Thank you, Wikileaks (yet again).
The West (essentially America) approves of a “transition” in Egypt to another thug, Omar Suleiman. How very nice of them.
The new vice-president of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is a long-standing favourite of Israel’s who spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret “hotline” to Cairo, leaked documents disclose.
Mr Suleiman, who is widely tipped to take over from Hosni Mubarak as president, was named as Israel’s preferred candidate for the job after discussions with American officials in 2008.
As a key figure working for Middle East peace, he once suggested that Israeli troops would be “welcome” to invade Egypt to stop weapons being smuggled to Hamas terrorists in neighbouring Gaza.
The details, which emerged in secret files obtained by WikiLeaks and passed to The Daily Telegraph, come after Mr Suleiman began talks with opposition groups on the future for Egypt’s government.
Leaked cables from American embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv disclose the close co-operation between Mr Suleiman and the US and Israeli governments as well as diplomats’ intense interest in likely successors to the ageing President Mubarak, 83.
The documents highlight the delicate position which the Egyptian government seeks to maintain in Middle East politics, as a leading Arab nation with a strong relationship with the US and Israel. By 2008, Mr Suleiman, who was head of the foreign intelligence service, had become Israel’s main point of contact in the Egyptian government.
David Hacham, a senior adviser from the Israeli Ministry of Defence, told the American embassy in Tel Aviv that a delegation led by Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak had been impressed by Mr Suleiman, whose name is spelled “Soliman” in some cables.
But Mr Hacham was “shocked” by President Mubarak’s “aged appearance and slurred speech”.
The cable, from August 2008, said: “Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however, and noted that a ‘hot line’ set up between the MOD and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use.
“Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated.” The Tel Aviv diplomats added: “We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman.”
Elsewhere the documents disclose that Mr Suleiman was stung by Israeli criticism of Egypt’s inability to stop arms smugglers transporting weapons to Palestinian militants in Gaza. At one point he suggested that Israel send troops into the Egyptian border region of Philadelphi to “stop the smuggling”.
The files suggest that Mr Suleiman wanted Hamas “isolated”, and thought Gaza should “go hungry but not starve”.
“We have a short time to reach peace,” he told US diplomats. “We need to wake up in the morning with no news of terrorism, no explosions, and no news of more deaths.”
Some recently released Wikileaks cables (here, here and here) all show an Egyptian political elite working very closely with Israel to screw over the Palestinians in Gaza. Suleiman seems to believe he could dictate the behaviour of Hamas. The former was never elected and the latter were (from a cable in early 2008):
The bottom line for Hamas, according to Soliman, is that they must be forced to choose between remaining a resistance movement or joining the political process. They cannot have it both ways, he said.
This cable from 2009 shows that Israel knew and acknowledged the ceasefire was being held by Hamas in Gaza:
Regarding the Tahdiya, Hacham said Barak stressed that while it was not permanent, for the time being it was holding. There have been a number of violations of the ceasefire on the Gaza side, but Palestinian factions other than Hamas were responsible. Hacham said the Israelis assess that Hamas is making a serious effort to convince the other factions not to launch rockets or mortars. Israel remains concerned by Hamas’ ongoing efforts to use the Tahdiya to increase their strength, and at some point, military action will have to be put back on the table. The Israelis reluctantly admit that the Tahdiya has served to further consolidate Hamas’ grip on Gaza, but it has brought a large measure of peace and quiet to Israeli communities near Gaza.
In other words, Operation Cast Lead was all about making a political point for Israel and even then it failed miserably. Israel’s rabble army was tasked to destroy Gaza and its infrastructure. In that they succeeded but Hamas rule was only deepened.