A LOOK AT MUBARAK’S RED CARPET

After six years, Egypt’s Mubarak is free but Arab Spring protestors are still in jail

Image by Carlos Latuff

IN TOONS ~~ DOGGY STYLE DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Images by Carlos Latuff

F… the people!

Israel Lobby and US Policy

Israel Lobby and US Policy

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Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

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Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

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Put a boot on his head!

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

TOOSDAY’S TOONS ~~ THE MERCHANT OF CAIRO

Images by Carlos Latuff

Cartoon of the Day: al-Sisi, Merchant of Cairo

Cartoon of the Day: al-Sisi, Merchant of Cairo

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Cartoon of the Day: Saudi King Salman visit to Egypt See THIS

Cartoon of the Day: Saudi King Salman visit to Egypt
See THIS

WEEK’S END TOONS ~~ THE NEW AXIS OF EVIL AND …

Images by Carlos Latuff

Obama, Putin Agree on Syria truce. Do You Trust Them?

Obama, Putin Agree on Syria truce. Do You Trust Them?

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Zika and @WHO, Who Will Win This Olympic Marathon?

Zika and WHO, Who Will Win This Olympic Marathon?

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Matariya Hospital On Strike Protesting Police Brutality Against Doctors.

Matariya Hospital On Strike Protesting Police Brutality Against Doctors.

REVOLUTIONARY TOONS ~~ ‘WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN’

BAREFOOT!

Images by Carlos Latuff

It’s Time for Egypt To Throw Another Shoe In The Face Of A Tyrant!

Five years ago …..

Today …

Time to lose the other shoe

Time to lose the other shoe

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Cartoon of the Day: Arab Spring in #Egypt, 5 years on!

Cartoon of the Day: Arab Spring in #Egypt, 5 years on!

WEEKEND SPOOF ~~ 5 YEARS OF THE ‘ARAB SPRING’

Image by Carlos Latuff

 5th anniversary of Egypt's Jan25 revolution & how it still scares those in power

5th anniversary of Egypt’s Jan25 revolution & how it still scares those in power

MONDAY’S TOON ~~ THANK YOU MR. SISSI!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Egypt Killing of Mentally Ill Palestinian, With Blessings from Israel.

Egypt Killing of Mentally Ill Palestinian, With Blessings from Israel.

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Related video (in Arabic)

Man caught on film walking naked through Mediterranean sea and crossing into Egyptian territory where he is shot by security forces.

THE HOURLY SPOOF ~~ TURKEY AND ISRAEL REUNITED

Images by Carlos Latuff

Cartoon of the Hour: Turkey /Israel Deal

Cartoon of the Hour: Turkey /Israel Deal

And look who is funding Egypt’s war machine ….

War on terror or Democracy?

Who's Funding el-Sisi's War Machine?

Who’s Funding el-Sisi’s War Machine?

 

#WarOnTerror ~~ IN TOONS/ EGYPT INVITED TO JOIN THE FRAY

Images by Carlos Latuff

El-Sisi Invited by Saudis to "Fight" Terrorism!

El-Sisi Invited by Saudis to “Fight” Terrorism!

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Egypt’s own ‘fight’ against terror Democracy

Press Freedom in Egypt

Press Freedom in Egypt

THE ‘OTHER’ DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Israel shares its ‘special status’ with Egypt

El-Sisi's Scales of Justice by Latuff

El-Sisi’s Scales of Justice by Latuff

 

Related ….

US ‘deeply concerned’ by Morsi death sentence in Egypt

The United States expressed “deep concern” Sunday after an Egyptian court sentenced deposed president Muhammad Morsi and more than 100 others to death for their role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.

“We have consistently spoken out against the practice of mass trials and sentences, which are conducted in a manner that is inconsistent with Egypt’s international obligations and the rule of law,” a State Department official said.

Noting that they were preliminary sentences, the official added: “We continue to stress the need for due process and individualized judicial processes for all Egyptians in the interests of justice.

“Many of those sentenced on Saturday were tried in absentia. The court will pronounce its final decision on June 2, since under Egyptian law, death sentences are referred to the mufti, the government’s interpreter of Islamic law, who plays an advisory role.

Defendants can still appeal even after the mufti’s recommendation.

Morsi, elected president in 2012, ruled for only a year before mass protests spurred the military to overthrow him in July 2013.

He was among dozens of Muslim Brotherhood leaders detained amid a crackdown that left hundreds of Morsi supporters dead.

Morsi, sitting in a caged dock in the blue uniform of convicts having already been sentenced to 20 years for inciting violence, raised his fists defiantly when the verdict was read.

Hours after the ruling, gunmen shot dead two judges, a prosecutor and their driver in the strife-torn Sinai Peninsula, in the first such attack on the judiciary in the region.

The US State Department official said they had been “senselessly murdered.”

“We reiterate our steadfast commitment to Egypt’s security,” the official added.

 

From

More from Latuff

Collective death sentence

Collective death sentence

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Sisi's Way: on Egypt's prisons

Sisi’s Way: on Egypt’s prisons

DENIALS FROM THE NILE

What Authority??

What Authority??

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The alleged master plan that was reported yesterday regarding an Egyptian proposal to ‘give’ Palestine the Sinai Peninsula was denied today. The plan would have permanently divided and conquered Palestine, making it impossible for the creation of a United Palestinian State.

It’s no wonder that Israeli government ministers welcomed the idea on Monday.

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Here is what is reported today ….

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Palestinian, Egyptian Officials Deny

Reports of Sinai Offer For State

Israel Government Ministers Welcomed Idea

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

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Palestinian and Egyptian officials both denied reports that Egypt offered to the Palestinian Authority part of the Sinai Peninsula for annexation by Gaza to form a Palestinian state.

According to the media reports that circulated Monday, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi offered P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas 1,600 square kilometers (approximately 620 square miles) located on the border in return for the Palestinian Authority waiving its demands for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh on Monday denied the reports, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Abbas also was reported as saying that an unnamed senior Egyptian official offered to settle Palestinian refugees on land adjacent to Gaza.

“We will not accept any offer that doesn’t achieve the Palestinian people’s aspirations and goals to gain freedom and independence and establish an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Rudeineh said, according to Wafa.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry denied the offer was made and added that the initiative was actually presented in the past by ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

The Palestinians asserted that the plan was once floated by a former head of the Israeli National Security Council in order to deal with the Palestinian issue.

Israeli government ministers welcomed the idea on Monday.

SISI BACKWARDS IS ISIS

BreJZ26IgAAu_O7

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Israeli politicians responded enthusiastically Monday to reports that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was willing to give Palestinians land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza for a state.

It obviously does not matter what the Palestinians want …

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Israeli politicians praise Sisi plan to give Palestinians land for a state in Sinai
By LAHAV HARKOV

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Abbas reportedly rejected plan that would expand Gaza to five times its current size and give PA autonomy in West Bank cities; Yesh Atid’s Peri, Bayit Yehudi’s Shaked say proposal worth exploring.

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ShowImage
Sisi and Abu-Mazen. (photo credit:REUTERS)

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Israeli politicians responded enthusiastically Monday to reports that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was willing to give Palestinians land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza for a state.

Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, a former Shin Bet chief, said he’s surprised by Sisi’s generosity, calling the proposal “worth discussing seriously.”

On Monday, Army Radio reported that Sisi had offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 1,600 square kilometers in Sinai to expand the Gaza Strip to five times its current size. According to the plan, the territory would serve as a Palestinian state under the complete control of the PA.

The new territory, composed of Gaza together with the extra land in Sinai, would be a demilitarized state that would serve as a home to which Palestinian refugees could return.

In addition to the “Greater Gaza State,” the cities currently in the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank would be under the autonomous rule of the PA. In exchange, Abbas would give up claims to a state within the pre-1967 lines.

The proposal, which was reported previously in the Arab media last week as having been offered by a senior Egyptian official, but not specifically Sisi, was rejected outright by Abbas.

Peri asked several questions arising from the Egyptian proposal in an interview with Army Radio: “What will happen to Judea and Samaria? What will be with Jerusalem? The idea that major cities in Judea and Samaria will have autonomy is vague; everyone can understand it in a different way.”

Still, the Yesh Atid minister said, “there are elements that are worth discussing despite Abbas’ refusal.”

“This could solve problems that weren’t given a response in talks between Israel and the Palestinians so far,” he added.

Peri also pointed out that Sisi’s initiative suits Egyptian interests, since there are problems with terrorism in the Sinai.

Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked said that the Egyptian president “discerned what the Israeli Left refuses to understand for decades.”

“The solution to the Palestinian problem,” she added, “must be regional and cannot fall on Israel’s shoulders alone.”

Shaked called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to meet with Sisi and examine whether the initiative is possible.

According to Monday’s Army Radio report, Netanyahu has already been updated on the details of the Egyptian proposal, as have US government sources who have expressed support for the idea.

CEASEFIRE TALKS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND ISRAEL

Egypt seems  to be trying to act as broker in negotiating a ceasefire between the warring factions of Israel and Palestine, BUT …. an important element is missing from those talks. The Palestinians are NOT being represented at all so what you have in actuality are talks between Israel and itself ….. talks that will obviously lead nowhere.

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d79ed79cd797d79ed794-d794d799d790-d798d7a8d795d7a8-d7a2d79d-d7aad7a7d7a6d799d791-d79ed7a0d795d7a4d797

And thanks to Uncle Sam that budget is unlimited

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From HaAretz, a report on the Palestinian view of the ‘talks’ …

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Confusion reigns in Cairo as sides remain far apart

Egypt’s president doesn’t think Hamas and Israel will reach an agreement in coming days, while the Palestinians aren’t even sure who’s authorized to agree on their behalf.

There is some confusion in the Palestinian delegation about who is actually conducting their negotiations. According to Egyptian sources, every idea that is raised goes to Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshal for comments, agreement or rejection. His delegates in Cairo have no authority to decide – in contrast to Islamic Jihad representatives, who were instructed by the organization’s leader to accept Egyptian proposals.

Read the full Report HERE

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Below is a post from last night outlining the source of that confusion …

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THIS IS WHAT THEY PROPOSE AS THE LEADER OF GAZA

latuff-abbas-settler

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WHY NOT GO ALL THE WAY AND PROPOSE THIS INSTEAD?

We can call it a Troika 😉

color-obam-netan-abbas-web

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I really had to laugh when I read the following report from Ynet ….

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Egyptian ceasefire plan introduces PA control in Gaza

Analysis: Israel seems prepared to accept passage of goods, people between Gaza, West Bank; diplomats considering release of prisoners withheld during peace talks.

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Egypt’s intelligence chief, Major General Mohamed Ahmed Fareed Al-Tuhami, is taking action at ceasefire talks in Cairo to consolidate an initial agreement focused on a ceasefire and humanitarian relief.

According to the emerging agreement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) will have control over the Philadelphi Route to prevent further construction of smuggling tunnels beneath the border between Egypt and Gaza.

By following this plan, Abbas and forces under the PA would be responsible for monitoring or destroying entrances to smuggling tunnels on the Palestinian side and the Egyptians would do the same from Sinai as they have done up till now.

 

Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)
Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)

 

These plans for the Philadelphi Route are all part of the Egyptian ceasefire plan which would include the opening of the Rafah border crossing under control of the PA and which Abbas’ negotiators seem ready to accept within the framework of their reconciliation government with Hamas, restoring some form of control and status to the PA in the Gaza Strip.

In accordance with the current outlines drawn up by the Egyptians, Israel is required to facilitate the movement of goods at the Kerem Shalom border crossing as well as the movement of people between Gaza and the West Bank through the Erez border crossing. Israel is prepared to agree to such a deal.

The Israelis have also signaled that they are prepared to grant the Palestinians expanded fishing rights off the Gaza coast, but demand that Israeli forces will be able to monitor a security parameter from the west to the fence surrounding the Strip in order to make sure that Palestinian organizations aren’t digging new smuggling tunnels.

It’s not completely clear if the Israelis are demanding a permanent presence in the security parameter or simply the right to enter the area when there is suspicion of a tunnel being dug and about to emerge in Israeli territory.

According to the Egyptian initiative, besides having control of the Philidelphi Route and the Rafah border crossing, the PA will act as a middle man, passing funds from Qatar to Hamas in the amount required to pay some 43,000 government officials who have not been paid for quite some time.

The efforts to reach an agreement are being held mainly in Cairo, but are also taking place by telephone between the Israelis, Egypt, the PA, the US, and a few countries representing EU interests. The UN envoy Robert Serry is also involved in these efforts.

These efforts are complex, but can be easily separated into two different political fronts or goals to be achieved.

1. The involved parties are working to achieve an immediate ceasefire that will allow for humanitarian relief to reach Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

2. The general consensus is also that a long-term agreement needs to be reached that will include an international declaration to prevent Hamas’ military build up under either Palestinian or international supervision, and a large aid package to rebuild the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli delegation is not currently present in Cairo, mostly because their presence isn’t necessary for talks to continue. The envoy that returned to Israel on Friday already gave the Egyptians their stance on the initial agreement.

So far, Egyptian mediators have not phoned and asked the Israelis to change or reconsider any of their terms. Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can say without hesitation that he is not negotiating with Hamas while Israel remains under fire. At least for the time being, the Israeli envoy doesn’t seem to be preparing to return to Cairo, but such action is possible.

 

A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)
A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)

 

Israel, Egypt, and the PA all have mutual interests in the Egyptian initiative which intelligence chief Al-Tuhami is currently trying to sell to the Palestinians. At the moment, Hamas is standing by its demands, but according to assessments in Cairo and Jerusalem, the group will eventually agree to a ceasefire and the terms of the initial agreement. The sides will then sit and talk out the main diplomatic truce.

Prisoner release

Israel will most likely agree to release Palestinian prisoners that were denied their freedom during the last round of peace talks. This move will strengthen PA leader Abbas and at least partially meet Hamas’ demands to release certain prisoners. However, right-wing politicians in Israel deny reports regarding the possible release of prisoners who were released in the deal for Gilad Shalit and re-captured during Operation Brother’s keeper in the West Bank.

Bassam as-Salhi, a member of the Palestinian envoy to Cairo, said Saturday that the Palestinians have postponed Israel’s suggestion to release prisoners in exchange for the bodies of Israeli soldiers.

As-Salhi spoke to Ma’an News Agency on Saturday saying that the Palestinians are refusing to discuss the subject of the soldiers in the framework of the ceasefire talks. He said that the delegates would be ready to raise the issue after their other demands were met.

 

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)

 

Meanwhile, in the international arena, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is pushing for an agreement that will finance the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip with funds from the US, EU and possibly even the UN while making sure to enforce strict inspection to prevent the military build up of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas proactively continues to fire rockets at Israel in relatively small amounts. Even Hamas doesn’t want to anger the Egyptians and lose points in international and Palestinian opinion. Therefore, they are simply allowing Islamic Jihad to fire the rockets while seemingly putting limits on them.

This policy allows Hamas to keep its stockpile of rockets for another day. Israel is responding to rocket fire by hitting targets picked out by intelligence efforts during the fighting including operation and control centers which were already attacked but which Hamas is trying to reoccupy.

Israel is also attacking with comparative restraint in order no to upset Egyptian efforts to reach a stable ceasefire.

 

#GazaUnderAttack~~ EGYPTIAN ‘INTELLIGENCE’S’ LACK OF SAME REGARDING PEACE IN GAZA

THIS IS WHAT THEY PROPOSE AS THE LEADER OF GAZA

latuff-abbas-settler

*

WHY NOT GO ALL THE WAY AND PROPOSE THIS INSTEAD?

We can call it a Troika 😉

color-obam-netan-abbas-web

*

I really had to laugh when I read the following report from Ynet ….

*

Egyptian ceasefire plan introduces PA control in Gaza

Analysis: Israel seems prepared to accept passage of goods, people between Gaza, West Bank; diplomats considering release of prisoners withheld during peace talks.

*

Egypt’s intelligence chief, Major General Mohamed Ahmed Fareed Al-Tuhami, is taking action at ceasefire talks in Cairo to consolidate an initial agreement focused on a ceasefire and humanitarian relief.

According to the emerging agreement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) will have control over the Philadelphi Route to prevent further construction of smuggling tunnels beneath the border between Egypt and Gaza.

By following this plan, Abbas and forces under the PA would be responsible for monitoring or destroying entrances to smuggling tunnels on the Palestinian side and the Egyptians would do the same from Sinai as they have done up till now.

 

Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)
Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)

 

These plans for the Philadelphi Route are all part of the Egyptian ceasefire plan which would include the opening of the Rafah border crossing under control of the PA and which Abbas’ negotiators seem ready to accept within the framework of their reconciliation government with Hamas, restoring some form of control and status to the PA in the Gaza Strip.

In accordance with the current outlines drawn up by the Egyptians, Israel is required to facilitate the movement of goods at the Kerem Shalom border crossing as well as the movement of people between Gaza and the West Bank through the Erez border crossing. Israel is prepared to agree to such a deal.

The Israelis have also signaled that they are prepared to grant the Palestinians expanded fishing rights off the Gaza coast, but demand that Israeli forces will be able to monitor a security parameter from the west to the fence surrounding the Strip in order to make sure that Palestinian organizations aren’t digging new smuggling tunnels.

It’s not completely clear if the Israelis are demanding a permanent presence in the security parameter or simply the right to enter the area when there is suspicion of a tunnel being dug and about to emerge in Israeli territory.

According to the Egyptian initiative, besides having control of the Philidelphi Route and the Rafah border crossing, the PA will act as a middle man, passing funds from Qatar to Hamas in the amount required to pay some 43,000 government officials who have not been paid for quite some time.

The efforts to reach an agreement are being held mainly in Cairo, but are also taking place by telephone between the Israelis, Egypt, the PA, the US, and a few countries representing EU interests. The UN envoy Robert Serry is also involved in these efforts.

These efforts are complex, but can be easily separated into two different political fronts or goals to be achieved.

1. The involved parties are working to achieve an immediate ceasefire that will allow for humanitarian relief to reach Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

2. The general consensus is also that a long-term agreement needs to be reached that will include an international declaration to prevent Hamas’ military build up under either Palestinian or international supervision, and a large aid package to rebuild the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli delegation is not currently present in Cairo, mostly because their presence isn’t necessary for talks to continue. The envoy that returned to Israel on Friday already gave the Egyptians their stance on the initial agreement.

So far, Egyptian mediators have not phoned and asked the Israelis to change or reconsider any of their terms. Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can say without hesitation that he is not negotiating with Hamas while Israel remains under fire. At least for the time being, the Israeli envoy doesn’t seem to be preparing to return to Cairo, but such action is possible.

 

A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)
A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)

 

Israel, Egypt, and the PA all have mutual interests in the Egyptian initiative which intelligence chief Al-Tuhami is currently trying to sell to the Palestinians. At the moment, Hamas is standing by its demands, but according to assessments in Cairo and Jerusalem, the group will eventually agree to a ceasefire and the terms of the initial agreement. The sides will then sit and talk out the main diplomatic truce.

Prisoner release

Israel will most likely agree to release Palestinian prisoners that were denied their freedom during the last round of peace talks. This move will strengthen PA leader Abbas and at least partially meet Hamas’ demands to release certain prisoners. However, right-wing politicians in Israel deny reports regarding the possible release of prisoners who were released in the deal for Gilad Shalit and re-captured during Operation Brother’s keeper in the West Bank.

Bassam as-Salhi, a member of the Palestinian envoy to Cairo, said Saturday that the Palestinians have postponed Israel’s suggestion to release prisoners in exchange for the bodies of Israeli soldiers.

As-Salhi spoke to Ma’an News Agency on Saturday saying that the Palestinians are refusing to discuss the subject of the soldiers in the framework of the ceasefire talks. He said that the delegates would be ready to raise the issue after their other demands were met.

 

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)

 

Meanwhile, in the international arena, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is pushing for an agreement that will finance the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip with funds from the US, EU and possibly even the UN while making sure to enforce strict inspection to prevent the military build up of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas proactively continues to fire rockets at Israel in relatively small amounts. Even Hamas doesn’t want to anger the Egyptians and lose points in international and Palestinian opinion. Therefore, they are simply allowing Islamic Jihad to fire the rockets while seemingly putting limits on them.

This policy allows Hamas to keep its stockpile of rockets for another day. Israel is responding to rocket fire by hitting targets picked out by intelligence efforts during the fighting including operation and control centers which were already attacked but which Hamas is trying to reoccupy.

Israel is also attacking with comparative restraint in order no to upset Egyptian efforts to reach a stable ceasefire.

LATUFF’S LATEST INTERNATIONAL SPOOFS

All images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Ukraine goes to the highest bidder …

ukraine-signed-an-economic-trade-pact-with-the-european-union

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The truth as to why the US is in Iraq …

us-iraq-shias-sunnis-oil-altagreer-english

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British journalists jailed in Egypt …

al-jazeera-crew-sentenced-to-prison-in-egypt-middle-east-monitor

TODAY’S TOON ~~ EGYPT PREPARES THE NOOSE FOR THE OPPOSITION

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

el-sisi-collective-death-sentences-egypt-altagreer

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Related Post FROM

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Egyptians reel from mass death sentence

Families hit out at verdict passed against 683 people accused of violence and membership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Egyptians screamed and wept upon hearing that 683 people were sentenced to death [Transterra/Al Jazeera]
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Minya, Egypt – Five months ago, 30-year-old Abu Bakr Ismail, a pharmacist and father of two, was arrested and taken to jail. The move stunned his family, who say Ismail was an observant, traditional Muslim.”My brother is an innocent man,” 29-year-old Amr Ismail said. “He was arrested because he was bearded and memorised the Quran.”

On Monday, he became one of the 683 people sentenced to death in a Minya court for charges relating to rioting at a police station in Edwa on August 14 last year – the same day security forces killed hundreds of protesters in Cairo.

All defendants, including the imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, were accused of being members or supporters of the outlawed Brotherhood and Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from the presidency by the army last year.

My brother is an innocent man. He was arrested because he was bearded and memorised the Quran.

Amr Ismail, brother of accused

Before the sentences can be carried out, Egyptian law requires the presiding judge to confirm them after referral to Al-Azhar Grand Mufti, Shawki Allam, who can reject or accept the ruling. Many believe this is simply a formality.

Late Monday evening, the Egyptian prosecutor general, Hesham Barakat, issued notice to appeal against the sentence, but this has not comforted family members of the accused.

Nahed Mohamed, the wife of Ezzat Mohamed, 44, said she had no idea why her husband was arrested while praying in a Minya mosque. Since Monday’s sentence was passed, she and their four children have been praying for his release.

“What can I do? The judges have the final word,” she said.

The court also upheld 37 of 529 death sentences it handed down late last month against accused Muslim Brotherhood members, with the remaining 492 sentenced to life in prison.

Of the 683 men sentenced on Monday, several dozen were in custody, while those still at large have been offered a retrial if they turn themselves in.

The Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, said the ruling “contradicts all of the world’s legal norms”.

Foreign governments and human rights groups also condemned the sentences.

“It is impossible to believe that such proceedings could meet even the most basic standards of justice,” said Jen Psaki, a spokesman for the US State Department, while Amnesty International said the trials were “deeply flawed and grossly unfair”.

Amr Ismail said each of the convicted men, including his brother, had more than 100 pages of allegations brought against them, but they were not allowed to see any of the evidence.

In Cairo, small clashes and protests broke out over news of the sentences. Arrests and injuries were reported at the Al-Azhar University campus after police and security personnel confronted demonstrators there, but the rest of the city remained relatively calm

MEDEA BENJAMIN TELLS WHY SHE NEVER MADE IT TO GAZA

Why I didn’t make it to Gaza for International Women’s Day
Medea Benjamin

Egypt

Medea Benjamin’s cell in Cairo, Egypt (photo: Code Pink)

When I boarded the plane to Cairo, Egypt, to make sure everything was in place for the women’s delegation headed to Gaza, I had no reason to think I’d end up in a jail cell at the Cairo airport and then violently deported.

The trip was in response to a call from women in Gaza to CODEPINK and other groups asking us to bring 100 women from around the world to Gaza for March 8, International Women’s Day. They wanted us to see, first-hand, how the seven-year Israeli blockade had made their situation intolerable. They talked about being unable to protect themselves and their families from frequent Israeli attacks and how the closing of the borders with both Israel and Egypt has made it impossible for them to travel abroad or even to other parts of Palestine. They wanted us to witness how the shortages of water, electricity, and fuel, coupled with severe restrictions on imports and exports, condemn most of the 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza to a life of misery.

So we helped put together a 100-women delegation with representatives from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Canada and the United States. The delegates, who ranged in age from 18 to 84, included Nobel Peace Prize winners, doctors, writers and students. We were also bringing hundreds of solar lamps and boxes of medical supplies for the women.

The only ways to enter Gaza is by land–either via the border with Israel or Egypt. Israel restricts entry to non-governmental and official delegations, so our only option was to go through Egypt. CODEPINK had already organized eight delegations to Gaza via Egypt since 2008, so we thought we knew the ropes. We had organized these delegations during Mubarak’s reign and after the revolution, but not since the July 2013 coup that toppled the government of Mohamed Morsi.

As in the past, we furnished the Foreign Ministry and the local Embassies with all the information they requested to get the delegates the necessary permits to cross the Sinai (which has become a dangerous place) and cross into Gaza. They said as long the situation was not too dangerous in the Sinai, they would help us get safely to the border. Otherwise, we would celebrate International Women’s Day together in Cairo.

I went early, on March 3, as part of the logistics team. When I arrived at the airport in Cairo, I was taken aside and put in a separate room.  First I was told “no problem, no problem, just checking the papers, just 10 minutes.” After 5 hours I realized that there was, indeed, a problem, as I was taken to a jail cell at the airport. Never once was I told what the problem was. Thank goodness I had hidden my phone and was able to get the word out about my plight over Twitter. Friends and family started immediately contacting the US Embassy for help.

At 8am, 5 plain-clothed men with handcuffs came into the cell, looking very ominous. One said, “Come with us, we’re putting you on a plane and deporting you.” I was scared to go with them and I had just received a message that someone from the US Embassy was just ten minutes away.  I politely asked if I could wait for an embassy official or if I could call the Foreign Ministry to straighten out what must be a miscommunication.

Instead, the men grabbed me, threw me on the ground, put their knees into my back, yanked my arms back so violently that I heard the pop of my arm coming out of my shoulder, and put two sets of handcuffs on me. I was screaming from the pain so they took my scarf, stuffed it in my mouth, and dragged me through the halls of the airport to a waiting Turkish Airline plane.

I was in such agony from a dislocated shoulder—you could see the bone just sticking up in the air—that the airline personnel refused to let me on and insisted that the Egyptians call an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, the doctor immediately gave me a shot to ease the pain and insisted that I had to go to the hospital. By this time there were about 20 men on the tarmac, arguing about what to do with me while the Turkish plane with 175 people on board was prevented from taking off. After about an hour of fighting, the Egyptian security prevailed: I was not allowed go to the hospital but was forced to board the plane, with the two men who most abused me sitting on either side of me.

Medea Benjamin displays ‘the violence inherent in the system.’ (Photo: Code Pink)

Medea Benjamin, upon her return home (Photo: Code Pink)

As soon as we were in the air, the stewardess asked if there was a doctor on the plane.  Finally, a stroke of luck! Not only was there a doctor, but he was an orthopedic surgeon. He created a makeshift operating bed in the aisle of the plane and got the stewardesses to assist. “Usually I’d put you out before doing this, so I warn you this will be painful,” he said as he manipulated my arm back into its socket. Once we got to Turkey, I went to a hospital for further treatment before flying back home. My doctors here say it will take months of physical therapy before I can recover full use of my arm.

Along with the physical trauma, I am left with many unanswered questions:

* Why didn’t the US Embassy in Egypt ever help me during this 17-hour ordeal, especially when I made it clear I was in danger? When questioned by a journalist at a State Department briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki falsely claimed that the Embassy had provided me with “appropriate consular assistance.” I have since lodged a complaint about the lack of assistance, and you can send a message to the State Department, too.

*If the Egyptian officials were so brutal to me– a petite, 61-year-old American woman who has dedicated her life to peace–what are they doing to their own citizens and others languishing in their prisons? And why is Secretary Kerry considering a resumption of US military aid to this brutal regime? According to a recent Amnesty International report, the current human rights situation is characterized by repeated excessive use of force by the security forces, leading to the death of hundreds of protesters; increasingly severe restrictions on freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression, as well as academic freedoms; the arbitrary imprisonment of protest leaders, university students, journalists and others; and a failure to protect vulnerable groups, including minorities and women. Take a minute to send a message to the Egyptian embassy in the US and tell them to end the government’s brutal crackdown on peaceful citizens.

*Did Israel put the pressure on Egypt to do a last-minute about-face to keep us out of Gaza? In the end, only 17 of our members made it into Cairo (but not to Gaza) and the rest were deported from the airport. The question of Israeli influence is one we’ll probably never have answered, but during the very time we were supposed to be there, rocket fire was exchanged between militants from Gaza and the Israeli army. This shows the vulnerability of the women of Gaza, caught between the Israeli siege, Egyptian blockade, and internal extremists. That’s why it was so important for us to go there, to show our solidarity with the civilian population. But that will have to wait until Egypt no longer deems peace activists to be a threat to their national security.

As long as the world ignores the ongoing siege of Gaza, almost 2 million people will continue to languish in the world’s largest open-air prison. If Secretary of State Kerry wants the US to be a meaningful peace broker and to reach an agreement that includes dignity and human rights for the Palestinians, he can no longer continue to support military aid to the perpetrators of the blockade: Israel and Egypt.

 

Written for Mondoweiss

URGENT APPEAL FROM MEDEA BENJAMIN AND CODEPINK

Medea welcomed home by loved ones at the airport in DC

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The remaining delegates waiting to go to Gaza, trapped in the Cairo airport.

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Send this letter to the Egyptian government with our demands

and

Sign this petition to the Egypt Desk at the State Department

Just the other day I hopped on a plane to Egypt, eager to join the international delegation of 100 women headed to Gaza for International Women’s Day. Little did I know I would be stopped at the Cairo airport, detained, held overnight in a cell, then in the morning brutally assaulted by Egyptian authorities. They threw me to the ground, stomped on my back, handcuffed me so tightly they dislocated my shoulder, and then deported me to Turkey.

Now the Egyptian authorities are blocking most of the remaining delegates from entering Egypt and traveling to Gaza. It has been frustrating and disappointing for us, but we cannot forget that almost two million Palestinians remained trapped in Gaza while the Egyptian Rafah border remains closed or tightly controlled.

What happened to me was traumatizing, but is minor compared to what Egyptian activists are going through, including women. Thousands of peaceful Egyptian demonstrators have been killed or jailed by the Military Junta since the July 2013 military coup.

Here’s how you can take action:

Despite frantic calls to the US Embassy during my 17-hour ordeal, they NEVER even got in touch with me. It is appalling that not only did the US government fail to intervene when an American citizen was being beaten, but that our government continues to send billions of US taxpayer dollars in military aid to the illegitimate and abusive Egyptian government.

Sign this petition to Egypt Desk at the State Department, then call them (202-647-4680). Demand to know why they did not assist a peaceful US citizen who was being abused by the Egyptian authorities, and let them know you want an immediate end to US military aid to Egypt.

Thanks for all you do for peace and justice,
Medea Benjamin, Co-founder, CODEPINK  

EGYPT OFFICIALLY UNDER ISRAELI CONTROL

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First read THIS from HaAretz ….

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If you still have doubts about the heading of this post read on …

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CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin Detained, Brutally Attacked and Deported from Egypt en route to Gaza with International Delegation of Women

 

On the night of March 3, 2014, co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK Medea Benjamin was on her way to Egypt to join an international delegation of women going to Gaza when she was detained by border police in the Cairo airport, held overnight in a cell, and then brutally tackled (her arm badly injured), handcuffed, and deported to Turkey. During her time in the detention cell she had access to a cell phone, from which she contacted colleagues at CODEPINK about the poor conditions of the cell and chronicled her ordeal via Twitter. When the Egyptian police removed her from the detention center, they used such excessive force she sustained a fracture and torn ligament in her shoulder.

 

Calling from Istanbul, Benjamin gave the following statement: “I was brutally assaulted by Egyptian police, who never said what I was being accused of. When the authorities came into the cell to deport me, two men threw me to the ground, stomped on my back, pulled my shoulder out of its socket and handcuffed me so that my injured arm was twisted around and my wrists began to bleed. I was then forced to sit between the two men who attacked me on the plane ride from Cairo to Istanbul, and I was (and still am) in terrible pain the whole time.” Doctors in the Cairo airport said she was not fit to travel because of her injury, but the authorities forced her to board anyways.

 

She is currently in Istanbul, Turkey, receiving medical attention at a hospital before she returns to the US. It is still unclear why the Egyptians deported her. Medea’s colleagues at CODEPINK are appalled by the unnecessary use of force by Egyptian authorities.

 

In response to a call from the women of Gaza, Benjamin was traveling through Egypt to be a part of the CODEPINK contingent of an international coalition of 100 women traveling to Gaza to witness the hardships facing the 1.7 million residents, deliver humanitarian aid, and call attention to the need for a longer-term strategy to achieve peace and justice for Palestinians.

 

From a CodePink Press Release

THE REAWAKENING OF WALT DISNEY’S ANTI SEMITISM

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As much as we loved the characters he created and the cartoon industry he is credited for, few of us actually loved the man himself.

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It was more than rumor that Walt Disney was an anti Semite. Below is a snippet from the FOLLOWING

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 The “anti-Semitic industry lobbying group” with which Disney was associated was the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. The group’s statement of principles said nothing about Jews; its declared purpose was to prevent “Communist, Fascist, and other totalitarian-minded groups” from gaining a foothold in Hollywood. Among its members were politically conservative actors such as John Wayne, Clark Gable, and Ginger Rogers. But some of its other members were accused of being privately anti-Semitic, and in general it had a reputation as being reactionary.

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So, why all the fuss today when an Egyptian Donald Duck tweets anti Israel sentiments??

THAT IS NOT ANTI SEMITISM AT ALL!

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Donald Duck Arab Voice Fired for ‘Death to Israel’ Tweet

Egyptian Host ‘Proud’ of Disney Ouster

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An Egyptian radio host who calls himself the official voice of Donald Duck on Disney Middle East was fired after sending anti-Israel tweets.

Wael Mansour tweeted the news of his firing on February 6, six months after his tweet against Israel.

“Disney decided I am no longer the official voice of DonaldDuck in it’s middle-east dubbed cartoons because of an anti Zionism tweet. Proud!” he tweeted on February 6.

He then retweeted the tweet that got him into trouble in the first place:

“I truly wish #Israel is demolished, I hate Zionism, I have so much hate inside me with every single child they murder or land they seize!” Mansour tweeted on August 4. As of Wednesday it had been retweeted more than 1,700 times.

Mansour responded to some critics at the time by tweeting: “I don’t know why insulting #Israel & #Zionism is “Anti-Semitic”?! They are just a bunch of Polish/ Ethiopian immigrants roughly 70 years old”

Mansour reportedly was not employed directly by Disney, but came to the work through a dubbing company.

 

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Here is the tweet that lead Disney to end my role as Donald Ducks official voice in Arabic dubbed cartoons in the ME pic.twitter.com/ZLdpN1NrMF

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  • Only Juan ShinjiAhmed AbdelfattahTamer El-MasryIbrahim Aliothmane عثمانSansMedina WesleyAHMED HUSSEINJoud Al Essa
10:07 AM – 6 Feb 2014

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