So I guess we can all agree that the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are standing still in front of a major road block. Nothing is currently happening and for several reasons: the ever-expanding settlements, the internal Palestinian political division, the impossible question of Jerusalem, the lack of pressure from the international community and so on and so forth.
And all the regional holders of power seem to be more or less content with the status quo. Status quo is stabile, and people in power always love stability. Even if it is not a perfect solution, the situation is not so bad that anyone cares enough to try and do something about it.
But could the current uprisings in the Arab world change that?
At the moment both Egypt and Jordan have peace agreements with Israel, which secures a stabile situation for Israel. Without the peace agreements Israel would be surrounded by potential Arab enemies. So the peace agreements are actually supporting Israel’s stronghold in the conflict, because it means that there are no one to put pressure on Israel in order to find a solution.
But the peace agreements in both Egypt and Jordan are highly unpopular in the general public. The Jordanian agreement was signed in 1994 by the late King Hussein and carried on by his son King Abdullah II. The Egyptian agreement was signed in 1979 by Anwar Sadat and later carried on by Hosni Mubarak. But what happens if/when the current uprisings end with the removal of those leaders? Mubarak is already long gone – and even though the monarchy seems pretty solid in Jordan, you never know…
If the people get the power – one of the first things to abolish could in theory be the peace agreements. The people of Jordan and Egypt could choose to cancel the peace – and then where would we be? Israel would again be surrounded by potential enemies and the Israeli security apparatus would never allow for such an unstable situation to continue very long.
So maybe Israel could be indirectly forced to find a peaceful and long lasting solution with the Palestinians? Or maybe they will go with the “attack before you get attacked” strategy, and completely wipe out any security risk in a radius of 500km?
I don’t think that neither Jordan nor Egypt will consider going in to an armed fight with Israel – they have both tried and lost on several occasions, but just the threat of it – the fact that they could – that would be enough for Israel to respond. In one way or another.
Article first published as Israel-Palestinian Peace as a Result of the Arab Revolutions? on Technorati.