Friday, February 8, 2008


Change of Heart in Cairo - Noha El-Hennawy
As the border with Gaza was sealed off, the Egyptian state-owned media launched a campaign apparently seeking to overturn public sympathy for the Palestinians. Newspapers have become harsh on the Palestinians, with front-page news about Palestinians shooting at Egyptian soldiers, weapons smuggling, terrorism and reports of false currency in Sinai, posing a threat to Egypt's national security. The new content replaces earlier headlines that showed sympathy with the Palestinians.

Rose-al-Youssef, a state-owned paper known for being the most vocal mouthpiece of the regime, has spearheaded the anti-Palestinian campaign. The paper even denied that Gaza had a humanitarian crisis, hinting that Gazans were well-off. Abdullah Kamal, the paper's editor in chief, wrote, "Each [Gazan] comer spent an average of $260 in three days...the total spending during that period reached $220 million. These figures raise real questions about the financial situation in Gaza."  (Los Angeles Times)

SEE ALSO: Cairo and Hamas - Zvi Bar'el
If someone were to ask the Egyptians to compare the degree of their hostility toward Israel with that toward Hamas, Hamas would come out the worse. The wounding of Egyptian policemen, a large photo in the Egyptian media of a bearded Hamas man aiming a revolver at the head of an Egyptian citizen who tried to cross over into Gaza, and the reports about terrorist squads in Sinai have all had an effect. Egypt now faces a reality that requires it to apply the brakes to Hamas' intention to set up an independent Palestinian entity in Gaza reliant on Egypt, and Israel's desire to transfer responsibility for security on the Gaza border to Egypt. Egypt understands that if the issue of the border crossings is not resolved soon, it will face another invasion of Palestinians in the future. (Ha'aretz)

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