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December 1, 2016 5:36 pm

Report: Egyptian Band Faces Boycott Threats After Coordinating Upcoming Show at Palestinian University With Israeli Foreign Ministry

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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The Massar Egbari logo.

The Massar Egbari logo.

An Egyptian rock band is facing boycott threats from Palestinian university students after it coordinated an upcoming show in the West Bank with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.

Massar Egbari (“Compulsory Detour”) — a four-member group founded in Alexandria in 2005 — is set to perform on Saturday at Birzeit University, north of Ramallah. However, the nrg report said, some students there have declared they will not attend the concert, claiming it would promote the normalization of ties between Israel and Egypt.

On social media sites, these students are using the hashtag #normalizationisnotcompulsory, a play on the band’s name. Some have suggested that Massar Egbari wait to come to the West Bank until after the establishment of a Palestinian state and the “liberation from the Israeli occupation.”

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In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel, though the relationship has at times been strained over the years. Israel-Egypt ties have improved since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi took power in Cairo in 2013, after ousting his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

With shared regional interests — including the containment of Iran and combating ISIS in the Sinai and Hamas in Gaza — relations between Israel and Egypt have continued to blossom.

In July, as reported by The Algemeiner, Sameh Shoukry became the first Egyptian foreign minister to visit Israel since 2007.

However, as The Algemeiner reported, normalization of the relationship with Israel remains a sensitive topic for much of the Egyptian public.

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