Under El-Sissi, Chapter on Camp David Added to Egypt Schoolbook
JNS.org – A history textbook to be used in Egyptian schools will discuss the country’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel for the first time, Israel’s Army Radio reports.
The Camp David agreement, and the treaty that resulted from it, will have a dedicated chapter in the book. The chapter, according to the report, is written in a simple, factual manner with phrases such as Egypt and Israel are “ending the state of war” and “each side respecting the sovereignty and independence of the other side.”
This addition is part of a larger educational change in Egypt with regard to school textbooks under current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. About 1,300 textbooks for different grades have been revised, in some cases clearly to make a political point. For instance, Hosni Mubarak’s role in the Yom Kippur War, during which he served as commander of the Egyptian air force, has been downplayed compared to how it was treated in textbooks while Mubarak was president. Some content added to books while the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi was president was also removed.
The change with regard to the Israel-Egypt peace treaty could stem from the fact that el-Sissi has been known to have a more tolerant attitude to Israel, despite continued popular hostility to Israel in his country. Under El-Sisi’s watch, Egypt has quietly worked closely with Israel on combating Islamic terrorist groups in the Sinai Peninsula, and Egypt has been helping Israel destroy Hamas terror tunnels.
“From the Israeli point of view, his military and intelligence services have cooperated with Israel at unprecedented levels. … I think, his private beliefs aside, he is a committed opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood and by extension of Hamas and other Islamic extremists,” Oren Kessler, deputy director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told JNS.org in January of 2015.
In September of 2015 el-Sissi called for expanding the peace treaty with Israel to include other Arab nations, although he later slightly backtracked on the statement.