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Cablegate: "Lebanon Is in Egypt's Heart." Egypt

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #4919 2220901
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100901Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0451
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS CAIRO 004919

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA/PPD FOR ALBERTO FERNANDEZ, ROBIN SMITH AND
DAVID BENZE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PREL PREL IS LE EG
SUBJECT: "LEBANON IS IN EGYPT'S HEART." EGYPT
MEDIA TRENDS: AUGUST 9, 2006


1. Summary. One of the main news stories and
subject of much commentary was the 70-member
delegation which traveled to Lebanon yesterday
"as an assertion of solidarity to the Lebanese
people during this hard time." Commentaries were
particularly rough in their criticisms of the US
and Israel today, including one which pointed the
finger at the American people. Television
programs provided significant airtime to members
of Al-JamaQa Al-Islamia (the Islamic Group) to
offer their denial of the story from earlier in
the week that their members had joined the ranks
of Al-Qaeda. End Summary.

2. In the headlines and front pages. "All of
Egypt Supports Lebanon Against the Israeli
Aggression", "Lebanon is in Egypt's Heart". Such
were the headlines in pro-government papers, and
the main story in all monitored pro-government,
opposition and independent papers highlighted
Lebanese Prime Minister SinioraQs meeting with
the 70-member Egyptian delegation, headed by the
Egyptian Ministers of Information, Trade and
Industry, Health, and the Assistant Secretary
General of the ruling National Democratic Party,
Gamal Mubarak. As reported, the delegation
declared support for Lebanon against the Israeli
aggression. Opposition and independent papers
focused their headlines on their perception of
Hezbollah's, or "the resistance's" ability to
remain "steadfast" in the face of the Israeli
Qbutchers.

3. In the commentaries. The day's commentaries
in independent daily, Al-Masry Al-Yom, were
particularly negative toward the US and Israel.
One well-known columnist, who also writes for
government-owned, Al-Ahram, expressed that his
"hatred of Israel's warring governments was
reinforced by the image of Israeli children
writing messages on missiles." He explained,
"This is why I depend on Hezbollah to take
revenge." A regular contributor criticized the
US's "claims of spreading democracy throughout
the region" as doing so "on the corpses of women,
children and the elderly." In perhaps one of the
most notable commentary's for its unusual focus
on the American people, Mahmoud El-Khodeiry, a
well-known judge who was on trial earlier this
year for criticizing the parliamentary elections
for being "influenced", called President Bush
"the most brilliant ruler who was able to turn
the entire world against his own people." He
specifically noted his "opposition" to the
"fallacious" sentiment "we hate the American
government, not the people" because, "unlike the
Arab countries, the American people chose this
government."

4. On the airwaves. In a special edition
program, Egyptian Television's Channel 1 aired a
long program on the Egyptian Islamic Group's
denial of any membership connection with Al-
Qaeda. In the words of Sheikh Karam Zohdi, "Since
1996, the group launched an initiative ... to put
down weapons and ... since the release of most of
them in 2001, no one has deviated from this path
of peace." Satellite-broadcast, Dream TV's
popular evening program, "10 PM" also focused on
the Islamic Group's denial of any involvement
with Al-Qaeda, as they have "chosen the path of
peace." In the words of one guest, "the real
threat now ... comes from small chaotic groups
that emerge and take their orders through
computers from Al Qaeda and other extremists.
RICCIARDONE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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