Last Tuesday, a Cairo court ruled that the “government must destroy all tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip due to alleged security risks. President Mohamed Mursi’s national security adviser Essam Haddad said, Egypt would “not tolerate the two-way flow of smuggled arms through the tunnels that is destabilizing its Sinai peninsula.” Wael Hamdy, the “leftist” lawyer who brought the case said “I filed the case because I was worried about the state of national security in my country after the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power and its unclear policies and links with Hamas.”1
Hearing these sentiments reminded me of a common trend by Egypt’s so called “leftists” that repeat government propaganda and assigning misplaced blame (to the easiest scapegoat) on Palestinians in Gaza as the cause of some of their most serious problems. The most recent fowl attempt to destroy the tunnels by pouring sewage into them, as a way to deal with Sinai’s security issues strikes me as placing a band-aid on a bubbling volcano.
Even a shallow reflection of the causes of the volcanic eruptions spilled onto the Earth’s surface reveals deep contradictions in this logic. Firstly, nearly every family in the Sinai is heavily armed with an Ak-47, Katusha rocket, and/or RPG, including the Bedouin who are highly discriminated against by, and resentful of the Egyptian government as well as ‘Jihadists’ that have taken refuge there and were heavily armed by the West, during the NATO invasion of Libya – (and which is well documented that they entered the Sinai, through Sudan and Libya)
To better understand the situation in Gaza as it relates to the tunnels, the Rafah border and security in the Sinai/Egypt, we must first recognize that Hamas was democratically elected, and came to power in 2007. Yet Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip has been a policy since 1994-long before Israel and the US severely intensified the siege. The current intensification which began in 2007 was in direct response to, and solely designed to collectively punish Gazans for voting in a way that was unfavorable to Western/Israeli ‘democracy’. Since then, Gaza has been completely sealed off from the rest of the world – caged in, locked out – by land, by air and by sea.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights describes the US/Israeli closure “as a form of collective punishment by the Israeli authorities. The current closure regime violates numerous principles of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”
So when Egyptians speak of security, it must be clear that only cause for concern is Egyptian security – since thousands of Palestinians have been indiscriminately massacred by Israeli attacks, while trapped inside Gaza with no escape, due to Egypt’s role in the imposed siege. In which case, it’s well worth noting that an estimated 60% of residents in Rafah and Al-Arish on the Egyptian side are Palestinian and most have families on both sides of the border; so there is quite literally no difference between the people.
In essence, what this lawsuit does is officially close the only remaining lifeline for Palestinians, denying them of their most basic human needs and quite literally has Gazans, sleeping in the rubble of their homes. This will effectively succeed in strangling the strip – and accelerate the somewhat slow paced genocide, far more dramatically.
Also, it must be stated that by upholding the closure Egyptians are complicit and equally responsible in aiding and abetting the zionist aims of starving, depriving and punishing the people of Gaza for the sin of participating in democracy, while being Palestinian.
It seems that most Egyptians are somehow deluded into thinking the siege will make them more safe, secure, strong or free. Many of the same Egyptians would concede it would be better if the border was open and operating freely, as it would ensure the authorities to oversee the flow of goods – which would solve all of the above stated problems – not to mention add millions in tax revenue for the Egyptian people.
Most importantly, since Mursi became president and after “retiring” Tantawi and Anan – these so called “leftists” seem to have completely disregarded the most significant player in Egyptian politics: the Egyptian military industrial complex – which controls up to 40% of the economy and has a long, deep, direct relationship with the U.S. military industrial complex. It seems to fine with them that the ‘security’ of the Egyptian revolution is completely compromised to US business interests, along with their Saudi/Qatari alliance plus the IMF and U.S. banks, which are guaranteed to lock the status quo; and will never make Egypt strong or free!
In fact that Camp David actually limits the number of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which must be approved by Israel before increasing troop levels, or heightening security – which is a security recipe for disaster–and yet another huge cause of past and future eruptions, just waiting to happen.1
That’s why to use “security” as a basis of the claim to destroy tunnels, brings up the deep contradiction which is not rational or based on proof – it completely undermines the stated goal of ‘security’, and disregards the logical solution altogether.
The problems in the Sinai are like the lava that is created deep within the Earth, which begin to rise deep within the surface, when they are ignored. When these gas bubbles build up pressure over time and reach the surface, the high pressure inside will cause them to burst explosively on reaching the atmosphere. The situation in the Sinai are waiting to erupt – which will inevitably cause an explosive situation and one that we have not yet begun to see, in terms of ‘security’ if not properly addressed. This is the time to look deep inside, to understand and analyze the depths of the magma within.
Egypt-Gaza tunnels must be destroyed: Cairo court, CAIRO | Feb 26, 2013 2:07pm EST http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/26/us-palestinians-tunnels-egypt-idUSBRE91P0UV20130226