Monday, February 7, 2011

Wikileaks exposes Omar Suleiman as Israel's Favorite

As reported in the Daily Telegraph, which headlines "Israel's Secret Hotline to the man tipped to replace Mubarak" - and it's now apparent that Obama-Clinton are fully on board with Omar Suleiman as the Egyptian leader during the "transition" to a reformed government.

The cable, as released by Wikileaks, points to cooperation verging on warmth between Suleiman (Soliman) and Israeli officials during discussions held in 2008:
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 said he sometimes speaks to Soliman's deputy Mohammed Ibrahim several times a day. Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated. (Note: 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.)
This certainly adds an arrow to the quiver of populist demonstrators in Egypt who want to see the Old Guard of the Mubarak regime moved out.  The majority of Egyptians - and this includes many, many more than just members of the Muslim Brotherhood - see their government's ties with Israel as a humiliation, and especially when their government is actively complicit in Israel's blockading and slow starvation of Arabs in Gaza, just across Egypt's border in the Sinai.  Muhammad el-Baradei, the Nobel-winning diplomat who many Egyptians see as the leading spokesman of the political opposition to Mubarak, has already told the press that a new government would take steps to remedy that acquiescence.

For Israel and the US, and the Mubarak regime, of course, Gaza = Hamas = Muslim Brotherhood = evil terrorists, even if Hamas was elected to power in the Palestinian parliament in 2006 - in elections that Condi Rice supported, Jimmy Carter's group vouched for, and then the US and Israel disavowed after the fact.

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