Egypt’s Future Relations with Israel – From Cold Peace to Cold War
A retrospective analysis of the
Egyptian policy toward Israel indicates that Israel is considered by
Egypt, if not a declared enemy, then certainly its main rival for
regional hegemony, and a dangerous competitor for the benefits of peace.
Today, the Egyptian perception of
peace with Israel still harbors a potential of conflicting relations
between the two countries that could lead to the brink of war. Egypt has
conceived the peace with Israel at its narrowest possible
interpretation. President Mubarak and the former Foreign Minister and
today’s Secretary General of the Arab League, `Amru Musa, perceive the
goal of the peace process as reducing Israel to its “natural dimensions”
e.g. pre-1967 borders, and divesting it of its strategic assets. Egypt
in fact still views its relations with Israel as a zero sum game.
In signing a separate peace
agreement with Israel in 1979, Egypt signaled other Arabs to follow
suit. Yet, ever since the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and
Jordan in 1994, Egypt seems to have regretted its historic move in 1979.
The faster the Egyptians perceived the process of normalization
progressed, the more concerned their leaders became. They would rather
keep the process on slow motion in order to preserve inter-Arab
legitimacy for their diplomatic activism and maintain Egypt’s relevance
as a regional linchpin.
Given the Egyptian gloomy domestic
reality and the disenchanting history of Egypt’s “peace” policy toward
Israel during the last 22 years, the forecast for future relations
between both countries in the first decade of the twenty-first century
is dispiriting. At best, the present “cold peace” will be sustained.
Unless Israel is stripped of its strategic assets and deterrent
potential, no comprehensive normal peace will be “granted” by the
Egyptian current regime.
At worst, there is a risk, under
the current regime, of sliding from “cold peace” to a low-key military
tension by Egyptian violation of the peace treaty of 1979, regarding the
demilitarization status of Sinai.
The risk for a reversion to a
highly intensified conflict between Israel and Egypt could increase in
the post-Mubarak era, when Egypt might experience instability. The
religious radicalization of the already religiously oriented population
could generate Islamic pre-revolutionary unrest resembling the situation
preceding the Khomeini revolution in Iran in 1977/78.
The built-in hostility toward
Israel in Egypt’s political discourse could serve as the lowest common
denominator cementing Mubarak’s successors and the Muslim Brotherhood,
as well as other militant Islamic movements.
irreversibility of the formal peace prevailing between Egypt and Israel
shouldn’t be taken for granted. It is in Israel’s interest to shake up
the “Egyptian” file and reassess her relations with its southern
Jihad in the Name
of Allah – The Suicide Bombers
The article deals with the
breathtaking phenomena of more then 120 men and women who committed the
unprecedented suicide action from the beginning of the “Intifada
al-Aqsa”. The biblical history is full of legends and stories
beginning with Samson and then King Saul, through Elazar Ben Yair, the
hero of Masada, who died on their swords in order not to give up their
lives to the enemy.
So suicide in the name of religious
ideas is no news. The big news carried by the modern Palestinian suicide
bombers is the volume of the acts – 120 horrible acts in 20 months, and
volunteers for the “short way to heaven” are still waiting.
These acts indicate how desperate
the Palestinians are, how minimal their diplomatic options are, or how
their political leadership is helpless.
The author bases his theory on the
religious motivation – or the Muslim Qur`an that commends the “Holy
Jihad”. Muhammad commends it when it was needed to spread the Islam
over the cultural world at the time when the world he knew consisted of
mainly Jews, Christians and idol believers.
The author also claims that Islam
reacts aggressively in times when it finds itself threatened and is more
tolerant in times of peace.
The author concludes with a suggestion
that if a solution is available – it lies partially with the relevant
moderate religious leadership who can, in certain circumstances, be
persuaded to hold the “genie back in the bottle”.
military solution is to be found, it must begin by hitting the
dispatcher – those charismatic characters who mobilize and supply the
bombers, and cut the human connection with the supportive civilian
Palestinian Authority Must be Defeated – Immediately!
Why is victory necessary in the
conflict with the Palestinians? In a well-functioning country this
question would not be raised at all, for when so harsh, fateful, and
protracted an armed conflict is forced upon a country as the one that
has been forced upon us, the natural and rational inclination is to
respond with total war until clear victory. However, that is not the
situation in Israel. Foolish, fundamentally erroneous statements,
alleging that it is impossible to defeat terror with military force, are
heard here night and day notwithstanding that they have no factual
basis. If anyone still has any doubt on this score, let us say that
Israel’s security situation is intolerable and cannot be allowed to
continue. In the present situation, Israel must achieve a military
victory because any political alternative is based on inhibiting the
assault, but not on putting a decisive stop to it.
Today it is argued that there must
be a “political horizon”. That horizon, at whose center is a Palestinian
state, is said to inspire them with hope and induce them to scale down
and cease the distressing terrorism. This argument, however, is
pathetic, considering that the Palestinians had much more than a
“horizon” in Barak’s concessions, and could have received all they
(purportedly) desired on a silver platter. But the Palestinians rejected
this because they wanted to subjugate Israel in blood and fire and expel
it from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to the last centimeter, just as
Hizbullah had expelled the IDF from Lebanon.
Indeed, before the “Authority” was
established, it was claimed that doing so would lead to peace and
coexistence. But the terror and murder only got worse, turning our lives
into hell. That is because peace and compromise do not exist in the
Palestinian lexicon, and because for them, terror and violent struggles
are not just a strategic choice, but also a kind of “natural right”
(like the right of return). If under conditions of closure the Authority
became a terrorist entity, what will it be as an independent state? It
will be a hundred times more difficult to deal with, since it will be a
state that has been legitimized by the nations—whereas today it still
has only an embryonic government. And, overall, has the experience with
establishing the Authority been so successful that it is wise to go on
and gamble the whole pile, stepping straight into the abyss?
The existing situation of a war of
attrition entails certain costs, including: the intolerable numbers of
dead and wounded from the ongoing terror; the loss of Israel’s deterrent
capacity; an escalation in weaponry that is aimed against us; the
erosion of the national fortitude; the danger of a change in the United
States’ position toward Israel.
Anyone with eyes in his head can
see that if we do not act quickly and resolutely to defeat the
Palestinian Authority and its terrorists, we will never have a secure
future, let alone peace. If the Palestinians do not absorb a crushing
defeat, they will again resort to a violent, ferocious struggle whenever
their demands are not fully satisfied. And, indeed, it is not possible
for those demands ever to be fully satisfied, whether in the framework
of a permanent settlement or some other settlement, while any such
settlement will improve their position and worsen ours.
Achieving victory over terror,
notwithstanding the voices that are heard among us, is possible and has
been proved to be possible in different parts of the world. One example
among many is Turkey’s victory over the Kurdish PKK, which was achieved
resolutely and involved a threat of war against a state providing
patronage to terror (Syria), making a pact with a military ally
(Israel), and capturing the head of the organization, Abdullah Oçalan.
The Turkish success contains important lessons for Israel. The first is
the maintenance of alertness and resolve by the Turkish government and
army in struggling against the Kurdish terrorism with their full force
and without compromises. The second is the unequivocal preparedness to
go even to the brink of war with a neighbor-rival when a vital national
interest is in great danger; and so fateful a measure indeed paid off.
The third is the realization that apparently only the removal of the top
of the enemy pyramid can solve ongoing terror.
We need to
stop and ponder – has the time not come for us, too, to apply the
successful Turkish model to the miniwar that the Palestinians have
imposed upon us for this year and a half, and achieve victory?
Kissinger, Israel and the Airlift Issue in the 1973 War:
The Manipulations of the Dependency in Patron-Client Relationships
The pattern of relationships that characterizes
superpowers and small states is a patron-client relationship, which is
explained on a continuum, from symbiotic relations to complete
coerciveness. This is a communication bargaining process, which is
exemplified especially during crisis management. We have raised six
general assumptions to explain the framework of interactions in
patron-client relations, and proved them through the relationship
structure between the United States and Israel.
After describing the strategic situation in the
Arab-Israeli conflict, and explaining the reason for Israel’s false
self-contentment and haughtiness, we have explained the day by day
processes that shaped the battlefield in 1973, and in parallel the
conduct of relations between the United States and Israel. The issue was
the military airlift to Israel, and Kissinger, who was almost the acting
president, played the most important role. He had used the Israeli
dependency to manipulate Israel through its diplomatic representatives,
Ambassador Dinitz and Foreign Minister Eban.
The questions we have raised were: What kind of
relationship exists between Israel and the United States in this era of
crises? How can we explain the reasons for the United States conduct to
Israel during the 1973 war? What were the reasons for the prolonged
debate on military supply to Israel? Was it a deliberate holdup in order
to submit Israel to the United States global interests?
On the face of it, the issue was an internal one,
the struggle between the State Department and the Pentagon, but the real
issue was a strategic global one, between the United States and the
Soviet Union, through the eyes of Kissinger, as to the delineation of
their boundaries of interests in the Middle East.
It was Kissinger’s statement to Heikal in the
middle of November 1973, which explains our argument best:
The United States policy during the 1973 war in general,
and the airlift to Israel in particular, had nothing to do the Arabs
and/or Israeli interests. The real issue was directly the strategic
balance of power between the superpowers and changing their boundaries
of interests in the Middle East.
Intellectuals and Israeli Politics
Intellectuals in several Western
democracies have long advocated ideas expressing preference for their
country’s enemies over any glimpse of identification with the defense
and protection of their fellow countrymen. This was true in England
before WWII, and it has been true in Israel since the establishment of
the State and before as well. Some of Israel’s better known authors,
sociologists, professors of political science, artists, journalists and
others who express their opinions in press, have frequently espoused the
Arab cause against their fellow Jews and the State of Israel.
Expressions of this position sometimes reaches hitherto unimaginable
depths, using the most grotesque metaphors borrowed from Jewry’s most
precedent teaches that these ideas take on a malignant character and can
result in horrifying consequences for the Jewish nation. An entire array
of these homemade hatemongers and their venemous expression is presented
Islamic Judeophobia: An Existential Threat (I)
Robert S. Wistrich
The Islamic terrorist perpetrators
of the September massacres speak a language of hatred for America, the
West, Israel and the Jewish people: their mental structures and
world-views have striking analogies with Nazism. The attacks were
greeted with rapture in many parts of the Muslim world, including in the
Palestinian Authority. Muslim immigrants have carried these attitudes,
exacerbated by media coverage of the Middle East conflict, to their
Western hosts, resulting in an increase in anti-Semitic assaults on
Diaspora Jewish communities (especially in Europe).
Blame for Israel has been
ubiquitous throughout the Muslim world. In this context, the present
intifada has made it plain that Palestinian, Arab/Muslim grievances
against Israel cannot be satisfied by territorial and political
concessions. The antagonism lies far deeper and goes well beyond the
issue of “settlements”. It extends to the entire Jewish national
project. A culture of hatred has arisen which has become an end in
itself. This image of the Jewish state as the incarnation of
malignant evil naturally encourages the idea that all the Jews of Israel
should be wiped out.
One finds a growing readiness among
Muslims to believe that the Jews consciously invented the
“Auschwitz lie”, the “hoax” of their own extermination, as part of a
plan for world domination. Holocaust denial gives Arabs a radical
challenge to the moral foundations of the Israeli state, their scapegoat
for their inability to achieve political unity, economic development and
clearly very little has changed in the basic repertoire of Islamic
Judeophobia, but it has become more widespread, intense, radicalized and
militantly religious in character. Daniel Pearl was executed because to
be born a Jew has become for many Islamic fascists, as it was for Hitler
and the Nazis, an a priori reason to be executed.
The Triple Connection: Europe, Delegitimization of Israel and Post-Zionism
Ever since the outbreak of the war
between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel has found itself
under unprecedented ongoing criticism due to its defense policy. This
criticism, directed by the Arabs, but led by other international
players, contains spirits and ghosts we thought were buried some 60
years ago. By refusing to surrender to one of the worse terror attacks
the world has ever witnessed and by choosing to fight back, Israel has
exposed itself to political, moral and legal attacks by its opponents.
These attacks were crafted using a
clever method, building on the very basic foundations which had led to
the establishment of the Jewish state, as it was agreed upon and voted
for both in the League of Nations (1919) and in the UN (Resolution 181,
from 1947). Political, historical, legal and moral aspects of the
conflict were “examined” by the respected media in Western Europe, all
combined with official statements and declarations, followed by analyses
of experts, and leading to the inevitable conclusion: the eternally
guilty, the Jew, has done something evil once more.
Only this time it was more than
just blaming Israel for whatever is wrong – this time the critics
touched the roots of the Hebrew saga in the Middle East, testing its
logic and justifications, questioning its legitimacy and clearly
doubting its right to exist under the current circumstances. The
simplest way was to take the old Zionist claims and to deny them one by
one, by using the same tools that were used by the Zionists in the past.
Thus, in a very cynical way,
Israel’s opponents “prove” its guilt of robbing the Palestinians of
their land in the first place, and holding them under “occupation” since
1967, in contravention of international law.
campaign, the Arabs and the Europeans enjoy the support of various
bodies in Israel, that although they may not wish to bring Israel to its
end (unlike some of the others mentioned), nevertheless they would
really like to see the state change its character – maybe back to what
it was before: weak, suffering from permanent danger of elimination by
Arab invention, but yet, led by the “correct” regime. These Israelis
ignore the danger and the hidden intentions of Israel’s opponents on
their way to their dream of a new, modern, secular Israel. Different
motives lead these groups into each other’s arms – and leave Israel
almost isolated not only in the real battlefield, but also in the
battlefield of the court of history.
“There is No Anti-Semitism in France”?
Nazi anti-Semitism established
itself with remarkable rapidity. Could such happen again in a Western
nation, albeit at a lower and less lethal level? This question took on
new significance over the past year in France.
The later 20th century constituted
something of a golden age for French Jewry. Of a total population of 60
million, roughly 1 percent (600,000-700,000) are “fully involved” Jews,
an additional 200,000 manifest awareness of Jewish origins or a concern
with Jewish affairs. Demographic growth has provided the critical mass
for cultural revival. But, for various reasons, Jewish groups do not and
cannot operate as freely and openly in the pursuit of their political
interests as they do in the United States.
So sharply and abruptly has the
situation deteriorated that (end of 2001) Rabbi Michael Melchior
characterized France as “the most anti-Semitic country in the West”.
Five hundred anti-Semitic incidents were re corded by CRIF (September 9,
2000 through early April 2002). The authorities consciously downplayed
the extent of the crisis. Media and law courts promulgated a myth: Jews
were equally to blame for the troubles.
Actually, France is undergoing a
partial Islamicization. The Muslim community, already ten times the size
of the Jewish, is growing rapidly. There is a steady replacement of the
older Christian and Jewish communities by a newer Islamic element. Some
10 percent of the population and a larger percentage of young people
identify with the most radical elements in the Arab/Islamic world. Most
pro-Arab/pro-Muslim books published in France in recent years tend to
display distinct anti-Semitic features.
France is not “racist” in the neo-Nazi or Ku Klux Klan sense, it is
nevertheless on the front line of what Samuel Huntington has termed the
clash of civilizations, and both politically and culturally, it is
especially ill-equipped to deal with it.
Rhapsodic Anti-Semitism – Chaucer @ Eliot
The blood libel known as “The
Prioress’ Tale” is probably the most venomous outburst of anti-Semitism
in world poetry in general, and in English poetry in particular. In this
regard, Chaucer easily dwarfs Shakespeare, Marlowe, Dickens, and T. S.
Eliot – to name a selection of anti-Semites of the highest echelon of
British literature. The issue of Chaucer’s anti-Semitism is a sore point
in the criticism that is written about this poet. Similarly to the case
of Shakespeare, it is not pleasant that Britain’s greatest 14th
century poet should be tainted with Jew-hatred. The issue took on a new
urgency after the Second World War when anti-Semitism, at least for a
certain time, went out of fashion. One solution that was advocated was
to ignore the libel by omitting it from Chaucer’s writings. Another
approach suggested mitigating it by noting seemingly positive figures of
Jews in his writings. But these have only aroused derision, and rightly
so. The most “creative” idea, in regard to purifying Chaucer of the
anti-Semitic taint, was to make “The Prioress’ Tale” a sort of
distorting mirror from which emanates a sarcastic critique of
anti-Semitism by Chaucer. This is based mainly on the characterization
of the prioress in the Prologue, where the author seems to accuse the
nun of false piety and dual morality. If, supposedly, the prioress is an
object of the author’s mockery, so also is the story he puts in her
mouth. In other words, if the prioress is an anti-Semite, her story is
actually Chaucer’s attack on Jew-hatred, and the harshness and cruelty
of her words are actually the harshness and cruelty of Chaucer’s
criticism – meaning that the poet, a philo-Semite par excellence,
wrote, without our realizing it, “a satire on theological
treatment of T.S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism must begin with a poem that
precedes “Bleistein with a Cigar”. Indeed, hints of Eliot’s revulsion
toward the Jews can already be found in his early poems, but in the
period of the flowering of his poetry, at the end of the second decade
of the century and in the 1920s (indeed under the influence of Ezra
Pound, his benefactor and spiritual mentor?), overt anti-Semitism
appears for the first time in the characteristic description of the
Jewish landlord in “Gerontion”, which is also among the poet’s
The constellation of symbols in the
poem elevates (or perhaps we should say, lowers) the Jew far beyond just
another hackneyed anti-Semitic description of a greedy landlord who
blackmails his helpless tenant and refuses to renovate his decaying
house. The significance is universal. The weighted sentence, “My house
is a decayed house,” goes beyond its immediate meaning and receives in
this poem a universal import that presumes to connote a disintegrating
civilization, an import similar to that of the weighted concept in
Hebrew of khorban habayit. Thus the Jew, the sole human figure
who appears in the poem along with the forces of nature, Satan, a spider
and other evil spirits, takes on a demonic dimension as an Antichrist,
as befits the religiosity-suffused poetry of Eliot.
passage in “Burbank” in which rats and Jews rustle “underneath the piles
(and) lots” could certainly have served the Nazis in the classic image
where the Jews are likened to rats and rodents who rustle in cellars and
spread plagues. This is precisely the opening image of Goebbels’ 1941
film, “The Eternal Jew” (“Der ewige Jude”). The caricature of
Bleistein, seemingly less virulent at first glance, is also intertwined
with the venomous anti-Semitism of the period in which the poem was
written. The first two decades of the 20th century witnessed
a flowering of anti-Semitic journalism whose beginnings were late in the
previous century. This included the Libre-Parole in Paris edited
by Drumont, the Simplicisimus in Munich, and the Kikeriki
in Vienna (the latter two under Jewish ownership), from which Philip
Ruprecht, also known as “Pips”, drew his inspiration for illustrating Der Stürmer
– which began to appear in 1923, that is, close to the
writing of “Burbank”. The description of Bleistein is a perfect copy of
Pips’ caricature in Der Stürmer. In no way can a distinguished
intellectual and historian of the arts like Eliot possibly be absolved
on grounds of lack of knowledge or understanding of the deadly
anti-Semitism of his day.
Between Left and
Leftism and Between Nationality and Chauvinism
history of the Zionist movement seemingly had a contradictory nature
because on the one hand it claimed a readiness for a protracted
struggle, while on the other it showed a willingness for a political
compromise. The recognition that Israel needs an ally as a condition for
any settlement characterizes the history of Zionism. Only a formal, real
alliance with the United States could possibly lead to a settlement.
Based on these assumptions, the author proposes a confederative
settlement that would include Israel, Jordan, and Palestine while making
Jerusalem a sort of Vatican of the three religions. East Jerusalem could
be handed over to the Arabs because, in any case, Israel does not have
control over it. The “right of return” is completely rejected in
principle. The idea of transfer is not feasible from the standpoint of
international politics. The confederative settlement would lead in the
future to a regional military alliance, a sort of Middle Eastern NATO.
Both utopias – the brutal one that favors war, and the rational, humane
one, i.e., the confederative solution – are infeasible in the
foreseeable future. Despite the fact that the Arab terrorist movement is
the cruelest in the history of underground and terrorist movements on
the one hand, and notwithstanding Jews’ deep historical attachment to
Judea and Samaria on the other, Israel should not remain in Judea and
Samaria because this constitutes occupation. Thus, the self-destruction
of Israeli society does not stem from self-hatred as claimed by the
ACPR, but instead is a consequence of this occupation.
“Apart from the
‘Eternal One of Israel’ Nothing Lasts ‘Forever’”
The response to Gorny’s article emphasizes a few
select points of fundamental disagreement with his position:
The territory west of the Jordan was always known
as Judea and Samaria, and is an integral part of Mandatory Palestine
allocated for the Jewish homeland. Israel’s presence there is not
“occupation” as claimed by Leftists and Arabs. The only “occupation”
was by Jordan (1948-1967).
A US-Israel mutual defense treaty for
safeguarding Israel’s security, suggested by Prof. Gorny, is a
fiction. No such agreement was ever concluded, and the US is unlikely
to guarantee Israel’s security if attacked by Arab groups or nations.
Israel must heed the Arabs’ proclamations
regarding their intention to destroy Israel and kill the Jews.
Disregarding the enemy’s public declarations as not indicative of its
true intentions disregards the lesson learned from Mein Kampf
and invites national suicide.
There are no grounds for anticipating that
further concessions (e.g. giving up half of Jerusalem) will achieve a
permanent solution to the century-old war with the Arabs.
No set of economic benefits to be offered by
Europe or the US to the Arabs as an inducement for concluding a peace
agreement with Israel can redirect Moslem policy. The Moslem world is
not engaged in rational economic planning and development known in the
Western world, and the Moslem’s goals cannot be replaced by promises
of economic gain.
No genuine solution to the war between Jewish
Israel and the Arabs is currently apparent. Decades of radical
social-religious-political change in Arab countries are required (e.g.
Germany or Japan after WWII) before a trace of democracy could emerge
in the Moslem Middle East.
Proponents of territorial and other concessions for
peace ought to listen to the Arabs and pay close attention to their
behavior. The Arabs know what they want and how they intend to get it.
The Israeli “peace camp” prefers political agreements by wish