This thesis traces the origins of the Egypt-Israel peace process begun in the immediate aftermath of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War. This American-brokered process led to the restoration of Egyptian land seized by Israeli in 1967 in exchange for a bilateral peace treaty, the first between Israel and an Arab state. Formal US-Egypt diplomatic relations were restored in 1974. By the time of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty in 1979, Egyptian defection from Soviet to American was complete, and Egypt had become estranged from the remainder of the Arab world, which refused to recognise, negotiate, or make peace with Israel. Recontextualising wartime and post-war strategic realignments with reference to developments during the first four and three-quarter years of the Nixon administration, from January 1969 – September 1973, this thesis sets presents a thoroughgoing revisionist account of the origins of this process. Tracing concepts and strategies implemented during and after the war in the antebellum period, the work demonstrates that the concepts implemented during the peace process were developed in negotiations involving Egypt, Israel, the Soviet Union, and the United States from early 1969, and forged into a coherent strategy by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during the period from October 1970 – September 1973. Reversing the usual interpretation that Sadat conformed to an American grand design in the aftermath over the October War, this thesis demonstrates instead that the United States collaborated and colluded in implementing an Egyptian strategy for a new regional order, premised on peace between Egypt and Israel and partnerships both between Washington and Jerusalem and between Washington and Cairo.
Mitrani, Mor, and Galia Press-Barnathan. “The (De)Construction of ‘Economic Peace’: ‘Economic Peace’ Strategies in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Between Theory and Reality.” In Regional Peacemaking and Conflict Management: A Comparative Approach (ed. Carmela Lutmar and Benjamin Miller; Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016): 200-18.
Our review of the several economic policies that Israel considered and partially pursued regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years, as well as their overall failure, demonstrated not only the Gordian knot between the Commercial and Capitalist Peace, but also the need to think about the scope conditions that enable the Economic Peace arguments to play out. This case suggests that such arguments are less likely to be relevant for the resolution of asymmetric conflicts. In terms of power asymmetry, as we explain before economic interaction generates either concern and fear in the weaker party, or a temptation to be used as leverage by the powerful party. Such broad disparities also mean lack of significant mutual economic gains that may push both parties toward an agreement. In terms of actor asymmetry, the Palestinian case demonstrates that for a non-state actor fighting for recognition, economic considerations will always be trumped if and when they imply cooperation with the other side at the expense of the broader political-national goal of achieving political independence.
This article may contribute to clarifying the Palestinian-Arab interim goal regarding the issue of Palestine and reduce its ambiguities. This is a goal that cannot use the erosion of time and the facts that Israel has created on the ground as excuses to say the goal has come to an end. The history of the world and current experiences in it demonstrate that there are no unchangeable events given the availability of a capable transformative agent and a clear and gradual plan in this direction.
Palestine has seen a violent conflict between the Israeli action, on the one hand, and the Palestinian-Arab action, on the other hand. The results of this conflict will determine the fate of 1967-occupied Palestine. This will either put Palestine on the global map due to the success of the Palestinian-Arab transformative action, or it will give rise to a greater Israel and achieve a new expulsion of the Palestinian people if the other transformative action succeeds.
In the absence of a final-status agreement in the near or medium term, banishing anti-Israeli and anti-Palestinian incitement from public rhetoric will also become more important. During negotiations for peace in previous years, Israel’s demands for a halt to such talk among the Palestinians often seemed like a play for time. But today, with so much time likely to pass before peace is reached, calls for violence from either side can have a pernicious effect well beyond their apparent scope by encouraging terrorist attacks against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders are unlikely to take serious interim steps toward peace in the near term. Yet the conflict has had many ups and downs over the years, and there will be opportunities for creative policy before long. And because a full resolution is not likely soon, it is all the more important in the meantime that Israel, the Palestinians, and the United States devise coherent policies that are at once realistic about the immediate future and consistently committed to longer-term objectives.
Israel’s anti-solutionism is not absurd, especially in the context of the country’s current geopolitical situation. Yet Israeli leaders can nevertheless be blind to the long-term effects of their actions, and there is much that could be done to improve them. For the Israeli-Palestinian issue, as for many others, it is in the pragmatic middle ground between cynicism and idealism that the best policies can be found.
This article is the first academic study of Egyptian foreign policy towards Israel under Hosni Mubarak (1981–2011). It challenges a deeply entrenched conventional wisdom that Egypt pursued a cold-peace foreign policy towards Israel throughout this period. We demonstrate that Egyptian foreign policy towards Israel was dynamic – comprising cold peace (1981–91), a hybrid foreign policy of cold peace and strategic peace (1991–2003), and a pure strategic peace posture (2003–11). We also use the case of Egyptian foreign policy towards Israel as a heuristic to develop a conception of a new type of peace, strategic peace, as an intermediary analytical category between cold and stable peace.