Israel and the fate of Egypt

 

In the monthly “Pagine Ebraiche” in March 2011 could be read and signed by Anna Momigliano a series of considerations about what the fate of Egypt is linked to that of Israel and vice versa.

“Dear Egyptian, please do not destroy the pyramids. We do not rebuild. Sincerly, the Jewish people.” This joke that circulated on Facebbok and Twitter in the days when the streets of Cairo inflamed dela revolt against Hosni Mubarak, sums up (behind the traditional Jewish humor) the concern on the part of Israel and its friends in front of the rapidly evolving situation in Egypt. That changes from day to day, sometimes by hope, others raising fears […] But there are two things seemed clear from the outset. A: With the fall of Mubarak, Israel has lost a historic ally in the Middle East region. Perhaps, who knows, the government in Jerusalem will be able to find a new friend in Cairo (although many analysts have expressed their pessimism), but there is no denying that Mubarak, for years, has been a guarantee, especially on the control of Hamas. Two, with the fall of Mubarak, Israel will have to collect a major challenge. Or learn to dialogue with the nations, and not with individual leaders (as in the case of Mubarak, in power thanks to an emergency law thirty years duration) that do not represent their people [Note I: recent news suggests that bites is following in the footsteps of Mubarak about the emergency legislation, with the added difficulty that foreign policy responds to the Muslim Brotherhood]. A significant challenge, especially if one takes into account that public opinion in Arab countries has never been particularly favorable to use a euphemism against Israel. Yet it is a challenge that Israel must collect. There is no other choice. Because (this was known) no one can really believe that an authoritarian regime, friend or foe does not matter, is going to last forever. Sometimes a system follows an even more dictatorial (a word: Iran) [my note: today I would say Egypt] …

 

What is happening in Egypt, confirms the concerns of those hours. As stated by the agencies:

Egypt approved the new constitution, ‘sharia’ law foundation

November 30, 2012 – 10:07

(AFP) – Cairo, 30 Nov – The Egyptian Constituent Assembly adopted the draft of the new Constitution, which includes an article that defines the ‘sharia”, Islamic law as the main source of legislation. This was announced by President Hossam el-Ghiriani after 19 hours of consultations. The approval of the text and ‘took unanimously’, despite the work had been boycotted by the opposition secular and liberal. Now the Charter will be ‘sent to the President Mohamed Morsi which must countersign and call a referendum.

 

Last but not least, I follow a reflection of the “political scientist” Giancarlo Elia Valori (complex person, from past international and stormy, and declared by the apparent strabismus pro-Israeli, Mediterranean versed in the drawings) appeared in the monthly “Formiche” in May 2011.

Oreste Grani

 

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The last Mediterranean

01/05/2011 Giancarlo Elia Valori

Suez, Aden and the Horn of Africa will be the points of crisis future of an area that tends to think strategically all together and it might need a security umbrella different from that developed post-Cold War the Atlantic Alliance.

The new strategic quadrant of Mare Nostrum represents elements of continuity and rupture with what we have been, until now, used to study. The presence of China is a complex phenomenon: Beijing has reacted to the threats posed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the network of Bin Laden in Algeria, compared to 50 thousand Chinese workers living in the area. China wants to replace, in fact, the EU as the main end market Algerian oil and, later, Libya and the countries included sub-Saharan Africa. Beijing wants to build a presence in the Mediterranean that equates the two sides of the main Mare Nostrum, and get to check the oil passages and trade which are carried out by the Strait of Suez and the Horn of Africa without interrupting its long tradition, dating back to Mao , to equate the two “worlds” (USA and USSR before, now the Russian Federation) to the Third World should have Beijing as its natural contact.

Political transformations in the Maghreb will see China becoming less interested in the dialectical tension between new and old classes democratic and populist dictator, while Beijing will be of vital interest to penetrate the economies to sustain growth, replace those subsidies that Europe “process Barcelona “can no longer provide, and then play three games simultaneously: one against the U.S. Africom command, which will become, if the tension in Libya encourage the insurgents, a new axis for the democratization of the African continent, the one against France, which want revive its splendor in the Maghreb and in Chad, reaching the coasts of Mauritania and Liberia, that finally against Russia, which could manage, with an agreement similar to the one proposed in 2010 by Medvedev, the contact person for the price of hydrocarbons African as Moscow has already assumed for OPEC, an organization in which he asked to be allowed to participate. If the price of crude oil will remain around 100 U.S. dollars, the figure optimal Ahmadinejad has proposed to OPEC in 2011, then the net transfer of resources towards producing countries will be such as to enable them is the support for their economies both projects independently reset, and finally, support for new political classes that emerge in the Maghreb. The real problem is the effect on prices of a barrel of semi-closure of the Suez Canal, only 2/3 million barrels of oil pass through the narrow Egyptians, with a global demand of 88 billion barrels / day, and therefore the risk of political contagion that could expand in the Persian Gulf, which supplies 17% of the world’s daily consumption, while all variables geo-economic us to predict that the democratic uprising of the masses Maghreb has a strong potential for irradiation in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, with a further boost to speculation on prices which could, in this case, also affect Chinese interests. In other words, the Maghreb met geopolitically the Greater Middle East. And, from this point of view, it is good to study the behavior of the local political actors both recent and of those long operating in the area.

Al Qaeda, for example, has a similar geo-strategy, and forgive the paradox in the current U.S.: encircle the southern Mediterranean from sub-Saharan Africa, closing the gap between Mauritania, Senegal and Algeria, forcing those states a war of attrition-consuming, expensive and above all that it is to isolate China and to the EU. According to the “strategist” of al Qaeda to Abu Bakr Naji, network design of Bin Laden in the Mediterranean is to do things small, highly designed, long and very long reaction time, and this is what has so far prevented al Qaeda to carry out attacks in Egypt, while the real priority for the Al Qaeda network is to inoculate its agents in Yemen, the ancestral homeland of the family of Bin Laden, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The network Al Qaeda wants to manage part of the revolt, create stable networks but silent, evaluate each year the cost-benefit ratio of each proposed action. The other party is the Muslim Brotherhood.

For Ikwan Al Banna, founded as a Salafi organization with rituals and logical policies similar to those of European fascist parties, and thus related to the Baath Syrian-Egyptian, the Egyptian uprising “is not Islamic,” but certainly the leaders of the Brotherhood in Egypt will adapt to the mainstream of the revolt and seek to influence, for now through the traditional “quietists” of the group, the political debate and the election of the next venture in Egypt after Mubarak. In Tunisia, the Brotherhood has publicly supported the uprising that ousted Ben Ali. The Ikwan wants to become, in time data, the organization that unifies the Maghreb. Because this is the primary data from the strategic point of view: after the victory of the popular revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and possibly Libya, the Maghreb appears as an area in which the question that will arise is this: or Africa North and Southern Mediterranean will unify under a multi-regional hegemony, also guaranteed by China and the Russian Federation, and therefore see a decline in the influence of the EU, or there will be a sequence of revolutionary contagion pass away from the old Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and it will also be a new stimulus unit neo-Islamic and populist around the dial. If this happens, there will be opportunities for new presence for the Union pour la Méditerranée Sarkozy, for the U.S., which for the first time will not be accused of being the center of decision-making “Jews and Crusaders”, to use the old formula of Bin Laden, for China, which will be the only one to be able to finance their own terms, the “take-off” of the new Maghreb economies.

 

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

 

Everyone will itself in the new Mediterranean strategy of the European countries, the USA, China. NATO will have a “south side” completely new to control: temporary fall, but not elimination of Al Qaeda neoterrorismo, expanding the possibilities of bilateral regional cooperation with new countries that emerged from the democratic revolutions of the Maghreb, a chance to expand its “arm long “sea to Suez, Aden and the Horn of Africa, who will be the future of an area points of crisis tend to think that, from the strategic point of view, all together, and may be in need of an” umbrella “of security quite different from what the Alliance has developed since the end of the Cold War in the Mediterranean. In a strictly strategic, Mare nostrum will be less “regional sea closed” as defined old U.S. strategists in the 80s, and more and more the point of arrival and control voltage that will be generated in sub-Saharan Africa in the Persian Gulf, in the axis that comes from the Caspian to the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.

Other geopolitical issue of extraordinary importance is the position of Israel in this new system Maghreb. The Jewish state may feel, rightly, surrounded by a new line of power supply is not yet predictable, not yet “measured” on the question of the relationship between Israel and the Arab countries traditionally friends. If the economic crisis will not give signs of cooling, then it will be easy to create “outside enemy” classic, the Jews, in order to stabilize the political tensions. It would also need to evaluate a number of bridge loans, well-controlled by the BIS and the IMF, to create a “fund” global democracy, which participate also China and the Russian Federation, aimed at the transfer or revitalization of companies in Tunisia, Egypt and, in the future, in Libya, and it is a proposal which, in our opinion, should participate, with the obvious precautions, including Israel. For the Jewish state, however, they open some interesting possibilities, although precursors of considerable dangers: in the first place, the dilution of the zone of its friction with the Arab world, the apparent loss of positions of all forms of jihad in ‘ area, the substantial unity of the Arab League to support the uprising, the renewed presence of historians friends Jerusalem in the Maghreb, such as the U.S. and France, the stability that friendly regimes in the Arab world have shown at this juncture, for example, Jordan .

These are the “windows of opportunity” for Israel, while the options of contrast may be the spread of anti-Israeli elites affected by the Muslim Brotherhood, the resurgence of groups of “permanent jihad” in some countries, such as Egypt itself, the trigger destabilizing reactions, these certainly anti-Jewish, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait in a possible “second phase” of the revolt, the refusal of China to participate in multilateral security initiatives to stabilize the new democracies of mass Maghreb. Are, mutatis mutandis, the dangers that we have listed and concern across the EU. “The story told Adenauer is the sum of all those events that could have been avoided.” We hope that the forecast of the German chancellor is not true, in the rapids opportunities that today presents the Mediterranean.