In initiating tomorrow's Sharm a-Sheikh summit, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has seemingly placed himself solidly on the high moral ground.
Mubarak will likely gain excellent international press for trying to snatch a residual chance of peace from out of Gaza's fundamentalist jaws. Few commentators, or indeed international political leaders, can be expected to spoil the festivities by observing that Mubarak is directly and heavily culpable for the Gaza debacle.
Mubarak, who had promised to halt gunrunning into Gaza and who secured for the purpose Israel's consent to increase the number of Egyptian troops at the frontier - a revision of the meticulously drafted original peace treaty - did not make a remotely credible effort to fulfill his undertakings.
As a result of these failures, Hamas was so massively reinforced and so heavily armed that it could, besides inflicting daily rocket barrages on Israel, also overthrow and humiliate Fatah and Abbas. Egyptian negligence, in other words, contributed mightily to the downfall of the very forces that Mubarak is now ostensibly leading the rush to bolster.
The most absurd and deeply disturbing aspect of Mubarak's failure to exercise his sovereign responsibilities is the fact that, by empowering an offshoot of the same Muslim Brotherhood movement which continues to torment his political establishment, he is contributing to the destabilization of his own hold on Egypt.
He has helped, similarly, to jeopardize Hashemite rule in Jordan. Will Jordan's mightily worried king, who along with Olmert and Abbas is invited to participate in tomorrow's summit, tell Mubarak this to his face? It's unlikely, just as it's unlikely that Olmert will remind Mubarak of his broken promises about securing the Philadelphi Corridor. This despite the fact that Mubarak helped facilitate the establishment by Iran and Syria - two regimes he distrusts and has reason to fear - of a bastion in Gaza.
Abridged from Jerusalem Post.