Ariel M. Ezrahi
October 1, 2003
This paper will illustrate the level of co-operation between Israel and its neighbours. The paper will show that a major paradox exists: there has been an abundance of plans and yet there has been relatively miniscule co-operation.Egypt and Jordan, which neighbour Israel from the south and from the east, respectively, will be examined as case studies for co-operation between Israel and its neighbours due to their geopolitical importance vis-a-vis Israel. Both countries have signed peace treaties with Israel, where provisions for co-operation have been incorporated.Covering all forms of co-operation is well beyond the scope of this paper and is not necessary for this exercise. In order to demonstrate the few successes and many failures of co-operation between these countries it is sufficient to look at the realms of co-operation chosen below. Therefore, two areas will be focused on and used as models for co-operation generally.The two specific areas of co-operation which have been chosen are investment and environmental protection. In both areas, some co-operation has taken place and therefore can be studied. Both environmental protection and investment are areas which due to their varying degrees of lower political content are more apt when considering cooperation. They are relatively basic forms of co-operation and less loaded politically than other areas, such as security or cultural co-operation, which are typically areas which are far more advanced down the co-operation scale. Furthermore, both investment and environmental protection are of interest to the international community and have been subject to consideration in various international contexts.This paper will illustrate, first the proposals and the expectations put in place concerning co-operation between Israel and its Egyptian and Jordanian neighbours. The paper will continue by illustrating how a gap exists between the opportunities provided by the provisions for co-operation, particularly in the peace treaties, and the rhetoric of co-operation espoused by many politicians on the one hand, and the reality of disappointing co-operation on the other.