A Growing Power Struggle?

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi responded to U.S. President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with cautious pessimism. He warned his ally in the White House not to take measures that would undermine prospects for peace in the Middle East. The delicate balancing act he has been performing, to avoid jeopardizing his relationship with Washington, and at the same time not antagonize the Palestinians and much of the Egyptian public, was probably to be expected.

Not expected was the depth of extremist anti-American and anti-Israel sentiment spread by Egypt’s state-run media. Two particularly jarring examples illustrate this disturbing trend.

The first was from television host Ahmed Moussa, on the Sada Elbalad network, who proceeded to denounce the United States as the world’s bully, an international thug that supposedly both manages terrorism and manipulates it to justify its policies. He claimed that it was Egypt that led the world against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, and that the U.S. was trying to control Egypt by lodging false accusations of human rights violations and discrimination against Christians. He actually said this in spite of “what have now become regular assaults by Islamic militants on the country’s Coptic community.”

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