Friday, March 16, 2012

Egyptian Parliament is "Israel’s bitter enemy".

From JCPA, 15 March 2012, by Jonathan D. Halevi*:

The new Egyptian Parliament recently issued a statement undermining the 1979 peace agreement by proclaiming it was Israel’s bitter enemy.
On March 12, 2012, Dr. Mohamed Al-Saed Idris, Chairman of the Arab Affairs Committee in the new Egyptian Parliament, presented the committee's official outline of Egypt's regional policy. 
The committee's operative recommendations called for an official definition of Israel as an enemy, severing  diplomatic relations, full support for the armed struggle against Israel, re-adoption of the total boycott of Israel, raising the issue of Jerusalem in the international arena, and a review of Egyptian nuclear policy. 
In its eyes, Israel is the foremost enemy of Egypt and the Arab and Islamic world, and the peace agreement with it (the Camp David agreement) is considered a dead letter. 
Egypt is setting itself on a collision course with Israel, using the Palestinian issue in all its aspects - including Israeli military operations against Palestinian terrorism as well as Israeli policy in Jerusalem or the West Bank - as an excuse for direct Egyptian intervention. 
Defining Israel as a "major enemy"  means building a military capability to deal with the "Israeli threat," including an attempt to deny Israel any advantage in the nuclear field and/or the development of Egyptian nuclear weapons. 
At present, the new Egyptian political leadership cannot translate these policies into actions. But this situation is likely to change after the presidential elections on May 23-24 and the establishment of a new civilian government.

*Lt.-Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi,  a senior researcher  at the Jerusalem Center,  is a former adviser to the Policy Planning Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  
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