Now that Mubarak has resigned and the Egyptian Army’s Supreme Council has taken over, what next? Some have said Israel had no choice but to withdraw from Sinai, not being strong enough in the late 70’s to refuse Carter’s ‘Peace Proposals.’ Only those who hadn’t watched these events unfold could think this.
It’s not as if Israel had no other choice. Israel fought a war in 1973 on virtually three fronts and from the most disadvantageous start imaginable. Though many consider the Six-Day War its finest effort, I consider the recovery and steadfastness, it displayed on Yom Kippur and after, even more impressive.
There would have been no trouble holding on to the positions it then held and with a minimum of personnel even if the other side had the ‘stomach’ for more confrontations after that, which it obviously did not. Then, too in such a scenario, Gaza would have remained pacified, as there would have been no means by which terrorist organizations could have gained a foothold or received military supplies.
Moreover, as explained in Part I and my ‘Begin wearing Swim Trunks’ piece earlier, there would have been no need for any of the Lebanese incursions or later ‘wars’ and Hezbollah would never have come into existence among a previously quiescent Southern Lebanon population.
Furthermore, the so-called ‘Palestinian’ issue – as I explained too in my ‘If Begin wore Swim Trunks’ last October - would have never come to the fore. Rather, it would have remained on the ‘back burner,’ so to speak, since everyone’s attention would have been focused on Sinai and nothing else could have mattered until that was resolved.
I never suggested that the Suez Canal should remain unopened, as one talkback objects. The 1973-74 Cease-Fire and Disengagement Treaties, negotiated by Henry Kissinger, accomplished that with the Israelis ending up in the Sinai Interim Agreement in 1975 (all still under Ford, not Carter) on a cease-fire line well back from the Canal.
As anyone could clearly see, I was only objecting to the terms that were agreed to under Carter’s prodding - a man I called, in my ‘Begin wore Swim Trunks’ piece, ‘the mouse that roared’ and who has since proved himself inimically hostile to Israel. Anyhow, Reagan was coming soon and the whole situation was going to change.
Another talkback argued the ‘Land for Peace’ formula was a good precedent and has served Israel and her neighbors well over the years. I could not disagree more. What a foolish precedent to follow for a ‘land-poor’ country like Israel.
‘Land’ is just what Israel does not possess, whereas the Arab/Muslim World encompasses about a fifth of the world - perhaps more. It’s like asking a beggar to shed a few more of the patchwork clothes he has - only through the greatest sacrifice and pain – managed to cover his body with.
No, it should not be, ‘Land for Peace.’ It should have been and still should be, ‘Peace for Peace.’ That’s what anyone with ‘dignity’ would have required; but how can you teach ‘dignity’ or ‘pride’ to a People that has been so mistreated and humiliated – even annihilated - over the last 2000 years?
How can a country with hardly any land to give, give anything up except under the most extreme conditions, when the other side has so much land they hardly know what to do with it all? At least they know the value of ‘Land’ if Israel or the Jewish People don’t or, what is worse, have forgotten.
To be sure, this was the formula used by Carter and his equally ‘anti-Israelite’ National Security Adviser, the Polish Zbigniew Brzezinski, who likewise has never left off his anti-Israel views since. He is a good counterpart for Obama’s eminence grise and quasi-puppet master, the self-avowed anti-Zionist Hungarian Jew, George Soros, a man with obvious instant access to the White House who helped finance Obama’s original campaign, Media Matters, the Tides Foundation, Moveon.org, and now J-Street. It is possible he even led the climactic run on Lehman Brothers, an activity he has much experience in.
Not only do Soros and Brzezinski share at least one Board membership; in my view, Soros for various psychological reasons - perhaps connected with the Second World War and Budapest - like his ‘Esperanto’ and ‘Internationalist’-obsessed father, would like nothing better than to see Israel, if not ‘the Jewish People’ generally, disappear as a distinct entity.
Curiously too, as it turns out, some in the U.S. now see Soros and ‘former’ Obama-intimates (only ''neighbors,’ he calls them) like American ‘Peace’ Activists’ and ‘New Left’ organizers of the late 60’s-early 70’s, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn and their ''Weather Underground’ - to say nothing of its updated version, today''s ‘Code Pink,’ which visited the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo a year and a half ago and, from it, went on to proclaim ‘common cause’ with Hamas in the Gaza Strip (Ms. Dohrn in attendance. Ah, the Socialist World Order with the Islamic Caliphate, both inimically hostile to Israel - what an interesting twosome) - as being, to some extent, behind both the Turkish Marmara Flotilla and the timing, if not the organization (supposedly by ‘Google employees’), of the present Tunisian and Egyptian disturbances, that is, apart from the people on the streets ‘hungering for Democracy’ and shrieking before the ever-present tv cameras, “FREEDOM!” with Mel Gilbson/William Wallace/’Braveheart’-like enthusiasm.
Nor is this to mention ‘anti-Israelite’ no. 3, Papa Bush’s factotum, James Baker. Now here was a man, along with his associate Brent Scowcroft, who paid Israel the final insult by refusing even to allow it the elemental right of self-defense when targeted by Saddam Hussein’s Scud missiles during the First Gulf War. Once again, that was a totally humiliating assault on Israel’s honor and pride, which demanded a response to being attacked - the first really to deny her the right of self-defense since World War II.
Let’s go back - Israel didn’t start the Yom Kippur War. Furthermore, in a war someone must expect to lose something. If you start a war, all the more so. You should not expect to be bailed out the moment things start to go ''south.'' If you don’t lose anything and the International Community always intervenes to bail you out, then why not just start another war – you have nothing to lose. In fact, that’s what’s been happening on a mini-scale, over and over again, in the last three decades. That’s what’s probably in the making now - except on a far larger scale. No, that will not do.
Another talk-backer, who says this was worth ‘30 years of Peace,’ claims he visited Sinai in 1983 and 2010 and saw a lot of development there. Well that may be true, but unless he saw Sinai in the 60’s and 70’s - as I did - how would he know? I saw Ophira, Nueiba, Santa Katarina, and Sharm el-Sheikh, where Mubarak now actually has fled just as predicted in Part I. C’mon, get real. As for ‘30 years of Peace.’ I say otherwise. 30 years of peace would have occurred anyhow - at least in Sinai. As for the rest, there has been no ''Peace'', only continual war.
However, many do pick up the loss of the early-warning time and many of these other crucial matters involved in surrendering the whole of Sinai and not just a part. The perspicacious reader will observe, I was only advocating returning part of Sinai.
Another asserts Sinai was never part of classical Israel. He might be right, but the point was, it was never part of Egypt either. As I shall explain further below, Israel should perhaps apply the Islamic law of conquest – the Law of ‘the World of Harb and the World of Islam’ – to it. Reverse the tables as it were. Maybe then, people would sit up and take note.
So what should Israel do? As already noted in Part I and ‘If Begin Wore Swim Trunks,’ Israel gave up an awful lot for this ‘Peace’ and/or ‘Recognition.’ What kind of ‘Recognition’ is this if it can just be withdrawn with any ‘regime-change’?
It doesn’t matter if Shari’ah Muslims consider treaties with non-Muslims or ‘pagans’ non-binding and abrogatable, as some political leaders in Egypt and others around the Islamic World are now announcing their intention of doing and this intent is being widely circulated on the internet. What do you think is going to happen as a result of this?
At the first indication of any infraction or evidence that the solemnly-undertaken Treaty is not being observed - including both ‘Recognition’ and ‘Peace’ - Israel, unfortunately should immediately return to the status quo ante line of the 1974-75 Cease-Fire Agreements. It was as a result of these that the Suez Canal was re-opened, not the Sinai Accords.
This is how any self-respecting nation, also unfortunately, has to behave. Russia, for instance (not a good example, but she is respected) – good or bad, like her or not – behaves like this. In any event, the Treaty is already being violated with all the arms inroads into Gaza, tunnels or otherwise, and has been for a long time. Is it possible to imagine how this is going to play out and increase in the near term - to say nothing of the far?
Treaties have consequences. Treating them lightly as if they don’t matter or violating them is not something a small state like Israel, whose very existence is contingent upon them, can tolerate. It cannot wait for debates at the UN or handwringing over right or wrong. Any hesitation or delay expresses weakness and just makes things more difficult – as, for instance, in Iran today.
There may not be enough time for internal debate - whether one should or should not. All that can be dealt with in the aftermath. If another country doesn’t wish to carry out its solemn undertakings, whatever its ‘religious scruples’ - especially when Israel gave up so much - then this should be the response. Take the United States and its agreements with the Russians over nuclear weaponry and the START Treaty. There is no ‘wiggle-room’ on such solemnly-ratified undertakings. They are either carried out or not.
Look what happened to the Americans when they allowed Saddam Hussein to violate the Cease-Fire Agreements after the First Gulf War. Devastation. Both Kurds and Shi’ites were ravaged and killed in a wholesale manner while the United States passively stood by seemingly helplessly; and the U.S. paid a terrible price to put things right afterwards and is still paying it.
Look at World War II, when Hitler violated all the earlier WWI treaties, moving into the Sudetenland and the Rhineland. Nothing was done until one’s back was against the wall. Maybe Russia, France, the U.K, and America can afford such hesitation. They have large hinterlands. Israel cannot – nor really could they, as it turned out.
A final point – why should not Israel follow the lead of its Muslim confreres, who consider any territory, once conquered by Islam (Spain, parts of Russia, Kashmir, etc., are good examples) and become ‘Muslim,’ irreversible and not returnable. This ideology is thoroughly sanctioned by Islamic Law however it is interpreted and whoever interprets it.
The same holds true, in fact, for individuals, i.e., ‘no apostasy from Islam’ - even more so. No wonder Islam has been so successful worldwide, so intractable and enduring; but how is this going to fit in with modern ‘democratic’ society or ''revolutionary’ ideals?
In effect, it has also been the basis of many of Israel’s problems from the beginning, though few recognized it and many are just beginning to realize it. But since this is on pain of death, as it were, let''s leave that aside, though strict Islamic constructionists, as observed, would not.
Maybe Israel or the Jewish People should try a little ‘reverse engineering’ and some ‘dissimulation’ Islamic-style themselves. Talk about double standards - I wonder what the world would make or say about that? After all, since we are quoting time-honored proverbs, ‘turn-about is fair play’ and ‘what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.’
If Israel, too, adopted policies such as these, then the outcry would be deafening; but the world basically turns a blind eye when encouragement to genocide is profligately tossed around the internet. This isn’t even ‘dissimulation’ – and this towards a People which has already, as noted in Part I, ‘been through the valley of the shadow of death,’ a People basically only asking of an offspring culture a modest expression of its time-honored customs of ‘hospitality’ and ‘sanctuary.’
Nor is this to say anything about acknowledging and restoring many of the concepts and personages ‘borrowed,’ right from the start, principal among which one might consider the Biblical Gabriel who, for Muslims, vouchsafed the Koran - to say nothing of Abraham, Ishmael, Joseph, David, or Moses – the latter the most-commonly cited character in the Koran.
If not ‘returned’ or ''restored'' – an obvious impossibility under the circumstances - perhaps a little ‘acknowledgement’ or ‘recognition’ might do. As I said, maybe Israel and, for that matter, the Jewish People should try a little ‘dissimulation’ themselves. That really would ‘turn the tables,’ as it were, and be a surprise.