Peace with Egypt? Not Really
The outstretched hand of Israeli Olympics judo competitor Uri Sasson, left alone in mid-air by his Egyptian opponent, reminds us all of something we have been trying to forget. Really, Israel does not have ‘peace’ with Egypt. Currently, the interest of the military regime in Egypt is to cooperate with Israel. That is all. Interests, as we know, change all the time.
Israel paid dearly for peace with Egypt. We destroyed a thriving Israeli city and an entire region of agricultural villages. We surrendered all of our strategic gains from the Six Day War. We retreated from the entire Sinai Peninsula, surrendered oil (and uranium) deposits and to top it all off – we now have ISIS just a stone’s throw away from Eilat. This ‘peace’ has not improved our security or geo-political situation. Just the opposite.
Without the ‘peace’ agreement with Egypt, US armaments and aid would not have flowed freely to Egypt and the last significant army in our neighborhood would have melted away (like the Syrian army) between the 50-year-old rusting tanks and Soviet jets.
Israel’s security situation on the Syrian border, with which we never signed a ‘peace’ accord, is much better than the situation on Egypt’s border – where we paid a steep price in lives lost and where we continue to pay from time to time.
“Poor Begin,” said Saadat. “I got the entire Sinai and all that he got is a piece of paper…”
True peace with Israel’s enemies within our Land and outside it is not a territorial issue. It goes much deeper than that. The Arabs regard us as European colonialists. As long as we do not connect to our identity, they will continue to see us as a foreign entity in the Land. Justifiably so.