Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 25, 2009--30th Anniversary of Egyptian Peace Agreement

Today is the 30th anniversary of the peace agreement with Egypt. There were a number of seminars today in Israel to mark the day. In the retrospect of 30 years, the agreement can be looked at in different ways by those who think the glass is half full and those who think it is half empty.

To the half full people it has been 30 years of no warfare. Thirty years in which Egypt never once violated the agreement. Despite the first and second Intifada and the First and Second Lebanon War, Egypt never broke diplomatic ties with Israel. On the other hand, Israel never received the warm peace it was hoping for. Very limited trade exists, any of the cultural ties that existed in the early years are no longer, and tourism has almost evaporated except for the few Israelis who still go to Sinai. It is clear that the majority of Egyptians oppose the peace, and there is a real fear that in the future a new generation could end it. In the end there really is only one way to sum up the agreement - Israel has had 30 years of no war with Egypt and as a result there have been 30 years without a strategic threat to Israel’s existence.

Today Prime Minster Designate Netanyahu turned toward cleaning up the few remaining issues that stand between him and entering the Prime Minister's Office. The Likud signed an agreement with Habayit Hayehudi, the ever smaller remake of the once s trong Mafdal party (the national religious party). They will be receiving the Ministry of Science. It would be a joke if it was not so real. Netanyahu now must make peace with his own party, which thanks to his negotiations, is left with very few cabinet posts. The pictures coming out of the meeting of the Likud Knesset faction look more like picture from a wake or shiva than pictures from a party that now has agreements in place to form a government.