35 Years of Cold Peace with Egypt

(Jerusalem Post) Zvi Mazel - The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt turned 35 last month, but it never brought about the hoped-for development in relations between the two countries. The peace did have one outstanding success - in the field of agriculture. Thanks to Yusef Wali, a devout Muslim who was minister of agriculture, in the '80s and '90s Israeli experts were dispatched to Egypt, model farms set up and thousands of young Egyptians went to Kibbutz Bror Hayil, near Sderot, to learn advanced agricultural techniques. Egypt became almost self-sufficient in fruits and vegetables. Yet all this was done with the utmost discretion, not to say secrecy. Following the revolution that overthrew Mubarak, Wali was jailed for alleged corruption. Should Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi be elected as is generally assumed, he will have to decide whether to go along with the cold peace as before or to take the difficult and bold decision to promote cooperation with Israel for the greater benefit of both countries. The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden.

2014-04-16 00:00:00

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