******************** THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO WWW.LEGALINSURRECTION.COM ********************

This blog is moving to www.legalinsurrection.com. If you have not been automatically redirected please click on the link.

NEW COMMENTS will NOT be put through and will NOT be transferred to the new website.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

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.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
Visit the Legal Insurrection Shop on CafePress!
Bookmark and Share


  1. For most of these folks, returning Israel to its earlier, militarily indefensible borders, has been the real goal all along.

  2. It's hard to know why the pre-1967 borders have been considered sacrosanct. The UN's 1947 partition plan did set up certain borders for the Arab and Jewish states, but the Arabs refused to accept the plan. So much for those borders.

    The pre-1967 lines were set forth in the 1949 armistice agreements. The Arabs were clear and made a point that the lines were nothing but cease-fire lines where they had agreed for the moment to stop fighting, but that they were in no way recognized by any Arab belligerent as borders of any sort. The Arabs reiterated time and again that these lines would be crossed when the time was ripe to wipe out the Zionist entity.

    Only after they failed to wipe out Israel in 1967 did the lines on the map suddenly become in the eyes of the Arabs and their supporters something other than demarcations of where for the moment they had decided to stop fighting. So why are they now considered holy and any Israeli suggestion that they might not describe future borders taken as a mark of Israeli expansionism?

    By the way, from 1949 through 1967 a Palestinian state could have been set up without Israel having anything to do with it. Yet none was and the Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, made no demands for a state on the West Bank and Gaza, even as a preparatory step.

  3. Looking, or hoping, for any sort of intellectual or argumentative consistency from Israel's enemies is a fool's errand. The goal is the destruction of the state of Israel, and if practicable in the process, its people. That outcome is the object, and all demands and negotiations to reach that end may be adopted and cast aside at will, no matter how contradictory they might be, just so long as it furthers that end.

    Its basically the same thing that is done with "Climate Change". The goal is to destroy western capitalism and replace it with progressive/socialist governance. It doesn't matter if you are arguing the world is about to melt this week and that its going to freeze next week, the arguments are irrelevant. Socialism is the goal, if that means arguing all four sides of the square at the same time, so be it.

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

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


    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.

  6. (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.

  7. 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


  8. 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.