Israel-Egypt: Peace Treaty, Not Peace

(Al-Ahram-Egypt) Dina Ezzat - 35 years after the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was signed in March 1979, trade cooperation has been limited. A member of the Egyptian business community who has been doing business with Israel insists on keeping a low profile for fear of being "stigmatized as dealing with the enemy." He says: "We have a peace deal and we cannot do business, it has been 35 years since this peace treaty was signed and still it is a big issue if someone said let us do business with Israel or let us benefit from their agricultural expertise." A retired Egyptian diplomat recalled: "I clearly remember that during the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon there was top intelligence information regarding Hizbullah going from Cairo and from other Arab capitals to Israeli counterparts, with the hope that Israel would fully eliminate Hizbullah, which was perceived as an adversary by Cairo due to its ties with both Tehran and Damascus that were antagonizing Egypt." This cooperation was also very much present in the winter of 2009 during Israel's operation against Palestinians in Gaza. During the three years that followed the Mubarak era, Israel got to see that in the collective Egyptian consciousness, it remains the enemy. Today, the Israeli diplomatic mission operates from unpublicized venues and at a smaller capacity, especially now that the exchange of official visits at a high level has been halted. "This is the case despite business as usual regarding security cooperation and despite lots of direct communication over the increase in Egyptian forces and arms and military equipment in Sinai, way beyond the limitations of the peace treaty," said an Egyptian diplomat.

2014-03-31 00:00:00

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