Yesterday, Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi declared his support for a Middle East peace initiative proposed by France.
All things considered, el-Sisi is probably the only leader in the Middle East who both Israel and the Palestinians mutually respect. So his words do carry great weight.
Nevertheless, el-Sisi’s argument falls short in one respect. In supporting a peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, el-Sisi cited the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. While it’s true that Israel and Egypt fought three wars in the space of a quarter century before Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat buried the hatchet, does anyone honestly think the Palestinians have a Sadat in their midst?
Unlike Egypt, which is ancient state, the project for Palestinian statehood is only four decades old. The principle aim and objective of Palestinian statehood is to supplant Israel through the Palestinian right of return. Let’s remember that Palestinian refugees are unlike any other refugees in the world. The UN Relief Works Agency boasts of four generations of Palestinians. In fact, one need not have ever set foot in the Middle East to be considered a Palestinian refugee. The UNRWA states, “The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.” In other words, a fourth generation American whose great grandfather lived in what’s now Israel between 1946 and 1948 is a “refugee.” It’s absolutely absurd, but if there is a full fledged Palestinian state, Israel will be overrun by these “refugees” and Israel will cease to exist.
The end of Israel, of course, is the raison d’etre of the Palestinians and hatred of all things Israel and Jewish are embedded in, for lack of a better term, Palestinian civil society. If a Palestinian Sadat were to come along then he would surely face the same fate as the Egyptian Sadat. Not only are the Palestinians lacking a Sadat, they lack an el-Sisi.
With that said, there is a case to be made for Israel to participate in the French peace initiative. Would Israel rather deal with Francois Hollande or face the prospect of U.S. led peace initiative by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Hillary’s association with President Obama inherently compromises her and Trump knows about as much about the Middle East as he knows about our judicial system.
But even if Israel agrees to Hollande’s proposal and el-Sisi agrees to play a role in the process, it won’t change the fact that Israel lacks a partner in peace.