For those of you keeping track of things like this, Egypt is one of Israel’s few allies. Isn’t it passing strange that Israel’s new foreign minister can’t step foot in Egypt after calling for bombing the Aswan Dam and telling the country’s president to “go to Hell?”
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Wednesday that his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, is not welcome in Egypt. “His feet will not step on Egyptian soil as long as he maintains his positions,” Aboul Gheit told Russia Today TV.
…Since Lieberman took office, Egypt has threatened to boycotted the foreign minister and Aboul Gheit has said he will not shake his hand.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian foreign minister said his country would still work directly with the Israeli government, only not via its foreign ministry.
Can anyone tell me what it is precisely that Lieberman will be doing if foreign policy regarding Egypt must be handled outside the Israeli foreign ministry??
I thought this final sentence was intentionally or unintentionally ironic:
Israel’s foreign ministry issued no immediate response…
What could it say?
On a related matter, Nahum Barnea reports that Pres. Obama was most solicitous of Bibi’s political constraints during their first phone conversation. M.J. Rosenberg doesn’t buy it. Instead, he imagines a hilarious phone conversation between Bibi and Barack:
Obama: “So Bibi. Anything we can do to help you get Lieberman out of the foreign ministry?”
Bibi: “I feel you, sir. But the prosecutors are taking care of that.”
Obama: “Well, let me know. We can help if you want us to.”
Bibi: “Most def, sir.”
Now that is a conversation I can believe in, even if I just made it up.
Returning to the subject of Israel-Egypt relations, Leslie Susser is one of the more mediocre journalists covering Israel. He writes usually for JTA. Unfortunately, the Forward has published his latest pro-Israel puffery about the Hezbollah spy ring, in which he argues that the scandal has thrown Egypt into Israel’s arms:
The Hezbollah spy ring revelation underlines the common regional interests shared by Israel and Egypt. The result on the ground could be closer security and intelligence coordination in the ongoing struggle against Iran and its proxies. If this includes a strong Egyptian effort over time to stop arms smuggling through the border tunnels into Gaza, it would be a major leap forward in Israel’s overall game plan vis-a-vis Hamas in Gaza: to establish a long-term regime of peace and quiet based on deterrence.
Israel’s “game plan?” If the Gaza war taught us anything, it’s that Israel hasn’t the foggiest notion of a “game plan” for Gaza or Hamas. Susser’s editors owe it to him and us to save him from his worst excesses. They haven’t done so here.
This is but one of a series of fever dreams by pro-Israel apologists who envision Egypt doing Israel’s dirty work for it by taking such a hand in Gaza’s internal affairs that Israel won’t have to bother. The notion that Egypt can stop arms smuggling even if it wanted to do so, along with the notion that even if it could that this would turn Gaza into a idyll of “peace and quiet” is preposterous.
The Sussers of the pro-Israel world miss the fact that there is no solution short of negotiations that can quell Hamas resistance. Egypt probably couldn’t turn off the arms tap even if it wanted to. But even if it could, Hamas would find some other avenue to mount resistance. With journalism like this it’s no wonder that so many who read JTA get a distorted view of Israeli political and military reality. I’m just sorry that the Forward, which normally has higher standards, has given him a platform.