The Economics of Peacemaking: Focus on the Egyptian-Israeli Situation

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Nations often forgo opportunities to cooperate with their rivals because they fear being taken advantage of. Alastair Smith suggests that patterns of interstate cooperation can be attributed to states' attempts to manipulate the domestic balance of power within target regimes to their own liking. He posits that leadership turnovers in dictatorships are likely to lead to improvements in relations with rivals and "sour slightly if relations had previously been poor.

By contrast, America was more cooperative with a pro-U. If fighting is inefficient, three explanations account for the recurrence of war over time: incomplete information, commitment problems and the indivisibility of issues. However, a growing literature suggests peace is sometimes inefficient.

Egyptian Israelis: Would you return to Egypt?

For example, when the anticipated long-term costs of deterrence are greater than the costs of war, states are likely to be tempted to fight now so they can enjoy the "peace dividend" sooner. If, like the costs of war, the costs of peace are borne by societies as a whole, why should the costs of cooperation be directly translated into political sanctions for leaders?

Peace imposes a direct toll upon dictators in the form of an opportunity cost. War can have benefits that are not available to leaders during peacetime, such as allowing incumbents to eliminate the opposition, gamble for resurrection, and demonstrate their competence in military affairs. States' relationships with their enduring rivals are highly salient to mass and elite domestic audiences.

Peacemaking with a rival state may provide a dictator's domestic critics with a focal point to coordinate opposition against the incumbent. Authoritarian politics often takes place in the shadow of violence. When critics publicly voice approval of the regime, this leads the public and the regime to underestimate the strength of the opposition. Only a small number of ideologically committed individuals will reveal themselves. Average citizens are likely to wait for an opportune moment to express disapproval and identify other like-minded critics.

Peace settlements serve as a focal point for organizing to protest the regime. Autocrats who cooperate with longstanding rivals become vulnerable to "stab-in-the-back" accusations.

Peacemaking and Political Survival in Sadat's Egypt

They may also cascade into all-out revolution or civil war. Many theories suggest autocrats are unaccountable for their foreign policies, as long as they provide their winning coalitions with private goods. When searching for linkages between foreign policy and domestic political survival, methodological difficulties may arise because leaders place a premium on retaining office. Decision makers are unlikely to pursue policies that will jeopardize their hold on office, making it hard to determine if the hypothesized political repercussions exist.

Nasser told his American interlocutors he was likely to be assassinated by one of his own people if it became public knowledge that he was negotiating with the Israelis. He ended the talks once it was discovered the Israelis were operating a spy ring in Cairo.

However, when he was a teenager, King Hussein was standing next to his grandfather, King Abdullah I, when a radical Palestinian assassinated him for attempting to make peace with Israel. King Hussein was afraid he would also be assassinated for accepting a deal with the Jewish state. Direct tests are thus harder; they are biased against finding confirmatory evidence. Case studies are useful for determining the existence of hypothesized causal mechanisms linking political survival to foreign-policy decisions.

The logic of selection effects suggests that we should not see challenges to Sadat because of his political savvy.

Prof. Seev Hirsch | Coller School of Management

Many autocrats face ex post punishments upon leaving office, ranging from banishment to incarceration to capital punishment. Sadat in particular had a strong understanding of the Egyptian political scene, given that he was one of the few remaining original Free Officers who had managed to weather several of the political storms that beset Nasser's regime. The ASU was split into three "platforms" that included regime-sponsored opposition parties designed to rally mass support behind the regime.

Rationalist theories of conflict conclude that war is costly while cooperation, reaching bargains that allow states to avoid the costs of war, is cheaper.


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  • Peacemaking: The Arab-Israeli Conflict?

While this may hold for states as unitary actors, it is unclear whether these incentives translate into political boons for individual leaders. This section tests this argument by examining the political costs to Anwar Sadat of cooperating with Israel. Sadat sought peace with Israel to make himself coup-proof. Upon entering office, he had been seen as little more than a placeholder who would not last beyond a year. In order to coup-proof his regime and improve the economy, Sadat attempted to reach out to the West through a series of reforms known as the infitah opening.

Security Challenges

In order to get closer to the United States and recover the Sinai, it would be necessary to make peace with Israel. Sadat's most notable peacemaking accomplishments came after the October War of Many observers have argued that the October War was initiated by Egypt out of frustration that Israel had not responded to overtures made soon after Sadat became president.

Although there is insufficient space to recount the history of the conflict, Sadat was also motivated by a desire to bring the United States to the table in order to help broker a land-for-peace agreement that would result in the return of the Sinai. The surprising military effectiveness of Egypt and Syria early in the conflict spurred American intervention to bring the war to an end and negotiate a series of ceasefires.

Prof. Seev Hirsch

The Sinai I agreement had been agreed to in December It was a point memorandum in which Egypt agreed to reopen the Suez Canal and remove its forces from the west side of the canal, while the United States would provide aerial-reconnaissance photos to both sides instead of putting into place a UN monitoring force.

Sinai II was agreed to in September It bound both sides to agree not to use military force to resolve disputes and returned the oil fields in the Sinai to Egypt. By , the Egyptian economy had failed to take off, and the peace process was stalled. When the government attempted to cut the bread subsidy in response to IMF and World Bank pressure, riots broke out in several major cities, including Cairo, the worst the country had seen since the fall of King Farouk nearly 25 years earlier. Believing the only way to relieve Egypt's dire economic straits was through greater access to American markets, Sadat backed down on the cuts and redoubled his efforts to reach an agreement with Israel.


  • Peacemaking and Political Survival in Sadat's Egypt | Middle East Policy Council.
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Eleven months after the bread riots, Sadat made a groundbreaking trip to Jerusalem, where he addressed the Knesset. The pact had two frameworks, the first of which included a vague call for an autonomous Palestinian entity; the second established the principles for a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. While the former framework went largely unfulfilled, the latter established the broad outlines of the Egypt-Israel treaty of , including withdrawal of the Israeli military and civilian presence in the Sinai in exchange for returning the Sinai to Egypt, free Israeli passage through the Suez Canal and the Straits of Tiran, recognition of the Jewish state, and normalization of relations.

The accords also included a pledge to both sides for billions of dollars in annual aid and military assistance from the United States. The Egypt-Israel treaty brought about the demilitarization of the Sinai and implemented the schedule for its return to Egypt and the normalization of relations. They culminated in his assassination in October The enduring rivalry between Egypt and Israel can best be described as a "highly salient relationship" that captured the attention and interest of elites and mass publics in both countries.

Hope of reaching a war-avoiding agreement with Egypt had died in the summer of , when an Israeli-run spy ring in Cairo was discovered. MEET seeks excelling Palestinian and Israeli high school students; admission into the program is very competitive.


  • Peacemaking and Political Survival in Sadat's Egypt | Middle East Policy Council!
  • Arab–Israeli peace projects - Wikipedia.
  • Egypt, Israel, Palestine – The Cairo Review of Global Affairs.

Once admitted, students meet continuously for three years. Their first summer includes instruction in basic Java programming; this extends into the first yearlong segment of the program. The second summer includes more advanced topics in computer science and introduces a business and entrepreneurship curriculum.

The program is capped by a long-term project beginning in the second yearlong segment and extending into a final summer term.

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Alumni activities maintain the student network after graduation. MEET graduates have been accepted into top universities in the region and abroad, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Half the students are Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the other half are Jewish citizens of Israel. Students study in both languages simultaneously, and plans call for an eventual expansion to the 12th grade.

The Institute for Circlework organizes workshops in Israel that unite Jewish and Arab women, with a particular focus on women leaders. The intention of these workshops is to awaken global consciousness, that is, the awareness of our commonality as members of the human family and of a single planetary community. Circlework is a method developed by a German-Jewish author and seminar leader, Jalaja Bonheim www.

Circlework uses circle gatherings to create a field of open-heartedness and love powerful enough to heal individuals and communities. Circlework is based on the assumption that the root causes of violence and war lie within us, and that our own consciousness is where change must begin. The Institute for Circlework offered its latest series of circles in Israel during the Gaza war. TEC strives to build trust between Arabs and Jews, religious and secular through joint online courses and initiatives between college students and school children.

The Institute's mission is to advance cross-border environmental cooperation in the face of political conflict. Under the motto "nature knows no borders", the Arava Institute brings together Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and other international students and researchers to enable them to cooperatively solve the region's environmental challenges.

In the Arava Institute's academic program, the participants study a variety of interdisciplinary courses ranging from sustainable agriculture, through waste management, to political ecology; as well as engage in a weekly peace-building leadership seminar that serves as a platform to address the Arab-Israeli conflict, and seeks to provide them with tools for open dialogue and conflict resolution. In addition, the Arava Institute holds a number of research centers that engage in transboundary scientific work in the fields of water management, sustainable agriculture, [82] conservation, [83] renewable energy, [84] and sustainable development.

Groups of political activists or community activists who work for peace through efforts based on political goals and measures, or community efforts. Includes some groups which are composed of activists from one side of the conflict, and some groups which include activists from both sides. According to their website "OneVoice is a global undertaking to: "Amplify the voice of moderates; Empower Palestinians and Israelis at the grass-roots level to seize back the agenda away from violent extremists; Achieve broad-based consensus on core issues, configuring a roadmap for conflict resolutions.

This group rejects what they see as left-wing appeasement of Palestinian terrorism by leftist groups; they reach out to moderate liberal and centrist Israelis who want to advance the peace process; they reach out to Palestinian moderates who reject terrorism and suicide-bombings; they work to cultivate a moderate political leadership on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and are trying to pressure both the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority into reaching a just peace. According to their website, their goal is: "to educate and mobilize North American Jewry to support peace efforts and social justice causes in Israel This campaign will encourage the North American Jewish community to examine the risks and rewards of peace for Israel and the Palestinians, and to undertake critical, constructive public dialogue on the most pressing social issues facing Israel today—including the status of Arab citizens of Israel and other minorities, as well as other issues of inequality and discrimination.