July 29, 2003

Egypt Loves Sharon?

I wonder what backroom pressure led to this.

CAIRO - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Saturday Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was the only Israeli politician capable of forging peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

"If he has the desire for a solution, I think he is the only one, and I don't think there is anybody else apparent on the Israeli political scene," said Mubarak, whose country has played a major role in Israeli-Palestinian peace making.

Maybe it's true, maybe it's not. I doubt it, but I don't know. It's not very likely that Hosni Mubarak believes it. But he said so to a group of Egyptian students in Alexandria.

Did somebody have a nice little chat about the 2 billion dollars in aid money we give Egypt every year?

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 29, 2003 12:54 AM

Mubarak is correct, whether he believes it or not. Just like it was necessary for Begin to be the one who agreed to pull out of Sinai, a final West Bank/GAza deal agreed to by Sharon would have a lot more credibility with non-Left Israelis and American Zionists than the attempt at one that was negotiated by Barak.

Intifada II was a disaster from the Palestinian perspective not only because it discredited Barak and other Israelis willing to make a deal, but also because it served to draw critical attention away from the other people who summarily and wrongly rejected Camp David: a majority of Israelis, and a significant number of American supporters of Israel, particularly those in the neo-conservative camp.

Posted by: Markus Rose at July 30, 2003 01:18 PM


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