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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let's go to the videotape!

Egyptian President for life dictator Hosni Mubarak - pictured here with corrupt Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert - has a dilemma on his hands. On the one hand, he has the US and its western allies, including the 'Palestinian Authority,' who don't want him to deal with Hamas. On the other hand, he has his 'street' which would likely elect an Islamist government if ever given the chance. And on the third hand he has the Israelis who really want him to put a stop to all that arms smuggling into Gaza. What's a President for life to do? Go with the street.

Khaled Abu Toameh reports in today's JPost that the reason that Mubarak is not preventing smuggling is quite simple: He's afraid that if the weapons don't go to Gaza, they will go to Cairo instead. But it gets worse. The Egyptians allowed some Hamas terrorists out of the Gaza Strip to go on the Hajj to Mecca Iran and Lebanon for 'training.' Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood have escaped into Gaza where they are sharing their 'expertise' with the locals. Al-Qaeda has sleeper cells in the Sinai desert (yet another place that Israel turned over in 1982 - this time as part of a peace treaty. Does anyone see a pattern here?).

But now it's gotten so bad that Israel has actually sent videotape to the US showing Egyptian soldiers helping Hamas terrorists to smuggle arms.
The video footage - which shows Egyptian security forces assisting Hamas terrorists cross illegally into Gaza - is being transferred to Congress through diplomatic channels and is intended for senior congressmen and senators who can have an effect on the House foreign aid appropriations process. Israel believes this can be an effective way of pressuring Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak into clamping down on Hamas smuggling activities.

The House and Senate agreed late Sunday on a 2008 foreign aid bill that would hold back $100 million in military aid for Egypt, out of a $1.3 billion allocation, unless US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice certifies that concerns about smuggling weapons into Gaza and human rights abuses have been addressed. It is the first time that Egyptian military aid, supplied since the Camp David Accords, would potentially be restricted.

However, the newly agreed bill weakens language in an earlier House bill, which would have held back $200m. without certification. In addition, it added a provision allowing the restriction to be waived - and the aid to flow as usual - if Rice deems that holding back the aid to Egypt would endanger US national security interests.

Ideally, Israel would hope to see as much as $1b. in US aid being conditioned on a far more robust Egyptian antiterrorism effort at the Gaza border, but it recognizes that this is highly improbable.
Holding up the aid money was a nice idea, but it's not going to happen if Condi Rice can use a national security waiver to send the money on through. And you can bet with Mubarak crying about his 'street' no one in the US is going to push him to do anything to stop the smuggling either.

But land isn't important, eh Shimon? Maybe our illustrious President should go live in Sderot for a while.


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