The 1979 Egyptian-Israeli treaty of humiliation

Someone recently asked how can any reasonable person in Egypt or elsewhere be against the 1979 peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, especially when Egypt is so unstable politically and close to bankruptcy economically?

It’s a valid question, but also one that betrays some ignorance about what this peace agreement actually entails.

Many Egyptians find it obscene having to make peace with a racist, fascist, expansionist state that is built on the homes and bones of an entire people and is busy ethnically cleansing its non-Jewish population. But Egyptians know their country is near-bankrupt and its army badly trained, poorly led and fully reliant on obsolete American weapons which Egypt is obliged to buy from the US with the military aid it receives from Washington.

What Egyptians find most objectionable about their peace treaty is its humiliating terms, which seem to have been inspired by the Versailles Treaty, except that, in contrast to Germany in World War I, Egypt is not the aggressor but the victim of aggression.

Specifically, the 1979 peace treaty requires the Egyptian army to seek Israel’s permission before treading on its own, Egyptian soil in Sinai.

This humiliation was brought home just this week. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) on 11 June, the Egyptian military has asked Israel to allow it to send troops into the Sinai Peninsula for an offensive against Islamist terrorists there. ”Egypt received authorization for troop movement in the Sinai earlier this month, and has asked for such authorization repeatedly since unrest in the country began in early 2011,” the agency reminded us.

So, in return for getting back the Sinai Peninsula from Israel, which Israel conquered in an unprovoked aggression in 1967 under the pretext of a big, fat lie, Egypt had to cede sovereignty over its own territory to the aggressor.

At least the humiliation of the Versailles Treaty, while shortsighted and stupid, was inflicted on Germany as punishment for its aggression. Perversely, the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty punishes the victim in perpetuity and rewards the aggressor by enshrining in law its violation of the victim’s sovereignty.

That is why Egyptians and many others who believe in justice hate the 1979 treaty of humiliation between Israel and Egypt.

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