Friday, April 18, 2014
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In the new Egypt, the public wants to keep the treaty with Israel

A new poll, conducted by the New York-based International Peace Institute, finds that the vast majority of Egyptians want to keep their peace treaty with Israel.

In the new Egypt, the public wants to keep the treaty with Israel

A new poll, conducted by the New York-based International Peace Institute, finds that the vast majority of Egyptians want to keep their peace treaty with Israel.

Almost two thirds would approve of a party that favored keeping the peace treaty, and this appeals strongly to half those polled. A little over one third prefer a party that seeks to break the peace treaty and end diplomatic relations with Israel.

The same two thirds also prefer a party that will work for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestine issue.

These results sync with what I heard from demonstrators in Tahrir Square, and from residents of working class districts, when I visited Cairo in February. The common response went like this: "We want to keep the peace treaty because we don't want war. But we want our new government to push Israel much harder for peace with the Palestinians."

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Many Egyptians with whom I spoke also wanted the government to press Israel to change some provisions of the peace treaty, especially the one that requires Egypt to get Israeli permission to send troops into the Sinai Peninsula.

This issue came into public view some months ago, when the Egyptian government had to get an Israeli green light before it could send troops to put down a Bedouin protests in Sinai. This was viewed by many Egyptians as an insult to their sovereignty. However, Israel sees the Sinai as a buffer zone, and would probably be reluctant to reopenthe issue to review.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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