Egypt and Jordan: Israel's Peace Partners?
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JERUSALEM, Israel – Most think of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah II as Israel's friends. Both Muslim-majority countries signed peace treaties with Israel – Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 – the only countries in the Middle East to do so.
Both el-Sisi and Abdullah II have a long list of accomplishments to their credit.
Since taking office in July 2014, el-Sisi has worked to bring Egypt back to its former place among the nations. In 2012, he helped remove President Mohammed Morsi (a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood) a year after he took office, following national street protests numbering in the millions. Among other things, he initiated the expansion of the Suez Canal.
King Abdullah II succeeded his father, King Hussein, who died in 1999.
In his nearly two-decade reign, Abdullah did a lot to modernize Jordan, upgrading its armed forces and overseeing economic and social reforms that included upgrading the status of women.
Egypt and Jordan both benefit from Israel in many ways. Israel stepped up to the plate when Egypt needed help fighting Islamic terrorists in the Sinai.
Jordan also receives abundant security, economic and political support from Israel.
Despite the benefits, the leaders of both countries continue to advocate positions they know would undermine Israel's future, a far cry from what allied countries normally do.
Earlier this week, following their meeting in Cairo, el-Sisi and Abdullah issued a joint statement that included their commitment to the "two-state solution" as envisioned in the 2002 Arab peace initiative.
"They also discussed mutual coordination to reach a two-state solution and establish a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as a capital, which is a national constant that cannot be given up."
What exactly do they mean?
If they're really keen on Israel's survival, why do they support a return to the pre-1967 armistice lines, which Israeli U.N. Ambassador Abba Eban referred to as "Auschwitz borders?" Not only would such a move uproot 750,000 plus Jewish Israelis from their homes and communities, it would also leave Israel with a 9-mile-wide waist in one area and major population centers, including Ben Gurion International Airport, vulnerable to rocket attacks.
And why do Abdullah and el-Sisi envision Jerusalem as it was under the 19-year Jordanian occupation from 1948 to 1967? That eventuality would bring Jerusalem's Old City – the Jewish Quarter, Temple Mount and Western Wall – under P.A. control. Does anyone believe that would bode well?
At least the Iranian regime openly declares its intentions.
Earlier this week, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Israel "a cancerous tumor" that must be "eradicated" to bring about the "complete liberation of Palestine."
The fact is Khamenei's position lines up with both Palestinian factions – Fatah in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In short, Palestinian officials do not support Israel's existence. They teach their children to call Jewish Israelis "Zionist occupiers" of Palestinian land.
The Palestinian Media Watch reported on a recent dance competition in Nablus (biblical Shechem). The winner was a dance performed by a Palestinian teenager to a song entitled, "Pull the Trigger," with these lyrics:
We replaced bracelets with weapons. We attacked the despicable [Zionists]. We do not want [internal] strife or disputes while this invading enemy is on the battlefield. This is the day that jihad [armed uprising] is needed. Pull the trigger. We shall redeem Jerusalem, Nablus and the country.
MK Michael Oren, former Israeli U.S. ambassador, recently told CBN News the Palestinians' refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state is the main reason for the stalemated peace process.
"Again and again Palestinians were offered this state; they'd turn it down. They turned it down not because of the borders; they turned it down not because of settlements; they turned it down not even because of Jerusalem; they turned it down for one reason every single time and that is the price they have to pay for a Palestinian state is recognizing a Jewish state," Oren said.
Israel's "peace" partners should know that an unreformed Palestinian entity, if granted a state, would create havoc in their own capitals, as well as in Jerusalem.
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