It has been reported that Egyptian forces – including tanks – have been brought
into Sinai, in violation of the peace treaty with Israel and without any
coordination with or approval from Israel.
“Why are you being so
difficult?” Egyptian officials used to ask cabinet minister Ariel Sharon during
the peace negotiations. “What does it matter to you if we move some post 200 or
300 yards from where it should be?”
His answer never changed: Israel would
always be at a disadvantage compared to Egypt, and there could be disastrous
consequences for us. “According to the agreement, you are entitled to
deploy 240 tanks east of the Suez Canal,” he explained. “Now let’s say that one
day we wake up and find 300 tanks there.
“For you, this might be
logistically simple, to move 60 tanks from the western side of the canal to the
eastern side. but for us, in order to restore the status quo, we would have to
be ready to go to war. And this is a difficult decision.
say, and justifiably so, “Why are you dragging the country into war because of
“Now, let’s say a month later you move another 60 tanks. For you, it’s
another logistically simple step. The outcome will be that you sit in Sinai with
your tanks – and we will ‘sit’ in a dilemma: lose our deterrence or go to
“We do not want to have to deal with this dilemma, and that’s why we
will not approve even the slightest deviation from the agreement between
THAT WAS over 30 years ago, but the rationale has not changed. Our
interest is that Sinai will cease to be a branch of Afghanistan on our border,
but we should also remember how it all happened in the first place.
years, the Egyptians ignored what was happening in Sinai and allowed the free
transfer of weapons into Gaza. Now that the terrorism they fostered has hit them
too, they want to violate the peace treaty in order to hit the monster they
raised. Or perhaps to ensure that the terrorism would continue to strike, but
only on us.
There was no democracy in Egypt, nor will there be. The
question is from which side the dictator will come – secular or Islamist. The
delicate balance between the Muslim Brother and Egyptian army, which represents
the secular parts of Egypt, was broken; it looks like the Egyptian army
surrendered without a fight; the military elite was deported and
But it really does not matter whether the dictator is from
one side or another.
Either way, not one of the real problems of Egypt
would be solved. Nearly 90 million starving people, with a Third-World GNP per
capita. And when the masses find out that their revolution was stolen and the
poverty is the same poverty, at whom will the dictator point his finger and
toward where will he divert the anger of the masses? Toward us, of
It will not be the first time.
Why did the Egyptians
attack us in 1948? There were no Palestinian refugees, and no “occupation.” Why
did they close the Straits of Tiran at 1956? Why did they want to erase us in
1967? The Egyptian pattern of agreements violation is not new. Prior to the Six
Day War, they expelled the UN inspectors.
Immediately after the
cease-fire agreement in the War of Attrition, they brought their SAM batteries
to the Suez Canal; The price for that in Yom Kippur War was heavy.
they are talking about a unilateral change in the peace agreement – well-known
Because of the desire to deal with the terrorism
problem in Sinai, we may find ourselves with a much bigger problem: a large
Egyptian army on the border, along with a dictator who is possessed by
Nothing good can come from this shameful combination.
writer is author of Sharon: The Life of a Leader.