The Egyptian government is looking to scrap parts of its peace treaty with Israel, according to an advisor to President Morsi, claiming a “strategic and security need.” As Jonathan noted yesterday, Morsi has let the Sinai disintegrate into lawlessness, paving the way for incidents like last week’s terrorist attack on Israel. Now Morsi advisors appear to be using the lack of security in the Sinai as a justification for amending the treaty:
In comments published in the online Dostor newspaper, one of Egypt’s independent dailies, a Morsi adviser, Mohammed Seif el-Dawla, was quoted as saying he will soon give the president a proposal on amending the treaty between Egypt and Israel.
El-Dawla provided no details of the proposal, which he said would be drawn up by a panel of consultants. Amending the treaty, he said, was ‘‘a popular demand and a strategic and security need.’’
The Egyptian government’s failure to secure the Sinai puts Israel in a tricky position regarding the peace treaty, and it appears that’s the intention. Egypt will point to each cross-border attack on Israel as a reason for why it needs to militarize the area. Meanwhile, efforts by Israel to fight back against the attacks will be criticized by Egypt as a violation of the treaty.
It’s yet another reason why the U.S. should put stipulations on Egypt’s foreign aid, with one of these demands being heightened border security. The aid has given us visibility into the government and the military, which is helpful, but why not get some more political leverage out of it? There’s no point in having leverage if we don’t use it.