Press TV has conducted an interview with Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement from Berkeley, about Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s proposal to host talks between the Israeli regime and the Palestinians.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Why have we not seen Sisi use any of his rapport with Tel Aviv before now to improve the lives of the Palestinians, and now this talk of Cairo as mediator? Will the Palestinians have any trust in Egypt as a mediator?
Larudee: Well, I think the simple answer is no. They won’t have any trust and they didn’t have much trust to begin with and Sisi is an ally of Israel. The only possible purpose of them hosting these talks is to give Israel exactly what it wants.
By the way, having said that I think if you want to put forward the peace process, I think that Egypt can be very effective in moving the peace process but not forward.
It’ll be either sideways or backwards, because Egypt has no interest in it. They are fig leaves for Israel to pretend that they’re doing a peace process. So, this is theater and it’s a way of preventing any real peace discussions from taking place.
Press TV: Sisi could actually open that Rafah border crossing after that 2014 war by Israel on Gaza to just show that they actually care about the livelihoods of Palestinians. There are tons of them that were sick and needed medical treatment and they weren’t allowed to cross over. So, what makes Egypt think now that the Palestinians would even look to them as a just mediator?
Larudee: well, I don’t think they will look at Egypt as a just mediator. Egypt is demonstrating by that tiny little crack of the opening in Rafah that it has the power and that if it gets the OK from Israel that it can relieve the pressure a little bit for the Palestinians, but that’s it.
I mean they’re not fooling anybody. The Palestinians are grateful that their right of entry to and exit to their homes in Gaza is respected a couple of days a year, but they don’t have any real expectations.
Press TV: And do you yourself see Cairo doing anything fruitful for the Palestinians’ plight?
Larudee: Well, I wouldn’t say anything fruitful, maybe they’ll expedite a few visas or something like that but that’s what’s that. That’s like allowing them to be there. That’s all. They’re not really giving them anything that will end their misery. It will just slightly alleviate it for a very short period of time. It’s meaningless.