President Biden's Trip to Israel and the View from Egypt

Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

18-10-2023 • 24 min

President Biden wrapped up a brief visit to Israel on Wednesday. The trip was also intended to include a meeting in Amman, Jordan with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, King Abdullah of Jordan and President Sisi of Egypt. That leg of the trip was abruptly cancelled following the tragedy at the hospital in Gaza.  Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is becoming increasingly dire. According to the latest reports from the United Nations, fuel is running out and water supplies are dangerously low. Some one million people are displaced and several hundreds of thousands have fled to southern Gaza near the Egyptian border in the hopes of finding some modicum of refuge and relief.

My guest Nancy Okail is President of the Center for International Policy, a think tank in Washington, D.C. She is also an Egyptian activist and scholar and in our conversation explains some of the political considerations that are driving Egypt's response to the unfolding crisis over its border. Moments before I caught up with her, President Biden had delivered a speech in Tel Aviv in which he announced an agreement from Israel's War Cabinet for the provision of humanitarian relief into Gaza, from Egypt. We kick off discussing President Biden's speech before having a longer conversation about what the Israel-Hamas war looks like from the perspective of the Egyptian government.