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14 December 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
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Now U.S. Bribes and Forces Egypt to have

a kind of Forced Economic Sex with Israel

"The once proud though poor greatest of the Arab
countries, Egypt, constantly feels the stain
of historic political prostitution."


MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 14 December: Both in Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab countries the U.S. pushed and paid to sign formal peace treaties with Israel, most businessmen and professional people outside of government still refuse to have any dealings with Israel. Very few private persons from these countries ever visit Israel, though all kinds of invitations are extended.

This new deal is another example of the power and manipulations of the Israeli-Jewish lobby in Washington; and of the weakness of the Arab 'client regimes' to resist what their American sponsor insists upon and in the ways they are instructed.

Since the first Camp David Middle East summit estimates are that overall, including economic, military, CIA, and AID American monies, Egypt has received in one way or another approaching $100 billion for agreeing to the American-pushed 'peace agreement'. In the process the President who signed the agreement, Anwar Sadat, was soon assassinated by his own military; the country has become much more of a police state; Dr. Aymen Zawahri (#2 in Al-Queda) became what he has; the Middle East has exploded in civil and regional wars; American occupation troops now control the Arab heartland and threaten other countries; and the once proud though poor greatest of the Arab countries, Egypt, constantly feels the stain of historic political prostitution.




Egypt, Israel sign deal on free trade with U.S.

By Joshua Mitnick

TEL AVIV -- Egypt and Israel will sign a joint free-trade agreement with the United States in Cairo today, a sign that a recent thaw in the relations between the Middle East neighbors is helping spur broader economic cooperation.
The fledgling business contacts between Israel and its Arab neighbors in the years after Oslo peace accords shriveled with the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000.
But that should begin to change with the new accord, the subject of about 18 months of negotiations, which will give Egyptian exporters who use Israeli investment and materials an exemption from U.S. Customs and trade quotas.
The agreement was finalized in recent months as the two countries stepped up talks on a Palestinian settlement and a plan to evacuate Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.
Although the economic impact on both the Egyptian and Israeli economies is likely to be imperceptible, the agreement is expected to bring important political benefits to both sides.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, who is in Cairo for the signing ceremony, called the accord "the most important economic agreement between Egypt and Israel in two decades."
"It is a concrete, practical result of President Bush's plan to promote closer U.S. trade ties with the Middle East so as to strengthen development, openness and peaceful economic links between Israel and its neighbors," Mr. Zoellick said.
The agreement provides for the establishment of three trade zones in Egypt, where goods made with a minimum level of Israeli input will be given preferred entry into the United States.
The new zones "will create a daily opportunity to build business and personal relationships among Egyptians, Israelis and Americans," Mr. Zoellick said.
Hagit Ben-Yaakov, an economics officer at the Israeli Foreign Ministry who specializes in the Middle East, also described the deal as "an important agreement."
"Relations are being built up like a house. This is another step," he said. "When economic relations are good, it immediately affects the political relations."
The agreement is based on U.S. legislation dating from 1996, which provides for "qualified industrial zones" (QIZ) in which Israeli companies can invest or provide materials toward goods made by Arab exporters. Those goods then receive preferential treatment when entering the United States.
Egypt, which is struggling to pull itself out of an economic recession, hopes that establishing the QIZs will boost exports while drawing foreign investment from businesses that want a leg up in the American market.
"We are talking about a real agreement. It's not just rhetoric for improving the relationship," said Hala Mustafa, a political scientist at Cairo's Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. "This is both significant and symbolic. It will create a groundwork for coexistence, integration and peace."
Awash in the euphoria over the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements in the 1990s, Israelis and Arabs held a series of annual regional business conferences that discussed the possibility of regional economic interdependence. Israeli Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres called it a "New Middle East."
The flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian fighting four years ago brought a retreat in economic ties. Arab countries from North Africa and the Gulf closed up economic missions in Tel Aviv, and Egypt recalled its ambassador. Joint projects were shelved.
The QIZ initiative is one of a few that survived the downturn in relations.
Even as violence between Israelis and Palestinians ebbed and flowed, QIZs in Jordan prospered. Started in the Irbid Qualified Industrial Zone in 1998, the QIZ program has been expanded to 10 industrial parks and is expected to include $1 billion of exports to the United States this year.
The free-trade status has been a boon to Jordanian's infant textile industry, with QIZ sales to the United States accounting for about one-third of Jordan's exports. Experts say the economic link with Israel has served as a bulwark in Jordanian-Israeli relations amid the strain of the Palestinian uprising.
"The peace treaty gave birth to the economic agreements. The economic agreements strengthen the peace," said Yitzhak Gal, a fellow at Tel Aviv University's Dayan Center for Middle East and North African Studies.
"The intifada interferes with the economic agreements. But the economic agreements are strong enough that despite the intifada, there won't be an explosion."
With a much more mature textile industry than Jordan's, exports from the Egyptian QIZs are expected to grow rapidly. The first industrial zones to enjoy the special trade status will be located in the Cairo metropolitan area, Port Said and Alexandria.
Since the two countries signed a peace agreement in 1979, bilateral ties have been chilly. Even so, some economic links have developed. Two major Israeli textile manufacturers, Delta Galil Industries Ltd. and Tefron Ltd., set up factories in Egypt, while Egyptian resorts in the Sinai rely on Israeli tourists.
During the years of the Palestinian uprising, Israeli exports to Egypt dropped from $59 million in 2000 to $26.4 million in 2003 -- a small fraction of Israel's $31.8 billion in exports last year. THE WASHINGTON TIMES - 14 Dec 2004
http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20041214-122049-4918r.htm






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December 2004


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(December 18, 2004)
Unique and Exclusive: News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know. MiddleEast.Org

MER Article Causes Conf Cancellation as Palestinian Speaker Abruptly Backs Out
(December 17, 2004)
The organization it seems then quickly changed the homepage of it's elaborate website, removing the main lead picture at the top which showed members of the organization posing with senior National Security Council neocon Elliot Abrams. Also removed quickly was the picture of Khalidi. Additionally all information about the phone conference which was advertised to feature Khalidi at 8pm Thursday evening simply disappeared; all mention of something that had previously been prominently promoted simply vanished without explanation or comment as if it never was to be.

Prof Rashid Khalidi helps Israeli and American Jewish Zionist groups
(December 16, 2004)
While courageous Israeli academics like Tanya Reinhart at Tel Aviv University, long time Israeli writers like Uri Avneri, and brilliant journalists like Robert Fisk are in fact speaking up loudly warning about what Sharon and Peres and their armies of propaganda agents and client organizations are up to; tragically Palestinian academics like Rashid Khalidi are cowering more than ever even to the extent of allowing themselves to be more blatantly used by the Zionist organizations than ever before.

Egypt pushed and bribed to Economic 'Intercourse' with Israel
(December 15, 2004)
Since the first Camp David Middle East summit estimates are that overall, including economic, military, CIA, and AID American monies, Egypt has received in one way or another approaching $100 billion for agreeing to the American-pushed 'peace agreement'... The once proud though poor greatest of the Arab countries, Egypt, constantly feels the stain of historic political prostitution.

ABBAS/ALA/SHAATH Regime Running Fast - Half Palestinian People Not Allowed to Vote
(December 14, 2004)
In a few weeks the U.S. and Israeli approved and financed 'election' will take place. The most credible and respected Palestinian leaders are gone. The widely supported Hamas organization is boycotting. 'Israeli Palestinians' are not allowed to vote. 'Jerusalem Palestinians' will have to vote absentee. And forgotten most of all are the majority of Palestinians -- most of them still living in refugee camps throughout the region from Jordan to Syria to Lebanon -- who will have no vote at all thanks to the policies of Israel, the United States, and the 'new Palestinian leadership'.

Latest Washington Israeli Spy Scandal Escalating
(December 13, 2004)
There are some in Washington who think that the current spy investigations, possibly now expanding further, can be used to put a little pressure on the Israelis when it comes to the political deal making that may lie ahead both in the region and with the Palestinians. But there are others who think the Israelis are far better at this game than the Americans and that their list of Washington skunks and scandals involving many senior government officials now and past is considerably more extensive than what the Americans can pin on them should it ever come to that.

MER Track Record and the Assassination/Coverup of Yasser Arafat
(December 13, 2004)
Looking ahead, the historical stakes have become much higher, the costs in bloodshed and treasure already far greater, and the new 'peace process' already considerably more convoluted with even greater ominous implications for all in the international community of nations.

AMERICA the TITANIC
(December 11, 2004)
From the heart of the Washington Republican 'National Security' establishment, Harlan Ullman warns that the U.S. has sailed into very dangerous times and appears like the TITANIC headed for disaster. The dangers Ullman warns are in many ways as much from within as from without. The TITANIC metaphor is a powerful one, and Ullman repeats it a number of times for emphasis.

Palestinian Push - Over and Under
(December 10, 2004)
The big U.S. and Israeli Palestinian push is on. Put in place a new 'moderate' under control Palestinian regime, pump in some money for bribes and payoffs, train more regime 'security police', declare an end to the uprising against occupation (the Intifada), hard repress any and all opposition, kill and arrest those who continue to fight, and presto maybe you have a new police-state client-regime dutifully labled 'moderate' and 'democracy' however quisling in reality.

CHENEY Did It! Smoking Gun Court Case About WMD Scandal
(December 9, 2004)
In this eye-opening story today about a very unusual court case brought by a former senior CIA analysis which could serve as the smoking gun that the Bush/Cheney administration purposefully cooked the WMD books there's not a single mention of the unprecedented 9 or more once secret visits to the CIA of VP Cheney or the real potential significance of this legal political bombshell.

Ghosts of Vietnam and the 'Evil Empire'
(December 8, 2004)
More and more even in Washington circles these days one hears...but in spoken whispers certainly not in the corporate print or TV media..."police state", "fascism", "Good Germans". As for Capitol Hill, it looks more like a "no-go-zone" these days -- beyond being 'Occupied Israeli territory' -- than the Congress of a free and brave democracy.

Iraq and Palestine - Gloomy Predictions
(December 7, 2004)
Whether the further explosions and greater yet bloodshed and civil war will erupt in weeks, or months, or years, the course is now far more clear than the corporate media usually deals with. But today the New York Times is used for major leaks from the under-purge under-blame CIA about what to really expect in occupied Iraq, and recently the brilliant British journalist Robert Fisk wrote in The Independent about what to really expect in occupied Palestine.

America's Mubarak Regime
(December 6, 2004)
Moreover Mubarak is cooperating with the Israeli-American plan to now bring in Egyptian military forces to guard Gaza's southern border and help police the Palestinians into submission. If allowed to proceed by the Palestinians they can expect European and/or U.N. forces to be forced on them in the future in the deceptive guise of an expanded 'roadmap peace plan' to control the West Bank if the new Palestinian regime isn't up to the job.

Anti-Semitism? Rubbish!
(December 4, 2004)
Now what's going on with the Presbyterians is not at all "anti-semitism" as that term has been known over the years. It is anti-Israel, and many of the American Jewish Zionist organizations will insist it is anti-Jewish -- which in a sense is true if the positions these Jewish organizations take are fair game for protest, which indeed they are.

Ziad Asali - Latest Washington Palestinian Quisling
(December 3, 2004)
One of the many reasons the Palestinian people are in the terrible predicament they find themselves has been the extraordinarily co-opted quisling persons that so tragically have been allowed to represent them in Washington and to the American media for so many years. For those wondering about this choice of words, the definition of 'quisling', admittedly very pointed and harsh, does not give the full explanation of what has happened in Washington but it will have to do for now. During the German ooccupation of Norway in World War II the head of the Nazi-installed regime was Vidkun Quisling. His very name has since come to mean: A traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country.

9/11 was foreseeable one way or another
(December 3, 2004)
What has happened in recent years, indeed what happened on 9/11 and then it's aftermath, were in general quite foreseeable, no matter how much official Washington keeps pretending otherwise. The aggressive, imperialistic, self-righteous, deceptive, and oh-so-arrogant policies of the United States and Israel were at work for decades provoking and creating a kind of historical blowback that the whole world is now forced to live with. The following MER Editorial was published on Thanksgiving day in November 1997.

To Book Publishers and Literary Agents
(December 3, 2004)
MER is now looking for a literary agent and a publishing house. With events in the Middle East now gripping the headlines, with another round in the Israeli-Palestinian 'Peace Process' now at hand, and with the crusading 'neocons' firmly empowered in Washington, serious book publication on these subjects is more timely and more needed than ever. We have a unique compendium of exclusive MER articles, plus program and speech transcriptions, in addition to a number of highly qualified individual expert authors, which we are now interested in publishing.

FBI and Israeli-Jewish Lobby Square Off
(December 2, 2004)
You'd think that when the Capitol Hill offices of the most important foreign policy/Middle East 'lobby' are invaded by the FBI, computers and files seized and subpoenas served against top officials, this would be important news in Washington.

War Crimes Escalating - From Guernica to Fallujah
(December 2, 2004)
The new American-Israeli crusade, masquerading as the bringing of 'democracy and freedom' to the Muslim and Arab peoples, is marching on with new targets now in sight: Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas, N. Korea, Pakistan (if, or is it when, Musharraf falls)...and who knows who else as all are being coerced or forced to march into the bleak unknown. Fallujah is not meant to be an end for the coalition of fundamentalist and Zionist Neocons who now have Washington firmly in their grip; it is rather another new escalating beginning.

NewsFlash - Barghouti IN! After All
(December 1, 2004)
Now with Barghouti's entrance into the Palestinian election race and with Hamas in part threatening to 'boycot' if their own interests are not met -- and with Iraq exploding in greater hatred and violence against the Americans -- the entire U.S.-Israeli strategy for January 'elections' in both occupied Palestine and Iraq is very much in doubt.

Sharon - Past and Future - MER FLASHBACK
(December 1, 2004)
"Sharon was a killer obsessed with hatred of Palestinians. I had promised Arafat that his people would not get any harm. Sharon, however, ignored this commitment entirely. Sharon's word is worth nil." -Ambassador Philip Habib, Ronald Reagan's Special Middle East Envoy*

America's 'GUERNICA'
(December 1, 2004)
Pablo Picasso's haunting painting, 'Guernica', has immortalized that Spanish city whose brutal destruction was a precursor to all the horrendous death and suffering of World War II, now a finally fading generation ago. It was on Thanksgiving Day that we published detailed foreign reports about what has been done this month by what many in the world now consider to be the imperial crusading forces of the United States and Great Britain, 'on our watch', to the Iraqi city of 'Falluja' -- Falluja in Memoriam on Thanksgiving. Now this haunting essay, "Fallujah: America's Guernica", suggests a historical twist in time and fate we all should be pondering.




© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved