As the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum, a member of the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative, and a journalist, I have the honor to meet hundreds of diplomatic figures from around the world in pursuit of building stronger relationships with Israel and the Jewish people. From these scores of meetings, I have seen that the political landscape in regards to Israel has been improving in ways that may shock the average person.
Many would say that the Middle East is filled with unreasonable dictators who are stuck in a 2nd world mentality, but I have seen a different side of the story. From personal meetings and firsthand accounts with Jordan’s King Abdullah, from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salam to Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed, I have been given a clear insight as to what they think of Israel and its Prime Minister. I’ve been told personally by these leaders in regards to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that “I really respect him,” “I work closely with him,” “I want to thank him,” or even “I want to come to Jerusalem.”
I have met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi several times; today was the fourth, at the Palace Hotel in New York during the United Nations opening sessions. As a journalist, I am amazed to have met with one specific world leader so many times without seeing a change or retraction in belief. What I must give credit to President Sisi for is that each time speaking with him I could see that his dedication to working with the State of Israel has not only been consistent, but also being put into practice. In this meeting, he has done the same.
Additionally, I have been following the latest news broadcasting about protests rising in Egypt and wanted to know what President Sisi thought about the situation on the ground. The headlines all mentioned demonstrations, protests, and riots seemingly against the current government. Rather than shy away from this sensitive topic, President Sisi informed me of what was really happening.
According to his sources, the terrorist organization The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to create havoc and to stunt Egypt’s growing prosperity. This terrorist group has implemented the same strategies in the past in order to create disorder. In an attempt to control the situation and prevent harm or the implication of innocent civilians, the President is taking a nonviolent approach by detaining these specific rioters. President Sisi’s reply is a testament to how important the safety of his people is to him, and how he is dedicated to ensuring that Egypt remains a safe and thriving country.
What I have taken away from this latest, and previous meetings with world leaders such as US President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, is that when it comes to protecting their countries, these men will not apologize for fighting against terrorism.
The current situation in Egypt is reminiscent of the Arab Spring in Syria and Libya, two of the countries that have fallen due to the rise in terrorism. President Sisi has done what many leaders have not - he has learned from history and has read the warning signs. In order to prevent his country from collapsing, like Syria and Libya have, President Sisi has taken precautions to protect his people. His approach will save Egypt and keep the country on an upward developing path.
I look forward to my next meeting with President Sisi as I continue recording in history how he leads his country. Other countries must learn from his example, that a leader does not apologize for defending his or her nation from terrorism.
Mike Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 96 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem of which the late President Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president, was the chair. He also serves on the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative.