UPDATES

Egyptian opposition leaders to be investigated for bizarre ‘Zionist plot’

Dec 7, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

Egyptian opposition leaders to be investigated for bizarre ‘Zionist plot’
news_item/protests_in_tahrir_square.jpg

Those who had still been hoping that an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government under President Mohammed Morsi would usher in democracy to Egypt have sadly had a wake up call this week.  On Tuesday around 100,000 protestors gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo to protest President Morsi’s November 22 decree that expanded his powers, placing his decisions beyond judicial oversight and enabling him to call a mid-December referendum on a draft constitution drawn up by an Islamist-dominated panel that limits freedom of expression and religion. On Thursday health authorities reported seven people had died in clashes between supporters of Morsi and secular-leaning opponents.

Facing growing public outrage, the Egyptian government appears to be trying to sideline the opposition. In the Middle East one way to sideline opposition is to accuse someone of working with the ‘Zionists’ and that is what has happened to three former Presidential candidates who were leading anti-government protests.  

On December 5 Egyptian Prosecutor General Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah  – who was just appointed by Morsi a few days ago – referred for investigation a complaint accusing three former presidential candidates – Mohammed ElBaradei, Hamdein Sabahy and Amr Moussa of engaging in a “Zionist plot” of espionage and sedition to overthrow the Morsi government.  According the Egyptian Independent the three are accused of the following unbelievable/ridiculous plot:

“Hamed Sadeq, a lawyer who filed the report…  claimed that Moussa met with former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and agreed with her to fabricate internal crises, and that all of the politicians named in his complaint then met at the Wafd Pary headquarters to implement the ‘Zionist plot.’ He requested that the accused be banned from travel and that the Wafd Party headquarters be confiscated for investigation.”

Earlier this week, ElBaradei, Moussa and Sabahy all declared their support and participation in the ongoing sit-in in Cairo’s Tahrir Square until Morsi’s constitutional decree is revoked. ElBaradei told a news conference that Morsi’s rule was “no different” from that of former President Hosni Mubarak, “In fact, it is perhaps even worse,” and he accused the president’s supporters of a “vicious and deliberate” attack on peaceful demonstrators.

ElBaradei looks vindicated in his point about Morsi acting “even worse” that the previous dictatorship. This kind of state investigation against leading opposition figures for “Zionist plots” looks like the sort of thing the worst dictatorships in the Middle East have often engaged in. It also could perhaps recall the Ergenekon investigation in Turkey, whereby, using very dubious and hard to credit claims, the AKP government was able to jail, silence or marginalise much of its opposition in the military and the media – as Michael Rubin discussed in an article a couple of years ago.  Morever, Morsi has openly said he views Turkey’s ruling Islamist AKP party as a model for his own “revolution.” 

Elliot Abrams, a Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations has commented on the bizarre accusation:

“The new Egyptian government’s decision to treat such an accusation seriously telegraphs that, as in the Mubarak regime, investigations and prosecutions will be used to intimidate and silence political critics and opponents. It also suggests that any bizarre charge, any wild accusation, will be given credence so long as it contains the word “Israel” or the word ‘Zionist.’

That this development comes in the midst of Egypt’s current crisis makes the actions of the Prosecutor General even worse, for it suggests that instead of seeking compromise the new Muslim Brotherhood rulers desire confrontation and wish to use the power of the state to crush non-Brotherhood leaders.

I’m not sure which is worse: the possibility that President Morsi is such a Brotherhood ideologue that he actually believes that Moussa and El Baradei would meet with Tzipi Livni and “fabricate internal crises,” or the possibility that he knows the charge is ludicrous but approves its utilization against critics. Either way, it is another step away from democracy for Egypt.”

Sharyn Mittelman

 

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Palestinian Red Crescent workers from Al-Najjar Hospital in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on January 10, 2024 (Image: Shutterstock)

Hamas’ impossible casualty figures

Mar 28, 2024 | Update
455daec3 C2a8 8752 C215 B7bd062c6bbc

After the Israel-Hamas ceasefire for hostages deal

Nov 29, 2023 | Update
Screenshot of Hamas bodycam footage as terrorists approach an Israeli vehicle during the terror organisation's October 7, 2023 attack in southern Israel, released by the IDF and GPO (Screenshot)

Horror on Video / International Law and the Hamas War

Oct 31, 2023 | Update
Sderot, Israel. 7th Oct, 2023. Bodies of dead Israelis lie on the ground following the attacks of Hamas (Image: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Alamy Live News)

Israel’s Sept. 11, only worse

Oct 11, 2023 | Update
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu (r) gets his long-awaited face-to-face meeting with US President Joe Biden in New York (Photo: Avi Ohayon, Israeli Government Press Office)

Netanyahu meets Biden, other world leaders, in New York

Sep 27, 2023 | Update
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who gave an address on Aug. 28 threatening the US and laying out the Iranian-led axis's new "unity of the arenas" doctrine. (Photo: Shutterstock, mohammad kassir)

US-Iran prisoner swap deal set to go through

Sep 12, 2023 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Emboldened Iran is still seeking nuclear capacity

Ma60tyfA

Move to recognise Palestine comes at the worst possible time

Screenshot 2024 04 16 At 3.14.28 Pm

‘Flipping of the narrative’: Israel ‘depicted as victim’ after Iranian attack – Ran Porat on France 24 television

Large anti-Israel protest in Washington, DC, in October. No other issue turns out so many protestors so consistently and globally (image: Shutterstock/ Volodymyr Tverdokhlib)

Where is everybody when Israel isn’t involved?

Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC calls on Government to join coordinated international efforts against Iran in wake of attacks on Israel

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Emboldened Iran is still seeking nuclear capacity

Ma60tyfA

Move to recognise Palestine comes at the worst possible time

Screenshot 2024 04 16 At 3.14.28 Pm

‘Flipping of the narrative’: Israel ‘depicted as victim’ after Iranian attack – Ran Porat on France 24 television

Large anti-Israel protest in Washington, DC, in October. No other issue turns out so many protestors so consistently and globally (image: Shutterstock/ Volodymyr Tverdokhlib)

Where is everybody when Israel isn’t involved?

Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC calls on Government to join coordinated international efforts against Iran in wake of attacks on Israel

SORT BY TOPICS