In a hushed, roundabout way, Egyptian authorities are pressing the Palestinians to accept US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as the new reality.
A senior intelligence officer speaking on behalf of Egypt's defense establishment was taped phoning a number of popular local television talk show hosts to encourage them to deliver that message to their viewers.
The officer, identified as Captain Ashraf al-Kholi, went so far as to tell one celebrity host, Azmi Megahed, that if the Palestinians truly want an independent state, they should accept Ramallah as their capital and give up their insistence on controlling eastern Jerusalem.
"How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?" asked Kholi, hinting at what many other Muslims in the region have been acknowledging of late – that Jerusalem doesn't really hold much religious significance for Islam.
"Exactly that," agreed Megahed, who later confirmed the authenticity of the recording to the New York Times.
Kholi noted that publicly, Egypt must denounce Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but behind the scenes it wants to move the wider Arab public away from the Palestinian position that Jerusalem is a "red line" for peace.