Egyptian and Israeli Cold Peace Has Never Been Warmer

(Cipher Brief) Bennett Seftel - The emergence of mutual security threats over the past few years has facilitated a growing partnership between Egypt and Israel. "Egypt and Israel are probably closer now for any number of reasons than they have been at any time since the peace treaty was signed in 1979," explains Aaron David Miller, an advisor to several secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations. "Press reports suggest that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Sisi talk frequently - some articles even say as much as once a week," says David Schenker, Director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Furthermore, Sisi's crackdown on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood as well as his public disdain for Hamas, the Brotherhood's offshoot in Gaza, has strongly resonated with the Israeli leadership. As part of the joint effort to combat militants in Sinai, Israel granted Egypt permission to increase its troop presence there beyond the limits established in the 1979 peace agreement. "The fact that Egypt has had as much latitude as it has in fighting the Islamic State and other groups in Sinai without drawing Israel's ire speaks volumes to the level of coordination that is presumably happening behind the scenes," said Perry Cammack, a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. However, trade between the two nations has been limited, while feelings of animosity toward Israel continue to permeate Egyptian society. "Anti-Israel (and anti-American) material continues to appear in Egypt's state-run media as well as privately owned media, says Michele Dunne, Middle East Program Director at the Carnegie Endowment.

2016-12-16 00:00:00

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