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Morsi's win sends tremors in IsraelBy Mendicant
Morsi's win has sent tremors down the political circles in Israel, in the words of former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer: "Egypt would now be led by a man who has never hidden his hostility towards Israel. We must seek dialogue with the Islamists, and at the same time be prepared for war."
Egypt under Mohammad Morsi is seen as an imminent threat to Israel and its peace treaty with Egypt. Egypt’s first freely-elected President Morsi declared during his inauguration speech at Cairo University on Saturday: “I announce from here that Egypt, its people and presidential institution stand with the Palestinian people until they regain all their rights." The president elect is seen as a ray of hope not only for the Egyptians but also for the whole of Middle East. Morsi's victory marks a new chapter in Egypt's history, a history marred by years of oppressing its own people and supporting the biggest terrorist regime of the world… Israel. Till the presidency of Dictator Mubarak; Egypt was one of biggest U.S allies in the Middle East after Israel. According to a United States' Congressional Research Service, The US has given Egypt an average of $2bn annually since 1979. Egypt has been the second largest recipient of U.S. aid in the Middle East since it signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1979. The aid was one of the commitments of the parties that signed the peace agreement so if there is a breach from one side it gives the right of review to the parties.
It's no secret that such a huge amount of aid is not given out of love for the Egyptians. The funds were used to buy Egypt's support and more importantly its silence when Israel was busy killing innocent Palestinians. Egypt-Israel relationship dates back to 1977 when President Anwar Sadat of Egypt became the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel after accepting an invitation by the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, the following year on September 17,1978 The Camp David Accords was signed and on March 26, 1979 with the blessings of Jimmy Carter; Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat shook hands and signed a peace agreement on the White House lawn which came to be known as the Egypt- Israel peace treaty. Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel and was later followed by Jordan.
The main objectives of the Peace treaty between these two neighbors was:
To ensure the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt; which was occupied by Israel in 1967 and to ensure trade and bilateral ties between both neighbors.
Make Egypt an arbiter between Israel and other Arab nations.
The facilitation of the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the mandated Palestinian territory.
This treaty became a cornerstone of the Israeli foreign policy in the Middle East; it ensured diplomatic relations with its neighbor Egypt and more importantly ensured its silence towards the Israeli apartheid in Palestine. In the year 1982, Israel withdrew from Sinai, but its withdrawal from Palestine is still a dream of many Palestinians and others like you and me.
Today, after almost 33 years the treaty hangs in a balance, the question one asks is: will the new Egyptian government maintain the treaty that was never really upheld?
Officials in Tel Aviv fear that Morsi could bring an end to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Not just Morsi, most Egyptians feel that they should not have any relations with Israel. In the words of Kamel Wazni a political analyst: "Most of the Egyptians are against any relationship with Israel and they think Israel is an occupying regime, people in Egypt want the Palestinians to have their legitimate right to have their land and I think the Islamic Brotherhood, if they want to be legitimate, have to honor the wish of the Egyptian people." The frustration of the Egyptian population was sensed through the September 9, 2011 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, where the protesters destroyed a part of a barricade wall around the embassy building and broke into the building, despite the presence of heavily-armed Egyptian security forces in the area. The demonstrators threw documents out of the embassy windows and torched a police car. Since then the Israeli embassy has found it difficult to find a secure location for its embassy. The Egypt-Israel Pipeline blast meted a very severe blow to Shoddy business dealings between the Mubarak regime and Israel.
Gas exports to Israel were launched in 2008 and came under heavy criticism from majority of Egyptians and the then banned Muslim Brotherhood. Despite criticism and widespread discontent the government went ahead with the deal that ensured natural Gas to Tel Aviv at below market rates. Recently, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced former oil minister, Sameh Fahmi, and fugitive businessman, Hussein Salem, to 15 years in prison each over the (Israel) gas deal. The Gas pipeline has been blown 14 times by the protesters since the beginning of the popular uprising, sending a clear signal of hatred towards any business dealings with the Zionist apartheid regime of Israel.
The gas pipeline blasts, the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, conviction of those involved in the Gas deal with Israel, willingness of the new president and the people to extend their helping hand to their brothers in Palestine, sounds a knell for the Egypt-Israel relationship. Sooner or later we will be invited for the funeral of the 33 year long peace treaty; In case I am not able to attend the funeral please convey my heartfelt condolences to the Washington and the Tel Aviv regime.