Israel should worry about the Egypt peace treaty

The logic of this argument may have escaped many observers. The Egyptian coup and what is unfolding because of it could threaten the Egypt-Israel peace treaty

The coup can't correct itself
On 24 October 2013 06:00

According to George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist, systems have around four proprieties: Homeostasis (stable systems can correct themselves or can be corrected); feedback (which can be controllable or uncontrollable); non-local and network effects; and non-linear effects (a small cause can lead to a large effect).

When a system has causal effects, we have what is called ''systemic causation.'' Systemic risks are those risks produced when there is systemic causation. Systemic causation is different from direct causation, as when, say, someone bombs a building and kills those inside.   

The Egyptian government (as well as media) tends to think in terms of direct causation. This can be seen in the answer to questions like, ''What caused the recent attack on Al-Azraa church?'' ''What caused violence in Sinai?''  The government tends to give an answer like, ''the MB activists― lock ’em up, punish ’em.''

The government has not recognized systemic risks of the military coup, partly because they are systemic, not direct. Importantly, it thinks in terms of individual responsibility, and blames the Muslim Brotherhood for every terrorist attack that happens in the country.

Crucially, the governments ignores the use of force to break up the sit-ins at Rabaa and Nahda, the use of force to get into Al-Fatth mosque at Ramsis and get pro-Morsi protesters out, and the use of force to end any peaceful protest.

It ignores that, taken together, the political detentions, the announcement of the state of emergency for three months, and the destruction of a number of tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip with Egypt (which have been often used for moving consumer goods and drugs) have resulted in attacks on churches, damage to the economy, the disruption of foreign investment, ongoing big protests inside the universities and on the streets, and the cutoff  in US aid to Egypt.

Why should Israel get worried about its peace treaty with Egypt?

The answer has many local and non-local, non-linear dimensions. Firstly, after cutting its aid to the Egyptian army, America, from the government perspective, has turned from a ''frenemy'' into only an ''enemy.'' On this account, the role of America, which was the main peace mediator of the Camp David Treaty between Egypt and Israel, will be seriously affected.

Secondly, the destroying of Gaza tunnels will be understood by many jihadists and extremists as collaboration between the army and Israel against the Palestinian people, which will encourage violence against both Israel and the Egyptian army.

Thirdly, as a system, the coup is unable to correct itself and so its effects cannot be controlled, something which would create the Syrian scenario in Egypt, undermining Israel's stability and peace.

Fourthly, it is said by many news outlets that Egypt is looking to Russia for arms after the US aid freeze; and this will put Egypt in the same triangle of Israel's enemies (i.e., Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah) that are supported by Russia.

Throughout history, military coups have not tended to lead to democracy. Furthermore, the current coup in Egypt will neither be able to control systemic risks nor to correct itself.  

On this view, Israel should support the Egyptian moderates and peaceful protesters in their struggle against the current dictator regime in Egypt. Importantly, Israel should stand against stifling freedoms in Egypt and against the propect of a Syrian scenario in the country.

This will bring peace and stability not only to Egypt but also to Israel. Will Israel use this golden opportunity for its national interest? I think it should do.

The writer is an Egyptian artist and a PhD student

blog comments powered by Disqus