Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Egypt and Israel's Peace Treaty: On a Slippery Slope in Danger of Crashing
Nadene Goldfoot

Young Egyptians who demonstrated for democracy and higher wages are among the anti-American and anti-Israeli group of demonstrators who still view Israel as an enemy.  So said Michael Laskier, professor of Mid-East studies at Bar-Ilan University. 

Already the anti-Israel cleric, Yusuf al-Qardawi, has called for the "conquest" of Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque.  This came into Israel's domain after 1967's war in which Israel regained Jerusalem.  It also is a Jewish holy site.  This is Islam's 3rd-holiest site.  Yusuf had been exiled and was living in Qatar for many years and probably now is ready to get even.  Debka File also pointed out that he is a  Sunni who though exiled previously, now was allowed to lead the victory assembly at Taher Square on February 17th with a call to march into Jerusalem for taking over al Aqsa.  He even justified suicide bombings against Israelis.  Also, he is pushing to open the Egyptian-Gaza Strip border allowing Hamas freedom to fight against Israel in a bigger way.  He is all for jihad.  This radical preacher, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was allowed his way in this demonstation. 

The soldiers had left the area and the Muslim strong armed moved in.  Opponents were dragged away.  This is not what the freedom demonstrators had bee asking for, but they now have it amonst them leading the way. 

A major cause for concern is that for the first time in 30 years two Iranian ships that have gone through the Suez Canal on their way to Syria.  Netanyahu feels Iran is out to broaden its influence by doing this at this time.  Egypt had no reason to stop them as they said they were not carrying weapons.  I wonder if they bothered to inspect them.

The peace treaty had brought about many positive things.  40% of Israel's natural gas has come from Egypt.  Recently the pipe lines were attacked and damaged. Egypt also has been halting the flood of African immigrants through Egypt into Israel which was above and beyond what Israel could take care of.  People foreget that Israel is a wee little country.  Egypt has also been halting weapons coming into the Gaza Strip for Hamas to use against Israel.  Because of maintaining the peace, the USA has been generous in its aid to Egypt.  Laskier is afraid that Egypt may not actually break the peace but will not keep it, either, at the status quo. 

The danger is that many reporters and countries think that the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing to fear because Egypt regained the country through "peaceful" means, but note what they are now doing and getting away with.  Though Yusef was allowed the star role in the demonstration on the 17th, articles published on the 18th show none of what was happening in the Brotherhood's rise to power in Egypt. 

Now the question in my mind is just how strong will the young university students and others who only want a democratic state and prosperity be in fighting off the demands of the Brotherhood?  Already they were put down on this night of the 17th. 

Reference:  Oregonian Newspaper, February 22, 2011, page A5, "Cold peace" turns chillier in Mideast

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