Egypt plays down FM’s remarks

Posted: April 28, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Anti-Israel, Egypt, Israel, Middle East

Anti-Israel rally in San Francisco With unofficial tension between Israel and Egypt mounting following remarks by Egyptian FM Aboul Gheit, the Ministry attempts to downplay the remarks, claiming the Minister was “misunderstood” and actually said Lebanon sees Israel as an enemy state. While likely doing little to remedy the effect, the message had to be released:

Over the last few days, Arab media has reported that Aboul Gheit was asked during a visit to Beirut if he had any messages to relay from Israel regarding reports that Syria transferred Scud missiles to Hezbollah. The Egyptian Minister reportedly answered that his country does not relay messages from "the enemy."

The director of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stressed that Aboul Gheit was misunderstood, and that he meant to say that he could not relay messages from Israel to Lebanon because Lebanon sees Israel as an enemy state.

(Haaretz)

IN SPITE OF Egyptian officials’ attempt to fix the damage, Israeli officials watch Aboul Gheit’s remarks closely. The FM made similar remarks on several occasions in the past several years, and Israelis surely understand he represent more radical majority of Arabs.

However, it is also important to understand the strategy behind Aboul Gheit’s words. While doubtlessly his remarks represent his personal sentiment, they were also directed at Arabs throughout the Arab world. As in Europe of 1930’s, blaming the Jews game plays well within the Muslim world, where power struggle between Iran and Egypt mounts. As Hosni Mubarak attempts to maintain law and order within his own country, he also understands he cannot undo decades of anti-Jewish indoctrination within Arab people. Thus, Gheit’s remarks were meant to somewhat rival those of Iran and establish Egypt as a moderate alternative to Ahmadinejad’s regime. “Yet,” Egypt explains, “’moderate’ still means anti-Israel”.

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  1. […] Read the original here: Egypt plays down FM's remarks « The Middle East Informer […]

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