Is JINSA preparing for another Israeli-Egyptian war?
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.