Last Update 21:34
Sunday, 19 August 2018

The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty: To change or not to change

Since the January 25 Revolution, Egyptian politicians have pondered what to do about the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty - is now the time to be making changes?

Abdel Moneim Said , Wednesday 10 Oct 2012
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2993
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2993

Some forces who participated in the revolution object to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, although many add that their objection does not mean going to war. They of course realise that war, like love, must be between two sides and decisions are not taken unilaterally. Also, that the other party will decide whether it is in their interest to live with a no-war no-peace status once again, or go to war before Egypt regains its strength and the revolution succeeds in its development process, making it the “strong Egypt” Abdel-Moneim Abul-Futouh talked about.

That is what happened to Egypt after the Czech arms deals, and Israel participated in the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1956 to stifle Egypt’s military might before it could progress it.

Some of revolutionaries do not reject the treaty in its entirety but want to amend it so Egypt can regain complete sovereignty over Sinai. This would mean revising the security protocol appendix which divides Sinai into areas of limited arms in zones A, B and C and a corresponding Zone D in Israel. This is closely linked to a comprehensive monitoring system of troop movements by multinational forces present in Sinai.

The aim was to create a security system that prevents both Egypt and Israel from performing a strategic surprise against the other, as Israel had done in 1967 and Egypt against Israel in 1973. The real surprise for both sides came from a third party, the Islamist jihadists, who began during Mubarak’s regime to carry out terrorist attacks in Sinai as well as breaching its border with Gaza through tunnels.

After the Egyptian Revolution, jihadists began attacking military and civilian targets, and then used Sinai to attack Israel.

This was not the image in the minds of those who signed the peace treaty and the security protocols, but this is the direct outcome of the military vacuum that was manipulated by other forces to directly threaten the security of both sides on a daily basis. There are ongoing battles with the Egyptian army which took a strategic decision to stamp out terrorist forces and close tunnels and single-handedly control decisions of war and peace with Israel.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army also battled the same forces which destabilised Sinai and is unacceptable for Egypt, because a precious part of its territories is under a dual threat. First, the threat of force against Egyptian security troops; second, the possibility of Israel giving chase to jihadists into Egyptian territories which threatens Egypt’s security and puts Egyptian territories at risk of being occupied once again. This would mean that Egypt has no other choice but to go to war with Israel once again.

This is not all happening in a vacuum. Some domestic revolutionary forces want to renounce the peace with Israel, and while they do not discuss the future of development under such a scenario the natural conclusion would be that development will be postponed indefinitely. Representing this current in political circles is Mohamed Esmat Seif El-Dawla, who has repeatedly said that revising the peace treaty is only a matter of time.

This angered the Israelis, and President Morsi’s spokesman Yasser Ali quickly responded that the president’s advisers are expressing their personal opinions and Egypt’s position of upholding the peace treaty has not changed.

These contradictory statements in top political circles are the result of contradictions on the ground in Egypt that need to be addressed with determined seriousness, so we can decide our agenda of discussions about Egypt’s national priorities. Today, we want to develop Sinai from corner to corner and for this reason and others we must secure it from corner to corner, whether from a variety of terrorist groups or an attack by Israel.

Achieving these goals is not possible without revising the security protocols of the peace treaty to allow Egyptian troops to enter with necessary forces to end the current threat. The problem here is that Israel, and perhaps even the US, must first agree to these revisions. Thus far, they have done so on a temporary basis because of current conditions.

This is perhaps the first serious national security issue that President Morsi has to deal with and should rely on his well-known trait of prudence. This position cannot be subject to revolutionary bartering or party manouevring. Perhaps the president should form a group of national security and foreign policy officials to manage the issue and negotiate with foreign parties responsible for implementing the security protocols.

One other matter remains, which the president himself raised, which is the relationship between the peace treaty and the Palestinian cause which is an integral part of the Camp David agreement that is linked to Egypt’s peace with Israel and guarantees the Palestinian people are given their legitimate rights.

This is an even more complex issue because so far there has been no specific Egyptian approach in dealing with the issue, and it is unknown if Cairo is willing to exert a special effort to relaunch the peace process after the US elections. Or whether Egypt’s approach is to leave the matter to the key players, the Palestinians and Israelis, to decide.

It is a subject that requires a lot of thought and clear direction, because for seven decades this issue has been a priority for Egypt’s national security.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
4



Robert
15-10-2012 12:08pm
0-
0+
War with Israel now, or forever live with the treaty.
As a supporter of Israel's right to exist I never had faith in the peace treaty Israel signed with Egypt. I always thought Israel would have been better off keeping the Sinai and staying on a war footing with Egypt. My main complaint was that Israel can make peace with dictators but such a peace is worthless if the people can't accept it. When Egyptians after 35 years elect politicians that call for the abrogation of the treaty then it is plain to see that from Israel's point of view signing said treaty was a misdirected leap of faith. So here we are now one year after the revolution and the people of Egypt have finally embraced democracy. Now is their chance to decide what to keep from the old regime or discard. If Egyptians don't want peace then they have to choose now. They have to show they are a proud people with confidence and direction. They have to make a choice either they want peace with Israel or they don't. That is what revolutions give you the right to do. Not seizing
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
3



Mona
13-10-2012 06:26pm
1-
2+
Highly important issue.
Egypt's President Morsi should follow your advice and secure the Sinai, that peace accord was signed by Sadat specificaly: For the Palestinian legitimate Rigths or it would not have been signed. It is cowardice and inconsquent to ignore History since 70 years, wich led to discret, masqued, long, slow, hiden, genocide of the Palestinian People.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
2



sawsan mostafa ali
13-10-2012 01:20pm
0-
3+
VERY IMPORTANT ARTICLE
1- Peace has a price exactly like war. 2- Egyptians chose peace(our land is in our hand). 3- Mourssi has to: a- Fire all his current assistants and advisers. b- Form a national security council immediately consists of :Army, Foreign Affairs Officials, Intelligence and strategic experts like Seif el Yazl. c- They should put a clear action plan to define 3 issues: First: Security Protocol Appendix changes wanted. 2nd : Eg. relationship with Gazza. 3rf : Our role in the Palestinian issue. 4- Thus we will have clear"vision". 5- We have to wait till American And Israeli elections to take place.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
1



J Mohammed
11-10-2012 09:58am
7-
1+
Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty
Egypt's unhindered soveriegnity over the Sinai should be non-controverial. As for the Palestinian issue the two-state solution is dead. Egypt would do well to withdraw from the two-state Oslo charade.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee (Baluch)- USA
11-10-2012 11:31pm
3-
3+
Jihadists International
It seems that for those 'concerned' about Egypt's sovereignty in Sinai, it is OK if this sovereignt is usurped by the "Jihadists International' !
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.