American Zionism against the Egyptian Pro-Democracy Movement

One of the least analyzed aspects of the Egyptian pro-democracy movement and US policy toward it, is the role of the influential Zionist power configuration (ZPC) including the leading umbrella organization – the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO) – Congressional Middle East committee members, officials occupying strategic positions in the Obama Administration’s Middle East bureaus, as well as prominent editors, publicists and journalists who play a major role in the prestigious newspapers and popular weekly magazines.  This essay is based on a survey of every issue of the Daily Alert (propaganda bulletin of the CPMAJO), the  NY Times and the Washington Post between January 25 – February 17, 2011. 1

From the very beginning of the Egyptian pro-democracy movement, the ZPC, called into question the legitimacy of the anti-dictatorial demands by focusing on the “Islamic threat”.  In particular, the ultra-Zionist Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Alert harped on the “threat” of an “Islamic takeover” by the Muslim Brotherhood even as the overwhelming number of non-Zionist experts and reporters in Egypt demonstrated that the vast majority of protesters were not members of any Islamic political movement, but largely advocates of a secular democratic republic.

Once their initial propaganda ploy failed, the ZPC developed several new propaganda lines:  the most prominent of which was a sustained defense of the Mubarak dictatorship as a bulwark of Israel’s ‘security’ and guardian of the so-called “Peace Accord” of 1979.  In other words, the ZPC pressured the US administration, via Congressional hearings, the press and AIPAC to support Mubarak as a key guarantor and collaborator of Israel’s supremacy in the Middle East; although it meant that the Obama regime would have to openly oppose the million-member Egyptian freedom movement.  Israeli journalists, officials and their US Zionist counterparts willingly admitted that although the Mubarak regime was a bloody, corrupt tyranny, he should be supported because a democratic government in Cairo might end Egypt’s decades-old collaboration with the brutal Israeli colonization of Palestine.

Once it became clear that uncritical support for Mubarak was no longer a viable position and the Obama Administration was appealing to the democratic movement to “dialogue” and negotiate with the dictator, the ZPC demanded caution in backing a “dialogue” and assurance that the dialogue did not lead to any abrupt changes in the Mubarak-Israeli treaty.  The ZPC and its scribes in the Washington Post presented Mubarak’s hand picked “Vice President” Omar Suleiman, a notorious torturer and long-term collaborator of Israel’s Mossad, as the legitimate interlocutor for the dialogue — even as he was unanimously rejected by the entire pro-democracy movement.

As the demonstrators grew in number and engulfed the major public squares throughout the country and extended beyond the first week, Israel and the ZPC promoted a possible alternative solution, which would keep Mubarak in power, during a nine month ‘transition’ period.  Caught off guard by the rapid growth of Egypt’s pro-democracy movement, Israel’s willing accomplices in the US administration and media conceded that an end to the dictatorship would be a good thing… if it was managed appropriately; namely, if it excluded or minimized the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and maximized the role of the pro-Israel military high command and intelligence services as overseers of the “transition”.  The ZPC contemptuously rejected Egypt’s independent pro-democracy movement and its leaders and sought to undermine the Egyptian people’s movement by inflating the role of the “best organized” Islamic Brotherhood and warned of a future Islamist “seizure of power”.

The leading Zionist official in the Obama Administration and AIPAC point man, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, traveled to Israel to assure the Netanyahu/Lieberman regime that the US was in contact with the Egyptian military high command and sectors of the civilian opposition (ElBaradei) and that Washington’s support of the democracy movement was conditioned by their assurance that the Israeli-Egyptian Treaty would remain unchanged.

When Mubarak was finally forced to resign, handing power to a military junta, the ZPC congratulated the coup-makers, supported its demobilization of the movement and more important, celebrated the Egyptian generals’ endorsement of the “Peace Agreement of 1979”.  Now the Israeli propaganda machine began to harshly criticize Mubarak and portrayed the military coup as a positive step toward an “orderly and peaceful transition”.  By ‘orderly’ the Zionist think tankers meant a ‘regime change’ that did nothing to change the blockade of Gaza, the regular shipment of fuel to Israel, or the hotline of collaboration between Tel Aviv and Cairo.

Israeli and American Zionists rejected early elections and promoted a prolonged process in which the Egyptian military, the US Administration and the ZPC could handpick members of the ‘transitional constitutional and electoral commissions’ committed to continuing Mubarak’s policy of unconditional submission to Israel. By “peaceful” the pro-Israel diplomats in the Obama Administration meant clearing the streets of the masses of pro-democracy activists and demonstrators so that decisions could be controlled by the small circle of Mubarak military and civilian holdovers behind closed doors.  By “transition”, the circles of Zionists propagandists, US/Israeli policy makers and Egyptian generals meant that nothing would change but the face of Mubarak.

While Israel and the bulk of Zionist scribes and propagandists in the US opposed or questioned the pro-democracy movements against pro-Israeli rulers in the Middle East, they embraced and publicized the social movements opposing the Iranian regime.  In every print and electronic outlet, the pro-Israel journalists emphasized the repressive, brutal nature of the Iranian regime, called for regime change and raised the specter of a military confrontation if Iranian warships traversed the Suez Canal, Iran’s right by international maritime law.  Israeli security, the threat of ‘radical Islam’ and Iran were cited to place narrow limits on all discussions and debates over US policy regarding the enormous and growing mass of pro-democracy movements throughout the Arab world.

The same prominent US Zionist scribes who, at first, defended US support for the dictatorial Mubarak regime and then supported the military takeover in Cairo, have now become born-again backers of anti-regime democrats in Iran.  This is not inconsistent:  the issue for US Zionists is how might pro-democracy movements affect Israel’s colonial policies in Palestine and Israel’s expanding power in the Middle East.  In other words, the ZPC in Congress and the White House are not concerned about promoting democracy through American foreign policy, but only about harnessing US diplomacy and military leverage to serve Israel.

What is striking about Obama’s twist and turns in policy toward the mass popular struggles in Egypt is how closely it repeats and implements the policy positions of the US Zionist power configuration clearly presented in the ‘52 organizations’ propaganda organ, the Daily Alert.

  1. The Financial Times 1/26/11-2/17/11 []

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras’ most recent books are The Politics of Empire: The Us, Israel and the Middle East (2014) and The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack. He can be reached at: jpetras@binghamton.edu. Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.

4 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ismail Zayid said on February 21st, 2011 at 10:31am #

    American Zionists have played a major role in supporting Mubarak’s dictatorship for his collaborative role in supporting Israeli intransigence and oppressive practices against the Palestinians and other Arabs, who dared to criticize Israel.

    This American Zionist power is confirmed in its recent successful intimidation of Obama, forcing him to veto the UN Security Council resolution condemning the Illegal Israeli settlements on illegally-occupied stolen Palestinian land. This veto stood against all other members of the Security Council, confirming US hypocrisy and lies in claiming to be an honest broker, in the Palestine/Israel conflict

  2. bozh said on February 21st, 2011 at 10:35am #

    widest look at what is happening in egypt for the last few weeks wld reveal that not only jewish and u.s. leadership approves of or even demands-commands egypt’n army to rule egypt, but all fascists, as well.

    they may not be as clamorous about it because they trust or ‘know’ u.s. will get the job done.

    true, in a region ruled by several thousand cosa nostra families, a folk always comes on top.
    it used to be anglosaxons who dominated the familial rule over regionals and other voelken; now, according to all i hear, the favorite volk-cult is jewish.
    however, all is well, because u.s. constitution and ‘laws’ based on it, commands-demands that a volk leads all other voelken in a region aka u.s.

    in fact, there never ever had been an u.s. as country or empire– as always we have there a vast mafia domain.

    for how else to elucidate some 180 wars, incursions, raids, etc? how else to explain a-bombing of innocent but ‘alien’ pops of hiroshima and nagasaki?
    and so on and on!
    i say only a big, fat, happy family is capable of doing all that! never a country nor an empire.
    true many behaved inhumanely! however, the cosa nostra gang in the region stand apart in this behavior– and this is just baby’s firsts steps! wait till it starts to run! aren’t u glad this rant is over!
    i was gonna go on and on and on, but my wife said stop it! she’s worried about my own insane sanity! and she needs a sane driver! tnx

  3. Deadbeat said on February 21st, 2011 at 8:29pm #

    yet another bozh contradiction to divert away from the main issue …

    widest look at what is happening in egypt for the last few weeks wld reveal that not only jewish and u.s. leadership approves of or even demands-commands egypt’n army to rule egypt, but all fascists, as well.

    Did bozh take a survey? Is this backed up by any evidence? To say ALL fascists supported this means that all fascists are Zionists which we know is not true. David Duke surely is a fascist but he clearly doesn’t support Zionism. Fascism is also defined as the merger of the state and “corporations” according to Mussolini yet not all “corporatists” support Zionism thus bozh remarks are in contradiction thus one has to ask why bozh seeks to divert the topic raised by Petras into Chomskyism (away from Zionism).

  4. Deadbeat said on February 21st, 2011 at 8:36pm #

    This is an excellent article by Petras and is counter to the pseudo-Left’s spinning of the events in Egypt as a revolt against neo-liberalism exclusive of Zionist dominance and suppression of Arab sovereignty, dignity and aspirations. Clearly American Zionism needs to be examined and rooted out and not concealed or diverted which is the primary role of the pseudo-Left.

    Zionism’s grip of American is practically total as once again U.S. used its U.N. veto to protect Israel. The sooner this is confronted the sooner Capitalism can also be confronted. Both Zionism and Capitalism must be taken down and out simultaneously.