Jordans King Abdullah II has warned in an interview that the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty could collapse which, amidst other deeply worrying developments in Egypt, has lead the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) to urge Israel to state publicly that it will retake Sinai and the Sinai oilfields, handed over to Egypt under the treaty, if Egypt abrogates the peace agreement.
Asked in an interview in the Washington Post whether Egypt in the post-Mubarak era could break the peace treaty, Abdullah said, That is a very, very strong possibility [Jordan will maintain its 1994 peace treaty with Israel because it] helps both parties … You have seen what has happened in Egypt; you have seen Turkey. We are actually the last man standing with our relationship with Israel. That puts tremendous pressure on Jordan … This is the most frustrated I have ever been about the peace process. I think a lot of us have come to the conclusion that this particular [Israeli] government is not interested in a two-state solution (Jordan’s Abdullah: Egypt could break its peace treaty with Israel, Haaretz, October 27, 2011, Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), October 25, 2011).
In addition to Abdullahs public pessimism about the prospects of the Egyptian/Israeli treaty enduring, developments in Egypt are taking a bad turn, as ZOA predicted a the time of the fall of Mubaraks government. The Muslim Brotherhood has formed an official party, the Freedom and Justice Party, which has won landslide victories in the teachers’ union and doctors’ union elections, and its representatives elected to the leading roles in these unions, replacing members of the former ruling party, the National Democratic Party (NDP). The Brotherhood is urging parliamentary and presidential election before a new Egyptian constitution is drafted and approved, something which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which is still in control of the country, has also been supporting (L. Azury, Egypt’s Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed by Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt Part II: Muslim Brotherhood Prepares for Parliamentary, Presidential Elections, MEMRI, October 25, 2011).
Also, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypts major non-government daily newspaper, recently published a map of the Gaza Strip, Israel and the West Bank labeled Palestine, The word Israel does not appear on the map. Additionally, the Egyptian Cleric and Presidential candidate, Hazem Abu Ismail, has publicly stated, I Am an Enemy of the Camp David Accord and the Peace Agreement (Egyptian Presidential Candidate: I Am an Enemy of the Camp David Accord, MEMRI, October 25, 2011).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, King Abdullahs statement, including his panicked references to being the last man standing where peace with Israel is concerned as well as his predictable blaming of Israel for the deterioration of Arab relations with Israel, clearly suggest that hostility in the Arab world to Israel is increasing and that Egypt is indeed moving away from its peace treaty with Israel. The negative developments in Egypt we cited are further evidence of this.
As we have stated as long ago as February, when the upheavals in Egypt reached a critical point, the Egypt-Israel peace treaty is a legal, contractual undertaking by both sides. It requires the faithful performance of all treaty obligations. It is both absurd and unthinkable that Egypt can retain all of Israels concessions under the peace treaty, while Israel loses Egypts obligation to maintain peace and recognition.
We therefore urge that, if Egypt cancels the treaty, the U.S. must also consider canceling all further aid to Cairo and removing its military advisers, who have expertly trained Egypts armed forces. The more than $60 billion in aid over three decades has enabled Egypt to build up one of the largest armies in the Middle East, twice the size of Israels, with over 1,000 tanks, 300 F-15 fighter jets, over a dozen warships, as well as missiles and chemical weapons.
If Egypt had abrogated the treaty, shall we say, six months or a year after the treaty was originally signed in 1979, there would be simply no question that Egypt would not able to keep the concessions made by Israel under the treaty as if nothing had happened. It would also be unthinkable that the U.S. would start, or continue, to give $2 billion in U.S. annual aid to a country that had just flagrantly abrogated the very treaty under which it was to receive U.S. aid.
It makes no difference that 30 years have passed since the signing of the treaty. The treaty was not a limited one of thirty, or a hundred years. Egypt cannot renounce the treaty without automatically forfeiting whatever it gained by it. Israel should be making this crystal clear to those in authority in Egypt as well as to whomever else may come to power in Cairo. By doing so, Israel may play a valuable, stabilizing and restraining influence on Egypt. By showing that significant negative consequences could flow from Egypt abrogating the peace treaty, Israel would reduce the likelihood of Egypt doing so.