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    Egyptian Upheaval Shows Why Territory Still Matters for Israel

    Egyptian Upheaval Shows Why Territory Still Matters for Israel

    The upheaval in Egypt demonstrates the folly of those who claim to support Israel yet who seek to compel Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders without adjustment.

    The pre-1967 borders are what amounts to the completely arbitrary armistice lines drawn at the end of fighting when Arab armies tried to destroy the newly declared State of Israel.

    As described in The Palestinians: Who Are The Real Peace Partners? (h/t Carl in Jerusalem), the negative reaction of Palestinians to revelations that Palestinian Authority leaders considered a territorial compromise with Israel demonstrates that Israel may have peace partners in some Arab leaders, but it does not have peace partners in Arab populations.

    There is no legitimate analogy of withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders to the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai after the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt. 

    As the map of Sinai at right indicates, the Sinai peninsula is enormous, with mountain ranges which serve as natural tank traps.  Some of the most monumental tank battles were fought in these mountain passes and flat deserts when Egypt invaded in 1973.  The 1079 treaty imposed limits on the quantity and quality of Egyptian troops and weapons in Sinai, so that Israel did not face Egyptian tank divisions near its border.

    The depth of the Sinai provided a buffer zone which made peace possible — unless and until an Egyptian government were to breach the treaty.  With the possible collapse of the Mubarek government, the buffer zone of the Sinai is even more important.

    No such buffer exists in Israel proper.

    Contrast the map of Sinai with the map of Israel, in which one can drive across the country in less time than many people in the U.S. drive to work.

    For Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, without retaining strategically important parts of the West Bank and Golan Heights, is a risk Israel cannot take.

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    The lesson in this for Israel: hold what you have; if got by defeating the enemy in battle, do not surrender it.

    One aside, which I wanted to share with Legal Inssurrection readers, is something that will haunt me as an amateur Egyptologist:

    DR. ZAHI HAWASS — THE FACE OF GRIEF

    I often joke about the effervescent Dr. Zahi Hawass, who is usually hamming it up in front of the cameras during the periodic ancient Egypt specials I watch. I think the heartbreaking devastation and grief seen on his face, as he realizes the dimensions of the destruction to rare and irreplaceable antiquities, is one of the most compelling images of the Egyptian crisis I have seen. This tells me the loss to Egyptology is worse than we can possibly imagine.

    (1) take back the Sinai
    (2) take back the West Bank
    (3) take back the Golan Heights
    (4) own Jerusalem 100%
    (5) empty 1-4 of all Arabs
    (6) build Jewish settlements in 1-4.

    Do it now.

    Pictures of antiquities looted from Egyptian National Museum per Mutnodjmet above:

    "Zeit Online (in German and translated into English) has posted an interview with Wafaa el-Saddik, the director of the Egyptian Museum up until very recently, who says that 13 cases have been smashed, some objects have definitely been stolen, the looting of the museum was an inside job by guards and police, and that the museum in Memphis has also been looted."

    The Eloquent Peasant

    hyperallergic.com

    Paul A'Barge, you called it dead on, 'cept for (3) which Israel wasn't crazy enough to return to Syria. (5) and (6), definitely. It doesn't matter what the rest of the world says cuz Israel now has something they've got … natural gas. She's no longer a "shitty" little country but a reliable player whose people aren't trying to blow up everyone who isn't Jewish, just like she always has been.


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