President Morsi at 100 Days: Redrawing Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty?

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi crossed the 100-day mark of his presidency this week, prompting commentary and analysis on his domestic and foreign policy, including his moves to consolidate internal power and to erode Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

In an interview with the New York Times in September, Morsi demanded the United States "live up to its Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule," implying that Israel must withdraw from all of the West Bank to make way for a Palestinian state. Anything less would leave the treaty unfulfilled, according to Morsi.

Looking back on that and similar statements, Al-Jazeera wrote in complimentary terms about Morsi's success during his first 100 days in "subtly shifting the emphasis of the Camp David accords" to make the peace treaty "as much about Palestinian aspirations" as Israel's security.

Substantively, Morsi’s demand drew implicit and explicit rebukes from Israeli media outlets and pro-Israel activists. They emphasized that Camp David does not require Israel to withdraw from all of the West Bank, that it explicitly envisions Israel maintaining a military presence even in some territory from which it does administratively withdraw, that it only aims at Palestinian autonomy not statehood, and that as a treaty witness rather than a signatory the United States doesn't have the commitments Morsi implied.

Morsi has also been criticized, especially by Western analysts, for a series of moves against Egyptian institutions which have raised the specter that the Muslim Brotherhood-linked figure intends to govern autocratically. Morsi very quickly moved, within weeks of ascending to the presidency, to dramatically limit the influence and power of relatively secular Egyptian military.

This week he made moves against the Egyptian judiciary, attempting to oust Abdel Maguid Mahmoud from Mahmoud’s position as Egypt's prosecutor general. The prosecutor general, who is refusing to resign, is under fire for acquittals in a case of brutality linked to the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.


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