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New Egyptian Survey Data Show a Combination of Apathy and Hostility toward Israel

June 30 2020

Examining a reliable poll of Egyptian public opinion—a rare thing in this unfree country—David Pollock highlights some key findings about attitudes toward the Jewish state and its conflict with the Palestinians:

[T]he Egyptian public is much more concerned about domestic problems, including public health, than any foreign-policy issue. And when it comes to foreign affairs and U.S. policy, . . . only a third of Egyptians now rank “pushing for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict” in first place as their priority for U.S. engagement in the region. The majority of responses to this question are split among U.S. action with regard to Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Libya. And a third of Egyptians say that “the Palestinians and the Israelis are both to blame for their continuing conflict.”

This pattern is likely due in part to the Egyptian public’s very low expectation for progress on the Palestinian problem. A mere 16 percent have even “somewhat positive” expectations of the new Israeli government elected this spring. And even fewer, just nine percent, have a favorable opinion of the Trump peace plan. [Nonetheless], 49 percent, as in previous years, continue to say that good relations with the U.S. are important for their country.

But none of this means attitudes toward Israel have warmed:

There is . . . very little popular support for further “normalization” with Israel. A mere 6 percent agree that “people who want to have business or sports contacts with Israelis should be allowed to do so.” By contrast, half the Egyptian public “strongly disagrees” with that assertion.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Egypt, Israel-Arab relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Trump Peace Plan

The Summary: 10/7/20

Two extraordinary events demonstrate something important about Israel’s most fervent adversaries. One was a speech given at something called The People’s Forum (funded generously by Goldman Sachs), which stated, “When the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism.”

The suggestion that this tiny state is the linchpin of a global, centuries-old phenomenon like capitalism goes well beyond anything resembling rational criticism. Even if Israel were guilty of genocide, apartheid, and oppression—which of course it is not—it would not follow that its destruction would help end capitalism or imperialism.

The other was an anti-Israel protest that took place in front of New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, deemed “complicit” in Israel’s evils. At organizers’ urging, participants shouted their slogans at kids in the cancer ward, who were watching from the windows. Given Hamas’s indifference toward the lives of Gazan children, such callousness toward non-Palestinian children from Hamas’s Western allies shouldn’t be surprising. The protest—like the abovementioned speech—deliberately conveyed the message that Israel is the ultimate evil and its destruction the ultimate good, cancer patients be damned.

The fact that Israel’s adversaries are almost comically perverse does not mean that they can be dismissed. If its allies fail to understand the obsessive and irrational hatred that it faces, they cannot effectively help it defend itself.

Read more at Mosaic