The geometry of a relationship after the Arab Spring

Marina Eleftheriadou
(PhD candidate, Department of Political Science & International Relations, University of Peloponnese. Co-editor of the Centre for Mediterranean, Middle East and Islamic Studies (cemmis.edu.gr). The doctoral research, of which this paper is part, has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund – ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) - Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II.)

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The beauty in the simplicity of the “no war without Egypt, no peace without Syria” dictum has lent it an axiomatic importance among the scholars of the Middle Eastern affairs. However, while Kissinger’s apothegm, for decades, was used to discuss Syria’s role as a spoiler in the Arab-Israeli or Palestinian-Israeli peace process, the newly created uncertainties regarding Cairo’s  internal  dynamics,  formal  and  informal  policies  vis-à-vis  Israel  and  the  various Palestinian constituencies have brought Egypt back in the headlines. For 30 years the peace treaty signed by Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin has spared Israel from problems stemming from its south-western borders, providing Tel Aviv with a secure rear while facing challenges from Syria and Lebanon and the Palestinian groups from inside and outside Palestine. When Hamas took over Gaza, the importance of Egyptian non-hostility became increasingly important as Cairo in fact collaborated with Israel in the latter’s effort to put pressure on Hamas in military, economic and political terms.....  Read more