Egyptian officer caught on tape backing Trump on Jerusalem

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US President Donald Trump welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to the West Wing of the White House, April 3, 2017. (Mark Wilson Wilson/Getty Images via JTA)

CAIRO • As United States President Donald Trump moved last month to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an Egyptian intelligence officer quietly placed phone calls to the hosts of several influential talk shows in Egypt.

“Like all our Arab brothers”, Egypt would denounce the decision in public, the officer, Captain Ashraf al-Kholi, told the hosts.

But strife with Israel was not in Egypt’s national interest, Capt Kholi said. He told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it. Palestinians, he suggested, should content themselves with the dreary West Bank town that currently houses the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah.

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