Since the 1979 Camp David Peace Treaty, Israel has been violating the basic conditions of that agreement. During the past three decades, Egyptian soldiers were killed at the Israeli-Egyptian border and in most cases; the Israeli government expressed its regrets. However, the January 25th Revolution has inspired new military and political trends that is totally different from the policy of the Mubarak regime. During the past 30 years, Egypt was an American-Israeli satellite. Whatever the U.S. dictated, Mubarak used to implement. During the past few days, the Israeli military forces inside Egypt’s boundaries killed five Egyptian soldiers.
The U.N. peace force in the Sinai Peninsula issued a report confirming Israeli aggressions against Egyptian soldiers. Nevertheless, the Israeli aggression has created a public upheaval all over Egypt, calling for retaliation against Israeli aggression. Tens of thousands of protestors in front of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Egypt and the recall of the Egyptian ambassador from Israel.
The Israeli aggression gave a new boost to all Egyptian political groups in support of the Egyptian military forces. In the meantime, the Israeli defense minister issued an apology and expressed regrets the killings of the Egyptian soldiers. The Egyptian government rejected the apology and demanded an investigation of such violations. In the meantime, foreign powers, especially the U.S., are using their influence to avert a crisis and possible confrontation between Egypt and Israel.
The crisis has been the most dangerous since 1979. Prior cases of Israeli aggression during the Mubarak regime were dismissed due to the influence of the U.S. over Egyptian policy. This trend and strategy is part of the previous regime’s policy. It is no longer a secret that the expelled president Mubarak was under the thumb of both Israel and the U.S. and such information is prevalent in Egypt. This recent crisis led to a united front of all Egyptian political parties supporting the military forces and calling for an evaluation of the relationship between Egypt and the U.S. Also, they are calling for the reconsideration of the Camp David Agreement. It is unfortunate that the U.S. government has been following a one-way foreign policy in support of Israel.
During the previous 12 months, I have witnessed several documented rationales from various sources supporting the U.S.’s blind support of Israel. U.S. foreign policy towards Egypt has, since the time of President Sadat, put Egypt under its thumb. During the past forty years, American politicians have pursued the same strategy in the Arab world as a whole and especially in Egypt, by supporting authoritarian regimes as long as they implement the American strategy.
This era is over and the Egyptian public is demanding a reassessment of the Egyptian-American relationship. They are focusing on important issues such as:
1) American foreign aid to Egypt, which has been instrumental in giving the U.S. the upper hand to implement U.S. foreign policy. All political parties have called on the Egyptian government to reject American aid to Egypt. For example, the Egyptian public, as well as the Egyptian government, recently protested the U.S. distribution of $64 million to various civil and political groups and organizations in Egypt. Such an act is done in violation of Egyptian law. The money distributed is part of $150 million of American foreign aid to Egypt. Imagine if a foreign government gave money to various political and civil groups in the U.S. in order to influence the political trends in the U.S. Such an act would be considered interference in the American political system, which is prohibited by law. In my judgment, Egypt will be better off without American economic and even military aid. Considering Israeli influences over the American congress and White House, Egypt will be better off without such insignificant help from the U.S.
2) The Egyptian public is calling for, among others things, the reevaluation of the Camp David Agreement in light of continuous Israeli violations. More Egyptian military forces need to be permitted to enter Sinai to ensure stability and Egyptian influence over its territory.
3) Reconsideration of trade agreements between Egypt and Israel, such as the Qauize Trade Agreement, which facilitates exports of Egyptian-Israeli products to the U.S.
4) The sale of natural gas to Israel, which was done illegal to begin with as part of the peace treaty of 1979.
These points are being discussed by the Egyptian public, which is asking the government and the military council to adopt them.