April 23, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Amid the collapse of a multibillion-dollar natural gas agreement between Egypt and Israel that had been in place since 2005, officials from both countries stressed Monday that the dispute was a commercial one and did not reflect political tensions. But observers viewed the contract spat as the latest sign of souring relations between the two countries and said it could threaten the long-term viability of their historic 1979 Camp David peace accord. Tensions between the two countries have been rising since the ouster last year of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who maintained close ties with Israel despite the relationship's unpopularity with the Egyptian public.
April 6, 2012 |
Sundown Friday marks the beginning of Passover, the commemoration of the Jews' emancipation from enslavement in ancient Egypt. This year Passover falls on a day of enormous significance in the struggle for freedom in modern Egypt — April 6. That date is synonymous with the April 6 Youth Movement — formed in 2008 and named for the date of a planned strike to support Egyptian workers — that became the backbone of last year's Tahrir revolution that...
February 15, 2012 |
As 16 U.S. citizens await trial in Egypt for accepting foreign financing to promote democracy, for the first time in more than 30 years there is a serious debate in Washington about whether to end the $1.3-billion annual military assistance to Cairo. There's no debate in Egypt, however. More than 70% of Egyptians, according to a recent Gallup poll, no longer want U.S. funding. By deciding to prosecute Americans, post-Mubarak Egypt has intentionally provoked a bilateral crisis. But the legal assault on U.S.-funded nongovernmental organizations and personnel is merely a symptom of a larger, more serious problem.
October 14, 2011 |
The historical jigsaw puzzle that led to 1979's Israel-Egypt peace treaty is comprehensively, if sluggishly examined by director Harry Hunkele in his documentary "Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace. " Packed with impressive archival footage and rare interviews with dozens of the era's participants and observers, the film remains all too timely given the conflicts that continue to plague the Middle East. After a brief, animated prologue that zips through thousands of years of Jewish-Muslim discord, the movie settles in for a near one-hour recollection of the twisty decade following 1967's Arab-Israeli Six-Day War wherein a crisscross of international officials worked largely behind the scenes to help maintain peace and stability in this volatile region.
October 6, 2011 |
Egyptians have hardly noticed as the 30th anniversary of Anwar Sadat's death approached this week. It isn't only because they're too busy with ongoing political protests and labor strikes as the country zigzags toward democratic elections. They just don't care. To the young people who made the January 25 "revolution" in Tahrir Square, Sadat is a figure from a distant past. If they think of him at all, many are quick to curse him for making peace with Israel. There is little regret or grief over his assassination by Islamic extremists at a military parade in a Cairo suburb on Oct. 6, 1981.
September 14, 2011 |
My fingers burned with excitement. It was just weeks after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's dramatic trip to Israel in November 1977 and my boss had just returned from Egypt, the first Israel Defense Forces officer ever to visit that nation. I was a young officer, and the "present" he brought me — a standard tourist postcard — was the most precious one I could imagine. It was something from Egypt, and it was not going to explode. Until Sadat's trip, and the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty that followed, that sort of contact had been as tangible to Israelis as the moon.
May 23, 2011
In 1967, and now Re "A blunt push for peace," May 20 In his speech explicitly stating America's friendship with Israel and our commitment to its security, President Obama urged the Israelis to return to their 1967 borders as a means of securing peace. That would include relinquishing the Golan Heights, perhaps allowing Syria to resume shelling farms and homes in northern Israel (as was the case in 1967). It would also include giving up East Jerusalem and access to the Western Wall, the Jewish state's holiest site.
May 8, 2011 |
Egypt's new government has embarked on adventurous diplomacy to replace the legacy of former President Hosni Mubarak with a bolder Middle East presence less compliant with the U.S. and Israel. Cairo's maneuvers to reshape foreign policy include improved relations with the militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and its decision to ignore Israeli objections and reopen the Rafah border crossing after years of blockade to stop weapons smuggling into the Palestinian enclave.
February 22, 2011 |
Israel's so-called cold peace with Egypt is looking colder by the day. Early Tuesday, Egypt reportedly permitted two Iranian warships to enter the Suez Canal for the first time since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. During a mass prayer service Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square, anti-Israel cleric Yusuf Qaradawi? who returned to Egypt after years in exile ? called for the "conquest" of Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque, Islam's third-holiest site, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War and sits atop a Jewish holy site.
February 12, 2011 |
Egyptians carried their party into a second day as they sang, danced and cheered in ecstasy over the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak. Even as people rejoiced, the Egyptian army took steps to reassure the world of an orderly transition, and the foot soldiers of the revolution that ousted Mubarak debated how the military should move to meet the pledges of greater democracy and an end to emergency rule. The military said Egypt remained committed to its peace treaty with Israel and called for the reshuffled government appointed by Mubarak after demonstrations began to stay in place until a new body can be formed.