Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak confirmed the need of the free world to turn the backside of freedom on oppressive and murderous Islamic regimes, no longer offering the respect of “recognizing” them as sovereign, until they return the favor to their neighbors. Islam will not live happily or even grumpily with freedom, and certainly not if any form of “respect” is a condition of that living.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did well the job of a besieged leader this week. He “led” with his policy speech on June 14th, and raised the mantle of the existing peace treaty with Egypt and Jordan:
If we join hands and work together for peace, together with our neighbors, there is no limit to the development and prosperity we can achieve for our two peoples in economy, trade, agriculture, tourism and education.
Fortunately, Egypt and Jordan have left this circle of enmity. The signing of peace treaties with them have brought about and end of their claims against Israel, an end to the conflict, bringing peace.
As Israel offered a leg-up to technology, agriculture, trade, education and safety for all the people in the area, Arabs who can’t provide anything of any value for themselves or anyone else, said they were “outraged.”
In true I-am-great-Arab-man mode, Egypt’s Mubarak joined the choir as he said the demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland “ruined the chance for peace.”
So this fight that Mubarak brought to the forefront has nothing to do with Netanyahu’s demand for a demilitiarized Palestinian state. It has to do with “recognizing” Israel as a state and as the Jewish homeland. Well, Muslims cannot have that, even if “recognizing” Israel is exactly what Egypt treatied to do when they signed the Israel-Egypt peace treaty in 1979.
Taken directly from the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, is this:
(1) a They recognize and will respect each other’s right to live in peace within their secure and recognized boundaries;
(1) b They recognize and will respect each other’s right to live in peace within their secure and recognized boundaries
(3) The Parties agree that the normal relationship established between them will include full recognition, …
The agreement was signed by the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Government of the State of Israel. That’s the “State” of Israel.
When Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the agreement with Israel, he was not agreeing to recognize Jews in Brooklyn, so what is Mubarak talking about?
There are a few things to remember about the 30-year-old peace treaty. For one thing, Egypt came to the table because Israel took them to a very uncomfortable woodshed and rendered them whupped-upon in the worst way. They couldn’t believe the beating they got at the behest of the tiny start-up nation of Israel, and the world couldn’t believe it either, but…Egypt attacked Israel four times and four times Egypt lost. Egypt needed that peace treaty.
The treaty was reason to celebrate for the Israeli people, and for those Egyptians who feared losing a loved one to Israel’s wrath, it was good for Egyptians, as well, but a daunting precedent was set. As a condition of the treaty, Israel returned all their spoils of war to their attacker. Everything went back to Egypt. It was historic and it was unfortunate. From that time forward, Israel has been expected to “give back” and “give up,” anything and everything that punished the attacker for attacking in the first place. Additionally, Israel has been expected to give up whatever negotiators asked them to give.
Daniel Pipes makes several sobering observations about Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, but perhaps the starkest is the this precedent:
…war can be concluded through negotiations rather than by one side giving up.
Winning the battle…possessing the mightiest power and being willing to use that power sends the clearest message. As Netanyahu said in his speech:
Many good people have told us that withdrawal from the territories is the key to peace with the Palestinians. Well we withdrew. But the fact is that every withdrawal was met with massive waves of terror by suicide bombers and thousands of missiles. We tried to withdraw with an agreement and without an agreement. We tried a partial withdrawal and a full withdrawal. In the year 2000 and again last year, I proposed with good will, an almost total withdrawal in exchange for an end to the conflict and twice our offers were rejected. We evacuated every last inch of the Gaza strip and we uprooted settlements, and evicted thousands of Israelis from their homes and in response we received a hail of missiles on our cities towns and children.
Negotiations do nothing unless you have already won your battles, your enemy is in retreat, and your fist remains clenched and raised until your demands are met. The lesson for Israel is don’t “give back” and especially don’t give up the borders you need to keep your country safe.