IntroductionThis paper will discuss the Annapolis peace conference inside theframework of applying the course of Foundations of International Relationson the American initiative of the conference .In this regard the paper will bedivided into three parts ,the first will be a historical background of the ArabIsraeli dispute ,the second part will discuss the conference itself and thepositions and the stands of different parties, and the final part of the paperwill have an analysis to the reasons of the American initiative and its timingthroughout the current state of the International system .I. Historical background of the Arab Israeli conflictBefore World War I, Palestine was, as was the Middle East region, a part ofthe Ottoman Empire. Tensions between the native Arab population ofPalestine and the small, but growing, Jewish settler population in the areawere on the increase towards the end of the 19th century.After World War I the area came under British rule as the British mandate ofPalestine. Jewish immigration to Palestine increased. This together with thedire economic situation in the land, as a result of internal factors and as aresult of the world-wide economic difficulties, led to a large Arabimmigration and further increased tensions in the region. These led to riotsand general civil unrest.The situation was at a boiling point by 1939. However, with the winds ofwar in the air, the issue was put on hold for the duration of the war. At theend of World War II, Britain wanted a resolution of the problem. It referredthe issue to the United Nations. Its solution was a two-state solution. TheUN partition plan was approved by the United Nations in November 1947by 33 votes to 13 with 10 abstentions, but was rejected by Palestinian Arabsand the Arab states which constituted the Arab League.The main differences between the 1947 partition proposal and 1949armistice lines are highlighted in light red and magentaIsrael declared its independence on 14 May 1948. Almost immediately theArab League countries Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq declared war
on Israel and invaded the territory of the British Mandate in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israel managed to successfully win the war. The War came to anend with the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel andeach of its Arab neighbors. In relation to the UN Partition Plan, Israelsterritory after the armistice agreements was considerably greater than thatallocated to the Jewish State by the UN partition plan.On July 26, 1956, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal Company, . Israelresponded to this action on October 29, 1956, by invading the SinaiPeninsula with British and French support. During the Suez Canal Crisis,Israel captured the Gaza Strip and Israel agreed to withdraw from Egyptian territory. Egypt agreed to freedom of navigation inthe region and the demilitarization of the Sinai. The United NationsEmergency Force (UNEF) was created and deployed to oversee thedemilitarization. ]. The UNEF was only deployed on the Egyptian side of theborder, as Israel refused to allow them on its territory.On June 5 Israel sent almost all of its planes on a preemptive mission inEgypt. The Israeli Air Force destroyed most of the Egyptian Air Force, thenturned east to pulverize the Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces. Thisstrike was the crucial element in Israels victory in the Six-Day WarIn the summer of 1967, Arab leaders met in Khartoum in response to thewar, to discuss the Arab position toward Israel. They reached consensus thatthere should be: • No recognition of the State of Israel. • No peace with Israel. • No negotiations with Israel.In 1969, Egypt initiated the War of Attrition, with the goal of exhaustingIsrael into surrendering the Sinai Peninsula..On October 6, 1973, Syria and Egypt attacked Israel on Yom Kippur,overwhelming the surprised Israeli military in a great day for the Egyptianhistory . The 6th of October war accommodated indirect confrontationbetween the US and the Soviet Union. When Israel had turned the tide ofwar, the USSR threatened military intervention. The United States, wary ofnuclear war, secured a ceasefire by the end of the month.
Following the Camp David Accords of the late 1970s, Israel and Egyptsigned a peace treaty in March, 1979. Under its terms, the Sinai Peninsulareturned to Egyptian hands, and the Gaza Strip remained under Israelicontrol, to be included in a future Palestinian state.In October, 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement, whichstipulated mutual cooperation, an end of hostilities, and a resolution of otherunsorted issues.In 1987, the First Intifada began. The PLO was excluded from negotiationsto resolve it until it recognized Israel and renounced terrorism the followingyear. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords, and theirDeclaration of Principles, which, together with the Road map for peace,have been loosely used as the guidelines for Israeli-Palestinian relationssinceAs a response to the al-Aqsa Intifada, Israel raided facilities in major urbancenters in the West Bank in 2002. Violence again swept through the region.Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon began a policy of unilateral withdrawalfrom the Gaza Strip in 2003. This policy was fully implemented in August,2005.In July, 2006, Hezbollah fighters crossed the border from Lebanon intoIsrael, attacked and killed eight Israeli soldiers, and kidnapped two others,setting off the 2006 Lebanon War A UN-sponsored ceasefire went intoeffect on August 14, 2006, officially ending the conflict.II. The Annapolis ConferenceThe Annapolis Conference was a Middle East peace conference held onNovember 27, 2007, at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis,Maryland, United States. The conference ended with the issuing of a jointstatement from all partiesU.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice organized and hosted theconference. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime MinisterEhud Olmert, and U.S. President George W. Bush attended the meeting. Apartial list of over 40 invitees was released on 20 November 2007, includingChina, the Arab League, Russia, the European Union and the UnitedNations; most of whom have accepted the invitation.
The Egyptian position was that he peace, should be based on justice andequity by respecting international legitimacy and international law towhich all must be subject and the UN resolutions pertinent to this historicconflict. Land should be exchanged for peace. And this is a necessity forthe integration of Israel in the Middle East. And the following factors arethe basis of the Egyptian positionFirst: Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515 are allresolutions that uphold the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory bywar and the creation of a Palestinian State on the Palestinian territoriesoccupied by Israel following June 4th 1967.Second: The Principle of Land for Peace, which was coined by the UnitedStates during the negotiations between Egypt and Israel at the end of the1970’s, is a formulation that is acceptable to the Arabs for instituting justpeace in the region.Third: The Arab Peace Initiative, which provides Israel with a strategicvision of its position in the region should it conform to the will of theinternational community and return the occupied Palestinian and Arablands to their rightful owners and reach a settlement to this conflict.Fourth: The Road Map, which is a document that outlines the obligationsof both parties on the path of establishing the independent PalestinianState.Saudi Arabia initially insisted that all core issues should be discussed, themost important of which are borders and Israeli settlements, the status ofJerusalem, and the Palestinian right of return, as a condition for Saudiparticipation. On 4 November 2007, P.M. Olmert declared that all coreissues were on the Annapolis agenda. The Foreign Minister of SaudiArabia, Saud al-Faisal, finally announced on 23 November 2007 thathe would participate due to the near-Arab consensus on the summit,following an Arab League meeting in Cairo. On 26 November 2007, it wasreported that despite his decision to attend, Saud al-Faisal had announcedthat he would neither shake the hand of Ehud Olmert, nor converse with himduring the summit, since he is coming for business and not for political
plays, while Ehud Olmert said that a hand shake is not necessary. Althoughthe decision to attend by the Arab League states was supposedly a collectiveone, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem insisted, following theLeague meeting, that Syria had not yet made a decision due to uncertaintyover whether the issue of the Golan Heights would be on the agenda. Therebuttal re-iterated an October 2007 declaration by Syrian President Basharal-Assad. Syria has, however, been given informal assurances that it will bediscussed. On 25 November, it was announced that Deputy Foreign MinisterFaisal Mekdad would attend.The goal of the conference was to produce a substantive document onresolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the lines of President GeorgeW. Bushs Roadmap For Peace, with the eventual establishment of aPalestinian state. President Abbas and P.M. Olmert had been meetingrepeatedly since June 2007 to try and agree on some basic issues ahead ofthe summit.A final round of discussions between Olmert and Abbas was held inWashington D.C. on 26 November 2007, the day prior to the conference.Secretary Rice visited the Middle East on a four day tour of shuttlediplomacy in mid-October to shore up support for the summit, and hinted atthe General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities (GA), inNashville, Tennessee on November 13, 2007, that Israelis are prepared togive up the West Bank in exchange for peaceAbbas stated that a clear agenda was necessary for the conference, andaffirmed in early October that only a Palestinian state comprising the WestBank and Gaza Strip in their entirety would be acceptable, with anypermanent Israeli control of land beyond its 1967 borders subject todiscussion on a one-to-one basis He further demanded that all six central,borders, settlements, water and security.Abbas has said that he hoped to reach an agreement with Israel by the end ofNovember 2007 which Abbas would then put to a referendum. Furthermore,he has expressed his hope that a final agreement with Israel would bepossible within six months of the conference, although he refused torecognize Israel as a Jewish state, a deal-breaker as far as the Olmertgovernment is concerned.
In October 2007, Prime Minister Olmert indicated that he would be willingto give parts of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of a broader peacesettlement at Annapolis,] drawing considerable criticism from right-wingIsraeli and foreign Jewish organizations and Christian Zionists. Knessetmembers from within Olmerts own ruling coalition have also been trying tostop such plans.III. Why the US administration Initiated this conference?It’s a really tough question and it has the following possibilities to answer 1. Does the US expressing itself as an empire? 2. Is it the pressure of other parties like the EU ,Russia and the Arab World or in other words a state of hegemony ? 3. Is it a reflection to the US Internal politics? 4. Or is it the status of Anarchy which is spreading the contemporary World? 5. Is it a kind of a media propaganda for the US or by other words a way of expressing the soft power of the American Administration?Concerning the first question , The reality is that the US is the super powerwhich is on the top of the pyramid of international system since it have allthe means of power which are economic ,political ,military ,and off coursethe power of the media , but is this enough to move the unmovable peaceprocess ,the answer in some sense is yes because the US is the only powerthat can put such a process into dynamics but there are limitations to thispower which will be discussed while answering the second question.Since I reached the point of that the US is the only super power in thecontemporary World but does this mean that the US doesn’t face pressurefrom other powers of the World , the fact is that there is an internationalinterest for peace in the Middle East after the conflict has lasted for nearlysixty years , there is a will from other external parties like the EuropeanUnion ,Russia and China ,this is plus the will of the Internal moderatepowers in the region for just ,lasting and comprehensive peace . So in theseregards the US is reacting to the pressure from outside after the accusationsto the current administration of neglecting the peace process in the MiddleEast for the last six years and concentrating on taking security andpreemptive measures after the 9/11 attacks which have put the US policymakers in a big dilemma ,add to this the war on Iraq and its impacts and the
disapproval of the International Public opinion especially after theappearance of evident that there was a violation of human rights of theprisoners of Abou Gharieb prison in Iraq.The above paragraph leads us to discuss the third question I raised which isthe Bush administration decision of initiating such a conference a reflect tothe US current internal politics ? The fact is that this Administration has thelowest approval rates in the American Public opinion , son in some how theadministration has nothing to lose and such an event could be a reason if theconference succeed in raising these rates ,another reason it could be apractice from the administration to disperse the public opinion onconcentrating on Iraq , another option of the reasons that could be inside theminds of the US administration is to trap the next administration in whichthere is a great possibility that it will come from the Democrats side into apolicy that they cant withdraw from it .The answer to the fourth question is in some sense also is yes the currentworld witness a state of Anarchy Because of that the US is the only superpower in the contemporary world ,and there is an absence of institutionalframework so the US cant control every event in the current world we havemany examples , one is the 9/11 attacks, the second is what is happening inIraq, the third is the rise of Hamas as an elected power in Gaza in which UShad nothing to do with such events .This will lead to an answer to the final question ,the US is trying to expressits soft power by initiating this conference to change the negative imagewhich is drawn in the Arab and Muslim Worlds public opinion speciallyafter the measures taken after the September 11 attacks and the injuries ithad and still having in Iraq and Afghanistan ,and it somehow succeeded inthis job despite the opposition from radical parties in the region .
Paper presented by Abdelhamied Hanie ElRafie AboutThe Application to the ConceptsDiscussed throughout the courseOf Foundations of InternationalRelations on The Annapolis Peace Conference Under the Supervision ofProfessor Ana Cristina Petersen