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Cablegate: Tfle01: Parliamentary General Committee Condemns

VZCZCXRO8388
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHEG #4760/01 2141523
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021523Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0314
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 004760

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NSC FOR MIKE SINGH

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/02/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV LE IS EG
SUBJECT: TFLE01: PARLIAMENTARY GENERAL COMMITTEE CONDEMNS
U.S. IN EMERGENCY SESSION, OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AND
PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTIONS FOLLOW SUIT

REF: CAIRO 4680

Classified by A/DCM Asif Chaudhry, for reasons 1.5 (b) and
(d).

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In a July 31 emergency session, the
"General Committee of Egypt's People's Assembly" condemned
Israel's "war crimes" and "American complicity with Israel in
preventing the UNSC for carrying out its role." The Arab and
Foreign Affairs and National Security Committee of the Shura
Council (the upper house of parliament) urged August 1
"serious and swift efforts to reach an urgent and
unconditional resolution by the UNSC on halting Israeli
military operations inside Lebanon." According to press
reports, during an August 1 meeting of the influential NDP
Policies Committee, NDP Secretary General Safwat al-Sherif
condemned the Israeli attack on Qana as "a criminal massacre
and a war of annihilation and state terrorism" and NDP
Assistant Secretary General Gamal Mubarak reportedly
"expressed rejection of ideas about a 'new Middle East'." On
August 1, the influential Judges Club and Egyptian Labor
Union separately issued statements condemning Israel and the
U.S., and the Arab Lawyers Union called for a boycott of
American and Israeli products. We anticipate that other
groups, both governmental, opposition, and professional, will
issue further such statements in the coming days. END
SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) An emergency meeting of the "General Committee of
Egypt's People's Assembly" was convened July 31 by Ahmed
Fathy Sorour, Speaker of the Parliament and ruling National
Democratic Party (NDP) MP, following which Sorour made a
statement "deploring U.S. connivance with Israel by
encouraging its assault on Lebanon and hindering the UNSC's
role." (Note: The General Committee is chaired by Sorour, and
its membership is comprised of Zainab Radwan (Deputy Speaker
of Parliament), Abdel Aziz Mostafa (Deputy Speaker of
Parliament), NDP bloc leader Abdel Ahad Gamal El Deen, Al
Wafd Party SYG Mahmoud Abaza, Mohamad Shaban (Tagammu Party),
Zakareyya Azmy (NDP MP and President Hosni Mubarak's chief of
staff), Mohammad Dakroury (appointed MP and Mubarak's
lawyer), Mohammad Ramzy El Shaer (appointed MP), Farouk
Ashour (NDP MP) and Kamal Ahmad (former Nasserite and current
independent bloc leader) End note). The emergency session of
the General Committee followed the NDP MP's successful
blocking of an effort by opposition and independent
parliamentarians to force an emergency session of the full
Parliament to debate the Lebanon crisis.

3. (SBU) Following the emergency meeting, the General
Committee issued a statement that:

-- declared that permanent UN Security Council (UNSC)
members, especially the United States, bear responsibility
for violations of international law, and appealed to UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan to call on the UNSC to shoulder

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its responsibility pursuant to Chapter Seven of the UN
Charter;

-- condemned American complicity with Israel in preventing
the UNSC in carrying out its role;

-- condemned Israel's "war crimes" that violate the Fourth
Geneva Convention, warning of the dire consequences of the
current crisis for the Middle East peace process;

-- rejected the "new Middle East Project" which "some sides"
are advancing at the expense of countries in the region;

-- called on families of victims of Israeli attacks to file
lawsuits in Belgium, France and Spain;

-- emphasized the legitimacy of the actions of the Lebanese
resistance against occupation; and

-- rejected "fallacious" Israeli "pretexts" for the attacks,
as well as Israel's claim of self-defense, describing it as
"lacking legal justification."

4. (C) In an August 2 meeting with poloff, NDP parliamentary
bloc leader Abdel Ahad Gamal El Deen reviewed the General
Committee's statement, and urged the U.S. to push for an
immediate cease-fire. "I am angry and embarrassed by
America's policy," he stated, lamenting that, "I am a friend
of America, but I can't defend you now in front of Egyptians
... where has the 'honest broker' gone? Why have your
principles, and your sense of justice vanished? You are
hurting your friends in the Middle East, not just yourself.

CAIRO 00004760 002 OF 002

It is in the interests of us all - the U.S., Israel, and your
Arab supporters - that you change your approach, immediately."

5. (SBU) Media reports also note that the Arab and Foreign
Affairs and National Security Committee of the Shura Council
(the upper house of parliament) denounced the "Israeli
carnage in Qana" during an August 1 meeting. A statement
released following the meeting, which was chaired by NDP
Secretary General and speaker of the Shura Council Safwat

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al-Sherif, "asserted support for statements by President
Hosni Mubarak, in which he called for avoiding any attempts
to drag Egypt into an irrational and illogical conflict," and
"asserted the need for serious and swift efforts to reach an
urgent and unconditional resolution by the UNSC on halting
Israeli military operations inside Lebanon." The statement
also called for the "unity of Arab ranks" and the need to
activate "joint Arab action."

6. (SBU) According to press reports, during an August 1
meeting of the influential NDP Policies Committee, NDP
Secretary General al-Sherif condemned the Israeli attack on

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Qana as "a criminal massacre and a war of annihilation and
state terrorism." NDP Assistant Secretary General Gamal
Mubarak reportedly "expressed rejection of ideas about a 'new
Middle East,' stating that they are just like previous ideas,
aiming at dissolving the Arab identity and dragging the
region into conflicts and alliances that do not achieve Arab
interests."

7. (SBU) In the wake of the deaths at Qana, the influential
Judges Club held an August 1 emergency meeting to discuss the
Lebanon crisis, and issued a statement condemning the "Qana
Massacre" and calling for Arab and Muslim states to pressure
Israel "and its ally the United States," for an immediate
cease-fire, withdrawal from Lebanon, an international trial
of Israel for its military operations, and compensation for
Lebanese civilian victims of Israeli attacks. Also on August
1, the Arab Lawyers Union called for a boycott of American
and Israeli products, and urged Arab Chambers of Commerce to
freeze relations with both the U.S. and Israel. The Egyptian
Labor Union issued an August 1 statement denouncing U.S.
policy in support of Israel and U.S. "hegemony" over the UNSC
and international organizations. Also on August 1, a
conference was convened by Egyptian First Lady Suzanne
Mubarak at the National Council of Women, under the banner
"Together for Lebanon and Palestine." The gathering voiced
solidarity with Lebanese women, and warned that the Israeli
offensive "has become more like genocide ... the aggression
is a violation of international law and human rights
conventions set by the 'free world'." We anticipate that
other groups, both governmental, opposition, and
professional, will issue further such statements in the
coming days.
RICCIARDONE

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