Lee Smith: Something is rotten in the state of Egypt

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Obama administration's Arab-Israeli peace process is in more trouble than even the White House realizes. To be sure, the Israelis and Palestinians are both dug in, and when the president sought baby steps from the Arabs toward normalizing relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait rebuffed the administration. But now even Cairo, where Obama hit his reset button with the Muslim world, has made its stand, albeit much less publicly. The campaign against Egyptian editor and analyst Hala Mustafa for meeting with Israel's ambassador to Cairo is sufficient evidence that the first country to have a peace treaty with Jerusalem is no closer to normalization than it was when Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Accords 30 years ago.

Recently, Israel's envoy to Egypt, Shalom Cohen, visited Mustafa at her office in the Al-Ahram newspaper building, home to the semi-official daily to which Mustafa often contributes, and where she edits the quarterly Arabic-language journal, Democracy.

"The ambassador had a proposal to convene a symposium and asked me to participate," Mustafa told me by phone. "Egyptians, Israelis and Palestinians were to discuss Obama's initiatives and the peace process. Since we would need authorization from Al-Ahram and other state institutions, I didn't give him any final decision."

Nonetheless, chairman of the Egyptian press syndicate Makram Muhammad Ahmed claimed that Mustafa's brief interview with Cohen violated the boycott of the Zionist enemy that the syndicate adopted in 1983.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMedia* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgyptIsraelThe Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Katherine wrote:

Very interesting article.  The Egyptian revulsion for Jews and Israel is irrational.  If every Jew in the entire world moved to Israel (and they won’t) the resulting population would still be substantially smaller than metropolitan Cairo.

September 29, 8:42 am | [comment link]
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