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The Israeli-Egyptian love affair

Ever since the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt almost 37 years ago, Israel and Egypt have been fostering security ties, but it is the Sisi regime that brings these ties to a new, unprecedented level.

Egyptian parliament member and TV talk show host Tawfiq Okasha let the genie out of the bottle. Even though a shoe was thrown in his face by Kamel Ahmed, another parliament member, and despite the savage attacks directed at him in the Egyptian media and public forum in recent days, the sharp-tongued, brazen Okasha doesn’t get excited. His crime was defined by the media as “the crime of normalization,” for the fact that he invited Haim Koren, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, to his house for dinner on Feb. 24. Okasha even heaped praises on the ambassador and on the collaboration and normalization of relations between Israel and Egypt.

Okasha wouldn’t have dared to invite Koren without a wink from someone upstairs. He knows that Egypt’s higher stratums — from the president to the regime’s high echelons, the military, intelligence and the elites — view Israel as an important, powerful ally in regional struggles. But “the other Egypt,” the lower echelons, have not yet internalized this change. The masses, together with most of the politicians, public opinion leaders, journalists and writers still view the Jewish state as a type of satanic entity: the eternal, mythological and hated enemy. And they see no reason to moderate their view of the Jewish state at this time.

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