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Clinton Silent as Egyptian Foreign Minister Ties Israel Treaty to pre-1967 Armistice Line


Secretary of State Clinton                                                         Secretary of State Clinton with Israeli

with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr                                        Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem

in Cairo on July 15, 2012                                                              on july 16, 2012

As Madame Secretary of State Clinton's trip to the Middle East segued into her meeting yesterday with Israeli PM Netanyahu, disturbing elements were revealed in her joint Press Conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr on Saturday.  In a Washington Free Beacon article published today, Clinton was conspicuously silent during the press conference while Amr tied continuation of the Camp David accords of 1979 between Israel and Egypt to recognition of a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 armistice line.  The  Free Beacon report noted what Amr said:

During a press conference Saturday in Cairo, Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr were asked about Egypt’s longstanding peace treaty with Israel, which has come under scrutiny in recent months by officials of Egypt’s new, Muslim Brotherhood-led government.

“Egypt’s understanding of peace is that it should be comprehensive, exactly as stipulated in the treaty itself,” Amr said, referring to the original 1978 Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt.

“And this also includes the Palestinians, of course, and its right to—their right to have their own state on the land that was—the pre-June 4, 1967, borders with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Clinton remained silent following Amr’s statement. (The Obama administration also backs a return to the pre-1967 borders—a decision that was roundly condemned by Jewish leaders when it was announced by the president in May 2011.)

The reactions to this episode are reflected in Free  Beacon comments from Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Dr.  Jon Schanzer, Vice President at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a  frequent guest on NER/WEBY Middle East Round Table discussions:

This is just more evidence that the new Egyptian government has no intention of upholding the long-standing peace deal with Israel,” Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.), a congressional opponent of U.S. aid to Egypt, told the Free Beacon in a statement.
“I once again call on this administration to get tough with the Muslim Brotherhood and let them know that their $ 2 billion aid package will be cut off if the current peace deal is not enforced by Egypt.”

“This is a little bit of a troubling development,” said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “To have the foreign minister raise this right now with the Secretary of State is what we all need to be looking at.”
While the more-than-three-decades-old accords explicitly discuss Egypt’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, stability between Israel and Egypt was historically viewed as the most critical aspect of the agreement, Schanzer explained.
“By bringing this up, they are bringing up ancient history and redefining the de facto terms under which the peace agreement has existed,” Schanzer said. “The new government is looking to establish itself with its domestic base. This is an attempt to flex a little bit of muscle here.”

In a July NER article with Schanzer in which we raised dangers of the Morsi Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt he warned where these developments might lead:

I believe that if the Muslim Brotherhood has its way, and if another parliamentary election takes place that brings them back to power, they will truly take control of the country. We are going to lose Egypt. In fact, we may have already lost Egypt since President Morsi is already not eager to work with the United States to uphold the peace with Israel. This is strikingly similar to what happened to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979… I see huge parallels here. Very scary parallels. And so for those who keep saying well, gee, don't worry about it; you know the military is still in control. That is exactly what analysts said about Iran back in 1979. History does repeat itself.

The Free  Beacon noted criticism of Clinton by a Congressional source:

“The Islamic, radical, new Egyptian government invented a contingency clause for the Camp David peace accords in a live press conference with the U.S. Secretary of State who said nothing in response,” said a senior congressional official in contact with the Israeli government. “If that is not a failure of leadership I don’t what is.

From an Arab world perspective, the lack of response by the secretary could be taken as acceptance of such a contingency on the Camp David peace accords, which would constitute a change to U.S. policy as well,” added the source. “What happened is a major strategic error, and it needs to be corrected publicly and loudly very soon.”

Clinton also expressed apathy about a potential meeting between the newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It is up to the two nations and the president and the prime minister to make their own scheduling plans,” Clinton said. “We have done nothing. That’s not our role; that would not be appropriate.”

As we posted  on the Iconoclast yesterday, Clinton appears to be in the forefront of the Obama Administration policy appeasing radical Muslim Brotherhood elements throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  When Secretary Clinton appeared with Israeli PM Netanyahu at their joint press conference in Jerusalem yesterday, their message was that Israel and the US were “ on the same page” with the Iran nuclear threat.  The exchange of public messages by Netanyahu and Clinton  reported by the Jerusalem Post went along the usual lines:

"We have our common goals to make sure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon," Netanyahu said prior to the meeting.

Clinton said: "We will continue to consult closely as we have on an almost daily basis between our two governments to chart the best way forward for peace and stability for Israel, the United States and the world."

Clinton said that her visit should reiterate Washington's commitment to Israel's security, and its investment in Israel's long term future.

Israel and the US, she said, cooperate every day at the "highest level and across many dimensions."
The reality in behind the scenes discussions with Netanyahu may have been tougher on matters like the Levy Commission report suggesting legalizing possible annexation of Judea and Samaria. The Levy Report has troubled liberal American Jewish leaders who contend its conclusions threaten peace discussions with the truculent Palestinian Authority. They  have suggested PM Netanyahu reject the Report’s recommendations.  

Clinton may also have raised with Netanyahu concerns about the bloody disarray in neighboring Syria whose Chemical and Biological Warfare caches could be used against both opposition and Israel.    Israel Hayom noted the comments of Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh  who said an interview published June 11, 2012:

"Syria today has the largest chemical weapons stockpile in our neighborhood. These missiles can reach any point in Israel and therefore we must remain vigilant."
Naveh warned, "What the Syrians are doing to their own people they would do to us if they got the chance."

Clinton is publicly boosting the effects of tough sanctions on Iran while  telling  the Islamic Republic's leaders that doors are open to realistic discussions.  That may be an ineffective chess move to the grand masters in Tehran who have devised  several means of suborning the moratorium.  According to UK security experts  the recent EU oil moratorium sanctions implemented on July 1st will not avert ultimate achievement of nuclear devices by the Islamic Republic within less than two years.  Israeli security experts contend the first crude devices could be available before year end given available supplies of enriched uranium.    That reality may explain the recent augmentation of the US Navy Fifth Fleet in the Gulf  given rising tensions by the Islamic Republic threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz.   Meanwhile, Secretary Clinton is in the Emirates trying to allay fears about US resolve amidst increasing concerns about Iran’s saber rattling.

 All these photo ops on Clinton’s globe girdling trip in the end signify nothing more than the Obama Administration is intent of preserving its options, while distancing itself from Israel. That is dramatically reflected in the alleged failure by the State Department to include the Jewish State, a constant victim of Islamic terrorism, in a recent Global Terrorism Conference.   That abject concession to Islamist Turkey and other Middle East regimes attending  the Conference was roundly criticized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. 

Sic transit ignominia the Obama Administration's  appeasement of triumphant Muslim Brotherhood and fundamentalist Islamic regimes in MENA.

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