The Zionist elites are no longer able to keep up with “surprises” of the Egyptian regime, which are particularly focused on its tendencies of aggressive behaviour towards the Palestinian resistance and its blatant bias in favour of the Zionist side.
Those following the internal Zionist affairs and arguments would notice that the level and extent of Israel’s dependency on Egypt throughout Al-Sisi’s reign is much large than it was during Mubarak’s reign, who the former Israeli Minister of Defence Binyamin Ben-Eliezer described as Israel’s “strategic treasure”.
The head of the Defence Ministry’s political-defence desk, General Amos Gilad, expressed the nature of the Egyptian position regarding the Palestinian resistance and Israel, saying: “We’re not just talking about the perfect match of interests between us and the Egyptians regarding the need to eliminate Hamas, but also, the Egyptian motives that drive the Egyptian side to achieve this goal are even deeper and more complex than the motives that drive us” (Israeli Channel 10, July 25, 2014).
The Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni has gone as far to say: “There is an agreement between us and the Egyptians to strangle Hamas, and we have agreed that this would be the result of any negotiations regarding a permanent cease-fire between us and the Gaza Strip.” (Channel 2, August 7, 2014).
Zionist commentators have ventured to characterise the Egyptian side’s attempts to blackmail the Palestinian resistance and push it to make concessions to the Zionist side without anything in return, as there is a consensus among the Zionist elites that the Egyptian regime is totally uninterested in the resistance making any achievements in the wake of its legendary steadfastness during the war.
General Yisrael Hasson, who has served as the former deputy director of the internal intelligence service (Shin Bet) and is known for his close ties with the Egyptian security institution, said: “Israel is aware that there is a need to relieve the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and improve their economic situation on the grounds so that it may reduce the Palestinian youth’s willingness to join terrorist organisations, but the Egyptians are not enthusiastic regarding this approach and seem to be more strict in this regard” (Israel Radio, July 28, 2014).
A military commentator at Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper compared the room where negotiations regarding the ceasefire are held in Cairo to a “circus ring” in which Egypt uses every means of “taming” Hamas.
In an article published by the newspaper on August 9, 2014, Fishman wrote: “While it is the Egyptians who have been torturing Hamas in Cairo and have flatly rejected all of its demands, Hamas would not dare insult the circus ring leader [Al-Sisi] and therefore it fires on Israel.”
There is no dispute amongst Zionist commentators regarding the fact that the role of negotiations, as seen by the Egyptians, is to drain Hamas and force it to accept a ceasefire with the least amount of achievements. The senior commentator for Israeli Channel 2 Amnon Abramovich said: “In the beginning of the war, Egypt refused to intervene, as the decision-makers in Cairo believed that the Israeli army was enough to eliminate Hamas, but after their hopes of achieving this goal were crushed, the Egyptians intervened to deprive Hamas from any achievements they could offer to the Palestinian people” (July 6, 2014).
Prolonging the war
Despite the Egyptian role in support of Tel Aviv, a number of Zionist commentators have criticised this role on the grounds that it does not contribute to achieving the goal announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the war, i.e. restoring calm and security for all settlers.
A number of Zionist commentators have paid attention to the fact that the pressures Egypt is putting on Hamas have not, as of yet, led to anything else other than more suffering for settlers, especially in the south of Israel. The journalist Keren Neubach impulsively asked: “We want to end the war and Al-Sisi wants to prolong it; what do we get out of it?”
While presenting her daily programme “Seder Hayom” broadcasted by Israel Radio on August 5, 2014, Neubach went on to express her position on Egypt’s behaviour, saying Israel’s interests lie in a ceasefire so that the residents of the settlements in the south can return to their homes.
In order to depict the true fact that the Egyptian position is preventing a ceasefire, the foreign affairs commentator for Channel 10 Nadav Eyal said that every party concerned with an agreement being reached between Israel and Hamas must put pressure on Egypt in order to achieve this goal.
In his attempt to portray the extent of the Egyptian party’s role in pressuring Hamas and the Egyptian officials’ pursuit of depriving Hamas from making any progress or achievements, Israel Radio’s Palestinian Affairs correspondent Gal Berger said: “Egypt isn’t carrying a stick in the negotiations room with Hamas, it is holding a cannon and is putting all forms of pressure on Hamas in order to force it to accept a ceasefire without gaining anything in return.”
During an analysis he presented on the morning of August 6, 2014, Berger pointed out that the Egyptian side’s insistence on not discussing the issue of the Rafah crossing on one hand, and its flat out refusal of even discussing Hamas’ demand to establish a seaport or airport in Gaza, mainly aims to reduce the movement’s margin of manoeuvre while Israel continues to carry out strikes against the Gaza Strip.
The political commentator on Israeli Channel 2, Audi Siegel, explains that the Egyptian negotiating “mechanisms” employed with Hamas are based on tricking Hamas, pointing out the fact that the Egyptian side is presenting “loose formulas” that allow Israel not to respect it in the future.
While appearing on the “Friday Studio” programme on August 7, 2014, Siegel pointed out that the representatives of the Egyptian intelligence were keen on “reprimanding” the Hamas representatives for “daring” to reject the Egyptian initiative and held them responsible for the Palestinian bloodshed during the Israeli attack on Gaza.
What most embodies the Zionist dependency on the so-called “Arab axis of moderation” is the statement made by the Israeli Minister Tzipi Livni and which she always repeats during times of war, “When I say ‘we’, I mean Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority”. It is clear from Livni’s plan for changing the political reality in the Gaza Strip, which was announced last week, that she is counting on a major role to be played by the Arab “moderate” axis, not only in getting rid of Hamas’ rule in Gaza, but also in paving the way for the return of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip.
General Amos Yadlin, former chief of Israel’s military intelligence (AMAN), goes as far as saying that Israel can depend on the official Arab support and should continue the war until Hamas’ rule in the Gaza Strip is overthrown.
During his appearance on a talk show aired on Israel’s Channel 10, on August 7, 2014, Yadlin refused predictions issued by the General Staff of the Israeli army, on the grounds of which Netanyahu’s government made the decision not to re-occupy the Gaza Strip and overthrow the rule of Hamas. Yadlin said that the shifts in the regional environment give Israel a large margin of flexibility that could be used to exhaust all military options in the face of resistance in the Gaza Strip.
Even the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who recently said that he was sick of the secret meetings held by senior officials in countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, considered the “commonalities” between Israel and the “moderate” Arab countries as providing a solid platform to eliminate Hamas.
According to Lieberman’s logic, the Sunni Arab states view the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to their ruling systems, and therefore have deemed it a “terrorist” organisation and its activities have been banned.
Lieberman also believes that this is the reason that explains the silent Arab encouragement of Israel’s elimination of Hamas, which is considered a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
As for the former Israel Minister of Defence Shaul Mofaz, he continues to promote his plan to disarm the resistance in the Gaza Strip in cooperation with the Arab regimes, and in particular Egypt.
During an interview with Israel’s Army Radio on August 3, 2014, Mofaz said: “What the war failed to achieve must be sought after through diplomatic action and we are lucky there have been shifts in the Arab world because it solidifies our alliance of moderates, including Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states, and we have joint interests in eliminating radical Sunni Islam.”
In short, Israel waged its war on the Gaza Strip in light of the ideal regional conditions, and this highlights the steadfastness and courage of the Palestinian resistance in aborting the alliance between the Zionists and some Arab regimes, allowed for by the successes of the counter-revolution in the Arab world.
The success of the Palestinian resistance in thwarting the objectives of the war may represent a significant turning point in the fall of the counter-revolution and paving the way for its absolute defeat.
Translated from Al Jazeera net, 16 August, 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.