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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Now What?

A recent Pew Survey poll has revealed that only 36% of Egyptians favor maintaining the current peace treaty with Israel.

"The US-based think tank polled 1,000 adults throughout Egypt between March 24 and April 7, finding that only 36 percent would maintain peace. The percentage of Egyptians who support annulling the treaty (54%) does not vary amongst those who sympathize with Islamic fundamentalists and those who do not." [Source]

So here's a silly question: When/if Egypt abrogates the peace agreement with Israel, are they going to give the Sinai peninsula back to us? Even though the Sinai peninsula - with all its natural gas deposits - was the price that Israel paid in order to get Anwar Sadat to sign on the dotted line, nobody would seriously expect Egypt to hand it back once they tear up the treaty.

And that is the real danger of making territorial concessions in return for nothing more than a signed pieces of paper. The paper can be torn up... but the land can never be returned.

And yet, that is exactly what Israel is being asked to do with the Syrians (with the Golan Heights), and the Palestinians (with most of the West Bank) in return for nothing more than a piece of paper.

We'll get a worthless treaty, and they'll get irreplaceable land that we'll never see again... if/when they set aside the treaty.

Can anyone explain this to me in a way that it will make sense to hand over more land?

Posted by David Bogner on April 26, 2011 | Permalink


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I was encouraged by the poll,thought it would be worse,given Egyptian press and TV. I think the Egyptian ruling class understands they can take an anti-Israel line just so far, without hurting the economy,military,and relations with the US.Yes,giving up land (on the Golan) must depend on strict security provisions,that Israel alone must be able to enforce in the future if needed.Never depend on individuals or governments of the moment.

Posted by: ED | Apr 26, 2011 8:44:14 PM

I Can Explain It:

1. No Egyptian government can accept a military defeat.

2. The US does not want a war in the region for any reason.

3. Israel must prepare to reconquer the Sinai.

4. Egypt attacking Israel or even massing troops in the Sinai after abrogating the treaty would be a legal Casus Belli.

5. Strike first.

6. The Egyptians leadership will probably see the handwriting on the wall and back off. Anything else would be suicidal. Having our enemies commit suicide isn't so bad, except we'd have to take significant losses too.

7. CAVEAT: Iran will try to mix it up. If Egypt allies with a nuclear Iran then the balance changes. Strike Iran first. That's what the Syrians were trying to do with putting nuclear facilities in Syria.

Posted by: Freddy | Apr 27, 2011 1:26:39 AM

Reasonable concerns, but do you think these numbers are any different than the results a similar poll might have gotten during the Mubarak regime? My guess is these numbers are probably around the same, with the geopolitical incentives for the Egyptian government to keep the peace also the same.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Apr 27, 2011 5:30:26 AM

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