U.S. Mediation No Solution to Mideast Conflict

April 7, 2001 - 0:0
TEHRAN During his recent trip to the United States, the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asked the American Jewish community to support U.S. mediation in the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Mubarak had recently come under strong attack from the Jewish lobby for his current critical stand against the Israelis.

In a conciliatory remark, the Egyptian president called both the Jews and the Arabs children of Abraham and asked for help in restarting the peace talks as soon as possible.

Some Jewish circles are putting pressure on Members of Congress to stop U.S. aid to Egypt, the second largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel.

Mubarak, who had always been warmly welcomed by almost all Jewish organizations in the United States, was given a very cool reception this time. The Egyptian Embassy in Washington became very active during his visit in order to bridge this gap and make relations more cordial.

Some Jewish officials termed the meetings with Mubarak superficial and without content. They said the meetings had been organized by the Egyptian political machinery, adding that the trust Mubarak had enjoyed in the past from the American Jewish community no longer existed.

The Egyptian president's recent comments regarding the Palestinian-Israeli issues have angered the Jewish lobby, to such an extent that the lobby is threatening Egypt with a cut in aid unless Mubarak becomes more amenable to Israel.

During the past few months and after escalation of Israeli bombardments and attacks on the Palestinian people, some Arab countries including Egypt limited their contacts with Israel.

Mubarak has accused the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of asking the Americans to cut their financial aid to Egypt. Although Sharon has denied this, there seems to be no hope for Mubarak to initiate the free trade agreement with the U.S. that he has been earnestly seeking.

The Egyptian president is trying to portray himself as an advocate of the Arab and Palestinian cause, but at the same time he is also trying to keep his friendship and harmony with the U.S. by asking the U.S. defense secretary to hold joint military maneuvers.

Mubarak should make a clear decision on the Palestinian issue and bear in mind that the U.S. administration has always fully supported Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and it cannot be viewed as an impartial and trustworthy mediator in the Middle East peace process. Thus, he must stop playing with both sides and give his full support to the Palestinian cause, which is surely the wish of all the Egyptians.