Israel’s president, Shimon Peres publicized a letter purportedly written to him by Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi, which offered the new leader’s hopes for regional peace and stability:
“I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East Peace Process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including that Israeli people.”
Given the unsettled nature of Egyptian politics and rising tension with Israel there, such a letter would raise more than a few eyebrows back home. Which is why, when the Egyptian leader’s spokesperson called the letter “a fabrication,” I guessed that it was a hoax perpetuated by either the Egyptian military rulers or intelligence services.
The fact that the letter was address to Peres, whose name was spelled “Perez,” indicates truly slipshod craftsmanship. This couldn’t have been the product of anyone familiar with diplomacy or foreign affairs. That’s why the whole thing smells of a put-up job designed to embarrass Egypt’s leader. The only way to uncover the truth of this is for the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv, which sent the letter to Peres, to reveal who sent them the letter and where that person received it. That will give a better indication of the original source and whether this was a hoax. Of course, we’re unlikely to uncover this information since the embassy won’t reveal it’s been hoaxed.
It’s strange that Peres has gone out of his way to embarrass the Egyptian embassy by pointing out that it received the letter from it. Usually leaders of countries try to avoid taking a dump on the doorstep of a diplomat representing a neighboring country. Which leads me to the possibility that the Israeli government, which has strained relations with the new Islamist government, would find it in its interest to embarrass Morsi as well. It’s entirely possible that the Mossad or similar elements within Israel would’ve put this little charade together for their amusement and the discomfiture of their perceived enemy in Cairo.