December 5, 2004


Egypt, Israel seize chance for thaw: Sunday's swap of an Israeli spy for Egyptian students is indicative of a post-Arafat thaw between the nations. (Ben Lynfield and Dan Murphy, 12/06/04, CS Monitor)

[L]ately, the tone and to some extent the substance of relations has changed markedly, with Egypt apparently realizing it needs a working relationship with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in order to play a regional leadership role and impress Washington.

"Don't forget that from time to time the Israeli side complains to the Americans that Egypt doesn't play an active role in controlling the smuggling of arms,'' says Emad Gad, an expert on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. "The Egyptians want to convince America that Egypt will control its borders and that Egypt is a peace partner that the US can depend on as a regional ally." [...]

Beyond the lofty rhetoric, a common interest in ensuring a smooth Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is bringing the two countries together now. Other signs of warming: The unprecedented Israeli leadership of rescue efforts on Egyptian soil after an October terrorist bombing in Taba and a surprisingly muted Egyptian response to the Nov. 18 killings of three Egyptian border guards by Israeli soldiers.

Every bomb al Qaeda and company have set off since 9-11 has served American purposes (with the singular exception of the Madrid bombings).

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 5, 2004 6:04 PM
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