- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2000

Egypt is the biggest and most powerful nation of Arabdom. It is also the biggest reason why there will be no peace in the Middle East no matter how many billions of American taxpayer dollars go to the Mubarak regime. The United States has been conned willingly for too long by Egypt. Egypt is no middleman between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It's the old good cop-bad cop routine Egypt, good cop; Iraq or Syria, bad cop. Egypt lost its wars against Israel and dreams that one day it will be avenged; firing weapons supplied, of course, by U.S. arsenals.
Ignore all the Mubarak meetings with U.S. "mediators" or with President Clinton or with Israeli diplomats. Ignore the presence of an Israeli Embassy in Egypt. Meaningless. Ignore Anwar Sadat's reconciliation trip to Israel. He was assassinated in 1981, and it's been downhill ever since. Arabdom's 1967 slogan is still in effect "No negotiations, no recognition, no peace with Israel."
What cannot be ignored is incitement-to-war propaganda against Israel by high Egyptian government officials. What is unbelievable is the obscene racism published by the Egyptian media towards Israel, a rhetoric bordering on the worst kind of anti-Semitism comparable to the rhetoric of the German Nazis. You don't read much about Egypt's anti-Semitic hate propaganda, unparalleled anywhere in the world, because its expression has become so routine it's no longer news. Here's the documentation:
A few months ago Egyptian Defense Minister Muhamad Tantawi told his general staff, "We must be prepared for war with Israel." Egypt's military doctrine is geared almost exclusively to offensive war against Israel. Of the $35 billion Egypt has received in U.S. aid since it signed a peace treaty with Israel, it has spent $25 billion on arms for use against whom?
President Hosni Mubarak puts it less dramatically. He told an interviewer that relations with Israel could be called a "cold peace" and added: "Believe me, it will stay cold and it will stay cold for a very long time to come." In 1995, Mr. Mubarak proposed the Arab League reinstate the economic embargo against Israel.
Al Akbar, the government daily paper, editorialized April 12 that "Jews should not be trusted because they are a nation of vagabonds filled with hatred toward the entire world." Al Gumhuria, another government-controlled paper, editorialized last March that the Holocaust never happened and is nothing but Zionist propaganda.
Egypt's box-office smash of the last few years was an Egyptian film whose hero discovers an Israeli plot to poison Egypt's drinking water. He turns the plot against the Israelis, and there are great scenes of Hassidic Jews in full garb passing out as they drink the poisoned water.
Chairman Benjamin Gilman of the House International Relations Committee has told the Egypt story as it is:
1. It has opposed U.S. initiatives to compel Iraqi compliance with U.N. resolutions and has "advocated the reintegration of Iraq into the Arab fold."
2. Egypt has opposed anti-terrorism resolutions against Sudan.
3. Egypt's human rights record has steadily worsened in recent years.
Mr. Gilman could also have included Egypt's attack on Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and her opposition to the 1996 Turkish-Israeli military accord. Egypt has opposed U.N. resolutions calling for elimination of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. And one might cite here from the record that in recent years Egypt has voted against the United States in the U.N. more than 60 percent of the time.
There will be no real peace in the Middle East so long as Egypt remains an intransigent opponent of Israel's very existence. The incoming Bush administration ought to study a paper, "American Aid to the Middle East: A Tragedy of Good Intentions," published by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies.
The only peace that Arabdom wants is one in which Israel disappears from the Middle East. That simple fact should be weighed by George W. Bush and his picks for secretary of state, Colin Powell, and national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as they try to pick up the pieces after eight years of failure. Mr. Mubarak's "cold peace" could break out any day into a hot war.
We welcome your opinions. Please email your letters to the editor to [email protected] All letters may be edited for clarity and length. Please include your name, daytime telephone number, city and state.

Arnold Beichman, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is a Washington Times columnist.

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