Yesterday was 40 years since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat gave his historic address to the Israeli Knesset, which helped lay the foundation for our peace treaty with Egypt.
In Cairo, Ambassador David Govrin will invite his guests to mark 40 years since the historic event. As always, until the very last moment, he won’t know who is coming and who will apologize for their “absence.” Because in Egypt, which initiated the whole move, there is no desire to celebrate and there is no nostalgia.
The only thing they are doing to mark the event is analyzing the motives of Sadat’s dramatic decision. What he went through in his days of seclusion in Sinai and in Romania, who he consulted, if he even consulted anyone, and why did he believe he would succeed in shattering the barriers between the people. His widow, who turned down the invitation to come to Israel, is actually giving nonstop interviews in Cairo. Israel is an established fact even in the changing reality, but normalization is a different story.
And this says it all really. Israel still longs for peace and good relations with our Arab and Muslim neighbors, beyond mere nonbelligerency. Our neighbors don’t seem to long for it as much. Some of them, like Egypt, are willing to play nice when it serves their interests, but they have no great love for us Jews in the Middle East.