Monday, November 28, 2011

28-Nov-11: Far from the election action in Egypt, a cold peace gets still colder

An Egyptian mob attacks Israel's embassy in Cairo, September 2001.
A cold peace is growing colder.
Reuters reports on yet another successful attack on the pipe that brings gas from Egypt to Israel. The pipeline running to Israel and also Jordan was blown up today (Monday) a few hours before Egypt's first free election since the toppling of Mubarak in February. It was last attacked earlier this month and there were seven more attacks before that during 2011. Each one caused an explosion and interrupted the gas flow. Earlier this month we blogged on how the government in Cairo said it plans to tighten security measures along the pipeline by installing alarm devices and adding security patrols. We assume the planning goes on.

Egypt's state-controlled news agency MENA says the explosions were in the al-Sabeel area and were detonated from a distance with tracks from two vehicles being found in the area. In strikingly laconic words, Reuters says "Egypt's 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with the Egyptian public".  It might have mentioned that peace with Israel, as the BBC reported a short while ago, has always been unpopular with the Egyptian masses.

Case in point: the views published in a June 2011 Newsweek/Daily Beast poll ("Egypt’s Simmering Rage"). Based on a survey of 1,008 randomly selected Egyptian adults, it found only 3 percent had a positive impression of Israel. 70 percent of those polled would either amend or repeal the Camp David Accords that have formed the basis of the "cold peace" between Israel and Egypt since 1978.

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