- On March 12, 2012, Dr. Mohamed Al-Saed Idris, Chairman of the Arab Affairs Committee in the new Egyptian Parliament, presented the committee’s official outline of Egypt’s regional policy.
- The committee’s operative recommendations called for an official definition of Israel as an enemy, severing diplomatic relations, full support for the armed struggle against Israel, re-adoption of the total boycott of Israel, raising the issue of Jerusalem in the international arena, and a review of Egyptian nuclear policy.
- In its eyes, Israel is the foremost enemy of Egypt and the Arab and Islamic world, and the peace agreement with it (the Camp David agreement) is considered a dead letter.
- Egypt is setting itself on a collision course with Israel, using the Palestinian issue in all its aspects – including Israeli military operations against Palestinian terrorism as well as Israeli policy in Jerusalem or the West Bank – as an excuse for direct Egyptian intervention.
- Defining Israel as a “major enemy” means building a military capability to deal with the “Israeli threat,” including an attempt to deny Israel any advantage in the nuclear field and/or the development of Egyptian nuclear weapons.
- At present, the new Egyptian political leadership cannot translate these policies into actions. But this situation is likely to change after the presidential elections on May 23-24 and the establishment of a new civilian government.
Lt.-Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center, is a former advisor to the Policy Planning Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(Jonathan D. Halevi – Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)