In Sisi's world Hamas is terrorist, Israel a friend

In Sisi's world Hamas is terrorist, Israel a friend
2 min read
27 May, 2015
Comment: Sisi’s Egypt has aligned with Tel Aviv on policy towards the resistance in Gaza, says Wael Kandil.
Under Sisi, Egypt has become a strategic partner of Israel [Getty]

There is a saying in Egypt that the verdict of the law is the highest form of truth, but the plain truth now is that Egypt under Abdel Fatah al-Sisi considers itself closer to Israel than Palestine.

On Tuesday, the Court of Summary Matters in Cairo ruled it did not have the jurisdiction to look into a lawsuit accusing Israel of terrorism.

Contradictiory rulings

This ruling comes after one not long ago deeming Hamas a to be terrorist organisation, and a second that decided – ostensibly, for lack of jurisdiction - to refuse to deem Israel a terrorist entity. The only surprise in this was that some claimed they were taken by surprise.

Israel has been a friend of the Sisi-led power grab in Egypt. Immediately following the coup, Israel asked the US not to freeze its annual $1.3bn of military aid to Egypt.

Soon after, Israel attacked the Palestinian people in Gaza, while Sisi's new regime attacked the people of Sinai.

This underscored the intimate alliance between Egyptian policy and Israel. Israel's Maariv newspaper, for example, proclaimed that the most important outcome of the war with Hamas was that it had solidified its strategic partnership with Egypt.

Eric Trager, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said: "Sisi shares Washington and Israel's view of Hamas as both a terrorist organisation and a strategic threat. Washington can count on Sisi as a partner in isolating Hamas."

Strategic realignment

Those who believe the hatred shown by the coup regime in Egypt towards Hamas is a tactic used for the sake of putting pressure and bargaining are sorely mistaken. It is most definitely a fixed strategy, borne out of the strategic alliance between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

The Egyptian regime is fully aware its survival depends on Israeli and US approval, especially with respect to the regime's role in setting the pace of Arab-Israeli relations and keeping them within the margins of - Israel's - safety.

The court's recent verdict is completely compatible with the regime's doctrine. But what is interesting are the reactions from the elites, especially bombastic pseudo leftists and pseudo nationalists who until recently excelled at covering their insignificance and their bias in favour of tyrannical and corrupt regimes by condemning Israel.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic website.