Egypt coup regime hires Israel-linked Washington lobby firm

Days before Egyptian forces stormed it on 14 August killing hundreds of people, a man held a sign protesting the military coup in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square.

Ahmed Asad APA images

Egypt’s military regime, which overthrew elected President Muhammad Morsi on 3 July, has hired a Washington, DC public relations firm with close ties to the Israel lobby and President Obama’s Democratic Party.

Last week, the Glover Park Group (GPG) filed lobbying registration forms with the US Department of Justice, stating that the firm will “provide public diplomacy, strategic communications counsel and government relations services” for the Egyptian regime headed by General Abdulfattah al-Sisi, The Hill reported.

As Middle East Monitor points out, a managing director of GPG is Arik Ben-Zvi.

“Ben-Zvi served in the Israeli Defense Forces and received his degree in History and Political Science from Tel Aviv University,” according to GPG’s website.

He also served as the “chief communications consultant on national and local elections in Israel, Bulgaria and the British Virgin Islands.”

But Ben-Zvi is not the only senior GPG person with close professional ties to Israel. Other members of the leadership team include senior vice president Jason Boxt who is former national deputy political director at the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Matt Mandel, now vice president at GPG, previously worked in the AIPAC legislative department.

Mandel also served as a legislative assistant to current US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Republican of Virginia).

As one of the largest and most “experienced” lobby firms, according to The Hill, GPG currently represents Apple, Coca-Cola and arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Colombia, another US-allied government with an atrocious human rights record, has also previously turned to GPG.

Ties to Democratic Party

GPG also employs several former senior government officials including Clinton administration alumni Susan Brophy and DeeDee Myers.

The firm’s founding partners include top Democratic Party operatives Carter Eskew and former Clinton advisor and spokesman Joe Lockhart.

Good fit for coup regime

GPG is a natural fit for the Egyptian military regime, given the close ties and cooperation it maintains with Israel, and the fact that a Democratic president is in the White House.

AIPAC itself has worked hard to lobby the US government to not designate the Egyptian military takeover as a coup, thus avoiding a legally-mandated cutoff of US military aid to Egypt.

A “suspension” of some US military aid to Egypt announced by the Obama administration last week was purely symbolic and exempted aid required to help Egypt assure Israeli security and maintain the siege of Gaza.

When announcing the measures, US officials were at pains to emphasize they would maintain their close, high-level relations with Egyptian army top brass.

Precise execution

One of the services GPG offers its clients is “crisis management.”

“When a client faces a crisis – from a product recall, to litigation, to activist attacks,” GPG’s website proclaims, “we strive to be a resource, helping drive fast, thoughtful decision making, tight internal coordination and precise execution.”

Since the July coup, activists have been under attack by the military regime and more than 2,000 people have been arrested.

More than 1,000 people have been shot in cold-blood, killings that amount to summary and precise execution.

Though that is not what GPG meant by “activist attacks” and “precise execution,” it is what they will now be paid to defend.