- Egyptian President Sisi met publicly with Israeli PM Netanyahu for the first time
- The meeting was captured in photos that quickly went viral
- Sisi's beaming face caused particular anger and derision
- This was yet another sign of a warming in the two nation's "cold peace"
A picture speaks a thousand words - and Egyptians certainly have plenty to say about viral photos of their president’s broad grin during his first public meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with his Israeli counterpart in New York on Monday night.
They spoke for an hour and a half about regional issues, including Israeli-Palestinian peace, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.
While Egypt was the first Arab nation to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, following the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, their ties have been described as a “cold peace”.
There was nothing cold, however, about the handshake between the pair in photographs of the meeting that have widely circulated online.
أول لقاء علني بين عبد الفتاح السيسي و بنيامين نتنياهو. pic.twitter.com/KX0vVCKFwP— عثمان آي فرح (@ayfaraho) September 19, 2017
In Egypt, where many see Israel as the oppressor of their Palestinian brothers, responses to Sisi’s public display of warmth to the Israeli leader have ranged from derision and satire to outright fury.
فرحة السيسي وهو قاعد مع نتنياهو ... اكتر من فرحتي— مصــــــــــــــــرى (@officialamro1) September 19, 2017
بهدوم العيد وانا صغير pic.twitter.com/39l1imNETS
El-Sisi’s joy when he is sat with Netanyahu is greater than my joy in my new Eid clothes when I was a child.
واخيراً تم عقد القران علناً pic.twitter.com/XU91yl6vEr— رشاد السحولي (@alsaholy2) September 19, 2017
Finally they have publicly made the marriage contract.
بيعلنو خطوبتهم— GonE G!RL(@pinKrosE166) September 19, 2017
They’re announcing their engagement.
Some played on Egyptian memes:
New York: Sisi's laughter from the heart with his master Netanyahu
Get up Fatin, wake up, Sisi is sleeping with Netanyahu
Sisi in the mosque - Sisi with Netanyahu
The first official meeting between Sisi and Netanyahu
Okay, and what about the two times that were before that?
No, they were private!
El-Sisi and Netanyahu are reported to have secretly met twice before.
In Trump's meeting with Netanyahu, flag of America and Israel. In the meeting between Sisi and Netanyahu, Egypt's flag and nothing else.
Away from the humor, many were enraged by the meeting and Sisi's apparent joy at his company.
With his dear friend Netanyahu. The pagans, if one of them goes into a mosque, you'll find him anguished, if he sits with his kaafir brothers, you will find him cheerful.
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The hashtag "Sisi is an Israeli agent" took off as some Egyptians slammed their president for meeting with Netanyahu.
Some supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood compared this to Mohammed Morsi's meetings with Hamas leaders, which they felt indicated his true support for Palestinians.
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