People of Egypt demand end to relations with Israel

Egypt continues to boil. The fall of the Mubarak regime, and the establishment of an interim government, has not satisfied the working masses. The working masses can see that the military, the backbone of the Mubarak regime, continues to rule and the interim government continues its anti working class, pro US, pro Israeli course. They are demanding a fundamental change in course.

As is well known, the Mubarak regime had built up close economic and diplomatic relations with the US and Israel, while supporting the US-Israel backed blockade of Gaza and attacking the struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights to their homeland. Egypt has been receiving more than $1.3 billion annually in US aid, second only to Israel. Public opinion in Egypt is on the other hand in favour of the Palestinian people's cause and in opposition to the close relations that Egypt has had with Israel under the Mubarak regime.

The Egyptian “Co-coordinating committee to support the Palestinian Intifada” called for a march into Gaza on May 15. The march was to force the government to open the Rafah crossing for passenger traffic as well as goods. However the ruling military council of Egypt banned the march. Under pressure from the people, the government announced it would open the Rafah crossing for passenger traffic. The people are demanding an end to the blockade of Gaza, imposed by Israel, and supported by the US and Egypt.

Reports from Cairo indicate continuous protests in front of the Israeli Embassy demanding the breaking of relations with Israel and the annulment of the Israel Egypt treaty.

The Egyptian peoples mounting opposition to the strategic alliance between these two states holds significance for the struggle of the Palestinian people and for Arab unity in general. Ever since the Israel Egypt  treaty was signed more than three decades ago, Egypt, the most populous Arab country in the world, transformed itself from a bastion of support for the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their struggle against the Israeli occupation forces, into a reserve of the US and Israel in the region. This was a heavy blow to the struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples. The Egyptian people never gave up their support for the Palestinian brothers and sisters, but their aspirations were brutally crushed by the Mubarak regime through fire and sword. Now, the Egyptian people are no longer willing to tolerate this situation.

The Egyptian people are demanding that the interim government scrap the long standing agreement to supply natural gas to Israel. The Mubarak regime is currently under investigation on corruption charges relating to contracts that underpriced the sale of natural gas to Israel. Under pressure from the people, the Egyptian government is reportedly considering to renegotiate the gas deal with Israel.

Earlier this month, leaders of the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation pact in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. This reconciliation comes amidst growing demands from the people in the entire Arab world, for unity of the Palestinian and Arab peoples against the US-Israel policy of blockade and isolation of the Palestinian people. It is reported to have greatly shocked and alarmed the Israeli government. The unity of Hamas and Fatah is a positive development for the Palestinian people. Hamas, which rules in Gaza, is denounced by the imperialists and Zionists as a "terrorist" organization, simply because it upholds the rights of the Palestinian people to their homeland.

There are reports that moves are afoot in Cairo and Tehran to reestablish relations between Iran and Egypt. These relations were broken after Egypt unilaterally signed the peace treaty with Israel.

Meanwhile, reports that the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is considering sending his special adviser, Isaac Molho, to Cairo for talks with the interim government, are being interpreted as signs of the panic and crisis within the Israeli government as a result of these developments.

Within Egypt, the protests of the working class in defence of its rights is mounting. Under the Mubarak regime, the workers were brutally suppressed and denied the right to protest. Now too, the interim government is using unabashed force against the working masses, declaring their protests illegal, and carrying out arrests and tortures. However, the working masses are refusing to be cowed down by these attacks. They are not satisfied with the "change" of merely removing Mubarak and carrying on with the same anti people course. They want to have a say in deciding the course of Egypt.

The Egyptian and Palestinian peoples are waging a just struggle which enjoys the support of the working class and peace and justice loving peoples of the whole world. All moves which strengthen Arab unity against the Israeli Zionists and their imperialist backers need to be supported.

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