Moufid Shehab and Egypt's Gaza Hysteria
The Egypt-Gaza border, by Flickr user Piersonr
Inanities, the blog of journalist Sarah Carr, has a very funny translation/commentary on Egyptian Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (and Gamal's homme a tout faire) Moufid Shebab, who was the public face of the brouhaha over the Gaza convoys. There's the usual -- the "Qatari channel of discord," the "engineering installations on our eastern borders" to refer to the wall, lamenting that Egyptian media is not patriotic enough, etc. My favorite bit, though, was about the Algerian conspiracy to make Egypt look bad:
The media lacked information and the truth as it talked about the French people [THERE WERE ANOTHER 41 NATIONALITIES REPRESENTED IN THE GAZA FREEDOM MARCH BUT I WILL CONVENIENTLY IGNORE THIS] who came to Egypt ostensibly for tourism but who in fact had other motives - going to Gaza [SHOCK HORROR. IS THERE A SPECIFIC VISA FOR ‘GOING TO GAZA’?]. There has been a plan to deceive, and all the media fell for it. Most of these French people were Algerian women carrying French nationality [THIS IS COMPLETE TWADDLE BUT INDULGE ME] who took advantage of the protests for Gaza [TWADDLE DUM TWADDLE DEE]. These Algerian women are carrying the message of the Algerian media from the heart of Cairo [T WORD, AGAIN]. They appealed to human emotion but there was a political aim behind their actions. We all remember what happening in Khartoum and the consequences after the match on November 18 [A LOVELY DISTRACTION FROM HOW CRAP THE GOVERNMENT IS]
In this way Algerian women came to Egypt with French passports and in their hearts they have taken a position against Egypt [EL TWADDALO, AGAIN. IF IT WAS TRUE, IT WOULD AGAIN BE A REMINDER THAT EGYPTIANS AND ALGERIANS REALLY DO HAVE MUCH IN COMMON].
Note that this diatribe also contains what's now the standard justification for the wall:
1. Hamas’ coup is the reason for the closure of the crossings, including the Rafah Crossing.
2. Egypt is committed to not opening the border formally because of the absence of a legitimate authority and, in compliance with the 2005 treaty, in order to protect Palestinian unity and avoid giving Israel the pretext to shirk its obligations in the Strip in its capacity as an occupying power.
3. To stop Israeli ambitions and plans to divide Gaza from the rest of Palestine; Gaza – the West Bank – East Jerusalem.
4. The Rafah Crossing is for people and not goods.
5. Egypt is applying pressure for the other crossings into Gaza controlled by Israel to remain open. Egypt has nothing to do with these crossings and they are: Karem Abu Salem, Erez, Kesoufeem [sp.?], Sufa, Karni and Nahal Oz.
6. The flow of aid through the crossing has not halted and Egypt has facilitated in all ways possible the passage of aid caravans in conformity with the rules set by Egypt.
7. Every country in the world protects its sovereignty and ensures the security of its land in cooperation with its neighbours. No state accepts the infringement of its laws, and it punishes those who do infringe them.
8. The attack on Egypt is organised. Israel was not subject to a similar attack by Arab satellite channels and some politicians and opposition figures when it built its racist wall [AT LEAST NOT HERE IN LA LA LAND]. This places all of these people in the same basket with regional powers who have adopted the inflammatory message against Egypt [DOCTOR THE MONSTERS ARE COMING].
These Egyptian measures are aimed at protecting our interests and our citizens against danger. They are necessarily and most definitely against the interests of Israel, which wants to push Gazans into Sinai where they will become refugees like Palestinians dispersed in several Arab countries and then the story will be over forever [AS HAPPENED OF COURSE WHEN THE ‘TENS OF THOUSANDS’ OF GAZANS STORMED THE BORDER IN 2008].
Note that, following the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina, not only has Egypt declared George Galloway persona non grata but it has also banned any future aid convoys for Gaza.