The Arab-Israeli conflict is most often thought about as a series on ongoing conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but that is a common misconception. The conflict is much more complex than that, and revolves around each states position on the conflict, as well as many of the states’ inability to modernize. Ever since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Arab world has been shifting, as the countries re-evaluate their relationships with Palestinians, the rest of the Arab world, and the outside worlds, as well as the external powers that have made it their business to meddle in the region.
In 1945 the countries of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Yemen formed The League of Arab States in order to promote and encourage the cooperation of Arab states for the betterment of political and commercial politics. The League stated that one of its most important goals was to support Arab states that were in search of independence, and as time went on, agreed that they would not support the formation of a Jewish state. The Arab-Israeli conflict technically began during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Unrest in the region continued, and in 1956, Egypt made an agreement with the Soviet Union regarding weapon supplies, which lead to an Egyptian-Israeli arms race. Egyptian President of the time, Gamal Abdul Nasser actually became a symbol for “pan-Arabism” by taking a strong stance against colonialism, imperialism and Zionism after the Suez Canal conflict. Throughout the 1960’s Egypt and Israel were practically enemies. The al-Fatah increased infiltrations into Israel, thus uniting Arab countries against the state. In May 1967, Jordan, Egypt and Syria entered into a mutual defense agreement in order to protect themselves against rising Israeli power. This was the start of the Six-Day War, whose territorial frameworks are currently still under compromise. The 1973 War fully convinced Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that it was important to declare peace with Israel, and the Camp David Accords were signed in 1979 with Jimmy Carter as a chief party.
Since 1979, the situation between Israel and Egypt has been the most peaceful of all of Israel’s relations with Arab states. However, relations with the other states have only worsened, with the Palestinian Intifada, the conflict over Gaza, and the increasing power of Hamas. The Arab-League has continually tried to remain neutral, but at a recent meeting has declared support for Fatah leader and Palestinian President Abbas. Abbas has declared his belief that Israel should be recognized as a separate Jewish state, and is unusually Western-friendly.
The delegation of Egypt is presently seen as a mediator type between Palestine and Israel, and has full diplomatic relations with Israel at the present time. Egypt is also one of the most Western-friendly Arab powers. Currently there is a Mideast peace conference being planned for late November 2007, and Egypt hopes to play a large role in order to influence the other nations to enter the peace process. Saudi Arabia and Egypt together have tried to form numerous peace proposals, and Egypt continues to serve as a mediator between the Fatah and Hamas. Egypt desires peace not only for political reasons, but also for economic gain- with peace, Egypt would be able to establish a free trade agreement between itself, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, and maybe even an eventual end to the boycott of Israel.
Egypt is in full support of a lasting peace in the Middle East, but recognizes the difficulty in actually obtaining this goal. It plans to continue its mediator path, hoping to convince the other Arab nations that recognizing Israel as a state only has benefits for everyone, both economic and political. The Middle East is one of the poorest areas in the world, and economic gain will help the states alleviate some of the poverty. Compromises are necessary, and members of the League of Arab Nations, in order to ensure proper negotiation, should supervise political dialogue between the Palestinian terrorist forces and Israel. Egypt would also like to suggest the loosening of restrictions on who is allowed from Gaza and other areas into Israel, in order to allow people to work and make money. Egypt believes that Israel is not doing enough to care for the refugees and Palestinians whose homes were destroyed due to the Gaza disengagement, and recommends that in order for peace to be made, Israel must acknowledge the troubles of the Palestinians. Also, borders are still an issue and must be discussed during the diplomatic talks.
The Arab-Israeli conflict is in no way simple, and there is no easy resolution that will make the Middle East happy. The League of Arab Nations must do all it can to organize and oversee negotiations, since diplomatic talks are the best resolution.