by Geoffrey Churchman

While Egypt’s relations with the Trump administration were about as good as they could want, Egypt hasn’t been so popular with the U.S. Democrats, who basically think Egypt has been jailing too many Islamists for preaching intolerance, religious supremicism and sedition. Although Israel also jails plenty of troublemakers, the U.S. for the last six decades has been a solid supporter of the country, in part because of the significant Jewish lobby, especially in New York.

In consequence of the Biden administration’s attitude, this year has seen more public displays of Egyptian-Israeli amity with public meetings between high-level people. These happened regularly before, but in the sidelines away from the media. The message that Egypt clearly wants to send is that it is a rock of stability and wants good relations with all countries that aren’t infested with Islamists on the loose.

The constraining factor for the Egyptian government hitherto has been that most of its own population are not pro-Israel, apart from those living in tourist destinations, so it has been unwilling to risk a backlash — it well knows what happened during the disastrous ‘Arab spring’ of 2011. But there’s an obvious shift in approach now.

Here in Jacindaland the Green Party MPs openly express support for Hamas terrorists in Gaza and rebellion in the West Bank, but they are rather guarded about expressing support for Iran and now the Taliban in Afghanistan as neither regime likes women’s rights, let alone LGBTQ people — harsh treatment and executions for them are de rigueur in both theocracies.

It’s unlikely the Greens will see sense about the Middle East, however — there’s only so much their warped thinking can accommodate.

A meeting between Israeli PM Naftali Bennett and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on 13 September 2021. Last month there was a similar meeting between Bennett and the head of Egyptian Intelligence in Jerusalem.
A meeting between former Israeli PM Netanyahu and El Sisi in New York in 2019. The difference: no Israeli flag, only an Egyptian one. (Egyptian presidency photos).