Israeli Spy Arrest in Egypt Points to High Stakes for Washington and Tel Aviv

By Finian Cunningham:

An amateur video showing the arrest in Egypt of an alleged spy belonging to the Israeli General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, the Sayeret Matkal, indicates how worried Tel Aviv is by the turmoil engulfing the Mubarak regime and suggests that attempts are underway by outside forces to destabilise the popular revolution.

Meanwhile, sabotage of a major Egyptian-Israeli gas pipeline early this morning (Saturday) by unknown bombers in the Northern Sinai town of El Arish could be the beginning of a campaign to destabilise Egypt and legitimate further foreign intervention in that country – intervention that would advantage US/Israeli attempts to salvage the regime that has so loyally served their interests, but which is now slipping from its control.

The video (1), which was aired by the Iranian channel Press TV (2), shows an unnamed man being led away by Egyptian military amid chanting anti-government protesters. There were reports that two Israeli personnel were initially apprehended by the protesters while travelling in a car amid the backdrop of violent clashes across the country’s capital, Cairo.

These incidents follows recent Israeli government statements that it is “following closely” the popular uprising in Egypt, which after 11 days of curfew-defying street rallies across the country, is threatening to topple the 30-year-old regime of US-backed Hosni Mubarak. Despite the regime’s best attempts to brutally beat the people of the streets, with stones, knives, guns and petrol bombs, the protest movement is standing strong and refuses to bow, indeed is getting stronger.

Only days ago, Israel was reported to have sent crowd-dispersal equipment to the beleaguered Mubarak dictatorship, which Tel Aviv, along with Washington, counts as an “important ally”.

And, according to Middle East Monitor, Israeli government sources say that the state of Israel has placed “all its capabilities” at the disposal of General Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s recently appointed vice president and long-time Mossad collaborator, for the “protection of the regime in Egypt”. (3) Suleiman is being touted in the Western media as Washington’s prescribed heir apparent in a post-Mubarak regime.

The bigger picture here is that Tel Aviv, and more importantly its sponsor Washington, are petrified by the threat being posed by Egypt’s uprising to their vital interests across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. This explains the feverish diplomatic and military communications over the past week between these two capitals and Cairo. When you think about it, the intense communications from US president Obama and every senior administration official, the military aid assurances from Washington and Tel Aviv, the brazen meddling in the affairs of a supposedly sovereign state, and now apparently the involvement of secret agents, all speak of one thing: panic.

Israel is seeing, potentially, a key ally/collaborator – Egypt under Mubarak’s military apparatus – being lost in Tel Aviv’s prosecution of criminal war against the Palestinian people and its aggression towards Lebanon, Syria, Iran. Without its Egyptian partner-in-crime, Israel’s ability to wage war in the region is significantly blunted.

For Washington, the stakes are even higher. Both Egypt and Israel are cornerstones in US imperial reach. The loss of Egypt – a population of over 80 million, the biggest in the Arab world – from the US fold would inflict the same kind of trauma Washington is still reeling from when it lost the Shah of Iran to the Iranian revolution 32 years ago. With the imminent added loss of Egypt – a natural leader in the Arab world whose positive role has long been distorted and suppressed by the US under its puppet Mubarak – the trauma incurred for American geopolitical designs would be even greater.

A truly independent, democratic Egypt would deal a fatal blow to US imperialistic meddling and warmongering. Without Mubarak’s regime or whomever else Washington appoints to run it, the domino effect of an Egypt liberated from US domination would send other, less formidable, US-backed regimes tumbling.

This, of course, should be good news for the region and beyond for the establishment of governments that serve the social and economic interests of their people as opposed to tiny corrupt elites and their paymasters in Washington. It could also be good news for a new era of peaceful relations in a conflict-ridden region and for long overdue justice for the Palestinian people in particular.

It should serve as an acute lesson to those who may naively think otherwise. Washington, in its machinations and prevarications, is showing itself to be spectacularly against all the possible virtues and outcomes that a democratic revolution in Egypt would bring. The masquerader that has for so long tormented this region is being unmasked.

The people of Egypt are not just bringing a tyrant and his tyrannical regime down. They are by dint of their struggle for democracy exposing the brutal reality of US government involvement in their country and the wider world.

For these reasons, we can be sure that the empire will strike back with a vengeance. Along with the saccharin shuttle diplomacy to help Egypt’s “orderly transition” (meaning to restore order for US interests), we can also expect more covert operations in that country by American/Israeli counterinsurgency forces to do everything possible to thwart the Egyptian people achieving their democratic rights. In retrospect, you can see why the Iranians had to, by necessity, adopt a hostile US stance in the aftermath of their revolution. The US/Israeli axis is the most destabilising force threatening peace in the Middle East and the wider world.

Finian Cunningham is a journalist and musician:,






Finian Cunningham is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Finian Cunningham

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