Egypt’s Policy Towards Israel: The Impact of Foreign and Domestic Constraints
The early 1950s were marked by relative indifference to Israel, largely because Egypt's main concern was to terminate British occupation and to concentrate on domestic issues. The new regime of the Free Officers, which came to power after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1952, was willing to maintain a truce with Israel and preferred to leave the Arab-Israeli conflict on the back-burner. Under Mohamed Naguib the Egyptian government operated on two levels. Official statements which emanated from Cairo were critical of Israel but were not designed to provoke war, at least not until Egypt was confident that it was ready to engage in such war. At the same time, however, the Egyptian government allowed the press considerable freedom of action and journalists could beat the anti-Israeli drum whenever they wished.