Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Moshe Arens's Dream
Arens argument is geopolitical: a very small country invites aggression, ergo, we must be big. Most he laments the loss of Sinai, which made up two thirds of Israel's territory, and was sold by Begin for normalization with Egypt. Arens does not say that Begin made a mistake, but wonders about the strategic consequences of having lost Sinai - and having the frenetically excited, failed-state of Egypt across the border. As a Zionist, I too lament the loss of the Sinai Peninsula, not because of geopolitics but sentiment: I loved Sinai's open spaces and its azure sea. When it was ours, all the outstressed people of Tel Aviv could take an Egged bus and calm down in Ophira or go fishing at Bardawil. How nice it was!
Sinai was never part of historical Egypt. In fact, Egypt was and is a very narrow strip of land along the Nile, the rest is the Lybian Desert (the green and the rose areas on the map). Lybia and Egypt had border wars for that enormous piece of dry land. The Red Sea coast (orange) is peopled by Erythreans and other non-Arab peoples. If the State of Egypt finally collapses and disintegrates, the whole framework could fall into pieces. The Middle East may be ready soon for a redrawing of borders and me, for a reminiscence fishing vacation in Bardawil.