We did not need media leaks to reveal that an officer in Egyptâ€™s intelligence agency, Captain Ashraf El-Kholi, was telling presenters on Egyptian TV channels what they should say about Donald Trumpâ€™s announcement concerning Jerusalem Published by the New York Times and broadcast by Egyptâ€™s Mekameleen television station, the leaks merely confirmed what we already knew about Egyptian media outlets being fully mobilised to push the US-Israeli viewpoint.
Egyptâ€™s media has become just like all state institutions in the country; it is under the control of the army. Companies owned by the intelligence agency have bought most of the satellite TV stations, in addition to establishing a new satellite network, DMC. In doing so, it has taken complete control of the media and has not limited itself to instructing those working in the sector on specific policies of the government, as happened in the past. Now, the state has completely monopolised an important sector that shapes public opinion and forms the sentiments of an entire nation, which has been spoon-fed what the Israeli enemy wants.
Herein lies the danger and catastrophe, as the nationâ€™s constants have changed. The enemy has become the friend and vice versa. This was exposed by the leaks. TV presenters were told to explain to the people that there is no difference between Jerusalem and Ramallah, in an attempt to quell their anger and fill them with a sense of desperation and defeat. These journalists and presenters were told to say that they cannot fight Israel directly and that they must put poison in honey in order to achieve their goals.
The presenters must do this in such a way that it seems that they are trying to preserve the blood and lives of the Palestinians, because if there is another Palestinian uprising the victims â€” they didnâ€™t say martyrs â€” will be Palestinians and not Israelis. They must also say that they want to resolve the Palestinian issue permanently and that a new uprising would be in favour of the Islamists and Hamas, who will rise once again after a decline.
This is what the intelligence officer was dictating to various presenters and this is what they want the people to believe. The purpose of this is to play with the peopleâ€™s doctrinal and national constants in order to redirect the conflict compass from Israel, the nationâ€™s traditional enemy, towards the Islamist trend, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, of which they consider Hamas to be a part, and which the intelligence agency labels as a terrorist organisation.
Unfortunately, they were successful with this ploy, and not just with a small section of society who have been brainwashed by this false and corrupt media that is being managed by intelligence officers.
I am not concerned with who leaked the recording or who benefits from these leaks. I am not concerned with whether this is a result of a conflict amongst the various branches of the deep state. All of this will pull us into a cycle of questions until we doubt the leak itself, and this is what the government wants to happen, in order to divert us from the essence of what was said in the disgraceful recordings.
As such, I pay no attention to what is being said about the conflict between the military intelligence and general intelligence branches, as over 20 of their senior officers were retired in the past year alone. The general intelligence agency is currently controlled by Al-Sisiâ€™s son, who also took it upon himself to form a parliament made up of individuals completely loyal to the government, as admitted by Hazem Abdel Azim, who was associated closely with the government and in charge of the youth in Al-Sisiâ€™s election campaign in 2014.
I am more concerned about the deterioration and decline of Egyptian intelligence. The image in the minds of Egyptians about this sovereign agency is far from the truth. Many novels, shows and movies have been written about the agencyâ€™s heroic stories and exposure of espionage within Egypt, or the spies planted in Israel. The most famous of these shows are perhaps â€śRaafat Al-Hagganâ€ť by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and â€śDumou fi Oyoun Waqihaâ€ť (Tears in Shameless Eyes) by Adel Imam, as well as the movies â€śEl-Soud Ela Al-Hawiaâ€ť (The Climb into the Abyss) by Mahmoud Yasin and â€śMohema fi Tal Abibâ€ť (Mission in Tel Aviv) by Nadia Al-Jundi. All of these have planted in our minds the heroics of the Egyptian intelligence agents and how they were able to infiltrate the Israeli Mossad spy agency.
Regardless of the credibility of all of these stories, all intelligence agencies around the world are tasked with preserving the security of the state and the safety of its territories, not dictate to TV presenters what they should and should not say. However, this is the situation in Egypt after the 2013 coup and after the conflict compass stopped pointing at Israel, with which the country is currently enjoying â€” if thatâ€™s the right word â€” a lukewarm peace. Instead, it is pointed at the Muslim Brotherhood, which the deep state in Cairo wants to eliminate from its roots and present it as a sacrifice to Donald Trump, who remains the biggest enemy of Islam and Muslims.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.