Although the visit by the Egyptian Foreign Minister Samir Shoukry to Israel is not as significant as the visit by the former Egyptian President Sadat in 1977 that led to the Egypt-Israel peace agreement of 1979, nevertheless it is a significant event. It has two major connotations, first that the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt is holding and is supported by the President of Egypt Gen. al Sisi. Second, that the Egyptian Government wants to play a direct role in negotiating between the Palestinians and Israel. This will be a welcome alternative to the meddling of the EU and particularly France that wants to continue its pointless conferences in which it brings together a slew of countries to discuss the situation without including Israel or the Palestinians, such nonsense.
Relations between Israel and Egypt are currently excellent, with Israel assisting Egypt in its war against Muslim extremists in Sinai, specifically using drones for intelligence. But, relations between Egypt and Hamas in Gaza are strained, since they are suspected of supporting and aiding the insurgents in Sinai that are mostly either Islamic State adherents or Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, Egypt’s blockade of Gaza by shutting the Rafah crossing is more complete than that of Israel, since Israel allows hundreds of trucks a day to cross into Gaza. Right now goods from Turkey that were shipped to Ashdod as part of the Israeli agrrment with Turkey are being trucked to Gaza, so Israel’s blockade of Gaza is only a naval one to prevent arms from entering.
Shoukry’s visit indicates a willingness of moderate Sunni States to deal with Israel, as several are doing secretly, in order to form a tentative alliance against common enemies, including Iran and the IS. It is possible that these States, including Saudi Arabia as well as Egypt, will make a deal with Israel over the heads of the intransigent Palestinians. It seems clear that 82-year-old Pres. Abbas of the PA is completely unable to make any deal. That is why he criticized the Quartet Report recently, when the Report as usual criticizes Israel as much as the Palestinians. But, Israel largely ignores these criticisms as routine left-wing rote of its settlements and so-called “occupation.”
In that respect the Republican Party’s platform that is being prepared for Trump’s candidature is a new departure, for the first time they have removed all mention of “settlements” and “two-state solution” and said they will assist the parties in coming to a mutual agreement. That’s what we need, new thinking and open ideas and not stale left-wing propaganda.