Opposition wants Camp David Accords annulled

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
4 Min Read

CAIRO: Opposition movement Kefaya has gathered a 100,000-strong petition calling for the annulment of Egypt’s 1979 Camp David Peace Accords with Israel, said General Coordinator for the Kefaya opposition movement George Ishaq.

Ishaq told The Daily Star Egypt that the movement wants the treaty annulled due to the inequity in its conditions. We saw this treaty as untenable during the last Lebanon war, because it contains an article that states that you cannot protest Israeli actions, he said.

Ishaq added that Egypt only has armed forces in 25 percent of Sinai, when it should be able to possess military sovereignty over the entirety of its land. He also called for the return of a port that is currently under Israeli control.

However, Ishaq did not call for a complete abandonment of the peace treaty, but rather a renegotiation of the existing Camp David Accords.

We want a fair peace, not war. So we would like the peace treaty to be renegotiated on fairer terms. We do not want war with Israel, he told The Daily Star Egypt.

Ishaq plans to present the petition to parliament, and it is expected that it will find support amongst the Muslim Brotherhood MPs according to AFP. The Brotherhood, which is officially outlawed, possesses 88 seats in the assembly.

One member of the Brotherhood bloc in parliament, Hamdy Hassan, told The Daily Star Egypt that whether a peace treaty exists with Israel or not is eventually up to the people of Egypt. He said, “We want to present the conditions of the treaty in a transparent way to the people, and they should decide. If they don’t want it, we are behind them, and if they want it, then we are also behind them.

As for whether the Brotherhood will support Kefaya’s petition in the People’s Assembly, Hassan told The Daily Star Egypt, “It will be discussed with all 88 members of the bloc and a consensus will be reached.

Hassan believes that in the end it is the people’s choice to decide the parameters of any treaty with Israel. “It is up to the people of Egypt to decide whether they want it or not. Let them speak, he said.

Kefaya will hold a seminar at the Lawyers Syndicate next Tuesday and Wednesday on its objections to the inequalities of the Camp David Accords.

But it is doubtful that the petition will make any headway in parliament for a number of reasons, says Amr Hashem, political systems expert at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

Nothing will come of this, he told The Daily Star Egypt, because the People s Assembly consider themselves the decision makers concerning these matters and they will not renege on a previous decision.

Hashem noted that there are other political reasons for the predicted ineffectiveness of the petition. He said, The concept of civil society being able to lobby the government does not exist in Egypt. In addition, it will be difficult to pass this trough in the current climate, because you have a despotic regime that does not accept or acknowledge any sort of opposition.

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