.[104] Mauritania did not abide by moves to recognise Israel’s right to exist in the same way as most other Arab countries, after the earlier 1967 Khartoum Resolution. Little public information exists, and it must be inferred from behind the scenes meetings between Mauritania and Israel in 1995 and 1996 said to be at the instigation of Mauritania’s President Ould Taya;[106] the establishment of unofficial “interest sections” in the respective Spanish embassies in 1996 in the two capital cities,[106] leading to; the exchange of diplomatic representatives in each other’s countries from 27 October 1999;[107] that Mauritania had reversed its declaration by then. On 6 March 2009, the Israeli diplomatic delegation to Mauritania left after nine years of diplomatic ties, following a demand from the Mauritanian authorities to close the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott within 48 hours.[108] The Mauritanian delegation to Israel left earlier without sending official notice to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[109] Israel and Nigeria established diplomatic relations in 1960 .[citation needed] In 1973, Nigeria broke off contacts with Israel, but in May 1992, bilateral relations were restored.[1] Since April 1993, Israel has maintained an embassy in Abuja, and Nigeria has maintained an embassy in Tel Aviv.[1] Many Nigerians go on religious pilgrimage to Israel.[citation needed] Relations with Rwanda were established soon following independence of the African state. They were broken by the government of Rwanda on 8 October 1973, during the Yom Kippur war.[110] Relations with Senegal were established soon following independence of the African state. They were broken by the government of Senegal on 28 October 1973, following the Yom Kippur war.[94] In a trilateral partnership between Israel, Italy and Senegal, Israeli drip irrigation systems are being installed to help farmers in 12 districts of rural Senegal.[111] The Union of South Africa was one of only four Commonwealth nations to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution, which led to the establishment of the State of Israel. South Africa was one of the first states to recognize Israel; diplomatic relations between Israel and South Africa were established in 1948. After the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, Israel became a harsh critic of apartheid, leading to a break in its relations with Pretoria. After 1967, Israel and South Africa became strategic partners again, and this lasted until 1987 when Israel joined the West in forcefully opposing apartheid. Since the end of apartheid, South Africa’s new government has been cold toward Israel and critical of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians but has nevertheless ignored calls from pro-Palestinian South African groups to sever relations between the two countries. Israel recognized the Republic of South Sudan on 10 July 2011, and offered the new state economic help, following its declaration of independence the previous day from the mainly Arab Muslim north Sudan.[112] On 15 July 2011, South Sudan declared its intention to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel[113] and, on 28 July 2011, it was announced that full diplomatic ties had been established between the two countries.[114] On 28 July 2011, Israel and South Sudan announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations.[114] Israel established diplomatic relations with Swaziland in September 1968,[1] immediately following that country achieving independence from the United Kingdom. Swaziland was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Lesotho and Malawi) that continued to maintain full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and has never severed such ties.[103] In May 2009, Israel and Togo signed a “pact for cooperation in the economic, agricultural and educational fields” with each other.[115] In a joint Israeli-Ugandan project, a professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Agriculture conducted a survey of Lake Victoria with a Ugandan colleague from Makerere University. They found that Nile perch, introduced by the British sixty years ago, have decimated native fish populations, leading to malnutrition in the lakeside communities.[116] She helped to set up artificial fish ponds to raise carp, which had disappeared from the local diet. The United States Agency for International Development sponsored the digging of the ponds and sent villagers to Kibbutz HaMa’apil in Emek Hefer to learn spawning techniques. Graduates of the training program established carp farms.[116] Abel Muzorewa, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, visited Israel on 21 October 1983. He urged Robert Mugabe to establish diplomatic relations, saying his political policies hurt Zimbabwe’s agriculture and technology industries. In March 2002 an Israeli company sold riot control vehicles to the Mugabe government, shortly before the nation’s 2002 elections.[117] In addition to Turkey, Israel has diplomatic relations with 6 non-Arab Muslim states in Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). Afghanistan, currently, has no relations with Israel. The Monarchy of Afghanistan did have spiritual relations with Israel, whether in secret or Tribal rules in place. The Afghan Royal Family trace their origins to King Saul of Israel. Afghanistan was the Only Muslim country that did not revoke citizenship when Jews, also known as descendants of Judah, migrated to Israel. Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail has published numerous books linking the Afghans to the Lost Tribes of Israel. Both the Israeli government and general public supported the Bangladesh Liberation War. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 the new born country was recognised by Israel in as early as 1972 before any Arab country although Bangladesh “categorically rejected” the recognition.[118] Bangladesh does not recognize Israel as legitimate and officially forbids its citizens to travel to Israel by putting ‘Valid for travel to all countries except Israel’ on Bangladeshi passports. Bangladesh supports a sovereign Palestinian state and an end to Israel’s “illegal occupation of Palestine”.[119] Burma (otherwise known as Myanmar) was one of the first countries to recognize Israel and establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Burma has also become one of Israel’s strongest allies in the region, in terms of both technical assistance and also the much debated and rumored military links. Premiers from both sides such as U Nu and David Ben-Gurion made state visits to each other’s countries in the 1950s.[120][121] Burma sends agriculture researchers to Israel for training. This was further cemented in Israel’s aid assistance during the Cyclone Nargis disaster of May 2008. Israel established diplomatic ties with Cambodia in 1960. Ties were cut in 1975 due to the rise of the Khmer rouge. The ties were restored in 1993. Israel has no embassy in Cambodia and Cambodia has no embassy in Israel. Instead, the Israeli embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, is accredited to Cambodia. Cambodian students study agriculture in Israel. On 9 January 1950, the Israeli government extended recognition to the People’s Republic of China, but diplomatic relations were not established until January 1992. Israel has provided China with technological assistance in the areas of advanced agriculture and irrigation. Bilateral R&D projects, supported by the China-Israel Agricultural Research Fund, are focused on the development of new varieties of fruit and vegetables, agricultural biotechnology and applying modern technologies for processing fresh produce. Israel has built three major demonstration farms in China and several training centers which are supported by both Chinese and Israeli ministries of agriculture. Israel has also provided China with military assistance, expertise and technology. According to a report from the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, “Israel ranks second only to Russia as a weapons system provider to China and as a conduit for sophisticated military technology, followed by France and Germany.” Israel was ready to sell China the Phalcon, an Israeli airborne early-warning radar system (AWACS), until the United States forced it to cancel the deal.[122][123] Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, cultural exchange has been a major component of the bilateral relations, as both sides recognise the importance of creating a strong foundation based on their ancient and rich histories.[124] In 2007, China launched a countrywide Festival of Culture in Israel to mark 15 years of relations.[125] Israel and Hong Kong have full diplomatic ties as part of Israel’s diplomatic ties with China. Israel has a consulate in the city, while Hong Kong is represented in Israel by the Chinese embassy in Tel Aviv. India established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel in 1992 and has since become Israel’s strongest ally in Asia.[126][127] The two countries cooperate in anti-terrorist activities in the Middle East and Southern Asia. Israel is India’s second largest arms provider and India is Israel’s principal arms market, and the trade volume between the two countries has increased significantly in the past few years.[128] Co-operation has taken place in the space sector as well with India launching Israeli satellites. India became the top source market for Israel from Asia in 2010 with 41,000 tourist arrivals in that year.[129] Israel and India share intelligence on terrorist groups. They have developed close defense and security ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1991. In 2009, Israel overtook Russia as India’s biggest arms supplier; the U.S. even gave Israel approval to sell the Phalcon to India after earlier forcing Jerusalem to cancel a similar deal with China. India has bought more than $5 billion worth of Israeli equipment since 2002. In addition, Israel is training Indian military units and discussing an arrangement to give Indian commandos instruction in counter-terrorist tactics and urban warfare.[130] In December 2008, Israel and India signed a memorandum to set up an Indo-Israel Legal Colloquium to facilitate discussions and exchange programs between judges and jurists of the two countries. According to an international opinion survey conducted in 2009 on behalf of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, India is the most pro-Israel country in the world.[131][132] In 2012, Indonesia agreed to informally upgrade its relations with Israel and to open a consulate in Ramallah, headed by a diplomat with the rank of ambassador, who will also unofficially serve as his country’s ambassador for contacts with Israel. The move, which was agreed upon after five years of sensitive deliberations, represents a de facto upgrading of relations between Israel and the world’s most populous Muslim country. Indonesia has formally presented the move to open a West Bank consulate as a demonstration of its support for Palestinian independence. In fact, while the ambassador-ranked diplomat will be accredited to the Palestinian Authority/PLO, a significant portion of his work will be in dealings with Israel, and the office will fulfill substantial diplomatic duties as well as consular responsibilities. Israel and Indonesia quietly maintain trade, security and other relations. Israelis can get visas for Bali in Singapore, while many Indonesians come to Israel as pilgrims. [134] On 15 May 1952, diplomatic relations were established with Japan at a Legation level. However, the Japanese government refrained from appointing a Minister Plenipotentiary to Israel until 1955. Relations between the two states were distant at first, but after 1958, no break occurred, despite the Arab oil embargo on several countries, including Japan. Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 April 1992. The embassy of Israel in Kazakhstan opened in August 1992. The embassy of Kazakhstan in Israel opened in May 1996. Israel has an embassy in Astana and Kazakhstan maintains an embassy in Tel Aviv. Israel and Malaysia do not maintain diplomatic relations and Malaysian passports do not allow entry into Israel. However, Malaysia and Israel has been engaged in trade relations, in 2011 Israel had exported goods to Malaysia worth $716.4 million and import goods worth $93.6 million.[135] A report compiled by the European Commission indicated that in 2010 Malaysia ranked 15th among Israel’s major trade partners, accounting for 0.8% (667.6 million) of Israel’s trade in that year.[136] Relations between Israel and Maldives were not very strong until the new government of the Maldives came into power in 2008. From 1978 to 2008 there were no official relations between Israel and the Maldives. The president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed announced that he would like to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. In September 2009, Maldives restored diplomatic relations with Israel, 15 years after suspending them.[137] On 21 July 2014, Maldives announced plans to ban the import of goods made in Israel and dissolved three agreements between the two countries, as Israel underwent a military operation in Gaza. A large Palestinian death toll led Maldives Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon to announce that the Maldives would join other Arab nations in co-sponsoring a resolution at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) calling for the protection of an independent Palestinian state and the extension of humanitarian aid.[138] Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon then said that the three agreements made between the Maldives and Israel by former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government have been abolished.,[139] indicating “I do not think Maldivians want any help from Israel or want to keep up relations with Israel. So from now on, the agreements have been annulled”.[138]

Fair Usage Law

January 16, 2017   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt, Israel, Palestine | Brookings Institution

As the world continues to be transfixed by the political soap opera unfolding in Egypt, perhaps none in the region have looked on more closely than the Israelis and Palestinians. While there is much that divides the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships, they share an enormous stake in the shape of Egypts future as well as a growing unease about much of what they have seen so far. For Israeli officials, the toppling of Hosni Mubarak has led to the rise of Islamist forces hostile to Israel and an increasing security vacuum along its southern border, which casts doubt on the long-term durability of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The fall of Mubarak and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood is equally troublesome for Palestinian officials in Ramallah, as it eliminates their most powerful Arab ally and emboldens their Hamas rivals in Gaza (Hamas being an off-shoot of the Brotherhood). The election of the Muslim Brotherhoods Mohammed Morsi to be the first civilian president since the formation of the Egyptian republic sixty years ago has only intensified anxiety in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Though it is too early to say exactly what shape Egypts foreign policy will take, we are unlikely to see any time soon either a continuation of the accommodationist policies of Mubarak or a radical shift in Egypts dealings with Israel and the Palestinians. Deeper changes in Egypts regional posture are likely over the long-term but will depend on a host of internal and external factors, including the relative success of political and economic reforms currently underway, trends in U.S.-Egyptian ties, and developments on the Israeli-Palestinian front and other regional dynamics. Despite the inevitable cooling in Egyptian-Israeli and U.S.-Egyptian ties, however, the period ahead may not be all doom and gloom in terms of Arab-Israeli peace, provided that Israel and the United States can recognize and capitalize on an existing but narrow window before it closes. Foreign Policy Grievances The virtual absence of anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans throughout the eighteen-day uprising in Tahrir Square is often cited reassuringly as evidence that the Egyptian revolution was not about Israel or the United States. Such assertions are not entirely accurate, though. While popular rebellions are seldom propelled by foreign policy concerns, as opposed to domestic grievances, the Egyptian uprising and the ensuing transition cannot be de-linked entirely from Israel and the United States. The changes associated with Egypts ongoing political transition will have a profound impact on Egypts relations with both countries in the years to come. Support for Palestine and antagonism toward Israel are deeply ingrained in Egyptian political culture and national consciousness. An issue that transcends partisan politics and commands broad national consensus across all ideological and demographic lines, the Palestinian cause is as much a matter of identity as it is a question of public policy. Beyond sympathy for the plight of Palestinians, hostility toward Israel is also fueled by Egypts own past sacrifices in blood and treasure; four wars with Israel led to tens of thousands of Egyptian deaths and billions of dollars in destruction. Even after three decades of formal peace, most Egyptians still view Israel as a threat to national security and as an enemy, not only of Palestinians but of all Arabs. The Mubarak regime did little to combat such sentiment. In fact, it frequently stoked populist antipathy toward Israel as a way to boost its own domestic legitimacy. In an environment where most forms of political expression were either severely curtailed or banned altogether, the regime generally tolerated anti-Israel and pro-Palestine activities, so long as they steered clear of criticism of the regime itself. This balancing act became increasingly untenable during the 2000s and the so-called war on terror. In the decade after the September 11, 2001, attacks, Mubarak made Egypt a cornerstone of two key pillars of American policy, U.S. counterterrorism efforts and the Arab-Israeli peace processwhich by the close of the decade had become virtually interchangeable. Trilateral security coordination and intelligence sharing reached unprecedented levels following the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority election in 2006. By making himself an indispensable asset to the United States and Israel, however, Mubarak also fueled perceptions that his regime was little more than an extension of American and Israeli policy. Israels crackdown against the Palestinian uprising (the Al-Aqsa Intifada) that began in September 2000 and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq galvanized Egyptians and other Arabs like rarely before. The proliferation of Palestine solidarity initiatives, anti-normalization and boycott campaigns against Israel, and mass demonstrations against Israel and the United States steadily increased into the latter half of the decade in response to the 2006 Lebanon war, the Gaza blockade, and the 2009 Gaza war (Operation Cast Lead). This decades events served as a training ground and inspiration for proto-revolutionary groups like the Kifaya! (Enough!) movement and the April 6 Youth Movement. Thus, somewhat ironically, Palestine activism became a sort of incubator for the protest movement that eventually led to the January 25, 2011, uprising. On one level, Egyptians identification with Palestinian subjugation (and struggle for eventual liberation) was a vicarious expression of their own yearning for freedom. At the same time, pro-Palestinian activism along with anti-Israeli and anti-American sentiment in Egypt became surrogates for anti-regime politicsepitomizing the ever-widening divide between the ruler and the ruled. Instead of working to level the playing field on behalf of the Palestinians in the U.S.-led peace process, as most Egyptians would have preferred, the U.S. expected Mubarak to further pressure the beleaguered Palestinian leadership into participating in (failed) negotiations and to refrain from reconciling with Hamas. Of all the issues on the Israeli-Palestinian scene, however, none was more universally unpopular or more damaging to Mubaraks domestic standing than Gaza, which became a rallying cry for established opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the newly formed protest movements. By closing off the Egyptian side of the border to Gazan trade, civilian traffic, and humanitarian access, the Mubarak regime became complicit in the Israeli-imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip and the 2009 Gaza war. Egypts historic peace treaty with Israel did more than just reconcile two former foes; it consummated Egypts strategic reorientation toward the United States. While Anwar Sadat may have signed the historic treaty, it was Mubarak who implemented it, preserved it, and made it a pillar of Egypts strategic posture in the region. Officially, Mubarak maintained a cool, arms length, and occasionally confrontational stance toward Israel, while quietly deepening security cooperation with Washington and Tel Aviv at all levels. Thus, despite the notoriously cold peace kept by Mubarak, Israeli leaders considered him a strategic prize. Fairly or unfairly, it is impossible to separate Mubaraks growing unpopularity and waning domestic legitimacy from his relationships with the United States and with Israel. On one hand, much of Mubaraks behavior in the region was seen as being at the behest of both countries. And on the other hand, the invaluable political, diplomatic, and especially military support provided by the United States (largely in response to Israels needs) played no small role in sustaining the Egyptian dictatorship. Israel, Palestine, and the New Egypt Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel sentiment has continued to animate Egyptian politics after the uprising. Anti-Israel protests are commonplace and Tahrir demonstrations regularly feature Palestinian flags and other symbols. Israel became a convenient punching bag for populist politicians from across the ideological spectrum, while Egyptian presidential candidates competed over who was more pro-Palestinian. Two events stand out as particularly noteworthy. The storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo on September 9, 2011, by Egyptian protesters angry at the killing of Egyptian border guards during an Israeli operation against militants in the Sinai weeks earlier marked a turning point for all sides. The embassy attack, which prompted an emergency evacuation of the ambassador and his staff out of the country, was a signal to Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans alike that change was coming. The Muslim Brotherhood and other political parties condemned the embassy attack as an act of vigilantism unbecoming of a civilized state rather than for the sentiment behind it. Then, in March 2012, Egypts first freely elected parliament voted unanimously to expel Israels ambassador in Cairo, a rare show of consensus in Egypts notoriously fractious politics and a clear signal as to where Egypts political class stood vis–vis Israel. In doing so, parliamentarians also approved a text declaring, Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner, or ally of the Zionist entity, which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation, and further urging the government, to review all its relations and accords with that enemy. Although purely symbolic, given the parliaments lack of authority in diplomatic matters, the vote could not have been reassuring for Israel. Despite the harsher tone coming out of Cairo, very little has actually changed in Egyptian policy toward Israel and the Palestinians since Mubaraks ejection in February 2011. The countrys interim rulers, the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF), have said they will uphold Egypts international obligations, including the treaty with Israelas have most Egyptian political parties, both secular and Islamist. Egypt also continues to support the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (such as it is) and a two-state settlement of the conflict, and remains the primary backer of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority. The only new developments to emerge since Mubaraks removal have been Egypts brokering of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement in April 2011 and the growing security vacuum in the Sinai, neither of which is irreversible. Even the highly unpopular closure of Gaza, despite some changes in the management of the Rafah border crossing, is largely the same as it was under Mubarak. More crucially, Egyptian-Israeli security coordination has continued throughout Egypts tumultuous political transition and despite the heightened tensions on both sides of the border. In fact, Egypts overall foreign policy orientation remains remarkably similar to what it was under Mubarak, including Egypts close strategic partnership with the United States and its cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states (despite the latters open hostility toward the Egyptian uprising). This should come as no surprise given that the military in general and the intelligence apparatus in particular have continued to control Egyptian foreign and national security policy. Islamists have had little say in governing the country during the transition much less in formulating foreign policy. Perhaps the most fundamental change to come out of the Egyptian uprisingand which will be among the most difficult to roll backis the increased importance of public opinion, which is now a force in domestic politics and even policy-making like never before. The weight of public opinion was evident throughout the transition. In addition to the vote to expel the Israeli ambassador, for example, there were the populist positions adopted by the unelected government installed by SCAF such as the decision to turn down International Monetary Fund loans and the uproar over the release of American non-governmental organization workers. The attitudes of ordinary Egyptians are likely to have an even more pronounced impact on politicians now that they are accountable before their constituents. Peace Treaty Inertia The ascendancy of the Islamists, who now hold the presidency of the Arab worlds most important country, could result in a reorientation of foreign policy in due course. But there are three reasons to expect more continuity than change in Egypts foreign policy over the next several years, regardless of who holds the levers of power. In the first place, Egyptians are simply too consumed with domestic issues to pursue an ambitious foreign policy agenda at this time. Despite the supposed handover of power to an elected president on June 30, the countrys turbulent transition is anything but complete. On the contrary, the election of a highly polarizing figure like Morsi and SCAFs rather brazen attempts to hold on to power, suggest that the democratic transition is at best just beginning and at worst put off indefinitely. Meanwhile, with the fate of the parliament and constitution-drafting process still largely up in the air, Egypts three-way power struggle between the military, the Islamists, and revolutionary forces is likely to continue for some time. This uncertainty and the continued potential for instability are exacerbated by the ever-present threat of popular unrest and an economy teetering dangerously close to collapse. As a result, foreign policy matters will continue to take a backseat to domestic issues such as the economy and security. Like many unfulfilled aspirations of the Egyptian revolution, Egypts re-emergence as a dynamic actor in the region and a leader of the Arab world will clearly have to wait. The absence of major differences of opinion among Egyptians, whether at the popular or political levels, also favors continuity. Despite the fractious nature of Egyptian politics, there is a fairly broad consensus across social, political, and ideological lines on foreign policy matters in general and on Israel and Palestine in particular. Several recent polls also show that, while Egyptians are generally split over whether the Camp David peace process was positive or negative for Egypt, there remains support among the main political forcesincluding Islamists, nationalists, leftists, and revolutionariesfor maintaining the treaty, if with greater reciprocity and balance. The main changes Egyptians would like to see in the relationship have to do with security arrangements in the Sinai, natural gas sales to Israel, and Israels overall treatment of Palestinians. In the end, the most important determinant of Egyptian policy toward Israel/Palestine in the short- to medium-term remains the role of Egypts military. SCAFs muscular role in politics will persist for some time. In addition to preserving their vast economic interests, the ruling generals have repeatedly sought immunity from government oversight, budgetary scrutiny, and even prosecution, while continuing to control key government functions. Whether or not such exemptions are ultimately codified in the constitution, SCAF has made it clearmost recently in its unilateral constitutional addendumthat it seeks to retain control over areas that bear directly or indirectly on Egypts foreign policy, including defense, national security, and intelligence, as well as other sovereignty portfolios such as the justice and interior ministries. It is this fact more than any other that has prevented a full-blown panic on the part of the Israelis, even after the election of a Muslim Brotherhood leader to the presidency. Yes to Camp David, But with Changes Egyptian policy toward Israel and Palestine in the coming years is likely to focus on three points. First, Egypt will maintain the peace treaty with Israel but will eventually seek certain adjustmentssomething most Egyptian political parties, secular and Islamist, have already called for. The most likely candidate in this regard relates to the status of the Sinai, a matter of intense concern for Israelis and Egyptians alike. Camp David-imposed restrictions on the ability of Egyptian forces to deploy in the Sinai are seen across the boardby SCAF, Islamists, and secular political groups alikeas an affront to Egyptian sovereignty and national pride. At the same time, there is a longstanding fear that Israel seeks to permanently push Gaza, demographically and politically, onto Egypt. For their part, Israelis fear an increasingly lawless Sinai is becoming a haven for jihadi extremists on its southern flank and for weapons smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza. Egyptian authorities acknowledge the security problems in Sinai and have recently begun to crack down on jihadi militants there, but are equally worried about the prospect of unilateral Israeli actions in the Sinai. Despite their shared concerns regarding the region, Israeli leaders are disinclined to consider changes to the peace treaty for fear of establishing a precedent. Even so, renegotiating aspects of the treaty could be in Israels long-term interests, not only for addressing a key security concern but, perhaps more important, by making Egypts current rulersincluding previously rejectionist Islamistsdirect stakeholders in the treaty. Second, Egyptian policy is likely to focus on reconciliation of Palestinian factions rather than on the peace process. To the extent that Egypt does engage in Israeli-Palestinian affairs it will be limited to areas where its own national security is directly affected. Thus, we are likely to see less emphasis on negotiations with Israel and more emphasis on preventing Israeli-Palestinian violence and on promoting internal Palestinian reconciliation. There are practical as well as political reasons for this. The palpable absence of any meaningful peace negotiations has already led to a focus on crisis-prevention over conflict-resolution by many of the parties concerned. For their part, Egyptians will be even less inclined to deal with distractions much less crises on their eastern borders. Even the Muslim Brotherhood, which may find itself facing new pressures from both the military and angry revolutionaries, will find it hard to do more than pay lip service to the cause of Palestinelet alone that of Hamas. Although Hamas remains the biggest beneficiary of the Brotherhoods success, its current sense of triumphalism may be short-lived. A protracted and difficult transition in Cairo will leave Egyptians in general and the Brotherhood in particular more inclined to keep things quiet along its eastern border. More important, while a further easing of the Gaza closure is certainly possible, a full-blown opening of the border as Hamas officials have been calling for is probably not in the offing. The Brotherhood has already signaled a move in this direction. Despite organic ties with Hamas, it has adopted a relatively neutral position regarding the latters feud with Fatah during the transition. This may be due to a desire to avoid confrontation with SCAF, as well as with the United States, or may be part of a calculated attempt to establish its credibility as a future interlocutor. The Brotherhoods neutrality comes at a time when the military regime, specifically Egyptian intelligence, is playing a more evenhanded (or at least less overtly pro-Fatah) role in reconciling the two Palestinian factions. In his inaugural speech, President Morsi pledged not only to support Palestinian rights but also made clear that Palestinian national reconciliation was a prerequisite for the Palestinian people to recover its territory and sovereignty. Calm in Gaza requires a political arrangement on both the Hamas-Israel and the Hamas-Fatah tracks. The prospect of an Egyptian-mediated reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah does not sit well with Israel, which considers Hamas a terrorist group and opposes its inclusion in Palestinian governance. On the other hand, Israel could stand to benefit from the fact that Egypt is keen on preventing war and containing conflicts along its eastern border. This was evident in Egypts brokering of the March 2012 Gaza truce, which ended four days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants, as well as the deal that ended a potentially explosive mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in May 2012. The fact that the Brotherhood may be inclined to push Hamas to reconcile with Fatah and maintain a ceasefire with Israel does not mean Hamas will necessarily comply. While the Brotherhood clearly has influence over its Islamist allies in Palestine, perhaps even inordinate sway, it is not in a position to issue orders to Hamas leaders either inside or outside Gaza. The willingness of Hamas to go along with Egyptian preferences, however, may depend on what Morsi and the Brotherhood can deliver for Hamas politically. Since a total opening of the border is unlikely at this time, Hamas may seek the assistance of Egyptian Islamists. A third area of focus related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves Egyptian relations with the United States. Although the alliance will remain intact, tensions that began well before the 2011 uprising have accelerated throughout the transition. Egyptian efforts to push for Palestinian unity or changes in the peace treaty with Israel could strain relations even further. Either way, security coordination with both the United States and Israel is likely to continue in the coming years. In the meantime, the delicate balance the United States now maintains with Egypts military rulers on the one hand and its elected civilian (and thus far mainly Islamist) officials on the other is likely to grow even more complicated and uncomfortable in the years to come. Not only must each side contend with domestic constituencies that remain staunchly opposed to any U.S.-Islamist dialogue, they must also tread lightly so as not to alienate political actors in both countries. This will be particularly difficult for the U.S. administration, which must strike a balance not only between the military and an Islamist president but between these two power centers and more secular, liberal groups as well. Looking Forward Over the long term, we should expect to see much deeper changes in Egyptian dealings with Israel and the Palestinians, though it will take time for the gap between public sentiment and government policy to narrow. This assumes, of course, that some kind of democratic transition is still occurringwhich is by no means assured, especially given recent developments, but neither is it entirely precluded. In any event, to the extent that such a shift does occur, it will most likely involve movement from both ends toward the middle. In other words, we can expect to see gradual changes in public opinion and government policy simultaneously rather than sudden, dramatic shifts in one or the other. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-conservative Salafis have shown a capacity for compromise, particularly the former. In fact, the Brotherhoods discourse with regard to Israel and the Palestinians underwent a major transformation during the transitioneven before it won a majority in the parliament. The apparent overhaul of the Brotherhoods electoral program from 2010 to 2011 is especially striking. Whereas both programs contain the standard references to the Zionist enemy, the 2011 program of its newly created Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is considerably more tame, dropping the most incendiary references to Israel, such as the rapists of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and eliminating the section on the Palestinian cause altogether. Even the anti-blockade language was heavily watered down, to the point that it no longer even mentions Gaza by name. Whether such changes are indicative of a genuine political evolution or are merely cosmetic and tactical, only time will tell. More importantly, the evolution of Egyptian policy toward Israel/Palestine, over say the next five to twenty years, will depend on numerous factors, including the results of Egypts economic reform. The extent to which the military remains involved in the political sphere, and the manner in which it may eventually be eased out, will certainly affect Egypts long-term posture toward Israel/Palestine. Having already witnessed a major set-back in the transition to democratic civilian rule, the prospects for pushing the military from politics in the near future are not promising, though not impossible further down the road. While continued military rule may seem good for Israel in the short-term, it is ultimately unsustainable. Although a civilian-led government will undoubtedly reflect anti-Israel populism as a factor, it is also more likely to pursue a rational course of action. The success or failure of Egypts economic recovery will also affect future relations with Israel and Palestine, which of course is also bound up with its own interminable transition. Economic improvement will afford Egypt the space to play a more active diplomatic role in the region and beyond, and could reduce its overall dependence on U.S./Western and Saudi/Gulf assistance. On the other hand, continued economic hardship will prolong Egypts diplomatic stagnation and perhaps further fan the flames of populism and xenophobia. Egypts posture in regard to Israel/Palestine will of course also depend on the future of U.S.-Egypt relations. Despite recent strains, and growing calls in both Washington and Cairo for phasing out the strategic partnership, the alliance is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Over time, however, irrespective of who rules Egypt or which party comes to power, Egyptian foreign policy is likely to become more independent and more assertive, making some sort of parting of the ways inevitable. In which case, it would be reasonable to expect the military-military aspect of U.S.-Egyptian ties to be the last to go. The political evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood (or any successor movements or parties that may emerge from it) and other Islamist forces, including in the diplomatic realm, is likely to continue over the long term. However, this will largely depend on the success or failure of Egypts democratic experiment as well as Western and Israeli responses to Islamist success. Since democratic backsliding would likely have a disproportionate effect on Islamists (as with the recent dissolution of parliament), a return to autocracy, or a prolonging of military rule, is likely to radicalize them on a greater scale than other political trends. Likewise, a resumption of American hostility to Islamism of the kind witnessed in the previous decade, or an escalation in Israeli rhetoric, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus references to Islamism as the insatiable crocodile, can only fuel anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment. Finally, developments on the Israeli-Palestinian front will also help shape Egypts outlook on the matter. The continued absence of progress toward a comprehensive resolution of the conflict will likely harden Egyptian antipathy and distrust at the public and political levels toward the United States and Israel. Moreover, a resumption of large-scale Israeli-Palestinian violence, particularly if it involves heavy Palestinian casualties, will inflame public sentiment and put pressure on Egyptian politicians to respond. Such a scenario might even re-entrench military rule (perhaps with U.S./Western acquiescence), undercut economic recovery, and radicalize large segments of the Egyptian political class. While even the most just Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will not compel Egyptians to love Israel or Israelis, it will help to stem the growing reservoir of hostility and even hatred as well as restore Egyptian trust in the United States. Opportunity for Peace? The Israeli-Palestinian peace process had stagnated well before the dramatic Arab Spring. With the exception of a brief period in the final year of the George W. Bush administration, no serious negotiations have taken place between the parties throughout the preceding decade. The loss of Mubarak and the rapid rise of Islamists in Egypt and elsewhere have made a negotiated settlement less appealing to Netanyahu and more urgent for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. While an Islamist president in Egypt, a hardline government in Israel, and a divided Palestinian leadership may not seem like the ingredients for a diplomatic breakthrough, particularly against the backdrop of declining American influence and generalized turmoil in the region, the prognosis need not be completely negative. This notion is not based on an optimistic reading of present realities, but on a realistic view of future possibilities. Namely, if from an Israeli point of view the region looks bad today, there is no reason to believe it will look any better in the future, even when things settle down. Such a reading should be an incentive to more seriously explore the possibilities that exist. Although Morsis election hardly represents a mandate for the Islamic project, Islamists are likely to remain key players in Egyptian politics for some time. Regardless of his Islamist ideology, the current presidents views on foreign policy, and particularly on Israel and Palestine, are squarely with those of mainstream Egyptian society. In any case, regardless of who is in power (again, assuming a democratic transition has not been foreclosed), Egyptian policies are likely to become more responsive to public opinion, not less. Likewise, as Egypt stabilizes politically and economically over time, its involvement in foreign engagements is likely to increase rather than decrease, as will the eventual easing of the military from its political role. Nor do trends elsewhere in the region favor Israeli delays in achieving a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians. Any future political configuration in a post-Assad Syria, for example, is likely to include a strong contingent from the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, already a major force within the countrys opposition movement. None of this is to say that a Palestinian-Israeli breakthrough is imminent or even likely, only that initiating a credible peace process between Palestinians and Israelis is possible even under present conditions. Any serious initiative on this front, however, would require substantial political will and investment on the part of the United States as well as a modicum of stability in Egypts transition. Although neither of these conditions currently exist, it is not inconceivable that one or both could come about by the end of 2012 or early 2013. At a minimum, the current hiatus presents an opportunity for the United States, in conjunction with its international and regional partners, to re-think a deeply flawed and severely outdated approach to Arab-Israeli peacemaking. This will require a willingness to go beyond failed mechanisms like reliance on the Quarteta mediation bloc consisting of the U.S., the European Union, Russia, and the UNand a recognition that regional players, including Egypt, have a leading rather than supporting role to play. More importantly, it will also require the United States and Israel to adapt to new realities not just in Egypt but in Palestine as well. The notion that a meaningful peace deal could be reached in the absence of Palestinian unity was always questionable. In the wake of the Arab Spring, however, it is totally untenable.

Fair Usage Law

June 17, 2016   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt Tours & Holidays | Intrepid Travel

Recent History Napoleon Bonaparte, the infamous pint-sized French leader, invaded Egypt in 1798, seeking to set up a French colony. However, not long after, the French were repelled, and Egypt became a part of the Ottoman Empire once again. From 1882, the British Army occupied Egypt to protect the Suez Canal. Muhammad Ali officially ruled from the early 1800s, and his family and successors continued to rule for decades (alongside and during British occupation) until overthrown by a military coup in 1952. During World War II, Egypt became a crucial element in Britain’s defence. The Italian Army tried to advance into Egypt in 1940 but was stopped by the British Army at Mersa Matruh. Egypt continued to serve as a vital base for British troops during World War II and despite the disruption, Egypt’s shopkeepers and retail trade benefitted from the thousands of Allied troops staying in Egypt. In 1953, Egypt was officially declared a republic and a year later, Colonel Nasser was declared Prime Minister, then President. In 1979, after decades of confrontation with neighbouring Israel, the historic Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed. This agreement made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognise Israel as a country – a significant step in the peace process. More recently, in February 2011, large scale protests and mass demonstrations resulted in the removal of President Mubarak after decades of autocratic rule. Ancient Egypt has been the focus of much fascination, investigation, speculation and intrigue. It’s hard to escape the education system without having studied Ancient Egypt in some way. Drawn in by the mighty pyramids, mysterious hieroglyphics, distinct burial rituals and animal-headed gods – scholars, students, historians and travellers are all amazed by this civilisation which has endured cycles of dynastic rule, invasion and natural disasters. Through key archaeological finds, historians have been able to unravel some of the mysteries of this great land. What is known is that the daily life of the average Egyptian usually involved working in agriculture with the waters of the Nile providing fertile ground for planting of crops. Egyptians usually lived in modest homes with children and domestic pets. Professions were usually inherited – so if your father was a farmer, then so were you. While most Egyptians led simple lives, dynasties of Pharaohs led lavish lifestyles, with the most well-known being Ramses II, Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Cleopatra. Huge monuments, imposing pyramids, golden artefacts and detailed paintings all hold details about pharaonic rule and succession, as well as commonly held beliefs about religion and the afterlife. Spanning centuries and full of drama worthy of a soap opera, the epic history of Ancient Egypt is complex and we suggest you read about it before visiting. Show More

Fair Usage Law

November 22, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

EgyptIsrael relations – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

EgyptIsrael relations are foreign relations between Egypt and Israel. The state of war between both countries which dated back to the 1948 ArabIsraeli War culminated in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and was followed by the 1979 EgyptianIsraeli Peace Treaty a year after the Camp David Accords, mediated by US president Jimmy Carter. Full diplomatic relations were established on February 26, 1980. Egypt has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consulate in Eilat. Israel has an embassy in Cairo and a consulate in Alexandria. Their shared border has two official crossings, one at Taba and one at Nitzana. The crossing at Nitzana is for commercial and tourist traffic only. Peace between Egypt and Israel has lasted for more than thirty years and Egypt has become an important strategic partner of Israel. In January 2011, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former defence minister known for his close ties to Egyptian officials, stated that “Egypt is not only our closest friend in the region, the co-operation between us goes beyond the strategic.”[1] Nevertheless, the relationship is sometimes described as a “cold peace”,[1][2] with many in Egypt skeptical about its effectiveness.[3][4] The Arab-Israeli conflict kept relations cool and anti-Israeli incitement is prevalent in the Egyptian media.[5][6][7] In 2003, Egyptian Air Force UAVs entered Israeli airspace and overflew the nuclear research facilities at Nahal Sorek and Palmachim Airbase. Israel threatened to shoot the drones down.[8] Although diplomatic relations were established in 1980, the Egyptian ambassador to Israel was recalled between 1982 and 1988, and again between 2001 and 2005 during the Second Intifada.[9] During the final years of the Mubarak administration, the leading Egyptian official conducting contacts with Israel had been the head of Egyptian intelligence Omar Suleiman. Suleiman was ousted from power at the same time as Mubarak, and Israel was said to have very few channels of communication open with Egypt during the events of 2011.[10] Egypt undermined the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip by opening the Rafah border to persons in May 2011.[11] The Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian parliament wished to open trade across the border with Gaza, a move said to be resisted by Egypt’s Tantawi government.[12] After an exchange of rocket fire between Gaza and Israel in March 2012, the Egyptian parliamentary committee for Arab affairs urged the Egyptian government to recall its ambassador to Israel from Tel Aviv, and deport Israel’s ambassador in Egypt.[13] This was largely symbolic since only the ruling military council can make such decisions.[14][15] Relations have improved significantly between Israel and Egypt after the 2013 Egyptian coup d’tat,[16] with close military cooperation over the Sinai insurgency.[17][18] Notably, Israel has permitted Egypt to increase its number of troops deployed in the Sinai peninsula beyond the terms of the peace treaty.[19] These developments, along with deteriorating Israel-Jordan relations, have led some to brand Egypt as Israel’s “closest ally” in the Arab world.[20] On November 3, 2015, Egypt voted for Israel joining the UNOOSA, marking the first time in history that Egypt has ever voted in Israel’s favor at the United Nations.[21] The Egyptian Revolution of 2011, part of the Arab Spring, led to fears in Israel about the future of the treaty.[22] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated initially that he expected any new Egyptian government to adhere to the peace treaty with Israel, as it had served both countries well.[23] After the Egyptian Army took power on 11 February 2011, it announced that Egypt would continue to abide by all its international and regional treaties.[24] Yet Israeli-Egyptian relations reached their lowest level since the 1979 EgyptIsrael Peace Treaty. The Israeli-Egyptian border became a region of conflict and instability following the rise of terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula and following hostility manifestation from masses of Egyptian protesters against Israel in the streets of Cairo.[citation needed] In the 2011 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, thousands of Egyptian demonstrators broke into the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday, September 9. The Egyptian police stationed at the site attempted to bar entry, firing tear gas into the crowd. After demonstrators entered the first section of the building, the Israeli ambassador and the staff of the embassy were evacuated by Egyptian commandos. After the attack, Israel flew out the Israeli ambassador and about 85 other diplomats and their family members.[25] Following the attack, the Egyptian army declared a state of emergency in the country. Egyptian officials condemned the attack and said that the events were part of an external conspiracy to hurt the stability and foreign relations of Egypt.[26] In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood declared their support for the peace treaty,[27][28] and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu affirmed he had no problem dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood so long as the peace treaty was respected.[29] Post Mubarak, the Egyptian authorities continued to protect an IDF memorial in the Sinai in keeping with their treaty obligations.[30] The Israelis remained positive about the treaty after MB candidate Mohammed Morsi was elected president in June 2012.[31] In August 2012, the Egyptian Military entered the de-militarized zone without Israeli approval in violation of the peace treaty terms.[32] Egypt has also been reported to have deployed Anti-Air Missiles on the Israeli Border, a move which clearly targets Israel, as the Bedouin groups in the Sinai have no aircraft. In the 1970s, moving anti-aircraft missiles close to the Suez Canal was the first step Egypt took in the lead up to its launching of the October war.[33] However Other news agencies had reported that the Egyptian military had actually seized anti-aircraft, anti-tank and anti-personnel weaponry which was destined to be smuggled into the Hamas held Gaza strip.[34][35] This was in addition to destroying over 100 tunnels used for smuggling.[36][37] The 2011 southern Israel cross-border attacks took place in August; attackers from Egypt killed eight Israelis. Eight attackers were reportedly killed by Israeli security forces, and two more by Egyptian security. Five Egyptian soldiers were also killed. In response, protesters stormed the Israeli embassy. During the protests, Ahmad Al-Shahhat climbed to the roof of the Israeli Embassy and removed the Israeli flag, which was then burned by protesters.[38][39][40] On 5 August 2012, the 2012 EgyptianIsraeli border attack occurred, when armed men ambushed an Egyptian military base in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 16 soldiers and stealing two armored cars, which they used to infiltrate into Israel. The attackers broke through the Kerem Shalom border crossing to Israel, where one of the vehicles exploded. They then engaged in a firefight with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, during which six of the attackers were killed. No Israelis were injured.[41][42][43][44] Israel is building a 5-meter-high fence along its border with Egypt known as the Israel-Egypt barrier. The fence will stretch along 240 kilometers, from the Kerem Shalom passage in the north to Eilat in the south. The fence was planned to block the infiltration of refugees and asylum seekers from Africa, but took on heightened urgency with the fall of Mubarak’s regime.[45] Security cooperation was increased as a result of the 2012 EgyptianIsraeli border attack and the ensuing Operation Eagle against Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai. Egyptian Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali said that “Egypt is co-ordinating with the Israeli side over the presence of Egyptian armed forces in Sinai. They know this. The deployment of the armed forces on all the territory of Sinai is not a violation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.”[46] Egypt’s post-Mubarak rulers were instrumental in mediating between Hamas and Israel for the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange that led to the liberation of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners between October and December 2011.[47] According to the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, there were 117 exporters to Egypt active in Israel in 2011 and exports of goods from Israel to Egypt grew by 60% in 2011, to $236 million.[48] The pipeline which supplies gas from Egypt to Jordan and Israel was attacked eight times between Mubarak’s ousting on February 11 and November 25, 2011. Egypt had a 20-year deal to export natural gas to Israel. The deal is unpopular with the Egyptian public and critics say Israel was paying below market price for the gas.[49] Gas supplies to Israel were unilaterally halted by Egypt in 2012 because Israel had allegedly breached its obligations and stopped payments a few months prior.[50] Critical of the decision, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also insisted the cut-off was not to do with the peace treaty but rather “a business dispute between the Israeli company and the Egyptian company”; Egyptian Ambassador Yasser Rida also said the Egyptian government saw it as a business disagreement, not a diplomatic dispute.[51] Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the same, adding that perhaps the gas supplies were being used as campaign material for the Egyptian presidential election.[52] Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau dismissed claims that the dispute was purely commercial in nature.[52]

Fair Usage Law

November 22, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt, Israel and ISIS | Dr. Josef Olmert

The Sinai peninsula was supposed to be a zone of peace, ever since the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, which has long been a linchpin of regional stability. In fact, the region fulfilled expectations for most of the last 35 years, but no more. Ever since the downfall of the Mubarak regime and the reemergence of the Muslim Brotherhood on the scene, particularly the ill-fated short presidential term of Mohammed Morsi, the region has become a zone of war. Yesterday’s events in Sheikh Zuweid in Northern Sinai brought the situation to a head, and with it, to a point of no return. With scores of dead Egyptian soldiers, and in the aftermath of the assassination of the State Attorney General, President Al-Sisi is left with no choice. He declared an all-out war against the Jihadists; he will pursue it to the end and he and Egypt will win. The terrorists and those who pull the strings and send them to sow death and destruction will pay the ultimate price, and it will be in blood, a lot of it. First, some necessary background. The organization behind the attack is called “Ansar Bayit al Makdas,” the Guardians of the Temple, a strange name to an Islamic Jihadist organization, as they simply translate to Arabic the Hebrew name of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which the Jihadists claim has always been only Muslim. Second, the organization declared its loyalty to ISIS, and here it is important to explain that many Jihadist movements, including outside of the Middle East, give the pledge of allegiance to ISIS not necessarily being under its strict, direct command, but more out of admiration for their achievements and dedication, much the same as many of these groups pledged their allegiance to Al-Qa’ida after 9/11. Third, in the case of the Sinai Jihadists, their immediate loyalty is to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt, and to the Palestinian section of the Brotherhood, AKA Hamas in Gaza. The Egyptians are the ones who know it better than others, hence their announcements since yesterday pointing in the direction of the MB and Hamas as being responsible, the threat to go ahead with the execution of Morsi and other MB leaders and the partial siege on Gaza. Go and explain simple facts of life to the flotilla crowd, these fanatic anti-Israel and anti-peace activists who are engaged in playing games on the high seas of the Mediterranean. Dealing with terrorism emanating from Gaza and what is left of the MB chain of command in Egypt is no game at all, and President Al-Sisi knows it and so do the Israelis, the Saudis and others. The Israeli connection here is of great importance. The Jihadists, who have no qualms about killing Muslims, will not hesitate to attack targets in Israel — Eilat in the South, for example. The IDF is already taking precautions, but the bitter lesson of the past is that the Jihadists usually strike first, and only then do they get their due in retaliation. Jordan and Saudi Arabia should also be on the alert on this front, and according to some reports, the Saudis sent attack helicopters to support the Egyptian Air Force in Sinai. The Egyptians will not ask Israel to interfere directly in the Sinai fighting, surely not on the Egyptian side of the border, but they may encourage an Israeli campaign in Gaza should Hamas continue to cause provocations there. The likelihood of that happening is not high, but never say never in the Middle East. Hamas may be aware of such a scenario, and they must be worried about the lack of any worldwide and Arab interest in the pathetic “freedom Flotilla” of few days ago. There are talks about Hamas looking for a long-term cease fire arrangement with Israel (Hudna in Arabic); not a bad idea, but Israel will not enter any deal, whether formal or informal, while Hamas and the MB continue to terrorize Egypt. PM Netanyahu just declared that Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with Egypt against ISIS. He said ISIS, but meant Hamas. Beyond the immediate question of dealing with the threat in Sinai, the greater story really is the growing cooperation between Israel and Egypt. This is a potentially significant story, because it is Egypt, the largest and strongest Arab country. It is significant, because it enables Israel to become an actor within the inter-Arab Middle East regional power game — something that can encourage other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, not a minor player in this game. This is one very likely direction, but it still is not Israel’s Shangri La in the Middle East. President Al-Sisi, the Saudis, Jordanians and others will be happy to be assisted by Israel in ways of their choosing, but the fuller realization of Israel’s stabilizing role will come ONLY with real progress with the Palestinian Authority (PA). A challenge for Israel, but also for these Arab countries, the PA and also those in the West who are really interested in peace.

Fair Usage Law

July 2, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in …

The fading power of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government leaves Israel in a state of strategic distress. Without Mubarak, Israel is left with almost no friends in the Middle East; last year, Israel saw its alliance with Turkey collapse. Click here for more Haaretz coverage of events in Egypt From now on, it will be hard for Israel to trust an Egyptian government torn apart by internal strife. Israel’s increasing isolation in the region, coupled with a weakening United States, will force the government to court new potential allies. Israel’s foreign policy has depended on regional alliances which have provided the country with strategic depth since the 1950s. The country’s first partner was France, which at the time ruled over northern Africa and provided Israel with advanced weaponry and nuclear capabilities. After Israel’s war against Egypt in 1956, David Ben-Gurion attempted to establish alliances with non-Arab countries in the region, including Iran, Turkey and Ethiopia. The Shah of Iran became a significant ally of Israel, supplying the country with oil and money from weapons purchases. The countries’ militaries and intelligence agencies worked on joint operations against Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule, which was seen as the main threat against Israel and pro-Western Arab governments. Israel’s next alliances were forged with Jordan’s King Hussein and Morocco’s King Hassan. These ties were operated in secret, as well as ties with leaders in Lebanon’s Christian community. The late 1970s saw the fall of the Shah of Iran, with an anti-Israel Islamic republic created in his stead. Around the same time, Egypt and Israel broke their cycle of conflict by signing a peace agreement. Egypt positioned itself on the side of Saudi Arabia, as head of the pro-American camp. Mubarak inherited the peace agreement after President Anwar Sadat’s assassination. Mubarak was cold in his public relations with Israel, refusing to visit the country except for Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral, which decelerated normalization between the countries. Relations between the Israel Defense Forces and the Egyptian army were conducted on a low level, with no joint exercises. Egyptian public opinion was openly hostile towards Israel and anti-Semitic terminology was common. Civil relations between the countries were carried out by a handful of government workers and businessmen. Despite all of this, the “cold peace” with Egypt was the most important strategic alliance Israel had in the Middle East. The security provided by the alliance gave Israel the chance to concentrate its forces on the northern front and around the settlements. Starting in 1985, peace with Egypt allowed for Israel to cut its defense budget, which greatly benefited the economy.

Fair Usage Law

May 13, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt arrests 16 over attacks on gas pipeline to Israel …

Egyptian security forces have arrested 16 suspects in connection with recurrent attacks on a pipeline for the supply of gas to Israel and Jordan, a security source said on Sunday. The head of security in North Sinai, Saleh al-Masri, told DPAthat the search for suspects began Saturday with police and the army deployed in Sinai. The pipeline has been attacked seven times since a popular uprising forced former president Hosni Mubarak to step down in February. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts. There is little support among Egyptians for the export of gas to Israel, which has been running since 2008 under a 15-year deal with preferential terms. Those detained were also suspected in the killing of a police officer who had been guarding a bank and an attack on a police station in the city of al-Arish, al-Masri said. Security forces were also searching for those behind the kidnapping of women and children in the city. Security has been a major concern since Mubarak was ousted, with crime soaring despite promises by the government to plug a nationwide security vacuum.

Fair Usage Law

April 11, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed

Egypt acquits ex-minister over Israel gas deal | The Times …

CAIROAn Egyptian court acquitted on Saturday an oil minister who served under former president Hosni Mubarak in a retrial after a 2012 conviction for selling Israel natural gas at below-market price. The Cairo court acquitted former oil minister Sameh Fahmy along with five other petroleum officials. An appeals court ordered a retrial in March 2013 for the defendants after they were initially found guilty in 2012 and sentenced to between threeand 15 years in jail. Several Mubarak-era figures including the ousted autocrat have been acquitted in retrials after being initially indicted. In November, Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were cleared of charges of killing peaceful protesters during the 2011 uprising that unseated him. Mubarak was also cleared in that trial of exporting gas to Israel at below-market price. The sale of gas to Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979 after four wars, was always controversial in the Arab worlds most populous country. Sinai-based militants have continuously sabotaged the pipeline after Mubaraks ouster in 2011 until the export deal was halted in April 2012.

Fair Usage Law

April 5, 2015   Posted in: Egypt  Comments Closed


Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."