The Egypt-Israel Peace Test

The rocket strikes that a militant group recently fired from the Sinai Peninsula into the Israeli city of Eilat were yet another reminder of the fragility of the relationship between Egypt and Israel. To avoid a crisis on the border – or a military confrontation – the countries' leaders must renew the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty now.

WASHINGTON, DC – The rocket strikes that a militant Islamist group recently fired from the Egyptian Sinai into the Israeli city of Eilat served as yet another reminder of how delicate bilateral relations remain two years after Egypt’s revolution. Terrorist activity could easily cause a crisis on the border, with the potential to trigger an unwanted confrontation that would threaten the peace treaty that normalized bilateral relations in 1979. To avoid such an outcome, Israel and Egypt must take convincing action now to uphold the treaty.

Last November, when hostilities erupted in Gaza, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi mediated a swift resolution, even providing a guarantee for the cease-fire with Gaza’s ruling Hamas. Morsi thus implicitly recommitted Egypt to upholding peace on the border and to playing a constructive role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This boosted confidence in Israel that the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s ruling party, would uphold the 1979 peace treaty. But Morsi has not explicitly endorsed peace with Israel and has avoided direct engagement with Israeli leaders.

Preserving peace is in both countries’ interests. The attack on an Egyptian army outpost in the Sinai last summer, in which armed militants killed 16 soldiers, demonstrated that terrorism threatens Egypt just as it does Israel.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/cX22Xd5;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.