The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Is JINSA preparing for another Israeli-Egyptian war?

with 8 comments

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
May 28, 2012

In a piece titled “A Toxic Brew in Sinai,” JINSA fellow Evelyn Gordon notes “how badly the security situation in Sinai has deteriorated” in a post-Arab Spring Egypt, and concludes:

With Syria in flames and the Iranian nuclear crisis rapidly approaching climax, the last thing the world needs is an Israeli-Egyptian war. But absent intensive international engagement, the Sinai tinderbox is liable to spark one.

An Israeli-Egyptian war may be the last thing the world — especially, an already troubled Egypt — needs, but it may be exactly what some Greater Israel advocates have long wanted. As Israeli strategist Oded Yinon argued back in 1982:

(Regaining) the Sinai peninsula with its present and potential resources is therefore a political priority which is obstructed by the Camp David and the peace agreements. […] and we will have to act in order to return the situation to the status quo which existed in Sinai prior to Sadat’s visit and the mistaken peace agreement signed with him in March 1979.

Yinon did not consider that this would prove too difficult to achieve:

Israel will not unilaterally break the treaty, neither today, nor in 1982, unless it is very hard pressed economically and politically and Egypt provides Israel with the excuse to take the Sinai back into our hands for the fourth time in our short history. What is left therefore, is the indirect option. The economic situation in Egypt, the nature of the regime and its pan-Arab policy, will bring about a situation after April 1982 in which Israel will be forced to act directly or indirectly in order to regain control over Sinai as a strategic, economic and energy reserve for the long run. Egypt does not constitute a military strategic problem due to its internal conflicts and it could be driven back to the post 1967 war situation in no more than one day.

Presumably today’s Israeli war-planners would be equally as confident of success.


Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

May 28, 2012 at 11:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses

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  1. Take the Sinai back for the fourth time? I count 1956, 1967 and … he must be referring to Ben-Gurion’s claim that “Yotvat [Strait of Tiran] will once more become part of the Third Kingdom of Israel!” in 1956


    May 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm

  2. Good question. Perhaps he was referring to the period during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War when Israeli forces entered the north-eastern corner of Sinai.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    May 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

  3. Doesn’t it seem more likely that he was referring to the putative biblical possession, when Tiran was called Yotvat, that B-G proposed to re-establish? There is a Yotvata kibbutz in the Negev. My comment wasn’t clear.


    May 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  4. Perhaps, but I take “in our short history” to refer to the modern state of Israel.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    May 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

  5. Perhaps you are right. I took “our short history”: to be ironic Zionist grandeur, but maybe I read too much into it.


    May 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

  6. Things are lining up in a tidy row for Israel: foreign-induced disruption in Syria, which predictably is now bleeding over into Lebanon, as well as the much trumpeted, recent serial attacks on natural gas pipelines, from Egypt across the Sinai, to Israel.

    Israel et co is working overtime to create a regional conflagration, beginning with a push to sic the US on Iran, and US/Nato on Syria, which will provide Israel the cover / pretext – under the guise of “self defense”, of course – to undertake a three-pronged military campaign:

    1. In the midst of the Syrian chaos, and assured regime change, seal its seizure and occupation of the Golan Heights, once and for all.

    Between a quarter and a third of Israel’s fresh water comes from the Golan Heights, and it is now thought that there is oil to be exploited in the Golan, as well.

    2. Use a real or hypothetical threat of an attack by Hezbollah to reoccupy southern Lebanon, to the Litani river.

    Israel has stated outright that it will attack Lebanon in the event that Lebanon insists on a common agreement over shared off shore oil and gas reserves. Occupation of southern Lebanon will give Israel that much extra clout to stake its claims to Lebanese but, more broadly, to western Mediterranean resources.

    3. Retake the Sinai peninsula, a 30 year long ambition.

    Using the pretext of widely publicized, supposed threats on the part of Egyptian political candidates to rescind the 1979 peace treaty, the rise of the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, and the chronic assaults on the natural gas pipeline [the authors of which have remained curiously illusive], to reoccupy a piece of land which, among other things, will provide Israel oversight of the Sinai canal.

    The US and EU are being brought down by financial parasites which are now racing to save their own. Israel and its powerful backers are working to insure that the ‘Jewish’ state has everything it needs.

    The re-annexation of the Sinai is high in priority.



    May 28, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  7. Thanks for sharing that excellent analysis, hyssop.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    May 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm

  8. Well, I’m glad you understood what I meant 😉

    [where’s my proofreader when I need her?]

    Oh, my. It should have been: ‘eastern Mediterranean’, ‘elusive’, ‘Suez canal’, ‘ensure’

    I’l doo betTer nex time.


    May 30, 2012 at 10:36 am

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