Opposition group Kefaya campaigning to abolish Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty

Maram Mazen
4 Min Read

CAIRO: The Kefaya (enough) movement, which has held demonstrations over the past two years under the slogan: No for renewal [of President Mubarak s rule] and no for succession [of power to his son, Gamal Mubarak] has decided, following recent events, to campaign against the Camp David peace treaty.

Under the title of Together for the cancellation of the Camp David [peace] treaty, Kefaya is collecting signatures to abolish the peace treaty. It was signed in 1979, making Egypt the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

The movement embarked on the campaign about a week ago by distributing the statement, which was also published online on the group s Web site. They are aiming to collect one million signatures to open a re-discussion of the treaty and to hold a general referendum on the treaty.

With the group comprised of people from the entire Egyptian political spectrum including Islamists, Liberals, Leftists and Pan Arabists, it has been difficult for these groups and individuals to agree on a debatable issue such as the peace treaty. Adding the cancellation of the treaty to the aims of the group is an issue for debate within the movement itself.

I don t agree with Kefaya s campaign. This will create distraction from our inside issues by adding outside causes, the accomplishment of which is now in doubt. This treaty kept Egypt from playing a powerful role in the region but it brought Sinai back, says Hany Enan, one of the founders of Kefaya.

As to whether these differences would decrease the popularity of Kefaya among people who don’t agree with the abolishment, Enan said, There have been disagreements about foreign affairs policies, but we all agree on our local agenda, which is about democratic change.

Abdel Halim Qandeel, the official spokesperson for the movement, has another point of view. Fighting the American and Israeli occupation and fighting oppression are two sides of the same coin. There s not one person in Kefaya who doesn’t support the abolishment of the treaty.

Qandeel says the aim is to re-open the treaty for discussion and to get people ready to hold a general referendum on the treaty. He says the referendum that was held during Sadat’s time was rigged, just like the rest of the referendums.

We want to take the issue to parliament through the opposition members of parliament. Their target, he said, is to abolish the treaty through referendum.

I m not joining any protest that would be held on that matter, says Wael Abbas, a member in the Kefaya movement and writer of the blog Mist Digital, which boasts a picture of Anwar El-Sadat, the former president who signed the treaty with Israel.

I think the people must know the advantages and the disadvantages that would affect Egypt if the treaty was abolished. This [the abolishment of the treaty] is not an Egyptian agenda; this is an Arab nationalist and Nasserist agenda.

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