dinsdag 10 mei 2011

Amr Moussa wil meer afstand van Israel als hij president van Egypte wordt

Under Mr Mubarak, when criticism of Israel was rarely voiced, such views won Mr Moussa the affection of the public, which was encapsulated in the release of a popular song entitled: "I hate Israel (but I love Amr Moussa).
Nou ja, 'rarely voiced'? De kranten stonden vol van verhalen over de 'holocaust' die Israel de Palestijnen aan zou doen, de slinkse en oppermachtige Joodse lobby, en hoe de Joden door Allah waren vervloekt en vervolgd dienden te worden. Dat deze sentimenten nu zo naar buiten komen in Egypte is niet vreemd: dit is wat de mensen decennia lang is verteld. Amr Moussa doet alsof hij op dit punt breekt met Mubarak maar ook onder Mubarak waren anti-Israel sentimenten bonton, en werden politici en kunstenaars die contacten met Israeli's hadden gekapitteld of gestraft. Het grote verschil is dat onder Mubarak het vredesverdrag niet ter discussie stond, evenals de relatie met de VS.
Zie ook het opiniestuk van Barry rubin: Waarschijnlijke volgende president Egypte is Amr Moussa

Egypt: Amr Moussa vows more critical Israel relationship if elected president
By Adrian Blomfield, Middle East Correspondent 8:34PM BST 06 May 2011

Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League, said Egypt could no longer tolerate the policy of unquestioning friendship with Israel adopted by President Hosni Mubarak until his overthrow in a popular revolution nearly three months ago.

"Mubarak had a certain policy, it was his own policy and I don't think we have to follow this," he told the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Moussa, who is 74, served as Mr Mubarak's foreign minister from 1991 to 2001, but is seen as untainted by his association with Egypt's hated former leader.

With approximately six months to go before Egypt holds its second ever presidential election, he is attracting almost double the support of his nearest potential rival, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, who heads the military-led interim government, opinion polls show.

Pursuing a more assertive policy towards Israel would bring Mr Moussa in line with a majority of his people, with polls indicating that just over half would like to cancel Egypt's peace treaty with Mr Mubarak.

But his comments will only increase unease in Israel, which has watched Egypt's foreign policy shift with growing displeasure.

In recent weeks, Egypt has announced its intention permanently to open its border with the Gaza Strip, ending Mr Mubarak's policy of assisting Israel in enforcing a controversial blockade on the territory.

The military government then oversaw the signing of a power sharing deal between Hamas, Gaza's Islamist overlords, and the moderate Fatah faction – a development that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called a victory for "terrorism".

Israeli officials were also dismayed by Egypt's decision to normalise relations with Iran, bringing it in line with the rest of the Arab world.

Although secular and seen as a disciple of Nasserist Arab nationalism, Mr Moussa has been attacked in Israel as a "flamboyant demagogue" who persistently engages in "invective" against the Zionist state.

He has caused anger by criticising Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank, its military actions in Gaza and his declaration that he is opposed not just to Iran's nuclear programme but to Israel's as well.

Under Mr Mubarak, when criticism of Israel was rarely voiced, such views won Mr Moussa the affection of the public, which was encapsulated in the release of a popular song entitled: "I hate Israel (but I love Amr Moussa).

Despite US misgivings over Egypt's newly assertive foreign policy, few in Washington believe that Mr Moussa or any other potential winner of the presidential election, to be held in October or November, would annul the peace treaty with Israel. Both the military leadership and Mr Moussa have voiced support for the pact in the past.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's main Islamist party and a vocal critic of Israel, is not fielding a presidential candidate but is likely to emerge as a strong force in the country's new parliament, from where it could call for a debate on the future of the treaty.

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