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Peace: the road that leads to war — Part 5
PROFESSIONAL OPINIONS BASED ON information gathered by Israeli intelligence directly oppose what politicians and the news media tell the world. The question we need to ask ourselves is: whom should we believe, politicians, the TV news, or Israeli intelligence? Here we will look at some recent actions, statements and situations of those who have signed peace agreements with Israel in the past; of those who could be close to signing; of those of other Arab states and Iran; and of those of the broker powers.
Egypt: Egypt’s 34-year-old peace agreement with Israel is touted to be the role model for all other Arab-Israeli agreements. Without firing a shot, Egypt received the huge Sinai Peninsular in which Israel had invested $10 billion building flourishing cities, military and naval installations, as well as developing oil fields that would have virtually made it energy independent for the foreseeable future. In addition, Egypt has received to date some tens of billions in direct United States grants, while Israel continues to pay millions of dollars to the United States every year in interest on the loans used to develop the Sinai—and afterwards to dismantle it!
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat came to Israel in November 1977 declaring “No mor war!” In March 1979 Sadat signed a peace agreement with Israel. As a reward for having made “peace” with Israel, Sadat was assassinated by soldiers as he viewed a military parade in October 1981.
In return for what it gave Egypt, Israel received from Egypt a “peace treaty”—a piece of paper covering some 50 items relating to “normal relations between states.” Since that scrap of paper was signed 34 years ago, Egypt has failed to implement any of the agreements—except for those that could be actively violated. The entire agreement, according to former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, will fall away the minute another war breaks out between Israel and an Arab country. Mubarak also vowed to “support any Arab state in a war against Israel.” Current Egyptian president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, has said the self-same thing.
Hosni Mubarak had a self-imposed ban on visiting Israel, having never once stepped foot on Israeli soil despite the fact that Israeli prime ministers have gone to Egypt on a number of occasions. After former Israeli President Ezer Weizman’s visit to Cairo in December 1994, former Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa said that a reciprocal visit by Mubarak to Jerusalem was “out of the question.” Thirty-five years later president al-Sissi says he will not visit Israel.
The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty is not exactly the miracle that it is hailed to be. Israeli defense ministry heads say that “it is not peace, merely a ceasefire that has continued for 35 years.” Numbers of Israelis have been killed on the border or in Egypt proper, and 1985 Suleiman Khater, an Egyptian soldier, committed a massacre at Ras Burqa, when he opened fire on Israeli tourists in the Sinai Peninsula, killing seven of them, including four children, and wounding several others. Israel demanded that Khater be punished for the murders; however, he enjoyed widespread support in Egypt and throughout the Arab world
for his actions. The Egyptian government-controlled media hailed the killer as “a national hero.”
Numbers of Israelis have been arrested and tortured by the Egyptian police. A 17-year-old Israeli-Arab girl described her ordeal: “They would beat me, put electric shocks in my mouth. They would say ‘There is no peace between Israel and Egypt and you are Jews and you are dirt.’”
The Israeli ambassador in Cairo is both isolated and blacklisted. He does not participate in any official functions of the Egyptian government. Israeli scientists, who were to have taken part in an International Conference on Mathematical Analysis and Signal Processing in Cairo, were told by the Egyptian organizers “to stay home.” Egyptian officials have prevented Israel from participating in the International Book Fairs that takes place each year in Cairo. In March 1995, Egyptian delegates to the world conference for air traffic controllers cancelled their participation, because it was to be held in Jerusalem. Even today, Egyptians who visit Israel are shunned when they return home; some are jailed on trumped-up charges. An Israeli spokesman says: “Egyptian attitudes to Israel in every international forum goes beyond the bounds of decency. At a recent Casablanca conference—heralded as the dawning of the “New Middle East”—maps of the Middle East distributed by an official Egyptian agency neither mentioned Israel’s name nor demarcated its borders.
Egyptian relations with Israel have been hostile since the time of Moses and the Pharaohs, and after 35 years of the coldest peace possible, normalization of relations has still not taken place. A former Egyptian finance minister ordered Egypt’s normalization with Israel “be slowed.”
Not content with its own non-compliance in normalizing relations with Israel, Egypt actively seeks to prevent Israel from establishing relations with other countries. Its pressure successfully prevented the Comoro Islands (an archipelago in the Indian Ocean officially known as the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros) from establishing relations with Israel. Egypt was also angered by the October 1994 signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty.
To be continued
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