Israel: Pressures Egypt to Refuse Passage of Iranian Ships Through Suez
If you want to know the definition of chutzpah: it’s Israel’s hysteria at the prospect that two Iranian ships might be allowed passage through the Suez Canal on their way to Syria:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel could not ignore the planned sailing of two Iranian naval vessels through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean en route for Syria and Defence Minister Ehud Barak labelled the act “hostile”.
“Tonight two Iranian warships are supposed to cross the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Syria,” Lieberman told a conference of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.
He said an Iranian naval presence in the area was something that had not occurred for many years and was a “provocation that proves the self-confidence and cheek of the Iranians is growing from day to day.”
“The international community has to understand that Israel cannot ignore these provocations for eternity,” Lieberman said.
Apparently, no one’s told Lieberman or Barak that the Canal actually is an international waterway, and not the sandbox of Israel and its allies. The idea that Israel should dictate or have veto power on which nation may send its shipping through the waterway is alarming to say the least.
The full height of the hypocrisy is that Israel wanted to brag to the world that two of its nuclear attack submarines passed through the Canal in 2009 on their way to patrol sea lanes near Iran, where presumably they would participate in an Israeli attack if such an operation occurred. So while Israel can use the Canal to further its own war plans against Iran, the latter can’t navigate the same passage.
Haaretz has reported that the Iranian vessels have been denied passage through the Canal, which indicates that Egypt is acceding to the wishes of its erstwhile ally, Israel. It also reports that Lieberman has now arrogated to himself a role in devising Israel’s defense policy by turning this purely military matter into an international incident. The chutzpah of the man knows no bounds.
In a related story, Hassan Nasrallah is once again rattling sabers, calling on his army of the faithful to “liberate the Galilee” in light of an Israeli attack on Lebanon. The odd thing about Nasrallah is that he’s Israel’s worst nightmare precisely because he’s as bellicose and unstable as some of Israel’s own generals and politicians. A match made in heaven–or Hell.
30 thoughts on “Israel: Pressures Egypt to Refuse Passage of Iranian Ships Through Suez – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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The Suez Channel is to important for the Egypts. It should be run by the Israelis, no doubt about that ;-))
Hah! They already tried that in 1956 (?). Thank goodness we had an Eisenhower to end that. Where is he now that we really need him?
Anyhow, Richard’s analysis is right on. The only thing I would question is Nasrallah’s instability. I think he’s making all the right noises, and knows better what he’s doing than the crazy Ahmadinejad. He probably is justified in anticipating a new attack by Israel on Lebanon.
It was a joke! Otherwise I would have demanded Israeli control over the straits of Hormuz, Gibraltar and the Bosporus as well! With all the sophisticated subs, delivered by the germans, they should really be able to control those strategic narrows? Lebanons Nasrallah is just another kind of Lieberman, not really someone to be scared about. Just a lot of noise…
“Lebanons Nasrallah is just another kind of Lieberman.”
I think you’re very wrong about that. I’m not a supporter of religious interference into politics, and I’m not a specialist on Nasrallah, but I’ve heard his speeches on various occasions in order to judge by myself, and not rely on others’ analysis.
Nasrallah is an amazing person, he’s extremely brilliant, from an intellectual point of view and as a political strategic. In fact, I know a bunch of Lebanese Christians and a couple of Lebanese atheist who are among his most fervent supporters, because of his moral intrigrity and his patriotism. “Just a lot of noise” is really not the way to describe him. All on the contrary.
I don’t think that Nasrallah and Lieberman have anything in common: ever their patriotism are motivated by completely different feelings.
You may be right! It was just my impression, from the outside with a third-party-view, that they are both extremists on different ends of political spectrum.
…Der Völkerrechtler James Kraska vom US Naval War College sagte, solange die Iraner keine aggressiven Operationen in dem Gebiet ausführten, hätten sie wie jedes andere Land das Recht, den Kanal zu nutzen…
…James Kraska from the US Naval War College said, that as long as they don’t carry out aggressive operations in that area, they (the Iranians) have the same right to use this (Suez-) channel than any other country…
It seems, that this US-expert cannot see a specific role for Mr. Lieberman in this Suez-Channel thing?
Israel’s regional dominance attempts are facing increasingly resistance. Turkey making nuclear pacts with Jordan and Egypt not any more approving whatever the Israeli aggressive foreign policy makers decide to do. It seems that the nation of 5.5 million Jews and 2 million “less wanted” other citizens is fast shrinking to the influence amount its population and area give the the “right”.
Seems that the Iranian warships had just been visiting Saudi Arabia, Jeddah.
The ships are a light patrol frigate Alvand, built in 1968 and a support vessel Kharg. Not in anyway a serious military threat to Israel or to anybody else.
Israel is not in panic because of these two ships, it is in panic because Iran seems to have success in mending ties with other Muslim countries and that Israeli/US propaganda that Sunni Muslim countries (= “moderate” as they are called) support pre-emptive military attacks against Iran is only a Israeli propagandist daydream.
Not quite sure what your point is here, Simo Hurtta, but I do wonder what you mean about “Turkey making nuclear pacts with Jordan and Egypt.” Do they have anything nuclear over which they can make pacts?
You Gene have a lousy reading skills or you simply want to make your own propaganda. I wrote ” Turkey making nuclear pacts with Jordan and Egypt not any more approving whatever…” which certainly doesn’t mean “Turkey making nuclear pacts with Jordan and Egypt.” I suppose that it is clear to even for you that Turkey through this agreement with Jordan indirectly takes Jordan’s large uranium deposit and Jordan’s ability to use in future civil nuclear energy under its protection.
Egypt on the other hand has for decades partly given Israel the ability to continue its aggressive policies by weakening the Arab/Muslim side, now that period seems to be over.
Gene Turkey and Egypt are old and natural regional powers, something that Israel is not. Those countries have over ten times bigger in population than Israel has. Both countries control one of the most vital sea routes in the world. The only thing that gives Israel the military/political edge is its vast nuclear and other WMD arsenal. If USA and others can not create a nuclear free Middle East it is 100 percent certain that Turkey and Egypt will create their own deterrence. They will not any more let Israel to play the first fiddle of the orchestra, not when USA’s influence is rapidly vanishing.
Turkey hosts about 90 nuclear bombs at Incirlik Air Base. Under NATO sharing plans, just under half were assigned for delivery by the Turkish Air Force. If the US withdraws the weapons or Iran acquires nuclear capabilities, Turkish officials have stated that they would immediately acquire weapons of their own. See The status of U.S. nuclear weapons in Turkey
I’d love to hear from all the supporters of “revolution” by the masses which countries should have their regimes overthrown in your “progressive” opinions.
Here’s a checklist of countries/regimes – maybe someone out there will state in which of these revolution to democracy will be favourable, and where one ought to support the current regime (democratic or not) and discourage the masses from revolting. Please be honest!
Turkey? Why would you need a revolution to overthrow a democractically elected gov’t. BTW, the right wing nationalists have urged the army to overthrow this democratic gov’t repeatedly. Luckily, they’ve refused. Lebanon? Again, a democracy though far fr. a perfect one. Palestine, almost one except for the Fatah rump govt. As for the others, they’re long overdue for democracy.
Shmuel, there’s a difference between supporting a revolution pursued by the people of another country and determining which foreign govt “should” be overthrown in one’s high and mighty opinion, especially when that govt holds power legitimately.
I’m by no means happy with most govts on your list, but that doesn’t mean it’s my place to tell their people to overthrow them so I can be happier.
The Iranian News Agency IRIB published today in their german language programme, that the two Iranian navy vessels, the 1.500 t Fregatte “Alvand” and the “33.000” t Tender “Khark”, will cross the suez channel today, in order to reach the mediteranean sea bound to Syria.
I would suggest Germany to be put on your list!
Germany shouldn’t be overthrown or should be?
The masses there would probably be neo-nazis if it came to revolution
I don’t think so! While not underestimating Neonazism the majority of Germans are convinced democrats, now for the thirth post-war-generation!
To give you an example: For tomorrow, the 19th February, 2011 Neonazis are planning three demonstations in remembrance of the bombing of the city of Dresden in 1945/02/13. They will face a huge mass of demonstrators against them from the middle and the left of the german society. In numbers I would expect 10:1 against the Nazis!
Provisional numbers: About 1.000 Neonazis, outnumbered by 21.000 participants from the middle or the left of the society. Numbers may vary slightly but a relation of at least 20:1 against the Neonazis was confirmed. The march of the nazis could have been blocked successfully. Some clashes between parts of the left and the police occured.
Doesn’t sound like a neonazi revolution in Germany, doesn’t it?
Shmuel was being extremely rude. Better to ignore him.
Thanks! But ignoration is probably not the best strategy to feed a discussion? :))
I was being rude, Elizabeth? Give me a break, I was just exposing the hypocracy of some of the commentators here.
For some reason no one here is cheering on the Lybian uprising anywhere near to the way the Egyptian one was handled here?
Could it be because Gaddafi, unlike Mubarrak, is an enemy of America and Israel and thus a “goodie” who should not be overthrown even though he is a tyrannical dictator, whereas Mubarrak who did actually hold a form of election, is a “baddie” because he received aid from USA and cooperated with Israel within the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt?
Or is the above too rude for you to deserve your answer?
I should add that I wrote today’s post on Khaddafi BEFORE I read this comment. This should show the hypocrisy & error of the comment itself & the sentiments behind it.
Almabu, if there is any country in the world that has openly acknowledged and discussed and given attention day after day to its sins of the past it is Germany. I know this because I am your neighbor and as soon as cable TV came sometime during the 80ties I started to watch German television. (And my high school grades in German soured as a result.)
Over the years I have become more and more impressed by the amount of time given to the Nazi past in television programs, and the brutal honesty with which evening after evening the past was explored in all its facets and details. Zapping through the Germans channels I was able to find almost every evening at least one (and often more than one) program dealing with it: From reminiscences of elderly Jewish people about their experiences in school, to Shoah by Claude Lanzmann (which I first watched on German TV).
I also remember seeing several programs about the war crimes committed by the Wehrmacht. In an earlier post you mentioned that some Germans still believe that the Wehrmacht was generally ‘clean’ in that respect, but I can testify that German TV at least was always clear about the fact that the Wehrmacht too was involved.
As I said: This went on evening after evening, year after year. And I know the (West) German school program gave extensive attention to all of this too.
I do realize that I am talking about the honesty of the West German attitude when I am saying this. In East Germany the official attitude was: We (the communists) were the good ones, we were the Nazi’s greatest enemies, so there was less soul searching (always absent in a society that is not free, isn’t it?). And some of the young people of (former) East Germany have the feeling: The guilty generation, and we as well, paid for our sins: We lived under the Russian boot for decades, so stop bothering us, we suffered enough.
But still I think we can say that Germany is probably the only country in Europe that has really come clean about its conduct during WW2. And as I said at the beginning: Even world-wide I think Germany stands out in this respect. That is why Shmuel’s remarks were totally out of line. But I admire your patience with him in your response.
EVERY country has its gruesome things in the past. What matters most is honesty in acknowledging this, and dealing with it openly. In this sense Germany has something to teach to the world.
“No one here is cheering on the Libyan uprising anywhere near to the way the Egyptian one was handed here”.
Has Richard written an entry on the Libyan revolts ?? Is the Libyan situation central to the topic on the blog ? And why don’t you condemn the killings in Bahrain and Yemen ? Are you a hypocrite ? Did we hear you on Tunisia ?
“…because Gaddafi [sic], unlike Mubarrak [sic], is an enemy of America …”.
You didn’t follow international politics for the last 10 years ?
As far as Europe is concerned, Kadhafi has been the ‘new best friend’ for years: he’s been fighting AQMI in the Sahel, and preventing immigrants to pass through Libya on their way to Europe.
Hopefully, Kadhafi, the mahbûl, is going to fall, as Assad, Abdallah, Abbas, Boutflika …. Arab nationalism is on its way back, inch’allah.
I agree Deir Yassin. I was delighted when the news came that Gaddaffi (Dutch spelling) left Tripoli… I hope Syria is next…
you are absolutelly right about your detailled description of the way this matter was/is handeled in Germany. But there remains a rest, a 3-5 % brown “nazi-swamp” at the bottom of our society, that still causes troubles and problems. And there ar growing parts of society in poverty o at least with serious economic problems and extremely “unhappy” with their living conditions. This can cause a explosive mixture. They lack charismatic political figures like the Dutch Geert Wilders or the late Austrian Jörg Haider, but their is an constant risk. A part of the youth don’t want to hear anymore that “grandpa was a war criminal”. One simply can’t reach them with history stuff!
But once again, thank you for your support, Elisabeth!
“Hassan Nasrallah is once again rattling sabers ….”
To put Hassan Nasrallah’s words on “liberating the Galilee” into context, I think it would be correct to notice that Nasrallah made his speech on Wednesday 16th AFTER Ehud Barak had declared on the 15th that “Israeli armed forces may cross into the Southern Lebanese territory again”.
I know that some of you might not trust presstv, but it was the only English-speaking article I found. It’s in the Lebanese ‘L’Orient Le Jour’ and the French conservative ‘Le Figaro’ too.
Sorry. I found the Haaretz-article relating the same:
Egypt has approved Iran warship to use Suez Canal
To Lieberman, it’s a provocation !
After everything Iran has said about Israel, Israel certainly has a right to be nervous about the Iranian navel ships. You can go on about the Suez canal being “international waters” and so on; the fact is that if Egypt really wanted to block a country from accessing it, they could do it in an instant. Now, do those two ships pose a significant threat to Israeli security? Probably not. But who can blame them for being nervous about it?