By Barry Rubin
The NY Times covers the thirtieth anniversary of Egypt-Israel peace treaty with an article
which goes on and on in saying that Egyptians feel they didn’t get anything out of the treaty because they still live under a dictatorship.
No mention of billions in U.S. aid as a result. That is truly amazing. The treaty brought Egypt more than $60 billion but that isn’t worth mentioning.
No mention of how Egypt has not lived up to the normalization aspects–discouraging tourism and trade, for example; or continuing to demonize Israel.
No mention of how Egypt didn’t contribute very much to the peace efforts of the 1990s.
No mention of the lack of connection between the treaty and the internal governance of Egypt.
One sentence on the benefits of the treaty. Egypt got Sinai back (after Israel “conquered” and “occupied” it. No mention of how Egypt provoked the 1967 war crisis. And no mention of the small facts about reopening the Suez Canal, the aforementioned –by me, not the Times–U.S. aid, and the regaining of the Sinai oilfields.
True, this is supposed to be the “Egyptian” version of the story but the problem is that more and more articles are like this.
On one hand, this makes the Western media more and more a mouthpiece for what’s in the Arab media. Indeed, the level of quality in the Times during recent years seems as if it is getting closer to the Arab media.
On the other hand, this means the expression of the official voice of regimes and radical groups which is often quite different from what is said in private or, even more important, what is true.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to http://www.gloria-center.org