- Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 9:01 AM
- Tags: EgyptHassanAl-Shafe'i ;SafwatMagdi HusseinMohammed Mursi
Last week the Egyptian government discussed the Ethiopian plan to build a dam that would divert the course of the Nile, a move Egypt thinks will threaten the water supply and agriculture in Egypt.
The discussion was aired live on television but except for president Morsi nobody seemed to be aware of the live broadcast.
Watch here the Memri video of the cabinet meeting:
Cabinet members spoke freely about destabilizing the Ethiopian government and about waging war against Israel and the US over the Nile crisis.
Magdi Hussein, Chairman of Egypt’s Islamic Labor Party made the boldest statements. He said he was ‘very fond’ of battles with Israel and the US.
He then called for the members of the cabinet to swear themselves to secrecy as they prepare for a confrontation. “We need a popular plan for popular national security”. Later Hussein said that shutting off the water from the Nile would “turn the Egyptians into the world’s most extremist people.”
He continued: “Imagine what this people would do if its water were turned off—what 80 million of us would do to Israel and America if our water was turned off.”
Sheikh HassanAl-Shafe’i of Al Azhar Islamic University launched a new conspiracy theory during the meeting. He said that the Nile could not fly to Israel but that the river might get some ‘subterranean wings’. He then suggested that an Ethiopia might use the water of the Nile to sell it to Israel.
On Monday the Nile crisis was again the main topic during a meeting of Egyptian Islamist parties that was attended by president Morsi.
Morsi called for national unity in face of the threats to the Nile. He also said that “all options” were on the table to respond to
the current situation and insisted that Egypt would not accept infringements on its water security.
He furthermore stated that Egypt will defend each drop of Nile water with blood if necessary.
During this meeting Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya member Safwat
Abdel-Ghani said that Egypt was facing many “conspiracies and
challenges,” including limited water resources and a steadily mounting
population, but also referred to “international forces interfering in Africa”.
“We should not forget that these forces are plotting against Egypt and
exploiting the region’s poverty,” he said, hinting that the Ethiopian dam
project had been encouraged by foreign interests.
He then called on Egypt to “watch the movements
of the Zionist enemy operating within the Nile Basin countries.”
“We will say this one generation after the other: we will remain Israel’s
enemy,” the crowd chanted in response.
It looks like the Egyptian leaders have finally found a way to divert attention from the failure to solve the deepening economic and social crisis in the country.