Thirty Years ago today on the White House lawn U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the historic Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel.
These leaders lead their countries to a degree of stability and saved their youth from generations of conflict. It is true that the average Israeli or Egyptian don't really know, trust, or visit the other – but there is no missing the economic benefit the two countries have enjoyed with each other.
Celebrations citing the event are also a tell tale sign of difference between the countries. Here in Israel this week has seen celebrations, lectures, and receptions. However in Egypt there has been little to no recognition – other than dialogue in the media.
This is more than likely due to the recent Israeli actions in Gaza, which has historical links to Egypt, and with the new Israeli Government that is shaping up.
Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu has picked for his Forieng Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a man who told the Knesset 'where' Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak 'could go', and a man who openly detests Palestinians living in what is now Israel.
Egypt's largest daily carried an editorial accusing Israel of stifling efforts to expand peace and reneging on the terms of a prisoner exchange with Hamas that they worked so hard on to achieve.
In short, it claims that there is no “atmosphere of optimism and the facts on the ground are not pushing anyone toward celebration.”
This just underscores the fact that at the heart of the resolution to the Israeli and Arab conflict is the just solution to the Palestinian issue.
And this is where many are losing hope now with the election of Bibi Netanyahu.
So here's the question; Can Israel's new government build peace? The right-wing Netanyahu, is trying to soften his image as an opponent of the peace process. He is, and will continue to be, under international pressure to commit to a peace formula based on the creation of a Palestinian state. But what got him in office was his rejection of the two state solution and land for peace formulas.
People on all sides are asking this: If he can't be trusted to keep his campaign pledge to his party and constituency, how can he be trusted by the Palestinians and the International community to truly work for peace?
Perhaps he needs to look at the vision and notebooks of two historical leaders who put their (and the opposing sides') peoples first – thirty years ago today.