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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Egypt puts editor on trial for 'criminal peacemaking'

Egypt is about to put Hala Mustafa, editor of an Egyptian democracy journal, on trial for meeting with Israel's ambassador to her country. Barry Rubin reports.
At the ambassador’s request, she spoke with him briefly in her office about a project to hold an academic conference including Egyptians, Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians. Mustafa replied that she’d check with her supervisors at the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies on whether they wanted her to help organize or participate in the conference.

That’s it.

On December 14 her employer is scheduled to decide whether she will be punished. The Al-Ahram Center is part of Al-Ahram newspaper which is controlled by the Egyptian government. In other words, this harassment is due to a decision made at high levels in Egypt’s government which receives many rewards—including lots of U.S. aid—because it is perceived as a moderate government at peace with Israel.

So is this same government going to punlish a scholar and researcher for merely talking to an Israeli diplomat?
Read the whole thing.

Would things have been different if Anwar Sadat (pictured above with Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter) had lived? Maybe. But what this story shows - again - is the difference between making peace with a country's leadership and its people. If there's no peace with the people, the treaty becomes worthless as soon as the leader is gone.


At 2:51 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Hala Mustafa's fate shows that peace between Egypt and Israel has been emptied of all practical meaning. Israel made peace with Sadat not with Egypt and when he was gone so was the peace. That's a lesson that a piece of paper can't change hearts and minds - even after many decades. It also belies the notion that establishing a Palestinian state would make Israel more accepted in the rest of the Arab World.


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