Monday, 20 August 2012

Israel must strongly reject the latest Egyptian miltarizing of the Sinai

We have to face it, the news from Egypt is bad. Not only has the Muslim Brotherhood taken over the presidency with Morsi, but he successfully faced the army down over the parliament, and shortly afterwards decapitated the opposition against him with the 'retirement' of Tantawi and his deputy who was a known and respected by the IDF.  What has taken Erdogan of Turkey many years to do, consolidation of his rule and the emasculation of armed opposition to the AKP islamists, Morsi has done in a few weeks.

Having tamed the army Morsi then gave instructions to it to ready itself against unspecified 'threats'. As is usual with the savvy MB, the instructions may be interpreted how you like. If you are the US administration begging to have your fears calmed, you will understand this to mean that Egypt wishes only to prepare the army to put down terror in the Sinai. If this is what Morsi meant, then why did he not say so?

But now Egypt has sent tanks into the Sinai against the provisions of the peace treaty with Israel whilst moving anti-aircraft missiles up to Israel's border. In the absence of any terrorist warplanes in the area, the message from this can not be more clear. Egypt is preparing for hostilities with Israel. Not necessarily open warfare, but possibly as cover for those who carry out terror attacks from the Sinai into Israel.

This is in line with Morsi and his spokesmen calling for Egypt to reassert full sovereignty in the Sinai, and to revise the peace treaty with Israel. This revision will of course be along the lines of tearing it up in all but name, to use salami tactics of cutting bits away.

Morsi has said that he won't tolerate global jihad operating in the Sinai and he may well be sincere in this. His interest is being able to control the terrorists (while disowning them), and Al Qaida and its offshoots are not under MB control. They are therefore not welcome and will be eliminated by Egypt from the Sinai.

Israel must not be assuaged by anti-terror operations by the Egyptian military in Sinai. Egypt has moved its forces there with a main purpose of building up its capacity vis-a-vis Israel, in preparation for the coming conflict once Syria has changed its regime and is under the dominance of its sunni majority.
The Egyptian army will quite possibly repeat 1967 and be once more sitting along the Negev border of Israel in full force and waiting for its attack orders, but this time protected by a missile umbrella that covers much of the south of Israel. 

If there is one thing we can learn from the Muslim Brotherhood, it thinks strategically, and it bides its time. But as we saw only this last week, when it strikes, it is deadly serious and effective.

And in case you think Morsi's intentions aren't necessarily malign, watch the two recent videos, one of him talking to his followers of Jihad, War, of a martyr's death being an ideal:

and Morsi's spokesman talks about taking Jerusalem:

You really have to be obtuse, or have an agenda not to see the writing on the wall. It would be nice if the USA were to cease shipping modern weapons to Egypt, but with Obama at the helm, that really is too much to ask. Let's hope the Israeli army is preparing well.

Should Egypt attack (and lose the Sinai) again, that should be the last time an Egyptian soldier sets foot  there.

If Israel has to shed blood to repel a future attack, it must reoccupy the Sinai as far as the Gidi and Mitla passes, and annex the territory. Egypt has no historical claims over the Sinai. It was given to Egypt by imperial Britain as a buffer against Ottoman Turkey. With a new egyptian aggression against Israel (which is only a matter of time), the buffer must be re-established under Israeli sovereignty.

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