It was not a slip of the tongue or a joke when Al-Sisi explained his purchase of Israeli gas, despite celebrating the discovery of the Zohr gas field two weeks ago and claiming that he would achieve self-sufficiency for Egypt, by telling the Egyptians “you scored a goal”. It was more of a shocking expression, as it is the first time we hear the president use such language. However, it expresses the reality for the Israelis, not the Egyptians, as expressed by the Israeli Prime Minister himself, Benjamin Netanyahu, when he said that Israel is in a state of celebration after signing the gas agreement with Egypt. The goal was not scored against the Israelis and the Egyptians did not score any goals, nor were they victorious. The goal was scored by the Israelis and they were certainly the victors.
Israel continues to score goal after goal in the Arab world, especially Egypt’s goal, as not a week passed since the goal was scored that another was scored by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, in favour of Israel, when he visited Egypt. He began the initial steps to carry out his NEOM project, which links the Saudi naval borders to the borders of the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as the Egyptian and Jordanian border. Bin Salman was given 1,000 square kilometres of land in south Sinai, which will be a part of a mega city and commercial area. He will also establish seven sea tourist attractions, including tourism projects, in NEOM, and 50 resorts and four mini cities in a separate tourism project in the Red Sea. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan will cooperate to attract European navigation and tourism companies to operate in the Red Sea. They also aim to build ports for yachts.
This announcement came two days after the constitutional ruling confirming Egypt’s concession of the Tiran and Sanafir Islands to Saudi Arabia, which are actually being conceded to Israel. Saudi Arabia is only a front for this, as under this concession, Israel will have an outlet to the Strait of Tiran and it will become an international waterway subject to international treaties, not an Egyptian waterway subject to Egyptian laws and where passing ships are subject to inspection. This is what Israel has been seeking to achieve since its wars in 1956 and 1967 and had been unable to achieve. However, it was able to peacefully obtain what it couldn’t obtain through war.
The NEOM project is just the nucleus of the new Middle East that the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice referred to in 2006 and the beginning of normalised relations between all of the Arab countries and the Israelis by means of joint projects and ventures dominated by the Israelis. This is occurring at a time when the deal of the century is about to be announced, a deal where parts of Jordan and the Sinai, parallel to the Gaza Strip, will be annexed for the Palestinians to be moved there and for it to act as an alternative homeland for them. This will eliminate the right of return and the Palestinian cause will be completely and permanently liquidated with the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem on 15 May. This date in particular was chosen as a means to score more goals against the Arabs, as it is the day that Palestine was occupied, the day of the Nakba, which was followed by several more catastrophes and setbacks for the nation regrettably at the hands of their own leaders.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.