[News] Egypt Just Annulled Mubarak's Natural Gas Giveaway
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 2 13:37:12 EDT 2012
May 02, 2012
Egypt Just Annulled Mubarak's Natural Gas Giveaway
Will Sadat's Camp David and the Zionist Embassy be Next?
by FRANKLIN LAMB
The Egyptian people are demanding the return of their
sovereignty. According to recent opinion surveys they believe it
was partially ceded to Israel by the two post-Nasser dictators, Anwar
Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, at the behest of American administrations,
from Nixon to Obama.
The removal of three humiliating shackles for Egyptians, the gas
give-away scheme, the 1979 Camp David Accords and the US forced
recognition of Israel, constitute a strategic national security
objective for most of Egypt's 82 million citizens. According to the
results of an opinion poll, conducted for Press TV and published on
October 3, 2011, 73 percent of the Egyptian respondents opposed the
terms of the agreement. Today the figure is estimated at 90%.
For the past eight years, the 2004 gas deal has been widely
unpopular, and one of the charges in the current indictment against
Mubarak is that the deposed President sold Egypt's gas as part of a
sweetheart deal involving kickbacks to family members, associates and
Israeli officials. Mohamed Shoeib, the chairman of state-owned
Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, told AFP last week that the gas
deal was "annulled with the Israeli East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG),
because the company failed to respect conditions stipulated in the contract."
Once Mubarak was toppled and his 14 secret police agencies began to
lose some of their omnipresence, the gas line to Israel was severed
14 times in 12 months by a series of explosions that cut off 40%, of
Israel's supply which was used to generate electricity.
In the recent parliamentary elections and now during the presidential
campaign, Egyptians have been debating relations with Israel publicly
for the first time. Previously Mubarak was Israel's protector and
like some other Arab leaders still clinging to power, ignored his
people's demands for actively supporting for the liberation of Palestine.
In late January 2011, an Alexandria University student briefed this
observer and a small group of Americans and Europeans sitting on
benches opposite the ancient city's majestic Great Library. He
explained, recalling the demands of the Tahrir Square protests on
January 25, 2011, "Our slogans at Tahrir Square were bread, freedom,
dignity, and social justice. That was almost exactly one year ago.
God willing, we will soon achieve the demands of our historic
revolution which include canceling Camp David and withdrawing
recognition of the Zionist regime still occupying Palestine. Egypt
must again lead the Arab Nation's sacred obligation to liberate
Jerusalem and all of Palestine from the river to the sea."
A stunning hijabed female student continued the dialogue, giving us
her opinion: "The USA bought some of our leaders with billions in
generous cash from your people but without any real benefit to
ours. Camp David was essentially a private agreement by Sadat and
then Mubarak. Our people had no say and were never asked whether we
agreed. If we protested, we were jailed or worse. Now, the
Egyptian people are gaining power despite a likely military coup by
the SCAF military junta before the scheduled June elections."
Israeli officials, in tandem with the US Zionist lobby are claiming
that the abrogation of the gas agreement constitutes an "existential
threat". According to a researcher at the US Congressional Research
Service in the Madison Building on Capitol Hill whose job includes
keeping track of Israeli claims, it's the 29th "existential threat"
the Zionist colony has identified in its 64 year history. These
perceived existential threats range from the internationally
recognized Right of Return for Palestinians ethnically cleansed from
their homes during and since the 1948 Nakba, to various Palestinian
groups, more than two dozen UN Resolutions including, 194 and 242,
Hezbollah naturally, international solidarity movement projects, a
Jewish academic or two, Iran for sure, the rise of internet blogs,
and potentially virtually every Christian, Arab and Muslim on the
planet, not to mention the claimed rise of global anti-Zionism which
the US Zionist lobby has recently decreed was always just another
form of virulent anti-Semitism.
Despite all these perceived "existential threats" including recently
the so-called "Road Map", Israeli leaders continue to eschew any
substantive negotiations which could mean Arabs and Jews sharing
Palestine as part of one democratic, secular state on the basis of
one person one vote, minus any "chosen people' lunacy.
Yuval Steinitz, Israel's finance minister warned that Egypt's
questioning its relations with Israel was "a dangerous precedent that
threatens the peace agreements between Israel and Egypt."
Ampal, the Israeli company which buys the gas, said that it considers
the termination of the contract "unlawful and in bad faith", and
demanded its full restoration. Ampal, is planning to use
international arbitration to attempt redress and is sending a
corporate delegation to Washington to meet with AIPAC and
administration officials to ask them to get the Egyptian action
nullified and to force Egypt to keep selling its natural gas at below
market prices. One congressional staffer joked in an email that
Israeli companies get way better constituent services out of Congress
than American companies, or even the voters who elect its members.
Israeli political analyst Israel Hayom wrote last weekend:" The
painful conclusion from the collapse of the gas agreement with Egypt
is that we are regressing to the days before the peace agreement with
Egypt and the horizon does not look rosy at all. Camp David is in
mortal danger. The painful conclusion is, once again, that we have no
genuine friends in the region. Certainly not for the long term."
The ADL's Abe Foxman lamented, "Israel gave Egypt a great deal in
exchange for the Camp David peace agreement, much more than we should
have. Among other things, a free trade zone, in which we veritably
pushed for the establishment of sewing workshops and an Egyptian
textile industry so that they would be able to easily export cheap
cotton and other goods to the United States as well as to Israel. We
made the Egyptians a respectable people in the eyes of the American
public. And this is how we are repaid what they owe us?"
Never idle for long, AIPAC began circulating a draft resolution this
week to its key Congressional operatives aimed at having the US
Congress condemn the cancellation of the gas giveaway and demanding
its immediate renewal under threat of the US terminating aid to
Egypt. The lobby has also begun to squeeze the Obama administration,
threatening a cut off of Jewish donors if nothing is done to convince
Egypt "to get real" in the words of ultra-Zionist Howard Berman, the
ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The political reality is that American diplomats, AIPAC, and Israeli
officials, sometimes difficult to distinguish from one another, have
been bracing for a breach in Egyptian-Israeli relations since last
spring's demonstration in Tahrir Square. They rightly fear that Camp
David and the Israeli embassy in Cairo will be next on the chopping
block as the Egyptian people stand up.
Regarding the expected closing of the Israeli embassy, according to
the daily Yedioth Ahronoth: "What we have at the moment is a swift
deterioration in relations: Israelis can no longer set foot in Egypt,
and the Egyptian consulate in Tel Aviv does not have a mandate to
issue entry visas. Anyone who insists on going to Egypt from Israel
even with a foreign passport can expect to get into trouble. His
name could join the list of "spies" and "Mossad agents" They don't
want us. It's that simple and it is very dangerous now for Israelis
to be in Egypt."
According to Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev, "There is also no one
who will rent a building to the Israeli embassy in Cairo, for the
small embassy staff headed by Ambassador Yaakov Amitai. Due to
security considerations, we have cut drastically their work week. The
staff lands every Monday afternoon and leaves early Thursday. Every
time an address is found for the embassy (at an exorbitant price),
the local security officials shoot down the deal. As far as the
Egyptians are concerned, the Israeli diplomats can stay in Jerusalem
until their next president is elected and then we will see what happens."
Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and can be reached c/o
fplamb at gmail.com
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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