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Egypt: A New Game Changer In Middle East – OpEd

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With the dissolution of the quisling government of the US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak, Egypt progressively moves toward assuming the role of a new game changer in the Middle East.

The country is now experiencing an unprecedented wave of popular uprising against the puppets of the United States and Israel.

As the most populous Arab countries, Egypt agreed to officially recognize Israel in 1978 in return for an annual US payment of USD two billion. This made Egypt the first Arab nation to recognize the Israeli regime.

Historical documents reveal that following some 18 months of intense and secret negotiations between the United States, Israel and Egypt in Camp David, the government of Cairo accepted truce with Tel Aviv following 30 years of hostility since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War that was temporarily concluded with the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

According to The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East, “The normalization of relations [between Israel and Egypt] went into effect in January 1980. Ambassadors were exchanged in February. The boycott laws were repealed by Egypt’s National Assembly the same month, and some trade began to develop, albeit less than Israel had hoped for. In March 1980 regular airline flights were inaugurated. Egypt also began supplying Israel with crude oil.”

Since then, Egypt managed to maintain close ties with the Israeli regime, despite the anger and frustration of the Arab nations such as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. As a result of its treasonous cooperation with Israel, Egypt was suspended from the Arab League in 1979; however, it regained the membership in the organization ten years later.

American scholar, author and professor of political sciences at the University of Virginia wrote in his book “The Middle East: ten years after Camp David” that “many of the Arab nations blamed Egypt for not putting enough pressure on Israel to deal with the Palestinian problem in a way that would be satisfactory to them. Syria also informed Egypt that it would not reconcile with the nation unless it abandoned the peace agreement with Israel.”

The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt paved the ground for other Arab states to renormalize ties with the Zionist regime. Jordanian King Hussein, who had claimed at the time of the conclusion of Camp David Accords that he would not make peace with Israel until the whole demands of the Arab world are met, felt into the trap of reconciling with Tel Aviv and signed the 1994 Israel Jordan Peace Treaty with the then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The Israeli-Egyptian relations were fortified and strengthened under President Hosni Mubarak who assumed office on October 14, 1981. Mubarak brokered the endorsement of a lasting peace treaty with the Israeli regime during the Arab League’s 2002 Beirut Summit which was proposed by then-Crown Prince King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

This peace initiative was re-endorsed during the 2007 Riyadh Summit. The initiative offered full normalization of the Arab countries’ relations with Israel in return for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories. This peace initiative was so treacherous and shameful that many political commentators still believe it to be a disgrace and ignominy for Hosni Mubarak.

However, with the overthrowing of Hosni Mubarak and termination of his 30-year autocracy, the equations of the Middle East seem to be moving toward a drastic transformation.

Now, even the Israeli officials and media themselves confess that the Egyptian people consider them as their country’s number one enemy. According to a “Yedioth Ahronoth” report published on January 6, 2011, 92% of the respondents who took part in a national survey in Egypt believed that Israel is an enemy of their country while only an infinitesimal minority of 2 percent considered Israel as a friend nation.

Writing in a New York Times commentary, American writer Thomas Friedman stated that the Arab uprisings are on the verge of ending the era of the “wholesale of the Middle East” to start the era of “the Middle East retail,” pointing out that all parties now have to pay a higher price in order to enjoy stability.

According to Friedman, the post-Mubarak phase will make Israel to “retail selling” in order to achieve peace with 85 million Egyptians. “In the last era, a single phone call by Israel to Mubarak could turn off any crisis in relations, but that era ended,” he wrote.

Now, with the ouster of Hosni Mubarak who had long served the interests of the Zionist regime in the Middle East and played the role of the representative of Israel in the Arab world, the Israelis know well that they have lost their strategic ally in the Middle East and this will seriously jeopardize their political future.

In an article titled “Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in Mideast,” Aluf Benn wrote that Israel has lost all of its strategic allies in the Middle East and is on the verge of a serious isolation. “The fading power of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government leaves Israel in a state of strategic distress. Without Mubarak, Israel is left with almost no friends in the Middle East; last year, Israel saw its alliance with Turkey collapse.”

The Israeli writer has expressively confessed that his country doesn’t have any reliable friend in the world and with the wave of Islamic Awakening in the region, will be pushed toward more international isolation.
“From now on, it will be hard for Israel to trust an Egyptian government torn apart by internal strife. Israel’s increasing isolation in the region, coupled with a weakening United States, will force the government to court new potential allies.”

And everything can be summarized in what Prof. Jonathan Cook wrote in his new article titled “Egypt and Israel heading for crisis.” He believes that with the conclusion of a unity deal between the two political rivals of Palestine, namely Hamas and Fatah, and the emergence of a new government in Cairo, Israel’s security and existence will be threatened gravely.

“Several other developments have added to Israeli concerns about its relations with Egypt, including signs that Cairo hopes to renew ties with Iran and renegotiate a long-standing contract to supply Israel with natural gas,” Prof. Cook wrote.

“More worrying still to Israeli officials are reported plans by Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing into Gaza, closed for the past four years as part of a Western-backed blockade of the enclave designed to weaken Hamas, the ruling Islamist group there,” he added.

Now the angry Egyptian demonstrators, who have vowed not to leave the streets of Cairo until the establishment of a democratically-elected government, courageously burn the flag of the Zionist regime and demand the closure of the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Having all of these developments in mind, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the liberated Egypt is now going to play the role of a new game changer in the Middle East.

This article first appeared at PressTV and is reprinted with the author’s permission

Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent. He represents Fair Observer and Your Middle East in Iran. He also conducts interviews and writes commentaries for the Iran Review news and analysis website as a staff writer and reporter. His articles and interviews have been published on Tehran Times, Press TV, International Policy Digest, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research, Turkish Weekly Journal, Strategic Culture Foundation, Al-Arabiya, Counterpunch, Voltaire Network, Baltimore Chronicle and Opinion Maker. He currently blogs for The Huffington Post and writes op-eds for the UK-based Middle East Eye. In 2009, while an undergraduate student of English Language and Literature, he was selected to represent the Middle East students in the International Student Energy Summit 2009 in Calgary, Canada. Kourosh Ziabari is working with Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations as an Iran analyst. He has conducted interviews with some 380 prominent world leaders, politicians, diplomats, UN officials, academicians, public intellectuals, authors, media personalities, journalists and historians. Kourosh Ziabari is the winner of the silver medal at the National Festival of Superior Iranian Youth. He has won three awards in Iran's National Press Festival and also been a member of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing. He was a member of Stony Brook Independent magazine's editorial board and a member of the Kenya-based World Student Community for Sustainable Development. In June 2015, he received a fellowship from Deutsche Welle / European Youth Press to attend and cover the Global Media Forum 2015 in the German city of Bonn. In August 2015, he was named by the Hawaii-based East-West Center as a Senior Journalists Seminar Fellow 2015 to travel to the United States, Malaysia and Pakistan for a reporting and dialog tour aimed at bridging the gaps in the relations between the United States and the Muslim world. He is also a recipient of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism awarded to him in November 2015 by the FNPI foundation in Colombia.

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