For the first time in the history of Cairo's relations with the Gaza Strip, the ruling military junta permitted an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood delegation to visit the Gaza Strip and meet Palestinian Hamas leaders. Coinciding with the delegation's arrival Sunday, June 12, top Egyptian officials unleashed a wave of anti-Israeli venom in Cairo, the worst in recent years.
Without warning, inflammatory stories were released to the media in quick succession: a "Mossad officer" was accused of plotting to sabotage the Egyptian revolution and "inciting sectarian violence." Israel was accused of contaminating farm products for Egyptian consumption and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon imp.icated in the "corrupt" gas transaction ex-President Hosni Mubarak contracted with Israel.
The prime movers behind this campaign of anti-Israel defamation are named by debkafile's intelligence sources as Gen. Murad Muwafi, Minister of Intelligence, and the Supreme State Security Prosecutor, Hisham Badawi. Putting the charges in the hands of the State Security Prosecutor is tantamount to labeling Israel a danger to Egyptian national security.
The third figure is Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Alarabi. He soon takes office as Secretary General of the Arab League and has made no secret of the radical anti-Israel policies he plans introduce.
Israeli leaders were thunderstruck by these machinations. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and nine members of his government were out of the country. Sunday, they began an exceptionally friendly three-day visit to Italy. A joint session with the Berlusconi government awaits them with other notable events. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is in Rome with the party, while Defense Minister Ehud Barak has gone to Beijing for another try to bring China aboard the international effort for keeping a nuclear bomb out of Iranian hands.
The Egyptian trio orchestrating the anti-Israel drive apparently used their absence to dump their poison without fear of an official response from Jerusalem.
It was carefully synchronized: The arrival of the Muslim Brotherhood delegation to Gaza, headed by two Shura Council members Saad Hussaini and Mohsein Farouk, coincided with Cairo's arrest of an Israeli "Mossad officer."
The statement by the Supreme State Prosecutor's office alleged that the Israeli spy – who was variously named as Aviran Green, Ilan Green and, later, on an Egyptian website, Ilan Haim Gavriel – entered Egypt after the uprising began on Jan. 25 posing as a foreign correspondent come to cover the anti-regime demonstrations in al-Tahrir Square. His real undercover mission, said the Egyptian statement, was to foment strife between Copts and Muslims and sabotage the revolution.
In today's Cairo, there can be no more heinous allegation than turning the clock back to pre-revolution days by inciting chaos and sectarian strife. It amounts to charging Israel's external security agency with fomenting anti-revolutionary anarchy. Responsibility is also fastened on the Jewish state for the Muslim Brothers' May 9 attack on the Copt community of Cairo and its church and the death of 9 Copts.
Shortly after the "discovery" of an "Israeli spy," Egyptian authorities accused Israel of trying to poison the population by secretly contaminating tomato seeds and plants produced by a Cypriot farm and sold to Egypt.
Finally, the prosecutor declared he had proof that the contract for the supply of Egyptian gas to Israel, now being held up as the quintessence of the Mubarak family's corruption, was put together by the former president and the former prime minister in person when they agreed how to divide their ill-gotten spoils.