Cairo Clashes: The Chronicles of Egypt Copts


“With Egypt military council siding with the Islamist front while dragging its feet on getting the police forces back on the street and properly functioning again, the Christian minority (10% of Egyptian population) remains in limbo.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

 

Egypt christians (Copts) rallying in front the state TV building at downtown Cairo

Cairo remains tense after clashes left at least 24 people dead and over 270 injured in the worst violence in the Egyptian capital since the country’s revolution in February.

An overnight curfew was lifted on Monday but scores of people have been arrested, and a heavy security presence remained on the streets near Tahrir Square (the iconic landmark that witnessed the glorious days of the Egyptian revolution)

Sunday clashes followed Egypt Christians (Copts) protests over the recent destruction of a church near the southern town of Aswan, but actually there was more to these protests than just another case of demolishing or setting a church on fire (this was the third incidence in a row, of demolishing Coptic churches, in less than 8 months after Mubarak was toppled)

Barely few weeks to the first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections and after months of political debate and turmoil during which it has become obvious that the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Islamists (Salafists) are bound to gain the lead in the upcoming vote, thus devouring the biggest chunk of the next parliament seats and tightening their grip over the legislative house.

And since the Islamists front, which obviously struck some sort of a deal with the military, has made no secret of their intention to apply the Islamic Sharia law that could undermine the citizenry of the Copts and reduce them to second class citizens, the Coptic community grew not only insecure but also frightened of the perilous prospects of a gloomy future.

 So the thousands of Copts in Sunday rally were not expressing their anger over the demolition of yet another church, rather they were expressing their fears over threatened belonging and identity and over the failure of the interim government to protect them and their places of worship.

Never throughout the 1400 years of co-habitation with Muslims in Egypt had any church or monastery been attacked before, that’s why this whole new cycle of persecution and indiscrimination against the Christian minority, has been a very alarming precedent for all the Coptic community in Egypt.

What went wrong?

Copts of Egypt are enduring through threatened identity crisis for years now.

Many no doubt wondered what on earth had happened to the celebrated Tahrir revolution of civility, nonviolence and solidarity, as they watched the violent late collisions between Egypt Copts and the soldiers of the supreme council of armed forces (SCAF)

Disturbing scenes certainly, but they were neither unexpected nor totally spontaneous as some like to portray them. In the historical course of most revolutions, moments of exceptional unity and sacrifice do not last long. Once the common enemy is gone, unity gives way to the reassertion of differences and sectarian interests; old coalitions collapse, new solidarities and ideological differences emerge and even plots and schemes by another enemy begin to play out

At such times of political instability, the challenge, of course, is how to handle the old demarcations and emerging differences. In post-Mubarak Egypt, the rise of radical Islamists, security vacuum and sectarian violence have always been the most feared obstacles to a smooth transition to a democratically elected government, whatever that means.

But with SCAF siding with the Islamist front while dragging its feet on getting the police forces back on the Egyptian street and properly functioning again, the Christian minority (10% of Egyptian population) remains in limbo.

Copts in history

Egyptian Christianity, of course, predates Islam – which was brought by the Arab conquest of Egypt in 639 AD, and became the majority religion. Some Egyptians embraced Islam voluntarily for its promise of justice, many did so to avoid jizya taxes, while still others to acquire equal social and political status with Muslims.

By the 10th century, Muslims outnumbered the Christian population, and Arabic replaced the Coptic language as the official governmental language. In the 12th century, the church adopted Arabic as the official clergical language.

"Like or not, we are the true land owners" yelled the protesting copts.

Hardline Copts, in exile and at home, consider themselves a distinct ethnicity – with a unique ancestry, religion and way of life – that are now being treated as a second class population and suggest, moreover, that they are in fact the “true, original Egyptians”

With that hardline concept and reasoning in mind that the Copts never dared or allowed, if you will, to take it outside the church premises, the Coptic protesters in their Sunday march defiantly roared “like or not, we are the true land owners”

This was the first time for Egypt Copts to let go of their prudence and discretion and may be also their long buried hostility.  Frustrated by SCAF lax handling of the violence and frequent targeting of the Coptic churches and since no one was prosecuted or held accountable for the previous two attacks the Copts set off this huge rally with a bit of a grudge against SCAF

Left out

In Egypt today, the key responsibility to ensure sectarian peace lies with the country’s elite (the military council, the intelligentsia, the remnants of Mubarak’s regime, Islamists, and Coptic leaders) … and of course regional and international players, namely Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel.

As for the intelligentsia and the liberals who have being outweighed by the rise of the well organized and obscenely financed Islamists, thanks to the wahabbist Saudis, are so busy and exhausted trying to secure, by any stretch, the minimum no. of parliament seats even if that meant some secret deal with the Muslim brotherhood, they actually have no time for the Copts’ dossier.

The Coptic leaders, feeling insecure after Mubarak’s stepping down and also feeling left out while the Islamists and the remnants of the old regime split the booty of the transitional period, had no choice but to consider asking, or rather begging for international protection, an option long advocated by hardline Copts in exile especially in the United States and aided by Zionist organizations … and that required nothing more than some bloody confrontation with the Egyptian security forces during which Coptic victims would fall down in front of the whole world.

Judging from the latest statements of SCAF in which they explicitly announced that the council will not approve of a civil president to be the future supreme commander of the military forces and with field marshal Tantawy insinuating that he might consider running for the presidency we can understand SCAF need for more escalation of riots and unrest as a pretext to sort of prolong the interim period for may be another two years during which they could cling to power and shift the country into military rule.

Actually, For the time being, both the United States and Israel prefer the military council being in command than to hand over the rule of Egypt to the Muslim brotherhood with their known anti-Israeli agenda and their unpredictable stance on the camp David peace accords, even if that means turning a blind eye to SCAF security forces getting so out of control as to run over peaceful protesters with their armored vehicles exactly as Mubarak’s security apparatus used to do.

 

False flag

Alexandria church bombing on the Christmas Eve of 2011

When it comes to Egypt, the Israeli role doesn’t stop at the wishful thinking of an observer but extends into deep and covert involvement. I mean, we all remember the state of bewilderment and confusion that followed Alexandria church bombing last Christmas night that left around 20 dead and 90 wounded, but the classified documents found in the headquarter of the raided state security apparatus proved that the whole thing was a false flag operation pulled to implicate some Gaza-based militants and help Israel tighten its siege on gaza and incriminate Hamas as a terrorist organization.

What is similarly puzzling about the peaceful Coptic march that suddenly turned violent is the testimony of various eyewitnesses that confirmed that plain-clothed unknown assailants managed to infiltrate the rally and on reaching the final destination of the march they were the ones who started throwing stones, Molotov cocktail bottles and even shooting live ammunition at the military security forces taking down two soldiers … and from then on the scene turned into the chaos and violence we have all witnessed.

Obviously those were trained agent provocateurs that easily infiltrated the peaceful Coptic march and orchestrated this whole mess, what consolidates this thesis is the swift and widespread rumor that followed on the internet social media and on the Egyptian street stating that Hillary Clinton, the American secretary of state has declared that the United States is willing to help the Egyptian military council to protect the Christian minority in Egypt.

Of course the next day this breaking news was refuted as false statement … but still this whole thing, regardless of the hidden motives of both the Copts and the Egyptian military, smells so much like a false flag.

The Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty Dying Out on the Borderline


“The toppling and the trial of Mubarak has altered scenarios that were already underway and hindered plans for the Middle East that were in the making under the auspices of ardent Zionists in Washington, Cairo and Tel Aviv.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

 

Israeli emergency personnel stand near a bus after it was ambushed north of the Red Sea resort of Eilat August 18, 2011

The infiltrators who carried out the recent shooting attack on an Israeli bus near Eilat that left 14 Israelis wounded, including five soldiers were said to have come from the Gaza Strip and entered Israel through Egypt Sinai desert

The shooting attack on the Israeli bus, which could have conveniently been another school bus hadn’t it been for the school summer vacation, made its way up the list of world’s news headlines dwarfing the Tel Aviv’s demonstrations that have been swelling for the past weeks with hardly any tangible concern on the part of Netanyahu’s government, for those Tahrir square copycat rallies have confirmed Bibi as the new poster child for a prime minister leading a nation with troubling challenges of demographic changes and social grievances exactly as he had already lectured Obama in the oval office last May.

Breaking news

 

Live coverage of the ambushed bus by the israeli channel 2

The key tag/word in this top news is not the old mellow jazz of yet another Israeli bus hit by only god- or Mossad- knows who and followed by immediate and totally indiscriminate Israeli retaliation raids on Gaza but rather the brand-new mention of attackers and suicide bombers sneaking into Israel territories from Egypt Sinai desert where five Egyptian policemen were killed caught in the fire by an Israeli helicopter at the Egyptian Israeli border.

This piece of breaking news, if anything, is pointing the finger at a new kind of alleged terrorist attacks launched against the Jewish state of Israel from Egyptian land, namely Sinai which the Israeli media machine has been raving about the decline in its security situation and how this peninsula has recently become a safe haven for al-Qaeda members and a base for their training camps and terrorist attacks since the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.

The downfall of Mubarak has been a blow to the political corruption mafia not only in Egypt but the whole Middle East and Israel included. The toppling and trial of Mubarak has altered scenarios that were already underway and hindered plans for the Middle East that were in the making under the auspices of ardent Zionists in Washington, Cairo and Tel Aviv.

 Mubarak’s trial proceedings and fallouts.   

 

Mubarak inside the defendant's cage in his trial session.

The trial of the ousted president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, happened to take place in the holy month of Ramadan, and for you who don’t know much about Ramadan; it is a month of fasting and abstinence from all sensual pleasures starting from dawn till sunset, but the only pleasure fasting Muslims are entitled to, or rather could get away with, during the whole month is oversleeping till late afternoons especially with this year’s Ramadan arriving in August, hottest month of the year.

Most of Egyptians woke up late, as usual, last Monday and by the time they shook a leg and turned on their TV sets they hardly caught the end of Mubarak’s trial session with the honorable judge adjourning the proceedings till September 5th and also declaring that the coming sessions will not be televised again.

In other words, the show is over, the people’s vengeance, according to the ruling Egyptian military council’s understanding, has been satisfied and they had their fun of watching the ousted Mubarak and his two sons in the cage … who could ask for more, except, may be … for Mubarak.

The dictator who subjugated the Egyptians for more than 3 decades was gently wheeled out of the back door of the court escorted by his two sons and heavily guarded by a crew of seemingly relentless special forces who looked with their blackish outfits and sunglasses more like some balckwater agents.

Meanwhile, the prodemocracy rebels of Egyptian youths, who courageously started this whole saga of the Egyptian uprising, were being cordoned by the military police forces in front of the court under the blazing sun and subjected to ruthless showers of stones and dirty words by the thugs of the still very much functioning Mubarak corporation.

It goes without saying that this whole trial is a farcical show that is going to drag out for a relatively long period of time, draining out the tide of revolution, dividing the public opinion on trivialities and rumors till it will have finally secured a legal trick to get Mubarak off the hook and help him flee the country and may be accept the Israeli generous offer for political asylum.

While some Egyptians are following the Mubarak trial to avenge the killing of their loved ones and others to see justice served after decades of political corruption Israel is one party that is closely watching this historical trial for a totally different reason.

For Tel Aviv the downfall of Mubarak is a turning point, not only in the modern history of Egypt, but in the overall Arab-Israeli conflict.  The toppling of Mubarak, the Zionists’ most strategic and strongest friend in the Middle East, has certainly been a game changer on part of the Israeli side. Watching that valuable Zionist pawn removed from the Arab-Israeli game has prompted Israel, while contemplating this so called Arab spring, to reconsider a lot of scenarios and contingency plans for how to deal with the volatile post- Mubarak Egypt.

Israel taking a free ride on the American speedy wagon.

 

Historically speaking, the Arab-Israeli conflict is by far an Egyptian-Israeli one. Ever since the establishment of the Jewish state and the fiercest political and military opposition to the Zionist agenda in the Middle East has been adopted by Egypt’s successive governments starting from 1948 till 1973 with its military engaged in four wars with Israel in just two decades.

With the signing of the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt the United States has been officially invited into the Middle East conflict as a major player and a so called peace broker but the truth of the matter is that Israel had been contriving ways, long before the Camp David accords, to not only drag the United States into the Middle Eastern swamp but moreover to do Tel Aviv’s dirty work and hopefully fight its wars for her in the region.

Emerging out of WWII as a world superpower the United States was apt to take the reins from the falling British Empire in the Middle East and embark on its own new imperial ambitious journey.

The newly established Jewish state needed the military and political leverage of the United States to help and secure the violent creation, perpetuation, and expansion of a state based on ethnic expulsion of the majority of indigenous inhabitants from their native home land of Palestine.

In their antiquated attempt to claim rights to a land, the founding Zionist fathers knew for a fact could only be attained through genocide rather than relying on some divine intervention or purported promise, Israel in her outdated claim, and knowing that neither history nor time is on her side, tried sometimes to take the short cut to its Middle-Eastern destination hitchhiking the free ride on the American speedy wagon.

Remembering the Lavon and USS Liberty affairs

 

The 1967 Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty

The first attempts to militarily drag Uncle Sam in the Egyptian-Israeli conflict dates back to the early 1950s where the Mossad in its efforts to create enmity between Egypt and the United States hatched a plan to firebomb areas in Egypt where Americans gathered — and to make these attacks appear to be the work of Muslim extremists. The false flag operation was discovered and caused a scandal in Israel known as the “Lavon Affair” but few Americans have ever heard of it.

Some analysts suspect that the also little-known Israeli attack on the U.S. Navy ship USS Liberty may have been a similar false-flag operation.

Certainly, there is little doubt that the U.S. would have attacked Egypt if Liberty crewmembers had not succeeded, against all odds, in getting a distress signal out, causing Israel to fail in its attempt to sink the ship with all men aboard. In the end, 34 sailors were killed in the assault and over 170 were wounded. The ship limped back to port in Malta carrying on board its surviving crew who bore witness to the blatant Israeli duplicity and impunity.

Israel might not have been lucky enough to prompt the United States into launching a military attack against Egypt in 1967 in retaliation of the deliberate attack on the USS liberty but her luck changed in the October 1973 war when the most massive airlift in American history, engineered by Henry Kissinger under pressure from the Israeli lobby, was sent to Israel, preventing the inevitable Egyptian recapturing of Sinai especially after the astonishing Egyptian military operation of crossing the Suez Canal and demolishing the impregnable Israeli Bar Lev line which was dubbed the graveyard for Egyptian troops.

Camp David treaty rewards and drawbacks

 

On signing the Camp David accords Israel pledged to return back to Egypt the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian land it had illegally annexed in its 1967 war of aggression … but that came with a heavy price

1- That treaty was an arrangement in which the Egyptian leader of the time, Anwar Sadat, whose one of his personal political ambitions from the moment he took office in 1970 was to relinquish his predecessor’s alliance with the Soviet Union and instead become the United States’ closest ally, next to Israel of course.

2- Signing the peace treaty with Israel, President Sadat stopped opposing Israel’s previous ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians thus removed the most populous and politically significant country from the Arab front opposing Israel’s illegal actions and led the way for other Arab nations to “normalize” relations with the abnormal situation in Palestine.

3- In return the United States agreed to give Egypt financial aid of more US tax money than any other nation, with the exception of Israel. Since 1979, Egypt has received an annual average of close to $2 billion in economic and political aid that allowed Mubarak to stay in power for decades despite his apparent corruption and periodic attempts by Egyptians to free themselves from his ruthless and totally contradicting to all-American values of freedom and democracy rule.

4- In return of the American generosity and hypocrisy for that matter, and to prove his good will to his friends in Tel Aviv, president Mubarak has excluded Sinai from any developmental plans, except for the pipeline that supplied Israel with Egypt natural gas almost for free, and kept it throughout thirty long years of his rule as barren desert ready to be recaptured in few hours by any abrupt Israeli offensive and consequently paving the way for Israel to dump the Gaza explosive issue on Egyptian soil.

David M. Satterfield

5-  Another little-discussed result of the 1979 Egypt-Israel Camp David treaty was the creation of an international peacekeeping force in the Sinai, known as the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) based in the Egyptian peninsula of Sinai. Its current head is Ambassador David M. Satterfield, an American diplomat who served extensively in the Middle East, was Senior Advisor on Iraq for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and held a number of other high positions in the state department, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. In 2005 Satterfield was named as having provided classified information to an official of the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, AIPAC. According to documents, Satterfield had discussed secret national security matters in at least two meetings with AIPAC official Steven J. Rosen, who was subsequently indicted by the U.S. Justice Department

 

The last days of a fragile peace Treaty

 

Israeli soldiers patrolling the border line with Egypt near the red sea resort of Eilat

The Israelis bloody well knew what they were doing crossing the borders with Egypt hunting down some infiltrators and taking down five Egyptian soldiers whom were said caught in the crossfire.

Those Egyptians who died in the Israeli raid are not to be considered collateral damage, rather victims of a premeditated military operation meant to breach an already fragile peace treaty and more importantly to test the waters for the response of post-Mubarak Egypt.

The strong and swift response to the Israeli aggression, ranging from anti-Israeli mass rallies around the Cairo embassy, for the third day in a row now demanding the expulsion of the whole Israeli diplomatic envoy and not just only the ambassador, to the anticipated withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv till submission of Israeli probe results and official apology and the urgent meeting of the Arab league to discuss and blast the Israeli aggression on both Gaza and the Egyptian borders area, hasn’t exactly been the see no evil hear no evil-reaction that Tel Aviv got used to throughout the last 30 years of good old Mubarak.

Egyptian reinforcements in the Sinai peninsula and along the borders with Israel.

Egypt is now witnessing radical changes with evolving new facts on the ground and while Israel is trying to make out the whole picture and grasp all the angles and potentials of these new geopolitical realities before it plays out its next wild card it somehow missed out on a tiny little detail, namely the power of the people.

Now, with this AIPAC agent Satterfield in command of international forces in Sinai and with the highly volatile situation in Sinai that is made to look as the new Afghanistan by the Zionist Murdoch-style media and judging from the escalating tension and the unprecedented state of reinforcements and military high alert on both the Israeli and the Egyptian side of the borders,  the expected mass Egyptian rallies to head towards the borders with Israel late this week in a show of force and defiance to any Israeli future aggressions and from the looming strong possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood- intellectually and emotionally akin to Hamas- gaining the majority of seats in the coming and first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections … one wonders what are the chances for the fragile peace treaty between Egypt and Israel to survive this strong tide of Arab awakening that has undoubtedly ushered in a new era in the Arab –Israeli conflict and more importantly unleashed the power of generations that have been silent and subjugated for decades, and now their Egyptian voices are strongly resonating loud and clear echoing all the way to Tel Aviv as they roar “ Down with the dictators and down with Israel”

Israel knew very well how to deal with Arab dictators, Arab militants , Arab puppet leaders, Arab media, arab negotiators and even pro-Arab activists but not the Arab awakening … this is totally new to the IDF … this is one thing that the Israeli military is not trained to deal with or to hold back by some iron dome.