Saturday, May 15, 2021

Media's different tune, Medical aid and Ceasefire offers: Egypt after Palestine under attack

It is Friday in Egypt and the Friday prayer

The State TV transferred for the first time since quite some time the Friday prayer sermon from Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo and it was all about Palestine and the Israeli Zionists attacks against Palestinians.

Its main title was “To support the occupied territories”.

Veteran Sheikh Ahmed Omar Hashem used strong language to speak about “Occupied Palestine”, “Occupation forces” and “the silence of Arab states".

Al-Azhar is the most prominent Sunni religious institution in Egypt and in the world.

Some will say that recently Al-Azhar institution was not on the same page with the current Egyptian administration on certain issues related to the religious discourse in the country and that it is independent but still it is the Egyptian State TV.

Its grand Emam, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb has been the most senior Egyptian and Muslim figure to condemn and attack publicly Israel and its actions in the past three months openly. 

Hours after Sheikh Hasham’s sermon, we found former Mufti and close to the regime Sheikh Ali Goma’a sending this message through his official social media networks.

“If we betray Al-Quds {Jerusalem} – Allah forbids this- our children will consider our treason as a curse following us and the Jihad for the sake of Allah will continue till it {Al-Quds} is liberated from the rapist occupier and returns to the Umma { a nation} that believes in all God’s prophets”.

I do not recall that this man has ever spoken about Jerusalem or Palestine in that strong language using those terms ever whether when he is a Mufti or after that as a scholar and a preacher.

Late Thursday it was announced that Egypt’ Red Crescent opened the door for public donations to support Gaza officially and on Friday it launched a public campaign online.

Since Wednesday, it was announced that per President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s directives the hospitals in North Sinai and Suez canal cities were open to receive injured from Gaza as soon as possible from Rafah crossing.

Rafah crossing has been open to allow medical aid…etc.

Sada El-Balad TV channel aka Egypt’s own Fox News posted a solidarity-with-Palestine-post on its social media with the caption “Egypt and Palestine, the borders are just dust” !!

Ironically, the “the borders are just dust” principle is a fundamental part of the Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric that believes in non-borders between Muslim and Arab countries.

Many people are amazed to see that change in the Egyptian mainstream media.

It is the first in many years to allow such speech publicly in the media. If my memory is not weak, then it is the first since the last few years of Mubarak’s rule before his ouster in 2011.

Since then the rhetoric to vilify Palestinian factions above them Hamas and that rhetoric was shortly paused from 2011 till 2013 then we back to that old discourse which was enforced by the two facts that Hamas was a sub-branch of the Muslim Brotherhood supported by Qatar and Turkey and there have been terrorist attacks against Egyptian security and army forces as well as well citizens by ISIS.

The mainstream media did not differentiate between ISIS and the other Palestinian factions which the Egyptian Intelligence did not close its channels with all those years.

It did not stop at the Islamist militant Palestinian factions but the vilification reached in some media outlets to include the whole cause repeating the anti-Palestinian rhetoric adopted by UAE and KSA in the past few years.

Even the coverage and language of the UAE and KSA’s funded TV channels aka Sky News Arabia and Al-Arabiya TV channels that stopped their biased language against Palestinians.

Needless to say, Egyptian TV channels and the Egyptian media are still celebrating Eid to the level that they do not cover the Egyptian attempts to reach for a ceasefire since Wednesday.

Egyptian ceasefire offer

Yes, Since Wednesday night and news came from Israeli media and Saudi Al-Arabiya that the Egyptian General Intelligence Service “GIS” has been trying to reach a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli media stated that both Egypt and the UN tried all night, at least four times but the Israelis were saying now.

On Thursday, a delegation from the GIS arrived in Tel Aviv reportedly in an attempt to reach for a ceasefire on the first day of Eid but the delegation failed.

Israeli media says that the Israeli government rejected the Egyptian offer while Al-Arabiya says that the Egyptian delegation left to object to the Israeli government’s decision to storm Gaza.

Thursday evening there were conflicting reports about storming Gaza and the Israeli army said that it was a translation and miscommunication mistake.

I fear it is not and actually, the Israeli army backed off.

I also believe the Israeli government does not want to accept the Egyptian offer for a ceasefire because of Israel’s ego as a powerful war machine, it won’t stop except after teaching those Palestinians a lesson.

The Egyptian talks come in time the Americans have sent their envoy to Tel Aviv.

The Egyptian role in Palestine now is important because it proves Egypt still has a file to cooperate with the Biden US administration.

It is still holding important keys in the Middle East peace process unlike what some Gulf powers specifically UAE and CO. that support Jared Kushner’s deal of the century thinks.

It is noticeable that there is already strange official Emirati silence. Only a couple of hours ago, the Emirati foreign ministry published a very diplomatic European statement. 

I have always read Emirati political analysts saying that their country has allegedly replaced the so-called “Arab traditional political powers” aka “Egypt and Saudi Arabia” in certain files like Libya and Palestine.

Ironically the Emirati plans in both Libya and Palestine or rather its big peace movement in the Middle East did not achieve that.

It is not about regional powers, it is about geography and Egypt has direct stakes in Libya and Palestine more than the whole Gulf region itself including Iran.

Thus recently, it was noticeable to see that after years of alliance with Emirates in certain files, differences began to emerge more and more.

Back to Egypt’s official stance

I must say that both Egypt and Jordan have been speaking about the dangers of changing the demographics of Eastern Jerusalem for months now but no one listened or cared to support both countries.

After the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and during the extraordinary meeting of the Arab foreign ministers held virtually by the Arab League to discuss it “nothing useful came out of it”, Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said a word that was unusual to hear from Cairo.

“We have brothers in Jerusalem who did not have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of the holy month because they are fighting a battle for existence to defend their holy places and their houses against new Israeli attacks targeting the rights of a land they were born on,” Shoukry said.

“The Israeli violations did not stop at the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque but it passed and reached to Sheikh Jarrah district which has become an address for resilience and a synonym to dignity, the continuing attempts to change the identity of Jerusalem and to deprive its Arab people of their rights won’t go unnoticed and so it was strange what we have seen from the Jerusalemites who fight for their identity and existence in a fight echoed in all the free world,” Egyptian foreign minister said.

This is a new language without a doubt.

I do not know but it seems that we are starting a new chapter in the Middle East surprisingly or may not so surprising because we have seen its introductions and ignored it.

1 comment:

  1. "What it was taken by force must be returned by Force"Nasser RHA .
    God help us free Palestine (soon Inshaa Allah)


Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here, racist and hateful comments are not accepted
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner does not represent the views of the blog's owner.