FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Immutable Egypt

by NICOLA NASSER

Gaza will remain a matter of national security for Egypt. And regardless of who is in charge in Gaza, Egypt will also remain a strategic asset for Gaza, a lifeline for its people, and a mainstay of its peace and stability.

These are the irreversible facts of the ties between Egypt and Gaza. In other words, when Egypt sneezes, Gaza catches a cold.
Now some people are trying to drive a wedge between Gaza and Egypt, but they will fail. Even at the lowest point of relations between Gaza and the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, few challenged the fact that Gaza and Egypt care for one another.
Today, we hear analysts in the West Bank and Israel predicting the end of Hamas rule in Gaza, just because the Muslim Brotherhood was ousted from power in Egypt.
To those, I wish to say that Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood never hid their ties, were proud of their connections, and made no secret of their cooperation. But the political adversaries of both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt would have us believe that anything that befalls the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will befall Hamas in Gaza, which is a massive exaggeration.
It is true that the recent events in Egypt have put an end to the high hopes Hamas had of strategic cooperation between Gaza and Egypt. It is also true that the image of Hamas as a resistance movement has been shaken. But let’s not believe everything the political adversaries of Hamas say. Let’s not believe their lies, for their only aim is to undermine the Palestinian resistance.
It has to be said, however, that Hamas was optimistic about the Arab Spring and was pleased to see like-minded governments take over in some Arab countries. It is also true that Hamas, perhaps too hastily, assumed that an alliance with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and its backers in Qatar would make up for the loss of its allies in Syria and Iran. Still, we must not forget that Hamas is a resistance movement first and foremost. Its connections with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt don’t change this fact.
Hemmed in by the Israelis, Hamas was always hoping for Egypt to come to its rescue. But even during Mohamed Morsi’s presidency, relations between Egypt and Hamas were not free from tensions and differences. Hamas also had problems with Qatar’s view of the Arab peace plan.
Now the adversaries of Hamas would have us think that just as Egyptians brought down the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinians in Gaza should expel Hamas from government. It is quite telling that Mahmoud Abbas was one of the first Arab presidents to congratulate the Egyptian army on appointing Adli Mansour as president.
Now Hamas stands accused of interfering in Egypt’s domestic affairs. This accusation was made when Morsi was in power and after he was removed from power. Hamas denied time and again that it interfered in Egypt or in any other Arab countries. And the Palestinian ambassador to Cairo, Barakat Al-Farra, said that no such accusation was ever made by Egyptian officials.
Those who make such allegations not only harm the Palestinians, but also may cause lasting damage to ties between Gaza and Egypt.
I recently heard someone claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood’s fall from grace in Egypt will weaken Hamas to the point that makes it more amenable to Palestinian reconciliation. This is nonsense. For one thing, the Palestinian schism predates the Muslim Brotherhood’s accession to power in Egypt, and it has nothing to do with Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood ties. In fact, the real reason for the delay in reconciliation is that Mahmoud Abbas is still hoping that US Secretary of State John Kerry will succeed in restarting peace talks with Israel.
Also, the Palestinian presidency continues to oppose any acts of resistance in which Hamas and other Palestinian factions living in Gaza choose to engage.
Implicating the Palestinians in Egypt’s currently divisive scene is neither to the benefit of Palestinians nor Egyptians. But it is good news for Israel.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories (nassernicola@ymail.com).     

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Dmitry Kolesnik
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus, as, Fear and Loathing Grip Europe.
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail