A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Not So Much a Cold Peace as a Quiet Peace

Just a reminder: postings will be sparse during my current two week vacation.

Jacky Hugi recently had a piece at Al-Monitor cleverly entitled "Egypt and Israel: a lover and his mistress." He led by noting the four regional countries not invited to Egypt's recent Suez Canal festivities: Turkey, Syria, Qatar, and Israel. President Sisi's government sees the first three as hostile, but it actually maintains close security and intelligence links with Israel. While the lover and his mistress imagery only goes so far, it's also true that Egypt doesn't publicize (for a domestic audience at any rate) the closeness of its cooperation with Israel on issues such as Gaza, Sinai, and Hamas, though they're well enough known to outside players. In the early years of the peace treaty some Israelis complained of a "cold peace"; what has evolved is instead a quiet peace, hence the lover-mistress analogy.

The Jordanian-Israeli peace also generally is kept to a low profile inside Jordan. But recently both Jordan and Israel participated in the international Red Flag exercise in Nevada, and according to a military website at least, after ferrying two flights of Israeli F-15s to Spain and on to Lajes in the Azores. Israeli aerial tankers also ferried a flight of Jordanian F-16s on the same route. Again, that the two countries cooperate on security and intelligence matters is no secret, but this sort of close cooperation gets as little domestic publicity in Jordan as in Egypt.

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