DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Phase 2

As public support for the United States in Egypt increases as a direct result of phase one, we can then focus on the broader issue that is sure to impact Egyptian-American relations if it is not resolved. If we are able to improve the historically weary relations between Israel and Egypt, we will be directly improving American-Egyptian relations. A mutual understanding between Egyptian and Israeli people will reinforce homeland security in all three countries of this complex triangle. Former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, had been in alliance with the United States with regards to Israel and—despite it’s affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood—the new government under Morsi confirms that relations will stay solid between the countries.  However, with constantly changing governments and a rapidly evolving world, it is time that the United States ensures that such peace will be sustained through revisions and updates of international treaties such as the Camp David Accords. With an end goal of cutting military spending and maintaining American-Egyptian relations, we must first stabilize relations with Israel by focusing on the Gaza Strip, a current stressor of the United States. The creation of a summit that meets every decade to update and re-implement the Camp David Accords in a way that is more compatible with the fluctuating international political field is crucial to ensuring long-term peace in the volatile region of the Middle East. The United States must push Egypt to support open dialogue between Israel and Palestine and assume a leading role while the United States takes more of a backseat role in Middle Eastern affairs. With the implementation of phase one, this will be possible and Egypt will want to secure a liaison with the United States through Israel.

Within this newly developed summit, the presence of both Arab and Western countries must be present. An update of the Camp David Accords will include a clarification on vague points listed on the document. To enact real change, specific resolutions need to be passed—especially with regard to the Gaza Strip. We must convince Israel to stop its blockade of supplies to Gaza that has created a devastating and impoverished situation for Palestinians living there. If the United States wants to see relations improve between Egypt and this region, then we must be willing to be tough on Israel as well. With a revision of the Camp David Accords, both sides must evenly compromise for the betterment of the region as a whole. America will push these reforms by threatening to withdraw aid to both countries if they do not comply, working towards compromise. If the United States can successfully follow through with this summit then multiple positive outcomes will arise. First, the Palestinians in Gaza will have food and won't depend on the United Nations and, in return, would see Israel in a more positive light for clearing the blockade. Secondly, Hamas will be seen as less heroic to the Palestinians because they won't need the social aid that Hamas donates to the stalled region (See Appendix D). Hamas will be seen increasingly as the terrorist organization that it is if it continued to militarily target Israel and ignore the help that the United States and Israel have been providing.  Therefore, Hamas’s influence will be decreased automatically by opening the Gaza Strip. And most importantly, both Israel and Egypt will have more allies in the region with the success of this compromise. The United States has a vested interest in the stability of Egypt, Israel, and the peace that is currently upheld between them. Updating the treaty reflects the ideals and necessities of modern times and evolving governments. This must be done to continue meeting the best interests of all parties involved.

Although the Camp David Accords was truly a major breakthrough for Egypt, Israel, and even the United States, we must reorganize and use lessons learned from history to build a stronger future for the world. The agreement lacks specificity for reasons that play into the United States’ advantage of keeping matters as non-controversial as possible. The document states that “peace requires respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” which brings up a valid point, yet does not state its true intentions[1]. It is important that both Israel and Palestine are recognized and protected; however there need to be specific details that encompass how respect for sovereignty can be achieved. That is part of the driving force behind the S.E.A.L. initiative. Phase two ensures that sovereignty prevails by completely eliminating blockades on the Gaza Strip to create freedom for the Palestinian people. Although, a major concern is Hamas’s dangerous nature, “Israel and the United States need to abandon their policies of non-negotiation” towards Hamas that have been occurring sporadically and they need to create a “dedicated program in which parties will agree to a sustained process which may take several years to complete” similar to our S.E.A.L. initiative[2]. Moreover, in the summer of 2006, the International Crisis Group recommended that Hamas should be permitted to govern fully and should cease hostilities toward Israel in return. Additionally, they recommended that the embargo needs to see an end because it has caused too many hardships for the Palestinians[3].  While the reasoning behind Israeli limitations on resources to Gaza is understandable, it unfairly targets civilians in the process and therefore is ethically unsound.  Additions to the Camp David Accords will create an increasingly assertive voice that is needed to create sustained peace by ensuring that ethical dilemmas are resolved or prevented whenever possible.

The Obama administration has consistently called for new approaches to the Gaza issue and, with the current change of authority around the world, now is the time to update the accords with exemplary new methods that advance and sustain long-term peace in the Middle Eastern region. As of now, the current version of the accords fervently encourages the Israeli military government to withdraw from Gaza as the existing military government and respect the region as a place that has undergone free election by its inhabitants[4]. However, crucial to the Arab-Israeli conflict at the moment is the issue of Hamas. The agreement doesn’t take into account the new democratically elected Hamas government who currently is a key player who can potentially help create peace in the region if talked to appropriately.  Hamas’s aggressiveness compliments Israel’s questionable responses which compromises long term sustainability. A “new strategy in response to Hamas’s consolidation of power” has yet to be developed[5]. That is why we have developed a non-hostile policy that opens the Gaza Strip while decreasing the influence of Hamas through Israel’s cooperation of continuing its aid to the area—which therefore lets the people in Gaza see Israel as a caring entity to some degree.

Phase three of S.E.A.L. encourages the United States to reduce and redirect military spending towards social aid programs to Palestinians in Gaza to create increased stability in the region and illustrate a positive image of the West.  We would be exploiting “Hamas’s vulnerabilities, particularly its performances in governing Gaza, with a mix of coercions and concessions…” because its mission was to protect Palestine against Israel, but with this new strategy, Israel and the West have taken the first steps to becoming allies with Palestine[6].  We also cannot forget that the Gaza public  “firmly opposed”  the “renewing of the rocket attacks.” Therefore, in order for them to have a better life,  it is required that “Hamas... make compromises”[7].  Ultimately, the benefits from opening the Gaza Strip will be of use to all key players in the region. The United States and Israel are ensured more allies in the Middle Eastern sphere. Egyptian citizens can rejoice for the Palestinians in Gaza to whom they have been rallying for and at the same time praise Morsi for these efforts. In the meantime, the Hamas government gets to govern the Palestinian people more efficiently and its citizens will be able to live with an increasing sense of serenity they haven't been able to feel in years.

In order for the optimum results to be cultivated, Egypt must take the lead in repairing partnerships in the region. The United States cannot continue to take a superior role in amending an issue that should be dealt with between two local powers. For that reason, Morsi needs to take an initiative and become an exemplary diplomatic leader and be a role model for neighboring countries. Upon coming into power, he has already shown the influence he can exude. Hamas has actually shown to be responsive to Egypt since the group “negotiates indirectly with Israel via the Egyptians”[8].  Moreover, Morsi has already shown to be able to resolve tensions between Palestine and Israel by brokering a truce that stopped eight days of bloodshed.  Even former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, praised the “responsibility and leadership” of President Morsi.  The four-point cease-fire plan between Israel and Palestine in Gaza convinced Israel to relinquish control of the borders and ease trade restrictions[9]. Simultaneously, Morsi managed to “keep Israel's trust while still reflecting Egyptian public opinion” which will be extremely useful in the future for continuing peace in the region. Even the Israeli Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s efforts to create a ceasefire[10]. The fact that Morsi was able to gain support from the majority of chief players and satisfy the needs of his own citizens portrays  bright potential for the future and a hands off approach for the United States.

[1] US Department of State's Bureau of International Information, "The Camp David Accords," America.gov, August 16, 2007, http://www.america.gov/st/pubs-english/2007/August/20070816104328abretnuh0.2601892.html.
[2] Sherifa Zuhur,  "HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics," p 63, December 23, 2008, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubid=894

[3] Sherifa Zuhur,  "HAMAS and Israel” p 61.

[4] US Department of State's Bureau of International Information, "The Camp David Accords"

[5] Daniel Byman, “How to Handle Hamas” p 46.

[6]  Daniel Byman, “How to Handle Hamas” p 47.

[7] Ibid

[8] Daniel Byman, “How to Handle Hamas” p 55.

[9] Egypt – Gaza – Israel: Cairo Brokers Fragile Truce." Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series  (December 13, 2012).

[10] Ibid

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.