Having experienced the warm feelings expressed by Egyptians toward the Israelis, when I visited there as a guide and an escort for Israelis visiting Egypt in 1981, I was puzzled, on the one hand, by the coolness of the economic relations between the two countries since then and on the other by the friendliness of ordinary Egyptians; they literally embraced me when they heard that I was from Israel. One taxi driver stopped his car in the middle of dense traffic in Cairo, when he heard that I was from Israel and called everyone around to come and rejoice in the new found friendship. People literally danced around our tour group at every site we visited, whether in Alexandria and Cairo or the simple farmers on the banks of the Nile.
But I shouldn't be puzzled because the official attitude of the Arab world was very different from that of the average Egyptian in Cairo.
The Arab world disapproved of those relations and Egypt had already paid the high price which Arab countries exacted from her for her new found friendship towards Israel. First they sent assassins to murder their president, Anwar Sadat then they declared an economic and cultural boycott against Egypt, which left her isolated from her Arab brethren.
Now after nearly 40 years, with apparent suddenness, Egypt has been embraced by the Arab world.
I'll leave the explanation of the reasons for this change to the experts, whose opinion you can read in the article which I've linked to this blog. But it's clear that the Arab world has been given the green light and now sees Egypt as one of the main protagonists in the war against terrorism, mostly against the terrorism of the Islamic Caliphate movement and other Islamic terrorist organisations.
Apparently, all of a sudden, countries like Iran and Qatar are being pressured to desist from supporting terrorism.
The Arab world still doesn't approve of Arab nations being friendly to Israel, but it's obvious that they are not opposing such relations anymore.
The result is a new, comfortable, political climate that allows even the country that leads the religious attitudes of Moslems, Saudi Arabi, to have indirect friendly relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Mohammed, where every Muslim looks to for religious guidance is benignly approving relationships between Arab countries and Israel.
This is nothing less than a revolution in attitude and it bodes good for the safety of the world community as a whole.